Toasted Pumpkin Ale by 603 Brewery

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toasted-pumpkin_smlAs promised last week, we look at another great pumpkin flavored beer which embodies the spirit of what fall is about. The cooling temperature, the changing colors of foliage, and the time when we look at different changes that effect our lives and the food and beverage choices we make during those times. One cannot overlook these changes without analyzing new or altered flavor choices to choose from to enliven our daily experiences. So today we look at 603 Brewery’s Toasted Pumpkin Ale in 22 oz bottles.
603 Brewery started in Campton (above Plymouth), but is now located in Londonderry, NH. They offer year-round beers as well as seasonal beers matched to the calendar. At almost four years old, 603 Brewery has made a momentous mark in the NH craft beer scene. Each of their beers has something to do with a historical fact about NH. For instance, their 18 Mile Rye Ale is named for the 18 miles of Atlantic shoreline NH is afforded between Maine and Massachusetts. Cogway IPA is named for the famous Cog Railway that climbs Mt Washington. And their 9th State Red Ale is due to NH being the 9th state included in the Union as American began.
Today, they are a 60 barrel brew house with beer exclusively sold in NH and beyond, distributed throughout in 12 oz cans, 22 oz bottles, growlers (half gallon bottles) and kegs for restaurants and taverns. You can find their offerings in Hanniford, Market Basket and Case-n-Keg, Meredith and Laconia while you are out shopping. Visit their website at http://www.603brewery.com.
Toasted Pumpkin is an orangey golden ale. Last year’s edition was attractive and compelling. This year’s offering continues to seduce your senses as well. It pours elegantly into a pint glass with a thick frothy white head which lasts through most of the sampling. Your first sniff inside the glass rim will immediately tell you this is more than a desert beer. While pumpkin flavored beers can be overly noted with the up-front pumpkin aroma and flavor, Toasted Pumpkin delivers a likable drivability and satisfaction that is reserved for seasonal beer creations to attract the drinkers pallet. With the first sip, you are charmed by its real NH pumpkin flavor, with immediate notes of vanilla, nutmeg, coriander, allspice and cinnamon. There is a maltiness to this beer along with its complex flavors that keeps inviting you back.
At 8.2% ABV, this year’s edition (completely redesigned from last year and the year before), has improved flavor and lusciousness. Many breweries try to get into the pumpkin beer rage… but 603 hit it out of the park on this one! This ale is available from late August to the beginning of October but disappears once the last bottle is sold, so get yours soon.
Untappd.com rate 603 Toasted Pumpkin in the 4+ out of 5 category. Although BeerAdvocate.com has not yet rated this year’s version officially, followers of 603 have rated it last year as high as 3.7 to 4.0 out of 5.0 which points out that you should try this before it leaves for the season!

Jim MacMillan is the owner of WonByOne Design of Meredith, NH, and is an avid imbiber of craft brews and a home brewer as well. Send him your recommendations and brew news to wickedbrews@weirs.com