Plumpkin (2011) and Plumpkinstein Tasting Notes

20140726-133831-49111347.jpgThis is not going to be good. I’m pretty sure. I’ve been thinking about dumping what is left of these beers for a long time but I’ve been waiting to do these tasting notes and make a decision. I expect both to be gushers, so the two beers will probably end up being less volume than my usual one beer tasting notes. Okay, time to stop stalling and go pour these beers…

Original Post: Plumpkin Ale

Brew Date: August, 2011

Original Post: Plumpkinstein
Brew Date: September, 2011

Pleasant surprise, no gushers. The Plumpkinstein did start foaming, but I was ready with a glass and I didn’t lose anything. The two beers are almost identical amber colors but Plumpkinstein has a ton of floaties… probably pumpkin.20140726-133831-49111656.jpgTaking a whiff, the Plumpkin actually smells okay. It is a little spicy, but it seems like a nice pumpkin pie mix, no one spice sticking out too much. Plumpkinstein is all cinnamon on the nose. Oh ha… and I just noticed there is definitely some cinnamon floating on the foam. That explains that.First sip of Plumpkin and it is odd but not entirely unpleasant. The spice is still there along with some slight Crystal Malt flavor. It has a strange metallic flavor, though. I’m not sure what that is. This is not nearly as bad as I was expecting, though. It tastes like an old pumpkin ale. The age shows and the flavors are muted, but it isn’t the oxidized disaster I was expecting. Time to try the Plumpkinstein.20140726-133831-49111971.jpgThis is much spicier. It is mainly cinnamon, but I’m picking up some nutmeg as well. There is nothing behind the spice. That isn’t good, but it’s not what I was expecting. Especially after seeing all the floaters, I was afraid this would taste like a rotten pumpkin. Instead, it tastes kind of like seltzer water with cinnamon. It has extremely high carbonation, I’m surprised it didn’t gush and that prickly carbonation may be part of the reason I’m not tasting much. The bubbles almost sting when they hit the tongue.

Back to the Plumpkin. Especially after the other beer, this really isn’t too bad. As it is warming up a little bit, I am getting some of old-beer-cardboard character in the finish, but there is enough spice to keep it from getting too bland. I know my expectations were insanely low, but this shockingly drinkable.

Plumpkinstein again. This is not good. The cinnamon is so overpowering. I swear I feel it coating the back of my throat. I don’t remember this being the case originally, I don’t know why it has aged in such a way for one specific spice to completely takeover the beer.

20140726-133832-49112303.jpgBoth beers are down to a few sips left. You know what that means. Time to mix them. Pouring them together got me another big head. It looks clean, though, no pockets of cinnamon.

Despite that, it still tastes mostly of cinnamon. There is some malt backbone now that wasn’t there for the Plumpkinstein on it’s own. This is exactly what I’d expect from mixing these beers together. It is better than the Plumpkinstein on its own but not as good as the Plumpkin.

Going back to my intro, I am thinking that Plumpkin is worth holding onto. It is definitely a couple years past it’s prime, but it still works as a pumpkin ale. The Plumpkinstein, on the other hand, will likely be getting dumped. I think there about six of them in the basement, so it is not a big loss. I still have some beer left, but I don’t I have much more to say. If you have some really old homebrew in the basement, give it a chance. You may be surprised.

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