I imagine kicking knowledge is fairly hard, but one thing I do know is that this is an absolute confusion of a beer.
Part of Barrier Brewing's wider 'Kickin' Knowledge' range where they incorporate a bunch of fruits into their milkshake IPAs, Kickin' Knowledge Pumpkin is a beer brewed clearly with the spooky season in mind. And with that in mind, it has a scary ingredients list that has so much going on it's hard to work out if it's a trick or treat.
Pumpkin is the headline, but alongside that is also coconut, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and coriander. Throw in three varieties if hops dry-hopped into it and it makes it a big flavour beer with a lot of promise.
The smell is predominantly the spices, with the cinnamon and nutmeg being the dominant flavours when the can pops which gives it a very festive vibe. The pour is really thick and hazy and gives it a very thick body that looks - and tastes - dense.
The flavour is somewhat overpowered by the nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon too but the tight carbonation and lactose make it feel exactly like a milkshake in your mouth, the thickness of the texture complimenting the spiced flavour really well. There's a little pumpkin in there but it's not the biggest flavour by a long way, in fact if I wasn't looking for it I don't think i'd have found it - that's exactly what happened with the coconut which is nonexistent as far as I can tell.
That being said, the bitter flavour of the hops brings the beer back down to earth a little and reminds you that it is in fact beer and not milkshake, the slightly boozy finish into the aftertaste working well with the nutmeg and cinnamon to give it a very warming, autumnal finish.
As much as I enjoyed this one, if I had to guess the main flavours I would pinpoint all of the spices that have gone into it and pumpkin would be a long way down the list, but naming aside it's an excellent brew.
Looking into it it seems that all of the kickin' knowledge range from Barrier feature the same style: namely a dude pointing to a green chalkboard with a bunch of drawings on showing the ingredients of the beer. The guy is often dressed in attire to match the main flavour, and in this instance he's sporting a bright orange shirt with some pumpkin shades, while drinking what must be a milkshake from a sparkly orange cup.
It's busy and exciting, and the chalkboard style font with the beer name on the front makes it really quite original, which is what attracted me to it in the first place.
I really struggled to find one of these for sale online in the UK - if you're in the US then there are a range of beer shops that stock them, but over this side of the pond you'll have to check out your local beer shop to try and track one down.