Boxcarr Pumpkin Porter - Starr Hill Brewery

Not Rated.
Boxcarr Pumpkin PorterBoxcarr Pumpkin Porter

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BA SCORE
77
okay

95 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 95
Hads: 404
rAvg: 3.31
pDev: 7.85%
Wants: 5
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

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 95 | Hads: 404
Photo of BigMarty1980
3.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark brown/Rusted Copper color.

S- Very rich coffee aroma with hints of pumpkin

T- Taste is of pumpkin pie crust with a hint of chocolate & coffee

M- Typical body of a Porter. Robust & full

O-Great beer for a cooler than normal, over cast day in Fall. (258 characters)

Photo of obywan59
3.46/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with ruby highlights and a 2 1/2 finger tan head that leaves light lacing.

An initial roasty aroma. Smell of light pumpkin pie, coffee and chocolate.

Taste is more obscure. A hint of pumpkin with roast coffee. A bit tart.

Mouthfeel is fine. Medium bodied, fairly smooth and drying.

Overall, a pretty good beer. Not a lot going on in the flavor though. I could have used more pumpkin and spice. Still, it would make a good session beer.if care us taken for the amazing drinkability. I could down too many of these in a hurry. (552 characters)

Photo of Cubatobaco
3.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This was one of the choices at "The Great Pumpkin Debate" in Wilmington, DE.

I have not had enough Starr Hill beers to go in with a closed mind, so I was ready to see if there was a good alternative to the regular pumpkin ales. The pour displayed a thin, murky-colored, porter that didn't seem that it would be exciting and my nose revealed that to be correct. Very muted, with some roasted pumpkin and maybe touch of spice and cocoa. Not much different on the palate. Very thin with little to no finish. Disappointing to say the least. (538 characters)

Photo of Mises85
3.92/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap in pint glass

Appearance: Not pitch black but classic english porter color with 2 finger head.
Smell: Roasted Malt, some subtle coffee notes, oil.
Taste: Coffee (more of the instant variety), touch of alcohol, slight pumpkin (but not overpowering), and semisweet chocolate finish.

Verdict: I think it was not bad, my first pumpkin porter to be exact. I like how the pumpkin doesn't crash your taste buds unlike southern tier's pumking. Not the best porter but definitely would have again. (502 characters)

Photo of Suds
3.36/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This pumpkin beer is a dark brow, almost black. The head is small, but a nice brownish tan. The smell is a medium intensify mix of spice and roasted malt. The combination is not usual, and the scents compete for attention. The result is good, but not great. The taste is heavily spice centered. It is a lighter beer, in body, than I would have wanted. It's not the kind of brew that I'd want many of. (400 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.88/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown color. A nicely creamy khaki-colored head of two fingers crowns the body well. It doesn't feature the best retention for the style, however there's a nice patch of lacing down the side of the glass.

S: This is heavy on the pumpkin ale qualities, light on the porter ones. And even the former isn't that impressive. Light pumpkin and spicing are the dominating notes - there's little in the way of roasted malts, chocolate or coffee. Not bad, just rather unassuming.

T: The flavor is much the same way - the only dark qualities that I can really taste is the clean, roasted dryness of the finish. Mild, generic spicing opens things up, before it finishes with a slight roasted flavor. This is bland, to the point where it's drinkable nature can't make up for it.

M: Clean and dry on the finish...a quality that's hampered by the slight heft of the body itself. That's the only real problem with the feel. It's the boring flavor that harms drinkability more than anything. Carbonation isn't quite as blistering as some porters.

O: This one just bores me. While there's nothing wrong with it, there's nothing that pops out as being impressive, either. Basically it's a middle of the road, please the masses kind of beer that simply isn't for me. (1,306 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.32/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

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. (1,282 characters)

Photo of Roland45s
3/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not a Pumpkin brew, a porter that claims to be a pumpkin brew but all I really got was a hint of spice when i cracked the bottle. Pours dark and is a tasty porter, but again NOT a pumpkin beer. Mostly a chocolately taste with a thin head and full rich body. (257 characters)

Photo of oldirtycaffrey
3.73/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pumpkin beer in mid-August? Don't mind if I do is what I said to myself when picking up a six-pack of Boxcar for about $8.49 here in VA the other day. The brew pours a deep ruby brown with a nice 1/2 inch foamy brown head that remains almost till the end. Smell is of pumpkin, malt, a little bit of spice, a hint of dark chocolate -- really nice combination. The taste is excellent - robust, really just a hint of pumpkin in this which makes it a nice choice for a fall porter. Could drink a good amount of these in one sitting. Always a positive. (547 characters)

Photo of Zee
3.92/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I think an okay rating from beer advocate is ridiculous! This is a well crafted beer! The fact that someone attempted a pumpkin Porter, which you don't see much, and did it without over spicing it and giving it an equal pumpkin and porter taste from start to finish deserves a medal!This is a beautiful fall beer from an outstanding brewery! Oh and beer advocate...Starr Hill now spells boxcarr with two R's. (408 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
3.13/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz, August '13
Tulip

A: Dirty brown color. Pretty deep, but some reddish hues. Thin layer of off tan head. Some lacing bits.

