I passed over one that was clearly labeled as an Anheuser Busch product in favor of a microbrew. However now it turns out that may not have been fair, because when I picked up the Blue Moon Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale, I was actually picking up a macrobrew Coors product. Finding that out has kind of soured my palate a bit, if only psychologically. I found this quote during my research:
Coors does not actively advertise the fact that the brew is owned by Coors on the belief that being associated with a major national brewery would diminish its credibility among aficionados. Blue Moon is instead branded as being brewed by the "Blue Moon Brewing Company."
Well, on to the review.
This beer pours smoothly with a thin fizzy head that dissipates almost immediately. As a result there is only a small amount of lacing on the sides of the glass as it is consumed. It is a beautiful dark amber tending towards red and orange--the coloring definitely speaks of autumn so points given there. On the nose the sweetness of the pumpkin flesh is almost immediately evident, followed quickly by spice, (not sure which, Allspice maybe?) and then the woodiness of something roasting.
First sip and the flavors of fire-roasted vegetables muscles it's way to the front, not letting you forget for a second that it's a seasonal pumpkin ale. It lacks subtlety I think is what I'm trying to say. Let's put it this way--my 9 y/o daughter found the pumpkin scent quickly, and with no prompting. Once your tongue gets past being smacked over the head with a large orange gourd, the spices become evident and the ale finishes quickly and dryly.
After trying a bottle, I decided to pair this beer with a warm vegetable beef stew heavy with onion slices. The beer actually complemented the meal well, but I was done after one. For me that usually means I'm not crazy about the overall presentation. If I've enjoyed them, even the most filling beers leave me wanting another glass, if only to spend some time working with my nose.
Overall I was mildly disappointed in the beer, especially after it was such a beautiful pour. Now that I found out Coors tried to dupe me, it's only deepened my disappointment. (It's probably important to note that I discovered the Coors link after I tasted the beer, so I'm fairly confident it hasn't completely colored my review.) I think I'll be moving on to try other pumpkin ales, maybe even the AB offerings.
I give this beer a C.