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Pumpkineater - Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

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PumpkineaterPumpkineater

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BA SCORE
87
very good

168 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 168
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 22
Gots: 26 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: lumikuuro on 10-08-2009

A high gravity pumpkin ale brewed with barley, fresh roasted pumpkin, hops, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, water and yeast, it is one of the local seasonal favorites. This beer is produced in very limited quantities each fall as part of the John Mitchell series.

19 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 168 | Reviews: 60
Reviews by prosper:
Photo of prosper
2.06/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Exceptionally brisk carbonation. I poured a glass full of foam. It's a slightly hazy orange colour with an off-white head.

Smells of pumpkin pie spices, as anticipated, but not overpowering. Seems like a good balance with some toasty and some caramelly malts. No hops.

Taste is.... OK. I think it's probably over-spiced for my tastes, it's got a strange non-hoppy bitterness that's sharp and biting, oddly combined with a cloying sweetness and a mouthfeel that's moderately full up front, but seems to finish watery, somehow. There's a biscuitty malt edge that just seems to clash with everything here. It's all wrong, in my opinion. I'm going to have a hard time getting through an entire litre of this stuff; definitely NOT my cuppa tea

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%

I normally refuse to drink a pumpkin ale before the middle of September but I gave in this year damn it.Pours a deep burnt orange with a full half finger slight off white head but is gone in an instant.The aromas are the bast attribute of this beer,clove,cardamom,and ginger really jumps out at ya along with some sweet alcohol.Flavors start out spiced and warming but a bit of an off chemical-like flavor to go along with big alcohol sweetness in the finish kinda turns me off a little.Well it's big and sweet like alot of the "Imperial" pumpkin beers,me personally just give me a standard old school pumpkin ale and I'am happy.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 1L monster of a bottle with a swing top, part of the LCBO's fall release. Shared with my wife on Halloween after all the trick or treaters had finished their evening.

Poured into a nonic. Dark amber-copper in colour, hazy, nice cap of foam that receded into a fine ring. Certainly shows its gravity.

Nose is quite nice - big cooked pumpkin smell here, with some clove, cinnamon and caramel malt as well.

A tasty pumpkin ale indeed, again with the fresh cooked pumpkin allowed full opportunity to show off. The spices provide potent accompaniment: again, clove, all-spice, cinnamon and nutmeg. Not as malty or thick as I had expected, but certainly highly enjoyable.

While not my favorite pumpkin ale around (that distinction remains in the hands of Pumking), this was still a solid pumpkin ale, well worth the pickup - though at this volume and price tag I doubt more than one is in the cards for this year.

Photo of chickenm
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orangish copper color with a medium off-white head. Aroma of nutmeg and other spices, malt, and pumpkin. Flavor is very spicy and malty with some brown sugar sweetness. A tiny bit of alcohol is noticable as well; overall the taste is quite balanced. Decent mouthfeel with a medium-light body. Pumpkin ales aren't usually something I'd want to drink more than one of, but this one is very good. All in all this is a great seasonal from Howe Sound!

Photo of BGDrock
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: great look - deep red mahogany, raspberry juice colouring; fine, thick head on the pour, but it diminished in a few minutes to non-existence

Aroma: scent is like fresh pumpkin pie with some sweetness and even brings to mind flaky pastry

Taste & Mouthfeel: spice flavours are great, blending so well that one particular spice doesn't stand out - it's just a unified medley; warming and comforting, almost like there's some heat to it, no doubt aided by the alcohol content which is faintly noticeable; medium body and silky texture, but the low carbonation is damaging to overall enjoyment; toffee and syrupy sweetness matches the spice in a good way, but the way it lingers in the finish and the affect over time makes it a little overbearing

Overall: on all accounts this ale is a hit at first glance - look, smell, and taste - but falters as time goes on; increased carbonation and managing the sweetness would go a long way to making it a great beer

Photo of niz
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

enjoyed from the 1 litre flip top growler, classic howe sound
pours hazy dark orange/ amber in colour with 1/2 " head that fades fast to zero head.

smells of spices, cloves, nutmeg, yum,

taste tastes of pumpkins, cinnamon, nutmeg sweet finish, with a dash of honey.

mouthfeel is good, i could go for a bit thicker (more pie crust flavor) but all in all very good.

