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Pumpkin Ale - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Pumpkin AlePumpkin Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

167 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 167
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.06%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: aerozeppl on 09-28-2008)
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Ratings: 167 | Reviews: 65 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of patriot76

New York

3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle served in a pint glass

A- Pours a solid copper color with a slightly red hue along with a half inch head that dissapates. Slightly hazy.

S- The smell is appetizing with caramel malt and fall spices. There are really no hop or definitive pumpkin notes coming from this offering.

T- The caramel malt dominates the taste along with the previously mentioned fall spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon etc. A little low on the taste meter.

M- The brew hits the palate very slowly with an almost soda like quality that is quite thin at points. This has low carbonation with an easy finish. Not much lingering taste as the end of each sip.

O- Not bad, but not the best. In the middle as far as pumpkin ales go for me. I've had Southern Tier Imperial Pumpking so I think I'm ruined forever as far as other pumpkin ales go. Easy drinking but not mind blowing.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2012 16:28:06 | More by patriot76
Photo of TheBrewo


3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

We pour a brew of solid glowing orange. It holds a two finger head of creamy beige bubbles. This shows nice retention, leaving thick sheets of lacing around the glass. Carbonation appears moderate, and there is a chill haze to the beer, without sediment. The aroma is classic for a pumpkin ale. There is a deep spice of cinnamon, pumpkin spice, gingerbread, and raw clove. Honey adds sweetness, alongside pale and caramel malts. With warmth comes a cooling vanilla, some toasted wheat, fermented vegetables, and raw nutmeg. Our first impression is that this is a more “serious” pumpkin beer. The flavoring opens with biting metallic pale malts, and the same spice profile from the nose, with nutmeg, pumpkin spice, cooling vanilla, and cinnamon bitterness. The middle peaks with more wettish wheat grain, raw and bittering nuttiness, and flashes of sweeter cinnamon sugar. The finish lightens up a bit, with light lactic sours sitting amongst the grain which, here, takes on a borderline adjuncty vibe. Metallic comes in, but are bolstered by a stronger, more real pumpkin flavoring than anywhere before in the sip. The aftertaste breathes of metallic tin, salty pumpkin seeds, baker’s yeast, bittering wheaty grain, and genuine pumpkin flesh. The body is medium, and the carbonation is light to medium. There is light slurp and smack to each sip, with minimal cream and froth. The mouth is wetted and cooled, with a final spicy dryness down the hard palate. The abv is fine, and the beer drinks easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was its genuine pumpkin flavoring, and general mildness throughout. Many beers of this style tend to overwhelm you with spice and depth, but forget about the importance of the actual pumpkin flavoring to the taste. Here we find a mature ale, with nice flavoring, and a decently hearty malt profile to back it all up.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2012 02:27:24 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of Willytee3

New York

3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Captain Lawrence Pumpkin Ale 2012. 12oz bottle poured into a Captain Lawrence tulip glass.

Pours a clear red-orange amber. Thin head with good ring and thin film, lacing present but fades quickly.

Smells of spice and pumpin, a touch of sour wood and dry malt.

Tastes of spicy dry malt and fleshy gourd. A bit of hops bite on the finish with lingering cinnamon spice.

Overall a an enjoyable pumpkin beer that does not overdue the spices although a bit off balance with the dry malt. However I do like the dry malt contrast of this beer that makes it an approachable favorite of mine among this seasonal specialty.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2012 04:06:04 | More by Willytee3
Photo of alpinebryant


2.58/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a clear light pumpkin color with a respectable white head that leaves some spiderwebs.

S: Light malty brown ale, with a hint of fresh pumpkin, very minimal spicing.

T: Taste is similar to the taste, minimal in a lot of respects, there is the fresh pumpkin taste, but it is just barely there. Just hints of cinnamon, and barely mentionable nutmeg or allspice in the back.

M: Light body with a good amount of carbonation.

O: Possibly my taste has evolved, but I remember this being more robust in past years. Maybe it is the new brewing apparatus. In any case, its not great and I would have many other pumpkin ales in line ahead of this. light fizzy pumpkin ale. Not impressed (insert meme)

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2012 19:09:55 | More by alpinebryant
Photo of Gambrinus1184


3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a plain tumbler pint glass.

A: Poured a dark, orange amber color with a two-finger head of dense, white carbonation that faded quickly and left a bit of lace.

S: Strong pumpkin flesh aroma with hints of caramel malt, salted pumpkin seeds and very minimal baked good spices.

T: Bittersweet from the start, this pumpkin ale seems to lean heavily on roasted malts and vegetable flavors. There isn't much in the way of sweetness from the malt or from "pumpkin pie" spices. It sort of has the flavor of an English ESB with some mild pumpkin flavor and a dash or two of ginger and cinnamon.

M: Medium-bodied ale with a slightly acidic body, possibly from the use of roasted pumpkin or adjunct spices.

