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Wolaver's (Organic) Pumpkin Ale - Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's

Wolaver's (Organic) Pumpkin AleWolaver's (Organic) Pumpkin Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

351 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 351
Reviews: 177
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 16.81%

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  5.35% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-08-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 351 | Reviews: 177 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Chakri


3.19/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Its better than all others in the Volaver's organic assorted beers collection. Next time I would go and buy this alone than the other Volaver's ales. To mention I never like those dark colored ales/beers which would taste a bit like chocolate. This was a good tasting beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2014 18:46:16 | More by Chakri
Photo of asaharyev


3.16/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Very sweet pumpkin in the aroma, with a bit of zucchini and hints of Wolaver's Pumpkin Ale banana bread. There’s also a good deal of fall spices, particularly cinnamon, though the sweetness takes over. The taste follows, very sweet up front and at the end, with a bit of a toffee character to the malt. The middle has some of the actual pumpkin flavor, with weird banana notes. Overall, this one was too sweet for me. I assume Wolaver’s uses only organic pumpkins in the brew process, but the flavor tastes similar to artificial pumpkin to me.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2014 15:51:25 | More by asaharyev
Photo of woodychandler


3.76/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I really, truly thought that I had finally exhausted my pumpkin beer stash for the year and then this one popped up! I want to get back to The CANQuest (TM), plus now the Holiday beers are starting to appear ...

From the bottle: "Better beer[,]Better world"; "Brewed with Vermont pumpkins"; "Since 1987, Wolaver's has combined a passion for exceptional ales along with a strong belief in the benefits of organic farming. Handcrafted by Otter Creek Brewing, Middlebury, VT, we are proud to brew the finest organic ales using the highest quality local Vermont and domestic ingredients."; "Generous use of Vermont grown organic pumpkins artfully blended with four fresh organic spices craft this seasonal treat."; "Unfiltered. Unpasteurized. Organic."

I have a nice, clean glass fresh from the dishwasher and the pour went well, creating a finger of dense, eggnog-colored head with good retention. Color was a rich coppery-amber (SRM = > 13, ~ 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a pretty big cinnamon presence along with clove and nutmeg. The malts gave it a cookie-like nose. Mouthfeel was medium and the cinnamon was big and immediate on the tongue. The finish was semi-dry from the spices and I felt as though I had been chewing a stick of Big Red when I was finished. It was an interesting beer, but one was plenty at this juncture.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 22:51:05 | More by woodychandler
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a bottle at Pilsener Haus in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a crystal clear dark orange/copper to amber in color with light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation.The beer has quarter finger tall off-white head that quickly fades to a very thin film covering about half the surface of the beer with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon and nutmeg), and caramel malts.

T: Light to moderate flavors of pumpkin with moderate flavors of pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon and nutmeg) that intensifies as the beer warms ups. There are some very light notes of caramel malts with just a touch of sweetness.

M: Light to medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable but not as good as some of the other offerings in the style.

Original review on 10-14-2012 20:47:08 but on a retired beer incorrectly.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2013 21:09:29 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of Joe_Grizzly

New Hampshire

4.18/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I didn't mind this beer at all it was little sweet

I wish I didn't have this as my first beer of the night good but sweet and lingering on the palate

it reminded me as a poor mans PUMPKING had that butter popcorn nose on it

I would like to see what others think of the comparison

the body on it was weird it was super cloudy, and had no lacing and wouldn't bubble when swirled like it was 2 days old and flat nice copper hue to it

overall if you like pumpking give it a whirl I wouldn't want to session it stomach couldn't handle it

would drink again but wouldn't travel for it

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2013 13:37:15 | More by Joe_Grizzly
Photo of mtomlins

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.

A: A bit hazy, orange brown beer with a big, persistent, sudzy off-white head and nice lacing.

S: The nose is full of sweet caramel malt, brown sugar and pie spice.

T: Soft sweet malt (maybe a touch metallic), light brown sugar, pie spice; mild pumpkin flavor at start but becomes fuller as beer warms and the cinnamon and nutmeg also become more pronounced. A nice, subtle hops bitterness dries out the finish which is very clean.

M: Medium light body (a bit thin) and medium carbonation.

O: Not a ton of pumpkin here but still a nice amount of spice resulting in a tasty ‘fall beer.’

