Mountain Sun Pub Dark Harvest Pumpkin Stout

 By: Colleen Kelly

I was fortunate enough to visit Under the Sun Eatery and Taphouse, a branch of the Mountain Sun Pubs family, during the month of February. For many, this is a month to celebrate love of all types. Under the Sun happens to be no different; their love is stout. Now in its 22nd season, Stout Month is almost as synonymous with Boulder as the Mountain Sun Pubs themselves. Since 1993 when the first Mountain Sun Pub was opened, founders Kevin Daly and Ian Blackford had a vision of altruism, community and fun. There are no televisions in any Mountain Sun Pub. Instead, there are board games and family style seating. In a world with so much external noise and conflict, this simplistic approach is refreshing. And it works!

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First Impression: Full disclosure here: I am not a stout girl. I usually stick with IPAs, pale ales and pilsners. Call me boring, call me crazy, but after my visit to Under the Sun you can call me a stout drinker. I tried the Dark Harvest Pumpkin Stout on somewhat skeptical grounds. While images of fall leaves, Ugg boots, and blonde fresh-faced co-eds cradling Starbucks cups in both hands came to mind, I quickly discovered that this stout was anything but basic.

Pour: The Dark Harvest pours like a light beer. The molasses connotation that sometimes surrounds stouts is quickly dispelled as soon as this beer flows from tap to glass. A marginal head rounds out the pour.

Taste: The Dark Harvest is brewed with over 150 pounds of pumpkins. Without getting too technical, that’s a lot of pumpkins. It makes sense then that the first sip of this beer carries with it an aroma reminiscent of warm holiday meals surrounded by family, of that first snow of the season before footprints tarnish its tranquility, and of a quiet weekend night with a good book and a good dog. The body is full but not filling, the flavor is bold but not overzealous making this either a before or after-dinner beer. The pumpkin adds a layer of complexity and sweetness to the beer while still maintaining the integrity of a stout. The added spice blend which includes notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice rounds out this stout and differentiates it from the bottled pumpkin beers one is accustomed to seeing on grocery store shelves as soon as the first leaf falls.

Added note: Wednesday is fried chicken day. Plan accordingly.

Grade: A

ABV: 7.7%

IBU: Mountain Sun Pubs do not calculate IBUs.

Mountain Sun Dark Harvest Pumpkin Stout

A