Today being Halloween, featuring a pumpkin beer review makes perfect sense—especially one called The Great Pumpkin! No, not that Great Pumpkin—which I’ve embedded a clip of below—but Elysian Brewing‘s Imperial Pumpkin Ale of the same name: an 8.1% alcohol by volume beer that is something like their Night Owl on steroids.
Roasted pumpkin seeds in the mash, and extra pumpkin added in the mash, kettle and fermenter. Spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice.
Appearance: Deep amber in color, orange at the edges. Head is off-white, thin, and falls quickly.
Smell: Nicely balanced nose of spices, caramel sweetness, and a roasty nutty quality that (I imagine) is the seeds. Very nice, not overdone at all.
Taste: First thing that comes to mind is “yum”—sweet (toffee, caramel, malty) and spicy with a big lush creamy nutmeg presence. A touch of heat from the alcohol, and down in there is a deep, roasted squash character, sugary and rich. It’s sweet with every sip but not too cloying—makes you want to come back for more.
Mouthfeel: Nearly full-bodied with a slight warming prickly note from both the spices and the alcohol; finishes sweet and just a touch sticky.
Overall: I think this has vaulted itself to the top of my pumpkin beer list, I really like this.
And finally, that other Great Pumpkin I was talking about: