|Brewery:||Hardywood Park Craft Brewery|
Best Quote During Tasting
Will Ferrell made me laugh out loud more than any other SNL performer in the last 20 years. Farley included.
|From the moment you pull the cork, big pumpkin spice fills the air. The spices are big but when you put your nose to your glass, they give way to some intense barrel character. Spicy rye notes and sweet oak play well with some cinnamon that begins to break through. The overall aroma is quite intense and doesn't recede no matter how long the beer sits.|
|The beer is an orange gold and comes with a firm, white cap of foam. The bubbles from the head stick to the glass as you take sips, leaving behind nice lacing. The head remains dense, never letting the beer peek through its center.|
There is quite a bit going on with this one. Firstly, the pumpkin spices are less intense than in the aroma but they are still very present. Secondly, there's some great stuff that wasn't in the aroma that I didn't expect: caramel, vanilla and ginger. The caramel and vanilla give kind of a "nilla wafer" vibe. The oak is drying and the alcohol is not subtle which at 10.5%, isn't a surprise. The cinnamon smacks the back of your tongue as you swallow and adds a fun pop right at the end of each sip. The rye is again spicy and of course carries some booziness with it but overall, there's an amazing balance to it all. There is some nice warming from the alcohol that comes to you between drinks as well.
Checking back in after this one has been sitting out a little longer. Those spices come back strong (and the booze, too) and while the beer is still in balance, this is definitely how you should drink this one. About 15-20 minutes out of the fridge should do the trick.
|The body is big on this one. It's not chewy but it's on the verge. I'd call it medium+ if forced to put a label to it. The carbonation is a little above medium and it definitely keeps the beer from coming off too sweet.|
|So, it turns out that this a combo I'm definitely okay with: Barrel Aged Pumpkin Beers. The other beer we reviewed that was aged similarly was the O'Fallon Imperial Pumpkin Wheatwine in Crown Royal barrels. The barrel character on this style, coupled with the high ABV makes the spices more subdued and the overall character of the beer creamy and even MORE like pumpkin pie. The choice of a rye barrel was awesome because the spiciness was welcome and helped to break up some of the sweetness, too. This is one of those beers that you don't expect to work out very well and exceeds expectations.|