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Pumpkin Ale - Kern River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pumpkin AlePumpkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

59 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 59
Hads: 140
Avg: 3.71
pDev: 22.1%
Wants: 21
Gots: 8 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Kern River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: HopHead84 on 09-14-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 59 | Hads: 140
Photo of BARFLYB
1.84/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

22oz bomber split with oglmcdgl, an extra in a recent trade out west.

Kern's pumpkin ale has a nice bold bright orange look. It is joined by a 1/2 inch off colored head that fades to nothing quickly, just some faint skims here and there. The aroma is not to shabby, some pumpkin, spice and a bit of a vegetative smell which is off putting. The taste goes downhill with a off flavor, kind of like rotting fruit or rotting pumpkin for that matter. After time a old tomato taste came up reminding me of that rotting fruit taste. Whatever it is it's not fresh although I think this beer is as it's the season and I believe this brewery is new. With that off putting (and im saying that nicely) taste there is some spice with nutmeg and sweet malt. The feel is light and carb makes for a crisp feel, the taste makes me want to wash my mouth out though, a odd and awful aftertaste. The drinkability on this went down the drain im afraid. Perhaps next year, Kern River, on this style, I loved your Isabella Blond.

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Photo of HopHead84
2.53/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

What could be better than a crisp refreshing beer on a day like this? Consumed on 9/13/2009 and poured into my Alesmith anniversary snifter. The beer is medium golden with a creamy one inch head.

As I expected, the nose is of pumpkin pie. I get a lot of allspice but not much cinnamon or nutmeg. It's slightly sweet, and no alcohol is noticeable.

The flavor is of allspice and pumpkin. Again, I don't get any other interesting holiday spices. There's a somewhat strange vegetal flavor that I find a bit off-putting. Alcohol is noticeable. The beer has a moderate level of sweetness. Not my favorite of the style, but not bad. Actually, I'm not enjoying this anymore. The vegetal flavor has become overbearing. I'm halfway through my first glass and I don't think I'll be finishing this. Abort! Abort!

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Photo of kojevergas
2.89/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired in Beverly Hills, California and served into a New Belgium goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the reputation of this brewery. ABV isn't noted on the bottle.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger beige colour head of nice cream, pretty decent thickness, and pretty good retention. Colour is a hazy murky dull copper. Nontransparent. Non-opaque. Lacing is fair. I can't say I'm impressed with the appearance. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Pumpkin and spice - though I wouldn't have guessed it's allspice (per the label). Some pale malts; maybe some biscuit malt. No yeast or alcohol is detectable. An average strength aroma, but quite a pleasant one.

T: Pumpkin and spice over a murky malt foundation. The malts are uneven and poorly layered. A hint of brown sugar - or at least specialty dark sugar. Malty sweetness overpowers the second act and climax, intruding on the turf of the pumpkin. I'd like more pumpkin as well, and more spice to boot. Still, it's enjoyable if imbalanced. No alcohol or yeast comes through. Any hopping is minimal, with only floral character. No hop bitterness is apparent. It's weak and lacks sufficient body.

Mf: Unnaturally coarse and sugary. Seriously; what's with the coarseness? Strangely thick, even approaching syrupy - in the first and second acts. Weak and thin in the second act up to the climax. Carbonation is good. Pleasantly wet. I'd stop far short of refreshing. Suits the flavours okay. Severely flawed by any measure.

Dr: Drinkable but mediocre, especially for the style. There are far better pumpkin beers at this price point. I wouldn't get this again. A disappointment from Kern River. Hides its modest ABV well. This just suffers from too many problems to be fixed.

Serve a bit warm, actually. It gets better as it warms.


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Photo of ThickNStout
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle, extra from soughtbygod. No bottling info. Served in a Sweetwater snifter.

Pours pale orange hued yellowwith about one finger pale head. Plenty of broad white sheets of lace.

Smells of pumpkin, wheat, hay and slight spice.

Subtle pumpkin flavor leads. Followed by wheat, spice and a little bitterness.

Light body with lively carbonation. Pumpkins and that slight bitterness in the finish.

Not bad at all but a tad thin and subtle for my tastes.

