Jaw-Jacker Seasonal Ale – Arcadia Brewing Company – Battle Creek
Jaw-Jacker Seasonal Ale from Arcadia Brewing Company – Battle Creek
First off, I apologize for the overly dramatic photography. That being said, don’t expect me to stop. My camera is too nice and it’s too fun.
So it’s Fall, damn it, and I wanted a Pumpkin Ale. While this isn’t the first one I’ve had this season (that would be the Elysium seasonal I had in Portland, OR), this is the first in and from Michigan. It wasn’t for lack of supply, as all the stores are obviously stocked with the Seasonal stuff. I was just waiting for one to go on sale, and Jaw-Jacker happily obliged.
The smell is as light as the color, and is more vegetable than pie; like a freshly cut open pumpkin. I had the urge to carve a face into the bottle. This is ironic, by the way, as there is no pumpkin in this ale’s recipe. Arcadia seems to have toyed with the wheat and spices they used to create a decent smellusion. Aside from this imposter pumpkin smell, the cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg are all there to varying degrees depending on which bottle I opened or nostril I used.
Essentially, though, the best description is it smelled like Fall. So much so it made me run out the door and pick some leaves off the ground (see above).
It tastes like wheat beer soaked fresh pumpkin chunks. There is also the prominent veggie taste that you usually get with white ales. The spices kick in afterwards and the sip finishes with a nice, wheaty lingering. Neither the pumpkin (which isn’t really there) nor the spice tastes are particularly strong, so it makes the beer pretty light. However light it is, it still stays in on your tongue for a while making it both a decent chugger and a fine sipper.
The whens, the whats and the whys:
Now I really did like this beer, so stick with me through the next couple paragraphs.
I brought this beer home to watch the Thursday Night Football game between Carolina and Tampa Bay on my laptop. What I hoped for was a decent football game and a good pumpkin spice ale. Unfortunately I didn’t really get either.
As a “Pumpkin Spice Ale” I was a bit disappointed. Since the box says “Pumpkin Spiced Ale” and has a picture of a killer pumpkin on the cover, I was expecting, and aiming for, the normal Meemaw’s Pumpkin Pie type of flavor. For me, this doesn’t quite make it (though I’ve read a few reviews that would beg to differ). If you ask me to recommend a good Pumpkin Spice Ale, this would not make my list.
HOWEVER, if you ask me to recommend you a good Fall Seasonal, I would have no qualms referring you to this beer. I actually really enjoyed it as a “Fall Wheat Ale.” It put me in the mood to frolic through some rotting leaves and befriend a squirrel. While I think it would be just fine out of the bottle, I’d recommend glassing it for the smell. Drink this beer as you’re raking the leaves in your yard. Or better yet, drink it by the window while someone else rakes the leaves in your yard.