This year's Pumpkin Ale is ever bit as rewarding as those in years past, with the same big spicy nose and front as well as all the pumpkin, brown sugar, nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon flavors that we've come to know. Despite the huge flavors, I drank my glass almost as fast as water, proving that spicy and flavorful can also mean highly drinkable.
While tempted to have more than one of the Schlafly, a tap handle from Breckenridge caught my eye. Currently available on tap - as well as in bottles - at Shallo's, Breckenridge Autumn was a camping trip in a glass. As a young man I spent many weekend evenings at a backwoods Illinois clubhouse amongst friends, and this beer has something that brings that back (and it's not a similarity to all the Milwaukee's Best Light we drank back in those heady days).
Baking or dark chocolate comes through in Autumn's nose, followed by a dry campfire / leafy smoke kind of flavor - remember burnt leaves? Those flavors come through, but not in a rauch/smoke beer kind of way. Instead, Autumn delivers subdued, flavorful, but not dominating outdoorsy flavor. It's a beer that deserves its name.
I recommend stopping by Shallo's for a pint when you can - Tuesday's overheard bar conversations involved not only sock rotation, but also landscaping, and the use of batteries versus pull start sex toys and/or landscaping tools. A rewarding experience all around.
Thanks to Doug at Shallo's for the addition props used in the photos for this post.