Brewing Company: The Drowned Lands
Location: Warwick, NY
Style: Pumpkin/Yam Beer | Foeder Fermented Pumpkin Ale
The young Hudson Valley Brewery has crafted one of the best Pumpkin Beers I’ve ever had.
From The Drowned Lands’s feature page for the beer:
Pouring a deep and vibrant orange color, and bursting with all the aromas you’d expect in a pumpkin ale. Brewed with a blend of Vienna and Munich malts as a base, and then layered in Biscuit, Red Wheat, and Spelt malts to give the beer a nice bready pie crust. We then added pumpkin to the whirlpool and fermented it with our house yeast. After fermentation, we conditioned this pumpkin filled pie crust with handfuls of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove.
Since I visited the Drowned Lands last summer (2021), I’ve been eager to try more of their beers and while their IPAs are very well-regarded, I wanted to try something outside of a hop-forward beer. When I saw that the newish liquor store down the road from me had this beer in stock, I knew one of my new Pumpkin beers for 2022 would be Scythe. It far exceeded my expectations.
Well, what is Scythe?
The beer pours a translucent orange yellow into my Pumpkinhead glass, fully looking the part of a pumpkin ale. There’s a thin head, maybe the width of a #2 pencil. I take a whiff and the spices come through quite nicely, cinnamon, a little bit of clove, maybe some ginger. So far, so good.
I notice some floaties in the beer, maybe from the pumpkin or the spices? Not a negative point, but something noticeable. That first sip… boy oh boy is that a smooth tasting beer. The silky smoothness I’d expect from a perfectly baked pumpkin pie my made. I’m very impressed with how balanced that first sip of Scythe travels across my palate.
There are prominent elements of cinnamon, clove, and of course pumpkin. Many beers categorized as “Pumpkin” beers simply have the spices associated with Pumpkin and Pumpkin Pie. Scythe is made with pumpkin and that shines through in the taste and flavor profile. Nutmeg is listed and often, Nutmeg can leave a fairly strong, lingering aftertaste for me. Thankfully, the fine and talented craftspeople at the Drowned Lands concocted a well-balanced mélange of spices, which prevents any one spice from overpowering the other spices.
Pumpkin beers dominate the shelves from August through October/November to a very overwhelming level. This has; unfortunately, set something of a mark against the style. Early in my Craft Beer Journey, I anticipated pumpkin beer season every year, but that aforementioned early onslaught cooled my eagerness for the style. That said, any style when done well, is worth seeking out. With Scythe, The Drowned Lands may have crafted an ideal Pumpkin Beer. It has near perfect balance of all the elements, lives up to the “pumpkin pie in a glass” moniker, but is still most certainly a beer. If I’m making a Mount Rushmore of Pumpkin Beers, Scythe would very likely find itself on that mount.
Recommended, link to 4.50 bottle cap untappd rating check in.
Untapped badges earned with this beer:
Pumpkin Beer Season (2022)