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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 BuckeyeNation


2.8/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Hazy ochre with a swirling tornado of yeast as the final ounce was added to the pint glass at the end of one smooth pour. Somewhat generous carbonation can be seen contributing to a beige colored cap that topped out at two fingers and is now down to one. Not a bad look.

The aroma is appropriately gourd-like and features an impressive amount of nutmeg as well. The balance between base beer and spices is right on the money. Thankfully, the nastiness that often accompanies organic beer is nowhere to be found.

Not good. How can a beer that smells like this... taste like this? The biggest problem is that Pumpkin Ale is way too bitter. Once the bitterness fades, sourness takes its place. Sweet decided not to come along for the ride. Not enough malt? Too many hops? Probably both.

Pumpkin is matched by lemon and the spices aren't defined enough to identify with certainty. Nutmeg is obvious from the nose and cinnamon and cloves are pretty good guesses given the style. None of it works well, however, making this 12 ounce bottle a chore to finish.

The body/mouthfeel favors the lighter end of light-medium and has harsh rather than soft carbonation. At least the fizz-fest is temporary, as the bubbles begin to fade by mid-bottle. An average score is probably too generous, but I'm sticking with it.

Wolaver's Will Stevens' Pumpkin Ale is not one of this brewery's better offerings. Bitter and sour both have their places, but not in a pumpkin ale they don't. Recommendation: major overhaul.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2008 13:43:48 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.15/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear burnt orange color with a modest head that leaves spotty lacing

Smell: Vague sense of malt and allspice

Taste: Malty, up front, with a developing sweetness joined by some allspice at mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors tend to disappear, leaving just a lingering hint of spice and a bit of a bitter twang

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body; rather watery, with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not particularly impressive as it only hints at what a pumpkin ale should be

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 02:53:14 | More by brentk56
Photo of Thorpe429


2.9/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Amyliz4 picked up a sixer of this at Whole Foods in Alexandria. Served in a Dogfish Head Alehouse Punkin pint glass.

Pours a slightly-hazed orange color with a thin light tan head and some slight lacing. The nose carries a bit of pumpkin and spice, mostly cinnamon and clove. The flavor is fairly heavy on the spice with quite a bit of cinnamon. Feel is overwhelmingly full of cinnamon and a bit of clove. Medium body with light sweetness. Not a fan at all.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2011 23:41:17 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98

New York

3.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The beer poured clear amber in color with a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface. There is no visible carbonation.
S: There are moderate aromas of pumpkins and other spices in the nose.
T: Flavors of pumpkins in the taste aren't quite as strong as their smell in the aroma. The spices start to become stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate. There is a light amount of carbonation.
D: The beer isn't that difficult to drink but doesn't quite match up to some of the other types of pumpkin ales.

Serving type: on-tap

09-22-2010 02:58:11 | More by metter98
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Love this time of year when the pupkin brews start arriving on store shelves.This poured into a nocic a dull deep golden/amber with a thinner but well maintaned frothy white head,light spice aromas in the nose mainly.Thin near watery mouthfeel with no full richness that I like in a good pumpkin brew,flavors are dominate by spice and no pumpkin really.Although its not horrible the flavors are to light along with the body in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2009 00:13:08 | More by oberon
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.93/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a typical amber-orange body. Very hazy (which is fine). Not much head. Not much lacing. There's an odd tart note to this beer that I initially found off-putting right out of the fridge, but which I then came to enjoy as it warmed a bit. It's unique. Most pumpkin beers tend to have a sweet malty base, and some over do it. Of course, that's true for the spice as well, and I think this almost falls into that category. It's not so heavy handed that it builds on the palate or anything, but it IS spicy. Apart from that my only complaint is that the head retention is limited, but that's probably due at least in part to the spicing. LOTS of ginger. A healthy dose of cinnamon. Seemingly all-spice. I question where that tartness is coming from though. Is it just the pH of the brew? Probably not. Is it the heavy use of ginger? Could be. It's slightly thin as well, and perhaps that has something to do with it. I dunno. In any case, it's a little quirky but I kind of like it.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2008 02:08:35 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, pumpkin, spices and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is bready up front with a hearty malt character. Then flavors of pumpkin, caramel, nutmeg and other spices come in. The hops presence is decent for the style but there doesn't seem to be much balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, it's not a bad beer but there are several other pumpkin-flavored beers that I would pick first.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2009 01:00:47 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours an amber/orange color with little head to speak of that fades to spotty lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a solid pumpkin scent along with some cinnamon and nutmeg spice aromas. It appears dry, but it's hard to tell with the lack of carbonation. The taste is average. It has a very aggressive pumpkin flavor with little in the way of malt character. The spices are present, but weak comparitively. It's easy going down, but quite dry and astringent. The mouthfeel is nothing to speak of. It's a medium bodied beer with almost no carbonation. This is a very forgettable brew. If it were well carbonated I may be singing a different tune. However, as it stands, it's one an done for me.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2008 00:47:16 | More by WesWes
Photo of jlindros


3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A new pumpkin ale for me to try, let's see how it goes.

