16 Oct Cycler’s Brewing Bonked Pumpkin Ale
Cycler’s Bonked Pumpkin Ale
Imperial Pumpkin Ale
Packaging: Draft, 22 oz Bomber
You ever write about something and keep it stashed for like a year? Me neither.
This was part of the haul that was given to us when we visited Cycler’s for the brewery guide write up last year in December. Problem with writing about a pumpkin beer in December is, the season has come and gone. So I held on to the write up while I waited for our first cold front, and here it is! The moral of the story is it may take us a few weeks (or even months) to post a write up, but we’ll write about the beer we get.
Anyhow, Cycler’s Bonked is a damn good pumpkin beer. Pumpkin beers are a style that get a bad wrap because lots of breweries seem to make one just for the sake of making it. And many of them are a bit much. Not this one. Cycler’s Bonked is made with the finest spices money can buy. Literally. Mrs. Tina gave us a proper education on how the cinnamon (and other spices) very depending on the country of origin, and she wasn’t kidding.
The artwork for Cycler’s Bonked features a big orange badge front and center, playing home to the type and a white illustration of a tired cyclist. The badge has a pumpkin shape at the top. Behind all that is a dark-brown wood background. I don’t remember the tap handle, though.
Cycler’s Bonked pours a hazy amber-brown with a lively 2-finger, tan head that dissipated quickly and made way for a little spotty lacing. The mouthfeel is slick and the body is on the thick side with mild carbonation. Freaking delicious.
Bonked starts off like you’d expect with a pumpkin spice nose. Once you take a sip, it starts off mildly sweet, but that sweetness builds big time. It’s one of the sweetest beers I think I’ve ever had without being cloying. The pumpkin spice comes in about mid-way, and it helps ride out the finish. (Ride out… See what I did there?) Bonked is scary smooth at 9.5% ABV. There’s little to no hotness – a tiny bit once it warms up, but it’s barely noticeable.
I really think Cycler’s Bonked is one of the better pumpkin beers I’ve ever had because of the balance. This is a pretty big beer, but it’s sooo drinkable, especially considering everything that’s going on in it – turbinado sugar, local honey, all those spices, etc.
You won’t find Bonked out in the wild much year round, as it’s a seasonal release. Duh. You can find bombers at HEBs, and on draft at Hubbel & Hudson.
Cycler's Bonked Pumpkin Ale
Sweet and spice and everything nice – it’s not just a sappy fairytale rhyme, Cycler’s Bonked delivers. For a beer that’s named after cycling jargon for being tired and made in a style so many people are tired of, this is one that stays in the front of the pack. I can’t say I’d drink it all day, but I don’t know of anybody that would say that of any pumpkin beers. I had the 2016 version, and I understand the 2017 features an updated list of spices. It’s worth a second look if you’re on the fence about pumpkin beers.
What’d you think about this pumpkin beer, or did you even try it? Let us know by voting below or tell us about it in the comments! Beers to you, Houston!