Friday, October 16, 2009

Shipyard's Smashed Pumpkin Ale

Brewing Company: Shipyard
Style: Pumpkin
Size: 22 fl oz.
ABV: 9%

The review of the season is HERE!!! As I write this entry, I bring you all good and bad news. The good being that I feel like Shipyard has a GREAT idea on their hands. They've successfully create a "heavy" Pumpkin Ale (compared to the Pumpkinhead Ale and Post Road's of the world). The bad news is that not only was it an EXTREMELY limited release, it has more or less disappeared from the shelves as Packies are now beginning to turn a blind eye to Fall/Autumn/Oktoberfest beers. Hard to believe that the season has already come and practically gone. So take in this review, and be on the lookout for this one next year!!!

I'd like to dedicate this review to the Girosky brothers, because without them - this would not have been possible (Kudos to my buddy Ian as well for finding a bottle at his favorite packy in Naugatuck). The first bottle that I had the pleasure of tasting was bought RIGHT AT the Shipyard Brewery in Portland, ME (thank you Chris!!). Then, it was hand delivered to me by his brother, my good friend Matt - WHICH was then dropped off RIGHT AT MY DOOR!!! These guys rock. And after I acquired said delicious beer, it turns out that Southington Wine and Spirits was NOT going to get any cases in! No fault on them... they tried and were even TOLD that they would get at least a case. But, nada. Ok... enough back story... let's DRINK!!

As I put earlier, Shipyard basically took their Pumpkinhead Ale concept, and kicked it in the ass. This beer gives you almost 4% ABV more (sitting at a tasteful 9%). Of course, there are STRONGER Pumpkin Ales out there (i.e. Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin) but you know right away that this has a bit more bite to it. Poured into a glass the color had a copper almost amber tinge to it. The head on the beer was white and thin. While there isn't much of a smell to this beer once you pour it into your chalice (probably because it's from the bottle), this variety has much more spice to it (attributing to its "heavier" flavor). You get a mouthful of pumpkin spices, with hints of nutmeg, vanilla, and cinnamon. The hoppiness of this brew is a bit more than other pumpkin ales, but still remains subtle. The malts give it a nice medium body with a touch of bitters at the finish.

Please keep in mind that all of these flavors and tastings are grading a beer out of the bottle... I mean, according to Beer Advocate, there is almost an entire letter grade different from the folks that reviewed this beer on bottle from those that tasted it on tap! Maybe next year I'll take a trip up to Maine and find out for myself!

Overall, I would definitely buy this beer if I see it again. And I do have to say to my co-author, if PumKing is your current favorite, this beer may give the "King" a run for its money!!

Final Grade: A-

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