Overall,. an excellent pumpkin ale froma local brewery, the best i've had so far this year.

Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another of those homebrew-friendly 1L swing-tops...and with that weird 'imported into the USA' mention on the label, for something domestically produced.

This beer pours a rather hazy, medium orange brick amber colour, with two fat fingers of densely foamy, and yet somewhat bubbly tan head, which leaves some random cirrus cloud-like lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells mildly of pumpkin pie spices - cloves, ginger, and cinnamon (hearts) - brown sugar, vegetal gourd flesh (pumpkin, and perhaps some of its squash cohorts), bready, crackery caramel malt, and an underlying twinge of metallic booze. The taste is sweet bready caramel malt, a blend of fall seasonal spices - clove and nutmeg, mostly - well-meshed pumpkin, squash, and even zucchini, and a pleasantly integrated, if a tad edgy at times, warming alcohol.

The carbonation is moderate, manifesting in but a plainly supportive frothiness, the body quite full and coddling (like there was a whole metric whack of pumpkin pulp in it), and actually fairly smooth, with a slight whipped dessert creaminess. It finishes more or less sweet, the spiced caramel malt most prevalent.

A sort of balanced, spicy, malty, chai tea-esque, and duly warming autumn-worthy beery tipple, one also good for a place where Indian Summer skipped September altogether, preferring instead to show itself in November, of all times. Whatever, it's still pumpkin season, and this offering does a bang-up job of reminding me of the fact.

Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle half pint at Bar Volo takeover. About an average pumpkin beer. Attractive orange colour, with little head. A good spicing, ginger, cardomon, cinammon, white pepper. Decent drinkability. Spicy nose, average mouthfeel, appropriate understated carbonation.

Photo of H1N1
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours an orange/amber with 3 fingers of white foam after an aggressive pour. Head dissipates to a quarter finger with minor lacing.

S- Cinnamon. Smell of gourd. Smells like pumpkin pie, but more of just the sices than any actual pumpkin smell.

T- Sweet taste with cinnamon and spices. Nutmeg. It tastes like it smells. More like pumpkin pie than actual pumpkin, but I guess that's the point.

M- Thin to medium bodied. Not much carbonation lasts.

D- It's alright I guess. Nothing special. Decent price for a litre.

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - bubbly clear burnt orange, one thumb of head retained well, eventually giving way to a consistent covering
S - cinnamon and nutmeg, sweet pumpkin, caramel and roasty malt, light leafy
T - sweet caramelized sugar and pumpkin, pleasant cinnamon and nutmeg, dark roasty malts, great flavour mix
M - smooth and creamy, the tingle of cinnamon and spice throughout
D - many pumpkin ales tend to lean too heavily on the spices, but this finds a nice balance between malt, spice, and pumpkin, and the higher ABV is completely concealed, Howe Sound does it again!

Photo of souvenirs
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

1L bottle shared with friends on Thanksgiving.

A: clear copper, big foamy head, visible carbonation, slight lacing left behind.
S: maple sweetness, almost like a liqueur.
T: I found this quite sweet and I couldn't taste the pumpkin at all. I didn't even pick up much of the spices I'd associate with pumpkin / pumpkin pie. This was a definite disappointment as a pumpkin ale. It definitely tasted like 8% alcohol, or maybe higher. Bleh.
F: fairly thick, smooth.
O: I wouldn't buy this again. I was glad my friend Sara really enjoyed it and wanted to finish the bottle so that it didn't go to waste!

Photo of elricorico
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear brown orange in colour with a very healthy beige head that sticks around for a while.

Smells like pumpkin pie, I even swear that I smell some whipped cream on top. Smells delicious.

Taste doesn't quite live up to the smell, though it is pretty good. Rich pumpkin pie flavours, solid amounts of spice and sweetness. There is a slight medicinal harshness right on the front of the tongue that detracts slightly from the overall effect.

Body is fairly full, with plenty of carbonation. Seems to work pretty well.

Good beer, comes in a 1L bottle that is more than enough though. I'm satisfied before the bottle is finished.

