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Pumpkin Ale - Kern River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pumpkin AlePumpkin Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

136 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 136
Reviews: 58
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 14.71%
Wants: 23
Gots: 9 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Kern River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: HopHead84 on 09-14-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 136 | Reviews: 58 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Photo of Texasfan549
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of GRG1313
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +9%
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 womencantsail
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +21.8%
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.

Photo of jlindros
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
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).

Photo of drabmuh
4.22/5  rDev +15%
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.

Photo of mactrail
3.78/5  rDev +3%
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 drewone
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -21.5%
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.

C

Photo of Halcyondays
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
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 BARFLYB
1.78/5  rDev -51.5%
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.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Photo of HopHead84
2.45/5  rDev -33.2%
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!

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
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 HuskyinPDX
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Photo of DefenCorps
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
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 CheapBeerBuzz
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

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Pumpkin Ale from Kern River Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.