S: Pumpkin flesh. Vegetal notes. Slight spices. Some chocolate and some light roast.

T: Again fleshy pumpkin. Slight light spice. Some cocoa notes.

M: Medium bodied. (296 characters)

Photo of blackie
3.36/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: deep brown in color, served in a wide chalice, head thin and short lived

s: pumpkin spice - nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove in particular, over a decent base porter aroma that carries dark roasted grain and some dark bitter chocolates, smooth and lacking any char, the combination reminds of sweet wooden tobacco boxes, some sweet toffee and maybe a buried ginger aroma, a bit underwhelming at first but more welcoming as it warms

m: lightly carbonated, body a lighter medium, maybe a touch thin to finish

t: aforementioned pumpkin spices, roasted grain with a touch of soured wood, some sweet toffee flavor, earthy, not quite up to par with the aroma, but decent

o: a little sloppy and/or gratuitous use of spice imo, not the best style application, but a drinkable effort overall, doesn't really combine to make it worthwhile (830 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
3.13/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- pours a dark brown with just a hint of light coming through, good size creamy tan head with good retention and just a bit of lace.

S- pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin gourd, it smells very similar to a regular pumpkin ale. The only porter aroma I notice is just a bit of roasted malt.

T- the taste pretty much follows the aromas. If I was blind tasting this it would almost seem like a pumpkin ale. The finish leaves just a bit of chocolaty roasted malt on the linger but not much.

M- light body, low carbonation, slightly creamy finish, mouthfeel seems a bit thin for a porter.

O- I was a little dissapointed in this one. Porters and pumpkin ales are two of my favorite styles but this beer didn't mesh them very well. I've had home-brew pumpkin porters that blow this one out of the water. (811 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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. (746 characters)

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Virtually black bodied beer, with a small beige lacing ring. Looks just like a schwarzbier.

S - Fall spices, nutmeg and cinnamon. Prevalent like in an imperial pumpkin beer, and tangled with the porter nuances. Dark, roasted malt, with a burnt/coal scent.

T - A mild dash of those fall spices, blended nicely with dark malty porter. Toasted black malt, a dry grain sweetness. The amount of spice is perfect, not overwhelming. The robust, toasted malty porter is rich and smooth.

M - Medium bodied and drying, the rich and bitter black beer feels smooth with the soft fizzy carbonation.

O - A really nice combination here. I'd say this tolerable amount of fall spices in this roasts brew is perfect alone or with a nice meal, on a cold day. (747 characters)

Photo of Zraly
2.97/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured two-finger head into Lagunitas "mason jar" glass. Fluffy mocha colored head atop of dark, almost opaque, ale. Smells a bit of spice, with predominate notes of cinnamon and pepper. Smells and looks good.

Taste-wise, this is much less than I was expecting. I detect a faint presence of gourd. The porter notes are not fully realized on the palate, and overall the flavor is not fully supported by enough pumpkin. There is some semblance of a porter: coffee and rich malt notes. But these thin out in the finish and there is an odd, slightly funky sour note in the finish, along with some spice notes. Not as smooth as it could be. This is a great idea on paper, but I would say the execution missed the mark. If it was a bit more balanced by way of the spice (i.e., add a bit more grain and gourd to the bill) , I'd say this would be a mighty fine VA ale. As it stands, it is a mediocre porter with some spice added. Mouthfeel is thin and lacks body.

I've eyed this several times before but always ended up buying something else. My Mom and her beau were in town for the weekend, and he loves a good porter; we thought we'd give this a spin. We bought a six pack and I think I can help finish it. But I don't think I will re-purchase it in the future. (1,259 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.08/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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. (1,200 characters)

Photo of sommersb
3.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted On: 10-15-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, twist-cap
Glassware: Balloon glass
Purchased: Single from Midtown, Nashville

Appearance: Black and opaque, capped with a nicely sized tan head. Very good lacing and head retention.

Smell: Sweet, dark malts, with some fruit/citrus character. I also get some sour and tart aromas.

Taste: Toasted malts and coffee flavors you'd expect are in this porter, but there is also the sourness as noted in the nose. I really don't taste any pumpkin or pumpkin spice traits.

Mouthfeel: Has a smooth and creamy texture and medium-to-high levels of carbonation. Body is medium. The finish is dry and combines roasted and smokey malts with some tartness.

