We’re barely half way through September and I’ve already had my first pumpkin spice latte (PSL). Don’t judge me. I know drinking a PSL in broad daylight isn’t something that self-respecting adults do, but there were extenuating circumstances. It was an unusually chilly day. Raining a bit. I was running errands with the kids. I’m not proud of it, but swinging into a coffee shop for a PSL just felt right.
Jesus, even that was a lie. It wasn’t a coffee shop. It was McDonalds. My first PSL came from McDonalds. And it was delicious!
It feels good to get that off my chest; Put all my cards on the table and tell the world that I’ve already broken the PSL seal for the season. Still, my heart is full of shame, because I know that there will be more pumpkin spice ahead as the weather turns and the leaves get crispy. More lattes, plenty of beers, probably a shot or two of pumpkin-spiced flavored vodka…I realize I’m supposed to hate the pumpkin spice-ification of America; I’m supposed to lament on social media about how everything has been given a pumpkin spice tint and how gross. I’m an adult. My palate should be more refined, but damn it, I love the saccharine wholly artificial taste that has been perfected in a lab to mimic not just a flavor, but a season. A good PSL manages to do what only great art can do: elicit an emotional response.
So yeah, I love pumpkin spice. I can’t help who I am. I like it when baseball games break into fights too. And teen sex comedies. Avert your eyes. I’m hideous.
Although, I suspect that I’m not alone in my love for the PSL. I think there are other supposedly refined individuals who merely pretend to hate the PSL syndrome, while secretly sucking down cookie-flavored lattes every chance they get. Perhaps we should start a support group.
And if we did, this new beer from New Belgium is what I’d serve at our PSA (Pumpkin Spice Anonymous) meetings. New Belgium’s new Atomic Pumpkin puts the “spice” in pumpkin spice. Honestly, I don’t get much pumpkin out of this thing at all. Maybe some vaguely earthy notes—more like squash—but there’s cinnamon and chili galore. It gets you in the back of the throat and won’t let go. This is pumpkin spice for adults. And it’s 6.4% ABV, which will help you cope with all of the haters out there giving you shit for drinking a pumpkin beer.
They’re just jealous.