08 Sep No Label Nightmare on 1st Street by Sam
Nightmare on 1st Street
Packaging: 12 ounce bottles, 22 oz Bombers
What a difference a week makes. The flood waters are receding, the curfew is lifted (mostly), and we have a cold front in early September. The light crisp in the air inspired me to grab a single of No Label Brewing’s Nightmare on 1st street. I am not a huge fan of pumpkin beers, but I always sample this one and Saint Arnold’s Pumpkinator.
Nightmare on 1st street is from No Label’s Off Label series. This seasonal release, is in the same group as Perpetual Peace and Forbidden Lavender among others. The artwork for the bottle definitely has a fall look to it. Based on the name, the brewery could have gone scary and connected it to the famed horror series. Instead, Off Label is in the middle of the bottle on top of a black background with burnt orange autumn colored leaves surrounding it. Nightmare on 1st Street is printed in all caps below the centerpiece of the label art.
This Off Label fall release pours a dark amber color with minimal head, which you expect from a darker Imperial Ale. The lacing runs down the glass slowly with each sip. In my experience, the aroma of pumpkin beers can go one of two ways, pumpkin candle strong, or light with a hint of all spice and nutmeg. Nightmare on 1st street falls into the latter. Not in a bad way, it’s just a little too faint in my opinion. I don’t want my nasal passages or taste buds destroyed with pumpkin, but I want a good amount of pumpkin in the nose and taste.
My taste experience with Nightmare on 1st Street mirrors the aroma. The pumpkin taste is there, but fainter than I like. The body is very thin, which is surprising given that it’s a 9.27 Imperial Ale. I realize the ale style contributes to the body, so it’s more of personal preference. This beer seems to go back and forth on the spice levels. The first year I purchased a second bomber after enjoying the first one. The spice level was on point and the body had more depth. Recently, the spice level has been toned down but the balance isn’t there for me. Maybe Tony D would enjoy this batch of Nightmare on 1st Street because last years had too much spice for him. All of this spice stuff comes down to individual preference, not BJCP guidelines.
I am not a fan of Oktoberfest beers or most pumpkin beers, and usually dread this part of the beer calendar. I stick to IPA’s and stouts for the most part, but I am always trying to broaden my taste buds and retry styles I didn’t like in the past. The only pumpkin beer I can honestly recommend is Pumpkinator. That is my standard for this style, and this Off Label offering just didn’t convince to sample more of this style. Pumpkinator is a stout not an ale so that factors in, but the taste and aroma is comparable.
Nightmare on 1st Street is a limited release but tends to be around on draft when it’s out. Taphunter, Untapped, and Digital Pour can lead you in the right direction. The brewery is likely to have it on tap during the fall until it’s gone, but check their social media to confirm. The easiest way to sample this No Label autumn release is your local grocery store or Specs. They are not hard to find at this time of the season. So if this style is your jam, find it before it’s gone.