A 1/2 finger fluffy head fades somewhat slowly over mostly clear toasty orange slight reddish-brown hue beer.

THe nose has some pumpkin, light spices, lighter than I expected, some light pale malts and hints of a creamy malt aroma.

Taste drops off a bit, as more pumpkin and spices come through. Some pumpkin flavor, but not a whole lot, then more spices, typical nutmeg, cinnamon, and pumpkin spices. The spices are def tolerable though, much better than some pumpkin beers that just go overboard with spices. Some creamy malts, pale and light crystal malts. A slight bitterness coming through, and I also get a bit of diacetyl bringing hints of a buttery taste, as well as a funky bitter taste. Starts semi sweet and finishes still somewhat sweet, with some lingering spices, a little bitterness, hint of salty flavor from the spices, and a bit of the diacetyl stuck on the tongue.

The mouth is lighter bodied with decent carbonation.

Drinkability is OK, but not the greatest, drinking well for abv and smooth lighter body, but the spices and diacetyl linger a bit too much too.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 01:01:00 | More by jlindros
Photo of Knapp85


3.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a little bit of a hazy orange brown color with a pretty good looking white head on top. The head retention was pretty good, but didn't leave any lacing at all. The smell of the beer had a pretty good aroma of spices going on in it and some sweet grains too. The taste was a little on the weak side, it had enough flavor to show that it was a pumpkin ale but just not enough to impress me. The mouthfeel of the beer was decent, medium bodied with a light creaminess to it. Overall it could have been a little better but it wasn't terrible.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2011 01:52:36 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215


2.45/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottled on 08/12/08:

Pours orange amber with a creamy, fluffy off-white head that leaves lacing.

The smell is of pumpkin spicing (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.) Pumpkin does come across something of an "articial"/plastic-y, but the spicing is nice.

The taste of plastic-y pumpkin comes out much more on the taste, along with a sourness that throws it off. The spicing is there, but the plastic-y sweetness and the sourness overrides.

The feel is thin and rather fizzy.

Not a good pumpkin ale. Likes nice - smell is okay (until tasted)...Weak and sour with pumpkin coming across in a way that some fruit beers with a somewhat artificial sweetness do. Not good. Not easy to drink. Not recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2008 02:34:57 | More by jwc215
Photo of RblWthACoz


2.78/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a slightly clouded amber brown with a creme head. The spices grabbed my nose as I was pouring, and I didn't like. Perfumed clove is dominant. Bleh. Flavor carries the same. Way too much man. Too much spices, no evident pumpkin. Feel is...eh who cares. I can't drink this.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2008 05:20:25 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of smcolw


2.63/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Cloudy orange-amber color. Moderate head but it settles to a continuous centimeter of bubbles. Slippery lace.

I truly dislike the smell of this beer. If I'm kind, I'd call it earthy. I smell a sweaty old socks. In a word, repulsive.

The flavor is an improvement...a little. Very dry flavor. Relatively thin body with a spritzy bubbles. Light on the pumpkin and the expected spices. Short aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2011 21:30:09 | More by smcolw
Photo of Halcyondays


3.78/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a pretty orange with a fizzy off-white head, average retention.

S: Really nice smell of pumpkin juice and autumn spices, nutmeg is the most evident. This is where the pumpkin flesh character comes out most in the beer.

T: The flavour brings much more of a spice element into the beer as compared to the nose. Lemon really came out which I was surprised at, with caramelized ginger and lots of cinnamon. Pumpkin flavour is relegated more to the background and does it's best to provide a counterbalance, though the spice does take over the brew at times.

M: Very light body, fizzy, could use some more heft for sure, lingering spice notes.

D: A nice pumpkin beer, very easy to drink, and I like the fact that they went organic and worked with the pumpkins of a local Vermont farmer. In the end I enjoyed it and so far one of my favourite pumpkin brews, but I wish it had a little more actual pumpkin flavour, I would have liked to see the organic pumpkins show their stuff more, so to speak.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2008 00:34:13 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.78/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a pretty good pumpkin ale. pours a hazy orange color with a thick creamy white head. smells less spiced than many pumpkin beers, and the smell of pumpkin is very noticable. tastes like fall, squashy and a touch sweet. could session this beer all night because it isnt overpowering. its all quite understated, but very well balanced. bravo!

