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Pumpkin Ale - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pumpkin AlePumpkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

85 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 85
Hads: 278
Avg: 3.62
pDev: 22.65%
Wants: 9
Gots: 48 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: aerozeppl on 09-28-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 85 | Hads: 278
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Syracuse Real Ale Festival. Medium orange colour, average mouthfeel. Interesting carbonation with nice, understated spices of nutmeg, cinammon, brown sugar, and of course the gourd itself. Average acceptable pumkin style beer. Drinkable, though nothing special.

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Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear amber orange in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense light beige head.
S: There are light aromas of pumpkins in the nose along with some hints of spices.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but has more pronounced flavors—pumpkin is most noticeable followed by notes of nutmeg and hints of cinnamon. There is a very light amount of bitterness; no sweetness is perceptible.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I liked this pumpkin beer because it was very drinkable and it had a nice flavor of pumpkins (not artificial) that was complemented by pumpkin pie spices (not dominated by them).

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

this is the first beer from these guys that i have not been over the moon on. its not bad, its just generic and samey and shows some flaws. didnt think that was possible from this brewery, which i hold in the highest regard. rusted dark orange to amber in color, some viscosity evident, and not much head at all in my wine glass. the nose is muted spices, caramel malt, and some sort of pumpkin, but it doesnt seem as squashy as it does canned and processed. the flavor is similar, with the spices all there, as per requisite, but not in any dynamic or inviting way, just sort of tossed in for style sake. the pumpkin is way back in here behind the malt, which at least is fresh and well dosed, and fermented out enough to be relatively dry in the finish, but carbonation is woefully lacking and my overall impression of this one is that its just a little better than average on the whole. disappointing for a brewery capable of magic, but one of the few pumpkin beers i could drink ten of, not that i would want to...

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Photo of oberon
3.05/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A pretty"below"standard pumpkin ale here.Pours into a standard pint glass a cleat light brass color with a minimal head.Light pumpkin spice in the nose along with a sour note wich I didn't care for much.A lighter fizzy feel in the mouth, flavors have a sourness too that leaves the spice notes behind,for a non- funked out pumpkin ale this has some sourness that Iam not a fan of.Captain Lawrence from what I have had is pretty top notch...except for this.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to the secret Halloween BIF I had the great pleasure of being able to try this treat. Served cold, I popped this growler open the other night to enjoy during the course of the evening. Served in a pint glass. This one was consumed on 11/11/2008.

The pour was very nice with a rich, light amber color that had a multitude of light orange hints ranging in throughout it. A nice tight head of white foam then rose up to a height of a round an inch before finally settling back down to a thin layer that covered the top. Loads of side glass lacing and carbonation were readily apparent throughout the session.

The aroma was nice and light, with an apple crisp like property to it that I found quite interesting and different. Tight cluster of spices, caramel, and a light bit of hops all combined to form a light and pleasant aroma. The flavor was more of the same, nice and crisp, clean and refreshing. Lots of pumpkin and cinnamon spices that were layered on top of a solid base of grain malt and a touch of light and fresh hops. Smooth, and quick clean finish was punctuated well by an abundance of carbonation. A smooth and easy drinker there was no issue here at all with being able to put down a few of these.

Overall I have to say this was a very solid seasonal ale here. Not much bad about this one can really be said. It was smooth, well balanced, and clean with not much in the way of flaws. I would not mind having this again any day.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

enjoyed from a goblet chilled purchased from half time.

The color is like sunset red with amber highlights and thick light beige cap with sticky lace and fine bead. The smell is a mix of sweet and spicy with caramel notes and light nutmeg with subtle woody nose with mild ginger-like tropical accent. The feel is good, moderately carbonated with a slight sweetness with mild spiced texture and gentle bitterness and low alcohol with semidry finish.

The taste is mild up front with light toasted malt and slight caramel sweetness with a subtle spice flavor that gets more dominant toward the middle with a light ginger tinge and subtle nutmeg like citrus tinge with a vegetal tanginess in the finish. Overall this is a good beer with nice spicing, but alittle spicier than most and somewhat sweet but still a drinkable pumpkin

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber with a thin creme head lining the top. Nose is slightly floral. Flavor is smooth pumpkin with very little spice interfering with the mix. Feel is smooth on liquid and carries a biting carbonation. Hey. I think most pumpkin beers are garbage. But this is a nice pumpkin beer.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a crystal clear dark orange to copper in color with some highlights of amber and light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall dense light beige head that reduces to a large patch of thin head and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Upfront the aroma of this beer is all pumpkin and it smells quite natural (no hints of artificial flavorings) and lighter aromas of pumpkin pie spices including cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.

T: This beer has a very pleasant flavor of natural pumpkin and caramel malts with some lighter notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. Light amounts of non-lingering bitterness in the finish.

M: Slightly lighter than medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation.

O: I enjoyed that this was a pumpkin beer with lighter hints of pumpkin pie spices rather than liquid pumpkin pie - since this is not sweet I find it much easier to drink and more enjoyable. Definitely one to have again.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.39/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I am winnowing through the bottles of everything except IPAs & DIPAs since I seem to give them short shrift. It is my greatest desire and hope to get things caught up so that I CAN return to The CANQuest (tm).

