New Belgium Pumpkick: A Poor Kick for Pumpkin Beer Lovers

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The New Belgium Brewing Company’s Pumpkick is the first of the pumpkin brews we will be reviewing this week. Coming in at 6% abv, the bottle describes it as an “ale brewed with pumpkin juice, cranberry juice, and spices.” It being the first on the chopping block also means that it is the one we least enjoyed, and this one really deserves its spot at the bottom of the list.  There are some certain elements that constitute a good pumpkin beer, such as having actual pumpkin flavor and fulfilling what the labeling on the bottle says, and as far as we could tell this brew did not live up to its description.

Aroma: Very light malty aroma, with no noticeable hops.  I didn’t notice the pumpkin or cranberry either. In fact, the scents coming off this beer are so light we barely noticed anything at all, save traces of cinammon and tartness.

Appearance: Very bright orange in color. Lightly perceivable carbonation. There was a tall rocky head that fell away quickly.

Flavor: Very light malty flavor without much else on the palate. There are only slight hints of the pumpkin and spices and it ends with a wonderful aftertaste of wet dog.

Mouthfeel: It is very light, though a little cloying. There is little carbonation and leaves the palate heavy.

Overall Impression: The combination of pumpkin and cranberry should make for a tasty brew, but this example falls short of what it really could be because these flavors are hiding so well they shouldn’t be able to call this a pumpkin beer at all.

Final Impressions:

Hops:                    –   –   –   –

Malts:                   mug rating 2

Pumpkin:             mug rating 1

Spices:                  mug rating 1

Flavor:                  mug rating .5

Overall:                mug rating 1.5

Label:                    mug rating 2.5

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