Pumpkin Ale - Kern River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pumpkin AlePumpkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

139 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 139
Reviews: 59
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 14.4%
Wants: 21
Gots: 7 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 139 | Reviews: 59
Photo of Nugganooch
3.69/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On Tap at the Brewery – 11/15/2014
Taster from flight

A: Sienna orange hue and mostly clear. A half finger width of paper white foam settles over top. A loose webbing of lace gets left behind as I make my way down the drink.

S: The nose is spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and mace which is apparent but not overly potent like some holiday ales can be. From there comes a bit of sugary pumpkin or squash and a complementary bready pie crust element. Pretty nice and inviting.

T: Taste comes in almost reverse to the nose with a light bready malt sweetness up front followed up with caramelized squash and then the zesty spices. Nutmeg, cinnamon , and clove. Pumpkin is fleshy and not fully pronounced. That saisd the balance is nice and well rounded all together. Interesting approach here…the base brew is almost Lager like in that it is light and crisp yet malty and filling. Seems to work well here.

M: Moderate filling body with a nice creamy texture. Low bitterness to this with good balance overall. Finishes with a nice lighter feel and drying lift. Very clean all around.

D: This is a nice Pumpkin brew. Not all that much going on with it. Lighter than most others I would say while still maintaining a sweetness to it. Nice flavors and good balance.

Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to baybassboy for picking this bottle up for me.
Pours a slightly hazy orange with a decently sticky white head. The nose is fairly weak and made up mostly of pumpkin puree, cinamon and graham cracker. The taste follows with pumpkin, nutmeg, graham and cinamon. The moughfeel is a lighter body with good carbonation. It's a good pumpkin beer but all that I had hoped for. The flavors were all right I just wish they were a bit more upfront.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber, blog says 4% ABV,

A: Pours orange with a solid fizzy off-white head with great retention for the style.

S: Nice aroma of pumpkin and allspice. An intriguing cinnamon bread note comes out as the beer warms.

T: Light on the pumpkin flesh flavours. The brew is heavy on the fall spices, allspice in particular, nice enough.

M: Very fizzy, light-bodied, needs a little more oomph.

D: This is pretty much a middle of the road for pumpkin brew for me. Very easy drinking as I find this style to be usually. Probably the best of those available in the Southland, but nowhere near as good as the stuff back east. At least a Southern California brewer made this style, I have to give them props for that, it's rare enough out here.

Photo of Etan
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22oz into a tulip.

A: Clear gold with a large white head.

S: Light pumpkin flesh and pie spice in the nose. Some graininess.

T: Taste is bready with mild pumpkin flavor. The allspice is there, but it's restrained. A little bit of crisp hop bitterness. Essentially an American blonde ale with some mild pumpkin and spice flavors.

M: Light-bodied with zingy carbonation.

O: The pumpkin flavor here is pretty nice, but I think that it would work better with a maltier base beer.

Photo of cosmicevan
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

huge thanks to surlytwinsfan for tossing this one my way in the Math Trade #5 BIF. split it with my wife.

a - poured two snifters which both settled a murky orange leather with an ipa frothy white head. head was chunky and fizzled away leaving the glass looking like a milkshake was there. attractive.

s - subtle pumpkin cinnamon potpouri craft store...autumn smell. has a lager tint.

t - even more lagery in the flavor, with a hint of the pumpkin seasoning that the nose suggests. pretty decent. more subtle pumpkin than most others of the style. very enjoyable.

m - smooth and easy drinker.

o - overall not the best pumpkin beer i've ever had and not the worst. has a malty presence, but it is tasty and not gross. glad i got to try it. my wife dug it too. definitely not an in your face pumpkin explosion...although, tis way past pumpkin season now, so perhaps a different monster fresh?

Photo of srandycarter
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear copper. Small white head. Some spotty lace.

S - Light uncooked pumpkin, some spices. Malt.

T - Taste similar to smell. Has more bittering hops than in the smell.

M - Medium body. Somewhat meaty. Good carb, fair balance.

D - Not a bad beer. Fun to try.

Photo of mactrail
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A Blonde Pumpkin ale?

Very attractive amber color and some chill haze. Nice carbonation and lacing lasts well in the glass. Appealing at first sip. Cinnamon and allspice are obvious but not overly strong. Interesting and pleasant aftertaste like butternut squash. Makes good use of the vegetable flavors. Hints of sweetness but a crisp taste.