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2013 19:35:21 | More by mtomlins
Photo of chefhatt


3.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I poured this beer into a glass, it has a dark orange color body with a small head. The smell has a very punget smell of nutmeg. The taste has a overpowering taste of nutmeg and spices, it has some pumpkin taste. The mouthfeel is ok an overall is a ok pumpkin beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2013 19:53:48 | More by chefhatt
Photo of Givemebeer


4.29/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle into pint glass

A: Amber brownish orange. Almost no head and medium carbonation.

S: Bursting with smells of pumpkin and cinnamon. Also nutmeg. I can smell this from 5 feet away and it's heavenly.

T: Definitely a lot of spices and some pumpkin in there throughout.

M: Medium-bodied and semi-sweet

O: Very good! Apparently its way underrated. My only gripe is that it is not as "meaty" as others such as punkin or whole hog from stevens point. But worth a try for sure.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2013 01:30:56 | More by Givemebeer
Photo of Cylinsier


3.64/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz.

Pours a deep mostly clear orange. White lacing for a head.

Smells of semi-sweet pumpkin, biscuit malt, and a hint of cinnamon.

Tastes of biscuity malt, maybe slightly toasty, with a hint of pumpkin and some mild pumpkin pie spice.

Medium body with tingly carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

A fairly standard pumpkin ale that could stand to have more pumpkin in the flavor, but is otherwise decent if forgettable. Worth trying but not nearly the best pumpkin ale out there.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2013 23:22:15 | More by Cylinsier
Photo of DMXLOX22


3.14/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Picked up a single 12 ounce bottle of this brew at my local establishment, Civera's in Drexel Hill. Liked the fact that it's organic. Let's see how this goes.

Appearance: pours a copper brown that is good, kind of impressive, but mostly uninspired. Hazy, dark amber. Not a bad color, but plain. Not too bad.

Smell: FIrst aromas I can sense a strong odor of nutmeg. A little overpowering, but not unbearable. Some cloves and pumpkin can be detected. Very little in the grassy malts, which is perfect for a pumpkin ale. I've heard of organic beers not being up to par in the smell department, but this one is pretty good if that's the worse of it.

Taste: First sips I can sense a slight hint of pumpkin and cinnamon. Kind of a little bitter, especially for a pumpkin beer. Cloves and nutmeg also round out the end. Aftertaste isn't too bad but a little surprised to sense lemon. Not very sweet, but the main problem I'm experiencing is no flavors are coming out to grab me. None are very inviting. Oh well, better luck next time.

Mouthfeel: medium body, medium carbonation. Not too heavy to drink. Rather watery.

Overall: Coming into this beer, I was a bit hopeful considering this was an organic beer. I'm all about the pumpkin beers right now and was hoping to find a delicious brew that sticks out. This one wasn't particular in my favor. Pretty plain. Some flavors did come out and memorable. But overall, not very exciting. I probably wouldn't have again, but I may recommend to a friend. Better luck next time. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 00:25:05 | More by DMXLOX22
Photo of JMScowcroft


2.88/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's - Wolaver's (Organic) Pumpkin Ale, poured into an Otter Creek pint glass.

Look - Pours a cloudy amber orange with a one inch foamy head that retains a bit. Sparse lacing.

Smell - More spice than pumpkin. Allspice and nutmeg flood the nose. Some cinnamon and ginger.

Taste - Nutmeg is far too heavy, as well as the ginger. Barely any pumpkin here. This is a spice bomb, I was not happy with the taste on this brew, but it wasn't complete garbage, just too much spice.

Mouthfeel - Sits spicy heavy, slightly creamy but not enough. Light bodied when it should be medium or maybe (wishful thinking?) heavy. A tad warm for low abv, likely due to the spices. Just OK drinkability.

Overall - If a pumpkin ale tastes like a "Christmas ale", lay off the damn spices! Did they taste test this? This seems like a half-assed attempt and this disappointed me, but I drank a few to make sure I wasn't being completely unfair. If this was called a "spice beer with a dash of pumpkin" it would be more accurate. Do not recommend if you are looking for a balanced, creamy pumpkin treat, this won't do.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2013 11:56:05 | More by JMScowcroft
Photo of hopsolutely

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Overall a nice pumpkin beer that I'd purchase again...

