Up to this point most pumpkin beers I’ve had have been pretty “normal”: the usual variations on the pale-amber base, with spices. The ones deviating from that norm have tended towards the “Imperial” range, like yesterday’s Pumking, or Shipyard’s Smashed Pumpkin or Dogfish’s Punkin Ale. I suppose the commercial availability of other varieties just don’t make it into Central Oregon.
Of course, that changes with Midnight Sun Brewing’s TREAT, which they are billing as an “Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter.” Here’s their description:
Intriguing doses of sweet spices, cocoa nibs and pumpkin transform an exceptional porter into a mesmerizing potion. Pour this tantalizing brew into a snifter and experience its many eccentric nuances, which will delight your taste buds.
This is the same award-winning recipe that garnered a GOLD MEDAL at GABF in 2007. Formerly known simply as Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter, we’ve named it T.R.E.A.T.: The Royal Eccentric Ale Treatment.
Interesting stuff coming out of Alaska. TREAT is 7.8% alcohol by volume, and apparently there’s a companion beer: Trickter, a “Belgian-style Pumpkin Ale” (though I haven’t seen that one locally).
Appearance: Such a dark brown it’s almost black; poured with a cola-brown head.
Smell: Rich and sweet, with molasses and dark fruits, overlaying cocoa and subtle spices. Enticing.
Taste: A pumpernickel porter with dark chocolate and hints of pie spices—cloves mostly I think. Nicely sweet with perhaps a touch of the dark fruits in the nose—black currant jam. Bready and rich, creamy smooth, without any harsh roast of some porters.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and nearly full-bodied, with a nice semi-sweet finish.
Overall: Very nice, unusual but very well done—I think the pumpkin adds a nice body and mouthfeel while the spicing is subtle and complements the chocolate well.