Some may seek Pliny the Elder, others may yearn for Heady Topper. Me? My white whale has been Schlafly’s Pumpkin Ale.
Yes, I know it’s doesn’t exactly receive the otherworldly hype of the other two, but for the gourd-head I am, it’s been a longtime coming to get my hands on this beer, which scores a 94 on Beer Advocate. *raises fist and shakes hand at the Gods of Distribution*
Lucky for me, this beer lives up to the hype.
While not a spice bomb, the smell of Schlafly’s brew is full of aromas you’d expect when pulling a pumpkin pie from the oven – nutmeg, clove and a strong whiff of cinnamon that just rocks. I’d liken it to french toast.
The spice combo carries throughout each sip, leaving an aftertaste of sweet, spiced pie. At 8 percent ABV, there was a bit of a boozy note on my first sip, but that disappeared quickly.
For those who are turned off by the intensity of Pumking, I highly recommend this beer, which comes off as more “natural” compared to its monarch counterpart. I may actually like the smell of Schlafly better than Pumking, but it’s missing the “crusty” flavor that Southern Tier nails so well.
All the same, it’s earned a top-notch rating on the pie slice scale:
But wait, BONUS PUMPKIN BEER!
He Said Tripel
I wasn’t sure if this was going to appear in my local bottle shop. San Francisco’s 21st Amendment and Seattle’s Elysian Brewing got together to create a pair of pumpkin-laced brews – one a baltic porter, the other a tripel. Both were brewed with pumpkin and spices.
I wanted to highlight the tripel because while it contains pumpkin ale ingredients, I’d argue it’s more tripel than anything … and that’s OK.
It’s very sweet with noticeable Belgian candi sugar and Trappist ale yeast giving it a little fruity flavor. There’s maybe a touch of spice smell, but I didn’t really get any pumpkin aspects until the very bottom of the glass after it had been sitting for a while and warmed. I actually think this brew may be perfect to drink with a Thanksgiving meal, if you can keep it around long enough.
Best part of this beer, however, is it’s clarity. Here’s looking at you, beer.
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac
12 thoughts on “My White Whale (or is that orange?): Schlafly Pumpkin Ale”
Perhaps Schlafly should be the new gold standard in the Thisiswhyimdrunk /Fujita Pumpkin Beer Scale…
The king would behead me for such blasphemy.
I think you should make friends with the ladies from http://ratemypumpkins.wordpress.com/. They absolutely love the Schlafly Pumpkin. Tried to get it while in Chicago but no dice.
Thanks for the tip! I’m surprised there wasn’t a hefty distribution in Chicago, or maybe it just ran out as fast as I’d expect it to.
Among all the great beers by Schlafly (possibly my favorite craft brewery), I can directly credit this pumpkin ale for turning me on to the possibilities of craft beer. Since then its remained my gold standard for pumpkin beers, for which all others are to be measured against (see my blog post http://brewnoob.com/post/10562001975/my-favorite-pumpkin-ale-is-the-one-pictured-here)
As I had the second bottle of my six-pack yesterday, I thought long and hard about just that. It is very different from Pumking, which makes it hard for me to clearly say it’s The Best, but it certainly deserves that conversation.
Tell me about it.
Had it on tap for the first time this week while at Bridge in St. Louis. Definitely in the conversation for greatest pumpkin beer. (But then, so is Jolly Pumpkin’s La Parcela which since it is a sour seems rarely to enter the conversation.)
I’m ever-so slowly working my way through the six-pack I bought because I don’t want it to be gone. It does have that over Pumking! Not a one-and-done serving.
Where did you find Schlafly Pumpkin? We just moved to Menlo Park and are jonesing for some pumpkin ale
I believe – at the time – I got it while visiting a friend in Washington, D.C.