Pumpkineater - Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

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PumpkineaterPumpkineater

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BA SCORE
87
very good

172 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 172
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 21
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: 172 | Reviews: 62
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 UCLABrewN84
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a murky dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, earth, cinnamon stick, and strong clove aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, earth, clove cigarette, and pumpkin pie spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a strong clove emphasis in the smell, but the taste has more balanced pumpkin pie spice flavors even though clove is also the most noticeable flavor.

Serving type: bottle.

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 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 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 barleywinefiend
3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a glowing orange with good carbonation and a dirty white head

S: Pumpkin, allspice and light cinnamon

T: Pretty tame to be "imperial". Light toasted pumpkin, spice, nutmeg and dash of cinnamon

M: Toasted pumpkin and ok mouthfeel, no complaints but pretty boring

D: Ahhh. Worth a try I suppose. I had no problems in drinking it but not Imperial.

Photo of biegaman
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pumpkineater looks like it's already eaten a few - this beer looks like semi-digested pumpkin and all the colour and clarity you'd imagine that to have. And if that image doesn't sound very appetizing, then good, I've done my job because what's in the glass certainly doesn't look overly tantalizing. Giving off little highlighting, it looks muddied. It's also pathetically flat; not even an upright pour could produce lasting bubbles.

You'd have to use a microscopic amount of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and anise for the aroma to smell like anything other than those spices. Indeed, this is a spicy, savory amalgamation of all the above (no one ingredient stands out above the others) that conjures thoughts of ginger cookies and pumpkin pie. It also manages a distinct gourd-y note, like fresh-cut butternut or acorn squash (it's also brewed with real pumpkin).

While there is a bit of cinnamon heart taste, I feel as though I'll be flossing strings of pumpkin flesh from my teeth instead of cinnamon bark. Surprisingly, maple-y squash flavour holds its own. That's not to say, mind you, that the chai-like profile of clove and nutmeg aren't appreciated - they certainly are. Even the anise is present in small quantity (provided you know to look for it). Quite a nice balance. I suppose it's a draw then.

While I wouldn't tinker with the spices, I would up the malts. Refreshingly, for a higher gravity beer there is little (if any) alcohol noticed. However, the other side of that coin is that it also drinks much thinner than a beer of its strength should. The flavour suffers most; it all but dissipates within seconds of swallowing and only a brief memento of the chai note is retained. More biscuity, toasty maltiness would help prop the beer up.

Any knocks that I might have about Howe Sound Pumpkineater have little effect on my overall enjoyment of it. Although a wee thin, it's still a fully loaded pumpkin ale that finds balance - and that's not an easy thing to do. Now, whether it's worth the price tag ultimately depends on how much you care for pumpkin ales; it will suit casual pumpkin ale drinkers but it might not suit their budget. I don't regret splurging on it one bit.

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

1 liter bottle into a FW tulip. 2013 release but didnt see an exact bottling date.

Dark orange color, 1 inch head that dissipates fairly quickly. Smell is of Fall spices - cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, everything you imagine when you think of Fall, though they arent too strong. The taste is a tad different than other pumpkin beers and i prefer this one to them. We get the cloves and nutmeg that dominate here, making it not sweet like a lot of the other varieties. Good flavor in my eyes. Medium bodied with mild carbonation.

Overall a very good pumpkin beer that you should check out if youre in the mood for that style. Also, the 1L bottle is awesome.

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 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 Derek
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Copper with an off-white head, thin ring of retention, hint of lace.

S: Huge cinnamon, ginger, cloves, vanilla.

T: Cinnamon, ginger, mace, vanilla, pretty spicy, hints of Gourd, balanced bitterness, warming alcohol.

M: Well-attenuated, with a drying finish.

D: It's a little warming.

Photo of wordemupg
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1L bottle poured into tulip sept26 2010

A slightly hazy deep amber with some bubbles popping up too a large beige head that has good retention but leaves no lace

S lots of nutmeg, cinnamon, and a little licorice with some booze

T a little sweet with some clove and pumpkin on top of what I smell with a little heat but the booze is fairly well managed

M a little flat and some bite to it, leaves a little grit in your mouth not bad but nothing special

D a little strong and the big ass bottles take some commitment but I managed without to many issues

not a bad beer and well suited for the season, I can't think of many pumpkin beers this strong but when the weather cools off it would be most welcome

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

What a great idea , taking the pumpkin beer style and increasing the alcohol and grain bill. This beer does resemble the Father John's Xmas beer in its baking spice top notes and English Old Ale body. It drinks very smooth with lots of complexity in the finish. The spices never really overpower the beer and the bigness of the mouthfeel ( including the alcohol) really set this apart from most pumpkin beers. These guys are starting to try new and different beers which is what BC needs as the our craft scene develops.

Photo of andrenaline
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Keeping the tradition alive with Howe Sound tastings on both my 100th, and now 200th review!

A - Pours a hazy tangerine colour with the slightest reddish hue, thumb of light big bubbled head, mild retention (< 1 minute), and no real lacing. Body shows a bit of carbonation, but pretty subtle.

S - Scent is rather bready, some sweet pumpkin and complemented by spices. It's nice to smell a pumpkin beer that isn't over the top in the spices, this one retains the beer aspect, which is nice.

T - The spices come through in the flavour with nutmeg and cinnamon dominating. The star anise is uniquely noticeable on the finish, and the higher ABV is nicely hidden. Pumpkin is also noticeable and is on par with the spices. A bit of a bready malt lingers, but again, everything is nicely balanced with nothing overpowering.

M - Probably the only weak point on this offering. Mouthfeel is a bit on the watery side and could use a bit more carbonation.

D - Overall, another tasty offering by Howe Sound. Was very excited to find this in Calgary, and am glad I picked up a bottle. In fact, I grabbed another bottle for Thanksgiving to share with the family! Really looking forward to enjoying this one again over the holidays! Much better balance between the spices and beer, and highly recommended to any pumpkin ale fan!

Photo of jrenihan
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is dark amber in colour, reddish, with a small-moderately sized off-white head. Head dissipates relatively quickly.

Lots of pumpkin in the nose. Expected pumpkin-pie like spices are prominent as well, cloves, nutmeg. On the sweet side. Certainly has a pumpkin pie aroma.

Taste has pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves. Spices are prominent, but there is a good pumpkin base. Malty. Nice flavour, quite yummy.

Medium bodied, quite malty. Carbonation is a bit high, but pretty good.

Overall, a very well done pumpkin ale. Definitely a good one if you are into the style.

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Hazy copper tinted amber with a vigorous 2” cream colored foam cap.
S: Traditional pumpkin pie spices liven up a big pumpkin bouquet.
T: Pumpkin pie in a glass with an under current of brown sugar especially on the finish. The nutmeg, clove and anise are very apparent. A small pinch of hops pulls the beer back slightly from the edge of too cloying.
F: Medium full body and medium low carbonation.
O: Stands on edge of the abyss of too much pumpkin pie character.

Photo of peensteen
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber colour, 1.5 fingers of off white head, some lace here as well. Nose is of cinnamon and ginger followed by a nice crisp malt, quite a bit of vanilla, pumpkin, clove and more spice all well integrated here and the nose is quite lovely. Taste is spicy with cinnamon, lightly bitter, vanilla, bits of a weird acidity too, pumpkin with a doughnut malty finish. Light-medium carbonation, medium body. Pretty good and the nose is wonderful but another 1L bottle of this is out of the question.

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 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.

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 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 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 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.

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Pumpkineater from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 172 ratings.