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Boxcarr Pumpkin Porter - Starr Hill Brewery

Not Rated.
Boxcarr Pumpkin PorterBoxcarr Pumpkin Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

263 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 263
Reviews: 77
rAvg: 3.28
pDev: 16.77%
Wants: 4
Gots: 13 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Thorpe429 on 06-29-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 263 | Reviews: 77 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Windigo


3/5  rDev -8.5%

11-28-2011 21:01:14 | More by Windigo
Photo of KajII

North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Lager glass]

The pour was a very dark brown almost black with a large (2-3 finger) rocky tan head that was mostly diminishing and produced excellent lacing that was left sticking to the glass throughout.

The aroma was of a dark bread malt and a musty leathery yeast with notes of chocolate, coffee, nutmeg, pumpkin and a bit of cinnamon.

The taste was lightly bitter and malty with a hint of roasted coffee at first then slowly acquired a mild chocolate presence with a touch of pumpkin and nutmeg that progressed into a mild bitter finish. The flavor lasted only a short while after the swallow which slightly affected the overall taste experience.

Mouthfeel was just a tad under medium in body and creamy yet a little dry in texture with a nice soft carbonation.

Overall a decent robust Porter with a very nice aroma. Although there was more pumpkin and spices in the aroma than there was in the flavor.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 19:22:15 | More by KajII
Photo of nh2032

New York

4/5  rDev +22%

11-25-2011 13:06:17 | More by nh2032
Photo of nmann08

District of Columbia

3/5  rDev -8.5%

11-24-2011 19:50:31 | More by nmann08
Photo of penguins87


4/5  rDev +22%

11-22-2011 04:53:25 | More by penguins87
Photo of AlCaponeJunior


3.33/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Average looking, dark with not much head and so-so lace.

Smell is very lightly pumpkin with a touch of roasty malts and coffee, with addition of pumpkiny spices.

Taste is a little bolder than the smell, fresh pumpkin and spices are more forward with a side of roasty malts, coffee, and bitter chocolate.

There's surprisingly plenty of carbonation (despite the lack of head). Medium bodied and a touch slick as well as having a light tingle of carbonation. The aftertaste is spices and pumpkin. Finish is pretty dry.

This one certainly lives up to its name.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 13:29:26 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of DoctorB2B


3/5  rDev -8.5%

11-19-2011 02:34:32 | More by DoctorB2B
Photo of derricksmalls


3.5/5  rDev +6.7%

11-15-2011 13:23:35 | More by derricksmalls
Photo of tone77


4/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 14:25:06 | More by tone77
Photo of billab914


3.2/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 22:08:45 | More by billab914
Photo of GeoJ


2.23/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Looks like a good porter should, but almost non-existent head.

Aroma was interesting - pumpkin and spices along with a decent whiff of somewhat burnt coffee

Taste was meh - reminded me of a eating a cheap pumpkin pie followed up with some bitter, TOO bitter, coffee.

Mouthfeel and aftertaste is where this brew lost me ... Thin, watery, too much carbonation. Attributes I really wouldn't expect, or abide, from a porter. And the aftertaste was just too much nasty bitterness that wouldn't go away.

I absolutely love porters and stouts. This is the first porter I've ever had that became a drain-pour after half a glass.

Maybe I caught a bad bottle?

With all the great porters/stouts out there, I won't be trying this again.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2011 22:29:09 | More by GeoJ
Photo of stckhndlr


2.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Almost black dark dark brown. Looks more like a stout. 1 finger head. Nothing really stands out.

S- Has a fresh pumpkin smell to it. Really more fresh cut pumpkin than those ones in a can. Sweet malts with some spice and nutmeg. kinda has a pumpkin coffee aroma the deeper you go.

T- some coffee malt flavor with just a hint of pumpkin. Pumpkin flavor is there but it is masked by a smokeyness. I just don't get a good flavor of pumpkin off this. Kind of a let down.

M- has a dry quality to it. mid body with a great amount of carbonation to it.

O- Overall this beer is just ok. An average beer that gives alot of promise in the smell but not much in the flavor.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2011 18:58:56 | More by stckhndlr
Photo of mralphabet


3.48/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into Samuel Adams Pint Glass

A: Pours very dark brown.. almost black. About a fingers worth of tan head that settles to a ring with very spotty lacing.

S: Strong Pumpkin, spice and coffee notes here... More on the spicy side... nutmeg & allspice.

T: Start with a little toasted sweet malt, mid palate I'm getting a lot of coffee bitterness and spice. Finish has heavy bunch of pumpkin going on and it lingers in the aftertaste.

M: Mildly carbonated little sharp at the start but settles as it warms, overall medium bodied and gets creamier as it warms.

D: Very tasty and very drinkable, ABV does not seem any more than 5%... Nice mix of pumpkin and coffee. Another good beer from Starr Hill.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2011 02:51:17 | More by mralphabet
Photo of FenwaySquid


2.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz. brown bottle, BBD of Jan 2012 notched into the label, poured into a Sam Adams glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep dark brown color, completely opaque but I can see some bubbles rising inside. The head formed creamy light brown but faded pretty quickly.

Smell: Clove and nutmeg with some pumpkin in the background.

Taste: Roasted malt with faint pumpkin and spice, again mainly clove. The finish is more of the same, lingering nicely.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, thin and watery. The carbonation was medium and blended okay.

Overall: Not enough flavor and way too thin. I had high hopes for this one, oh well. If you're new to pimpkin beers or dark porters in general this isn't a bad one to try. If you're looking for some big roasted malt or strong pumpkin flavors, go elsewhere.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2011 00:28:18 | More by FenwaySquid
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

3.23/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 12:11:01 | More by avalon07
Photo of WorldWideStout


2.4/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Warm, dark brown body with a somewhat lighter than expected head that quickly recedes but leaves decent lacing.

