15. Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin

As the sun sets on the last days of autumn, I bid adieu to my little fall treat, the pumpkin beer. I can faintly recall the excitement evoked by that first glimpse of a smiling orange jack-o-lantern peering out between the Oktoberfests and fall seasonals of whatever fine brew establishment I found myself in. With it comes the vivid memories of autumns pasts, the crunch of fallen leaves, mischievous costumed children . . . um yeah ok, pumpkins are gone. I am fine with it. Here’s to the last one.

Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin, at a much-appreciated 9% alc/vol is a great beer to end the season with. None of that thin cinnamon water that some breweries attempt to hawk to the masses. This is a beer with a presence.

A thick white head and the color of well, a straight-up pumpkin, Smashed Pumpkin has an impressive, solid appearance. The aroma is boozy, touched by burnt sugars and pumpkin pie. That perfect pumpkin pie taste is also found in the beer itself. It isn’t overly spiced, just with enough cinnamon and nutmeg to add some dryness to your mouth. The flavor is also backed by toasted malts, a mellow alcohol presence and a graceful pumpkin/malt finish.

What I love about this beer is that it is definitely a big beer all around, something much needed in the pumpkin beer scene, but it still goes down very easily and isn’t too filling. It starts light and crisp and ends smooth and with a kick. Smashed Pumpkin, you get an A-

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