Sep 8, 2008

A Small Pumpkin Patch – 2008 Edition

Last year I reviewed a small batch of pumpkin-brewed seasonals. I think I’m going to try and make this an annual event going forward, as more and more breweries are opting to go for a pumpkin inspired beer and/or more of them are readily available in my area.

For this installment, I had the pleasure of trying two new brews and one that I really enjoyed last year — I’ll start with that one first and keep it short.

Beer Label: Post Road Pumpkin Ale

Post Road Pumpkin Ale

Brooklyn’s Post Road Pumpkin Ale (my original review of the beer is at the link above) stands up firmly to last year’s notes. It was still the sweetest out of the three that I had this past weekend and I think that, while the other two were phenomenal, it was still my overall favorite. Still reminds me of warm dessert after a filling Thanksgiving meal.

Beer Label: Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale

JWeyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale

The next one up was a new one (to me anyways) from Weyerbacher. Any time I see the word “Imperial” in the name of a beer, I am more likely to lean toward it instead of another. Sure the alcohol content is usually on the higher side, but the flavors are usually more over the top, as well.


The Imperial pours a rich red/orange in color with a large light tan head that faded relatively slowly.


The pumpkin is obviously there, but it’s not really as dominant as I would have expected for an “imperial” beer. The blend of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon and clove) is well balanced and clean. There’s not much a hint of the higher alcohol (8% ABV) in the nose.


Man, this thing is smooth and not nearly as complex as I was expecting. The flavors are so equally present in the taste that it’s easy to miss the slight alcohol hit that comes in toward the end of the swallow. Spices, pumpkin and a warming sensation — just about damn near perfect.


I love the more “natural” feel to this one. It’s not over the top in any direction with regard to the pumpkin, alcohol or spice combination. This is a huge competitor for Brooklyn’s Post Road to contend with. I really enjoyed this beer.

Rating: 4/5

Beer Label: New Holland Ichabod

New Holland Ichabod

This was the first New Holland brewed beer that I had seen in any of the local shops, so I was pretty stoked to pick it up. There must be some capacity within my brain that just seems to have a thing for beers brewed with punpkin — this was another tremendously tasty one.


Ichabod pours a bit lighter than the Weyerbacher brew. The head was large and thick with an off-white color that had a slight orange tint to it.


The nose is clean with a wonderful semi-sweet pumpkin presence. The spice that’s there is a little more subdued than the Wywerbacher or Post Road beers, but well suited for the clean pumpkin characteristics.


Wow, this is another great seasonal brew. It’s not overly sweet with a wonderfully mellow finish that you want to last forever. The spices hit at just the right time and in the perfect amount. It’s a much lighter beer in terms of ABC (5.5%) so it doesn’t have that added warming sensation, but proves to hold it’s own against the stronger Imperial brew that I had, as well.


No doubt about it, Ichabod is one tasty brew. I think that I preferred the Post Road and Imperial to it, but I would (and probably will) pick up more of this one as it’s a littler easier to enjoy a couple of bottles without getting too silly.

Rating: 3.5/5