Fall is nearly my favorite beer season, it is a very close second to the Winter beer season. Fall absolutely has some superior beer selections compared to Summer and Spring. There have already been some heavy hitters released thus far, Sierra Nevada’s Celebration & Narwhal, Hopworks Abominable, Fremont Kentucky Dark Star, I could go on for a while, but I’ll spare you the details. I look forward to this time of year because it gets colder, darker, calmer, and more and more dark beers are released. On top of that, there is a plethora of Bourbon Barrel Aged beers that are released. It has been tough to keep up with and let’s just say I’ve got my work cut out for me this season, Firestone Walker XIX should be landing this week, and I can’t wait to review it, see if they’ve stepped their game up from Helldorado.
On to the topic at hand, we’ve got an interesting participant in the Pumpkin Ale category here. It is Pinchy Jeek Barl, from Anderson Valley Brewing Company, located in Boonville, CA. I spent a few minutes trying to decipher just exactly what Pinchy Jeek Barl translates to, but alas I have been bested by the Boontling fiends from Anderson Valley. Just give a listen to their brewmaster here.
This sure sounds good on paper, I have taken a bit of a hiatus from Pumpkin beers, after being overwhelmed with their releases in July, August, September, and October. There seems to have been more this year than in any other year, but I digress. This one caught my attention, if nothing more for than its Bourbon Barrel Aged claim on the label. I am a sucker for Bourbon Barrel beers and figured this would be worth a shot. Let’s dive on in and see what the verdict is.
Beer — Pinchy Jeek Barl Bourbon Barrel Pumpkin Ale
Brewery — Anderson Valley Brewing Company, Boonville, CA
ABV — 8.5%
Price — $9.99 @ Elizabeth Station also available at BevMo! (if you feel like driving all the way out there)
Availability — Seasonal
22oz bomber with no visible date code poured into 16oz tulip for tasting
Appearance (4/5) — Pours somewhat quickly out of the bottle with a brownish coppery hue. After it sits in the glass there is a quickly fading khaki colored head that settles into a thin layer of foam atop the glass, doesn’t leave much behind in the form of lacing along the inside of the glass. When held up to the light there is a nice ruby red hue around the edges of the beer. Nice bit of clarity when you can get light to pass through it.
Aroma (4/5) — Fairly light initially, even though this was served around 50º there isn’t much going on initially. As it sits and swirls in the glass there are nice notes that develop, hints of pumpkin flesh, cinnamon, spice notes of clove, allspice, nutmeg, and…Bourbon, there are great notes of vanilla, oak, wheat, peppery spice, cinnamon stick, and a little bit of a cocoa powder note as well. Not overly sweet.
Taste (4.25/5) — This is a well driven vehicle of pumpkin spice, there are notes of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and pumpkin. Somehow this is all balanced by a nice and dry note of cinnamon, oak, ginger, Bourbon, and a bit of a warming heat to it as well.
Mouthfeel (4/5) — Not overly sweet, though it definitely errs on the sweet side of the spectrum, there is a lingering finish that warms you up a bit.
Overall (4/5) — Very nice overall, there is a really good balance here of Bourbon and pumpkin, I don’t want pumpkin in my Bourbon, but I don’t mind Bourbon in my pumpkin (beer), this is a great reminder beer here that can certainly extend the season of pumpkin beers, this would be absolutely fantastic before, during, or after the Thanksgiving festivities. My wife even gives it two thumbs up! I may just have to stock up on a bottle or two to share with family and friends over the holidays.