Saranac Pumpkin(less) Ale

The Jack-O’-Lantern label of this Saranac Pumpkin Ale is good enough reason to enjoy it on Halloween.  Unfortunately, I missed the “party” by one day.  Better late than never, I always say.

This is actually a really good seasonal beer…  Even for those who don’t like pumpkin.  You’d actually be hard-pressed to pick out much in the way of pumpkin flavor at all, although it has the definite taste of spices one might associate with pumpkin pie, such as nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice, but not any actual pumpkin that I could pick out.  It’s tough to find a good pumpkin ale anyway, so this subtle approach seems to work just fine.  

This is my first experience with anything from Saranac, but it likely won’t be my last.  I’d call this a very good fall seasonal beer for anyone who likes a bit of holiday spice in their brew.  Very drinkable with just enough harvest-like flavoring that you know it’s a seasonal beer, but nothing so overpowering that it slaps you in the face.  I actually like a good pumpkin ale, but this still gets the point across if you wanted to introduce your non-pumpkin-loving friends to a good version that won’t turn them away forever.

It’s got an ABV of 5.4%, so it’s not really strong, which adds to the drinkability factor.  It actually makes for a nice balance with the spices.  I gave it a 4 on the beer scale and the reality of it is that I’d simply consider it to be a good fall seasonal ale of which I’d be happy to have more.  I wouldn’t necessarily call it a pumpkin ale based on flavor, but it’s got the cool Jack-O’-Lantern label theme going on, so…  “Pumpkin” Ale it is.