While I would wish for a maltier beer with more pumpkin flavor, this is a great lighter style-- a leaf-raking beer.

Photo of Xul
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy, deep golden with amber highlights, capped by two fingers of foamy white head. Retention is good as the head recedes every so slowly, leaving light lacing down the glass.

S: Big allspice character up front with some distinct clove notes, followed by fresh pumpkin. Some caramel lurks in the background. Not overly complex, but it's a pumpkin ale...it's supposed to smell like pumpkin and spices.

T: Slightly sweetened pumpkin through most of the mouth, with spices coming in near the tailend and lasting through the finish, but at a very subdued level.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, has a bit of chewiness that fits well with the style.

D: Easy drinking but not the best take on the style I've had.

Photo of vacax
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bomber at Hi-Time.

Pours a fairly light orange, some floaties, average looking light tan head with low retention. Appears fairly highly carbonated. Smells pretty similar to some real pumpkin pie: cooked pumpkin, allspice, slightly spicy vegetable smell that is reminsicent of beets for me, all topped with a little light caramelly sweetness.

The taste has a cooked pumpkin flavor with a nice amount of allspice to it. To me this is lightly sweet, and I appreciate how the bitterness kept fairly low in order to highlight the pumpkin flavor. I am not a fan of brews that just load up on spices and intensity instead of going for a real pumpkin flavor. Slightly spicy, again sorry but it sort of reminds me of beets, but is pretty tasty. In my book, one of the nicer pumpkin beers. Light in body with a smooth medium carbonation that adds a creaminess. Finish is pretty similar to the flavor, the spice sticks around.

Photo of DefenCorps
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as an extra from Solomon420 in a recent trade. Thanks, Damian! I split this 3 ways last night.

The pour is orange with a thin white head that recedes to nothingness rapidly. The nose is simple, but I really dig it - allspice and pumpkin, with there being a touch more allspice than I'd care for. These flavors are replicated on the palate, with the spice dominating the pumpkin. The base flavor of the pumpkin does carry through, and is enjoyable. Mild sweetness is present. Light in body with creamy carbonation and a great, spicy finish make for a thoroughly enjoyable beer. I'd definitely drink this again, my 8oz weren't enough.

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Extra from Richard - thanks.

Pours a hazy, slightly yellowish orange with a nice medium white fine head which slowly fades. Nose is spices dominated by allspice, a bit of clove, ginger, faint cinnamon, and a trace metallic note also. Taste is slightly sweet but not too overpowering. Lots of allspice with pumpkin coming through. Mouthfeel is a somewhat thin and watery compared to other examples of this style. Overall, nicely done and enjoyable.

Photo of 321jeff
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an interesting shade of golden orange.... or maybe an orangish gold... either way, an interesting mix, with a couple fingers of eggshell white head that slowly recedes leaving a little lacing.

Aroma is very pleasant, what a pumpkin beer should be: not a spice bomb. Plenty of pumpkin and butternut squash with some faint hints of the typical pumpkin spices.

Taste features lots of sweet malts up front, and to a lesser extent pumpkin. The spices really come through in the finish and kind of hang around for awhile.

Mouthfeel is a little on the lighter side, but it works well for this beer. I am enjoying this one more than most of the other pumpkin ales I've had, which are typically heavier and spicier. This one is the first one I've had that I'd almost refer to as refreshing.... must be for Halloween in the warmer climates.

Photo of Drinkerofales
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy orange and brown.(I would have said pumpkin orange, but it's not quite there) A huge dirty orange tinted head forms to leave no lacing.

Smell is as advertised, pumpkin and allspice.

Taste is mellow, with not too much spice and a nice pumpkin flavor. Though there is a strange tangy aftertaste.

Feel is light bodied. Very tingly bubbles and easy to drink.

A fin pumpkin beer. Not over strong or overpowering. Only thing dragging it down is that strange tangy yeasty aftertaste.

DOA

Photo of ILikeGoodCider
3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2010 bottling. 22oz brown bottle shared into two 14oz pint glasses.

A: Pours a mildly hazy amber/orange. Huge, white head. Great lacing; sticky.

S: Loads of pumpkin character, pumpkin...pie?, nutmeg, ginger, allspice!, cinnamon. Smells real good.

T: Sweet & spicy. Nice sugar sweetness with a balanced amount of spice. No real hop character to speak of.

M: Quite a light body. Med carbs. Nice & smooth. Pumpkin spices linger around the aftertaste.

