Review: Elk Valley Pumpion 2016

There aren’t many pumpkin beers that I look forward to in the fall. In fact, there is only one pumpkin product PERIOD that I look forward to, and that is Elk Valley’s Pumpion. Last year this beer was one of my favorites for the cool autumn months, and I’m just tickled to death that the new batch was released today. If you haven’t already, make sure to get over to the brewery and pick you some up. If you can’t make it, this stuff should be showing up in stores in the coming days, but it may not last long so don’t sleep on it.

Disclaimer: This product was provided at no cost to Barrels and Mash with no strings attached.

Company: OKCITY Brewing Company

Location: Oklahoma City, OK

ABV: 12.4%

Style/Description: Ale brewed with pumpkin spices and aged in oak bourbon barrels

Price: $19 (4-pack, 12 oz. cans)

Appearance: Pours a brilliant rusty copper with bright red hues. Almost no head.

Nose: Just smelling this stuff makes me wish it were cooler and I was wearing a comfy flannel or something. The baking spices are huge with nutmeg and cinnamon and brown sugar, caramel and vanilla bourbon characteristics are in great balance without it being overly boozy or hot.

Taste: The first thing that jumps out is actually some great oak dryness and caramel, quickly followed by sweet boozy thing, baking spices, and some anise. The pumpkin is definitely there, but it feels in the background compared to the whiskey and spice. There are also some really nice little hints of black pepper and dried fruit. The mouthfeel is rich and velvety and the carb is low resulting in a silky smooth sip.

Finish: The oak comes back quick on the finish and really balances out the super sweet and boozy things. Toffee, caramel, anise, and nutmeg are the main things I’m left with which is perfect for this time of year.

Overall: This year’s Pumpion does not disappoint and may in fact be a bit better balanced than the last. It’s still sticky sweet, but I fell like that dry barrel comes out a bit more and helps the complexity and finish. I’ve still got a can or two of 2015 hanging around the cellar, so it may be time for a side-by-side this weekend. I’ll have to plan that for a time when I don’t have anywhere to be since drinking two 12.4%-ers will sit me down for a while.

Rating: 4/5


6 thoughts on “Review: Elk Valley Pumpion 2016

  1. Had the 2015 and the 2016 together. Wow the 2015 really improved over the last year. The 2016 was good but had some rough edges. The structure of the 2016 really has promise for aging. I think this beer is one to sample this year but really enjoy a year or two down the road. Good work Elk Valley! really glad I had the 2015 tonight. Interesting comparing it to the 2016. Really looking forward to tasting the 2016 in a year and later. May have to reconsider sending a 2016 to relatives up north.

  2. Amazing beer in my opinion. Glad I got some before I left the state. Spent $40 on two 4 packs and not one regret. Worth every penny and then some.

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