From the bottle: "

After I Pop!ped the cap, I commenced a light pour with an eye towards possible age and lees. It worked since I got two fingers of foamy, rocky, eggnog-colored head with good retention. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was strong with nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. Mouthfeel was thin to medium. The taste was spicy and evocative of pumpkin pie. I would put it at the low end of sweetness. On the other hand, all of the spices rendered it very dry on the finish. I will cop to having been very excited when Pumpkin Ales first hit the market, but I am becoming satiated with the style, having consumed my share. I would put this one somewhere towards the midpoint of the pumpkin spectrum. It was decent, but not mindblowing. I will leave it at that.

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Photo of Billolick
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Always a treat to walk into the Captain Lawrence Brewery and get to try a new offering from Scott and the crew. Had 2 samples at the brewery, purchased a growler, came home and sampled further, right away. Nothing like fresh, local , and best of all world class quality beer. This one pours out of the growler very clear, darker orangy amber, under an off white head that leaves spots of sticky lace. Nose of typical fall spice, toasty malts and a final resiny hop whiff. I'm not usually a huge fan of the style, but this one is understated pumpkin/spice wise, leading to a tasty, enjoyable fall offering. Moderate pumpkin on the palate, moderate apple pie spicing thing going on. Crisp and tasty, with balanced malt/hop underlying the whole deal. A nice accompaniment to thanksgiving dinner comes to mind. I'm unlikely to often go for this one ahead of other CL choices, but its simply another quality beer choice from the good Captain.

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Photo of biegaman
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pumpkin Ale isn't a style where you'll find much variation. Most recipes rely on the same handful of spices for their flavour profile and most, with very few exceptions, have, as Captain Lawrence's does, a medium-deep, clear orange colour that's befittingly similar to the skin of a pumpkin.

This recipe includes actual pumpkin, but not every one does. To be honest it's usually hard to tell anyways; spices like cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and allspice are typically bold enough to overshadow subtle gourd flavours. Who would want a beer that tasted strongly of squash anyhow?

Conversely, no one wants to feel like they're drinking hand soap either. The key is finding a good balance. Captain Lawrence has done a pretty good job, providing suggestions of baking spice that are folded seamlessly into a caramelly maltiness that itself shows nicely restrained sweetness.

Having more mild pumpkin pie qualities makes this just as easy to quaff as a standard ale; it doesn't have to be relegated to dessert (though it does have enough nutty, toffee notes should you want to). Its medium frame and subtler spicing means more than one is actually an option.

Captain Lawrence has some unique experiments for die-hard beer geeks, but they also offer a more simple, if solid lineup for general audiences. Their pumpkin ale is part of the latter. Its recipe stresses 'serviceable' over 'substantial' and the result is a very approachable, yet average beer.

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Photo of plaid75
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was little retention and decent lacing.

The smell featured a rindy sweet pumpkin with aromas of cinammon and allspice.

The taste consisted of a sweet vegetably pumpkin with a light pumpkin spice.

The mouthfeel was a bit thin for the style.

Overall a tasty pumpkin ale.

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Photo of vfgccp
2.59/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Amber in color, nice head, pretty good lace that lasted until the very last drop.

S - There are little undertones of spices like nutmeg, but they're much lighter than you'd expect in a pumpkin ale. Also a slight moss scent that's not all that pleasant.

T - Bold in flavors, but not the pumpkin ale flavors like spices. There is a slight hint of cinnamon on the back end, but its like a watered down cinnamon. There's a nutty flavor present as well.

M - Smooth going down, light on the back end.

O - Honestly tastes more like an Oktoberfest than a pumpkin ale due to the lack of spice in the flavor.

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Photo of corby112
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the SFTO Apple Brandy Barrel release.

Pours a dark golden orange color with some light coppery/ golden burnt orange hues when held to a light source and a frothy white head which has great retention lasting throughout the glass, leaving splotches of soapy white lacing in it's wake.

Aroma was kind of weak, especially after sampling the cask conditioned version with vanilla added. There is some pumpkin pie spice, caramel malt, cinnamon and brown sugar but it is kind of fain.

Disappointingly watered down mouthfeel with a lighter end of medium body. Caramel malt backbone with a subtle hop presence and faint pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices in the finish. Hints of pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. A decent pumpkin beer but a let down after the pumpkin pie in a glass cask conditioned version with vanilla added.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.59/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - A quite hazy orange brown color with just a 1/4 inch of head that sticks around for a bit.
S - Mostly nutmeg and some cinnamon. Baked apple sweetness mixed with malty sweetness. Average pumpkin ale smells.
T - Well it does have a solid malt and spice presence with mild clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg flavors but very mild vegital taste which is somewhat appreciated but makes the beer lack in complexity. Not bad.
M - Light to medium for the ABV its easy to drink and session able.

