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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
84
good

103 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 103
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 15.01%
Wants: 21
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
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: 103 | Reviews: 57 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GrumpyJunglist
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%

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.

GrumpyJunglist, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of wethorseblanket
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%

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.

wethorseblanket, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of DoubleJ
3.58/5  rDev -4%

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.

DoubleJ, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of Xul
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%

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.

Xul, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +7.2%

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.

BuckeyeNation, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of 321jeff
3.88/5  rDev +4%

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.

321jeff, Nov 19, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%

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.

drabmuh, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

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.

Thorpe429, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of Dspohn
4.47/5  rDev +19.8%

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.

Dspohn, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of ILikeGoodCider
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%

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.

ILikeGoodCider, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +19.8%

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.

largadeer, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of GRG1313
3.38/5  rDev -9.4%

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.

GRG1313, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of route66pubs
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%

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.

route66pubs, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of beorn7676
4.38/5  rDev +17.4%

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.

beorn7676, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of SpdKilz
4.03/5  rDev +8%

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.

SpdKilz, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of mactrail
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%

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.

mactrail, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of pastradul
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%

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.

pastradul, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of alcstradamus
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%

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.

alcstradamus, Dec 06, 2009
Photo of jlindros
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%

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).

jlindros, Nov 15, 2009
Photo of BARFLYB
1.78/5  rDev -52.3%

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.

BARFLYB, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of coldmeat23
3.3/5  rDev -11.5%

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.

coldmeat23, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of portia99
4.05/5  rDev +8.6%

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.

portia99, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of HalfFull
3.6/5  rDev -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.

HalfFull, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of vacax
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%

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.

vacax, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of DefenCorps
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%

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.

DefenCorps, Sep 27, 2009
Pumpkin Ale from Kern River Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.