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Boxcarr Pumpkin Porter - Starr Hill Brewery

Not Rated.
Boxcarr Pumpkin PorterBoxcarr Pumpkin Porter

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BA SCORE
77
okay

97 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 97
Hads: 407
rAvg: 3.32
pDev: 15.96%
Wants: 6
Gots: 43 | 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: 97 | Hads: 407
Photo of hopphead31415
3.91/5  rDev +17.8%
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! (1,268 characters)

Photo of generallee
4.11/5  rDev +23.8%
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. (582 characters)

Photo of Byrnie-madoff
4.45/5  rDev +34%
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. (312 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.63/5  rDev +9.3%
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. (890 characters)

Photo of VirginiaBeerMan
3.26/5  rDev -1.8%
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 (747 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.35/5  rDev +0.9%
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. (509 characters)

Photo of jmdrpi
3.5/5  rDev +5.4%

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. (365 characters)

Photo of rjs246
3.29/5  rDev -0.9%
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. (210 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev +9.9%

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. (352 characters)

Photo of Dodo2step
3.27/5  rDev -1.5%
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. (588 characters)

Photo of Jadjunk
3.19/5  rDev -3.9%
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
3.17/5.00 (2,447 characters)

Photo of TheLibertyFlamesTaster
4/5  rDev +20.5%

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. (294 characters)

Photo of IMFletcher
3/5  rDev -9.6%

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. (310 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.6/5  rDev -21.7%

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. (855 characters)

Photo of humuloner22
4/5  rDev +20.5%

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. (786 characters)

Photo of iheartmyTHO
3/5  rDev -9.6%

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. (206 characters)

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.2/5  rDev -3.6%

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. (692 characters)

Photo of hophugger
3.25/5  rDev -2.1%

This "pumpkin" porter is almost too light to be a porter. Don't get me wrong, the flavor is very nice but a little on the light side. Plenty of pumpkin spices, almost too much and it overtakes the pumpkin flavor a tad too much. Overall, very drinkable but seems to lack a touch more robust and pumpkin tastes (308 characters)

Photo of wac9
2/5  rDev -39.8%

this beer lacks the darkness of a porter i dont taste the porter i taste the pumpkin yeah so it doesnt stand out in a crowd vits doesnt out by it self its lacks a want vto come bvack to it its a shame it could have been wonderful but the word you look for is lacking this beer is lacking the great pumpkin taste that even linus wont wait up for (347 characters)

Photo of cmq103
3/5  rDev -9.6%

Picked up a 6-pack of this while visiting in VA.

A: Poured into a pint glass for tasting purposes. An average pour got me a nice ½” light brown head, for all of about a minute before reducing to a thin, almost non-existent ring. Very small carbonation bubbles pretend to be lacing, but not really. Kind of root beer looking in color.

S: You can definitely smell the spices right away, like nutmeg, cinnamon and some dark malt. I don’t really catch any pumpkin aroma, only the spices that would be added to a pumpkin pie.

T: Actually a porter with pumpkin spices. Slightly bitter initially followed by the aforementioned spices, then back to bitter finish.

M: Rather thin on the tongue, with moderate carbonation. Typically I like my porters a tad bit thicker and smoother.

O: An average fall beer from Starr Hill. I liked their "The Love" beer a lot better. (873 characters)

Photo of corby112
2.02/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

Pours a dark chestnut brown color tht appears black and nearly opaque in the glass with faint mahogany edges and a half finger beige head that quickly settles into a thin ring. Minimal spotty lacin left behind.

Slightly smokey, robust dark malt aroma with a prominent autumnal spice presence. Strong roast character with hints of charred toast, oatmeal, coffee bean and dark chocolate. This is countered by heavy spices, especially allspice, coriander, clove and ginger. Some pumpkin purée in there as well with sweeter dark malt notes, notably chocolate and toffee. Somewhat artificial smelling with a overpowering potpourri scent that overwhelms the pumpkin. Smells like an overly spiced porter with just a touch of pumpkin.

Lighter bodied than expected with an overwhelming autumnal spice presence and acrid burnt malt flavors. I'm not picking up any pumpkin at all, just burnt malt and dry spice. Lots of pepper, clove and ginger without much else on the spice front to balance things out. Also, the malt character is lacking sweetness with overly dry charcoal flavor. Hints of ashtray, burnt wood and charred toast making this beer intensely dry and unpleasant. Even a little bit of pumpkin or sweeter malt flavor would help this beer but as is, it's a mess of a beer that I dumped down the drain. (1,307 characters)

Photo of microbrewlover
3.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This brew pours a dark brown/black with a one finger mocha head which dissipates fairly quickly. Some of the head remains on the top until the end; light lacing stays on the glass until the end.

The smell is delicious with all of the pumpkin spices, nutmeg, anise, cardamom and allspice being there. There is also a light smell of roasted grains and malts.

Sadly the taste does not follow the nose, the spices are there but do not dominate. Neither does the roasted malt smell dominate. There is a light taste of pumpkin which is not anything to write home about and there is a little bit of a soapy taste on the back-end.

The feel is fairly thick and chewy. There is a soapy aftertaste.

Overall this is another variation on the pumpkin ale style which sadly does not have much pumpkin in it. If only the taste followed the nose this would have been an excellent brew. Since the taste falls short I am forced to rate this as only "okay". (941 characters)

Photo of 57md
3.69/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is dark brown with ruby edges and a finger of beige head. The nose has definite pumpkin notes. The flavor profile delivers on pumpkin but not as much as the nose might indicate. The roast profile is quite mild increasing slightly on the finish. This is tasty, but not terribly special. (296 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

- Pumpkin porter packaged on 7/30/13. consumed 10/21/13.

A: Dark mahogany pour produces a one finger dark walnut toned head of frothy texture. Good holding potential and speckled band lace. Moderate paced micro effervesce.

S: Spicy cinnamon, nutmeg, french toast, cloves and brown sugar sweetness delivered in a moderate rate of awareness.

T: Flavor was softly toasted pumpkin, light chocolate roast blending nicely together, with a spiciness of cloves and cinnamon. Decent earthy bitterness, lightly bitter, some fresh coffee, dry nutmeg and a light mention of vanilla. Sweetness of roasted grains come on the swallow followed by a dusting of nutmeg dryness and coffee.

M: Chewy mouthful, nice rate of carbonation comes about with nice warm roastiness on the inner cheeks. Good fullness, leave of earth coffee bitterness on the tongue.

O: Overall a decent try, the pumpkin quality itself is more evident on the nose, but takes a back seat flavor wise. Decent rich porter, bordering on stout quality with a good roasty coffee accent. (1,043 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
3.24/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Things started off great with a blackish body and one finger head that slowly died with lace patches. Smell is not bad but I don't think pumpkin and cinnamon, possible nutmeg, should really be combined with bready, roasted malts as it seems to clash. The beer is even worse when it comes to taste/mouthfeel in terms of clash b/c the sweetness one expects from pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, not to mention slight spice, seem to gets bulldozed over by a slightly boozy roasted and breadlike malt base. Finishes a little haggard and not something I'll bother trying again although decent idea. (587 characters)

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Boxcarr Pumpkin Porter from Starr Hill Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.