Quick Take: At 8.5%, barrel beer chasers that aren’t big on boozy beer taste and favor drinkability over drunkability may find something (anything!) to like here. If you are expecting a rich, full flavored, spiced pumpkin beer, you should keep on looking. If you want a beer that is so lightly flavored it is damn near ghostly, you’ve found your fall drinker.
Brew Facts: As of the time of this review, Anderson Valley doesn’t have Pinchy Jeek listed on their Web site. Regardless, I attempted to determine the meaning of Pinchy Jeek. Urban Dictionary lists Jeek as a cross between a Jerk and a Geek. It also states that Jeek is slang for cocaine. I’m going to assume it has something to do with a wild turkey.
Appearance: It pours a fluffy head that lasts only a few seconds before coming to rest on the still surface of the beer. In its wake is a clear oil slick and lace around the glass. The color is a dark chestnut with auburn/red highlights. Swirling coats the sides in a semi-circular net of creamy, clingy bubbles.
Aroma: The nose hits with strong vanilla up front, some brown sugar/molasses, spice and baked pumpkin. There is a distinct note in the aroma that I can only describe as “Wild Turkey”. The buttery booze smell is so specific to that bourbon that you can’t miss it. Taken as a whole, the aroma is pleasant, warm and welcoming. Not quite pumpkin pie in a glass, but a smell of fall all the same.
Taste/Mouth Feel: Before I finish my first sip, I’m already wondering if this is what Anderson Valley intended. The mouth feel is highly disappointing. Shockingly thin, flat and watery slick, like a tumbler of bourbon with islands of half-melted ice cubes. Another sip finds some vanilla initially, but it vanishes just as quick. Weak bourbon and vague spices mosey across the taste buds with very little in the form pumpkin. The brown sugar or sweeter elements are background players at best. Some earthy gourd might be wandering through the beer like a drunken uncle at thanksgiving when it’s time to clean up and hell if I can catch more than a glimpse. The finish is slick and buttery, and tastes of tingly heat and popcorn. On a positive note, even though the flavors are ho-hum, the beer drinks pretty easy.
Final Thoughts: Those that have partaken of Anderson Valley Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Stout, a much more successful beer that I do enjoy, will probably approach this beer with certain expectations. Well, punt those expectations into the atmosphere because this is a half-drank glass of bourbon on the rocks with some eye drops of a pumpkin beer mixed in. At 8.5%, barrel beer chasers that aren’t big on boozy beer taste and favor drinkability over drunkability may find something (anything!) to like here. If you are expecting a rich, full flavored, spiced pumpkin beer, you should keep on looking. If you want a beer that is so lightly flavored it is damn near ghostly, you’ve found your fall drinker.