Dec 1, 2015

Hardywood Rum Barrel Pumpkin

Last year, I did my damnedest to boycott any sort of pumpkin beer — barrel-aged or otherwise. I did pretty well, though I think one or two may have slipped through the cracks. For 2015, the boycott was over, but I made a point not to buy any pumpkin-based anything until the brews were truly in season. That’s where this bottle of Hardywood’s Rum Barrel Pumpking comes in.

Aside from a complimentary sample of Flying Dog’s The Gourd Standard that arrived in September, this 10.5% ABV farmhouse ale from Richmond, VA was the first review I had intentionally done — and back in October no less. I don’t believe I’ve encountered a saison or farmhouse ale that was brewed with pumpkin, let alone one that was aged in rum barrels, so this is certainly a first for me.

Rum Barrel Pumpkin packs a rummy punch as the farmhouse takes a step back to wood, liquor and distant spices. There’s not much of a funkiness or any of that expected from the base beer and the pumpkin tries to stand up on its own, but the rum influence is pretty darn strong.


The beer pours a rusty amber in color with a dense cap of khaki foam.

Hardywood Rum Barrel Pumpkin photo


Oooof…. loads of rum up front with yeast, soft wood and distant pumpkin. A soft clove tingle brings up the rear.


I was afraid that there was going to be too much rum in the flavor after taking those first few sniffs, but not so. The influence surely commands your attention but it’s not done with an iron fist. The blend of yeast, spices, distant wood and pumpkin persist throughout. A bit of sweetness is left on the lips after each sip. The brew finishes with a lasting flavor and chest-warming alcohol.


All in all, Rum Barrel Pumpking is a decent enough beer. I’m not sure I’m totally sold on the farmhouse and pumpkin combination, but kudos to Hardywood Park for trying something a little different with this one.

Rating: 3.5/5

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