Almost half way through October and we have barely scratched the surface in regards to that most ‘gourd’geous’ of melons, the pumpkin. Whether in a pie, in a latte, or resting on the porch, no one can resist the orange globe. For us beer enthusiasts who are inspired to only drinks what compliments the season we are often lemmings to consuming whatever pumpkin-inspired beer is sitting on the shelf.
A perennial favorite at our brewery Halloween party, Samuel AdamsHarvest Pumpkin Ale is brewed with over 11 pounds of real pumpkin per barrel, adding a full body and sweetness to this dark reddish amber brew. Deep roasted malts, including a smoked malt, lend a distinct roasted character while traditional pumpkin pie spices give the beer a subtle spice note.
To brew our version of this fall favorite, we used a significant portion of real pumpkin. The pumpkin is added to the mash to meld with the malt flavors, bringing out its true flavor in the final brew. In addition to our classic two-row pale malt and Caramel 60, we've added Special B and Smoked Malt for a deep roasted and nutty character that perfectly complements the pumpkin. Once in the kettle we also add clove and the classic pumpkin pie spices of cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg. The spices subtly enhance the character of the pumpkin and malt without overpowering it.
Flavor: Smooth and roasty, real pumpkin adds to a full body and sweetness while deep roasted malts lend a toasty finish to this subtly spiced brew.
Color: Dark reddish amber, 33 SRM
Original Gravity: 15° Plato
Alcohol by Vol/Wt: 5.7% ABV, 4.4% ABW
Malt Varieties: Two-row Harrington, Metcalf, and Copeland pale malts, Caramel 60, Special B, and Smoked Malt
Hop Varieties: East Kent Goldings and English Fuggles
Special Ingredients: real pumpkin and a spice blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice
Yeast Strain: Samuel Adams ale yeast
First Brewed: 2010
Availability: Seasonal (Sept. - Oct.) in the Harvest Collection Variety pack
Suggested Style Guidelines from the Brewers Association
Honestly we could list the guidelines for a 'Fruit' beer but we figure you can decide for yourself on this one.
Poured and resting from it’s 12 ounce bottle Harvest Pumpkin Ale starts out with an initially strong off-white, almost butterscotch-colored, foamy head that fails to stick around very long. Further visual inspection reveals this pumpkin ale to have a dusk like deep, dark-orange, clarity.
Sipping continues the experience by confirming the previous existences of nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. Additionally there is a mild smokiness buried deep within. Overall Harvest Pumpkin Ale has a medium weight to it as it rests on the tongue.
You Should Try It … especially during a month when there are many 'Pumpkin' beers to try. We would like you to consider Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin for that list. Paired with smoked poultry, sweet cheeses, or even some vanilla ice cream; Harvest Pumpkin is a welcome treat when someone needs a little pick-me-up while dealing with trick or treaters.
Thoughts by your Colleagues
In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has provided me a free sample that was used for research prior to writing this review.