Every few weeks, when HR will allow it, the Metro staff holds a beer tasting. This month, we got to try out brews especially made for autumn. Here are our very unscientific tasting notes.
Saranac Pumpkin Ale
Brewer's notes: Pumpkin Ale features real pumpkin, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger for a full body and amber color.
"It smells like spice but doesn't taste like it." Andrea Park, online reporter
"Autumny with a crisp fall finish." Cassandra Garrison, head of online content
"This is like a pumpkin spice latte for grownups. I really like it." Eva Kis, online editor
"This is good. Everything is so over-the-top with pumpkin in the fall. This is nice and nuanced." Tracy Crinion, marketing manager
"The pumpkin is not too strong on the label and not too strong in the beer. I like it." Dorothy Robinson, managing editor
Long Ireland Pumpkin Ale
Brewer's notes: The beer is brewed using pumpkin puree and spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Brewing malts and Noble hops are used to balance the spiced flavor of the beer.
“Ew, I don’t like this. It smells like a doctor’s office. Why don’t we ever do a cocktail tasting? I hate beer." Anna Sanders, New York reporter
"It smells like a rubber glove!" AP
"This tastes like college and not in a good way." CG
"It tastes like salad?" AS
"I like the way it smells! I do get a vegetably aftertaste. Maybe pumpkin leaf?" TC
Narragansett Fest Lager
Brewer's notes: ‘Gansett Fest is a traditional amber-brown German Oktoberfest style beer.
"This is kind of zesty." AS
"This is a quality lager." EK
"I get a distinct fizzy element." CG
"It is very season appropriate." Lenyon Whitaker, multimedia editor
Ommegang Brewery: Game of Thrones, Take the Black
Brewer's notes: "Inspired by the brotherhood of the Night’s Watch, Take the Black Stout was made to be deep, dark and complex like those who have sworn the oath to defend Westeros against threats from the North."
"It’s like syrup." CG
"The more it looks like motor oil, the better it is." Sean McCullen, proofer
"It’s like a strong Guinness." TC
"Yeah! Guinness on steroids." LW
"It tastes like morning breath." Danielle Tcholakian, senior reporter
"It’s condensed, like it’s missing water." Tracie Michelle Murphy, copy chief and New York arts editor
"Could be great for cooking. Could see it working in chili and pulled chicken." AP
"A good writing beer." Kate Thomas, page designer
Lake Placid Craft Brewing Ubu Pumpkin Ale
Brewer's notes: "It features a solid malt backbone, complemented with the perfect balance of pumpkin and spices."
"Feels like there is pumpkin everywhere but not on my tongue." TMM
"Really? I don’t think this tastes like pumpkin at all. I guess the Game of Thrones beer was very overpowering!" DT
"Getting some licorice notes here." SM
Empire Roasted Pumpkin Ale
Brewer's notes: Made with 250 pounds of handpicked pumpkins from Critz’s Farm in Cazenovia, N.Y. They are drizzled with local maple syrup, and then roasted in our ovens before they are added to the mash.
"You can tell it’s from a craft brewery. You can taste all the spices." TC
"This is very interesting. I’m not sure if I like it but it’s interesting." KT
"This tastes like it was made in an incense factory." DT
"Was it made by a patchouli wearer?" EK
"I don’t think you should write down anything I say. I just don’t like any of these." AS
[Here, the conversation dissolves into talking about board games.]
Southern Tier 2XRye
Brewer's notes: You will notice the distinct notes of rye, a slightly spicy and grainy aroma not lost in the shuffle of hops and the four other malted grains we use in this fine seasonal addition to our 2X line.
"We gotta focus! Two more beers! " DR
"This is the kind of beer that makes you want to have a cigarette." DT
"This tastes like a rye whiskey instead of a beer that uses rye." TC
"This tastes like it has straight alcohol in it." EK
Jack-o Traveler Seasonal Shandy
Brewer's notes: The first ever, limited edition, season craft beer Shandy brewed with real pumpkin and a hint of spice.
"I like this. I actually like this one! It tastes like sugar." AS
"I like this, it’s beery apple cider." AP
"This is very pumpkin-y, I do no like it." SM
"It is too sweet for me." Maja Lundager, Danish intern
"I can do two sips and then I’m done." DR
"What?! I can drink a six pack." AS
Southern Tier Pumking Ale
Brewer's notes: "As spicy aromas present themselves, let its deep copper color entrance you on your journey into this mystical brew. "
"AHHHH! Too sweet for a beer!" KT
"It’s like a muffin." TC
"I’m getting hints of fake marzipan?" ML
"I'm getting roasted vanilla marshmallows. But in a bad way." AP
Southern Tier Warlock Imperial Stout
Brewer's notes: "Imperial stout brewed with pumpkins. Warlock is brewed to enchant your palate on its own and also to counterpoint our Imperial Ale, Pumking."
"I’ll take the counterpoint to whatever we just had." TMM
"This wasn’t made by warlocks. It was made by Druids. Tastes a little too earthy." EK
The winner: Ommegang Scythe & Sickle
Brewer's notes: Scythe & Sickle is an amber ale brewed with a variety of malts, including pils, rye flakes and oat flakes, for incredible depth of flavor and a hint of natural sweetness.
"This is my favorite." DT
"Oh, it’s good!" TMM
"It tastes like a heavy beer without being too heavy. All of the taste without the texture." TC
"I think this is the favorite all around. It’s balanced. Not over the top." LW
"It’s inoffensive." DT
"Inoffensive? It has the communism symbol on it!" AS
"This is the perfect beer to drink after a long day of scything and sickling." KT