Beer: Pumpkin Patch Ale
Brewer: Rogue Brewing Company
Style: Pumpkin Ale
Why is this just hitting the stores now? The reason this pumpkin beer may seem “late” this year is because Rogue grows their own pumpkins and waits for them to be at their ripest before picking them, roasting each pumpkin before adding it to the beer. This is a process which involved nearly everyone at the company. Many other breweries that have had pumpkin beers available early can do so because they either use canned pumpkin or produce more of a spiced beer rather than pumpkin ale. This extra attention to freshness is what makes Pumpkin Patch Ale a truly world-class pumpkin beer.
Description: Rogue’s Pumpkin Patch Ale pours a deep caramel copper color with off-white head that does not linger long, but does leave a heavy lacing on the glass. Pumpkin spice is definitely present in the aroma of this beer. Notes of cinnamon, clove, all-spice, and caramelized roasted pumpkin are the leading aromas with background notes of sweet malts and just a hint of vanilla to round out the experience. Thankfully, the taste follows the nose and this beer is as good as you would imagine, judging by the aroma. The sweet malt and spices hit the palate first and leave a lovely coating before a hint of bitterness washes over from the roasted pumpkin before the very long dry finish. The body is in the medium-full range, with moderate carbonation that is able to hold all of the wonderful spices and deliver a superb pumpkin beer.
Food pairing: The sweetness of this beer backed with the spices and roasted pumpkin make it an absolute dream pairing with desserts. Pair this pumpkin beer with your next cheesecake, especially of the pumpkin variety, as the creaminess of it will be enhanced by the sweet malts and the spices will combine to add another layer of complexity to the pairing. Pumpkin Patch Ale is also wonderful with cinnamon raisin ice cream; again the creaminess enhances this beer and the spices certainly complement one another. This beer is definitely not limited to desserts, though, and pairs very well with all of the courses for a rich Thanksgiving dinner. While this pumpkin beer may be “late” to market when compared to some others, it has certainly arrived right on time to be fully enjoyed with all of your favorite fall dishes.
The final word: Rogue is a world class brewery and has undoubtedly put its time and dedication into making a fantastic pumpkin ale. Their attention to freshness and details shine through in this beer. While the price tag may seem a bit hefty when compared to others on the market, you can be assured that it’s worth it due to the high quality product that is waiting inside. Also, the bottle itself is worth a bit more in the price for the bright, fall-like orange color. Whatever your stance is on pumpkin ales, I cannot recommend getting your hands on Rogue’s Pumpkin Patch Ale enough, so get out there and grab a bottle while you still can.
Rating: W W W W V
Where can I get it? Currently available in bottles at: Wegmans, Dickson City and Wilkes Barre. However, call around for this one, as many stores are just now getting it in stock.
Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!
-Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Follow Derek’s beer blog at idtapthat.org.