Wrapping up the fall season in style
A Review of Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale by Foothills Brewing Co.
Posted on 11/12/2011 by Chops
                   
Delicious
As fall turns into winter, one beer style I am always sad to see disappear is the pumpkin ale. These brews are truly unique in the beer world. As if the pumpkin infused malt wasn't enough to garner your undivided attention, breweries throw a smorgasbord of herbs and spices into the brewing process. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. And in the case of Foothills' Cottonwood Pumpkin Spice Ale, they work in a very big way.

In the glass, this beer has a rich and hazy deep ruby coloration. Pumpkin ales can vary wildly in appearance, but I personally prefer this kind of look. To me it actually appears spicy and helps to complete the vibe. On the nose, there are plenty of big warming spice characters, namely nutmeg, cinnamon and a dash of ginger thrown in for good measure. Definitely a great intro, so I was eagerly anticipating that first sip.

The taste is quite complex and very rewarding. The pumpkin base malt takes center stage and gives the beer a nice thickness. The spices swirl around at their leisure and create an ever changing landscape. The hops also make an appearance from time to time, but are not overpowering. They compliment the mix quite well and also take on a spicy character. The finish is quite clean, oddly dry and leaves behind a tangy spicy aftertaste.

I should also note that I had this beer while out with my wife at the Root & Vine restaurant in Morganton, NC. I ordered a broth-based seafood dish while my wife ordered a roasted duck breast with sweet potatoes and maple reduction. Half of this beer ended up going to my wife because it paired amazingly well with the roasted duck. So if you get a chance to have this beer with a meal, definitely pair it with some form of roasted fowl.

Overall, the Cottonwood Pumpkin Spice Ale from Foothills Brewery is a delightful pumpkin ale. It's very drinkable for a thicker spiced ale and can be enjoyed by any level of beer fan. I would especially like to turn novices onto this brew because it showcases the spice brew reach. These are very rewarding brews that lend themselves to an array of personal tastes. To me, this is one of the better versions and I recommend getting your hands on some before the season ends. I will definitely be first in line for this beauty next year.

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Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale by Foothills Brewing Co.
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