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Pumpkin Ale - Kern River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pumpkin AlePumpkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

60 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 60
Hads: 142
Avg: 3.71
pDev: 21.83%
Wants: 22
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: 60 | Hads: 142
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 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 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 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 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 aknight
4.47/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden orange, lighter than I am used to for pumpkin beers, pours with a really nice head too though it quickly dissipates. I can smell the aroma before even bringing the beer to my nose. This beer smells strongly of pumpkin pie spices. On first taste the spices are there, it's not overly sweet as far as pumpkin beers are concerned though. This is perhaps the most pumpkiny of pumpkin beers that I have tried. There is a definite taste of pumpkin to the beer. Pumpkin is definitely a subtle flavor and I think it shines through a little better on a lighter canvas like this beer.

I often find myself complaining that pumpkin beers are too sweet. To me that is the downfall of most pumpkin beers. Not this one. It's still on the sweet side as far as beers go but it is better balanced than most pumpkin beers with a wonderful aroma and a truly pleasing flavor. I'll be buying this one again.

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Photo of GrumpyJunglist
4.19/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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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 Xul
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of 321jeff
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

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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 Dspohn
4.47/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got to try this from a KR growler after the FW 14 release at the Pour House.

I'll admit to being fairly intoxicated and not taking good notes on this review. But after sampling some awesome beers and getting to try the very highly regarded Citra DIPA and Just Outstanding which were both excellent and receive a lot of praise, I feel like this underrated beer deserved a great review. By FAR my favorite pumpkin beer, incredibly refreshing, light and delicious. One of the standouts of the night. I sort of hate pumpkin beers that tend to be too heavy,sweet,over-the-top but this was a wonderful beer.

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Photo of ILikeGoodCider
3.99/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, Stan.

Appearance: Glowing jack o lantern orange with a large blanket of foam.

Smell: Sweet bready malts and pleasantly restrained pie spices. Nutmeg, allspice, clove and ginger, perhaps? Spices prevail, contributing most of the depth, but this never comes off as cloying.

Great pumpkin pie flavor. This tastes a hell of a lot like pumpkin pie, actually. There's a pleasant bready sweetness beneath the clove, nutmeg and ginger. Medium in body, malty and spicy in the finish. I had low expectations, but this turned out to be a surprisingly excellent pumpkin ale.

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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 route66pubs
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Photo of beorn7676
4.35/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pleasant orange color with big fluffy bright white head.

Good aroma of pumpkin pie spice. Smells like a pumpkin ale should.

Really love the flavor here. Good amount of spice but nothing overpowering. Tiny bit of sweetness. Hops are subtle but help keep everything in check. Great balance in this beer.

Mouthfeel is just what i want from this ale. Slightly creamy but quit refreshing.

Overall i really enjoyed this one. Wish i bought more than one. The best Pumpkin ale i have had so far.

 491 characters

Photo of SpdKilz
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of mactrail
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of pastradul
4.2/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

poured into a duvel green tulip.

huge white head that leaves slowly. lots of bubbles along the glass.

the nose is a ton of fall spice right in the front of the nose. with a bit of pumpkin in the back of the nose.

the taste is very similar. the spice is less then I was expecting which works out well. with a bit of pumpkin working it's way through t the palate in more of the mid and back of the mouth. as it warms the pumpkin comes through a but more.

I feel that the carb could be a bit less and it would help the beer a bit more.

Pretty solid pumpkin beer IMO.

 568 characters

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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Pumpkin Ale from Kern River Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.