Photo of ChrisCage
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Orange in color with copper hues lingering about. There is a big bold head that is three fingers thick and eggshell in color. Very nice retention, eventually settling down to a thick layer over the brew itself. The carbonation is very mild looking as it slowly rises to the top. There is also modest clumpy lacing on the side of the glass. Very decent looking overall!

S- There is a distinct sweet, malty pumpkin aroma. This is followed by some mild spiciness (cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon)....pie spices! I didn't notice any real hop bitterness on the finish, but there is a slight boozy aroma....I guess being 8%, it's a little hard to hide.

T- The pumpkin flavor is there, but doesn't overpower and isn't as sweet as the aroma lets on. The spices are present as well, but again, aren't overpowering. Everything is nicely balanced out between the sweetness of the malt and a clean tasting bitter finish. Also of note, the alcoholic presence is modest on the palate, which is a good thing!

M- I found this to be medium in body and very creamy....it's almost like a micro-carbonated beer, and I think this characteristic does wonders for the style! The flavors, in my opinion are very much allowed to shine!

O- This is a very fine pumpkin beer and I highly recommend it! It's smooth, flavorful but doesn't make you feel like you loaded your mouth with candy, and well balanced. I feel that this exemplifies what a fall seasonal is all about!

Photo of TruePerception
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Howe Sound's Pumpkineater, Imperial Pumpkin Ale. 8% ABV.

A: One and a half finger of fairly fluffy white head. A little light on head, but good retention. Fairly hazy/unfiltered. Orange, a little deeper in color near the center. Dull yellow, in the dimple.

S: Pumpkin meat. Slightly sweet. Very slight pumpkin stem. Clove, very slight ginger, just a hint of cinnamon. A little light on the nose, but has good smells.

T/MF: Light and crisp, with decent body. Pumpkin seed sticks out the most. Pumpkin stem, skin, the stringy guts. Not so much the meat/flesh, but not bad. A bit of spice on the finish, but I can't place it. Overall, pretty drinkable.

Poured from a 1 liter swing-top, into a Belgian tulip glass.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma consists of cinnamon and cloves are quite dominant with light pumpkin and caramelized notes. Taste is a solid mix between some cinnamon and cloves notes with some good notes of pumpkin and caramelized malt. Body is full with good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Solid interpretation of the style and somewhat reminiscent of Pumpking with less aggressive spicing.

Photo of n2185
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear dark honey color with a finger of off-white head that fades into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Strong spice notes here--cinnamon, nutmeg, and a bit of anise mostly. There are some vanilla and sweet bread notes underneath.

T: The spices are a bit less heavy here with caramel malt, bread, burnt sugar, and vanilla coming through. The finish has a light alcohol burn.

M: Medium body with lowish carbonation, this beer just avoids being watery.

O: A solid beer, overall. I'd like the spice notes to be a bit more balanced and more of a body, but it is otherwise enjoyable.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to H1N1 for this one.
Poured from 1L swing top bottle in to Duvel tulip glass.

A - Dark amber colour with one finger of bubbly white head that quickly disappeared.

S - Pumpkin, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg. Standard nose for a pumpkin ale but not overly spiced, which many are.

T - Pumpkin, cloves & nutmeg are the predominant flavours. Some cinnamon is here as well but not as pronounced as it is in many pumpkin ales. I don't specifically taste the star anise but I am not sure I would know that taste if I found it anyway. A nice peppery taste is present in the finish.

M - Medium body, nice chew, lightly carbonated.

D - Nicely balanced pumpkin beer. Not overly spiced like many pumpkin beers tend to be. This was was very well balanced (pumpkin and spiced). One of the better pumpkin ales I have tried.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium somewhat cloudy orange-copper amber with a half finger medium white head. Light aroma of pumpkin with light sweet malt and light spicing. Flavor of roasted pumpkin, light sweet malt and some spices. Somewhat dry and a touch sour finish. The flavor is not as robust as other pumpkin ales, but pleasant. The finish takes away somewhat from an overall positive impression

Photo of IronDjinn
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 1L brown flip-top bottle. Pours out a hazed burnished copper/amber, fluffy off-white head with great retention.

