Boxcarr Pumpkin Porter - Starr Hill Brewery
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Ratings: 272 | Reviews: 79 | Display Reviews Only:
3.78/5 rDev +14.9%
On cask at Rustico during this beer's Northern Virginia debut. Served in a tulip alongside the free Starr Hill pint glass.
Pours a very deep brown with a two-finger tan head and some strong spotty lacing on the way down. Thin collar throughout. The nose carries a good amount of spice, though it's balanced by some nice roasted malt and dark chocolate. Pumpkin character comes through a bit, though it's more from the spicing. The flavor carries some roasted malt and pumpkin-pie spice. Also there is a good amount of dark chocolate. Medium body with a nice cask carbonation. Slight spice in the finish. Well done.
06-29-2011 01:54:42 | More by Thorpe429
3.15/5 rDev -4.3%
Appearance: Pours a clear coffee color with a modest head; very nice retention and lacing effects
Smell: A melange of pumpkin, pie spice and brown bread elements are present, though the combined effect is not particularly appealing
Taste: Brown bread, at first, with the pie spice (mace, nutmeg and ginger) elements kicking in by mid-palate; the pumpkin flavor builds, after the swallow, along with a bitter medicinal character that lingers in the aftertaste
Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation
Overall: An interesting idea that doesn't really come off very well, in my opinion, as the flavors tend to clash and the medicinal element adds an off-flavor that is disconcerting
10-06-2011 02:41:34 | More by brentk56
3.3/5 rDev +0.3%
Enjoyed at the brewery.
A: single finger head with decent lacing on a clear very dark brown body.
S: smokiness mixes with pumpkin to make a soapy aroma which you have to really focus on to separate the two out.
T: a unique beer with smokey, light roasted malts intermingled throughout by musty pumpkin flavors.
M: light to medium body and moderate carbonation.
Overall: a unique beer which is memorable but could be better. Overall a nice brew.
07-25-2012 23:23:32 | More by kylehay2004
3.08/5 rDev -6.4%
12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
Pours a deep and dark but still clear ruby in the glass, topped with a couple fingers of thick and foamy light mocha colored head. This retains with a smooth thin creaminess that dots the sides of the glass with spotty lacing. The aroma smells of spice and pumpkin up front, which then gives way to a combination of roast and sweetness that give the overall nose a dark and sticky feel in the back of the nostrils.
The taste is raw pumpkin up front, segueing into some sweetness and an earthy hop presence across the back. Spices and dark roast ride throughout the profile, with this finishing leafy, bitter and smoky on the finish. Those hops and roast really start getting raw and burnt feeling on the finish the more this warms up. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and tight on the tongue, giving way to more of a firm creaminess across the back. The overall fee here is equal parts crisp and smooth.
This was just average. While initially feeling balanced this got a bit too aggressive feeling the more this warmed up and in the end I just wasn’t nearly as impressed with this as I was hoping. There are better Pumpkin Ales out there on the market right now.
10-25-2012 19:21:38 | More by Kegatron
1.94/5 rDev -41%
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.
11-18-2013 08:51:11 | More by corby112
3.3/5 rDev +0.3%
Served on-tap at First Street Draught House in Winston-Salem, NC
Note: Now the name is spelled as Boxcarr with the extra R on the end.
A: Pours an opaque but clear very dark brown to black in color with moderate amounts of visible active carbonation and some dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a finger tall creamy tan head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.
S: Moderate aromas of chocolate and roasted malts with pumpkin pie spices (allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon) and a light hint of pumpkin.
T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of roasted malts followed by moderate flavors of pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and cinnamon). There are more subtle flavors of pumpkin and some light flavors of bittersweet chocolate.
M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness, likely from the spices.
O: This beer is interesting, a little more porter than pumpkin but that is OK with me. It seems like this beer needs to be refined a little bit to make it a touch easier to drink - the spice flavors/mouthfeel make this one that you don't want to have multiple in a session.
09-07-2013 02:14:12 | More by dbrauneis
3.44/5 rDev +4.6%
- 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.
11-02-2013 18:28:41 | More by beerthulhu
3.2/5 rDev -2.7%
Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish glass. It poured pretty close to black in color with a thin, creamy head barely covering the beer.
The aroma shows good amount of pumpkin pie spice and canned pumpkin to it. I get some sweeter, malty notes to it as well with just a hint of chocolate to it. Pretty appealing aroma for the style overall.
The taste is where things start to fall apart for me. I get a good amount of roasty, bitter, slightly burnt flavors to. The spices and roastiness just don't mix well, it gives it more of a harsher, bitter spiciness. I get a little pumpkin or squash like flavor to it in the finish as well.
