10/31/23: Southern Tier Brewing Company's Caramel Pumking Imperial Pumpkin Ale: A Halloween Post

5:28 PM

Lo!, the veil now grows thin, weakening to a mere patch of gossamer hanging loose in its haphazard suspension betwixt our world and that of those who no longer walk amongst us. Devilry is afoot on this dark and unholy eve, dear reader. I hope that your curtains are drawn tightly over your windows. I hope that you are well-kept against the terror this night brings. I hope that should some manner of ghastly or gruesome creature call upon your door, you are able to appease its infernal appetite with what you are best able to offer, dispelling it forevermore from your dwelling.

A bottle of Caramel Pumking between a Halloween cat decoration and a Halloween countdown decoration that displays 00 days until Halloween.

What might you offer to this vision upon your step? Well, sweet treats may just suffice. Yet, if this monster prowls low as some horrid feline, something of greater heft and richness may be needed to make it leave you be. Would, perchance, a bottle of Southern Tier's Caramel Pumking would banish the beast? Perhaps, fellow cowerer in the dark. Perhaps.

For two decades have those that would come to concoct this serum operated in the woods of New York state. It was there, in the settlement of Lakewood, that Phineas DeMink, Sara DeMink, and Skip Yahn performed the work of Victor Frankenstein himself, using parts from those that have come before to give new life to their mad phantasies. With equipment scavenged from Old Saddleback Brewing Co., this trio brought into this world a creation that would soon spread across these United States: Southern Tier Brewing Company. Ill content with their inability to satiate demand for their elixirs, Yahn and the DeMinks established further hubs of production in Pennsylvania and Ohio to better allow the tendrils of their desires to spread across vale and hill, drowning our nation in both brew and spirit.

Those desires have manifested tonight in Caramel Pumking, a brew of pumpkin and caramel. Dashed with alluring spices of cinnamon and nutmeg, the flesh of that autumnal emblem, the pumpkin itself, was amalgamated in a cauldron with the sticky sweetness of caramel to produce a potion of considerable (8.6% ABV) potency. Let us hope that I, he who is now made to sample this brew, contain within myself the fortitude necessary to stomach such a drink, the kind of which would bestow unto me the ability to withstand the horrors of All Hallows Eve.

Now, we have reached the end of our dissection of the beer. The night grows ever colder, ever darker, and there is but one thing yet to do! 

With a pop, the cap pressed onto the bottle of Caramel Pumking is removed. Once the contents are exposed to the air, its aroma, enticing and alluring, billows into the room about me. Within this, I detect notes of caramel, chocolate, and graham cracker crust. The pumpkin spice, if it indeed lurks within the bowels of my bottle, is well-hidden, as is any hint that might denote the ale's alcohol content.

Egad! From the confines of her chamber in some forgotten corner of my home, Henrietta the Horrid prowls my halls now on this unholy eve! See in her evil eye that look that strikes dread into the very hearts of all good and hardy men! Silently does she approach my bottle. In fear do I offer it to her, that she might pass her terrible judgement upon its contents. Fourteen whiffs does she make at the elixir's glass encasement before turning to vanish once more into the darkness from whence she had come. I, grateful to still breathe after such a harrowing encounter, sit shaking upon my chair, Caramel Pumking in hand.

Cat Henrietta the Horrid sniffing at a bottle of Caramel Pumking.

As a means of restoring to me my strength and wits, I take a pull of the ale from my bottle. My heart settles whilst I contemplate the flavors dancing upon my tongue: The chocolate I first divined in the serum's bouquet is  here absent. The tastes playing upon my palate are graham cracker, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices, and caramel, before a warmth of alcohol stirs within me, rushing to my core, restoring me to the man I was before my terrifying experience but mere moments ago.

All that's left once the flavor finishes is a sharp sensation upon the tip of my tongue and a warmth clinging tightly to my cheeks. A second pull of Caramel Pumking brings me the potion in a certain fullness, which is befitting of it's strength and imperial stature.

The lights within our Jack-o'-lanterns have now burned low. Soon, the witching hour's darkness will enshroud our porch, bringing with it all those who would use this night to bedevil the living ere the veil waxes once more. With luck, I hope to find myself in my bedsheets and fast asleep should some spectre call upon my door, that I might ignore its mournful wail and, instead, dream of more peaceful and happier times. 

All that I have left to do ere I slumber through what horrors may yet come this eve is announce what I would rate this bottle of Southern Tier Brewing Company's Caramel Pumking Imperial Ale. I would provide this beer with a scoring of 9.0/10. There is something hauntingly delectable about this brew that those mad creatives at Southern Tier have produced, whether their workings were sorcery, science, or some strange combination of the two. For now, I must bid you farewell, dear reader. I hope that you weather this night of horrors as best you may. I leave you with only this: Happy Halloween!

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