Style: Pumpkin Stout
Brewing Note: Uses real pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice
This bottle doesn’t really do it for me. I love the town of Gloucester and I love the fisherman’s statue, but the brewery really needs to change up its logo a little. They do add some nice autumnal colors and some leaves to the label, but it is still pretty much the same thing… That being said, the graphic of the fisherman is cool, and I like the stormy skies and gulls behind him. The text is definitely cluttered though, and the fonts are a strange hodgepodge that don’t really mesh together. This label is worthy of scrapbooking but just barely, and is not really for the shelf. I do, however, love the caps for the Cape Ann Brewery, the dueling lighthouses each sending out a silver beam of light on a black background looks awesome. The cap is definitely worth keeping.
The beer pours a light black, if that makes any sense…There is a definite ruby tint to it if you hold it up to the light, but overall it is a black color with a nice light sand-dune-tan head that turns into a scrim quickly. Carbonation appears healthy within the beer, and judging by the way the light passes through it, I would say it quite clean and free of particles. To sum it all up, the beer looks a little weak for a stout. The beer does, however, smell richly of sweet pumpkins, even from a distance away. The pumpkin fruit is rich and pungent, but below it can be smelled some nice roasty malts and hint of chocolate. The pumpkin smell does turn a little vegetal the more you sniff, but I suppose that is expected when you use a vegetable…
The beer tastes rich and chocolaty, with much fainter hints of the pumpkin than there was in the smell. Roasted malts are also present, but there is a lingering hint of metal that mixes with the pumpkin and brings down the overall enjoyment of this beer. The spices are also rather faint in the beer until the aftertaste where they ring out as cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg, though they too could be contributing to the metallic tinge. Mouthfeel is slightly prickly and quite thin, though it thickens a little if swished around the mouth. The tongue is left pretty clean, with just a hint of saliva and a little roasted dryness at the back of the throat. Overall this beer is a little disappointing. I’ve had the imperial pumpkin stout, and it by far surpasses it in everything, as might be expected, but it seems like the stout is just missing something that shouldn’t be missing. I liked my initial sips of this, but as it grew in my mouth it brought a weird metallic taste that I couldn’t shake. It is a cool next step for the style of the pumpkin beer, and I still think it’s worth a taste, but I would recommend the imperial pumpkin stout over the plain stout if you’re looking for good flavoring.