Posted September 21, 2012 by Kevin in Eats & Drinks

Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin: A double pumpkin ale from Pugsley’s Signature Collection

Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin is the second of two Imperial Pumpkin ales I bought to try.  I’m still trying to figure out this style and have been mixing some in with my normal rotation of fall pumpkin beers.  There is a lot of variance in both styles, so it’s hard to really nail them down. My take on this style so far is that it is, on average, sweeter, more ethanol-forward, and spicier than the non-double counterparts.

This beer pours a light orange color with a bit of cloudiness in the glass. It has excellent head retention that really sticks to the glass.  The nose of this one is delicate and has very little hop presence so as not to obscure the spices.  Like the Hoppin’ Frog Double Pumpkin that I tried recently, the spices come on very strong with this beer.  Very early after taking a sip, the nutmeg presence smacks you around quite a bit.  It is quickly replaced with an ethanol wake-up call that obscured some of the maltiness of the beer.  Ultimately I was entertained by this one, but I felt it was a bit unbalanced from start to finish.  Other than the two not-so-subtle flavor events in this beer, it comes across as too simple for my tastes.  I was hoping for a bit more complexity in the flavor and finish.  Perhaps a food pairing would help break up the flavor.

If you tend to like sweet pumpkin ales this may be a good brew for you to try.  It definitely has the pumpkin ale spices that fall beer drinkers like, and it could still serve as a good nightcap.  For now, it’s on to the next pumpkin ale – I have a fridge full of the stuff.  Cheers!  


Kevin has been drinking and brewing beer for more than 20 years, and enjoys re-capping the interesting craft and microbrews that find their way into his glass. Feel free to contact him at [email protected] to talk favorites, but hold back on the technical questions – he sees himself as more of a beer nerd than a beer expert.