Downton: Dial’s Pumpkin Ale (England: Spice/Herb/Vegetable Ale: 4.2% ABV)

Visual: Light golden brown. Thin white dusting over it.

Nose: Slightly musty, possibly pumpkin but at this point it’s probably psychosomatic. Light ginger.

Body: Ginger, dry malt. Pumpkin. Dried apricot. Lightly spicy.

Finish: Dry dust and light fruit sweetness. Light bitterness. Definite dried apricot and pumpkin. Ends very dry.

Conclusion: Now half way through drinking this I realized I had managed to forget what pumpkin tastes like. Thankfully I remembered by the end otherwise this could have been a somewhat embarrassing review. The beer did help a bit, what with it being the main flavour and all that.

I’ve heard a lot of pumpkin ales bring it in way too sweet.  Now this is a sweet beer, but more in a dried apricot way, and with a good chunk of dry malt in the finish to balance.  Definitely this calls more to the unsweetened basic pumpkin style, though without bringing any of the flavours in massively heavily.

The beer actually feels slightly ginger spiced, which reminds me of a very mild version of the spanked monkey IPA. Overall it’s pretty drinkable, and a little different from usual. At least different for the UK, I hear the USA has way more of these.  It’s not fantastic, and could do with more weight to the flavour, but not bad and quite nicely ginger and pumpkin fresh.

Background: I’ve always like the idea of a pumpkin ale, but you don’t see them much in these parts. Thus I was chuffed to see this on tap. Downton seem to be a brewery that delight at using odd ingredients for beers so it seems like a good match for their skills.