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Great Pumpkin Ale - Cambridge Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Great Pumpkin AleGreat Pumpkin Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

278 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 278
Reviews: 116
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 14.03%
Wants: 62
Gots: 25 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Cambridge Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  4.40% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: sponberg on 10-09-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 278 | Reviews: 116 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by LiamStLiam:
Photo of LiamStLiam
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at CBC as part of my eternal search for the great Pumpkin Ale.

This is a pretty good one. A little lighter than most in color, and a white, rather thin head.

Comes to a nice balance between the pumpkin and the spices, which to me is always the key point in pumpkin ales. This one has a little more malt than some of the others.

I'll definitely pick up a growler the next time I am down there.

LiamStLiam, Oct 03, 2003
More User Reviews:
Photo of braugon
4/5  rDev +2%

braugon, Sep 23, 2013
Photo of woodchipper
3/5  rDev -23.5%

woodchipper, Nov 17, 2013
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass the beer was rust colored with a small light tan head. Nice color.

The aroma was a nice balance between the pumpkin and the spice.

Cinnamon and nutmeg up front, followed by the pumpkin and malt.

This was a very smooth beer. Unlike a lot of pumpkin beers, the spice wasn't overwhelming, and the pumpkin came through nicely.

lordofthewiens, Sep 28, 2013
Photo of sponberg
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very deep reddish amber with a thin, vanilla colored head.

An aroma like sniffing a malt pile with a pumpkin pie baking in the background. Perfect flavor balance between the malt (toasty/caramelly), pumpkin (very round, orange, no sign of Ernest Borgnine being carved into it), and spices (hints of cinnamon, clove, maybe allspice, nutmeg, mace?) - a rare Pumpkin Ale in which the spices don't overpower the pumpkin doesn't overpower the malt, and the bitterness & sweetness remain in balance. Every brewpub that makes a pumpkin ale needs to try this one - the balance & flavor are dead-on. Leaves a very pleasant, lingering taste in the mouth. A great fall seasonal.

sponberg, Oct 09, 2002
Photo of Jason
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brightly glowing copper brown with a solid head retention. Seamless aroma of spices, pumpkin and malt. The flavour pulls the palate into a tug of war between the spices (nutmeg and cinnamon most notably) and the malt … the pumpkin is neutral yet noticeable. The hops referee the war and dub the war as a tie between the malt and spices.

Very drinkable and my top pumpkin ale as of yet.

Jason, Sep 24, 2003
Photo of tigg924
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: one inch head, orange-gold in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: nutmeg, pumpkin, and pumpkin spice

Taste: sweet caramel and bready start followed by pumpkin spice in the middle that continues to the end. There are slight hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel: sweet and spicy with slight bitterness at the end, moderate-high carbonation, medium bodied

Drinkability: This one falls in the middle of the pumpkin beers I have had this season. Above average, but I have had better. I would be really curious to have this on tap. Subtle, I would reach for others first, but would not pass this over if offered to me.

tigg924, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of standardcherry
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

standardcherry, May 21, 2012
Photo of bpfrush
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

bpfrush, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of juicebox
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

juicebox, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of nate_lyon
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%

nate_lyon, Mar 25, 2014
Photo of doremite
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

doremite, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer's color is a thick medium-dark shade of burnt orange, and it's distinctive in that there's a lighter color in the depth while it's darker on the edges. A dusty-looking orange-tinted cap barely less than one finger high leaves pretty good spotting.
This beer shows off the pumpkin in both aroma and flavor. Lots of flesh without any of the off vegetal undertones some end up with couples with light kitchen spicing that's neither too subtle nor too strong. It rests on a dryer sort of malts base, though there's some doughiness, with just a hint of sweetness balancing some leafy hop. This beer does manage some depth while keeping the focus on the pumpkin.
It's crisp with a medium body that, while showcasing that crispness, shows a bit of heft. A nice lush smoothness plays all the way through.

