Vice Picks Episode 7!
Still Recovering after my now famous “pumpkin day”, the day that I get all the Pumpkin Beers in my store, and then proceed to drink all of them in a row . I decided I’d write about this while it was fresh in my brain. Starting with the Woodchuck Fall cider I was very impressed, and in comparison to the pumpkin cider I say the Fall cider is a clear winner. The fall cider is spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon and aged in white American Oak. The pumpkin however was not that impressive it lacked flavor and as we know, pumpkin really doesn’t taste like anything, its the spices that make the pumpkin pie not the actual pumpkin itself . After the Ciders,
I Moved on to this years Dogfish Punk, Ill let Sam tell you about this one. And I must say, again this year they have outdone themselves once again . The spices were very well integrated , and the beer is very balanced and approachable.
Now Lets talk about the monsters, the biggest most pumpkiny beer on the market . The Southern Tier imperial Pumking is an impressive almost feast of a beer with huge pumpkin pie spices and aromas reminiscent of thanksgiving dinner, with some perceived sweetness from the spices i think. The beer would go perfect with some spicy cheeses, turkey dinners, and as a stand alone dessert or maybe poured over vanilla ice cream. As taken from the website “Pumking is an ode to Púca, a creature of Celtic folklore, who is both feared and respected by those who believe in it. Púca is said to waylay travelers throughout the night, tossing them on its back, and providing them the ride of their lives, from whichthey return forever changed! Brewed in the spirit of All Hallows Eve, a time of year when spirits can make contact with the physical world and when magic is most potent. Pour Pumking into a goblet and allow it’s alluring spirit to overflow. As spicy aromas present themselves, let its deep copper color entrance you as your journey into this mystical brew has just begun. As the first drops touch your tongue a magical spell will bewitch your taste buds making it difficult to escape. This beer is brewed with pagan spirit yet should be enjoyed responsibly.”
8.6% abv • 12.7ºL • Imperial Pumpkin Ale • 22 oz
Tasting them both side by side presented some interesting things. One, which is clear by the picture is color difference last years had lost some color over the past year (beer on left), and surprising enough last years beer was 9.0% abv where this years in 8.6%abv. Slight oxidation notes and some developed nutty and maraschino on the year old version, in addition brandy and port like aromas had developed. If you get a chance this is a must do. Lets talk about why you should age beer
Start with a high ABV (8% minimum) that is on the malty/sweet side (just like Pumking). The higher alcohol and lower hops content makes these beers less susceptible to funky smells and taste. Another thing that helps elude the curse is storing the beer at the proper temperature.You to keep the beer in the dark at constant cellar temperatures, 50° – 60° F. Spiking and dropping temperatures will spoil your beer, as does exposure to light, which breaks down a chemical in the hops into a chemical found in skunk spray. If you’ve ever had “skunky” beer, chances are it was exposed to light for too long or “lightstruck.” If you have a cellar or basement that maintains a fairly constant temperature, you’ve got it made. Otherwise, you’ll need to invest in a cellaring refrigerator or convert a fridge to operate at cellar temperatures. Which we had stored the pumpkin in a wine fridge at 55 degrees in the dark for the whole year. trust me aging your beer is worth it