For me growing up, Fall always started – unofficially at least – right after my birthday. The days were starting to get shorter, summer vacation was coming to an end, Labor day was only a few days away, and then school would be starting.
Things have changed some since I was in grade school it seems. Halloween stuff has been on display since after the 4th of July, and I am pretty sure back to school supplies went on the end caps before all schools even let out.
Breweries of course are following suit, and pushing the release dates up on their seasonal selections, not exactly a horrible thing in most cases.
Even with that being said, I still find reviewing a fall staple, a pumpkin ale, this early in August is a little weird, but it with the way the weather has been the past few days, it does seem fitting. Besides, it is fresh, and decidedly not your normal IPA.
Upon pouring, I was instantly greeted by smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, and other scents of fall. Seriously Yankee Candle should make a seasonal release out of what I was smelling. With is clarity, minimal head and sweet potato like color it really is begging for the candle. This really does smell just like you are pulling pumpkin and sweet potato pies right out of the oven.
Now, smell is one thing, but Weyerbacher also managed to pull of the taste – it was liquid pie – all the spices, but none of the marshmallow and brown sugar sweetness assault. Nor was it pure savory, perfectly balanced right in the middle, each sip as enjoyable as the last.
Clocking in at 8% ABV it earns the Imperial addition to its name. Be warned though, you never taste its presence, and you hard to try to not gulp it down.
Over the years I have had a handful of, for the most part, inoffensive and more or less forgettable, Pumpkin Ales, Imperial Pumpkin is nothing like them. Maybe Pumpkin Ales needed the “Imperial” kick in the pants just like Pale Ales did to produce some amazing brews?
Something to think about on a cool crisp fall evening as I sip another one.