The second, in a 3 night series on pumpkin ales brings us our Best of Show at the 2008 Oktoberfest…
We knew this was something special, even in our somewhat inebriated state at Oktoberfest and getting the last bottle at Malt & Vine the other day gave me a chance to prove it stone cold sober.
Elysian really has done something special here. Supposedly they brewed this at New Belgium facilities in Colorado to ensure they had the room and propper facilities to really make this right. That is what I hear, at least, and I have to say that if that had anything to do with the taste of this years beer, they shouldn’t change a thing.
From the beginning, you know the guys at Elysian wanted to make this beer truly look, smell, taste, and embody pumpkin. You can see and smell it the minute you open the bottle… the orange tinted, semi-sweet smell of this wonderful fall favorite wafts into your nostrils and makes you lean in for another smell. Throughout the tasting of the bottle, you get different spices, as well, as the brew mixes in the glass and warms up. I noticed nutmeg in the early stages and cloves near the end. Pumpkin was there all along, though, don’t worry.
After you get past the smell comes the taste. Wonderful pumpkin pie hits your tongue with a silky smoothness that almost makes you want to not swallow this fine liquid. Now… you might be saying that sounds nasty… pumpkin pie shouldn’t be in the taste of your beer… but that is where you would be oh so wrong. For it isn’t the sweet grocery store pumpkin pie, you get the full blown complexity of a just right pie that mom used to make. Not too sweet but not too pumpkin. The blend of the pumpkin and the spices really comes out perfect.
Finally the finish. It is a mouthful… almost makes you want to chew the brew as it goes down. But there is plenty of complexity to savor… if you can stand not taking a sip right away because it tastes so good.
Overall, this is THE BEST PUMPKIN ALE I have ever tasted. Absolutely amazing. A benchmark for all other pumpkin ales and one that I don’t know can be beat.
JBB6 Rating: For the Win