DRINK IT DOWN: Roadsmary’s Baby Pumpkin Ale by Two Roads Brewing Company
Beer: Roadsmary’s Baby
Brewer: Two Roads Brewing Company
Style: Pumpkin Ale
Description: Roadsmary’s Baby pours a deep copper brown with a thick tan, off-white head that leaves a thin lacing on the glass. The aroma is filled with pumpkin spice notes, with cinnamon and nutmeg leading the charge, followed by hints of caramel malts, vanilla, oak and, if you allow the beer to warm slightly, a touch of rum. The taste follows the nose with spices up front, but the sweet malts immediately follow and keep things in a perfect, harmonious balance. The slightly spicy/earthy hops also make an appearance mid-palate. Additionally, the oak, vanilla, and rum flavors are apparent throughout the experience, dancing around all the aforementioned flavors, but they truly come through at the end after swallowing. This is a fantastic and surprisingly complex beer.
The medium-full body and moderate carbonation give this beer a refreshing quality that will help stave off any palate fatigue. Roadsmary’s Baby may sound like a gimmicky name for a beer with its reference to horror classic “Rosemary’s Baby,” but this beer is far from any kind of stunt. It is instead simply one of the best pumpkin beers available on the market and must be tried by all this fall season!
Food pairing: As the temperature continues to fall, the need for warm meals becomes ever more pressing, and a hearty beer such as this goes perfectly with hearty fall dishes. Roadsmary’s Baby has enough body and malt presence to seamlessly pair with roasted chicken dishes. The malts will instantly gravitate towards the natural sweetness in the dish, and the subtle spices will elevate the chicken to new heights. Do not be afraid to pile the recent vegetable harvest high; they will be the perfect accompaniment and bring out the earthy hops and rum flavor locked within the beer.
Of course, the sweetness of the beer also makes it a great match with a wide variety of desserts, but it goes exceptionally well with any pumpkin and carrot cake, as the spices in both match up with the beer. When pairing with desserts, the decadent vanilla become ever more present and seemingly melts into the sugary sweet dishes.
No matter what pairing decision you make, Roadsmary’s Baby has enough depth and complexity to not only hold its own against it, but it will most certainly add a wonderful flavor profile as well. This is also a great beer to enjoy while “sampling” the kids’ candy rewards after Halloween!
The final word: Pumpkin beers are always a tough recommendation because of the seemingly divisive nature of the style. Many seem to either love or hate it; which side of the line you fall on depends on whether or not you will even attempt to drink a pumpkin beer. However, it should be noted that Roadsmary’s Baby stands firmly within, but also expands upon, the pumpkin beer style.
The addition of spices and vanilla sound straightforward for the style, but the aging in rum barrels without a very high ABV is what separates this beer from the rest. The subtle notes of oak and rum permeate this beer and add a complex flavor and variety to it. This is a pumpkin beer for lovers and haters of the style alike – not to mention that it is the perfect beer for any Halloween horror movie marathons!
Where can I get it? Currently available in 12 oz. bottles at: Beer Boys (176 N. Washington St., Wilkes-Barre), Sabatini’s Bottleshop & Bar (1925 Wyoming Ave., Exeter), Backyard Ale House (523 Linden St., Scranton), Kildare’s Irish Pub (119 Jefferson Ave., Scranton), and Beer Express (931 Main St., Simpson).