Bottle #5: Saying ‘Boo!’ and ‘Bye to the Second-Annual Baltimore Beer Week

Whether or not you would say boo to a beer, the fact of the matter is, in about two weeks, someone is going to say “boo!” to you. That’s right, Halloween is right around the corner again, and that can only mean one thing, at least in my house — it’s time to find a spook-tacular adult-strength beverage to go with all the candy corn, M&Ms, Milk Duds, and other sweets piling up by the bagful.

Pumpkin ale: the bonbon of beers

That’s part of the reason we at Scribbleskiff have been wearing our beer goggles for the past five days: to focus on some unique new brews for your consideration and consumption. The other reason, of course (and as mentioned previously here), is that we have been having fun celebrating the second “Baltimore Beer Week,” which officially ends this weekend, by offering one brief review of a new varietal each day. Selections have been based on the long list of breweries supporting the 11-day Bawlmer benefit (see who the sponsors are here), or intended to be something you might find at a bar or a store near you. As always, we’ve been choosing something unique or unusual, and providing some suggestions for pairing our picks with food for your enhanced pleasure. Following is the final (and seasonally appropriate) installment of this series. Enjoy!

  • The Great’er Pumpkin, Clipper City Brewing Company. As part of their Heavy Seas line, which features “big flavor extrAARGHdinary brews,” as the label says, this Imperial pumpkin ale epitomizes the notion of greatness. Not only is it brewed with an extra helping of that eponymous gourd and lots of spices, it’s been aged in bourbon barrels. The result is the liquid equivalent of a deep-dish pumpkin pie, with a sweet candy coating, lots of bubbles, and a strong alcohol content (9%). But don’t let that description scare you: it’s delicious, and balanced, with the right mix of familiar autumnal spices — nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves — along with hints of vanilla and caramel, and a noticeable trace of whiskey warmth. In other words, it’s just like their other (albeit low-test) seasonal, The Great Pumpkin, only greater (though not as great as this pumpkin). I enjoyed a bottle of The Great’er Pumpkin as an accompaniment to an array of post-dinner snacks, including creamy, aged goat cheese and gooey gorgonzola on wheat crackers, and honeyed almonds. But it was simply howl-worthy with a couple of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

As always, tell us what you think. Did you attend any Baltimore Beer Week events? Have you enjoyed the week-long coverage here at Scribbleskiff? Are there other new beers, or beer and food pairings, that you think everyone should try? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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