Real Ale Coffee Porter and Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale
Trying to find seasonal oddities or other brews to enjoy at this time of year can be a daunting task with the myriad of holiday beers that have flooded the market in recent years.
In order to better narrow your choices, I hope to provide you with some interesting rarities that will warm your spirits over the colder months.
The first seasonal brew that I tried was brewed by nearby Blanco, Texas’ Real Ale Brewing Company. The Coffee Porter is described as “A rich, robust porter style ale brewed with fair trade Katz Coffee.”
This particular porter is a fairly new offering from the Real Ale company and is advertised as a “limited edition” and a “seasonal release”, so there is the possibility we could see this make an annual appearance on store shelves.
It has a medium head with a kind of smoky flavor on the back of the tongue. The coffee flavor helps accentuate the bitterness. The beer was more carbonated than I expected, especially for a darker beer.
The aftertaste doesn’t change much; you can still get a sense of the first sip even after the beer is almost finished. The beer is surprisingly dark for a porter; the coffee flavoring gives that extra sense of weight and thickness and adds to the aroma as well.
In stark contrast is the America’s Original Pumpkin Ale, distributed by Buffalo Bill’s Brewery out of Hayward, California. It is described as “Ale brewed with real pumpkin and natural spice flavor.”
It had little to no head with a very thin body and a golden-to-orange color. The beer had subtle hints of pumpkin and cinnamon with a slight fizziness and bite, similar to cloves.
The light feeling of the brew might go well with a steak or some other red meat, since it was not especially filling.
The taste was quite good despite my initial apprehension at the term “pumpkin”. Having never tried a pumpkin ale before, I look forward to sampling other brands for a more accurate comparison.
Having very little experience with beers of a particular flavor, I was pleasantly surprised by both of these mildly exotic-flavored entries. The Coffee Porter is an especially good find that I hope to try more of in the future.