Not sure you got our memo yet, but: fall has arrived. Get with it. That means that pumpkin beers are nearly gone already and Christmas everything will be out in a matter of weeks. Bah humbug. Until then, let’s enjoy the fall spirit with some more BEER!
The He Said He Said is a collaboration four pack brought to you by 21st Amendment and Elysian Brewery. The four pack offers two beers: a Belgian Tripel Brewed with Pumpkin and Spices and a Baltic Porter Lager Brewed with Pumpkin and Spices. The four pack tells the stories of how the two brewmasters/co-founders came up with their collaboration pumpkin brews. Of course, as we all would, each brewmaster takes a bit more credit than the other. The result of the clashing stories was two strong but very different pumpkin collaboration brews. Get it? He said, he said.
The first offering is the brain child of Shaun O’Sullivan of 21st Amendment: The Belgian Triple Brewed with Pumpkin and Spices. Of course, this comes from the brewery that brings us beers like Hell or High Watermelon and Back in Black IPA. Special ingredients in the Belgian Pumpkin Triple include pumpkin puree, pumpkin juice, Galangal, and Tarragon spices. Enough with the small talk, let’s discuss the taste:
ABV: 8.2 %
- Appearance: Orange – the color of a pumpkin. A bright, transparent orange.
- Aroma: Earthy pumpkin scents complemented by herbs, spices, and a little bit of the belgian trappist yeast.
- Taste: Has clean and crisp taste of a Belgian Tripel, then pumpkin and spice flavor throughout. It’s a strong brew, but it doesn’t taste as much like alcohol as many Belgian Tripels. The smooth, sweet flavors take away most of the boozy taste.
- Mouthfeel: Surprisingly creamy leaving a buttery feeling on the roof of your mouth.
- Overall: Definitely a strong belgian with a decent ABV. I was able to drink this without feeling full, and instead actually feeling refreshed. The pumpkin flavor is there, but isn’t intensely strong like an imperial pumpkin. Good on a warm fall day, or a Sunday while watching football.
Next up is the other side of the debate of how the collaboration began: the Baltic Style Porter Lager Brewed with Pumpkin and Spices. This is the Elysian side of the coin – the side that brings you pumpkin fests, intense pumpkin beers, and strong beers. The Pumpkin Porter includes special ingredients such as pumpkin puree, pumpkin juice, Vietnamese Cinnamon, and Caraway Seed. While it’s a porter, it is also a lager. BOOM. Here are the tasting notes:
- Appearance: Black, opaque. Looks more like a thick stout than a thinner porter.
- Aroma: Sweet coffee smell with a meaty pumpkin smell.
- Taste: Coffee flavors along with sweet molasses, but not as strong as expected. The pumpkin flavors come through stronger but do not overwhelm. Fall spices are subtle in this one.
- Mouthfeel: Smooth, but more crisp than expected.
- Overall: Carbonation could be better, but other than that it has the sweet flavors of a porter complemented by earthy spices and pumpkin. Lager aspects of the brew are subtle, but it balanced out the beer a bit.
The He Said He Said is an interesting collaboration that offers a different take on pumpkin beers. The porter was good, but reminded me of other stout pumpkin beers I have had before. On the other hand, the Belgian Tripel Pumpkin offered a completely different take on pumpkin brews that I haven’t had before. The Tripel is more of an “anytime beer” than other pumpkin beers I’ve had before. Refreshing yet sweet, strong yet not overwhelming, the brew offers the fall flavors without suggesting it must be drunk after dinner or during a cold, crisp day.
Our ES Suggested Pairings (dare I say…for BOTH?!):
- Meals: Chicken Tacos (for the tripel) and juicy steak (for the porter)
- Cigars: Macanudo Maduro or CAO MX2 (for the tripel) and Drew Estate Naturals English (for the porter)