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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 105 | Hads: 434
Photo of hophugger
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

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

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Photo of wac9
2/5  rDev -39.9%

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

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Photo of cmq103
3/5  rDev -9.9%

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.

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Photo of corby112
2.02/5  rDev -39.3%
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.

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Photo of microbrewlover
3.53/5  rDev +6%
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".

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Photo of 57md
3.69/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.43/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.24/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

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Photo of Beejay
3.18/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Chestnut brown as it pours, in the glass it is black. A medium sized head rises from the body of a beer, dark tan with frog eyes, that multiply, and sink back into the body of the beer.

S: Pumpkin with nutmeg and clove come out right away in the nose. Some slight coffee notes, but the porter aroma seems to be overshadowed by the pumpkin.

T: Well that's a bit of a let down. The pumpkin is far less assertive than in the aroma, the porter is a bit of a let down, and there is a weird aftertaste.. almost a harshness to it, which counteracts the almost watery feel.

M: Carbonation seems fairly active to me, and the feel of the beer seems fairly light, and bordering on watery for the style.

O: Overall I wanted more.. a so-so porter with a little pumpkin. I wanted a bit more richness, perhaps a luxuriousness to it, but it falls short on the base style as well as the pumpkin.

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Photo of BethanyB
3.31/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A nearly opaque dark brown, with a low, creamy, white head.

Smell: A light mixture of seasonal spices--nutmeg, cloves, etc., and a bit of caramel malt. Couldn't quite sniff out much else, but the bouquet was pretty faint anyway, so it wasn't as overtly sweet as it sounds. Plus, there was actually an obvious metallic scent was distracting and off-putting (needless to say). I suppose that made things less sweet!

Taste: Roasted malt with pumpernickel, nutmeg, citrusy esters, and a bit of caramel--similar to the nose, but stronger and tastier. Thankfully, the metallic character wasn't detected on the taste. I was surprised by how well-balanced it was, with all the juxtaposing flavors. This was my first pumpkin porter, and while I wasn't blown away, for me, it was an interesting and welcome change from the majority of other pumpkin
ales out there. Tasted almost like there was some rye in there. No clue what the recipe calls for.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with rather high carbonation, which made for a slightly dry finish and brought out a bit more of those pumpernickel-like spices.

Overall: An interesting beer, that is worth a try if you like pumpkin ales. I wouldn't go out of my way to seek it out, however.

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Photo of BigMarty1980
3.53/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of obywan59
3.46/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of Cubatobaco
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of Mises85
3.92/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

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Photo of Suds
3.36/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.88/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

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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.

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Photo of Roland45s
3/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

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Photo of oldirtycaffrey
3.73/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Photo of Zee
3.92/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz, August '13

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.

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Photo of blackie
3.36/5  rDev +0.9%
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

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Photo of Treyliff
3.13/5  rDev -6%
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.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.15/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

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