17
Sep
10

Beers of Vancouver, vol. 18

Tonight’s beer is Howe Sound’s Pumpkineater Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

All you microbreweries?  Gather ’round close, I’m gonna tell you a secret.  If you put the word “imperial” in front of your beer classification and make the beer thick, rich, and well over 7% ABV, I will buy it.  I don’t care if it’s something patently nonsensical, like “Imperial American Pilsner”, I’ll give it a shot.

So, this Pumpkineater stuff.  Unlike many beer snobs, I’m quite partial to a well-done flavoured beer.  I enjoy Young’s Chocolate Stout, for example, and can get a fair bit of mileage out of Granville Island’s vanilla-laced Lions Winter Ale.  With that in mind, the fact that Pumpkineater has, well, pumpkin in it — not to mention nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and star anise — isn’t an immediate turn-off.  It’s also 8% ABV, so if the beer does suck the pain will presently go away.

The beer doesn’t suck.

The first few sips I took tasted nearly identical to my old friend Holsten Festbock.  On the front of the palate, Pumpkineater is thick and almost (but not quite) excessively sweet, with a pleasant rich fruitiness to cut the sugars.  If you like Festbock, you won’t be disappointed.

As I drink the beer, though, the spice flavours accumulate and the sweet fruitiness turns into a deep, rich savoury glow that never really disappears.  It’s an aftertaste that does not end, but needs only to be refreshed periodically with another sip of Pumpkineater.

Good stuff.  +1, will drink again.  If you like thick and relatively sweet dark beers, and can tolerate flavours other than “malt” and “hops”, give this a shot.

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