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Photo of ThePaleRider
3.27/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

As much as I love Kern River I'm not really sure about this beer. Very faint pumpkin spice on the nose that quickly turns into sweet malts. Taste is nutmeg and slight cloves for a brief second. Really just tastes like a pale ale that's masquerading as a pumpkin ale. Is this a Sierra Nevada? I really look to Kern for bigger, brighter flavors and this doesn't bring it.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.28/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The beer pours a hazy, light orange color with a finger of white head.

S: There is a bit of pumpkin to this, but that's just about it. A fair amount of all spice notes, and a definite grassy note. It's lacking in any real sweetness or malt, however.

T: A definite squash/vegetable character to it. So, the pumpkin character is good. It's sort of lacking in terms of the spices and also the bread/malt notes. Strangely, it's also a bit too bitter for a pumpkin beer.

M: Light to medium in body with a medium carbonation.

O: Really disappointing. I've heard this beer praised highly, but it didn't live up to its billing.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.32/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

GLASS: Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

Pours a very lightly orange tinted, golden yellow color. The two-finger head of off-white foam is loose and frothy. Retention is okay. Lacing is minimal.

The allspice is the strong standout, in the smell department. Notes of pumpkin pie filling are close behind, together with cinammon. A mild earthy (wheaty?) quality.

The pumpkin flavor is sharp. Happily, there is enough presence of allspice and cinnamon to give it a hint of balance. All of these flavors are light, mild and unremarkable.

A light-bodied beer. Very crisp and clean. Too bad I like some thickness to my beers.

This is designed for mass consumption. Very crisp and light and easy to drink alot of, without feeling like you've drank anything at all.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received as yet another generous extra from Solomon420. Reviewed from old notes.

Orange/golden color with two fingers of persistent head. Pumpkin spices seem mostly relegated to the background stuck behind a nice orange zest aroma. Taste is somewhat watery, the pumpkin is there but if this was a blind tasting I would have a hard time picking it out. Still, pleasant overall. Mouthfeel is medium with a boatload of carbonation, probably too much so but luckily it is fairly soft. Nothing offensive in this beer at all, but it may be a bit mundane.

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Photo of rtaps
3.35/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a light but murky orange. with a small white head. little retention and lacing

definitely smell the pumpkin spice, some cinnamon. almost a little dish soapy. thats about it

All i'm getting is pumpkin spices, like a sub par pumpkin pie. and fallowing the smell it taste a little like dish soap too. (the glass was cleaned and driedcorrectly not leaving any soap behind)

medium bodied. wet mouth feel and fairly smooth

overall it was decent not much to aroma or taste.

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Photo of Floydster
3.37/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle purchased from Hi-Times in Costa Mesa for four dollars and some change, drank during the USC loss, poured into a flute glass, color was very light, golden yellow with some orange tones, two inch foamy white head, decent retention, minimal lacing, aroma conists of pumpkin, pie crust, sweetness, various spices, cinnamon, and cream, flavor starts with sweet pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg in the middle, finish has more sweet pumpkin along with a lactic flavor, gets sweeter and harder to drink as it warms, not much complexity in the spice category and pumpkin is very pronounced, sweet, spicy, and creamy mouthfeel, thin to medium bodied, too much carbonation, taste lingers, too light and sweet, expect this style to be crisp but this was creamy, no alcohol in the flavor, smoother when colder, not one of the best pumpkin ales I have tasted, the Midnight Sun porter still takes that honor quite easily, would drink this seasonal again, pretty good for its price, worth trying

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Photo of pmarlowe
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tulip glass.

A: Pours light orange-ish gold color with a modicum of white foam with large bubbles. Retention is not great, though there is some lacing.

S: Spot on pumpkin pie filling and allspice. Almost overwhelming.

T: Decently well integrated pumpkin and spice, which are a little lighter (fortunately) than the aroma would have you expect. Some pale malt.

M: Medium carbonation which fits nicely on a medium-light body.

O: Pretty refreshing and light pumpkin ale, although the aroma is a bit overwhelming.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light orange amber with a pleasant white head that's creamy and long lasttingly firm.

Nose is huge pumpkin and pumpkin spice, rich and bold and like the best of pumpkin cookie and bread.

Mouth is medium bodied with elegant carbonation and a very nice balance.

