10/1/22: North High Brewing Co.'s Farm Hand

1:04 PM

It's finally that mystical time of year, when the fabric of the veil begins to wane and the nights grow all the cooler, darker, and longer. I've spent the better part of today at my favorite Oktoberfest celebration but I'm always ready to revel in the murkier parts of the the Halloween season.

As such, we have the blog's first pumpkin ale of the season: North High's Farm Hand. How is it? Let's find out.

I wrote about North High six days ago, so, if you're keen on learning more about the Columbus, OH brewery, I'll happily direct you to that post instead of simply regurgitating the same information I only just typed.

The only presence for Pumpkin Hand that exists on North High's website is on the page for their Short North taplist. This lists the beer as a 7.9% ABV pumpkin ale. There's an Untapped page for "Pumpkin Hands" (emphasis mine) that lists the ABV a 7.5% (which agrees with what's printed on my can's label).

The ale boasts a bouquet of pumpkin (the gourd itself), allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a smack of booze. All in all, Pumpkin Hand's nose is hearty and exactly what you'd expect: something that leans into the spiciness of the style without breaking new ground. Purrl gave my can two whiffs--it's, unfortunately, not really her kind of beer.

A swig of Pumpkin Hand starts with a subtle malt sweetness that rapidly grows into something reminiscent of Skittles (you know, that candy). This aspect is definitely Halloweeny, but not anything that necessarily screams "pumpkin ale." The spices are understated in the flavor profile; it seems like they're mainly here to add to the beer's bouquet. I'm finding a porter's roasted malt quality in the finish, mingling with the Skittle sweetness, that makes this an appropriate beer for the cooling weather.

On the mouthfeel front, this is an ale. It's hearty and, from the can, a tad creamier than expected. There's a sizeable bite on my tongue with each pull.

When I was a kid (as with everyone when they were kids), I loved trick-or-treating. My brother and I would methodically make our way through our neighborhood with our mom in tow--Dad stayed at the house to pass out candy. 

As soon as we got home, the whole family would conviene in the living room. We'd pour the spoils from our sacks and onto the floor, grabbing at our favorite treats before our parents could make sure they were safe enough to eat. Reeses, KitKats, and Skittles were always my favorites.

When gauged as a Halloween beer, North High's Pumpkin hand would score fairly high marks. However, I'm gauging it as a pumpkin beer. Here, it's merely average. I'm giving my can a 7.5/10. Here's hoping the next beer I have from the brewery has that wow factor I hope to find. If not, I might be done talking about them.

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