10 October 2016

It's the Great Pumpkin Beer Season, Polkaroo!

For a seasonal beer, nothing quite drives the needle on the good and bad side of craft beer drinkers quite like the Pumpkin brew. I struggled so much with them as my palate has grown the last two years and this year I have finally come to understand and appreciate the humble orange Halloween illuminator. Read on for the 9 I've been able to lay my hands on so far. Most are available from the LCBO, with a few exceptions. Cheers!

Nickel Brook Brewing Pie Eyed Pumpkin Ale - Brewery 4/5

Pie Eyed Pumpkin Ale is brewed with the Brettanomyces yeast and
pours a hazy deep orange with a white head that clings to the sides. Smells like a real damn pumpkin. On the sip, creamy malt body contains the cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and funky brett pumpkin. The backend is sticky, with a lingering bit of pumpkin and finishing with more nutmeg and clove. Excellent funked up Pumpkin ale.
Nickel Brook Brewing Pissed Off Pete's Pumpkin Porter - Brewery 4/5

Black as night on the pour with a tan head that fades to the sides of the glass. Smells of roasted malts and pumpkin. On the sip, dark chocolate and coffee up front, with a smoky peat kick...and then the magic happens. Spices, including clove, cinnamon, allspice and a well rounded pumpkin pie flavour that lingers deliciously on the backend. Creamy mouthfeel with a dry, pumpkin finish. Just a great porter and a perfect slow sipper at 6.0 % 

Great Lakes Brewery Saison Du Pump - LCBO 3.75/5

Saison DuPump is a 5.2 % pumpkin ale brewed with saison yeast and released each year around this time. An interesting idea and one I am glad to open after a long Monday at work.
Pours a cloudy orange with a white head that fades to the sides. Smells of banana, pumpkin and nutmeg. On the sip, crisp saison flavours of orange peel, lemon zest, banana and clove are met with the nutmeg, cinnamon and pumpkin of your regular seasonal ale. Sticky finish that lingers with more banana and a peppery note. The backend also has a little more nutmeg and pumpkin to remind you to get ready for the cold.

Great Lakes Brewery Pumpkin Ale - LCBO 3.75/5

Pours a cloudy orange with a white head that thins and lingers on the top of the beer for a while. Smelling pumpkin and allspice. On the sip, delightfully pumpkin forward with cinnamon, nutmeg and clove on the tongue. There is a sweetness that takes your mind to a slice of the pie and all that's missing is the whip cream. It's not an overpowering spiced mess that so many Pumpkin beers become, rather it feels like a tasty treat and something I will buy more of. The finish has more nutmeg, with a lingering cinnamon ale taste. Suprised at how smooth and refreshing it is.
Lake of Bays Wild North Series Pumpkin Ale - LCBO 3.5/5
Pours a deep orange and copper with a white head that dissapates. Smells of nutmeg and pumpkin. On the sip, creamier than most of the style, it delivers a spiced nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and of course, pumpkin. Like a piece the pie in my glass. The body is malty with a sweet punch. Finish is more nutmeg and pumpkin with a hint of clove. Sticky and a little sweet with the first notes lingering on the tongue.

Collective Arts Pumpkin Saison - LCBO 3.5/5

 Pours a hazy orange gold with a white head that fades. Smells of orange peel and hints of pumpkin. On the sip, clean, crisp citrus notes with tart lemon andorange leading to the clove allspice and pumpkin on the back. A sourness on the dry finish is met with a lingering pumpkin, some banana and orange peel. Not quite a sour, not quite a Saison. I enjoyed it and an appreciate it's attempt to jazz up a style with a fresh approach. Try it of you've gotten your fill of the normal pumpkin ales, it's different enough to get your attention.
Grand River Brewing Highballer Pumpkin Ale - LCBO 3.25/5

Coming in at 5.2 %, it pours a clear copper colour with a thin white head that thins but lingers on the sides. Smells of nutmeg, pumpkin and cinnamon.  On the sip, good malt body with a toasty, bready feel. Pumpkin, of course, with a sweet punch and the usual suspects of cinnamon and allspice. The finish is really heavy on the nutmeg but there is a sweet backend that yields to that spice but also reminds me of whipped cream. Like drinking a piece of Pie,  smooth and malty.

Black Creek Pumpkin Ale - LCBO 3/5

Pumpkin Ale from Black Creek Historic Brewery pours a deep copper with a minimal white head. Smell the nutmeg, embrace the spices. On the sip, surprisingly malty with little carbonation, creamy and loads of pumpkin. Clove, nutmeg and a heavy cinnamon presence as it moves over your tongue. Lots of spices, easily the boldest yet this season. Warming and a little peppery on the back with more nutmeg, cinnamon and pumpkin lingering on the finish. Only 5.0 %, it sips bigger than its ABV.

Big Rig Tales from the Patch Pumpkin Porter - LCBO 2.5/5


Tales from the Patch Pumpkin Porter is a 5.8 % brew that pours dark with a white head that fades to the sides. Smells of cocoa, pumpkin and nutmeg.
On the sip, sharp bittersweet dark chocolate with a lingering cocoa note. Creamy mouthfeel, thick and milky with all the pumpkin, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon you'd expect. The finish is dry with clove, cocoa and more pumpkin on the back. It has a spicy note and a dry, powdery cocoa finish. Not my favourite version of the seasonal beer, but it's definitely a unique take on it.

As always, daily Craft Beer reviews at my main site : Drunk Polkaroo on Instagram.

Happy Fall my friends!

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