Friday, October 28, 2011

Beer of the Month - October

The beer of the month for October is Dogfish Head Craft Brewery's Punkin Ale {7.0% abv}. What can I say more about Dogfish Head that I haven't addressed with previous entries? I enjoy Dogfish Head microbrews greatly, and since my last Dogfish BOTM I managed to watch all five US-released episodes of Brewmasters. While watching the series, the seasonal brew Punkin became subject matter and I realized I've never tried it. Fast forward to this past September when Punkin came into season. I used the fish-finder to find that one my favorite beer stores stocked it, with about a case and change worth in the back. I immediately had them put a case on hold. The following day I picked it up for my house stash and a few weeks later I finally had some downtime to enjoy a bottle of Punkin without rushing. This beer is a beautifully deep copper in the glass, and smells like Thanksgiving at your parent's house.

The surprising thing about this brew is that the pumpkin doesn't jump out at you when you take your first sip. If you've had pumpkin pie, or a 'sweet' pumpkin themed beer, just know this is not that. The flavor and aroma that immediately hits you are the spicy notes synonymous with Fall; nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. While this full-bodied beer is made with big chunks of pumpkin, added during the boil/mash process, you only get the pumpkin you expect on the finish. The next few sips leave you realizing real pumpkin doesn't take like pie and this is as good a representation as there is. Punkin has relatively light head after pouring, which reduces quickly. Organic brown sugar provides added character, but is more responsible for the alcohol content than overall sweetness. Long story short, this beer is fantastic. This ale could have easily been the BOTM for November, as it pairs well with poultry and other Thanksgiving fare. 4 stars. This beer is sold between September and Halloween annually, so make sure to mark your smart-phone calendars for 2012.

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