I went to the Gathering of the Gourds at Iron Hill in West Chester and the following are the beers I tried:
Iron Hill Ichabod Imperial Belgian Pumpkin Ale
The first beer I had was Iron Hill's Ichabod Imperial Belgian Pumpkin Ale. The beer is orange amber in color with a thin film head. It smells sweet and with allspice accents. The taste is sweet with an excellent accent of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. The alcohol content is 9.5% ABV. I thought that this beer was an excellent start to the evening. The pumpkin flavor was excellent and there was a caramel accent.
Iron Hill Punktoberfest
The second beer I tried was Iron Hill's Punktoberfest. The beer is golden orange in color with a white frothy head. It smells of cinnamon. The taste consists of ginger and cinnamon with light accents on pumpkin and vanilla. The cinnamon is powerful and overriding, but it is a welcome variation to pumpkin beers. The alcohol content is 7.0% ABV. After trying all of the beers for the night, this ended up being my second favorite. I thought that the cinnamon accents in this beer was an excellent balance to the pumpkin flavor.
Iron Hill Boom Sticke Pumpkin Alt
The third beer I had was Iron Hill's Boom Sticke Pumpkin Alt. The beer is dark brown with not much head. The beer smells nutty, which is not what I was expecting from a pumpkin beer. The taste is nutty with slight sweet pumpkin undertone, but it doesn't hint too much on the pumpkin. The alcohol content is 7.5% ABV. I was not too impressed with this beer as a pumpkin beer, but it was a decent brown ale, hinting on caramel and graham cracker tastes.
Iron Hill Bruce Camp-Ale
The fourth beer I tried was Iron Hill's Bruce Camp-Ale. The beer is orange amber in color with no head. The beer smells of ginger, vanilla and pumpkin. The beer has an excellent pumpkin taste. The Bruce Camp-Ale is the Ichabod Imperial Belgian Pumpkin Ale aged in bourbon barrels, and the bourbon mellowed the spices from the Ichabod. The alcohol content is 9.5% ABV, the same as the Ichabod. I thought that the bourbon aging brought out the pumpkin flavor in the beer and mellowed the spices.
Stewart's Mischief Night Pumpkin
The fifth beer that I had at Iron Hill was Stewart's Mischief Night Pumpkin Ale. The beer is orange in color with no head. The beer smells of pumpkin and vanilla. It tastes light on pumpkin with slight cinnamon and ginger accents. The beer finishes dry due to the cinnamon and nutmeg in it. The alcohol content is 6.0% ABV. I thought that this beer was a solid pumpkin beer, but it was not too daring. The goal of this beer seems to be to make a great pumpkin flavored beer without too much else, and it succeeded.
Iron Hill Ichabod Imperial Belgian Pumpkin Ale Tap
The greatest moment of the night was the tapping of the large pumpkin filled with Ichabod Imperial Belgian Pumpkin Ale. The biggest difference is that this version is much more packed with pumpkin flavor. I thought that aging it in the pumpkin really gave it more pumpkin flavor and completely enjoyable.
Elysian's The Great Pumpkin
The final beer I had for the night was Elysian's The Great Pumpkin. The beer is orange in color with a light head. It has a cinnamon and pumpkin aroma. The taste is sweet and consists of pumpkin and nutmeg. It has a slight cinnamon and ginger finish. The alcohol content is 7.2% ABV. This was my favorite beer of the night, as I thought that the pumpkin flavors and spices were delicately and perfectly balanced. The pumpkin taste lingered on the tongue long enough before being replaced with the other spices. This is a must try.