Purchased at Pangaea Bottle Shop and poured into mini tasting glasses.
This dark pumpkin beer was aged in pinot noir wine barrels, and it pours a Dr. Pepper dark brown with a tight, soda fizz head. It has that unmistakable “Almanac sour smell” of sour candy, citrus, wood, and wine, causing my mouth to instinctively pucker, although there is a little extra roastiness on this particular brew. The fall/pumpkin aspect breaks through on the first swallow, lending an unusual depth of flavor to the beer, with wine tannins, candied pumpkins, and autumn spices coming to the fore. The taste of red wine settles onto the palate far more impressively than any pumpkin or spice flavors, making this a suitable substitute for red wine with your turkey dinner or fall dessert.
Daniel Barnes and Darcey Self-Barnes have been blogging about craft beer at His & Hers Beer Notes since January 2012. Darcey is a freelance designer and illustrator, and Daniel is a film critic for the Sacramento News and Review and a member of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle.