Nick Carr on November 16, 2015 0 Comments ALE TALE Quick Characteristics Brewery: Avery Brewing Company Location: Boulder, CO Style: Barrel Aged / Spice Autumn Seasonal ABV: 18.2% IBU: ? Appearance: Dirty, burnt orange color with three finger head; Hazy sediment makes clarity marginal. Aroma: Rum upfront; Sour notes with vanilla and oak; Hints of caramel and cinnamon. Flavor: Rum barrels add strong rum flavors with notes of vanilla & oak; Pumpkin flavors mingle with cinnamon & nutmeg; Aftertaste is sweet. Suggested Glass: Snifter Serving Temp: 45-55°F Approximate Shelf-Life: 10+ years Availability: Fall Limited Release Pairs With: Roast Turkey, baked root vegetables, pumpkin pie, aged blue cheese “What is the Rumpkin?” Mary grinned. “What is the Rumpkin. The Rumpkin is autumn ending.” They were bundled up, sitting on the front porch, looking out at the deepening shadows playing along Willow Street. The last straggling leaves of fall fluttered and danced in the chilly November air. Most trees stood bare, naked to the coming cold, their leaves already shed, left to skitter and turn slow circles in the street. They watched a breeze kick and stir leaves for a moment. Dan said, “That’s a little sad. Something actually being the manifestation of the end of something else, means its… itself predestined to end.” “But doesn’t everything end?” “I suppose that’s true.” Dan shrugged his shoulders and burrowed his hands deeper into the pockets trying to keep the erratic chill from finding holes in his armor. “Well then he is well about his business. Fall is ending quickly. Sure seems to be getting cold earlier this year doesn’t it?” Mary didn’t say anything for a long moment as a sickle moon crept above the houses, its pale light casting a glow and sharpening the edges of shadow. “The Rumpkin is the last gayety. The last tinkling laugh of wind stirred leaves. The last mischief of a season of mischief coalesced into spritely form.” Mary smiled out into the night as she warmed to her telling. “It smells of warmness and warming spices. When it’s close vanilla and wood bloom upon the air, whisper through your insides. When it chooses to quiet itself a moment, on its wild run of autumn-spread mischief and mirth, it may sit with you a while spreading savory heavy warmth, memories of fall harvested pumpkin will rise like tendriled smoke on still air, and thick sweetness will stretch a most impressive hand.” “Sounds like not a bad way to bring an end to fall.” “It’s not… as long as it doesn’t sit too long letting you taste of its presence. It can become overpowering. Its company is not meant for a single person, but spread to all. A last experience of autumn’s closing.” Dan raised his glass toward Mary. “Then here’s to the Rumpkin. May he sit, but not for too long.” THE TASTING Below are the tasting notes I took while drinking Rumpkin. If you tasted this beer, please share your thoughts with me in the comments below. Pour and Aroma: It pours a dirty burnt orange color. A huge three finger head quickly forms then drops away just as fast; as if exuberantly happy to escape the confines of the bottle but too quickly finding exhaustion in its overly abundant expression of excitement. Some hazy sediment makes the clarity only marginal. Big rum upfront in the aroma. Some sour notes, along with vanilla and oaky wood. Bit of alcohol burn in the nose if you linger to long. Hints of sweet caramel and cinnamon. Mouthfeel and Taste: Huge, viciously full body, mostly held aloft by the alcohol I’d suspect. Feel the sindging warmth all the way into my sinuses. Plenty of warming at the back of the throat, sinking down into the chest too. The most impactful part of the flavor profile is all about the rum. Sweet vanilla and oak from the barrels with that overall rummy quality throughout. Get some gourdy, vegetal pumpkin flavors along with cinnamon and nutmeg, but the other spices are lost to the rum. Back of the taste the sweetness returns in force with caramel and sharp candied sugar combining with the vanilla. Aftertaste is still sweet, but highlights the oaky, wood qualities. FINISHING THOUGHTS This is a beer for a special occasion. A sipper without a doubt. It’s one to be shared and enjoyed with others, so that you can laugh and wonder at the sheer audacity of such a pumpkin ale existing. One of these a year is about all I’d want to handle. It’s a perfect closer for my pumpkin tasting season. If I wanted the fall season to go out with a bang, here it is. It’s worth a try if you can still find it. Save it for the last day of fall when it’s nice and cold and you could use some warming memories of the pumpkin season. Even better buy two or three bottles. Catch the Rumpkin and squirrel it away for a vertical tasting with other vintages somewhere down the road. Cheers!