Monday, October 3rd 2011
(Sixpoint Craft Ales)
Autumnation is Sixpoint's first canned seasonal and their fifth canned release to date. This is a beer that embodies all the things that are wonderful about the autumn when it comes to beer. It's got a hefty dose of malt, its wet-hopped with freshly harvested hops and its brewed with pumpkin. We really love the idea of all of those things. We'll see how it all comes together and if it might just be something uniquely delicious and altogether amazing...or is it simply too much for one beer? You may have to be your own judge in the end. Cheers!
From the Sixpoint site:
"Autumn ushers in an annual rebirth with a full harvest, longer nights, and in many cases, a new wardrobe. We’re celebrating the bounty of the season with a new beer that’s coming out in cans this week — Autumnation. Brewed with pumpkin, ginger and white pepper, and wet-hopped with just-harvested Citra hops from the oldest continually farmed hop farm in the country, it’s a burst of fresh, seasonal spices trapped in a 16-ounce. can."
Here we go...
Pour - reddish amber, the color of the can isn't too far off actually. Lots of brightness shining through this pout with a nice fluffy inch of head that clings to the glass. Looks clean, clear and well polished.
Aroma - wow, this smells like grapefruit and lemonade with some subdued spices and earthiness. Some more sniffing and some sweetness comes out. If I didn't know any better I'd say that first smell sure seemed like that of an IPA!
Taste - one of only a few beers where I've been left sort of speachless as to how I should explain the flavors I'm tasting. There is definitely a lot of bitterness, sort of resiny with pineapple and sharp citrus notes. Lots of IPA characteristics are present but there is also some sweetness, like brown sugar or molasses along with some very subtle spiciness. It's not overpowering and it in no way embodies anything close to the flavors I've gotten from some of the more mass produced pumpkin ales. Actually, throw all of those notions out the window. This is much different. It's like someone mixed a Belgian Dubbel and a Belgian IPA together with some slight hints of pumpkin. That is the best way I can describe this beer and I'm really enjoying it.
Overall - conformity is not the name of the game at Sixpoint and Autumnation is proof of that. This is not a pumkin pie flavored amber ale, no, this is something much different. Get rid of your assumption the minute you open the can. This is hoppy, this is spicy and this is altogether something unique. Some advice would be to let this warm a bit and not drink it super cold as you'll miss out on a lot of the subtle aromas and flavors.
Note - Autumnation is only the second example of a canned Pumpkin Ale available in the US. The first was Wild Onion Brewing Company's Pumpkin Ale which was first released last fall. This is the first wet-hopped pumpkin ale that we've ever heard of and certainly the first in a can. Surly's WET is also a great exampled of a canned wet-hopped ale, but it doesn't contain any pumpkin - obviously.
Posted by Russ
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