D: Very drinkable pumpkin brew. A pleasant blend of pumpkin spices - not too strong (like Jack's), but definitely present. Might be my favorite pumpkin beer in a few years.

Photo of augustgarage
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap @ Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood - served in a snifter.

Clear ECE/ACE amber body with a half-finger of seashell foam. Pasty lacing, decent retention.

Light pumpkin aroma with a hint of angel cake as well. Pleasant but restrained.

Pale malt base comes through with a lovely crispness on the palate, offsetting any sugars from the pumpkin. The latter is pure and while not vegetal, certainly isn't going to bring to mind "pie" either. A touch of earth and pepper (perhaps from hops) is revealed in the finish.

Light-bodied, lively, and smooth mouthfeel.

About as refreshing a take on the style as one could imagine. Unique and well done.

Photo of Arbitrator
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Pours an orange-amber body with slight clarity. Small off-white head with good retention, but no lace.

S: I remember last year's growler being more pungent, but this still has that signature aroma of graham cracker and pumpkin pie spice (nutmeg, allspice, even ginger and cinnamon). Not much sweetness.

T: As the nose implies, the taste is fairly dry. No brown sugar sweetness. But the beer has a balanced delivery of nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and graham cracker. The tastes are in balance without overwhelming the palate.

M: Light-bodied. It's not a session beer by strict definition, but it's sessionable, if that's an acceptable word. It is immensely drinkable, in large part due to its dryness without having overwhelming spice.

O: I haven't had this beer since I sampled a growler of last year's (which I maintain was phenomenal), but the bottle is a slight step down. I see why it doesn't have a high average overall, given the predominance of bottle reviews. Nonetheless, it's quite solid and it should be sampled by those who enjoy the style.

Photo of kevanb
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Notes. Bomber into a pint glass.

Kern River was one I hadn’t had in the past and was really looking forward to trying. It pours a really nice hazy orange color with a thin foamy head, very inviting. The smell is really nice, its all pumpkin with just a hint of spice. The flavor follows the nose, loads of sweet pumpkin up front with a nice spice laden finish. I come from the midwest where fall is a real season, but Kern River has captured that season in a bottle.

Verdict: Like the bottle says. So good it’s scary.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much closer to honeycomb amber than jack-o-lantern orange. Steady rivers of superfine bubbles have created a meringe-like crown of alabaster colored foam that looks like it will hang around for a spell. Scattered sheets of suds stick as well.

Kern River doesn't use the usual array of pumpkin pie spices, but allows allspice to stand on its own. It seems like cinnamon is in there too, but guess not. In any case, the spice load smells just right, so let's hope the same holds true on the taste buds.

Even though it isn't the best version of this autumn seasonal style to have ever entered my glass, Pumpkin Ale is tasty beer that does pretty much everything right. This bomber should disappear like nobody's business, thanks in part to a spice load that falls short of palate fatiguing.

It doesn't look, smell or taste as if any malts darker than pale are present... and hops don't contribute much flavor or bitterness. So far, we're right on track. The flavor profile is akin to liquid pumpkin pie, although I often have a hard time tasting the actual gourd in beer like this.

The mouthfeel is just big enough for the ABV. Slightly more full and more creamy would have been preferable, but it's hard to argue with the perfectly carbonated concoction that is rapidly exiting the bottle, entering the glass, and entering my belly.

Pumpkin Ale is yet another quality Kern River beer. It can't hold a candle to their Just Outstanding IPA, but then those than can are members of a mighty exclusive club. Bottom line: good gourd beer that is just outside the upper tier for the style.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours into my SA Perfect Pint with a slightly hazy golden color. Over two fingers of white fluffy head is achieved with a moderate pour. The head slowly dissipates, leaving chunky lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - In one word, it reminds me of fall. Light spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice. There is a definite pumpkin aroma - though not overdone. Overall it is a more subdued aroma of the spices and pumpkin, though quite pleasant.

Taste - Interesting - not what I was expecting. As the individual who posted beneath me noted, this appears to be a blonde pumpkin ale, though that is not necessarily a bad thing. The spices come through nicely, though I will admit there is an odd vegetable flavor (again, not bad in my opinion, just different) that suggests, besides pumpkin, celery and perhaps cabbage? There is more of a "bitterness" to this than malt (I do wish there was a hint more malt) though honestly, this is an odd pumpkin beer but one that is impressing me the more I sip it.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, lower carbonation, pretty creamy.