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2011 23:37:18 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three finger beige head that fades slowly to a thin layer, leaving a good lace. Nearly clear amber color. Light carbonation and light-medium bodied. Pumpkin nose. Flavor is pumpkin and some citrus, hints of a bitter finish. $1.45 for a 12oz bottle from Cabot Quechee Store Quechee, VT.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2008 22:34:31 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Wasatch


3.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this brew.

Pours a nice hazy golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy white head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, nice pumpkin scent, nutmeg, cinimmon. The taste is malty, with some nice pumpkin/nutmeg/cinnimmon. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a nice little brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2008 00:42:34 | More by Wasatch
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 Kegatron


3.15/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper with 2 1/2 fingers of brite-white head. This shrinks down into a thin, silky, layer that throws a big and creamy cascade of lacing up on the sides of the glass. The aroma is floral hops, pumpkin spices up front, and green smelling pumpkin meat tartness underneath.

The taste is green pumpkin sourness that dominates the profile. There is also some underlying sticky sweetness and just a bit of spices in the backend. Finishes tart with some residual sweet notes. The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a lower carbonation that gets to be a touch viscous feeling at times and definitley doesn't do the tartness in the taste profile any favors.

Interesting to say the least, I understand that uncharacteristic (for a Pumpkin Ale) tartness in the profiles is courtesy of the type of pumpkins that were used but unfortunately, I just couldn't get into it. Kudos to Otter Creek for going organic with this one but there's better out there right now.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2008 17:59:49 | More by Kegatron
Photo of Bighuge


2.35/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Orange/scarlet red body. Medium sized dirty white head. Lacing comes in skinny rings. This one smells more of spice than of substance. Cloves are big on the nose with allspice and cinnamon showing up as well. This one IS more spice than substance. Too much clove for my liking. Big allspice feel to it. Little in the way of pumpkin flavor or caramel malt flavor for that matter. Plus a light funky sourness as well. Overall, a disappointment.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2008 02:38:06 | More by Bighuge
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a fairly clear dark, pumpkin orange with alight visible carbonation. A creamy beige colored head covered the surface and was average at best retention wise while the lacing was minimal leaving only faint splotchy reminders as it slide down the glass wall.

S: loaded with pumpkin spices, cinnamon, dry munich malting, toasted pumpkin, and lots of cloves with a just a dash of nutmeg. Standard foray with a moderate strong display for aroma.

T: The flavor was light to begin with, dry cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves being the most dominant. There was a sharp carbonation bite in the middle that brought about some dry pumpkin notes with a sweet spiciness. The flavor was well balanced and not overally spiced, a welcome relief. Spicy as most pumpkins with just enough to let you know of its presence, but not so much to distract you from the malting.

M: smooth, malty, with a nice breadiness. Moderate carbonation presence is detected on the tip of the tongue.

D: For a spice beer was fairly easy to enjoy and down. Sweet, dry with a warm pumpkin and malty nature makes this worthy of checking out.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2008 13:34:50 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.43/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pumpkin/light brown in color with a soapy head that provides ample lacing.

Aroma is full of pumpkin pie spices. Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and clove all are present.

Gourds! Pumpkin flavor dials in with all due spices. Bitter hoppyness adds a piney/earthy touch. Minerally pumpkin and slightly creamy. I'd go as far as to say the pumpkin is understated. Still a good flavorful brew.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lingering spicy finish.

A solid session pumpkin ale, great for the fall months.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2009 17:46:00 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of Brad007


3.63/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a decent orange-amber color with a one finger head that doesn't seem to last long.

Aroma is spicy with hints of nutmeg, brown sugar and pumpkin pie in the nose. So far, so good.

Tastes like a pumpkin pie upfront with spices and a decent sweetness. Some hop bitterness in the middle. A bit of a metallic taste does exist but it's not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel is mostly bitter with faint hints of pumpkin pie and that metallic aftertaste that I described. It's definitely a pumpkin ale.

Drinkability is not too bad at first but I can't see myself drinking more than one of these, though I bought a six pack (go figure). It's almost too early for a pumpkin ale as well. Do pick it up if you like pumpkin ales.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2008 03:54:47 | More by Brad007
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 OWSLEY069


2.7/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy orange-ish to yellow color with a light tan head. In the aroma, mellow spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. In the taste, a faint spice of cinnamon and a mellow pumpkin flavor. A spice bite and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a dry cinnamon like spice in the aftertaste. Very mellow and faint spices, eh.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2011 14:27:02 | More by OWSLEY069
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Wolaver's (Organic) Pumpkin Ale from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
78 out of 100 based on 351 ratings.