Shipyard Brewing‘s Smashed Pumpkin is the latest in their “Pugsley’s Signature Series” line of beers, wherein Alan Pugsley, their Master Brewer, gets to go a little crazy, flex his brewing chops, and produce some big interesting beers. I received this bottle of Smashed Pumpkin last week, and this beer definitely qualifies:
Smashed Pumpkin is a big-bodied beer with a light coppery orange color and pleasing aroma of pumpkin and nutmeg. The OG and final Alc./Vol. provide the structure and body. Pale Ale, Wheat and Light Munich Malts combine with the natural tannin in pumpkin and the delicate spiciness of Willamette and Hallertau Hops to balance the sweetness of the fruit. 1.088 OG, 9.00% Alc./Vol.
A 9% pumpkin ale? So the “smashed” in “Smashed Pumpkin” refers to how you’ll be after drinking it!
I’m all about the pumpkin beers, so I was anxious to try this one. It did not disappoint, but check out my notes; we can chalk it up to one of the better pumpkin beers out there.
Appearance: Clear and bright orange, with a nice creamy buildup of head (three fingers worth), frothy and thick.
Smell: Pumpkin pie spices and a caramelly-sweet backbone. A creamy note overlaying an alcohol character.
Taste: Spicy up front with nutmeg and cinnamon followed by a cloying and slightly artificial pumpkin pie flavor—it’s punchy-sweet and I think the higher alcohol notes I’m getting are contributing to the “artificial” character. A little vegetal. Very rich.
Mouthfeel: Fairly thick with a strong alcohol presence in the finish—both sweet and dry.
Overall: Good and tasty as a pumpkin ale (not the best I’ve had, but better than many), but the high alcohol gives it a strong and rummy character that throws it a bit off-balance. No worries, though, because I’m still enjoying it.