By Iron Chef Leftovers
I love the fall when it comes to beers – you get the return of fresh hop beers, and you get the return of pumpkin beers, probably my favorite seasonal style. The newish Ballard brewery, Reuben’s Brews, tossed their hat in the ring with their pumpkin offering – a pumpkin rye. This beer comes in at 5.4% ABV and 32 IBU and is their rye beer brewed with the inclusion of pumpkin puree, toasted pumpkin seeds, spices, sugar and bourbon.
The beer pours a hazy yellow, almost golden hue. There are definite notes of pumpkin with hints of spice and rye hiding in the background. The palate is initially dominated by pumpkin pie spice, but not overpoweringly so, and it gives way to pumpkin puree, toasted pumpkin seeds and light notes of rye. The finish is short, with the pumpkin seeds fading after a short stay, but the flavor does stick around longer the further into the glass you dive – it reminded me of eating fresh roasted pumpkin seeds on a cool fall day and had me looking for a bucket to spit out the shells into. The beer is remarkably balanced with enough use of spice to remind you it is a fall beer, complimented with a dominant pumpkin flavor that stands out and reminds you that this is a pumpkin beer. The hints of rye add a little something that you can’t quite put your finger on, but server to enhance the finish product in a good way. This beer is definitely not the one you want if you are looking to drink something that is liquid pumpkin pie, but is one to order if you want to enjoy the flavor of pumpkin complimented by the inclusion of spice.
The rye base makes this a very different beer than many of the pumpkins out on the market and I would classify this one in my top 5 pumpkin beers.
Reuben’s did a fantastic job with the Pumpkin Ale, which is why they are getting an outstanding 5 Cucurbita maxima out of 5.