Beer Revisited: Pumpkick

Yesterday, while stocking the fridge with beer for Thanksgiving, I spotted a bottle of Pumpkick, brewed by the New Belgium Brewing Company of Fort Collins, Colorado.

I bought the bottle way back in September, probably, as an LV recommendation candidate and never got around to drinking it. I drank it last night but just realized I have reviewed it before. Since Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and the beer includes Thanksgiving staples such as pumpkin and cranberry, I thought I would revisit it. Why let good notes go to waste?

Pumpkick pours a pale amber into a pint glass. Two fingers of dense, buttery, bubble-spotted head dissipates unevenly, leaving spots of bubbly foam, a ring around the edge, and a short trail of lacing. It smells like pumpkin pie with scents of pumpkin (of course), cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. The label description and great new artwork tout the cranberry juice used in the brew, but I do not get any specific cranberry aroma. The beer, though, smells a little tart so that could be an effect of the cranberry juice. The flavor is just like pumpkin pie — pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice — and the cranberry flavor and tartness are noticeable.

Comparison to previous tasting: Not much seems to have changed — which is a good thing for many seasonals. Anyone who loves this beer would be crushed if the recipe was tweaked after waiting a year, so kudos to New Belgium for consistency. One big difference is the label art, which has definitely changed for the better. I really like the crow picking the cranberry from the jack-o’-lantern’s eye.

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