Review: Fernie Pumpkin Head Ale


When the topic of pumpkin spice comes up, there's a big circlejerk about how the trend needs to die in a fire. I hear more about the negativity towards pumpkin spice more often than actually seeing someone savouring something with pumpkin spice. In beer, I wouldn't miss pumpkin spice ales if they no longer existed but since they still exist, I'll still check out the pumpkin spice beers I've never had before.. as I see it, brewing beer is about experimentation in this day and age. As a picky eater, I absolutely hate the taste of pumpkin so it's weird that I don't mind pumpkin spiced ales.. but hey, it reminds me of autumn.

Tonight I'm checking out Fernie's Pumpkin Head Ale. Fernie's beer has been growing on me lately so whenever something new comes out, I have to try it. Pumpkin Head tops out at 5% ABV and 13 IBU.

Appearance: Pours a heavy dark brown with a bit of an orangey-caramel hue to it. Not really carbonated but leaves a really nice layer of beige head with a fine amount of residue on the side of the glass.

Aroma: The very first thing that pops out at me is a moderate roasted malt smell that gives off a light roasted coffee aroma.. which is welcoming on the first official day of fall. A hint of cinnamon, nutmeg and an aroma that all I can describe as Starbucks' White Chocolate Mocha.. yep, it's fall! Sort of sweet but fairly light for the most part.

Taste: Toffee. A good deal of coriander which I wasn't really expecting, lightish notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. Light roasted malt notes and only a light roasty aftertaste for the most part. Fairly toned down compared to many pumpkin spiced beers on the market, but it's incredibly smooth and easy to drink.

Overall Thoughts: As I just said, incredibly smooth and easy to drink. For those looking for that overly spiced cinnamon and nutmeg taste, this isn't it - instead this is a nice dark ale with nice notes all over that just balance it out really well. On a chilly day like today, it's appreciated!


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