This is (probably) the last pumpkin beer I’m going to review for the season. I’ve saved what promises to be a good one for last, Frog’s Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale by Hoppin’ Frog Brewery in Akron.
This beer took home a gold medal from the Great American Beer Festival in 2011 and finished #3 in Gary Dzen’s blind taste test of 16 pumpkin beers from 2013 (see post in Opinions, Surveys and Taste Tests). [Editor’s note: He was tasting the barrel aged version of this beer, which is about twice as expensive as the standard offering I’m reviewing, and the standard offering isn’t exactly exactly cheap.]
- Brewery: Hoppin’ Frog (OH)
- Style: Imperial Pumpkin Beer
- ABV: 8.4%
- Price: $8.99 per 22 oz bomber (Giant Eagle)
This beer pours clear, with an orange-brown color, similar to the other pumpkin beers I’ve sampled this year. It has a minimal amount of head that quickly disappears, a feature I found a little disappointing. It smells like pumpkin pie to me, allspice, pumpkin, and pie crust from the malts stand out. The taste manages to have the pumpkin and spice flavors that you expect from a pumpkin pie, but at the same time it is not too sweet. The taste reflects the extra ingredients listed on the bottle: pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and clove. You can tell it is a strong beer, but the alcohol is well hidden in the taste. The mouthfeel is fairly thick, but for a strong pumpkin beer I would wish for it to be a little more creamy.
The pumpkin flavors are much more evident here than they were in the other Ohio pumpkin beer I tried this fall (Spooky Tooth by Fatheads) even though the two beers have similar ABV. The drinkability remained high over the course of a 22 oz bottle (far superior to Warlock). It finished #3 in my 2013 review of six pumpkin beers. If you are looking for a drinkable beer that has strong pumpkin pie characteristics this is the beer for you.
Rating = 7
Rating scale: 10 = perfection, 9 = excellent, one of the top beers in the world, 8 = very good, one of the top beers in its style category, 7 = good, a solid beer I’m happy to be drinking, 6 = average, not bad but not something I’m likely to buy again, 5 = below average, 3-4 = poor, should be avoided, 1-2 drainpour.