Sep 4, 2018

Iron Hill Pumpkin Ale

To be brutally open and transparent, the only reason I’m reviewing a pumpkin ale in September is because it was provided by the brewery. It’s still much too hot in Virginia right now — the heat index was 101° yesterday — to even have one of these in the house. Iron Hill, however, is ready for the cooler months with Pumpkin Ale (5.5% ABV) and felt I needed to drink it now. Who am I to turn away a beer?

While many a pumpkin beer pander to the holidays with overblown amounts of seasoning and sweetness, Iron Hill’s Pumpkin Ale doesn’t. Sure there’s a good bit of spice at work and, obviously, that orange gourd, but the beer isn’t overly dessert like. The aroma and flavor give me the impression of a gingerbread cookie that happens to have pumpkin in its recipe. The clove, allspice and cinnamon typically found are muted, settling in toward the back of the flavor profile while bready malt, pumpkin and ginger take the forefront. It’s an interesting flavor combination that I particularly enjoyed.

Pumpkin Ale is a darn good example of the style with a slight twist on the spices used. It’s certainly one of the more enjoyable, less cloying pumpkin beers I’ve had in recent years. It’s still much too early in the year for these things to start showing up, but that’s how things are now — Halloween candy is already showing up in the grocery store! Anyways, if you need your pumpkin ale fix and want something just slightly different, then Iron Hill’s brew is certainly one to check out.

This is a review of a promotional sample.