Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pumpkin Beers — Uinta Brewing Co. vs. Dogfish Head

Uinta Brewing Co.

ABV 4%

Clear pumpkin orange (slightly darker than the Dogfish Head).
Barnyard funk, cinnamon, nutmeg and malt.
Not much. Thin and a bit watery. Acidic with some grain flavor.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced):
Macrolager grainy flavor and a hint of pumpkin pie spices.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad):

Dogfish Head Punkin
ABV 7%

Clear pumpkin orange.
Aroma: Malty and sour(!).
Flavor: Rich texture. Starts with a bit of raw pumpkin followed by hoppy bitterness.
Hops vs. Malts (Hoppy, Malty or Balanced): Balanced
Finish: Subdued pumpkin pie spices and mild lingering bitterness.
Overall (Fantastic, Good, Mediocre or Bad): Good

Blow by Blow
October is a good month for beer. You've got fresh hop beers, Octoberfest beers and pumpkin beers all fighting for your attention. We're big fans of pumpkin beer, so we chose to kick off October with some old-fashioned pumpkin beer pugilism.

The Uinta is a new kid on the block in the Seattle market. Dogfish Head is an established veteran with a solid record. Both are "punks." Let's get it on!

The battle turned out to be closer than we expected. The Uinta had a nice aroma, but went downhill from there. However, at 4% alcohol it would be a nice beer to take tailgating or to quench your thirst after raking leaves. The Dogfish Head should have crushed the young upstart, but instead it did just enough to win the fight. The texture and mouthfeel was fantastic, but in our opinion it had a bit too much of the raw pumpkin/squash flavor and not enough of the pumpkin pie spices. Mind you, we've tried beers that taste like pureed pumpkin pie and those can be a bit overwhelming so we weren't looking for that. But a bit more of that cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg would really have made us like the Punkin even more.

Winner by unanimous decision
: Dogfish Head.

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