By Iron Chef Leftovers
Reuben’s held out on me this year – they made a second pumpkin beer beyond their flagship pumpkin beer that they did not release until November. This beer was based on a saison, definitely a beer that you don’t see used very often in the pumpkin beer world. They had a very limited quantity of the Pumpkin Saison and it didn’t make it past the weekend that it went on tap, but you know that Iron Chef was there to try it and let you know what you missed.
The beer pours very dark reddish brown in color with notes of roasted pumpkin, pumpkin spice and saison funk on the nose. The beer starts out small with subtle grain notes and a distinctive saison background, then moving into a distinct pumpkin realm with light notes of roast and pumpkin seeds before hitting you with a burst of pumpkin pie spices – cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves are distinctly present. The beer finishes long with strong pumpkin pie character a pleasant dryness and just a hint of cinnamon heat. The pumpkin saison manages to bring more to spices to the party than the Pfeiffer’s Pumpkin Rye that Reuben’s also brews, giving a nice counterpunch to that beer. They also took great care in preserving the grassy notes of the saison and not completely overwhelming them with the spices, creating an interesting and balanced beer. I still would rather have the Pfeiffer’s Pumpkin, but this would be a welcome change of pace next pumpkin beer season.
Reuben’s Pumpkin Saison carves out a niche with a spooky 4 jack o’lanterns out of 5.