A stepping stone in the pumpkin patch
A Review of UFO Pumpkin by Harpoon Brewery
Posted on 9/30/2012 by Chops
The fall months are in full swing and all beer fans know what that means: goodbye lighter fare, hello malty goodness. One of the most anticipated fall beers is the pumpkin ale. It's one of the few beer styles that is approachable from any and all directions. Yes, even wine cooler fans can appreciate a good pumpkin ale. Those savory spicy malts are the perfect compliment to warm cozy evenings by a cracking fireplace. For the last several weeks I have been steadily sampling my way through this season's pumpkin ale extravaganza. Up next is the Harpoon Brewery's take on the style: the UFO Pumpkin from their UnFiltered Offerings series.
In the glass, this beer has a warm earthy orange coloration and is noticeably unfiltered. It comes with a sudsy white head that dissipates fairly quickly. The aroma is quite lovely with lots of thick sweet pumpkin malt and a dusting of warming spices. This brew very warm and inviting, so I dove right in without a second thought.
Right off the bat, you notice that this beer drinks a lot thinner than expected and actually feels more like a witbier. This isn't a good or bad thing mind you, just unexpected. It has a decent base malt character that sets up shop as the dominant trait. The spices seem more hidden as a flavor note and don't pop like they did on the aroma. They resided exclusively in the middle ground and never fully asserted themselves. The hops are also very muted and only make an appearance on the finish, creating a malty bitter aftertaste with a whiff of pumpkin.
Overall, Harpoon Brewery's UFO Pumpkin is a pretty good baseline pumpkin ale. It has all the core notes that make pumpkin ales delectable, but without an appropriate balance. Consequently, I can happily recommend this beer to novices as a great bridge beer into the pumpkin ale style; as a stepping stone in the pumpkin patch if you will. Seasoned drinkers on the other hand will certainly enjoy the UFO Pumpkin as a tasty session beer, but won't find it to be very memorable. For this beer fan, Harpoon has more than established itself as a reliable brewery and I found the UFO Pumpkin to be an enjoyable experience. I look forward to my continued exploration of their tasty product line.