Pumpkin Beer Reviews: Elysian, Buffalo Bill’s, Uinta and Dogfish Head

Love them or hate them, Pumpkin beers are here to stay. Beer Advocate lists 1,305 different Pumpkin beers! Tonight, the Elves and I took a break from Christmas preparations to taste four Pumpkin beers. One was a clear winner.

Buffalo Bill’s is a pioneer in the microbrewery scene. Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale, which the brewery touts as America’s Original Pumpkin Ale was first brewed in 1985. Made with real pumpkin and light spices, it has a golden amber color and light tan head of foam. Not a lot on the nose. The flavor is an Amber with nutmeg, brazil nut, followed by a touch of vanilla and cream soda. This 6% ABV grow on us as we tasted through the other beers.

Uinta Brewing’s Punk’n Pumpkin Ale is the lightest of our tasting at 4% ABV. This sessionable pumpkin ale is brewed with real pumpkin and a spice medley of nutmeg, cinnamon, and all-spice. This is a light, Pale Ale-estque beer with just a hint of goard and very light spice notes.

Dogfish Head Brewery’s Punkin Ale is in production since 1995, a full-bodied brown ale with smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar. They brew with pumpkin meat, brown sugar, and spices. The fine carbonation gives a silky mouthfeel. The spice combo is not overbearing. We taste light nutmeg, cloves, all-spice, and hay on a firm malt and hop body. This is a great beer for those who want to dip their toe into the pumpkin beer world. It’s 7% ABV and a don’t miss.

Elysian Brewing has a great line-up of award-winning pumpkin beers. Don’t miss Punkuccino Coffee Pumpkin Ale, brewed Portland’s Stumptown Roaster coffee for a Pumpkin Spice Latte-ish ale. But I digress.

Elysian’s best pumpkin beer is Elysian’s The Great Pumpkin. Roasted pumpkin seeds in the mash, and extra pumpkin added in the mash, kettle and fermenter. Spiced with cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. We pick up ginger notes as well. The pumpkin is very distinct and pleasant in this beer. It’s pumpkin pie in a glass without being a sugar bomb. This Imperial Pumpkin Ale is 8.4% ABV and the favorite of our tasting.

Question: What’s your favorite Pumpkin beer? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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    While it's difficult to picture Santa as a young man, he was once. He met the future Mrs. Claus one snowy night when she offered him a winter ale that she brewed herself. It was love at first sight - for both the Mrs. and her winter ales. With Santa's growing fame, his favorite brews became named after his favorite day - Christmas. Santa now travels the world each year to spread the joy that began in a stable in Bethlehem two millennia ago.

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