Flavors are well integrated pumpkin, winter spice, cinammon and pure pumpkin pie. I'm not a big pumpkin beer fan but this is a clean, rich and flavorful example with nice integrated flavors and balance and a nice clean and uplifting bitter herb finish.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.46/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Popped this bottle open last night. Thanks for the bottle jodan!
22oz bottle poured into a Bruery Tulip glass.

A - Pours a light orange with a big cream-colored head composed of fine bubbles. Good retention and streak of lacing.

S - Strong cinnamin and ginger bread. That is all I got.

T - Cream, vanilla, gingerbread follows with some cinnamin - very pumpkin pie.

D - Smooth and creamy finish. Average body and carbonation.

O - Smooth, but very mild. A lot lighter than most pumpkin beers.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours gold/orange with a 2 finger white creamy sticky head. A little lighter than most pumpkin beers.

Well balanced aroma consisting of gingerbread, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Taste is a bit of a let down after the appearance and smell. No off flavors, but everything is pretty subdued and a bit bland. The cinnamon comes on a little stronger than some of the other spices and it finishes a little spicy, bitter and dry.

Mouthfeel is a tad light, but not bad, and carb levels are good.

A decent pumpkin ale. I've had much much worse, but also better. It was enjoyable, but I doubt I'd seek it out again.

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Photo of dbmernin83
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a burnt golden with an inch white head. Kinds looks like an IPA with no lacing.
Pumpkin and pumpkin spices on the nose.
Pumpkin and the normal spices. Caramel malt with a light hop finish.
I'm into the liquid pumpkin pie beers and this isn't one of them. I fell though it's a nice in-between. This one still tastes like a beer with pumpkin and fall spice notes. Also, a decent pumpkin offering from a west coast brewery.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.51/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by drabmuh. Poured into a Bruery tulip.

Pours a pale peach to apricot color with a single-finger white head and some good white lacing. The lacing is a bit spotty. There are large carbonation bubbles visible throughout. Nose is wheat-based with some slight clove and pumpkin spice. The taste is really like pumpkin plus some clove and allspice. Overall, pretty light. Feel and carbonation are both pretty light. Drinks fairly well, but is a bit plain.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Slightly hazy golden color with a very thin tan head.

S: Pale malts and floral hops with the faintest hint of pumpkin underneath. A hint of nutmeg as well. Most pumpkin ales are so pumpkin heavy on the smell that this was in interesting change of pace.

T: Tastes more like a blonde than a pumpkin ale. Floral hops and pale malts make up the body of the flavor with some hints of butternut squash, pumpkin and bready malts in the background.

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Photo of billshmeinke
3.54/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic.

Pours a hazy golden color with some slightly orange hues. About two fingers of frothy white head. The retention and lacing are pretty astounding for a pumpkin ale.

Smells of all spice, nutmeg, grainy and biscuity malt, pumpkin is fairly mild.

Taste follows smell. All spice, nutmeg, touch of cloves, then grainy and biscuity malt. The pumpkin notes are really subdued. Sweetness is pretty mellow as well.

Spicy, just a touch sweet, well carbonated with a carbonic acid bite. Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall, tastes pretty good for a pumpkin ale, but it's fairly boring.

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Photo of BrewtifulMind
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22 oz. Bottle into snifter glass

I was saving this for Thanksgiving but I couldn't handle it after the feast we had, so I had it after dinner tonight. It pours a nice pumpkin-orange color, go figure. Its hazy and there is some sediment floating around, then collecting at the bottom. Poured with a thick head that retained nicely, leaving thick sheets of lace throughout the glass. The nose on this is lacking the pumpkin pie scent I was hoping for, but maybe it was just me expecting too much. I'm getting cloves, cinnamon and allspice, not as sweet smelling as I would prefer. Taste is also heavy on the spices, a faint pumpkin taste on the backend, with a very slight hint of brown sugar. The mouthfeel is what I liked best. It has a nice creamy feel to it, but doesn't skimp on the carbonation. Really nice. This was a pretty good offering of your traditional pumpkin ale. I would pick it up again, but wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.58/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I would argue that drinking pumpkin ales during the Xmas season can be a great thing. It's a festive type of beer, and while it brings a different set of spices to the table than the traditional Xmas ale, spices in cool weather find a way of warming me up from the inside out. We're going bomber style tonight. On to the beer;

Sundrop yellow colored in the majority, with a spectrum going from washed out orange to pale yellow depending on where at the glass you're looking at. Just a little haze in the body as carbonation bubbles jump from bottom to top of glass. Semi-creamy head on top retains well and leaves some lacing. No major complaints about the aroma. It is allspice at the forefront with pumpkin and clove trailing along.

