It's not often a brewery first makes a name for itself with a limited seasonal release, but that's exactly what happened with Portland, Maine's Shipyard Brewing and their Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale.
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale poured a surprisingly pale gold in the glass (where's the orange hue?), with strong carbonation feeding a soapy, loose head. The nose carried through a generic pumpkin pie spice and a touch of vanilla, but lacked any true ale aromas and seemed somewhat artificial.
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale opened light and fizzy, with what little body the ale had being torn apart by carbonation. Stale spice notes of cinnamon and nutmeg came through, and were thankfully less pronounced than in the nose. The malt had an appropriate tint of graham cracker to it, but overall the ale went out with a whimper.
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale was a letdown to me in almost every way. It just tasted weird, poorly designed, and isn't how I want to remember my favorite holiday.