The mouthfeel is thin and somewhat watery with carbonation being high. Didn't enjoy the mouthfeel for the style. bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall I didn't think it was a great pumpkin beer. The roasty, bitter flavors just didn't work well with the spices for me. I would have liked a little more chocolate, sweeter, malty flavors coming out of the porter instead. The flavors just didn't really compliment each other very well.
11-11-2011 22:08:45 | More by billab914
District of Columbia
2.93/5 rDev -10.9%
From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 9/22/11
A: Really solid velvety brownish-black hue. A good pour yields a 1.75 finger head and decent lacing.
S: Just too much spice on the nose. Give me some pumpkin, malty char, anything. Instead, it's one note all-spice, something I've encountered all too often with these so-called pumpkin beers.
T: Play it again, Sam. Just like the nose, it's all all-spice all the time (that's a lot of all's!) This comes across exceedingly lazy. Where's the pumpkin? I can hear the brewmaster now - "Oh here we go, this is the ticket! Let's hit Costco, buy up every bag of all-spice we can fit in our '71 VW Bus and dump it in this here porter. When all's said and done, we'll call it a pumpkin porter!"
M: Thin. Way too thin. Really, guys?
O: Staff Hill's Box Car Pumpkin Porter continues their trend of creating great beers on paper, yet putting out some of the most blasé suds I've encountered. This is as middle of the road and inoffensive as possible, targeting a market that simply gets off on drinking "crafty beer".
Note to owner: I want to like your brews, I really do. As a DC/Virginia native, I'll give your brewery as many chances as I can possibly stomach. So come on, put your heart into and create something really special, like what you've done with your Monticello Reserve. Even if I personally hate it, I'm sure to taste the love and passion put into the product. Because as it stands, all I typically taste is mediocrity.
10-12-2011 23:13:41 | More by Rhettroactive
3.23/5 rDev -1.8%
A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brownish color with ruby tints and a cloudy texture. There was a half inch of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Almost no lacing at all.
S: A very odd aroma of pumpkin, malt, coffee and chocolate.
T: Tasted of pumpkin up front, with a hint of malt, and coffee and chocolate in the finish. This is a decidedly weird and somewhat off-putting flavor combination.
M: An OK amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.
O: This is one of those beers that seems more like a failed experiment than a bad beer. Not awful, just misguided.
10-15-2011 12:11:01 | More by avalon07
3.13/5 rDev -4.9%
I have had a pumpkin stout already and it was pretty lackluster. I have some hope for this porter despite the low rating.
A - Really fizzy and what little 1/4 inch of off white head I got fizzed into nothing. Not a great start. Color does seem to be a fairly dark brown. Almost pitch except for the base with a mild red hue.
S - Very inviting I get my spice (cinnamon and nutmeg) yet the porter seems a bit muted only giving me a mild roast.
T - Kind of mediocre. On one hand it's a very lacking porter, mild chalky yeast and almost not chocolate. On the other hand it doesn't have near the amount of spice that I smelled.
M - Thin and lacking.
Overall I can confirm this is an average porter with mild (if any) spice. Pass on it if you can.
12-06-2012 01:05:49 | More by DrDemento456
4/5 rDev +21.6%
Thanks to travisnd for sending this beer. Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a very dark brown color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of pumpkin and spices. Taste is also pumpkin pie up front, some roasted malts, well balanced and tasty. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall this is an enjoyable brew.
11-12-2011 14:25:06 | More by tone77
3.75/5 rDev +14%
Pours a translucent darkish brown color with a modest tan head that had some minimal retention and left some minor lacing.
Aromas begin with pumpkin pie spicing and a toasted brown bread presence. Lesser armounts of dark chocolate and roasted malt emerged more as it warmed.
The tastes begin with toasted brown bread with the pumpkin pie spice mixture once again (mace, nutmeg and ginger) kicking in by mid-palate. The starchy pumpkin flesh flavor builds, after the swallow, along with a minimal bitter generic dark roasted maltiness.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finish is gently spicy and minimally roasty.
Overall, this is a decent attempt at a sessionable pumpkin alternative beer. A bit heavy on the roasted, bitter flavors don't work quite right with the pumpkin spicing. A more balanced chocolate malt flavor would have been a better complement. Wouldn't turn it down if offered to me during the fall seasons but won't seek it out either.
09-17-2012 16:40:10 | More by claspada
Boxcarr Pumpkin Porter from Starr Hill Brewery
76 out of 100 based on 272 ratings.