As a self-described pumpkin nut – one of those people who likes pumpkin anything year round, I was the first to be surprised by the fact that I’ve never had pumpkin ale, or any pumpkin flavored beer. Sure I’m not a big drinker, but still. So in time for the season, I have tried five pumpkin ales and am happy to report on how they stack up in general and with each other. Enjoy! 🙂
This ale is as fine as they come. I had a feeling it was going to be the frontrunner before I ever tasted it. I saw it on the menu at Old Chicago, but it was so popular they were out. Then my husband’s boss told him how good New Belgium’s pumpkin ale was, but we didn’t put together that they were one and the same.
Unlike some of the drinks on this list, you are able to taste the pumpkin. It isn’t overpowering like it could be, but it is not subtle either – clear and distinct without taking away from the other flavors. And yes there are other flavors to experience in Atomic Pumpkin. First off, for New Belgium fans – this brew still has their classic ale flavor and rather than try to compete with the pumpkin these two flavors mix together in a surprisingly balanced way. Marrying these two flavors is a bit of a kick. Let’s just say that this drink puts the “spice” in pumpkin spice. It has notes of cinnamon but also packs a little heat. (Nothing too powerful for people who prefer things mild, it’s more a flavor.) That’s when I looked at the ingredients to discover that Atomic Pumpkin is brewed with cinnamon and habanero peppers. I never would have thought habanero would be good with pumpkin, but now I can’t imagine it any other way.
The clear winner – you may want to get this special (limited) release while you can. It’s clearly the king of pumpkin ale! 😉 Continue reading