Russell 2014 Happy Jack Pumpkin Ale

Russel_Happy_JackBrewer: Russell Brewing, Surrey, BC
Style: Pumpkin Ale
ABV: 5.5%
IBUs: 25

Description: This seasonal release is available only for the Fall pumpkin season. It is brewed single-batch-style, using pale malts, real pumpkin, and then infused with whole spices (what I strongly suspect are cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice) and aged with oak.

Tasting Notes: Compared to my previous samplings of Happy Jack, this one was stronger on the spice palate. These work well alongside the smooth and slightly sweet malt base, which of course benefits from the infusion of pumpkin. So I actually found myself enjoying it more than last year’s offering. Hence I am upgrading it from last years 8.5 to a solid 9. Kudos to the brewers!

Appearance: Dark Ruby, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Pale malt nose, pumpkin flesh, strong notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice
Taste: Smooth malt, hint of sweetness, notes of cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg
Aftertaste: Lingering malt sweetness, spices and spice bitterness
Overall: 9/10

Russel Happy Jack Pumpkin Ale

russell_happy-jack-pumpkin-aleBrewer: Russel Brewing, Surrey BC
Style: Pumpkin Ale
Alc/Vol: 5.5%

Description: This is Russel Brewing’s latest seasonal release and is available just in time for the Fall Season and all its pumpkin-related occasions. Brewed from a combination of what I can only assume is Brown Ale malt, pumpkin, allspice, and aged in oak, the end result is a ale that is light and refreshing, but noticeably spiced and varied in taste.

Tasting Notes: As pumpkin ales go, this one was noticeably subtler than the ones I am used to. At first, it seemed on the mild side, but was also quite refreshing. However, the spice flavors and oaky undertones came through in time, as did the lovely taste of pumpkin pie. In short, the subtlety works in its favor and its full body comes through slowly but surely. Definitely one of the better seasonal pumpkin’s I have had of late!

Appearance: Dark brown/amber, clear, good foam retention and carbonation
Nose: Mild malt, pumpkin pie, notes of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg spice
Taste: Smooth malt, hint of pumpkin flesh, notes of allspice, oaky finish
Aftertaste: Lingering spice palette, oak, pumpkin and roasted malt flavor
Overall: 8.5/10