Drinkability - Quite so. Relatively quaffable in my opinion. Not nearly as heavy on spices as say DFH Punkin, however, a great session pumpkin beer in my opinion. There is just enough flavor to make you want more, but it is not overpowering in the sense that you would get sick of it after a glass. A great attempt from Kern River with their own twist to it.

Photo of sliverX
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy light copper/yellowish nice dense foam head lasted forever nice lacing.
Smell is pumpkin spice and a touch of hops smells really nice.
Taste is heavier on spices and pumpkin finishes with a bit of hops
Mouthfeel was weird it was light drinking but had a chewiness to it worked well nicely carbonated.
Overall this is a nice pumpkin beer does its thing and doesnt try to kill you with one thing or another.

Photo of portia99
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle received in trade with vurt. Thanks! Poured into a Bruery goblet.

A - Pours a clear amber. Small white head. Head dissipates pretty quickly. Leaves a thin collar.

S - Lots of pumpkin character, pumpkin itself, nutmeg, cinnamon. Lots of fruityness and spicy Aromas.

T - Sweet and spicy. Sugary malt sweetness, balanced amount of spices - nutmeg, cinnamon. Not much hop character, bitterness just there to offset the other flavors. Good, well rounded pumpkin beer.

M - Thin to medium body. Low to medium carbonation. Very smooth...lingering pumpkin spices in the aftertaste.

D - Very drinkable pumpkin beer. Good blend of pumpkin spices...not overpowering, but definitely present. Very good pumpkin beer, might be my current favorite.

Photo of vande
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

split with some family at thanksgiving....

a: a nice murky, reddish-orange pour with a thin layer of head...

s: immediate pumpkin spices on the nose, along with some gingerbread, cinnamon, nutmeggy graham cracker.... a nice smelling beer...

t: along with the nose, this is a nice blend of the i assume, typical pumpkin type spices... a nice balance of them in a way that one is not overpowered...

m:lighter bodied, but easy to drink...

o: a nice addition to our turkey day!

Photo of route66pubs
4.12/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light orange color with a nice, one-finger white head. Head subsides but maintains itself well, with good retention and glass lacing. When held to the light, the orange color appears very clear and almost yellow, with loads of tiny bubbles dancing around.

Pumpkin and nutmeg dominant the aroma, giving the sensation of a pumpkin pie baking in the oven. Very lovely aroma.

Pretty much exactly what you would expect with the taste. Pumpkin, nutmeg, maybe some coriander in the flavor. I'm dying for some vanilla ice cream to go with this. I wish I would have thought ahead to making a run to http://www.fosselmans.com/ ahead of time. Very little aftertaste, save for some nutmeg, which is a huge plus as most pumpkin beers leave to much residual goo behind for my liking.

Surprisingly crisp and refreshing, with just a hit of hop bitterness at the tail providing some extra crispness. Very easy going on the mouth from front to back.

For a spiced pumpkin ale, this is surprisingly drinkable. While one is plenty for me, I can definitely see enjoying a few of these on a crisp harvest evening.

Photo of GrumpyJunglist
4.19/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into A The Bruery tulip.

A: Pours a slightly darkish golden yellow with a decent amount of haze in the color. The head has a good fingers worth, which is a nice fluffy bright white color to it.

S: The aromas on this are amazing. First whiff and its like smelling a freshly baked pumpkin pie. Big aromas of of nutmeg and spices which combine to give off a cinnamon aroma too.

T: The aromas somewhat mirror the the taste. You get the nutmeg and spices with the pumpkins. As the flavor settles it kind of has a banana bread taste at the end.

M: A little overly carbonated, which i feel drowns out a bit of the initial flavors of the beer.

O: I really like this beer, the aromas of this one are simply amazing. I just hope I can find more of this soon.

Photo of drabmuh
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Extra from jmadrigal2, what's this? A pumpkin beer that actually tastes like squash and not like a bunch of spices thrown into a pale ale? Not possible? Apparently it is.

Beer is yellow and a little hazy with a whispy white head of small and medium white bubbles, like a pillow.

Aroma is a little sweet and pumpkiny.

Beer is medium body and creamy in the mouth and really pumpkin forward, its a little sweet but its not cloying at all, subtle sweetness, easy drinking, one of the best pumpkin beers I've ever had.

Pumpkin Ale from Kern River Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.