New Belgium Brewing
PUMPKICK Spiced Seasonal Ale
I've been a fan of pumpkin beer for about 9 years now. Basically ever since I was legally able to drink (and, you know, probably before that as well). Like many others, my first pumpkin brewed love was Pumpkinhead, from Shipyard Brewery, in Portland, ME. To this day, it's still high on my list of favorites. It's nice and spicy, a little sweet on the palate, and more importantly, reliable. It's easy to find in almost any store, and you can count on most bars to have it on tap in September and October. Since discovering Pumpkinhead, I've tried pretty much every pumpkin ale I've ever seen. And that's a lot. I don't know if you've noticed, but brewing beer with pumpkins has gotten verrrrry popular.
But enough about other pumpkin beers, let's talk about Pumpkick!
Pumpkick is the spiced seasonal ale from New Belgium Brewing, in Fort Collins, CO. And omg you guys. This is my new favorite. I mean, top of the top, the crème de la crème. Honestly, I love everything about it.
Let's start with the label. That crow is a BAMF. Stealing those cranberries, that crow doesn't give a f. I want that crow to be my new bff.
The cranberries!! Pumpkick is a pumpkin ale brewed with cranberries!! (Along with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and lemongrass.) You may have noticed that I have a wee bit of a love affair with the combination of pumpkin and cranberries. They are a match made in autumnal heaven. This beer and I were meant for each other.
The color is just, well, gorgeous. We shall call this color "Everything You Could Ever Want In A Fall Beer."
Aromas of berries, baking spices, and fresh-cut pumpkins waft gently towards you as the beer is poured. With further inhalation, I found tantalizing notes of roasted cherries and fresh orange zest.
Pumpkick is medium bodied with a pleasing and persistant fizz that comfortably coats the palate. Initial flavors of sweet malts quickly evolve into juicy tartness, before leading to a dry and spicy finish.
Most of the strong pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg notes are on the nose, while the palate is pleasing and well balanced, without coming on too strong in the baking spice department. Unlike other pumpkin ales I've had, this is neither too sweet, nor too heavy. The aromas let you know that you're drinking a seasonal beer, but the flavors and mouthfeel are far more "year round."
The resulting tartness from the addition of cranberries in the brewing process is definitely noticeable. Those berries were not added in vain. (Except for my garnish cranberries... they were added in vain.)
This is beautifully balanced and easily quaffed. Some pumpkin beers come on so strong with their flavors that, as much as I enjoy them, I can usually only have one glass. New Belgium's Pumpkick though, with it's inviting fall aromas and classic beer flavors, I could drink it all day.
Sadly though, I can't drink it all day, as New Belgium Brewery does not yet distribute in New York State. This 6 pack was escorted into New York for me by my sister's fiancé's parents on their way back from visiting them in Kentucky. I had to trade my sister 2 houseplants for these bad boys! Also, J and L are good sports. Major props to her future in-laws for agreeing to humor us and our ridiculous bartering system.
I hope my christmas cactus is happy in Louisville. These precious few Pumpkicks will certainly be happy in NY... while they last.