Below is my impression of what I tried. This is in no way an exhaustive list of even what is available in Portland let alone all over. I included my initial notes from my Untappd check-ins, as well as a few follow-ups.
Rogue Ales - Pumpkin Patch Ale
Newport, OR - 5.6% ABV
Very good flavors - Pumking-esque - with a little more hoppiness. Nice nose - banana along with pumpkin pie spices. Bonus points for a pumpkin-colored bottle.
Southern Tier Brewing - Pumking
Lakewood, NY - 8.6% ABV
Still the king - need to have side by side with Stingy Jack. Great nose, pleasant sweetness followed by great spice. Use part of one bottle to make a fantastic beef and squash stew.
Dogfish Head - Punkin Ale
Milton, DE - 7.0% ABV
Lightly pumpkin on the nose, lots of flavor. Pleasant bitterness follows. Solid pumpkin ale. Not sure if the recipe changed a bit from 2011, but I remember liking the '11 version much better.
Laurelwood Brewing - Stingy Jack Pumpkin Ale
Portland, OR - 7.5% ABV
Not much nose, but fantastic flavor. All the pumpkin pie spices plus vanilla. A lot of depth. Had forgotten how good this was last year.
Elysian Brewing - Dark O' the Moon Pumpkin Stout
Seattle, WA - 6.5% ABV
Very nice pumpkin nose. As a stout this is great - lots of coffee with a tiny dash of pumpkin spice. The combination didn't produce something greater than the parts.
Uinta Brewing - Punk'n
Salt Lake City, UT - 4.0% ABV
Very nice nose. A little sweet, but otherwise not a ton of flavor. At least it was low in calories.
Elysian Brewing - Night Owl Pumpkin Ale
Seattle, WA - 5.9% ABV
Similar nose and spices to Pumking, but the flavor is...younger, if that makes sense. Will definitely drink again.
Elysian Brewing - Blight Pumpkin Ale (12 Beers of the Apocalypse series)
Seattle, WA - 7.4% ABV
Lots of cinnamon on the nose and in the glass. Cloves, vanilla, squash. Very tasty. This is one of those beers that at first shocks with the medley of flavors and you aren't sure if you like it, but the more you drink and even long after it's gone you keep thinking about it. Very unfortunate it was a one-time release.
Elysian Brewing - Great Pumpkin
Seattle, WA - 8.1% ABV
This was fine. Nothing special. It taste good enough, had a solid balance, a light nose and was generally acceptable. The most average of pumpkin beers.
Elysian Brewing - Hansel and Gretel Pumpkin Pilsner
Seattle, WA - 4.7% ABV
Overwhelming flavors of sharp, fresh ginger. Really needed some sweetness for balance.
Shipyard Brewing - Smashed Pumpkin
Portland, ME - 9.0% ABV
Very little nose and nothing on the tongue but burning hot cinnamon. There didn't seem to be much attempt to develop flavors. Didn't finish it, which for the price ($10) was disappointing.
Oakshire Brewing - Big Black Jack Chocolate Pumpkin Porter
Eugene, OR - 9.0% ABV
Smells like choc/pumpkin bread. Yummy as a porter, but want stronger flavors of the advertised chocolate and pumpkin. If you promise chocolate, I want chocolate.
Besides the fact that it took me four months to get through all of these, it was a fun experiment with mostly highs.
Two major disappointments:
1 - The most expensive beer on this list, the one from Shipyard, was the worst. I have to think that maybe I received a bad bottle because the cost and the reviews indicated it was a quality beer that had a lot of thought put into its development.
2 - The Pumpkin Patch box from Elysian didn't meet my (admittedly high) expectations. I wanted to love them all, but instead my favorite of the $25 box was the Night Owl, which also comes in six-packs of 12 ounce bottles for less than ten bucks.
Now the highs.
This fall I plan on buying just three (and multiples of them) from the 2012 list: Rogue's Pumpkin Patch (which in retrospect should have been a five as well), Southern Tier's Pumking and Laurelwood's Stingy Jack. I would absolutely include Elysian's Blight on that list, but since it was from the 12 Beers of Apocalypse series we may never see it again (unless we beg?). It would be fun to try those three side-by-side-by-side to see which I truly think is the best, but that would involve one serious night of drinking for which I am frankly too old. College me could have done it. Twice.
I also have some plans for using pumpkin beer for something other than just drinking. A couple months back Wifey and I made ice cream with some Kona coffee beans and Deschutes' Abyss stout, which turned out amazing, and I'd like to find a good recipe for integrating a pumpkin beer into an ice cream recipe. I also think a beer float with French vanilla ice cream and Pumking would be amazing.
Already looking forward to this fall!