BEER REVIEW TIME! Today we will discuss Chatoe Rogue’s First Growth Pumpkin Patch Ale.
I received a very thoughtful winter solstice gift a few days ago, which included three bottles of some really hard-to-find or limited edition beers. One of them was Chatoe Rogue’s First Growth Pumpkin Patch Ale. I eyed it longingly for a few days before I finally decided to pop it open on Sunday night and share it with my roomies. What a treat it was!
Appearance: Nice caramel color with beautiful orange undertones. The beer is a pleasure to look at. Crisp and clear and the color of a perfectly baked pumpkin pie. The brew does not have very much head retention. I give the appearance a 4/5 but only because I prefer nice fluffy heads on my ales. The color is exquisite.
Smell: Mmm. This beer smells like a freshly roasted pumpkin. Nice nutmeg and clove complements. 5/5… this is what a pumpkin beer should smell like.
Taste: Holy. Shit. This beer rivals Shipyard’s Smashed Pumpkin, which has long held the place of Number One Crush in my heart when it comes to pumpkin beers. I have always loved Smashed Pumpkin because Shipyard uses actual pumpkins in their beer, not extract. Rogue has now presented me with the most excellent of rivals to Shipyard’s ale. If you take a look at the label I posted in the picture, you will see that their beer tastes like an actual pumpkin because… well, they used pumpkins that were picked 77 miles away on their GYO farm, driven immediately to their brewery, roasted, and tossed into their brew kettle. Remarkably, pleasingly, and dare I say surprisingly, this beer tastes the same way it smells! So many pumpkin beers are a let down because they smell like pumpkin and only taste like pumpkin pie spice. I’ve found it difficult to discover pumpkin beers that deliver the same taste as they exhibit in the smell.
The roasted pumpkin flavour is balanced nicely with that nutmeg and clove taste that I smelled coming through before I tasted it. And I even get a nice and buttery taste on my tongue to complement the pumpkin and spices. What I’m saying is that this tastes like a pie. What a treat.
The hops are balanced precisely as they should be. Just, just, just enough to knock off the too-sweet edge that may have otherwise occurred. Beer Advocate told me that they only used one type of hops flower: Rogue Micro Hopyard Rebel Hops. So, kudos on that, too, Rogue! Lovely hops taste and very well balanced.
5/5 on the taste. Because this is easily the most well-balanced, freshest, and thoughtful pumpkin beer I’ve ever had.
Mouthfeel: Great mouthfeel. I would be happy with a little more carbonation, as I mentioned in the Appearance section. On the other hand, some people like that silkier, smoother mouthfeel! I give it a 4/5.
Overall Drinkability: The abv is like 5.6% I think. I don’t taste any etoh. I got nothing more than a really pleasant buzz off the serving I had. Low abv, no harsh etoh taste or fumes, and tastes like a pumpkin pie reincarnated into delicious beery form means a 5/5 on this brew’s drinkability.
Well done, well done, Rogue.