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Smashed Pumpkin Ale

It’s not often that quaffing ale reminds me of anything more than other ales. Now that I’ve said that I have to add that this is an excellent and peculiar beer, not at all what I was expecting. Somehow the thought of a pumpkin beer gave me the same slightly shuddering concerns that I had before sampling Wells Banana Bread ale, and with the same outcomes – delight and surprise.

I had the pleasure of sampling this at the Graduate bar in Davis, a favourite haunt of mine as they always have a wide variety of draught brews and generally, a knowledgeable and keen staff. This was recommended as a very different autumnal beer, but I was warned to go easy with it, and with an ABV of 9% and a powerful taste kick, I can see why.

It was served in a 12-ounce glass and showed a good orange body topped with a thick and stable head. I admit to some trepidation as I took my first sip, but was immediately delighted by a good fruity and spicy nose, redolent of nutmeg, cinnamon and (presumably) pumpkin. As if that were not surprise enough, once I actually tasted it I was taken back to posh Sunday lunches at my parents’ home, for here of all things was a beer that reminded me of sherry.

Yes, it’s a warming and wonderful drink, intensely flavourful, but leaving me in something of a dilemma. For the sherry taste told my unconscious to sip, whilst the hedonistic brain told me to quaff; quaff and get another one.

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