Do you hear that?
Whistling through the trees, floating in from the bay, hiding in the deepest alleyways of your darkest nightmares.
It’s the sound of a thousand basic white girls yelling for joy that it’s pumpkin spice season.
Yes, dear readers, it’s October and in America that means pumpkin everything, including beer. It also means Oktoberfest, and I’m not going to pass those up either, but right now it is time for some pumpkin goodness.
For the past several years, one of my favorites has been Gourds Gone Wild from Tampa Bay Brewing. You see the bottles, and now the cans, lurking in the recesses of your favorite local beer store.
This year, however, I went for Imperial Gourds Gone Wild (Imperial Stout, 8% ABV). Because nothing says Halloween like a bigger, bolder brew crafted in the pits of Hell (or this is instance, Westchase).
The beer is the blackest of night with a gorgeous fluffy caramel colored head. The aroma is very much pumpkin spice goodness, rendered buoyant and playful with the sweet lactose addition that plays wonderfully with all the deep toffee notes in the malt, along with the pumpkin spice blend.
The taste of the beer is quite interesting, in that you get two contrasting profiles at the same time. The malt comes on strong with deep flavors of plum, coffee, roasted chicory, and a robust wheat bread.
Almost instantaneously you also get bright notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and a vanilla-esque quality coming from the lactose. Those two play harmoniously for just a little bit, and then the malt subsides somewhat, leaving the dark fruit flavors to play with the lactose sweetness.
This beer is a lot of fun. There’s a lot going on, and the more you let it play, the more it dances on your tongue. It is definitely a trap for basic white girls, and I’m okay with that. It’s still a great tasting brew, and a lot of fun. It’s also an almost mandatory requirement for beer drinkers this month.
Drink Florida Craft,
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