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Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

I was reading Blog About Beer‘s review of Dogfish Head Punkin Ale (not a typo, they’re just trying to be clever), calling it “one of [his] favorite and probably the most well-balanced seasonal specialty beers I’ve ever had the privilege of drinking.”  Now I love fall.  Especially when the heat of summer gives way to crisp, cool temperatures, there’s nothing better than enjoying a seasonal brew outdoors.  Unfortunately, that’s illegal in most of Athens (as is smoking indoors, public nudity and pretty much anything fun).

Not knowing too much about seasonal ales, I decided to take Blog About Beer’s advice and try the Dogfish Head Punkin Ale.  I don’t have too much experience with DFH, except for with their 60 Minute IPA, which is a fantastic beer.  So I decided to try out the Punkin Ale.  And where else to go to get it than Athens’ Mecca of beer, Lucky Dog?  So my roommate and I pile into our borrowed car at 9:45 p.m. and make tracks down to the liquor store.

Now, for those unfamiliar with Athens, or who just haven’t been, Lucky Dog is THE place to go for liquor or beer.  It isn’t too close to campus, but remember walking into Toys ‘R Us as a kid and just wanting being in shock of the sheer variety of everything and just wanting it all?  That’s how it is walking into this place.

Now one can’t help but stare in awe at the sheer variety of beer at Lucky Dog.  They have dozens of more varieties than any other gas station or convenience store in Athens.  Unfortunately, that period of awe-staring cost us the brew.  I had picked up the case (a 4 pack, $12.99) when an attendant came up and told us, “blargh, hey we’re closed rarwl.”

Are you FUCKING KIDDING?  The only liquor store in ATHENS FUCKING OHIO, consistently ranked in the top 10 of American party schools, closes at 10 o’clock?!?  Shit is beyond weak.

So, destitute, and heart still stuck on getting a pumpkin ale, we made the trek to Kroger where I was able to pick up a 6 pack of Saranack Pumpkin Ale ($7.99).Saranack Pumpkin Ale

As opposed to the 7 percent DFH, the Saranac Pumpkin Ale was only 5.4 percent ABV.  I was determined not to let this get me down.  The beer actually smells like pumpkin (more like pumpkin pie than a jack-o-lantern) and nutmeg with a hint of cinnamon.  The beer tastes strongly like pumpkin too, which I didn’t expect it to. I had read that many cheaper pumpkin ales have a very subtle flavor. It tastes sweet and the spices dominate, leaving a bitter aftertaste.  The beer was a bit thinner and fizzier than I would have liked.

Overall, it’s an enjoyable beer.  It’s a good weekend brew, enjoyed best with chicken or turkey while watching the OU game (though who am I kidding, you’re probably paying more attention to OSU).  It’s sweetness and low ABV make it less than idea for getting drunk off of, but it’s a good seasonal and worth a try for the price.

OVERALL GRADE: B-

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