Pumpkin Down the hatch!
I haven’t really had the greatest track record when it comes to Ballast Point beers. I’ve had a few, and really the only one I’ve liked so far has been Victory At Sea. I have a tendency to avoid beers from breweries that have several beers that haven’t impressed me. After drinking Pumpkin Down, however, I now think it’s time to delve more into the offerings from Ballast Point.
I’ve said this before, but it still amazes me how much I like pumpkin beer! I’ve never been a huge fan of pumpkin, but there is something about it in beer form that just clicks with me. I picked up Pumpkin Down, because it was a Scottish ale brewed with pumpkin. (It’s actually Ballast Point’s Piper Down Scottish Ale with pumpkin added.) That seemed different, and sounded pretty good. It got my attention anyway, so I went with it.
Pumpkin Down pours a medium to dark brown with some red highlights. It has a half-finger head that reduces to a medium film which provides quite a bit of heavy lacing. The lacing doesn’t last very long, though.
The aroma starts out with really big and bold pumpkin. This is followed immediately by a huge note of warm pumpkin pie spice. A nice rich caramel note is present up front, too. Dark fruit emerges as it warms and is wrapped in a little bit of a butterscotch note.
Lots of dry pumpkin kicks off the flavors. The spice is big but somehow muted and soft at the same time. I find that pretty interesting. There is some brown sugar and molasses, but they don’t add any sort of sweetness. Some berries are present toward the back of the palate. The alcohol shows up at the very end along with a weird funk finish that continues into the aftertaste.
Overall, Pumpkin Down is a solid pumpkin brew! I give it 4.4 out of 5, and I would recommend picking one up when you see it.
So, I will be more open to getting beers brewed by Ballast Point in the future. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them! Leave me a comment.