More malt bomb than pumpkin ale
A Review of Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale by Boston Beer Co. / Samuel Adams
Posted on 10/1/2012 by Chops
It goes without saying that craft beer fans owe a debt of gratitude to Boston Beer, commonly known as Samuel Adams. This brewery was instrumental in pioneering the craft beer movement. They were one of the first breweries to trumpet that beer didn't have to be bland and boring. Their world famous Boston Lager remains one of the most influential craft beers on the market. That being said, the rest of their beers can pretty much span the spectrum. Some are winners, some are losers, but most reside in that middle area of ''pretty good''. Samuel Adams beers will never knock your socks off, but that was never the point. This brewery came into existence for the sole purpose of giving consumers a better option. Their beers may not be world class, but they are almost always reliable. Case in point: the Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale seasonal.

In the glass, this beer has a deep dark amber coloration. It comes with a sudsy tan head that dissipates quickly. On the nose, a potent base of raw banana bread dough fills the area around the glass. Resting on top is a dusting of nutmeg that struggles to get noticed. This beer smells really, really thick. So going into that first taste, I was expecting a malty pumpkin bomb.

The flavor profile ended up matching the aroma pretty well. This brew is a potent malt bomb of thick banana bread and nutmeg. It is so malty in fact that it squashes any realistic pumpkin flavor. To be perfectly honest, Harvest Pumpkin Ale tastes more like an all-malt brown ale. The hop profile is very muted and doesn't play much of a part. The mouthfeel is mid-bodied with a slightly gritty character. The finish is somewhat sticky and leaves behind a pure malty aftertaste.

Overall, the Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale is a pretty good malty brew, but I would not call it a great pumpkin ale. I can see this beer being appealing to several specific camps. It's a decent session beer for fans of malty brews. Novices can appreciate it as an intro to malt-forward brews. Seasoned drinkers can use this brew as a decent convenience beer. Unfortunately, I found very little pumpkin-like about the Harvest Pumpkin Ale. Sure, there are some warming spices and all, but I was left craving that core pumpkin flavor. Luckily the beer is still pretty good as a malty brew, so by all means enjoy it as such. But if you're looking for a great seasonal pumpkin ale, better to look elsewhere.

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Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale by Boston Beer Co. / Samuel Adams
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