Matt Brewing Co.
I admit I’m not really a fan of pumpkin beers, but Saranac rarely veers too far off course.
The nose is very much like pumpkin pie. Gingerbread and brown sugar dominate, while subtler touches of clove-like sharpness and cinnamon waft around the glass. This seems to be softened by a hint of vanilla.
The mouthfeel is excellent. The body is full and the effervescence is constant and even. Fortunately, there is none of the coying sweetness that one might expect from something that smells so much like pie. There are a good amount of hops in there to kick the pumpkin sweetness down a notch or two.
This isn’t one of those heavier pumpkin ales that seems nothing more than fermented pumpkin puree. The beer is a bit earthy, but has a really good balance of sweetness, spice, and hop bitters. The pumpkin is far more subtler than you might expect and I give Saranac credit for crafting an interesting ale without going too far. Big beer is great, but sometimes a softer touch is necessary to produce a really quaffable brew.