*Note: Our rating system is out of five stars.
(7% alc. by volume)
This is described as a full-bodied brown ale (disputable, IMHO) that’s brewed with pumpkin meat, brown sugar, and spices. Dogfish Head is based in Milton, Del., but you can buy the beer in most of the Midwest, Southeast, and New England.
This was a very mild ale overall. The pumpkin taste was mild with a spice aroma, but the finish was a bit tart. It was pleasant enough but didn’t really scream fall. I wouldn’t go out of my way to get the Punkin Ale and would stick to Dogfish Head’s IPAs instead.
(5.5% alc. by volume)
Cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg are swirled into the mix for this Bridgwater Corners, Vt., seasonal beer. Lots of beer reviewers describe the aroma of this ale as “gourdy.” Sniff for yourself, I guess.
This pumpkin ale had more kick than some of its brethren. It had a toasty, hoppy bite, mild pumpkin aroma, and an almost chocolatey taste. It was better than the Dogfish Head, but not by much.
Rating: ★★ 1/2
(5% alc. by volume)
Brewed in Brooklyn, N.Y., this light beer is flavored with Dickinson pumpkins, nutmeg and wheat.
Sadly, it didn’t have much flavor.
(6.8% alc. by volume)
Roadsmary’s Baby, I found by googling, is Two Roads Brewing Co.’s clever play on the movie title “Rosemary’s Baby”, a 1968 psycho thriller with a kickass creepy movie cover (see for yourself). The ale is aged in rum barrels and has notes of vanilla, spice, and oak. Two Roads is located in Stratford, Conn.
This was the fan favorite at my beer/liquor store of choice. All of the store attendants, when they saw that I’d found a spot for a Roadsmary’s Baby in my pumpkin-themed pick-six, expressed their approval. While this was my favorite label of the group, it was not my favorite beer. It had a slight bitterness that was more shrill than thrill.
Rating: ★★ 1/2 ___________________________________________________________________
(4.5% alc. by volume)
Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead is a lighter-style pumpkin ale with good wheat undertones. The beer is brewed in Portland, Maine.
This is the pumpkin ale for folks who are looking to get buzzed on pumpkin pie in liquid form. I was impressed with the true pumpkin flavor, which blended nicely with flavors of ginger and cinnamon. Delicious!
Rating: ★★★ 1/2
(5.35% alc. by volume)
This is a mildly spiced golden amber ale with balanced malts and hops. It’s brewed with organic pumpkins harvested from a farm a few miles from the brewery in Middlebury, Vt.
Ha! The first note I jotted down about this beer was: “Smells like a co-op.” And I meant that in the best way possible. This ale has really nice earthy, spice-y, complex aromas. It pours with a nice amber color and has a moderate pumpkin flavor with notes of clove. I found it really smooth and enjoyable — my favorite of the bunch.
Rating: ★★★ 1/2