Each week throughout the football season I'm going to suggest a good beer for the ubiquitous pre-game tailgate. Let's be honest, with tailgates it's not always top quality that you're looking for. To steal a phrase from the heinous beer terrorists at Budweiser, you want "drinkability." (or what a real beer connoisseur calls "a session beer") So, be warned, these may not be "the best" beers around. But, in the words of Dave Chappelle as Samuel L. Jackson "IT'LL GET YOU DRUNK!"
Happy Halloween, everyone! Due to the 'holiday' at hand, I want to continue my recent tradition of selecting a local pumpkin beer for the end of October tailgate. Two years ago, it was Upslope and their Pumpkin Ale. Last fall, it was Avery's Rumpkin. For 2014, I'm heading back up Arapahoe Ave to Avery Brewing for a new take on mixing the seasonal gourd with beer. That combination, their Pump[KY]n, is this week's game day beer-o-the-week.
I guess it makes sense; if you pair pumpkins with rum, the next step would be to pair them with bourbon. That's exactly what Avery did with this barrel-aged imperial pumpkin porter, throwing some nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and cloves into the batch for good measure.
I like where Avery is going with their barrel-aged series, and Pump[KY]n does exactly what you would expect - blend bourbon with pumpkin pie. Pouring a very dark brown with limited head, Pump[KY]n certainly brings the typical Kentucky whiskey aromas to the party, along with something very reminiscent of the famous dessert. It's very sweet on the tongue, with more of a molasses/pumpkin spice taste to it than, say, the natural flavor of pumpkins found in Upslope's brew. It's a huge beer, both in terms of flavor and volume. Pleasant, as long as it's enjoyed in sips.
This beast was originally unleashed in late-September as part of a very limited release; for the most part, the readily available quantities have been all bought up by this point. Still, I've seen a few bottles still floating around over the last few weeks, and LiquorMart's website, in fact, still claims availability. I say, if you can still find a 12oz-er of this, it's worth the spend, if only to say you've had some. Don't go too crazy, however, as it does come in at a hefty 17% ABV. That'll put some hair on your chest...
Happy Friday! Go Buffs, beat the Huskies!