Saturday October, 30 2010. It kind of brings a tear to my eye as we bring this year’s Pumpkin beer week to a close. But fret not. As long as there are new pumpkin beers for us to review next year we will bring it back. We might even review a few more if we find them this fall. Thanksgiving is a pumpkin holiday too, right? The Saranac Pumpkin Ale marks the third beer that we’ve reviewed by the Matt Brewing Company. If memory serves me correctly we enjoyed the Saranac Pale Ale but found the Saranac Oktoberfest not as good. Let’s see how Saranac Pumpkin pans out.
The color was quite different from the standard orangey/copperish hue. I actually thought it looked more reddish (or perhaps a dark copper) with a white head. The aroma was of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg (pretty standard if you haven’t noticed a trend yet). The taste was mostly of cloves with a vanilla finish. I kind of thought that it was too cloves heavy. The vanilla was a nice change though. The vanilla made me think of the ginger used in the Frog’s Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale from Hoppin’ Frog and how that was really unique. Unfortunately it still tastes pretty much like cloves. I didn’t notice an over abundance of cloves, but I think I really like cloves. I thought it was maltier than most pumpkin beers we’ve tried, almost bready and less spicy (maybe that means less cinnamony since Austin thinks they upped the clove factor) than some of the others.
The Saranac Pumpkin Ale was an alright pumpkin beer. I liked the color and the use of vanilla but found the cloves overwhelmed everything else. I liked it a lot. If you are really into cloved wheat beers this might be good for you. Word. So I believe that brings the tally for Saranac beers to 1-1-1 (that’s soccer for win-draw-loss). In other words we liked one, thought one was ok, and we didn’t find it very appealing. For me the jury remains out for this particular brewery. I’m not sure I agree. I think this one is fab, I thought Ocktoberfest could use some umphf, and I didn’t get to try the Pale Ale.
If you are wondering why we aren’t doing a pumpkin beer on Halloween it’s because I have a different beer in mind for tomorrow.