O: Not a bad pumpkin beer and one that could session at 5.5% ABV, not that I'd necessarily want to. It's got a decent, if not all that interesting flavor and aroma. Possibly a cut above Saranac and below Smuttynose, and certainly not as interesting as the imperial pumpkin ales that will soon flood the aisles. I wouldn't turn one down, but I'm not in a rush to get it in my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2012 22:55:55 | More by Gambrinus1184
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2012 03:14:14 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of davey101


3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Super fresh seeing as its only mid-August.

A - Typical dark yet clear brown body. Two finger high off white head settles down to a patchy cap. Almost no lacing or retention to speak of.

S - Roasted pumpkin, light bready malts, a touch of english style hops, smooth spices on the finish with just a hint of brown sugar sweetness.

T - Amazingly this has pumpkin flavor to it. Roasted pumpkins with a slight vegetal quality to it, light spices, and a great balance of bready caramel malts and ever so bitter english hops. A great deal of flavor, but it disappears quickly. Mouth feel is medium to light with a crisp carbonation.

O - This beer does seem to do things a bit differently than most pumpkin ales. Like other reviewers have noted, this is basically a session ale. A great REAL pumpkin flavor that is never too spicy or sweet. Perfect beer for the transition from summer into fall.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2012 01:55:27 | More by davey101
Photo of Durge


3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Serving type: growler

11-14-2011 04:46:08 | More by Durge
Photo of VelvetExtract


3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2011 22:18:26 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of corsendonkfan

New York

4.25/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark bronze color. Had very little head but left some lacing on glass. I think it probably would have had much more head if poured correctly not by a waiter that doesn't know much about beer.

S: Had a typical smell for a pumpkin ale. Strong smell of sugar and pumpkins.

T: I'd have to say this is one of the better pumpkin ales I've had. It had a definite taste of pumpkins and sweetness of sugar and cinnamon spice, however unlike many pumpkin beers I've tried this did not overpower the taste of the beer. It did not have the overpowering spice taste that so many pumpkin beers have. Very drinkable beer.

M: Was very drinkable. I feel like i could have kept drinking it for a while without feeling full, made it perfect to have with dinner.

O: The only reason I don't rate this beer higher is I can't compare it to the complexity of some to the great beers that are brewed that give you a range of tastes. For a pumpkin ale though, I don't know if I have had a better one. The Captain Lawrence website says on its page for this beer, "Perfect match with Thanksgiving Dinner". I just wish I knew where I could get a growler of it so I could test their theory.

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2011 07:53:53 | More by corsendonkfan
Photo of vfgccp

New York

2.58/5  rDev -28.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-05-2011 06:28:38 | More by vfgccp
Photo of Retail1LO


4.38/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received a 32 oz. growler of this in my first ever BIF. Not just one of the finest pumpkin beers I've ever had (it's the best), but one of the best beers I've ever had, period. I only wish this was a 384 oz. growler. Pours a beautiful bronze shade with a thin wispy head. The nose is a faint mix of vanilla, nutmeg, and yes, PUMPKIN. A pumpkin beer that SMELLS LIKE PUMPKIN? Oh yeah. Right here! The taste is so slick. I'm so tired of getting spiced the fuck out by pumpkin beers. This is light in body and overall flavor. You could session the hell out of this. The mouthfeel is light and refreshing. One of the few beers in my opinion, that could quench thirst. Top to bottom, this is a good goddam beer. I would drink this year 'round. Outfuckingstanding.

Serving type: growler

10-05-2011 03:59:33 | More by Retail1LO
Photo of Gmann

New York

3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Serving type: growler

09-18-2011 00:51:41 | More by Gmann
Photo of drewba


3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to alewatcher for sharing this after getting this growler in a trade!

A - Slick golden yellow with a two finger white head and medium lacing.

S - Cinnamon, coriander and a little funk and tartness. Not a ton going on here.

T - Cinnamon, allspice, anise and a mild funkyness to it. While the spices are nice, not a real depth of flavor here. The pumpkin isn't here at all. There was a noticeable oxidation taste going on here, but it could have been from the growler, so I won't count that against it.

M - thin but creamy and the carbonation just pops - very nice.

D - Crispness and clean, wet finish make this a fast drinker.

Serving type: growler

01-03-2011 04:50:43 | More by drewba
Photo of scootny

New York

4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A brilliantly clear copper with gentle carbonation moving through the glass. The moderate light khaki head leaves a nice amount of lace all the way down. While the the head fades kinda' fast it leaves a light covering that stirs up with each sip. The aroma is full of spices and pumpkin. Notes of vanilla, fruity yeast, and sweet light malt. A touch of butterscotch. There is a bit of hop earth as well. Taste follows the nose. There is a pale ale core that gives a bit of bread to the body. Hops are well balanced with a mix of herbs and earth. Finish is short and dry with a bit of grains. Feel is crisp and light with mild but tingly carbonation. This goes down quite nicely and is a great session ale. The overall balance of flavors makes this a pumpkin that like the Smutty you can enjoy every day. A super brew.

