Beer of the Week: Pike Harlot’s Harvest Pumpkin Ale

By Iron Chef Leftovers

I have a few older pumpkin beers that I have been sitting in the cellar just to see how they age. In the case of Pike’s Harlot Pumpkin, this was one that was sitting in the cellar because I forgot it was there. I found the 2012 bottle when I was moving some stuff around and figured I would give it a shot. I am not a huge fan of this beer in the first place, so I had pretty low expectations about it when I opened it.

From the Pike Website:

It’s big bold and voluptuous! Pike Harlot”s Harvest reminds us that Pike Brewing was founded in a former brothel. Nellie’s girls who worked at The LaSalle Hotel were sometimes called harlots, though their best customers often affectionately called them “pumpkin”.

Pike head brewer, Dean Mochizuki, created this extraordinary beer using a complex blend of rich and flavorful malts that include: organic pils, organic pale, special b, Vienna, organic caramel, and crystal. To take full advantage of the bounty of the season, Harlot’s Harvest is brewed with the finest Yakima Valley hops, including Nugget for both bitterness and aroma, and Mt. Hood for aroma; and organic pumpkin puree from Stahlbush Island Farms, Corvalis, Oregon and organic brown sugar. It is sensuously seasoned with cassia bark, allspice, vanilla bean, nutmeg, ginger and clove.


STATS: O.G: 1.080

ABV: 8.50%

IBU: 30

COLOR: Dark caramel and molasses

On the palate Harlot’s Harvest is round and rich with a burst of caramel and molasses yielding a smooth sweetness reminiscent of pumpkin pie, and the boldness of a Belgian, monastic-style, strong dark ale. Savor it naked or clothed in the bounty of the season! To dress it appropriately, Charles Finkel designed the seductive label.

616The beer pours dark brown with just a hint of opaqueness and shows mild cinnamon and nutmeg on the nose with additions of light caramel and just a touch of pumpkin in the background. The beer is surprisingly light on the palate for a dark beer, starting out with a pleasant sweetness on the front and then moves over to a light toffee with subtle notes of pumpkin and dried fruit before finishing with very mild cinnamon that lingers pliantly and brings just a hint of heat to the tongue after a few seconds. It was pretty well balanced without any harsh notes that I have noticed in the beer when it is fresh – I guess a year of aging the beer really rounds it out.

Pike 2012 Harlots Pumpkin comes in an lobs 4 airborne salmon out of 5.

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