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Category: Seasonal – Autumn

Pumpcan – MadTree Brewing Company

Pumpcan – MadTree Brewing Company

IMG_20150927_154148691Behold, the first ever beer I’ve found with this blog’s namesake as part of its label. It’s made expressly for pouring into your pie hole! Now, that alone would probably guarantee that this beer gets a fantastic review. But as always, I remain impartial.

The Great Pumpcan from MadTree Brewing Company based in Cincinnati, Ohio is a 7.9% ABV Pumpkin Ale. I didn’t notice this release last year (2014), but picked it up in 2015 when the cans reached the Columbus market.

Being hopped with Fuggles hops means that Pumpcan will have a mild and pleasant bittering flavor from the hops. The hard part is that it’s a pumpkin ale. There are basically three styles of pumpkin ales – you have the “gourd types”, the “pumpkin pie types”, and the hybrid styles that mix the two. I haven’t really enjoyed anything that land on the extreme end of this scale (Pumking from Southern Tier falls under the “pumpkin pie” to the extreme). I’m hit by a pleasant earthy pumpkin (gourd-type) flavor at the outset of every sip. However, the adjuncts used in this brew: molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice don’t mix very well for me. It ends up being a toasty malty, medium-bodied and dark flavored ale. A balanced entry (you get the gourd at the start and the pie flavors at the finish), but not one of the better ones I’ve had. In general, I just don’t quite enjoy pumpkin ales, but would be able to polish one of these off.

Overall Rating: 75

2013 Oktoberfest – Samuel Adams

2013 Oktoberfest – Samuel Adams

The very first release of Samuel Adams’ Oktoberfest in cans came in August of 2013. That’s probably the best shelf spotting I’ve ever made for my particular interests. I love Samuel Adams’ Oktoberfest and love cans. It’s about time that Sam Adams finally transitioned to canning some of their beers, especially after having some issues with their glass bottles in 2008 that forced a recall and issuing of rebates.

2013 Harvest Collection – Samuel Adams

2013 Harvest Collection – Samuel Adams

The 2013 Harvest (Autumn) Collection variety pack from Samuel Adams contained the following beers:

  • Boston Lager (2)
  • Harvest Pumpkin (2)
  • Latitude 48 IPA (2)
  • Hazel Brown (2)
  • Octoberfest (2)
  • Ruby Mild (2)

This was a vast improvement over the original 2009 version. It’s probably also the best lineup I’ve seen for the Harvest Collection variety packs over the years since. There isn’t a single undrinkable beer out of this box, and most are solid beers that provide enough variety to keep one drinker happy or for everybody to be happy with their choices out of what’s left in the box.

Rating (for the variety pack): 95

2009 Harvest Collection – Samuel Adams

2009 Harvest Collection – Samuel Adams

As hard as it is to believe, Samuel Adams had never released a variety pack for fall before (they typically did it for winter) 2009. The very first Harvest Collection by Samuel Adams had the following beers:

  • Boston Lager (2)
  • Octoberfest (2)
  • Irish Red (2)
  • Cherry Wheat (2)
  • Brown Ale (2)
  • Dunkelweizen (2) [First brewing – Harvest Exclusive]

Overall, this was a greatly disappointing pack for me. The only good options were the stalwarts that were to be expected: Boston Lager and Octoberfest. Of the four remaining options, Brown Ale was the best. Dunkelweizen was simply horrible, as was Cherry Wheat.

Rating (for the variety pack): 45.