Pours a hazy, dark copper colour with a limited white that has good retention. Well balanced yet mild aroma of pumpkin fruit and subtle pie spices. The flavour is equally well balanced, albeit with slightly more cloves in the body than I'd personally choose, but a nice blend of malts and pumpkin and cinnamon/nutmeg etc.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2013 22:47:46 | More by hopsolutely
Photo of spokeydonkey

New York

3.26/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This is a dark orange beer with significant haze and a huge foamy white head. The smell is dominated by ginger and cinnamon. Not much malt there to note. Tastes slightly sweet up front with a strong bitter bite following. At the finish the spices come through: cinnamon, ginger, clove. Very dry finish. There's a hint of soapiness in there too, but not unpleasant. Medium-light bodied with a tough of astringency. Overall it's a decent beer. I prefer over-dry and over-spiced to cloyingly sweet in pumpkin beers. I'm not sure I'd go back for this one as it's a bit too dry and hoppy for a pumpkin beer, but it's a decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2013 20:46:37 | More by spokeydonkey
Photo of far333


2.51/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

Slightly opaque orangey caramel colored with a beige head that leaves a fine cap of fine bubbles and rims of lace up the sides of the glass. Low aroma of cinnamon, and hints of nutmeg. Initial flavors of vegetal squash and malt, followed quickly by sharp spicey nutmeg flavor, which is overpowering to this beer. Mouthfeel is watery and a bit tannic. Overall, I can't finish this glass.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2013 22:33:36 | More by far333
Photo of MistahBeah


2.99/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Somewhat dark copper - almost a honey brown hue - lighter around the edges. Off-white head with moderate retention. Very little carbonation and lacing

Smells sweet with mild spicing. Cloves and earthy nutmeg are most prominent. Pumpkin and allspice

Tastes mild. Pumpkin is apparent but the spices are rather subdued. Cinnamon and nutmeg with a drying quality

Feels a tad dry. Not very carbonated at all - approaching flat. A little watery

Overall this one doesn't stand out for me. Sure it's balanced because no one flavor steals the show but none of the flavors become more than a subtlety. Just a matter of preference but I like bold flavors for this style so this one doesn't cut it for me

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2013 23:08:03 | More by MistahBeah
Photo of Omnium


3.84/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass
A - Pours a cloudy copper color, milky 1 finger head, little lacing.
S - Typical pumpkin spices, clove, nutmeg, allspice, especially cinnamon, and a nice pumpkin aroma.
T - Compared to most other pumpkin beers, this is one of my designated go-to's because of how balanced the flavor of pumpkin and spices are. Though this year's batch does seem to be a bit subdued. Good batch of pumpkin flavor with the tracings of those ever present spices.
M - More on the thinner and flat side unfortunately.
O - Still an exceptional fall favorite for myself, its weighed a little more on the pumpkin side, which is what I feel should happen, not an overwhelming bounty of spices. Good job OC/W

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2013 02:26:16 | More by Omnium
Photo of Act25

New Jersey

3.18/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

poured into stemless wineglass, compared with Elysian Night Owl (4+!), with robusto and cheddar cheese course after dinner.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, burnt orange with a reasonable 1 finger off white head that leaves lots of spotty lacing. 1 small notch below Elysian.

Smell: Slightly stale, that UTICA kind of Saranac bland, machine made feel, plus a sense of fermented pumpkin, malt and allspice. You really want aroma in a Pumpkin ale!

Taste: Malty start, then some sweetness ended too fast by too much allspice, too spicy, too heavy handed, and that machine-like, slightly old taste that is in the aroma. Someone's elbow too aggressive on the spice jar tip!

Mouthfeel: Light body; watery, with moderate carbonation. Made me eat more cheese because as a counter foil, it makes the beer taste better.

O: Not impressive. Something wrong in the formulation, back to the drawing board. Vt Organic Pumpkin ale should ROCK!

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2013 00:50:33 | More by Act25
Photo of DeFaz


3.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My first autumn beer of the year (even though it's only the beginning of August), this is tasty but not necessarily complex or even interesting. The beer's head is unremarkable and minimal lacing remains. The pumpkin flavor tastes fresh, and there's just a touch of spice along with it. Hops and malt are there to balance fairly well with the pumpkin. The mouthfeel is very smooth but could use a bit more carbonation to pick this one up. Overall, this was enjoyable, but mainly just because I like the style. I disagree with many reviewers who say that it tastes "bland"--but maybe this year's release has more pumpkin flavor. Anyway, while I enjoyed it, I won't be going out of my way to find it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2013 00:00:15 | More by DeFaz
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

