Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin Beers — Laurelwood vs. Dogfish Head vs. Rogue

Laurelwood Brewing Co.
Stingy Jack Pumpkin Ale 
ABV 7.5%

Dogfish Head Punkin Ale
ABV 7%

Rogue Chatoe Rogue First Growth
Pumpkin Patch Ale
ABV 5.6%

We always enjoy seeing the pumpkin beers show up on the shelves. The maltier, spicier flavors found in these seasonal beers provide a great transition from the lighter beers of summer to the heavier darker beers of fall and winter. This battle featured two beers from our home state of Oregon and one from the venerable Dogfish Head from clear across the country in Delaware. 

Each one showed off a unique hue with the Chatoe Rogue being the darkest, the Laurelwood showing off a hazy reddish orange and the Dogfish Head coming with a clear dirty orange. In the aroma the Chatoe Rogue was the boldest, offering up lots of cinnamon, clove and cardamom. The Laurelwood and the Dogfish head were much more restrained in the aroma with some slight vegetal notes. Flavorwise, the Chatoe Rogue continued the spice assault and came off a bit sweeter than the others. The Dogfish Head was the most bitter of the bunch and really was fairly pedestrian given their reputation for high octane beers. The Laurelwood found a happy medium between the two, tasting like a well-balanced amber with nice subtle pumpkin and spice notes. 

The decision went to the Laurelwood with myself, my dad and Ellen choosing it as the winner while my mom cast the lone vote for the boldy spiced pumpkin pie in a bottle, Rogue Pumpkin Patch.

One final note regarding labels. The Laurelwood dominated in the bottle artwork category. The Dogfish is completely uninspired while Rogue appears to be an advertisement for some sort of militant cult with the aggressive fist logo and self-promoting propaganda. Is it just me or are they kind of losing it out there in Newport?
Winner by majority decision: Laurelwood

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