Rather subtle flavors, nothing wrong with that. But there are brief moments where I lose the overall flavor. Allspice is first to hit. Carbonation adds a zing to the palate, picking up the slack of other spcies. Nutmeg and a small gush of pumpkin flesh enter the ring. The body is medium sized and chalky, somewhat creamy with a sizzle of carbonation. Allspice and seltzer-like bitterness linger on in the aftertaste.

Not bad. Ok, I'll admit that having other Kern River beers in the past, I expected a little more than what I got. That said, it's putting me in a good mood tonight.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass. This brew pours a hazy golden in color with a full inch of almost white head. Decent and artsy lacing follows, settling to a surface ring.

Smell is less of pumpkin than of such fall spices associated thereof. OK there is pumpkin, and cinnamon, allspice and orange, bit of pepper as well. Pumpkin notes are well spiced, pretty interesting.

Flavor is moderate and with a cooked pumpkin and spice flavor that follows the nose. Interesting gruit notes on the nose and tongue truly override the pumpkin flavors and not in a negative way.

Offers a smooth feel and decent drinkability. Light in body, the aromas of this brew give it some substance indeed.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Orange with traces of yellow throughout. 1/2 inch head with ok retention

Smell: Lots of allspice upfront with pumpkin in the background

Taste: The flavor is pumpkin and cinnamon but it is a bit muted and it is a oneway street not much else going on here

Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation

Overall: It's not a bad pumpkin beer but that is about all I can honestly say it is not great by any means. Worth a try however if you like pumpkin beers

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy light yellow-orange with a 2 inch foamy white head that settles to a thin cap. A nice latticework of lace forms on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of sweet malt, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spices. Taste is of pumpkin puree and spices mainly but overall the flavor is pretty subdued. The spices linger on the tongue after each sip. This beer has a high level of carbonation with a crisp and bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good pumpkin ale but it smells better than it tastes.

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Photo of jlindros
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

In my never ending quest to try all the Pumpkin beers I could this year, I made a nice little trade with Solomon420 for some west coast pumpkin beers, and get more Kern River as I really enjoyed their 3rd Anniversary. This beer hits both categories, so here comes a review.

A: Pours a bubbly 2 finger head that fades as quickly as it rose. It's semi clear with some haze and the golden orange yellow color reveals the copious number of bubbles rising.

N: Hmm, not too bad. An obvious pumpkin aroma, with some toasted malt and toasted pumpkin. A slight sweetness and citrus, with some light spices. A big of malt as well.

T: Meh, its not bad, but nothing spectacular. Starts as a nice light ale with some toasty malts and crystal malt flavors. Some fruit and obvious pumpkin shine through, and bring a slight spice flavor with it. It's semi watery taste as well. Some pumpkin pie tastes shine through nicely. Some other juicy fruit flavors come through, but otherwise very light.

M: Pretty light with tons of carbonation.

F: Finishes pretty dry and still light. The huge number of bubbles helps clear off the tongue well. A light spice flavor comes through a little more. Pretty clean finish, and it would go well with spicy foods, esp Indian food.

Final thoughts: Very light ale, some nice pumpkin flavors, light on the spices (thank GOD!) and some juicy fruit flavors. Pretty light and crisp and airy. Way too watery though, could use more flavor and body (just not spices).

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Photo of Brewlore
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

The beer poured a very cloudy & hazy bright orange. It had a very nice white head which did cling to the glass quite a bit.

The aroma is pleasant with a lot of the allspice coming through.

It possess a really smooth medium bodied mouthfeel. This beer has an interesting malt profile. Fairly different from other pumpkin brews. It's rather crisp and slightly biscuity.

It's a good ber overall. The malts are rather crisp when compared to the malt profile of other pumpkin ales. The spices are present and blend well the malt.

Easy drinking and definitely not heavy.

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Pumpkin Ale from Kern River Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.