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Boxcarr Pumpkin Porter - Starr Hill Brewery

Not Rated.
Boxcarr Pumpkin PorterBoxcarr Pumpkin Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

105 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 105
Hads: 434
Avg: 3.33
pDev: 32.73%
Wants: 6
Gots: 51 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Starr Hill Brewery visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
English Porter |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Thorpe429 on 06-29-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 105 | Hads: 434
Photo of hophead723
4.14/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pours dark and clear, but when held to the light there are deep reddish mahogany hues that glimmer. The head is tan and the abundance of which depends on the vigor of the pour.

Smell: Light rosted grains, a touch of spices, and coco.

Taste: Clean molassesy malt, underlying pumpkin, hit of spices, a bit of a vanilla warmth, and finally acrid charcoal.

Feel: Medium, borderline-full body with a slick swallow and an acrid dry finish.

Overall: Recently I had realized that I liked the idea of a Pumpkin beer better than any pumpkin beers I had tried, and I decided to no longer seek them out. But this beer was excellent and made a lot of sense; the pumpkin was somehow not forced upon the beer. Very well done.

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Photo of Kubishark
2.65/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I've had this in previous years and liked it enough, but I don't know, it just doesn't do it for me anymore.

It looks good, dark brown/black with a tan, almost orange head. It smells like pumpkin spices. (What did you expect?) It tastes pretty bland. It's boring and nothing sticks out besides for some random pumpkin spices. Meh. The feel is pretty light, nothing really notable about it.

Overall, this isn't bad, but it just isn't something I'll probably ever buy with my own money again.

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Photo of Marraybay
3.34/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Look: Dark Black in color: Very large foamy off-white head. Pretty impressive in the glass.

Smell: Espresso, roastiness.

Taste: Much like the nose: coffee, roastiness. The fall flavors not really discernible, which is
disappointing. Definitely a dry stout-like flavor: no sweetness, but not overly bitter either.
Alcohol at 4.7 ABV is understandably very subdued.

Feel: Relatively full:

Overall: A nice idea, but a bit of a failure with respect to its execution, particularly as a seasonal offering. Although even as an english porter it's a bit meh...

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Photo of JWU
3.26/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12oz. bottle poured into a porter glass

A- a very dark brown, but light penetrates the edges. Light khaki head that dissipates car to quickly. No lacing.

S- Some dark malts, cocoa, mild brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon.

T- Taste is lacking. It's a mediocre porter with a flash of cinnamon and nutmeg on the finish.

M- Ample carbonation, but very thin.

O- Disappointing, to say the least. Very little pumpkin character.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Sampling a cellar temp 12 oz bottle poured into my snifter. THe beer pours a rich dark cola color with creamy beige head foaming up and fading to a sturdy edge layer soon after sampling.
The aroma is predictably spicy with nutmeg, clove and some cinnamon. A little sweet malt balances the spices but there dont appear to be any hops to be found on the nose.
First sip reveals an average body with smooth texture. the carbonation is fizzy and tingles my palate on each sip.
Flavor is mild with a little chocolate malt and some brown sugar sweet that then rolls to a bit of dry chalky flavor and then finishes with some cinnamon spice and a bit of cloves. Finish dries out a bit on my mouth after each sip.
The beer is average and I hoped it would have more malty porter backbone to boost the enjoyment, but there isnt really any flaws in this one. It just isnt exciting.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.21/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Bear Republic tasting glass. Bottled 12 August 2015.
Almost opaque red-black.
It smells like pumpkins! Good, honest gourd. Hint of spice.
This is fantastic!! Roasted-sweet. Lots of pumpkin. More pumpkin than Porter.
Fairly viscous and pleasurable.
Would definitely have again. I think they've improved the recipe in the last 3 years.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.84/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tried this bottle at FoodStruck York -served chilled in a plastic cup.

The color is black with brown hue at base and light tan head. The smell is spice dominant with a ginger presence. The feel is good with a mix of malt and spice with mostly dry finish.

The taste is a good mix of dark malt with a slight nutmeg/ginger combination of pumpin spice. The body does not lead me to believe it has actual pumpkin in it but it tastes very good. Overall a nice spiced porter more or less.

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Photo of hopphead31415
3.91/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

In the spirit of Octoberfest brews that I’m reviewing today, I grabbed a close cousin by the name of Boxcarr Pumpkin Porter. I haven’t tried Starr Hill before, but wasn’t expecting much however I did enjoy this variety. It has a lower 4.7% ABV than beer advocate reports, but that is because this is a newer variety.

Look-It pours a deep dark body with an orange red glimmer in the light. The head fizzles away to a thin layer and leaves off-white mocha colored lacing on the glass.

Smell-I smell a lot of licorice, spices, nutmeg, pumpkin pie, and cinnamon which form the basis of the strong malt component which makes up most of this beer.

Taste-The pumpkin pie flavors and spices come through clearly in this nice brew. I get a coffee, caramel, and brown sugar flavor that sings high above the pumpkin and spices and it finishes with a tart bite that I didn’t expect.

