Arcadia Ales - Jaw-Jacker

Time for another seasonal pumpkin beer to face the dreaded Drunken Jackos rating scale! This time, it's Kalamazoo, Michigan's Arcadia Ales and their Jaw-Jacker Spiced Amber Ale.

I know in order for a beer to be reviewed here it has to be a pumpkin beer, but in the case of Jaw-Jacker, we'll make an exception. That's because Jaw-Jacker actually has NO pumpkin in it. Instead, it uses a mix of cinnamon, all-spice and nutmeg to simulate a pumpkin pie flavor. Pretty crafty. And it works well, too.

Jaw-Jacker is actually a tale of two beers. First, the light amber beer poured with a nice thick head and plenty of bubbly carbonation. It also emitted a nice, subtle pumpkin spice note.

The first taste had dry malt undertones with an equally dry, caramel finish. It almost reminded me of a nut brown ale. It was okay overall, and headed to a 3 out of 5 rating.

But then a lucky stroke of magic happened. After letting the beer sit for a few minutes, it transformed! That dryness went away and was replaced with a very clean and smooth ale. The cinnamon, which was absent upon first taste, suddenly showed up and took the overall flavor back toward a traditional, sweeter pumpkin ale. I couldn't believe how much smoother it tasted after letting the beer breathe. I was quite impressed.

So after letting this one sit and open up, I really enjoyed Jaw-Jacker. And with that simple act, the beer improved nicely overall and upgraded to a rating of  3.5 out of 5 Drunken Jackos. Another interesting beer that is recommended during the fall pumpkin season if you can find it.



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