Beer Review: Breckenridge Brewery Nitro Pumpkin Spice Latte

Breckenridge Brewery
Photo courtesy Sonora

Amanda: Pumpkin beer is my favorite seasonal, so I’m always excited to try each year’s new offerings. I also proudly love my pumpkin spice lattes. When the two come together, you can bet I’m a little giddy. Just in time for your Thanksgiving beer shopping list, let’s see how Breckenridge Brewery’s Nitro Pumpkin Spice Latte holds up.

Sonora: I’ve long thought that pumpkin beers are perfect for November, and Thanksgiving in particular. While most pumpkin beers peak in September and October, I enjoy cracking one or two open after Halloween has passed (and I’ve usually purchased enough of them that I have plenty left). When I spotted Breckenridge’s Pumpkin Spice Latte this past fall, it seemed too good to resist. Pumpkin, coffee, and the smooth texture of a nitro pour? Who could ask for more?

Appearance
Amanda:
 This beer pours a dark brown with a light tan head. As you pour, the caramel-colored lacing cascades down the glass and swirls around in a fury. Sure, that’s typical for nitro beers, but it’s still a pretty sight.

Sonora: This beer looks like a Guinness. It pours dark, with a cream-colored head forming at the top as it settles. It is opaque and very lovely.

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Photo courtesy Amanda

Aroma
Amanda: There’s a slight charred aroma complemented by some coffee notes. I also get cinnamon with some sweet lactose on the end.

Sonora: The prominent scents are coffee, vanilla, and cinnamon. Coffee is the strongest scent – this is more of a coffee stout than a pumpkin ale.

Taste
Amanda: For being a pumpkin beer, it’s light on spice. I get a subtle coffee flavor up front, but it takes a few sips before I pick up any spice. The nitro seems to dull both flavor profiles.

Sonora: The prominence of coffee continues in the taste. You get hints of the pumpkin spices, but they are downplayed by the coffee notes, and perhaps muted from the beer being nitrogenated. I would be interested to try this as a normal pour – I think it would bring out the pumpkin pie spices more prominently.

Mouthfeel
Amanda: As you would expect with a nitro beer, it has that silky mouthfeel, but it is also thin. For its style and spice profile, I prefer something with more body.

Sonora: Smooth and silky, like a nitro pour should taste. It’s a gentle stout, not too aggressive despite boasting several flavors.

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Photo courtesy Sonora

Overall
Amanda: I prefer pumpkin beers with a stronger spice kick. Pumpkin pie in a glass isn’t for everyone, so I’m not saying this needs to be a spice bomb. But it didn’t remind me much of a pumpkin beer, either. If Breckenridge Brewery released a non-nitro version, I’d love to try it. The nitro took away from this beer in my opinion, so I’d be interested to see how the base compares. That said, if you’re a nitro fan who isn’t into spicy pumpkin beers, it would be a good choice for you.

Sonora: This is a good, light pumpkin stout. I thoroughly enjoy the combination of pumpkin and coffee in beer, particularly in Elysian’s Punkuccino Ale. However, while I normally love nitro stouts, I think the nitrogenation process does the pumpkin spice flavors a disservice in this one. This beer would really sing as a regular pour. That said, this is a tasty autumn beer that would go excellently with pumpkin pie, or can be enjoyed as a Thanksgiving dinner pre-game.

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