The Search for the Best Fall Beers - Pumpkin, Cider, & Spice

Our objective with this tasting was to try out some flavorful fall beers to celebrate the start of the season - with some malt liquor for good measure. (Actually, we tasted the malt liquor because we are working on our own recipe and needed to make sure we are hitting the mark). We tested out a pumpkin beer, a hard cider, a spicy beer (though not in the traditional fall spice vein), and some good ol' Mickey's malt liquor. I've titled this entry "the search for..." because, although there were some beer + taster love connections, we ended up chatting about all of the fall beers that could've been. Considering how divided folks seem on the greatness of pumpkin beer or the best Oktoberfest lager, it's hard to please them all.  

Wasatch Black O' Lantern Pumpkin Stout


Appearance Pours a cloudy, root beer color with a diminishing head. Aroma Mmm. This beer smells of chocolate, nutty, biscuit, roasty malts with earthy hops, and a clean, slightly estery yeast.   Flavor At first taste you get thatchocolate, roasty malt, the hops become moreherbal & spicy, and there is a noticeable alcoholic warmth. Mouthfeel Nice, creamy, full body with moderate carbonation. Overall Tasting Notes "Great beer," "not bad for a pumpkin beer," "great body," "chocolate pumpkin nutty stout," and "yuck" (definitely a pumpkin beer naysayer).  

Julian Harvest Apple Cider


Appearance Good lookin ciderpale, fizzy and clear. Aroma Slightly sweet, earthy, and clean. Flavor Light sweetness, clean, and dry – nice Champagne yeast. Mouthfeel This cider's got a light body, high carbonation, and a crisp/dry finish. Overall Tasting Notes "Good for a cider," "light and crisp - very good," "tastes like vinho verde," and "refreshing."    

Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin IPA


Appearance This one pours a bright gold color with a diminishing head. Aroma First off – Habanero; then citrus, spicy hops; biscuit, smoky malt; and clean yeast. Flavor Be ready for some heat! If you don't like spice, you should read the label and avoid this one. The Habanero is accompanied by citrus hops; sweet, biscuit grainy malt; and clean yeast. Mouthfeel Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a long, spicy finish. Overall Tasting Notes "Too hot to trot and drink on a bad day," "hot, but pleasant," "spicy and tasty" "way too spicy – blah," and "too spicy."  

Mickey's Malt Liquor

Malt Liquor

Appearance In case you cannot remember from poor decisions past – Mickey's pours gold and fizzy, with a diminishing head. Aroma A little skunky, a little alcoholic, with sweet, biscuit malts and citrus, grassy hops. Flavor Tastes like leafy, green hops and sweet, biscuit, grainy malt. Mouthfeel We'd say it's got a light body, and moderate carbonation. Overall Tasting Notes – "This beer makes you keep it real," "meh, It's Mickey's," "not bad," "OG Irish living," and "not bad."