Enjoyed over lunch of a large crock pot full of lentil and shiitake soup with Jen. Tasted a second time in March of 2011 after finding this beer in the fridge at Great River.
Appearance: Exhibits a healthy off white/tan head. So dense it may even be possible to draw my initials on the top. The color is of a dark ruby amber, slightly hazy. and strong accumulation of carbonation on the side of the glass.
Aroma: Smells of slight burnt toast with a hint of caramel and indistinguishable squash (not pumpkin). I sense notes of cinnamon and other spices. A mild undertone of earthiness in present along with a nutty sweetness
Taste: Malt backbone is of basic amber caramel malt that is nicely integrated with sweetness. Some brown sugar elements are present. There is a very potent after taste of bittered spicing. More than likely it is nutmeg. Taste has a musty sweet maltiness that to my palate tastes like under baked bread. A little nuttiness as well but more in the form of Roasted Acorns (trust me, I've made beer with them). I find undertones of ginger to follow. The tannins from the spices are the most prominent flavor, which is this beers biggest drawback.
Mouthfeel: The body is thick and the mouthfeel is lacy and smooth. The carbonation contributes nicely to create a optimal texture while enabling a somewhat drinkable character to the beer
Overall Impression: Still too much spicing for a pumpkin ale that more so just masks the natural pumpkin earthy flavors. I'd more so wish a beer would just taste normal and say they have pumpkin in it than say it's a pumpkin ale and over pronounce the perception of pumpkin flavor by over spicing. Oh well. Nice try.
T2: Really not all that bad after some age. I appreciate the complexity, but still see where the spices can be overdone.