Pumpkin Ale – Scottish: Brewdog Pumpkin Head

It’s Halloween in the UK, so what else could I do but review a Pumpkin Beer?

Today I’m reviewing a beer that has had a bit of bad press – Brewdog‘s Pumpkin Head

Pumpkin Head is Brewdog‘s take on the Pumpkin Ales popular in America. I’m guessing it’s brewed for a UK Palate, as it’s slightly different to other Pumpkin Ales I’ve had in the past. More on that a little later.

Let’s start with Brewdog‘s description of the beer:

We’re turning Hallowe’en inside out and upside down. Pumpkinhead is not your usual unctuous, cloyingly sweet Hallowe’en pumpkin ale. Sure, there’s a huge heady hit of pungent spice on the nose, but it’s followed with bright and zesty citrus flavours, and a light mouthfeel.

Spicy and sweet autumnal favourites like toasted marshmallow and toffee apple are just some of the complex notes you’ll find in our first twisted take on a pumpkin ale, which weighs in at 5.1% ABV.

The label artwork is designed by Johnathan Reiner.

Quite a different description compared to other Brewdog’s beers, and it seems a little grown up. Also worth noting is the fact it has bright and zesty flavours as well as the spice and a light mouthfeel. Quite different to other Pumpkin beers. Have Brewdog created the ultimate Halloween Party session beer? Also, the artwork definitely did deserve a mention in the description – although as a friend of mine once said: “I’ve tried drinking the packaging but it just doesn’t add anything to a beer’s appearance, nose or taste.” it is a great piece of artwork and sets the Halloween-y mood.

After doing a little research, I didn’t have to go far as Brewdog usually openly admit whats in their brews Extra Pale, Munich, Dark Crystal, Amber malts are used. As for the hop bill we have Nugget, Willamette, First Gold. These hops have been used to enhance the woody and spicy notes in the beer provided by Pumpkin, Grains of Paradise, Star Anise, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice, Ginger and Clove.

This beer pours Ruby/Copper coloured with an off white head. The head retention is great apart from an initial decline in the first few minutes and it leaves dotty lacing on the sides of the glass. It definitely looks like a pumpkin beer! The first aroma is Pumpkin and Clove, followed by the Ginger, Cinnamon, Cumin, some of the Allspice and it seems as though a funky yeast has been used. The only aroma that’s not usually there is some background fruity notes, possibly coming from a combination of the Pumpkin and the Willamette hops. When you taste this beer, you get an inital kick of the spices, lots of Cinnamon, Peppery notes, Cumin, a touch of Clove, Nutmeg, Pumpkin and finally the Citrusy flavours promised in the background. Although there’s a lot of flavour here, I’m not sure if the light Mouthfeel makes this beer a great Halloween session brew or if it denies the mouthfeel people expect from a Pumpkin beer. It finishes medium sweet. That being said, I believe this is Brewdog’s attempt at a beer that you can session all through Halloween, scaring Trick or Treaters that knock on your door. All in all a good beer and I recommend giving it a try, but on the other hand I can see the why there is bad press. Personally, I enjoyed this and have a few more to drink later today.

You can purchase Brewdog Pumpkin Head Online at:

Ales By Mail (IN STOCK at time of writing)

Brewdog

Also, you can purchase this currently at Bottledog, Kings Cross

For any Bars/Shops looking to stock this beer you can Contact the Brewdog rep in your area for more info.

EST. CALORIES: 153   ABV: 5.1%

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