The second pumpkin beer of the season comes from the largest of the microbreweries: Samuel Adams.
Their Harvest Pumpkin Ale does what almost all of the beers from this brewery do well: present a smooth, drinkable quaff. While it’s impossible to fault Sam Adams for variety nowadays, they do trend toward milder brews and so it’s no surprise that their pumpkin ale is not a punch-you-in-the-face, high gravity experiment. Even with 11 pounds of pumpkin per barrel, this dark-hued (15 SRM [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Reference_Method]) amber is inoffensive and middle-of-the-road, mellow, almost without aroma, and presents some faint spice notes with a pleasant, but restrained, pumpkin aftertaste. That kind of restraint is commendable for folks who like their variety…but not too dramatically.
Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale would be perfect as the first beer on an indian summer evening, sipped on its own (elsewise it might be overpowered by what you’re eating) to slake the thirst before moving on to more adventurous things.
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