I opened the Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale with trepidation, but it had no pumpkin flavor I could detect (though they say it’s brewed with pumpkin and pumpkin seeds), only somewhat subtle pumpkin pie spices. Alcohol content was 5.9%. Overall, I’d say it was mild.
By contrast, drinking Sam’l Smith organic cherry fruit ale really seemed more like drinking cherry juice than beer. I didn’t notice the alcohol going down, though I guess it was there (no percentage was listed). Nice and fruity, rather than the uneasy mix that flavored beers often are.
I expected Lip Stinger (from McTarnahan’s) to be spicy, since it was “fermented with peppercorn.” Apparently they meant the singular — I could detect no pepper. It was just a beer. Alcohol content was 4.8%.
Fat Scotch Ale from Silvery City Brewery was just what I expected: scotch ale. I’m not sure what makes it that way — “a touch of peat character” I suppose. Alcohol content was 9%, which is probably also what makes it taste like what I expected.
Elysian’s The Immortal IPA was a nice India pale ale, definitely hoppy. 6.3% alcohol content.
Bear Republic’s Hop Rod Rye was slightly bitter but not at all unpleasant. 8% alcohol content.
So what was my favorite? Probably Fat Scotch Ale, as the most distinctive. And Lip Stinger seemed oddly lacking in character.