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Beer Review: Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale

October 9, 2007

pumpkinale.jpgI spotted this a week or so ago while walking through a Publix. I’m not a big fruit-in-beer kind of guy, and their Honey Moon Summer Ale was a disappointment, but I love Blue Moon so much I thought I’d give this a shot. I wasn’t disappointed. First, here is what Coors had to say about their Pumpkin Ale:

From the 6 pack packaging:

A unique amber ale handcrafted with the flavors of fall, including vine-ripened pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg and allspice.

From the bottle neck:

This amber-colored, naturally flavored ale is brewed only in autumn and combines the flavor of vine-ripened pumpkin and spices with traditional crystal malt.

And now on to the tasting…

The Pour
This pours with a nice ruby-tinged amber color. I gave it a vigorous pour to see what kind of head it produced, and it gave me a high fluffy head with loose bubbles. It didn’t really lace the glass….the head seemed to slide around on the glass as one unit, as opposed to falling apart and lacing as it slid down the glass.

The Nose
On first sniff this smells like a typical amber ale. Nice hops, though the malt definitely takes center stage. Deeper sniffs, however, brought out subtle hints of the cloves, nutmeg and allspice. Quite pleasant.

The Taste
The first sip was interesting. It took another couple of swallows to get a feel for the brew. The pumpkin flavor is evident more as a sweetness than a definitive pumpkin taste. There’s just a tinge of spices, lurking in the finish. It is easy to go overboard spicing a brew like this, so the understatement was appreciated. By the 4th or fifth swallow I was really enjoying this beer. It seemed to have a smooth, round mouthfeel and a clean finish.

Overall
This is a tasty fall seasonal ale. It’s sweeter than a regular amber ale, thanks to the pumpkin. Nicely crafted. Enjoy this if you’re looking for a slightly different way to usher in the cool, crisp days of autumn.

Recommended: Yes, it’s a nice way to get in the spirit of fall.
Price: $7.49 for a 6-pack
ABV: 5.6%
Visit the Blue Moon Web site

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10 comments

  1. […] saying no to bad beer since 2002 « The new Stella Artois Web site is terrific! Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale » The Beer Snob hits the road (plus a review coming soon) October 8th, 2007 Friday […]


  2. Didin’t taste any pumpkin.


  3. Well, your taste buds are obviously not as advanced as mine….kidding!!!

    I didn’t taste a strong definitive pumpkin taste, just a sweetness I attributed to the pumpkin. I could have, of course, been influenced by the knowledge it was made with pumpkin. In a blind tasting, I would never have said pumpkin.

    Some beer tasters find things in beer I still can’t taste even after they mention them. I just do the best I can! 🙂


  4. Dear beer snob I enjoy your reviews, have you tried Saranac Pumpkin Ale, Check out my article on the Matt Brewing Co. at wordpress.com/tag/beer
    The Beer Doctor


  5. I haven’t tried Saranac anything, but I’d like to!


  6. […] Blue Moon is one of my favorite beers, and on a whim I picked up their “seasonal Autumn brew”, Harvest Moon. […]


  7. Saranac makes a nice Pumpkin Ale! I’m hoping I can find and try this Blue Moon variety this fall as I also think Blue Moon is making some nice beers.


  8. Got a six pack for 6.50 and it’s usually about 8.40. Anyways it tastes like Blue Moon. Hearty barley flavor and a lot of carbonation. There is not much of a pumpkin flavor except it makes the beer a little lighter so it smooths out the typical bite. There is not much spice either. I like fruit brewed with ale when it is a certain fruit. Apricots, pears, and apples seem to add a pleasant accident and traditionally ales are brewed with fruit to make it smooth. This was just not cutting it but for the price it was an alright try. I really cannot expect so much from a Coors affiliate although this tastes a lot better than most American brewed ales. Ah it grows on me for the price and I prefer ale over beer any day.


  9. Hypnos, you’re right, it’s not the best pumpkin ale around, but I seem to have a soft spot for Blue Moon, even though it’s a Coors product.

    Incidentally, on my recent trip to Panama City Beach I tried Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale….pretty good. Watch for the review!


  10. Just bought a case (yes 24-pack) for $14.99 at the new Costco in Maplewood, MN. What a deal! Not a bad brew either, esp for the price…



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