Coping With Seasonal Denial
A Review of Pumpkinfest by Terrapin Beer
Posted on 12/15/2012 by Chops
                   
Great
So here I am in December reviewing a fall seasonal brew. After all, fall is by far my favorite beer season. It's chock full of pumpkin beers, spiced beers, and of course Oktoberfest beers. So naturally, an Oktoberfest-pumpkin ale hybrid would be a fantastic farewell to the season, right? I thought so too, which is why I saved a Terrapin Pumpkinfest to officially cap off the season. Psh, who am I kidding. I'm in total denial that the season is over. I might as well have been stroking this beer while whispering ''my precious'' over and over. I'm one beer away from assuming the fetal position at the base of my beer cabinet. Sigh, let's get this over with.

In the glass, this beer has a deep woody amber coloration. It comes with a frothy light tan head that dissipates fairly quickly, even with an aggressive pour. On the nose, you are greeted with a strong spice bouquet, namely nutmeg and cinnamon. It's pretty pungent and takes a few moments to get used to. From there you can pick out the sweet pumpkin-infused base malt. I wasn't able to find many oktoberfest qualities on the aroma, which isn't surprising considering the aggressive spice punch.

The spice blend comes out swinging on the first sip. Big notes of nutmeg, cinnamon and clove immediately latch onto your taste buds. Much like with the aroma, they foreshadow a sweet pumpkin base malt, which sets up shop as a solid foundation. Again, the oktoberfest qualities are quite muted, but I was able to find some faint toasted bread crust and caramel. But to a standard palate, it's more or less a spiced veggie brew (and a tasty one at that). It has a solid medium body that is quite smooth and easy drinking. The hop profile is very mild, allowing the spices to reign supreme. The beer exits clean with a malty spicy aftertaste.

Overall, the Terrapin Pumpkinfest is a tasty brew with a big spicy punch. The concept of a Oktoberfest-pumpkin ale hybrid is quite compelling, but I think the lager-like qualities tend to get lost in the equation. The pumpkin spice is quite dominant, but I would by no means call it a detriment. This beer is quite flavorful and I can easily recommend it to all levels of beer fans. Seasoned drinkers will enjoy this beer as a fantastic seasonal session brew. Novices will be mesmerized by the sweet and spicy flavorings. Beer fans can always rely on Terrapin for unique quality experiences, and Pumpkinfest is no different. It's a beer I plan on coming back to every fall. The only dilemma is, how long can I make them last.

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Pumpkinfest by Terrapin Beer
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