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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

269 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 269
Reviews: 115
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 13.71%
Wants: 57
Gots: 20 | 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: 269 | Reviews: 115 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

3/5  rDev -23.9%

11-07-2012 00:15:06 | More by nmann08
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.49/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

In a market where many brewers are abandoning the beer-like qualities in favor of strong sweetness and spice in these holiday ales, Cambridge Brewing designs a Pumpkin Ale where "beer" flavor is most prominent and the flavors of pumpkin pie come secondarily.

Light gold in color, Great Pumpkin Ale casts a medium haze that gives the beer's body glows with an almost pumpkiny look. A creamy froth ensues to give the ale a handsome cap that retains the session easily and laces the glass with intermittent pocketing.

Aromas are surprisingly of baking pumpkin and decorative spice. Somewhat starchy, the fresh cut gourde-like aroma equals that of biscuity malt, light yogurt and something akin to pasta. Its lightly toasted character is like bread crust as the scent transitions to cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove and pepper.

Its inquisitive aroma translates directly to taste and the sweet and starch interplay teases the palate. The fresh gourde flavor is as much of butternut squash as it is pumpkin but gives the beer a bready taste with light dough and yeast. Its balance is lightly of pie spices but is careful not to tread too roughly on its medium-sweet flavor. As the spices turn from bright to bitter, the woodish taste of hops set in and give the beer a dry, stemmy taste to close.

Medium bodied, the overall starchy whole wheat bread character wraps around the beer's tiny bubbles for a creamy texture to amplify the starch effect. But as the sweet starchiness and carbonation retreat, the middle palate is left somewhat naked and wavering. As the taste turns bitter, so does the astringent bite of boiled spice for an unsettled prickle on the back of the tongue.

The good news is that Great Pumpkin Ale is front and center with actual pumpkin taste and texture. The problem is that its front and center with actual pumpkin taste and texture. We don't eat pumpkin pie for the flavor of the pumpkin; we enjoy it for all the sweetness, richness and spiciness as pumpkins add little culinary value to the dessert plate. And this beer favors the gourde just a little too much.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2013 17:37:19 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Cambridge Brewing

A: The beer pours the expected copper color with a finger of off-white head.

S: A rather subtle pie spice aroma, which is kind of surprising. Just a touch of vanilla along with pumpkin, toasted malt, and toffee. There are a couple spices that do come through a bit more, namely nutmeg and cinnamon.

T: Fairly sweet with a strong toasted malt and toffee flavor. Like the aroma, a good dosing of nutmeg and cinnamon with a hint of vanilla and pumpkin. Again, it is certainly spiced, but not overly so.

M: The body and carbonation are both medium.

O: Seems the folks at Cambridge are pretty adept at brewing pumpkin beers.

Serving type: on-tap

10-06-2011 19:14:54 | More by womencantsail
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

11-18-2012 20:40:30 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

11-20-2012 04:03:22 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-24-2003 04:26:59 | More by Jason
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2011 19:04:54 | More by Kegatron
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SocalKicks

California

3/5  rDev -23.9%

04-16-2013 04:41:24 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big fizzy 1.5 finger head fades at a semi quicker pace with some soapy lacing, over somewhat hazy orange-ish carrot colored beer.

Nose has some nice pumpkin, a bit of fresh pumpkin and pumpkin pie filling, very light toasty malts, some light pie spices as well, a light nutmeg/hazelnut like aroma.

Taste starts lighter as well, some light toasty almost bready malts, a light sweetness and juicy malt like flavors. Then come the light pumpkin, a mix of fresh pumpkin and light pie filling again. Spices come through but again lighter, with hints of nutmeg, hazelnut, allspice, etc. Hint of bitterness I think from spices and maybe a hint of hops. Finish is a bit drier which helps, touch of light malt and pumpkin lingering, as well as a bit more bitterness.

Mouth is lighter bodied, decent carb.

Overall decent, nice light and clean, light bitterness from some light hops and spices balance the light malts and nice pumpkin well. Spices come out more on the nose than taste which is how I think it should be. Good pumpkin addition overall and doesn't try to overpower anything. very drinkable and tasty beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2011 21:13:46 | More by jlindros
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Pours a clear amber with a ton of off white head. Smells a bit sweet with some spice and an almond like note. Taste is a bit spicy with mild pumpkin. Hints of apple juice. The carbonation detracts from the flavor.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 02:08:29 | More by oline73
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a hazy dark orange-copper color with one finger of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Light lacing left on the glass and an inch of head throughout drinking it.

s - Smells of spices, pumpkin, bready malts, light cinnamon, and light ginerbread. Pretty nice, and a little heavy on the spices.

t - Tastes of spices, pumpkins, gingerbread, nutmeg, cinnamon, and bready malts. Again, heavy on spices, thought the gingerbread comes through a bit more than the nose. A small step up from the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate to high carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a good pumpkin ale. Seemed a bit heavy on the spices, especially in the nose, but a good pumpkin ale. Very easy to drink and would like to have it again.

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2011 02:38:52 | More by mdfb79
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lasting thin head after the initial fluffiness. Leaves only a couple of spots. The color is gold with a mild chill haze.

Some spiciness to the smell, not much pumpkin.

Notable cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice. I can detect light pumpkin. The aftertaste is lightly sour. Thin with an above average level of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2011 23:31:27 | More by smcolw
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XmnwildX12

Minnesota

2/5  rDev -49.2%

12-13-2013 06:39:54 | More by XmnwildX12
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Kegatron for hooking me up with this fine brew. Poured from a bomber (batch 01, bottled Sept 2011) into a shaped pint glass. The brew appears a hazed copper color that is hazed. Some golden coloration appears around the edges. 2.5 fingers worth of yellowish stained head sits atop the brew with a bold, uneven topping of froth. Patches and finger-like patterns of lace reach upward from the top of the liquid.

