Last of Pumpkin beers in 2012!… Rogue’s Pumpkin Patch and Great Lakes Brewery’s Pumpkin Ale

Several days after I posted my Pumpkin beers review, I bought this year’s GLB Pumpkin Ale just for the taste. I should have included it in my late September review and I don’t know why it escaped me –blasphemous. Several days ago, as I was shopping for Christmas and winter beers, I found another Pumpkin beer; Rogue’s Pumpkin Patch. So now, I have 2 pumpkin beers, one I drank out of pure enjoyment a couple of months ago (GLB’s), and this new one (Rogue’s) that I didn’t expect to find on shelves. That being said, it’s a little late in the season to tell you about Pumpkin beers but then again Rogue’s is still very much available at the LCBO and as for GLB’s I’m sure they might have a few in store still.

GLB Pumpkin

Great Lakes Brewery’s Pumpkin Ale

First off, I have to be honest. Because I didn’t buy GLB’s Pumpkin Ale for Beergonaut, this review is based on memory. However, being a beer reviewer and all, I can’t help myself but review even when I drink for enjoyment alone so in the end, I’m pretty confident about my mental notes and observations. Plus, I double checked with my peers and my review is validated. Last but not least, I know Pumpkin Ale from last year and this year, I bought it (again) for pleasure so that in itself is a review, wouldn’t you agree?

LOOK:  Like many pumpkin beers, it was hazy amber with little head that disappeared rather quickly. But all is forgiven.

SMELL:  Lots of spices; cinnamon, nutmeg, clove. The smell of pumpkin and malts wasn’t as strong as I would have liked.

TASTE:  This beer is the second pumpkin ale I ever had, after Black Creek’s. When I purchased it again last October, perhaps my souvenir of last year’s batch is what drove my purchasing decision. Knowing what I know today I have come to be a little more demanding on my pumpkin beers so it’s no secret that I want my pumpkin beer to taste like pumpkin beer, then spices. The spices are what drive the taste. Some caramel malts and pumpkin come through as well but as second ingredients.

FINISH:  Although this is an enjoyable beer from first to last sip, there was a little bit of a metal taste on the last one and the spices lingered on just enough.

FEEL:  Medium feel and carbonation throughout, a little thinner than last year’s maybe?

CONTEXT: As I wrote above, I like my pumpkin beers to taste like pumpkin beers. But overall, I understand the challenge in brewing pumpkin beers and although the end product may not be as pumpkiny as I wished, it’s a hell of a beer.

Pairing: Desserts and poultry.

Score: 71%

Price: $4.95

Beer type: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol/Vol.: 5.5%

Brewery: Great Lakes Brewery

Country / Region: Mississaugua, Ontario


riogue pumpkin

Rogue’s Pumpkin Patch

What can I say… Of all the pumpkin beers I’ve tried this year this is the one that did it for me. In fact, with all apologies, brewers everywhere should turn to this one as the bench mark to great pumpkin beers.

I’m not kidding. If you read back my review on Pumpkin beers you’ll quickly identify my criteria to a good pumpkin beer. One, it has to taste like pumpkin first, then spices. Two, a little more head wouldn’t harm anyone, three, it has to taste great -obviously. Rogue delivered on all three.

LOOK: Pumpkin patch pours hazy dark amber; very dark amber, almost brown. It has more head than its competition and it lasts quite a while longer.

SMELL: This beer unveiled its greatness right from the start. Its smell gives off the spices and pumpkin –in this order. Caramel malts came through as well but mainly pumpkin and spices.

TASTE:  From the very first sip I tasted pumpkin -finally. The spices kicked in shortly after and sealed the deal. This is a fantastic beer. The taste keeps giving from beginning to end. To add to all of this were hints of vanilla, brown sugar and caramel malts.

FEEL:  This ale is medium to syrupy, almost. The carbonation retains well throughout and the feel of the beer maintains its integrity.

CONTEXT:  As far as I’m concerned, Rogue’s Pumpkin beer tasted like pumpkin beer. It had the pumpkin feel in the mouth and in flavor. Fantastic job Rogue!

Pairing: Desserts and poultry.

Score: 87.5%

Price: $9.95

Beer type: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol/Vol.: 5.5%

Brewery: Rogue Brewery

Country / Region: Oregon, USA

So that’s it for Pumpkin beers folks. I’m done with pumpkin, saisons, holiday, winter and Christmas beers! We’ll re-connect in the new year.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all of you!


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