Terrapin: Pumkinfest Ale
Today I'm going to be reviewing Terrapin's Pumpkinfest Ale. This brewery based out of Athens, GA.
This blog is a companion to my youtube video. http://youtu.be/TK5cLrTQ05A
http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/2372/53146 Rating = 85
Terrapin's Pumpkinfest Ale is a seasonal beer and comes out of Athens, GA. This is a very nice example of the style (Pumpkin Beer). I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys Pumpkin beers, as well as to anyone who has not tried one yet. Make this your first.
Website says: Expect a pumpkin pie nose followed by a strong malt backbone, low hop bitterness and authentic fall taste, all wrapped in a light bodied beer.
On the website, there wasn't really any style guideline. I'm just going to call this a Seasonal Pumpkin Beer, for that reason.
STYLE: Seasonal Pumpkin Ale
COLOR: Medium-Light Amber
HOPS: Vangaurd, Hallertaur, Hershrucker
MALT: Munich, Vienna, Munich II, Catamunich II, Melanoiden
ADDITIONS: Cinnamon, Ginger, All Spice, Cloves, & Pumpkin
BOTTLE CODE: Written on the Label. Typically the date code on Terrapin beer is marked clearly on the label. But I guess it's different with the Seasonal beers. However there is something laser-etched on to the bottom of the bottle. But this is not the bottle code.
- Only says, “Seasonal 2012”
- $2.49 - Single 12oz bottle
- $11.00 - for a 4pk
WHAT IS MELANOIDEN?
The helps give German beers such as Bocks and Oktoberfests that rich malty flavor without using many, if any, crystal malts.
They are formed when sugars and amino acids combine at high temperatures and low water activity. Melanoiden is commonly present in foods that have undergone some form of non-enzymatic browning, such as barley malts, bread crust, bakery products and coffee.
So hopefully this gives you an idea of what they mean when they say, “We used melanoiden in our beer.”
On the pour, there was not a whole lot of head. This seems to be a constant theme with these pumpkin beers; with all the ones I've ever had. They all just seem to be lacking in the head.
This beer is a hazy beer. It's not cloudy. Just hazy. I can see light through the beer and I can see my fingers going up and down the glass, however I can't see detail through the glass.
There are small streams of bubbles rising from the bottom, so it is definitely carbonated well. But it's not effervescent.
The first thing that I notice is the nutmeg aroma. The cinimmon and the all spice as well as the other spices come through in order.
The spice aroma is not astringent. It's not overpowering. It is not a potpouri bomb like many other pumpkin beers. It smells like a sweet, spiced, buttery-crust filled beer. Just like you would expect a pumpkin beer to smell like. It seems to be all encompassing. All of the aromas from what you would expect from a pumpkin pie are coming through in this beer.
It seems to be a very well balanced aroma.
Once again, the nutmeg is the first thing that comes through. Then the cinnamon comes next, then all the other spices in order, just like in the aroma.
But what you'll notice is the pleasant buttery, pumpkin pie crust flavor that lingers on the back of the tongue. It's just like when you eat pumpkin pie. First you taste the sweet. Then you taste the spices. And then the crust coats your tongue and slowly fades away.
This is a very delightful beer. Everything kind of blends together. No one flavor is out of control and unbalanced. It's a very very nice beer.
This is a nice, well balanced, pumpkin beer. I've had some that were litterally just potpouri bombs. I've had some that say they're pumpkin beers, but that really are not. They're just the same color.
You can taste everything that you would expect to taste in pumpkin pie, in this beer. It's very good.
It's difficult to pick out one this that I like the most. But I'm going to say that it's probably the absence of any overpowering elements. Nothing is more powerful than anything else. It is very well balanced.
There is just a bit of that residual sweetness. All of the sugar has not been fermented out of the beer. So it is not extremely dry. It's sweet like a pumpkin pie would be. However it's not over the top. And I think this put it just a step above most of the other pumpkin beers on the market.
IS IT WORTH THE MONEY?
Once again, they sell this in 4-packs. My feeling on 4-packs... “I DON'T LIKE THEM.”
They don't sell it in 6 packs or above. I've never seen this in a growler fill.
At $2.50 per bottle, that's okay if you just want to try it. And it's a very good try. I HIGHLY recommend that you try this. For a 4-pack you're look at between $9, $10, possibly $11 depending on where you buy it.
I'm conflicted a little bit because this is a very good beer. To try it for $2.50, I say “Go for it.“ But to buy a 4-pack for upwards of $11, I feel that's way to steep.
SOAP BOX TIME:
4-packs, for some reason, are just outrageously priced. And there is no need for the prices that they charge. I'm sorry. I know that sounds cheap, but there is no reason for it. It should be either 6-packs, or by the bottle. Or heck, sell it in a 22oz or 24oz bomber. Because I just feel like I'm getting ripped off.
With that said, "Drink what you like and enjoy what you drink."