Overall I didn't expect much for under 2 bucks for the single but its a pretty balanced pumpkin ale. Far from the best but I had worse.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy orange brown along with a mild pumpkin/spice smell with a good head that died quickly. Smooth, semi-creamy, easy to drink with a great pumpkin taste that is well-balanced with mild spice and pepper notes. Contains some cinnamon and nutmeg as well to complement the pumpkin sweetness. Nothing that pops but this is a standard pumpkin beer that is a must try at least once.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a transparent orange color. Minimal head that doesn't leave much in the way of lacing.

S-Light spices and pumpkin. Cracker malt. Pumpkin crackers. Sweet but the pumpkin is good in the nose.

T-Also pretty light. Cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices. Pumpkin is light. Crisp taste but light in a good way.

M-Light with bunches of bubbles. Crisp. Clean and refreshing.

O/D-Don't love the style but this one is pretty good. Not overwhelming. Easy drinking. Not bad.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to RomanW70 for sharing. Served in my Allagash 25cl chalice. Poured a burnt orange/copper with a half inch, loose white head that lost half its volume within seconds. Some dribs and drabs of foam adhered during the tasting, but weak adhesion. Nose is somewhat reminiscent if not as bold as Pumking - Cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, with some maltiness coming out towards the back. Flavor profile is very muted, considering the nose, but consistent with the aromas coming out of the glass. Mouthfeel is light-medium, lively, but also a bit watery. Fairly drinkable for the style - not so cloying as some, but not so flavorful as others. What it trades in boldness, it makes up for in drinkability.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber tinted orange, moderate cap of froth. Scent quite muted, light spicing and moderate pumpkin, hint of green apple. Taste expands seasonal spices a bit, pumpkin is flavorful but relatively uninteresting, needs more sweetness. Medium bodied, fairly high carbonation. A good, but middle of the road pumpkin brew.

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Photo of Durge
3.3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This seasonal brew is a clear copper color, with a thin white head and very little lacing. The aroma is deep "yellow" vegetable with a mild herbal hop. Taste is raw pumpkin with light cinnamon squash. It’s a bit bitter and not at all sweet. It’s medium-light bodied with very mild carbonation. Feel is a midland sort of deal with a touch of dryness in the finish. I would like some sweetness and a touch more hops but this is a quality brew with an authentic pumpkin flavor. Just not my favorite side of the pumpkin ale variety.

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Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%

An above average pumpkin ale that nicely balances the beer with the pumpkin flavor. Very bready. The pumpkin taste is never overbearing. I have others I prefer, but certainly worth a try.

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Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +10.5%

This one is a deep amber-red, bright though dark and translucent. Its tan head caps at almost one finger. It's creamy and frothy and takes a good while to recede to an island and some thick edging while leaving legs on a good stretch of the glass.
With a good mingling of pumpkin, spicing, and sweetness, this one has the keys to a good pumpkin beer: the pumpkin flesh has enough presence without being either overly vegetal or sour; the spiciness blends nicely, allowing everything to come together without being harsh; the sweetness is just enough to complement the spicy and fleshy notes, with very nice elements of cinnamon and brown sugar. The malts give just a hint of crust to it (graham cracker), though I can't say whether that's intentional.
This beer is crisp, lightly smooth in its medium body working off of that bite. It's semi-dry with a vinous element at times, while the spices nip the tongue consistently.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle picked up locally, enjoyed from my capt lawrence tulip.

a - brew poured a transparent orange with a finger plus of foamy head. some visible carbonation could be seen.

s - pumpkin and autumn spicing. pot pouri. soft hints of spicy cinnamon.

t - surprisingly not all that pumpkiny...at least in the over-the-top way i've grown accustomed to for the style. kind of like a pumpkin lager. extremely malty and not that much spicy sweetness as suggested in the nose. as i sipped the beer, more pumpkin flavoring came out on my palate but still held onto a lagery pumpkin thing.

m - medium to light...soft. missing some zing that i love in the style.

o - overall a more subtle pumpkin. if you like punkin or pumpking, then this one will fall short for you as it is more malty than sweet. pretty good...not mind blowing.

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Photo of Gmann
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden copper color with a sudsy off-white head that settles into a solid ring.

The aroma is of light pumpkin along with light cinnamon and nutmeg. The aroma is not overpowering but you can tell that it is a pumpkin ale.

Light pumpkin spice in the flavor. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice pop through. The base is a neutral amber malt that lets the spice pop through. Some tea like flavors in the end.

The feel is light but solid with fizzy carbonation. Very balanced and crisp on the finish. A bit astringent. Real easy to drink.

An average pumpkin ale; a bit too light on the pumpkin flavor. It does drink very easy.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.87/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A-Hazy ruby orange in the glass, two finger head but not much carbonation,

S-Pumpkin, cinnamon, spices some earthy notes.

T-Rather sweet, not too spice heavy, mild pumpkin with slight bitterness.

M-Lighter, tad watery, not much carbontion.

O-What can I say, I love pumpkin ales. Not the best, but enjoyable.

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Pumpkin Ale from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 85 ratings.