Last night, as we sat on the porch and doled out candy to the neighborhood ghosts and ghouls, several good friends and I shared a bottle of Cigar City Brewing’s Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale. It was was one of those perfect autumn evenings that have a hint of coolness and a whiff of wood smoke floating in the air. On the sidewalks children were laughing and squealing in delight and their parents grinned from ear to ear at their happiness.
In a word, it was enchanted.
That can also describe the beer so expertly crafted by the magicians at Cigar City. It never ceases to amaze how this brewery – only open since 2009 – keeps releasing fantastic brew after fantastic brew. The name of the brew understates its excellent character. As a matter of fact, the beer has landed on several Best of… lists already.
Cigar City describes the beer; “Pours orange in color with notes of buttered pie crust, roasted pumpkin, and a mélange of pumpkin pie spices. Medium bodied with flavors of caramel and roasted pumpkin notes and an underpinning of floral hop bitterness that leads into a harmonious blend of pumpkin pie spice and finishes with drying alcohol heat that creates a balance with caramel in the finish.”
The brewers use real pumpkin in the brewing of this classic and do not spare the pie spices. But, even at that, the brew is so well balanced that it does not smack the drinker in the face with spices. It is more a subtle flavoring than a full-on assault. In my tasting I detected notes of chocolate as well as the spices.
As an accompaniment to the evening’s festivities, this beer was impeccable. What better way is there to spend a Halloween evening than on the front porch, handing out candy with a few wonderful and close friends?