Because I believe calling anything "world class" is quite unfortunate, I could not contribute productively to Stan's recent question "Can a Pumpkin Beer be World Class?" Usually "world class" - like "premium" - ends up meaning whether people who know not all that much can brag about something to other people who also don't know all that much. For me, it is better to ask whether it is worthy, whether it is worth going back to, whether you'll remember it.
I reviewed Smashed Pumpkin over a year ago and stuck a bottle away for later review. And here it is. Still orange amber with a white fronth and foam, there is also still spice and pumpkin on the nose. But there is also a finer note, more vinous. In the mouth, it is clear that the beer has continued to slowly work over the last twelve month and the effect is very pleasant. Where before I would have said malty, I think now I am seeing the beginnings of acids, the beginnings of something maybe even wild. Wild pumpkin. Yet it's still in balance. Earthy notes complimented by spice and, if you don't mind me saying so, a Riesling-like acidity.
Is this what the brewer intended? Probably not but that's not my concern. Maybe no longer pie in a glass but a glass that might sit next to pie or even the main course of turkey dinner. Like I said, I can't tell you if this is all world classy. But if being worthy means that a beer changes through its life cycle but gives pleasure at different points along that cycle, well, this one is worthy.