Light caramel malt on the nose, but the primary notes are that of nutmeg and cinnamon. Mild ginger notes in the background.

Flavour is quite bold for a pumpkin ale, no wonder this is labelled as imperial. Rich full malt presence, some caramelized sugar soon kicks in, however the spices steal the show very quickly. The star anise seems to be the most prominent of them all by the finish. Some light herbal hops tend to creep out in the aftertaste once it warms a great deal.

Mouthfeel is full and smooth, light carbonation.

A good solid offering from this brewery for a seasonal, on par with their Xmas release. One of the better Pumpkin ales available in these parts and a welcome addition.

Photo of papat444
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Rutager for this one.

Poured from a 1L bottle and split with my wife.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber-orange body which affects the color of the head a bit. Thick sheeting coats glass as i swirl it and very good retention.

Smell: Chunky pumpkin pie , low carbonation.(the gelatinous part), nutmeg, sweet spices. Rich and pleasing.

Taste: Has that meaty pumpkin flavor, bit of cinnamon in the finish that grows a bit as it warms. Rich, authentic flavor. Well spiced without feeling like a whole spice bottle was dumped in.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, silky, low carbonation, real pleasant.

Overall: A winner and my favorite pumpkin ale so far!

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Burnt amber and crystal clear, with a few lazy bubbles finding their way to the surface. Two fingers of creamy head on the pour, but nothing more than a minimal ring around the glass after a rest.

S: Roasted pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, nutmeg & ginger and some sweet malts. The pumpkin is right there in the forefront of the scent profile as are the pumpkin pie spices. Noticeable absent is the yeast - that may be intentional, but doesn't detract from the smell.

T: Forward flavour of roasted pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices, with a hint of bitter hops, noticeable heavy on the star anise. Some rum notes on the back end, like a solid winter drink should be.

M: A little thin compared to the big flavour & smell, I hoped for something chewy & coating, however this feels crisp and clean and light. Some nice sparks of carbonation up front on the palate and just a suggestion of booze at the back end.

O: The smell and taste are definitely a strong representation of a pumpkin ale, however I find the mouthfeel a little thin. This wouldn't deter me from trying it again because the flavour and scent are so incredibly pumpkin forward. Maybe it's just me, but I think this might make a fantastic beer float!

Photo of spinrsx
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1L Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for 11$

Appearance - Clear copper colour with an average size fizzy/frothy beige coloured head. There is a lot of carbonation and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes but then it was gone completely.

Smell - Malts, cloves, all spice

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and pumpkin. There is also some all-spice, clove, and a bit of a smokey/peat like flavour. It ends with a malty spicy aftertaste.

Overall - Good not great.. I will say that it is fairly drinkable. Given the size of the bottle, this is a good thing. It's a decent seasonal beer.. It's no pumpking though.

Photo of liamt07
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from wordemupg, 1L into a tulip. 2011 bottling.

Browned orange with an offwhite head. Good retention, OK lacing. Nose of cloves, cinnamon, banana and pumpkin flesh. Some caramel and brown sugar like sweetness. Taste has cinnamon, banana, clove and pumpkin again, with alcohol interwoven. Sweetish finish, and some bitterness. Medium body, carbonation was a tad high initially. A good pumpkin ale, but not on Pumpking level.

Photo of SebD
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice cloudy deep orange color to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves little lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and sweet malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a some pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg, faint cinnamon, a hint of vanilla and sweet malts.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium/high carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

Photo of BigBry
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1L, stoppered bottle.

Pours a deep amber-orange color, slightly tan head a bit. Thick sheet of lace, foam lasts the entire glass.
Smell has lots of the noted spices, clove and nutmeg for sure.
Taste has a good malt base with some pumpkin elements coming through. The pumpkie pie spices are in the flavor, but not so overpowering that they take over too much. Cinnamon becomes more dominant as it starts to warm up. Alchol is pretty well hidden, but also gets a bit more boozy as it warms. Rich, full bodied flavor and mouthfeel. Low carbonation keeps it creamy and smooth.
Overall, one of the better Pumpkin Ales out there.

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Pumpkineater from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 168 ratings.