Photo by Nath Pizzolatto In Part 2 of our pumpkin beer taste test, we take a look at the stouts and dark beers. Check out what we had to say in Part 1 about the lighter pumpkin beers.
Fewer beers qualified for our stout/dark tasting than our ale competition, which is no surprise. Even so, the sheer number of strong, heavy, and dark beers we found available for our taste test is a testament to how many craft brewers are jumping on the pumpkin beer wagon and taking the opportunity to make a serious beer this time of year.
Included in our taste test were four beers from Houston-area breweries. (To my knowledge, a local brewery didn't come out with a lighter ale, at least not anywhere we searched.)
Alaskan Pumpkin Porter
Buffalo Bayou Whiskey'd Pumpkin Spice Latte
Crown Valley Imperial Pumpkin Smash
Karbach Krunkin Punkin
Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale
No Label Nightmare on 1st Street
Rahr and Sons Visionary Brew Pumpkin Ale
Saint Arnold Pumpkinator 2014
Samuel Adams Fat Jack Double Pumpkin Ale
Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin
Southern Tier Warlock
Uinta Crooked Line Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin
The first thing I wanted to say is that none of these beers were bad: They all had their own appeals, and unlike the ale selections, where a number of the beers tended to be too indistinguishable, these each had distinct characteristics: some tasted more of pumpkin, whereas in others the spices were dominant. Some of them were dark or even medium-brown ales (the Kentucky entry could have fit into the ales discussion), and some were double-digit ABV, dark stouts. Some had sweeter finishes, some had boozier ones. But they all had some merit.
Onward with some discussion of specific beers, and the best overall.More »