I love pumpkins. I mean really love pumpkins. I like the way they look, I like eating them (in pie, ravioli, soup, baked goods, ice cream... ) and I like everything about them (okay, except maybe the stringy stuff inside- that makes my skin crawl.) Of course, since they're a pretty seasonal food, I really only get to enjoy them in autumn. Autumn also happens to be my favorite season, and I honestly spend most of the summer wishing September would hurry up and get here already. (Not that autumn in Florida means anything- leaves don't change, and it doesn't cool down until late October... But I can finally stop feeling like a weirdo for having a pumpkin cookie jar on my counter year-round.)
So, needless to say, when I saw Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale at the grocery store, I almost wept for joy! It was like seeing the first golden orange leaf of the season, or having to put on a jacket on the first crisp, cool day... It was beautiful- the closest thing I'll get here in the tropics to a harbinger of the season to come.
Harvest Moon is brewed by Blue Moon Brewing Company in Canada and is imported by Coors. (If you've never had Blue Moon, I highly recommend it- it's quite good.) The website lists the "season" for Harvest Moon as early September-late November, so we must be getting a sneak peak? I'm not complainin'.
I've never had Harvest Moon before, so I was excited to try it. I was also a little leary, as I have had some very... squash-y pumpkin beers in the past. There is definately an art to balancing the perfect amount of pumpkin sweetness and earthiness without making it taste like a fermented can of Libby's pumpkin puree.
The label is very pretty- it's in the same folksy woodcut-style as regular Blue Moon, but with a pumpkin patch and a more autumnal color palate. The label says the ale is infused with pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg and allspice and brewed using traditional crystal malt. When poured, the beer has a rich coppery color, but really no smell of pumpkin or spice- it just smells like an ale. The flavor at first was very like a nice, malty ale, with just a slight sweetness... it wasn't until I'd swallowed that I really got the faintest aftertaste of the spices and pumpkin. It was good- not overpowering, very refreshing and quite enjoyable. I liked it, but I could have dealt with a slightly more pronounced pumpkin spice flavor, however, I'm glad they erred on the side of restraint. I'd rather have a subtle, pleasantly drinkable pumpkin ale than something overwhelming and vile.
I'd definately buy it again, especially as it's a reasonably priced, easy-to-find brand. I'm sure Harvest Moon will find its way into regular rotation in our fridge this fall.
2 days ago