Thanks to Joshua Schipp for picking up a six pack of this last week. I tasted it on Wednesday evening as we at Annie's Organic mac-N' Cheese and also tried the Hollowine he had been raving about the last 4 months. Finally got around to reviewing it on Monday afternoon as I could hardly move my legs from yesterdays 1/2 Marathon.
Appearance: Deep copper color with a frothy, yet spacious white head. As dissipation occurs over several minutes, the remnants take a dry styramfoam-like textured lacing on the side of the glass. Both clarity and carbonation are strong in appearance, though there still remains a slight haze.
Aroma: Earthy up front smell along with subtle notes of Holiday spicing like cinnamon and ginger. Sweet caramel malt and toffee make a very nicely incorporated malt foundation. Perhaps pumpkin/squash is present, thought it's difficult to decipher under the spiced complexity.
Taste: Forefront of the taste is nice a richly decorated with caramel and even toasted malt. By midtaste it has already grown into revealing a pumpkin earthiness. Nevertheless, much of the flavor lies in the finish where a conglomeration of spices, hop elements and earthy undertones clash to create almost an un-describable flavor. Some yeast presence can be drawn out under the malt. From what I can pick out, I get cinnamon, ginger and even brown sugar. The back-taste is bittered with a perceptive characteristic of dried leaves. Hops still present a piney flavor that impressively fits with the alternative flavors. Aftertaste is dry but still with a notable hop presence. Together, everything comes off as still that highly prominent fall dry leaves flavor. Becomes quite sweet tasting profiled by biscuity/caramel malt as the beer becomes warmer.
Mouthfeel: Very smooth textured with a very well infused carbonation that all but strengthens the overall feel and flavor of the beer. Medium bodied. Dry and crisp.
Overall Impression: The pinnacle of the fall season, while still remaining true to a beer-esk character. The complexity is overwhelming if thought out, otherwise it is quite simply an easy fall beer to enjoy any time of day. Smooth, yet enticingly crisp, I know full well another six-pack is on my list for this season.