Friday, October 10, 2014

New Holland Ichabod Pumpkin Ale (6/10)

The label of New Holland’s Ichabod Pumpkin Ale might just be the coolest pumpkin beer logo out there.  Ichabod Pumpkin Ale is available from August through October each year.

It pours a fairly clear mahogany or coppery brown color.

The head, as one might expect for a beer named after the story of a headless horseman, isn’t around long.  It takes a pretty hard pour to even get one.  (In the photo, I took the shot within two seconds of pouring it.  By ten seconds, it was gone.)  It’s an off-white color and made of small, mostly-consistent bubbles.

The aroma has pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg to it.  Malt and hops are harder to sniff out.

The flavor starts with malt and nutmeg, then gives way to some pumpkin creaminess, and ends mildly bitter.  The draft version I tasted earlier in the year was considerably more hoppy.

It’s a really “middle of the road” pumpkin beer.  I don’t dislike, but I don’t love it, either.

The Beer Advocate crowd seems a little split on it.  With over 950 ratings, most people give it 80/100 or “good” while “The Bros” give it a 90 or “outstanding”.  The RateBeer group gives it only a 61/100, which is in line with my own 6/10 rating.  Amping up the spice might push it to a 7.  Dialing back the bitterness would maybe move it to 7.5.

Pumpkin Beer Flavor Profile:

Dominant Flavor (Beer, Spices, Pumpkin):  Beer with Pumpkin close behind
Pumpkin intensity:  Medium
Spice intensity:  Low
Malty or hoppy:  Mildly bitter
Sweet, balanced, or dry:  Balanced
Dominant flavor:  Mild bitterness and pumpkin funk

ABV:  5.5%
IBU:  16
My Rating: 6/10

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