Happy Labor Day, ya’ll! For those in the Central Florida area this has been a wild weekend with everything from hurricanes, UCF’s first win in way too long, the start of Tailgate Season and Fall (unofficially), a free Brad Paisley concert and FSU vs Ole Miss tonight at Camping World Stadium. Needless to say, we got a little rowdy. I was browsing a new supermarket (Lucky Market) and noticed they were advertising Cigar City Marshall Zhukov so I ran up to the counter to see if they had any, but were all out. However, they did have the Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale so I figured it’s the start of Fall, so let’s get after it!
Appearance: This beer pours a dark burnt orange just like a Jack-O-Lantern on Halloween. There was minimal carbonation probably due to the whopping 8.5% ABV.
Smell: Good Gourd is very heavy on the spice, almost like a winter style “spiced” beer. The label says “Zanzibar cloves, Jamaican allspice” and some other hoity toity spices, but I couldn’t tell you the difference between those and regular cloves and allspice. There is some pumpkin to it, but it all smells natural, not artificial like many pumpkin ales.
Taste: Man this thing packs an explosive yet wonderfully balanced flavor profile. This is very clove and nutmeg forward with some subtle pumpkin sweetness on it. There are so many artificially sweet pumpkin beers (looking at you Shipyard Pumpkinhead) that I’ve been turned off by the category. Good Gourd managed to balance heavy spice without being spicy, sweet pumpkin without overdoing it, and a high ABV without coming off too boozy.
Mouthfeel: Like the head (or lack thereof) implied, this is very smooth and almost syrupy (but in a good way). The mouthfeel does not lend itself to quick drinking, but you shouldn’t pound these like a Busch Light
Value: Like most seasonal or specialty beers, this came in at a steep price. I got it at $14 for a 750ml bottle or roughly $7 per 12oz beer. Considering most beers at World of Beer come in around there, it wasn’t terrible.
Overall: Good Gourd has restored my faith in pumpkin ales. It is full of flavor and well balanced. It’s unfortunate that it runs $14/bomber but oh well, you can’t put a price on happiness, right? I’d give this a 9/10 taking away one point for the mouthfeel/cost. If you love a pumpkin beer this is a must try!
Until next time, tight lines and cheers!