Mouthfeel-This session beer is light, moist, smooth, and crisp. Its low alcohol content is augmented by the light fizz at the end. A slight toasted sweetness lingers on the tongue afterwards.

Overall-This beer was a bit surprising, because it had much more prominent flavors and aromas and had a nice dark color to it. I think I’ll be drinking from Starr Hill Brewery again. Cheers!

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Photo of generallee
4.11/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: The body has a deep copper like amber color with good clarity. It’s head is small, white In color and fades slowly as I drink.

Smell: There are some nice pumpkin pie spices coming through with a deep maltiness backing it up.

Taste/Palate: I get really nice light coffee notes and a good malty base. It also has a nice balance of pumpkin pie spice. The palate has a firm feel with good carbonation. For me this is one of the more drinkable pumpkin beers. Everything is in very good balance.

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Photo of Byrnie-madoff
4.45/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

If you don't know what an English style porter is, I encourage you to read up before trying! Not everyone likes a lighter bodied porter but if you're familiar with the style you're going to like this beer. This is a very well executed English porter with some tastefully subtle pumpkin spicing in the background.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a completely opaque, pitch- black color with a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing foam that gripped the sides of the glass and partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Roasted malt, freshly baked dark bread, roasted pumpkin, brown sugar. Not much in the way of hops, however.

Taste: Interesting. Lots of roasted malt and roasted pumpkin, a little brown sugar-like sweetness, and a little sourness at the finish. However, there is no hops bitterness to speak of, which I overall prefer.

Mouthfeel: A little chewy and some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 4.7%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate. This is a true session beer!

Overall: This is a pretty tasty porter. I like the roasted pumpkin flavor. I’d certainly get it again next year.

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Photo of VirginiaBeerMan
3.26/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into a pub glass
A - Dark brown, some, but very little light getting through; light tan head settles to about 1/8 inch; weak lacing (looks like it poured thin, we'll see....writing this before going to the next step)
S - Earthy pumpkin, nothing overpowering, very distant malt
T - I was expecting more of a porter out of this, but to me it was a mild pumpkin ale, but better; the dark color throws you off; subdued hop and bitter
F - Good level of carbonation; moderate body; average overall
O - As far as pumpkin beers go, this one wasn't horrible and I wouldn't deliberately avoid it like I would most pumpkins; but overall, it's still just an average beer, no real aroma or taste that stands out, no bad tastes, just pretty generic

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Photo of chinchill
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle with a pkg date of 17 Sept 2014.

Pours very dark brown, nearly opaque in my snifter, with a moderate size tan head that soon reduces to a ring.

Aroma: not good right out of the bottle when notes of decayed vegetation were quite obvious, but these soon vanished leaving a spicy aroma with faint roasted grains.

Flavor: a spiced (nutmeg and other pie spices), but otherwise mild porter with hints of pumpkin.

Feel: near full body; medium carbonation that may be a tad higher than optimum.

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Photo of baconfromwalmart
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: Slight head dissipated into really thin lacing quickly. Beer is really dark, no light can get through so I can't tell if it's hazy or clear.
S: Pumpkin spice and toasted malt.
T: Smokiness up front. Definite pumpkin spice flavoring and definite porter darkness/bitterness.
O: This is my first pumpkin porter, and it seems like a nice balance of both flavors.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

served from the tap in a shaker pint glass

Black in color, white head. Aroma has a bit of the pumpkin pie spices - nutmeg, cinnamon. Taste is a mildly roasty porter flavor, with again the mild spices. Decent balance, the spice flavors are not overwhelming. Medium bodied. Overall decent for a "pumpkin" beer, but I wouldn't necessarily seek it out again.

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Photo of rjs246
3.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I revisited this over the weekend and it was better than I remembered. Still a little too much spice, especially on the nose, but totally drinkable. I would have to be in the mood, but this is not a drain pour.

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Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev +9.6%

Pours a chestnut brown with a rather large blooming light beige head atop,no lace is left behind.Mild pumpkin spice and chocolate in the nose.A little light in the feel,pumpkin pie spice on the palate with a hint of roast and chocolate.If it were not for the feel I think this beer would be very good,as is it's not bad.A little maligned in my opinion.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

P- Giant Beer garden in Hampden township

A- light black color...not as dark or heady as a porter should be. poor head and minimal lacing.

S- I get some clove, nutmeg and pumpkin spice but nothing as far as malt goes.

F- faint pumpkin spice flavor with hints of cinnamon and clove. is that anise I get as well. Malt is winter fest type.

M-bland pumpkin spice that is light to medium bodied. was expecting a thicker feel since it is a porter.