2.63/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a slightly hazed, orange-amber coloring with a thin, filmy, white ring around the surface. Aromas are very sweet, with a pumpkin and sweet potato backbone supporting a light spice blend of nutmeg and all-spice. Flavors are light, with a caramel syrup foundation that overpowers any of the harvest flavors. The spicing becomes an afterthought, and you might be able to catch a hint of nutmeg if you really swish it around in your mouth. Sharp, spiced aftertaste on a light, wilting body. The finish is limp, but heavily roasted and spiced at the very end. A final pop for a brew that was fading fast on the palate. Not a great brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2012 01:38:50 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of mountdew1

New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a slighty orange amber, with next to no head. S,all lacing with a little bit accumulated on the sides. Aroma was pretty much exclusively pumpkin. Reminded me of canned pumpkin, with next to no spices. Taste started off a little malty, then picked up some peppery spice, before leaving a pumpkin puree flavor on the tongue. A bit like an over spiced pumpkin pie. Coated pretty well, but definitely had a bit more carbonation than was expected. Overall a flavorful beer. One to savor and enjoy, and not drink terribly often.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2012 00:08:34 | More by mountdew1
Photo of 4ster

Quebec (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a half tulip.

A: Pours a cloudy orange, amber colour, hardly any carbonation with light off white frothy head and medium to light amount of retention.

S: Light, sweet malt aroma with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice... your sort of typical pumpkin cooking spices....

T: This beer is very light on everything as noted by others. Upfront very light spiced malt flavours, but hard to distinguish anything that stands out too much. The surprise happens as you finish with quite a hoppy-bitter taste hitting the back of your palate. As it warms you get more of an earthy/squash/pumpkin flavour coming out.

M: Light, small fizz carbonation on your tongue with a light body.

O: Overall an easy drinking beer with mild spicing. Almost pale ale/lager-ish in it's lightness which is a bit disappointing for a cold fall day. I would agree with others that as a pumpkin beer it definitely could pop in the flavour category a bit more, along with being a little heavier/malty. I'm all for pumpkin beers that ACTUALLY use real pumpkin, and organic at that, but was left wanting more with this one. If you're run out of pumpkin beers to try in your store, or are in the Vermont area, it's worth a try, but not to keep going back to unless you like light beers....then hey, maybe it's for you.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2012 01:14:48 | More by 4ster
Photo of facundoCNB

New Jersey

3.18/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

amber/orange pour with a slight amount of head which quickly dissipated. this one has a very sweet scent. smells more cinnamon heavy than the other spices.
a bitter taste up front (wasn't expecting that) with lots of earth notes and a subtle offering of pumpkin spices.
light body and high carbonation. very crisp and refreshing.

as far as pumpkin beers go i want one of two things: a beer that's exactly like pumpkin pie, or a beer that tastes like roasted pumpkin seeds. this was just too bland for me, but i do acknowledge that some people just aren't THAT into pumpkin beers, this one is for them.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2012 00:22:08 | More by facundoCNB
Photo of JCB14

4.18/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The head on this beer was weak with little retention. This was perhaps the only negative. The aroma was excellent. It smelled like a warm pumpkin pie. The beer had a great hop flavor that is often missing in this style. This is a beer that I would gladly have a second. In general a good beer for this style it was great.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2012 14:39:52 | More by JCB14
Photo of tigg924


4/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, orange-brown in color, cloudy, high carbonation

Smell: pumpkin spice and pumpkin

Taste: pumpkin, milk, cream, bitter rind, and pumpkin spice

Mouthfeel: sweet start with a semi-bitter middle that gets sweeter at the end,medium-high carbonation, medium bodied

Overall: A solid pumpkin beer that does a good job of combining sweetness with a touch of bitterness. I could do several of these.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2012 18:24:02 | More by tigg924
Photo of CheezyBlaster


3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is drinkable, and seasonally appropriate. Spicing works well. A bit watery. Like a pumpkin wheaty, lagery, malt beverage. Thin body for sure. Not a ton of flavor. Not a lot of subtlety either, so there's nothing to delve into. Hollow.

It's main problem? It's overpriced. This is average as average gets. I'd buy this for 10.99 a 12 pack for parties . . . but when far superior pumpkin ales are available for better prices? Smuttynose Pumpkin, hell yeah, over this? Even the near-mediocre Sam Adams pumpkin is a tiny notch up.

Bonus point? It's made in good spirit and it's far better than Shipyard's Pumpkinhead, which is horrible as craft goes . . . also better than anything ever made by BMC. So, that's 2 bonus pts.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2012 00:04:40 | More by CheezyBlaster
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Wolaver's (Organic) Pumpkin Ale from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
78 out of 100 based on 351 ratings.