Now I know it’s too soon, but once you open the Pandora’s box that is pumpkin ales… There’s no turning back. Uinta is right there with me on the box metaphors/puns. Their label for Oak Jacked Imperial Pumpkin sports a cheery jack-o’-lantern in the box (barrel). While there certainly isn’t anything “out of the box” in regards to brewing a pumpkin ale these days, there aren’t many that are oak barreled aged and weigh in at 10.31% ABV. With that kind of firepower, you could be looking as cheery as that jack-o’-lantern real quick.
Oak Jacked pours a brownish amber with a bright ruby tint. The head is thick and sudsy but dissipates rather quickly. The aroma is heavy on the brown sugar with an aura of pumpkin pie spice. There’s also a slight and unexpected note of citrus that brightens up the complexion.
The flavor opens up immediately with a strong bourbon flavor and a hardy oak presence. After the syrupy bourbon coats your palate, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon sugar emerge. The finish has an unusual hop character to it with light notes of bitter citrus that make it feel like a barrel aged porter.
In a blind tasting scenario, I’m not sure many would identify Oak Jacked as a pumpkin ale. Robust bourbon and oak flavors overtake some of the more traditional pumpkin ale aspects, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you’re looking to stretch your definition of pumpkin ale, this brew is definitely worth the money. However, those looking for a more conventional pumpkin pie ale would be better served with another offering.
- Appearance: Brownish Amber, Ruby Tint / Thick, Sudsy Head
- Aroma: Brown Sugar, Baking Spices, Citrus Hops
- Flavor: Bourbon, Oak, Cinnamon Sugar, Nutmeg, Light Hop Aftertaste
- Mouthfeel: Heavy, Smooth
- ABV: 10.31%
- Score: 88