Beer Review 0249: Uinta Punk’n Harvest Pumpkin Ale

Uinta Brewing Company calls Salt Lake City as its home. Brewing started in 1993, and the company is named after an east-west mountain range in the state of Utah. The brewery is a 100% wind-powered facility; the first company of any type in Utah to earn this designation. Pretty cool.

Uinta has three different lines of beers — a Classic Line, an Organic Line, and Crooked Line. Their pumpkin beer, Punk’n Harvest Ale, falls in the Organic Line, and all the ingredients used are 100% certified organic.

Unique among pumpkin beers, Uinta’s contribution is meant to be a session ale; coming in at just 4% ABV (alcohol by volume), it sure fits on the one-after-another scale. This beer is brewed with organic roasted pumpkin and “seasonal spices,” although the specifics aren’t mentioned. You can find this brew available each August-October.

The beer poured an average size head, soapy in texture and lasting. The liquid was a deep burnt orange in color, bordering into amber, and the body was clear with no particles or sediment. The lacing was good, leaving behind thick but sticky sheets on my glass.

On the aromatics, there’s pumpkin, front a center, which is always a good thing when sniffing a pumpkin beer. Let’s have pumpkin in the aromatic, what a novel idea! Yes, I’m looking at you, all those contributing spices that often dominate this style of beer. Those spices are in this beer, too; but they’re dialed back enough to where it supports the pumpkin quite elegantly — there’s mostly cinnamon and clove, and a general sweet and roasted malt. This beer kind of smells like pumpkin bread, which I thought to be a very good thing.

Sipping, there’s roasted pumpkin right away, coupled with a hint of vanilla that does wonders to contribute to the flavor profile. That vanilla hangs around all the way to the finish, where it disappears, swallowed by cinnamon and clove, with just a light bitterness. The mouthfeel was thin and gritty, thanks to the above average carbonation.

I was blown away by how much flavor Uinta Punk’n had to be such a low alcohol beer. This is truly a session beer, and you could REALLY session this — to my palate, most pumpkin beers are overpowering either in heaviness or spice. This is truly not, it finishes almost clean, and the flavors are tasty while they are there. This brew surprised me, in a very good way.

Uinta Punk’n Harvest Pumpkin Ale, 86 points. Price: $1.99 for one twelve ounce bottle.

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