New Holland Brewery's Ichabod, a Pumpkin Ale That Stands the Test of TimeOctober 04, 2018
New Holland Brewing Company’s Ichabod has a couple things in its favor. It is brewed with real pumpkin, satisfying the pumpkin purist (if there is such a thing). Perhaps more appealing is its 4.5 percent ABV, making it a rare fall seasonal that doesn’t lean into the upcoming stout season. Ichabod was first brewed in 1997, making it a Midwest beacon of the style.
A good label can trigger a Pavlovian response, and Ichabod’s can is sure to get you in the mood for fall, invoking “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” with a headless horseman holding a pumpkin laid upon a burgundy backdrop. The beer pours a deep amber body that is a few shades shy of brown and could pass for pumpkin-flavored punch. There’s no lacing here—this is all headed straight down your gullet.
Pumpkin spice lovers will find a whiff of Ichabod to be more than adequate. The usual suspects are here, with cinnamon and nutmeg in full force, as advertised.
This session pumpkin ale is a perfect complement for heavier fall meals.”
For a low-alcohol beer, Ichabod isn’t lacking in flavor. But whereas the aroma of the cinnamon and nutmeg could perhaps be too much for some, the flavor is more restrained, making for a subdued, creamy blend. This is due to the malted barley working hand-in-hand with—and perhaps even shining through—the spices. The pumpkin also makes an impression, lingering on the aftertaste. Ichabod has just the right amount of carbonation to pass as crisp, but thankfully falls short of being a chore to put down.
At less than 5% ABV, Ichabod has the depth of a more potent beer and doesn’t feel like a meal to consume. This session pumpkin ale is a perfect complement for heavier fall meals, especially a Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. You can go a few rounds and still have plenty of room to feast.