The next stop on my journey to find the perfect pumpkin ale is the Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin Ale. The Smashed Pumpkin Ale was first brewed in 2009. In case you’re wondering the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks, which seems to get all the blame (or credit depending on how you feel) for the yearly “pumpkin spiced everything craze,” was introduced in 2003. That has no real bearing on what we’re talking about here, but while I was writing this I got curious and looked it up. So, now you know.
Back to the Smashed Pumpkin. It as first released in 2009 as part of Shipyard’s “Pugsley’s Signature Series.” This series was dedicated to master brewer Alan Pugsley. It is available yearly in 22 oz bombers and six-packs. Shipyard also makes the Pumpkinhead ale. The Pumpkinhead ale is more of a sessionable pumpkin ale at 5.1% ABV. I’ll work on getting a review of that one posted soon.
Shipyard Smashed Punkin Ale
Style: Spiced Pumpkin Ale
Availability: Seasonal (Fall)
MSRP: $8.99 – 22 oz bottle
Brewer: Shipyard Brewing – Portland, ME
Beers drank for review: 1 22 oz bottle
Nose: Notes of pumpkin and nutmeg were very noticeable. There was an astringent, almost metallic smell in there was well.
Appearance: The Smashed Pumpkin poured with a thick and creamy white head. Similar to what you get from many pilsners when you pour them hard. The beer was amber in color and foggy.
Flavor: Notes of pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon dominated the profile. There was a sweetness that really clung to the palate and mild bitterness that didn’t seem to fit. The mouthfeel really ruined things for me. The finish was just too thick and palate coating.
Overall Thoughts: This is not the perfect pumpkin ale. If you like a beer that coats the palate, then you should track this one down. I prefer my pumpkin ales to be a bit more crisp. The flavors were fine, but it wrecked my palate.