Pumpkin Beer Week: Deschutes Pompion

Pumpkin Beer WeekI’ve been eagerly awaiting for Deschutes Brewery to put their first ever pumpkin ale on tap, and today was the day! I was able to get down there just after work to enjoy an inaugural pint, and take a few notes for a review.

They’re serving Pompion (the old word for “pumpkin” in colonial days) on nitro, which lends it an incredibly creamy, smooth body and texture. It’s 40 IBUs and 6.8% alcohol by volume, and here’s their description (from the Pub):

Pompion is what our forefathers called the pumpkin, and they used it in large amounts making beer in the 1700’s due to the lack of good barley malt. This is Deschutes’ first pumpkin beer which subtly blends spices and the finest pie pumpkins (along with various barley malts) to bring you more fun in a glass than you perhaps though possible.

Deschutes Brewery PompionThe beer pours a nice orange color, punctuated at first by the cloudy swirls of bubbles typical of a nitro-poured beer, and topped with a smooth cream-colored head. There are noticeable but subtle aromas of pumpkin pie spices in the nose, along with a creamy sweet note.

On the tongue it’s super smooth, with a nice “pop” from the spices, and has pleasant flavors of vanilla and roasty crystal malts and nutmeg. It’s a touch bitter in the aftertaste, I think from the spice and squashy notes (and a touch of alcohol heat as well), but not in a detrimental way.

Overall it’s mellow, subtle, toasty, and a really nice first effort. If I get the chance I will definitely drink more, and I’d love to find out more about their brewing process—how they used the pumpkins, when they added spices, like that.