A little less than 2 years ago, I flew out to Tampa to meet Cigar City’s brewmaster, Wayne Wambles, and owner, Joey Redner, to discuss a beer they were creating exclusively for The Rare Beer ClubÂ® to commemorate our company’s 20 year anniversary. What a couple of cool cats. They were both very generous with their time (and their beer) and Wayne hooked me up with a bottle of Rum Barrel aged Good Gourd Almighty as I was heading out the door. I didn’t really realize what he’d given me at the time, but figured if this was the one bottle that he wanted me to take back with me, it was going to be pretty amazing.
So I was digging through my beer fridge Saturday night, not really knowing what the hell I was looking for when Good Gourd jumped out at me and said, “It’s time, Kris. It’s time.” It took little to convince me that the voice in my head was right and I cracked it open. So a bit of background on this one via the brewery’s description: An Imperial Pumpkin Ale brewed with copious amounts of pumpkin with Ceylon cinnamon, Jamaican all-spice, Zanzibar cloves and nutmeg added, and then aged in rum barrels.
I have to say, I dig me a pumpkin beer from time to time as long as it’s not some kind of pumpkin pie extract deal. It’s got to be done right and Wayne knocked it out of the park with this seasonal sweet nectar. This one hits you with spiced rum right up front, in the middle and on the finish, integrating those notes beautifully with the pumpkin, nutmeg, cloves and allspice. There’s a bit of vanilla from the barrels, mouthfeel is big and chewy. In short, I coveted every sip. Either they didn’t print the ABV on the label or I simply forgot it as I was quite comfortably numb and feeling a bit like a gourd myself after I polished it off. Had to be 10% or better, but was surprisingly accessible given how big and complex it was.
Thank you Wayne. You made my October. Now I have to figure out how the hell to get another bottle.