I've found that Sam Adams can be hit or miss when it comes to their seasonal beers. Sometimes, even seasonal beers that I normally enjoy can be sub-par compared to previous years. I had never had their Harvest Pumpkin Ale, so I didn't know what I was going to get...
The beer pours a nice bubbly, tan head. The foam does not last long, and there is no lacing on the glass at all.
The color of this pumpkin ale is a really nice looking reddish amber.
This is a very spicy pumpkin beer. The nose is full of alot of the common fall spices like clove, nutmeg and allspice. Nice smell, but very little actual pumpkin.
The taste is heavy on the spicy too. Very malty beer, with most of the upfront flavors being the spices. Not as much of the pumpkin taste as I was expecting... The bottle says they use "17 lbs. of real pumpkin per barrel." The beer also has a very dry ending, and a somewhat bitter aftertaste. Not a bad taste by any means, but I've had better.
Another thing that surprised me was how little carbonation this ale has. As mentioned, the head is gone very quickly, and then the rest of the beer borders on being flat.
Overall, this is a good, not great pumpkin beer. Very heavy on spice, and a bit too flat for my liking. One positive is that it is a very easy beer to drink, you can easily put down two or three without tiring of the "novelty" of the seasonal taste.