Friday, April 26, 2013

Feathertop Pumpkin Ale Tasting

Slowly catching up.  I brewed this pumpkin beer back in September and drank most of it in October and November.  It has aged well, though I feel it was crisper when it was younger.

Feathertop (2.0)

Appearance - A perfect orange-copper for a pumpkin beer; thick off-white head that dissipates quickly.  No lacing.

Aroma - Malty and sweet-smelling (floral) with a nice mix of cinnamon/ginger/nutmeg - no one spice stands out and the whole thing is a rather complex, alluring aroma.

Flavor - Mostly rich malt with general spicy notes.   Hard to tell what is coming from the spices and what is coming from the hops, which is a good thing I think - it probably means I didn't overdo the spice additions. You can definitely tell they're there, but they are not overpowering. I think using small amounts of several spices helps give this beer good flavor complexity without hitting you over the head with any particular spice flavor. Some residual sweetness there as well.  The overall malt profile reminds me of Jenlain Ambrée , the only true bière de garde I have had. Based on what little I know of this style, I imagine I could consider this beer a spiced bière de garde. I suppose the similarity could also be because of the French Ale yeast I used - I have no other experience using this strain so I can't compare it to anything else. There is also a flavor in there that I suppose is the pumpkin, but I don't really don't know if it is just the fact that I know there is real pumpkin in there.

Mouthfeel - Moderately low carbonation and a relatively thick finish gives this beer a creaminess that is nice with the malt and spices. Definitely not dry. I wonder if the raw pumpkin adds to the thickness. Certainly a beer more for the Fall or Winter (as it was intended).

Overall - This is a really nice pumpkin beer with a lot of complexity. It would be tough to drink more than one or two of these (for me anyway) given its intense maltiness and thick mouthfeel. However, I think the malt really needs to be there to help moderate the spice additions - if this were less malty or finished too dry I think the spices would become too harsh.

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