For some, there is Christmas in July.
For me, it’s Thanksgiving. Or at least something close.
As we’ve seen during every change of season in the last few years, brewers are ever more ambitious in their release schedule, which brought Southampton Pumpkin Ale to my local bottle shop in mid-July. Because, you know, farmers are just dying to sell out their robust pumpkin crop in the middle of the summer.
The freshness/timing aspect of all this is entirely separate to the fact that these beers are finally here, let alone that pumpkin season is my favorite time of year – in food, drink and naturally, merriment.
But what is there to say to break down a pumpkin beer that hasn’t already been said?
Caramel, molasses, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves – yes, you’ll find all these descriptors across all pumpkin beers. But for me, the real question is how close does a pumpkin beer taste to my favorite – pumpkin pie? How close does it taste to the holiest of pumpkin beers – Pumking?
That’s why I’ve created a sliding scale chart to rate this year’s class of pumpkin beers, from downright “rotten” to monarch-worthy “Pumking” …
Each beer will be judged on how many pumpkin pie slices it earns. Instead of writing cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, etc. over and over this year, I’ll save us both time and focus on where it falls in the spectrum of my chart. I may still offer brief notes, but nothing to bog it down.
With that said, on to this year’s first rating for Southampton‘s Pumpkin Ale out of Southampton, NY. I’m sorry it’s coming in July but that’s the reality of the seasonal beer situation…
Southampton Pumpkin Ale:
This brew earned four pumpkin pie slices for going just a touch past middle ground to pumpkin pie taste. Plenty of caramel, molasses and pie spices in this one, but the hops keep it from getting too sweet.
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac