Dark Pumpkin Porter

Thimble Island Dark Pumpkin Porter
1 Pint, 5% ABV

Purchased at the Westbrook Lobster House, Wallingford

porterI used to be able to say things like, “I don’t like pumpkin beers” and I could be confident in that opinion. All pumpkin beers were horrid little ales filled with nonsense like nutmeg or allspice or some weird squashy residue. No thanks.

Then the craft beer boom boomed and now we seem to almost have a pumpkin variety of every beer type. I’ve had a great pumpkin saison this year and now I’ve had this: a pumpkin porter. Weird. But is it good?

Yeah, it is. Which again, is weird.

Weird because I still really don’t like spiced beers. The Dark Pumpkin was very most definitely spiced with all the usual pumpkin beer spices – in fact, this one sort of tasted like pumpkin pie. In a porter. But I didn’t hate it – and I hate pumpkin pie.

Buy my hatred of pumpkin pie is first and foremost because it has the consistency of vomit. Then there’s always that layer of wet on top. Then there’s that sound people make when eating it that I simply cannot be near. And finally, you’re eating a vegetable for dessert. There is nothing redeeming about pumpkin pie other than the holiday on which it is traditionally served.

Ask yourself this: If pumpkin pie was any good, why in the world wouldn’t you make/serve/eat it more than ONE day a year? I rest my case.

Thimble Island Says:

I can’t find record of them saying anything about this.

gross_pie-450x336The Dark Pumpkin was the first release in what Thimble Island is calling their “Unchartered Series.” I stopped by the brewery in late 2013 to find a “newly” (to me) expanded tap and tasting room. A vast improvement over their initial little space. Since I thought it would just be the tiny space I was familiar with, I’d left my family in the car.

Whoops. I was given a rather generous sample of the dark pumpkin, which I knew Hoang would enjoy. But I bought a growler of the new (to me) Sunken Stout instead. The plan was to have lunch at the Westbrook Lobster House – which is in Wallingford, because that makes about as much sense as a pumpkin porter – at which Thimble had just had a “Meet the Brewer” night.

And therefore, the restaurant would still have the Dark Pumpkin on tap. Which they did.

It really is ridiculous how much planning goes into me scoring these beers.

I ordered Hoang the Dark Pumpkin and I was right – she loved it. I had half her glass and yes, it was very good as I previously mentioned. Definite pumpkin pie notes but the malt of the porter muted anything over-the-top. And that’s just key with these things.

For me, beer is beer. When you start dumping in new flavors and spices and stuff, be careful. Chill out, do it right.

And if you do, you get the rare seal of CTMQ approval on a spiced beer; well done Thimble Island, well done.

Overall Rating:B+
Rating vs. Similar style: n/a

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