O- eh...a bottom of the barrel pumpkin for me...just didn't seem to have enough going on. Was hoping for a lil more malt to come through.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.19/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

No label information. Boxcarr is brewed in the style of an English Pumpkin Porter Ale. Available as a fall seasonal release in 12 oz. bottled 6 packs and on draft.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served above 51º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp, foamy mocha-tan head over a medium cola brown body with a mild haziness and light, spritely carbonation. Retention is good, lacing is light and spotty. 3.5

(Smell) Cold roast, medium toasted caramel grain, dry chocolate malt and the suspiciously well concealed aroma of raw pumpkin flesh beneath it all. Comes off a little dry and under-sweet. The potency is medium. 3.25

(Taste) The flavor follows the aroma closely with the addition of assertive pumpkin pie spices. Pumpkin only plays a minor role in building the flavor, the malt profile is largely dominated by toasted caramel bread and unsweetened baking chocolate, very light, mildly flavored and strikingly dry with a marked lack of sweetness. A spiced backdrop of cinnamon and nutmeg don't help to bring out the pumpkin flavor much but do dry out the drinking experience significantly. 3

(Mouthfeel) The texture is thin, clean and chalky dry. Carbonation generates a moderate briskness for a medium crisp mouthfeel. The body is light/medium for the style, medium overall. Balance is spiced and earthy bitter over sweet. Alcohol present is very low, off characters are minimal. The carbonation is a bit buzzy for the flavors, I could have appreciated a smoother, possibly creamier mouthfeel. 3.5

(Overall) This comes off much more as an English porter with pumpkin accent than a pumpkin porter, but even that line manages to blur as this beer has enough issues to question the style guidelines. Porters in general showcase drinkability paired with deeper, roaster and at times maltier characters, but this beer seems to play the drinkability card on a new level with a beer that lacks both in sweetness and pumpkin flavor, making up for it with liberal spicing and a fairly unimpressive and rough malt profile. All flavors combine for an incredibly dry drinking experience and I don't find this quite as session-worthy as they make it out to be. Altogether, it's simply not impressive for the style and amongst all pumpkin ales, you could choose a great many better examples that blend pumpkin flesh and roasted malt into a drinkable and yet flavorful ale. 3.25

Starr Hill Brewery's
Boxcarr Pumpkin Porter

 2,447 characters

Photo of TheLibertyFlamesTaster
4/5  rDev +20.1%

Smells- Like a yummy pumpkin pie.
Taste -sweeter up front then like spicy then porter.
It's a good porter.

You guys that keep saying it's watered down need to check your buds. The best beers arn't the ones that have the most intense flavor they are the ones that mix flavors in artisan way.

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Photo of IMFletcher
3/5  rDev -9.9%

Bottle pour. Nice nose, has some pumpkin spice going on, I was intrigued. Until I tasted it. There's not enough body here for a porter, and I wasn't convinced the flavor was pumpkin, and not just some random gourd. The finish is just meh. Not terrible, but not going to make anyone's list of top pumpkin beers.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.6/5  rDev -21.9%

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown body with a slim, shmeer of light beige foam.

Smell: Nominal notes, a bit bland, really, barely hinting at roast and toast and failing to deliver any expected pumpkin or spicing.

Taste: Washed out, watery roast in the fore with little in the way of supporting elements like chocolate, caramel or coffee accents. Minimal pumpkin flavor, restrained spice. Very, very low hop flavor, bitterness. Quietly, unashamedly closes out dry with the same simple roastiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Disappointing. Falls short at being a porter and at being a pumpkin-anything, leaving you with an essentially characterless beer that leaves you scratching your head wondering as to whether or not this was the intended final beer.

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Photo of humuloner22
4/5  rDev +20.1%

This beer has been getting shitty ratings. I was hesitant to even try a pumpkin porter. But, you know I really thought this was a good beer. Its really not a pumpkin beer and its really not a porter in the traditional respect and if you are looking to rate it on those parameters then you would feel disappointed. I however thought it was a good hybrid style. You get those porter notes, in there, but you also get the pumpkin spices. I did not detect pumpkin itself, if there is really any in there to begin with. You do get the spices, which I enjoy on a limited basis and this is a good beer to have one or to finish off a night of fall beer drinking. Is it the best beer I have ever had? No, but it is interesting and was better than it has been represented here, for the most part.

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Photo of iheartmyTHO
3/5  rDev -9.9%

The mouthfeel is too watery to be a porter, in my opinion. You taste a hit a pumpkin, but the spices definitely overwhelm the rest, in a not so great way. It leaves an unpleasant bitterness on the palate.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.2/5  rDev -3.9%

Appearance: browns a reddish mahogany color. a finger of a tannish head that fades and leaves no lacing behind. shows hints of garnet through the edges when you hold it up to the light but pretty much opaque in the middle. 4/5

Smell: heavy on the spices, pumpkin spice, nutmeg maybe some cinnamon. some pumpkin, not much else. 3.25/5

Taste:opens up with a little pumpkin followed by a lot of spices. mostly pumpkin spice and nutmeg and a little bit of cinnamon. little to no malt presence. 3.25/5

Mouthfeel: lingering spices. light watery feel. 2.5/5

Overall: it has a good look and some good flavor but to light and watery and not nearly enough malts to give it the complexity it needs.

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Boxcarr Pumpkin Porter from Starr Hill Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.