The smell of this brew is pretty darn nice. Pumpkin flesh is noted immediately with some green veggie character. A little bit of sulfur and some herbal hops keep this in check reminding you that this is in fact a beer. The herbal character of the hops plays a very nice contrast to the seemingly sweetness of the pumpkin flesh. More smells reveal a caramel hint of sweetness mixed with spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and maybe something a little brighter like ginger. This isn't the most pumpkin forward flavored brew I have had, but the mixture of character to the nose presents itself in a very pleasing and not too spiced aspect. Very well done.

The taste of this brew is earthy with pumpkin flavor that is a mixture of toasted quality and raw almost veggie aspects. The hops provide a nice amount of herbal bitterness which is enjoyable and really works that earthen feel throughout this flavor. Nutmeg is noted lightly mid palate and a bit of cinnamon comes into the finish that clashes a bit with the herbal bitterness. At times there is a bit of a fruity sweet alcohol touch. The grain inclusion is toasty with a bit of bready to biscuit attribute. The flavor that stays on the tongue right before the swallow is perfect, it is a perfect balance of pumpkin to spice ratio.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. This is quite a dry, herbal and bitter representation of the style which is quite enjoyable. As far as spicing goes, I think CBC has nailed this one perfectly. Any more spices and it would have been a bit distracting, any less and it just wouldnt have been enough to withstand the inclusion of the hops and grain. I am loving the level of alcohol in this one, its something I am happy to pour a second glass of. Thanks again Heath!

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 03:24:37 | More by stakem
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Great Pumpkin ale starts with a minimum head and leaves liitle lace. Very noticeable spices - nutmeg, cinnamon. The brewer puts 125 pounds of pumpkin in each 300 gallon batch and this is clearly noticeable. Excellent seasonal - good malt/hop mix.
The ABV is 4.2%.

Serving type: on-tap

10-20-2002 16:24:02 | More by jdhilt
Photo of rab53
rab53

Washington

4/5  rDev +1.5%

11-24-2011 01:10:46 | More by rab53
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub.

Pours a lightly hazed amber/orange, medium sized white head forms, slowly settles down to a thin ring around the glass, leaves some chunks of lace behind.

Smell is interesting, pumpkin, caramel, wheat, quite spicy in the nose, yeast, mace, cloves, a bit sugary, pretty neat but light and a little funky.

Taste is better, lots of pumpkiny sweetness, spices, lightly sour, grassy, wheat, a bit yeasty, good pumpkin flavour and really dry in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium carbonation. Pretty cool, but maybe a little too dry for my liking.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2009 16:39:01 | More by Viggo
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

4/5  rDev +1.5%

11-14-2013 12:41:40 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear orange/amber with a dense, white head. Thick, solid rings of lace and great retention. The spices jump right out in the aroma - clove and nutmeg mostly, but with some cinnamon as well. In fact, there's so much spice that it's a little sharp. The flavour is completely different. The spices are still there, but are very subdued. The pumpkin flavour from the fruit really shines throughout, with clove and nutmeg lingering in the finish. It reminded me of really good pumpkin pie. Medium body and carbonation. Strange soft dryness and a solid texture. This is easily one of the best pumpkin ales I've had. The flavour of pumpkin is very pronounced and it's not just all spices.

Serving type: on-tap

10-24-2006 01:37:16 | More by DrJay
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

3.15/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received this in a spur of the moment trade with Ericwo... Thanks Eric!! Pours a pale orange with an off white head... good retention with little lacing.

Nose shows a lighter spicing than many pumpkin beers... I am thankful. Light cinnamon and possibly some nutmeg or mace... a bit of real "pumpkin" in the aroma... fairly light across the board.

Flavor mirrors the aroma with a little toasty maltiness thrown in to the mix.. Flavors are light... even a little watery.. mouthfeel is a bit thin accentuated by a hefty carbonation level.

Not my thing..

4/3.5/3/3/3

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2012 04:00:11 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of PEIhop
PEIhop

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

11-20-2011 02:03:48 | More by PEIhop
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber hue with a touch of orange into my glass. I tried to avoid seasonal ales but I couldn't resist.

Pumpkin pie in the aroma, thanks in part to a decent amount of nutmeg. Nothing bad to say since it is a pumpkin ale.

Nutmeg compliments the base malt. Very mellow. Spicy. Clean finish.

A decent pumpkin ale here. No pretensions. Just flavor.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2013 00:00:21 | More by Brad007
Photo of THECPJ
THECPJ

Delaware

3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

12-06-2012 01:33:29 | More by THECPJ
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.69/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured on-tap and served in a shaker pint at the brewpub, the beer is a light, slightly hazed, orange-gold coloring with a filmy, clingy, white surface coat of head. Nose is subtle, with nutmeg spice and pumpkin richness. Flavors of pumpkin and spice blend, with a very rich undertone. Roast into the aftertaste, with subtle spices building as you go. Smooth bodied, with a well blended, clean finish. Easy drinker.

Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2013 02:21:14 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of GraduatedCashew
GraduatedCashew

California

4/5  rDev +1.5%

09-23-2013 16:08:26 | More by GraduatedCashew
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Great Pumpkin Ale from Cambridge Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 269 ratings.