Crown Valley Imperial Pumpkin Smash

I'm not sure the pumpkin is intended for beer. Yes, I've tried many different beers that had pumpkin in them, and some of them were very good – but that doesn't mean that pumpkin is really supposed to be in it. Nevertheless, Halloween is upon us, so I'm going to try out another pumpkin beer.

The very dark beer is not completely impermeable to light. There is a definite orange/red tint to the beer when the sunlight shines through it. The head is at least somewhat sticky and there's enough of the tiny little bubbles hanging around that the beer never gets naked. The aroma just about reeks of pumpkin. It's not like a pumpkin seed drink or something – this is all about the meat of the pumpkin. The smell is like an un–baked pumpkin pie. Not sure if that's a good thing or not, but I'm willing to try.

First sip is unusually sweet. The pumpkin is all right up in my face, but there's a sweet and toasted backend with spices that are giving this beer taste with a kick. If I was just going by sips, this may very well be the pumpkin beer to go to. But sips is not what I do. I do swigs.

Tip-in is very light carbonation tingle with kind of a muted dark chocolate and smoke taste to it. I don't want to overstate how much flavor there is in the tip-in, though - the tip-in is incredibly mild. The middle is spices, toffee, smoke, and even some dark fruit. The pumpkin is noticeable, but it's not overwhelming like many other pumpkin beers. The finish has hit of bitter followed by a trail off of pine and smoke.

Bottom Line: Definitely a more drinkable pumpkin beer that is fitting for the season.

3.25/5

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