Here we are. August. In our third month of weather that can only be described as "inhumane". This fact has apparently escaped Redhook, as they've recently released a pumpkin porter. In August. Really? Seriously?
Well, it is here, and we'll just have to deal with that. The imaginatively named Pumpkin Porter is part of Redhook's "backyard series", which basically consists of limited run, (allegedly) creative beers.
And you know what? The Pumpkin Porter really isn't that bad, at least by latter day Redhook standards. It actually has quite a decent, balanced flavor. Had it been early October I could see us actually enjoying this. But it's not, and we can't. Temperatures hitting the nineties just don't make for pumpkin beer conditions. Porters, fair enough. A pumpkin porter, not so much.
For all intents and purposes you get exactly what you'd expect here: a dark beer with a nose full of pumpkin, spices, and malts.
Give it a sip, and the ale, again, has a potpourri of balanced flavors. The porter portion might not exactly be mind-blowing, but the pumpkin kinda holds its own. That might sound somewhat negative, but it sort of isn't. Most pumpkin ales fall flat on their faces, this one manages to stay on its feet.
The Pumpkin Porter is no Punkin -- possibly our favorite Dogfish Head -- but it keeps its head up well enough. Or it would in October. In August it just seems... odd. It's not an ale we can crave, and it's questionable if it even will be available come autumn. That's too bad, I suppose, but what can you do? Buy some and keep it in the cellar for a few months? Doubtful.
Either way, this was a wasted opportunity for Redhook. Could it have been a contender in October? Possibly. I guess we'll never know.