Tired of pumpkin spice-flavored everything yet? Neither are we. From flavors of pumpkin to cinnamon to nutmeg and pecan, here are nine of our favorite fall seasonal craft beers this year.
1. Abita Brewing Co. Pecan Harvest Ale
Abita’s Pecan Harvest Ale begins with a soft, welcoming nutty aroma, with a touch of caramel and raisin. We were surprised at the lack of sweetness in its taste, which was almost cracker-like, making it super drinkable. We got a hint of browned butter as well, that finished with a subtle nuttiness, no doubt from the pecans it was brewed with.
2. Southern Tier Brewing Company Warlock
Warlock’s nose practically screams pumpkin bread, though we detected notes of toasted walnuts as well. This imperial stout’s flavor reminds us of gingerbread with warm nutmeg and has a soft, dry sweetness. Put together with its medium body, this Guinness-looking brew goes down very easily, especially for its 8.6 percent ABV.
3. Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale
Samuel Adams’ Harvest Pumpkin truly puts the pumpkin first, unlike the others, which sometimes mask the hearty flavor with heavy spices. Harvest Pumpkin has warm hints of apple and cinnamon in a smooth, clean, and very easy-to-drink brew.
4. Short’s Brewing Company Noble Chaos
Short’s Noble Chaos is like no other Oktoberfest we’ve tried. It has a unique toasted marshmallow-like nose, with some caramel. In its complex taste we detected caramel and chocolate with a hint of citrus. Nothing too overwhelming, though. There are notes of burnt sugar with some light maple as well.
5. Breckenridge Brewery Autumn Ale
Breckenridge Autumn Ale smells oaty and organic, reminding us of leaves falling to the ground on a cool fall day. We got notes of chocolate, caramel, and coffee with hints of smokey molasses in the finish. This would make a solid campfire beer.
6. Cigar City Brewing Good Gourd
Good Gourd has a nose of candy corn and banana bread that really draws you in. We also detected a hint of black currants, cinnamon, and allspice. This brew actually tastes quite a bit like sweet potato casserole on Thanksgiving, which is unique, among other seasonal beers which often shy away from a vegetable taste.
7. Southern Tier Brewing Company Pumking
At the first whiff of Souther Tier’s Pumpking, we got the smell of melted butter, almost like the beginning stages of baking. Surprisingly light in color, this imperial pumpkin ale is heavy on the fall spices: nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon, among others. And ends with a really lingering finish that makes you want to take another sip.
8. Founders Brewing Co. Dark Penance
Founders’ Dark Penance has a scent that made us think of cranberry and licorice. This imperial black pale ale's flavor is that of dark chocolate-covered espresso beans, along with malt. Dark Penance ends with a strong, somewhat burnt, finish, balancing its sweetness. Here’s where you can detect some of the 8.9 percent alcohol by volume content.
9. Schlafly Beer Pumpkin Ale
Schlafly Pumpkin Ale begins with a nose of pumpkin puree with hints of clove and nutmeg, almost like the beginning stages of baking a pumpkin pie. It has an interesting orange-red color that's perfect for the season. This brew has a rich pumpkin pie flavor, balanced really well with notes of caramel and some cinnamon to give it a bit of a spicy kick at the end.