Frog's Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale - Hoppin' Frog Brewery, Akron
Hoppin' Frog has treated me well thus far. I haven't had half the beers in their portfolio yet but I've really liked what I've had. Their Wee Heavy was great and B.O.R.I.S. was amazing. Oak aged B.O.R.I.S. really sealed the deal though. That's a great beer and it made me want to go pick up the rest of their line up. Which is how I came across this bottle of Frog's Hollow Double Pumpkin. Pumpkin Ales aren't my favorite style, they're more of a once a year fling between all the Märzens and Christmas beers. They can be really hit or miss so I'm anxious to see what Hoppin' Frog has done. I'm also intrigued by that DOUBLE Pumpkin name. Twice as much of one thing means it's better, right?
Right when I opened up this bottle of beer I knew things were going to go a bit... differently. As soon as the cap came off I could smell the ginger and allspice in this beer. Pouring the Double Pumpkin from the bottle into my glass only released more of the aroma. It was interesting. Not bad, but not something I enjoyed all that much... It was different. The label says this is a beer brewed with pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg allspice and clove. If I had to guess what spices were in this beer before reading the label I would've guessed ginger, ginger, ginger, nutmeg and ginger. There really isn't any pumpkin to be found in the aroma of this beer, which is odd considering its name...
The flavor of the Double Pumpkin was just as gingery as the aroma. There's a bit more nutmeg but the allspice and ginger just overpower it. Again, no pumpkin flavor just pumpkin-like flavors. There's a lot of Thanksgiving spice in this beer but the pumpkin is suspiciously absent. Also absent is the body, this beer is seriously lacking any kind of body to keep it from feeling too watery. In many ways, this reminded me more of a tea than a beer. There's just a little malt but mostly it's all spice in here. Lots of spices and a watery texture... I'm not unconvinced Hoppin' Frog brewed tea and bottled it.
Despite having almost no pumpkin whatsoever, the Double Pumpkin was still an interesting beer... just not for the reasons the brewers probably intended. The ginger and other spices were a surprise, but they did grow on me a little. I ended up drinking this whole bomber before coming to a conclusion on what I really thought about it. On the one hand, the flavors aren't bad. It's herbal, a little spicy and a bit sweet. It's watery but not quite to the point where it renders the beer unenjoyable. On the other hand, this is not a pumpkin beer... It's called Double Pumpkin when there's barely a quarter of a pumpkin here. It's disappointing at best and borderline false advertising.
If you're looking for a good pumpkin beer, don't bother with this one... If you're looking for an Imperial Ginger then this might appeal to you. The Double Pumpkin is an interesting attempt at a pumpkin beer that fails so miserably that it may have reinvented the ginger beer style.