S: Sort of like a mix between brett and cured pork.

T: Mostly the brett, less smokiness. A touch of chocolate in the middle. A little bit of maybe baking soda at the end, or perhaps Irish soda bread.

M: Pretty good. Some creaminess, enough carbonation to keep it from getting heavy.

O: Not so great.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2011 01:28:17 | More by WorldWideStout
Photo of Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

2.93/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 9/22/11
*From notes

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 23:13:41 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of secondtooth


3.65/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Coal-black with a thick foamy head of off-white bubbles. Lace slight and not too noticeable.

Nose is heavy on the spice -- I get some clove and nutmeg, alongside the requisite pumpkin. Nice and appealing.

Taste is an unusual mix of roasty malts and pumpkin & spice. Very flavorful, and lighter in body than expected. I was not sure how the porter would gel with the pumpkin, but this one works just fine. Enjoyable!

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 19:39:37 | More by secondtooth
Photo of celticknot


2.05/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I thought to myself when I saw this beer sitting on the shelf "mmm that looks good but its starr hill cant imagine that would be good, maybe the brewing style will overrule" aaand my instincts were right.
A: looks like a standard stout/porter with no head but I've had good stouts/porters with no head
S: smells some what like it tastes only slightly better
T: Some would describe this beer having roasted or coffee tones while it has that they are poor and would be better explained as burnt tones. There is a little pumkin and spice flavor but it is obstructed by the poor attempt at roasted coffee tones.
M: too much carbonation not very smooth or full bodied like i would expect from a porter/stout

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 03:04:06 | More by celticknot
Photo of russwbeck


3.73/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Semi-clear black pour with a small head. Nothing remains after a few minutes. The bottle really made me pick this one out, bonus points for that.

S: Spicy pumpkin mixed in with a hint of roastiness. Smells lighter than I expected, not as much porter mixed in. A bit sweet.

T: The taste is interesting. Pumpkin and spices, but with a bit more body than Pumpkin Ales like DFH Punkin. The porter really adds a nice characteristic. But the taste does begin to wear on me a bit. Dry and roasty on the backend, spicy up front.

MF: Light and carbonated well. A bit too thin and watered down.

O: I'm glad I tried this, but wouldn't go for it again. Tasty, interesting, a nice mix up from the typical Pumpkin fall beer. But overall, it wasn't great.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2011 14:29:34 | More by russwbeck
Photo of CrystalShipMS3


3.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This review is from notes taken when I had this on tap at a havest festival. I liked it enough to buy a six pack, unfortunately I was disappointed by the bottled stuff.

Appearance: Dark brown. The great dark tan head didn't stay for long but looked good at first.

Smell: Spices and some mild pumpkin. Bitter smell, coffee. Overall not a very strong aroma.

Taste: Spiced pumpkin and lingering coffee taste. Dark, but not especially complex. Some weird sour flavor... not sure what that's about and I didn't particuarly enjoy it. My notes say: "Why is it sour?" that about sums it up.

Mouthfeel: Avarage. Not sure what else to say? Very beer like feel... Just nothing special.

Overall: The word 'unexceptional' comes to mind. It was good, but not great. I'd have it again only if it were on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2011 00:34:27 | More by CrystalShipMS3
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.15/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 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

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2011 02:41:34 | More by brentk56
Photo of tlazaroff


4.58/5  rDev +39.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very very dark brown but it looks black unless you hold it to light. The head is a nice thick foamy tan that leaves some lacing behind as it's consumed and swirled.

Starr Hill nailed it with this one, big freshly oven roasted pumpkin on the nose with a feint bitter freshly brewing coffee background. This beer smells like thanksgiving and the coffee you have after thanksgiving - all in a bottle.

Starts up with a sweetness followed by a mid palate of espresso notes and finished with the pumpkin which lingers. I really enjoy this beer, a lot, and am happy that it's semi-local.

Highly carbonated and light bodied to medium bodied (though I think more on the light side).

Very drinkable. Not sure what the ABV is, but if it's any higher than 5%, it's hidden quite well inside of the deliciousness of this offering.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2011 05:16:44 | More by tlazaroff
Photo of WMEugene


3.83/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

A - Pours a deep black, perhaps ebony color with a tan head that poured thick but dissipated quickly. Relatively nice lacing.

S - Nice smell of pumpkin, spices, and roasted malts. Some hints of coffee as well.

T - Pumpkin spice and caramel/coffee/toffee flavors. Taste of malt as well. Surprisingly tart. Pleasant.

M - Thin bodied, a little too much so. Carbonation level was ok.

O - The Boxcar is a nice seasonal from Starr Hill. While it's not the best pumpkin beer I've ever had, it is a nice twist and a welcome addition to the fall seasonal lineup. The only real drawback is the thinness of the beer, which is something I hope they work on in subsequent years. It is tasty though and something I'd have again.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2011 01:06:33 | More by WMEugene
Photo of goldbot

District of Columbia

3.95/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep mahogany in color with thin, disappearing tan head. Instant aroma of pumpkin pie spice with sweet malt, caramel, and vegetal pumpkin notes. Like most pumpkin beers, just perhaps a bit more roasty. The flavor is definitely more porter than pumpkin like, although there is a distinct and very tasty pumpkin pie aftertaste. Otherwise, roasted malt and caramel flavors. Medium body with a smooth, carbonated mouthfeel. I thought I would be disappointed like with most pumpkin beers, but this one is a pretty nice combination, especially with the great pumpkin aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 20:29:54 | More by goldbot
Boxcarr Pumpkin Porter from Starr Hill Brewery
76 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.