1. Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale
As a big fan of pumpkin ales, I heard about Elysian's pumpkin ales but it wasn't until this year that I got my hands on any of the beer from this Seattle brewery. At this year's Great American Beer Festival, this brewery's table was probably my favorite, mostly due to their well-rounded selection of great beer. Those who know me well know that I use Southern Tier's Pumking as a yardstick for any new pumpkin beers that I try. However, Pumking is an imperial ale, so it's difficult to compare it to a lighter ale such as this one. Ultimately though, it's about the flavor and selection of spices when it comes to pumpkin ales. This beer balances flavor well, maintaining a light beer that you can drink all night. The good thing about this beer is that it really focuses on pumpkin flavor rather than nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, etc. That's probably due to the fact that 150 lbs of pumpkin are used in each batch.
Overall Rating: B+
2. Uinta Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin Ale
It seems like Uinta has just blown up in the past few months and I ain't hatin' it. In a way, I'm glad that I don't religiously research what every brewery releases because there's nothing like browsing a store's selection and coming across something that you immediately need to buy. This beer was one of those. This is the first bottled pumpkin beer I've seen that has been aged in oak barrels. How is that? Pumpkin beers have blown up so experimenting with them is natural. This one definitely works. I just wish I could taste the beer before the oak aging for a complete perspective. Surprisingly, there's not a whole lot in the aroma. The sweet vanilla flavor from the oak combines very well with the spicy pumpkin ale, resulting in a nicely balanced beer. Just don't forget that imperial is in the name - this beer is 10.3% ABV. This beer puts up a fight against Pumking. As long as they keep making it, I'll definitely keep buying it.
Overall Rating: A-