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Pumpkin Berliner Weisse
- Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
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Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant
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look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Thanks to the folks who made this growler acquisition possible! First off to Kegatron for keeping me in the loop and telling me about this beer's existence. And a big big thank you to Deuane for making the trek to the Iron Hill West Chester location for the gathering of the gourds this past weekend in the crazy Halloween 2011 blizzard. Thank you very much!
Poured into a standard pint glass, this brew appears a light straw yellow color with a bit of haze to it. A finger of white bubbly carbonation forms across the top and quickly fades to a thin film despite the continually rising bubbles of carbonation. As the brew sits in my glass, it seemingly takes on a bit of a mild orange coloration towards the bottom of the glass. This could be my eyes playing tricks on me or it could be the reflection of my table but regardless it looks pretty darn cool. A swirl agitates more bubbles from solution that fail to formulate a head but it does place some faint spots of lacework on the glass.
The smell of this brew is shockingly strong with pumpkin. When I say strong with pumpkin, I mean cut a jack-o-latern apart, stick your face and hands in it, pull out all the innards and rub it all over your face. Ok, maybe not like that but it does display the perfect scent of what I imagine in my mind as pumpkin flesh that has all of it's starch caramelized or candied. There is a slight herbal touch across the middle with the faintest of veggie aspect and then onward comes a grainy backing to the aroma. The smell of the grain initially is somewhat like gram cracker and earthy cinnamon. And then it hits me... ginger snaps! Lots of fresh baked ginger snap cookies thrown into this aroma as well. Once the brew gets warm, there is a bit of a citrus component thrown in there as well, yeah as if there wasn't enough character thrown into this, it needed that to. Interesting to say the least. I have to fault this brew a bit in the aroma department because the spices I refer to as ginger snaps completely dominate the base character of the berliner. Even after my glass is emptied there is a lingering smell of sugar cookies left, no berlnier weisse.
As I take a sip of this brew, the first thing that is noted is the base character expected of the berliner style. A pleasant tartness comes across with a fruity lemony citrus flavor that almost seems augmented by lemon soda with a solid amount of some strange artificial sweetness. There is also a solid grainy presence that gives a nod in the direction of gram cracker and ginger snaps. A light amount of earthy cinnamon with a touch of herbal character is also there but much more faint across the back. The flavor left residing inside the mouth is what I imagine it would be like to eat ginger snaps and wash it down with some mountain dew soda. The finish of this brew is down-right salivating. However, it is salivating in a way that I feel like I am having a sugar rush and being overloaded with sugar instead of the bacterial type of sourness/dryness to the back of the throat.
This is a light bodied brew with a fizzy amount of carbonation in the mouth. There is seemingly no alcohol inclusion throughout. Upon my first couple of initial sips and swigs, this brew completely blew me away in a strange and interesting way. But as I started to analyze it and pick it apart from a brewer's perspective, there just seems to be too much flavor and sugar augmentation here that just doesn't seem natural. I have consumed more than the average number of berliner weisse offerings and this one certainly stands out as being unique. I am assuming a large part of this brew's unique character comes from an addition of some form of syrup or additive. If I am wrong, I hope I am corrected and can learn what the heck was done to make it the way it is. Is it enjoyable? Absolutely. Is it something I would drink again? No doubt! This is the most entertaining take on a pumpkin/festive beer I have had in a very long time.
Serving type: growler
11-02-2011 00:49:27 |
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