Bootlegger’s Brewery Pumpkin Ale (365 Day 346)

By scot in 365 Days of American Craft Beer, Beer on Saturday, November 12th, 2011

bootlegger's brewery pumpkin ale

Bootlegger's Pumpkin Ale

There are a couple of styles of American craft beer that don’t agree with me. I try to avoid them like the plague. The one that comes back with a vengeance each year are pumpkin ales. I have not purchased one for more than a couple of years; there has been no desire. The reasons I don’t care for this style are quite simple and straight forward: lack of balance, huge amounts of spice, and/or uninteresting.

The lack of balance is usually caused by huge amounts of spice, thus they go hand in hand. Nutmeg and cinnamon are the usual suspects that are overloaded and create a beer that is out of whack with nary any drinkability. The uninteresting part comes in when these beers are brewed to let the pumpkin shine. It is something that is difficult to do, if it can be done, and pumpkin can’t be interesting by itself.

With all this negativity you probably think that I am just going to kill American craft beer number 346. I am not. I was pleasantly surprised by Pumpkin Ale by Bootlegger’s Brewery. It was a nice drinking pumpkin beer that the wife and I shared (from a bomber) and I had no troubling finishing off my share plus some of hers. The spice and pumpkin are well balanced with the rest of the beer with each rising to prominence in the nose and mouth.

I have a long way to go before I look forward to pumpkin beers each and every season but Bootlegger’s is the first to turn me in a positive direction in a long time. Enjoy!

Aroma: 8 (25%), Taste: 7 (25%), Look: 9 (15%), Drinkability: 8 (35%), Overall: 7.9

Useless Fact: The famous nineteenth-century bullfighter Lagartijo (born Rafael Molina) killed 4,867 bulls.

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