Sunday, September 20, 2015

Shipyard Pumpkinhead Review

Name: Shipyard Pumpkinhead
Style: Pumpkin Beer
ABV: 4.5%
IBUs: 18

Fall is officially here and what better way to celebrate with some pumpkin beers? I'll be reviewing some pumpkin beers for the next couple of reviews, plus ones that I find throughout the fall season. We're starting it off with what is perhaps the most infamous pumpkin beer out there: Shipyard Brewing's Pumpkinhead.

Considered by many to be the worst pumpkin beer out there, this beer is almost always located near the bottom of the "Best of Pumpkin Beer" lists across the internet and is lambasted on internet forums like Beer Advocate, with some even calling it Bud Light with Cinnamon & even some calling it the worst beer that they've ever had.

...But is it really as bad people claim it is?

Despite all the hate this beer gets, it seems to keep selling year after year so there's obviously someone buying it out there. Plus there are a couple lists online that actually have this beer showcased closer to the top. I've been hearing about this beer for years so I've finally decided to try this beer out to see for myself how it really is.

Appearance - A clear wet straw yellow color with a very high amount of visible carbonation. The head starts out quite foamy but settles for a very thin white appearance. Also, there is no lacing to speak of.

Aroma - I'm picking up on some cinnamon & clove notes mixed with some allspice and nutmeg. I'm getting some very light toffee maltiness and a hint of pumpkin tucked away in the back of the nose.

Taste - Cinnamon & light nutmeg flavors upfront, followed by some cloves, light toffee sweetness and some light pumpkin notes. I'm also getting some light cereal graininess in here too on the back end of the palate. Aftertaste-wise, it's fairly dry save for some light nutmeg flavors and some very light floral hops.

So is Pumpkinhead really deserving of the hate it gets? Truthfully, I don't think so. Yes, it's mostly spices and the pumpkin element of the flavor is vastly overshadowed by the sheer spice aspects of the taste. However, as a spiced ale it's surprisingly not bad, even tolerable as a matter of fact. I do like the spiciness in here even though it's not as robust as it could possibly be. So while it's no New Glarus Spiced Ale, it's quite inoffensive for what it is and at its worst, it is simply just okay.

Shipyard Pumpkinhead - 6.5/10

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