Brenden, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of sloejams
4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

After having quite a few of these already, my friend (and former CBC employee) suggested I give one of their other fines beers a try. I don't get to Boston much these days and it's rare when it lines up to be when the CBC has the Great Pumpkin flowing.

"Try the Half Wit, it's great"

"Ok get me one of those--- er, no another Great Pumpkin it is!"

We get 2 pumpkin beers when any regularity here in Los Angeles. Neither are any good. Great Pumpkin is outstanding. It doesn't hit you with the overwhelming pumpkin pie type flavoring like many others do. I was told the brewer Will insists on using real pumpkins and not the canned stuff most others do. And the flavor comes through.

At 4.2% it's quite sessionable. Love it.

sloejams, Sep 29, 2008
Photo of BetterDarker
4.83/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Foamy white head, almost looked like thin layer of whipped cream on my pumpkin pie dessert. Clear orange amber color with small amount of bubbles rising to the top with nice lacing.

Aroma is of expected spices and pumpkin. Surprised at how noticeable the actual pumpkin smell is. Fantastic.

Flavor is by far the best pumpkin beer I've had this year. Very smooth and well balanced. Fall spices are present but not over powering with a solid pumpkin and slight hop presence at the end

Crisp, dry finish with a medium in body. Good carbonation.

Very drinkable, I hope my homebrew comes close to this, because if it does, it's going to be a great November.

BetterDarker, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +2%

mdaschaf, Nov 14, 2013
Photo of dmachado
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

dmachado, Apr 14, 2014
Photo of leschkie
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%

leschkie, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of blknikon
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

blknikon, May 08, 2013
Photo of Larrydoherty
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Larrydoherty, Oct 14, 2012
Photo of jmccraney
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

jmccraney, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of bewareOFpenguin
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Was looking forward to this after reading all the reviews. What a let down. Looked "lighter" than I anticpated, not a very good hue of orange. Carbonation was ok. Very little pumpkin taste, a little spice. Overall, I found it to be on the verge of a weak ale, almost watered down. I just saw my growler review from last year and am wondering, "what happened?"

bewareOFpenguin, Nov 01, 2004
Photo of frankminichio
5/5  rDev +27.6%

frankminichio, Mar 23, 2013
Photo of Kegatron
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a couple fingers of foamy slightly off-white head. This retains with a thin fizzy layer that stays a touch richer on the edges and leaves back some very faint lace. The aroma smells of fresh and juicy pumpkin flesh, which seems to just jump out of the glass. Notes of herbal hops and some slight veggie character hangs on the edges, while sweet and sugary malt flavors sits along the back. The pumpkin spics are a bit more on the subdued side but I’m enjoying that aspect of this, as it keeps the overall focus of the nose on that pumpkin character.

The taste follows the aroma with a bright pumpkin flavor that has a real sweet juiciness to it. Almost like a piece of ripe cantaloupe and there is maybe a touch of a roasted edge to the flavor as well. Hops add an earthy and citric bitterness to this but it’s not overly assertive, instead adding some needed crispness to this. Doughy sugars sit along the back the profile and while offering up some balance here, mostly works with the sweetness of the pumpkin to help pop that flavor a little more. The spice is tad more forceful than it was in the nose but seems like the perfect amount is scattered throughout the taste here and finishes this with a festive feeling smack. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp on the tongue before moving out onto the palate with more of a softer foamy creaminess. The combination of crisp and smoothness to the carbonation just fits the flavors here perfectly.

I really have to offer up kudos here to the CBC and Mercury Brewing Company for getting this right in bottle form. This is very close to what you would find on tap at the brewpub (I just had some at the Great Pumpkin Fest this past weekend) and this had got to be one of thee mostly authentic tasting and easy drinking pumpkin beers out there. I love that this is in bottles and look forward to grabbing some each fall when we are up in New England.

Kegatron, Nov 02, 2011
Photo of PaBeerLover
4/5  rDev +2%

PaBeerLover, Dec 09, 2011
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Great Pumpkin Ale from Cambridge Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 278 ratings.