Serving type: growler

11-26-2010 02:28:03 | More by scootny
Photo of yeahnatenelson


2.93/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Big thanks to Jeff for cracking this one open at a recent tasting.

Appearance -- Pours an orange-amber hue with one finger of sudsy white head. So far so good...

Smell -- Toasted malt, grassy hops, gentle spice, and a mild dose of pumpkin.

Taste -- Pretty much follows the nose: Toasted malt, subdued brown sugar sweetness, grassy hops, cinnamon and allspice. Pumpkin is really subdued.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied with lively carbonation. Really quite nice.

Drinkability -- Pretty generic, honestly. Essentially this is a run of the mill amber ale with some spices thrown in. Pumpkin is nearly nonexistent in this brew. One needs to ask: why make this?

Serving type: growler

11-07-2010 03:34:14 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of pmlondrigan

New York

4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler, half inch whit head that fades quickly to some foam around the top and a ring. Color is a little boring, clear copper ish. Aroma is of pumpkin, brown sugar and faint spices. Flavor is very much the same. This is an ale more on the pumpkin flavored side and less on the spice side, which is nice actually. Little heavy on the palate in a good way. Real sessionable for a pumpkin ale.

Serving type: growler

10-18-2010 00:22:26 | More by pmlondrigan
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.68/5  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.

Serving type: growler

01-10-2010 16:45:35 | More by Jwale73
Photo of asabreed

New York

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

From a growler purchased at the brewery. Poured into a traditonal pint glass.

Appearance: Lighter orange body, not a lot of carbonation coming to the top of the glass. Quickly dissipating head and little lacing left.

Smell: A bit of clove, cinnamon, and pumpkin filling. Not terribly spicy, but that's about it, and it's a bit boring in some ways.

Taste: Again, you can taste the spices, but there's not a lot of backbone. Some nutmeg and cinnamon. A bit of pie filling. Not a lingering or complex finish.

Mouthfeel: A bit watery and thin, but nothing that detracts too much since the beer isn't really all that complex.

Drinkability: Don't get me wrong, I could drink this again, and pumpkin ales aren't easy, or so it seems, to create. But there's just something ho-hum about it overall. I'd like to try the cask vanilla version, because I think that's what this brew calls for: some barrel aging or additions.

Serving type: growler

11-29-2009 19:41:27 | More by asabreed
Photo of Nickls

District of Columbia

3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(From notes)

A - Light, clear, still orange in appearance; slightly off-white thin head

S - Lightly gingery; touch of malt sweetness; graham crackers; good degree of spiciness

T - Fresh ginger; holiday spices; not really sweet at all which was nice; drying; pumpkin pie spices shine at the end

M - Thinner; dry; prickly carbonation

D - Nice drinking; actually not all that warming and found it to be fairly refreshing, but I couldn't do this one too much

Really great in terms of the style, and not overblown or too much on any end, nice.

Serving type: on-tap

11-22-2009 20:07:57 | More by Nickls
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.63/5  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.

Serving type: cask

10-27-2009 00:53:24 | More by Sammy
Photo of clayrock81


3.78/5  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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-13-2009 11:49:02 | More by clayrock81
Photo of david18

New York

4.13/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not a huge fan of pumkin, or any spice or fruit beer, but the bartender assured me that this was a mellow one and I also love the brewery so, of course, I had to try it. Very good! A hint of pumkin in the aroma but not really too much in the flavor and in general a great drinking beer. Not sure of the ABV either but drinks like a 6% or so. Great color, very good aroma, I will drink this all fall.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2009 15:35:30 | More by david18
Photo of Darkhorse09

New York

4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler filled and tasted on tap at the brewery.

Appearance: Darker than average color, amber with shades of brown. Nice, off white head, about 1.5 inches up the glass.

Smell: Getting a lot of hop, actually, mixed with the standard pumpkin flavors of brown sugar, pumpkin, spice etc. A subtle, more complex aroma, not in your face pumpkin. Relaxed, for sure.

Taste: All pale ale up front, the pumpkin and especially clove/cinnamon spice comes out big time on the finish. A two-faced beer. Really quite nice, as you don't get bored.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, well carbonated. Just a touch too light in the mouth, I think.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable. This growler disappeared fast!

Very happy with this beer. Another winner from CL.

Serving type: growler

09-28-2009 17:09:24 | More by Darkhorse09
Photo of koopa

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler filled at the SFTO Apple Brandy release and consumed yesterday.

Appearance: Classic dark pumpkin body with a 1 finger off white crown that shows some retention and lace.

Smell: Really nice balanced mixture of cinnamon, brown sugar, clove, pie spice, etc. Not overwhelming, not imperial, but very nice for a standard pumpkin beer.

Taste: Absolutely the same as the nose.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and just enough carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite sessionable.

I was pleased with this pumpkin beer.

Serving type: growler

09-24-2009 23:12:45 | More by koopa
Pumpkin Ale from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.