Overall: This is an odd beer -- not what I expected based on the description of a pumpkin porter. I got some porter qualities, but no pumpkin, and then there was the unexpected sourness. The sour quality wasn't bad, but I don't think it was supposed to be there -- my guess is that this batch/bottle got infected by a bug. (1,046 characters)

Photo of beer2day
3.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown pour with significant red and orange tints. 1/2 finger medium cream head. Not much retention. Thin sheets of lace.

Nose is lots of pumpkin and nutmeg. Hints of chocolate underneath, but really more about pumpkin.

The porter style of the beer hides deep beneath the stronger pumpkin flavor. Comes on strong and finishes stronger. Lots of nutmeg, too, along with pie spice. Chocolate comes through ever so slightly and would have liked that a little more in balance.

Feel is pretty substantial for the lower abv. More heavy than thick.

Overall, a nice addition to the pumpkin beer lineup and worth a shot if you like the style. (640 characters)

Photo of bensbeers
2.69/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Let me start by saying I'm not sure why this was called a porter. Was more ale-y than a porter or stout and should have been labeled an ale. Color was that of dark chocolate with a moderate sized head. Smell was sweet and spicey - brown sugar, molasses, nutmeg, cloves. Also thought there was a nice hint of roasted malts in the smell...then I drank it. The taste was similar to other pumpkin ales but completely overpowered by smoke flavor. I get that this is intended with the rauchbier style, but i'mnot sure that they were going for this. The pumpkin was evident in the taste but I was expecting more. Had a moderate amount of carbonation.

Overall, too smokey for my taste buds. The smell was the highlight of this brew. There are other pumpkin/fall seasonals that I prefer abd I probably won't try this one again. Cheers! (828 characters)

Photo of micromaniac129
3/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The website calls it brown ale and the bottle say porter. I don't know.
Meanwhile...

Pours a rustic brown with a slight beige head. Though small it looks dense.

Aroma has a spicy pumpkin malt bill, but also has an off aroma. I don't think the aroma mesh all that well.

Taste finds a slight pumpkin pie spice pumpkin and some nutty brown malts. The aftertaste has a medicinal off taste that,really, runs through the whole experience.

To be quite honet it was pretty tough to get through and chucking it was an option but did not happen.
Boxcar doesn't work for me and the recipe should be tweaked in my opinion. (614 characters)

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

ST: 12oz poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark, almost black, brown with a thin, but fully covering, light brown head.

S: Earthy pumpkin and sweet malt match slight cinnamon and sligh smoke.

T: Malt, smoke, coffee, and a hint of pumpkin and smoke on the finish. It reminds me of pumpkin coffee.

M: Medium and dry

O: Every year I think I have had every pumpkin beer, and every year I find six more to buy. I know that most will be okay, though not great. A pumpkin porter appealed to me beyond the alliteration involved; a porter with a touch of earthy or sweet pumpkin seemed like a good idea. And it is; well, at least the idea is not bad. The pumpkin is present, slightly, in the finish. Otherwise, the smoke of the porter takes over most of the flavors. (759 characters)

Photo of ckollias
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed a sample of this beer at the What’s up Chesapeake Beer Madness 2012

A: Poured a dark brownish-amber hue –with not much of a head – but it was a little sample.

S: Great malty pumpkin aroma with hints of pumpkin all-spice in the background.

T: More sweet than bitter with a malty pumpkin flavor with a some ginger, nutmeg, and all-spice in the backbone.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: This was a decent pumpkin porter – I like the smoothness and flavors. (484 characters)

Photo of johnnybgood1999
2.38/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Phenominal smell to this one. I get roasted pumpkin and a bunch of spice. On first sip the spices are almost gone. Still trying to figure out how so much spice is in the smell, but not in the taste. There is virtually no chocolate and little roasted malt, which I would expect in a porter. There is plenty of roasted pumpkin that doesn't mesh well with the rest of the beer. Mouthfeel is too thin and too carbonated and that's a bad combination.

Overall, just not pleasant. I might buy if I'm hard up for a pumpkin beer. This is too bad, as I love pumpkin beers and had high hopes for this. I tried it on multiple occassions, but it's not getting any better. (660 characters)

Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.83/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Could not wait to try this interesting approach of a pumpkin inspired beer.
Poured into my crystal mug, the beer is dark brown in color and produced a bubbly dark tan head about one finger high. It dissipates fast and leaves little lacing.
The smell is of pumpkin spice and roasted malts.
Tasting the beer he pumpkin spice flavors dominate the front, quickly to be replaced by a good dose of roasted malt. In the finish here are faint dark chocolate flavors, but they are veer powered by the roasted malt.
Overall a medium bodied beer, very drinkable and a good seasonal fall beer. (581 characters)

Boxcarr Pumpkin Porter from Starr Hill Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 95 ratings.