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Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

843 Reviews
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Smuttynose Pumpkin AleSmuttynose Pumpkin Ale

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States | website

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.84%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale is our homage to the craft and heritage of America’s brewers. Recipes calling for the use of pumpkins in beer date back to early colonial times, when brewers sought to extend their supply of costly imported malt with locally grown ingredients, such as squash and “pompions.”

In that spirit, we brew our ale with the addition of pumpkin to the mash, along with traditional spices to create a delicious American original.

35 IBU

Added by purplehops on 08-28-2003

User Reviews
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Reviews: 843 | Ratings: 1,874
Photo of facundoCNB
3.51/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A copper/amber pour with 2 fingers of head, slow dissipation and a bit of lacing - unusual for the style. Smells of roasted pumpkin seed, nutmeg, clove. The flavor is a bit roasty, which is nice (especially as a breakfast beer), subtle notes of pumpkin spices, toasted bread.
Medium body with higher carbonation..
This drinks like a beer, brewed for fall season... Not like a pumpkin beer brewed to compete for the most pumpkin flavor. With my tiredness of pumpkin beers, I can appreciate this one.

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Photo of JMScowcroft
3.52/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smuttynose Brewing Company - Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale, poured into a Craftgeer snifter.

Look - Pours cloudy orange, small foamy head. Decent lacing.

Smell - Smell is nutmeg and ginger with some pumpkin.

Taste - Here is what I call a spice bomb, which is typical from most breweries when they attempt a pumpkin ale. Touch of pumpkin. Ginger heavy.

Mouthfeel - Heavy light bodied with high carbonation. Spice heavy but decent drinkability. No booziness.

Overall - Meh, this is a decent beer, when your pumpkin ale is the same as the winter warmer style, I'm not really enthused. This brew doesn't hold a candle to other pumpkin ales I have tried. If you want a ton of ginger, this is for you.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
3.99/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed out of a brown bottle marked with a best by date of 12/3/2013, so I just barely got in under the deadline. This profile lists the ABV at 5.84%, but this year's version is apparently a little higher, as my bottle is marked at 6.3%. Poured into a 16 oz nonic style tumbler.

Appearance - This might be one of the prettier pumpkin beers I've seen. Body pours a glowing golden orange with subtle reddish shading, cloudy as you could want, with highlights of lemony yellow peering around the edges where light manages to pass through without being refracted through the dense haze. Atop the murky glow of the body is a healthy finger and a half head the color of bone white. It retains for a short while before settling down as a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass with a sparse film of residual bubbles across the surface. A look down into the bottle reveals pumpkin puree and spice residue--the bit that didn't make it into the glass to produce a cloudy effect.

Smell - As enchanted as I was by the color, I'm quite impressed with the aroma as well. Up front is a wallop of winter spice, with notes of allspice, nutmeg, graham cracker, ginger snap, and even some white pepper and the tingle of ground cinnamon. Beneath the melange of spices is the underlying squash, with ripe pumpkin and fainter, but sweeter cantaloupe notes.

Taste - Though the smell is bordering on a spice bomb, the taste mellows out quite a bit, making for a surprisingly refreshing beer at first blush. You get the sensation of the spices--I think largely from the aroma--but the actual taste is that of butternut squash, faint bitterness like baby greens, and pumpkin. The underlying vegetal element is unique and comes across sort of like the echo of a pumpkin puree smoothie. But now I'm getting a bit esoteric. The second and third sip don't have the same level of freshness, and the beer begins to bog down a little bit, leaving a faintly cloying semisweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Body is medium with an underlying viscosity that builds up with each sip. Carbonation is on the light side, but was ample to generate a respectable initial head.

Overall, this is a beer that starts out of the gate at a full on sprint, and then seems to coast a bit to the finish line. I love the appearance and smell of the beer, like the taste quite a bit, and grew a little tired of the mouthfeel as I finished my drink. That being said, I would likely drink this one again next season should the opportunity present itself.

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Photo of Hendry
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper colored,plenty of carbonation,thin white head, some lacing.

Aroma is mild and more or less a spiced up pumpkin pie, some dank hops.

Taste is slightly acrid to start but evens out quickly with some decent spiced pumpkin flavor, but the gingerbread factor becomes apparent after the first few sips,and the hops are sort of sandwiched in between. Halfway into the bottle it takes on a sort of ginger beer quality, and the warming on the tongue becomes prominent from the ginger.

Mouthfeel is good,nice carbonation moves the flavors along.The warmth from the ginger tingles the mouth, would likely pair better with food than to drink it solo for that reason.

If there is anything I've learned about pumpkin ales after trying a handful of different brands, is that they are hit or miss. Reviews are all over the place with little consensus: many of the reviews on here are from those that dislike the style to start with. I honestly never would have thought to buy a pumpkin ale, and was sent some extras in a trade that included a Williamsburg Alewerks Pumpkin Ale (this blew my mind).Smuttynose is worth trying, and a good effort.

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Photo of JordonHoltzman
4.04/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy orange with a white bubbly head a pinky thick but dissipates leaving light lace at the top.
Smells so rich of pumpkin, some nutmeg and cinnamon.
Taste matches the smell, with some bitterness balancing the sweet pumpkin taste. Cinnamon spice follows the pumpkin and bittering hops for a nice warming finish.
Light bodied beer with good carbonation.
As a huge pumpkin fan, I'm impressed with Smuttynose' offering of the style.

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Photo of larryarms847
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a rusty dark orange with a finger of off-white foam.

Pumpkin and baking spices.

Cinnamon, nutmeg and other baking spices, pumpkin pie.

Light-bodied, medium carbonation, sweet, spiced.

Overall, this isn't bad but I think this could use some more heft in the abv department.

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Photo of magictacosinus
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for the extra, angrybabboon! Poured into a tulip glass from a 12oz bottle. ABV on this one is listed as 6.3%. Freshness date is "12/25/13."

Pours an orange amber color complete with a good off-white foamy head about 2 fingers high in the glass. Leaves behind some lacing, surprisingly, and head retention is good as far as pumpkin beers go. Kind of hazy in the glass, which came as a surprise - usually these beers are pretty clear, but this one must be mildly bottle conditioned like most of Smutty's beers. Not much else to write about - let's get drinking.

Pumpkin beers made with actual pumpkin (this says it's made with pumpkin purée) are always more favorable in my experience, as I am, well, paying for the pumpkin, so I expect a vegetal edge to the beer. To me, the spices are always a big issue, and this ranges mildly on that territory. At first there are mild notes of melon and stone fruit, which soon follow with pumpkin, squash, and light grass, topped with nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, and allspice. There's a crackly grainy sweet flavor that serves as a backbone to the initial flavors, but the spices and herbs (consisting of, well, sage and bay leaf) are definitely trying to fight for attention. Definitely refreshing.

The flavor manages to reveal a little bit more of the malty and grainy sweetened character of the beer, but the pumpkin and squash notes come at full force, only to be covered by the nutmeg, almond, and cinnamon spices. Not bad by any means, but definitely a little bit more on the mild side when it comes to the vegetal nature of the beer, and ranges more towards the spices. There's a bit of a lactic finish, which makes this sort of taste like a light pumpkin cheesecake (which if you haven't had, please try). However, the watery finish, as well as the husky grainy sensation makes it a little underwhelming to drink.

Definitely a more mild pumpkin offering, but much better than any of the overly spiced, sweetened recipes that are getting thrown around every time these kinds of beers are released. Definitely hit the spot when paired with a squash shrimp stew and goat cheese we made that night, but on it's own, it's a little too simple. I did like trying it, however, and I would gladly have it again if offered.

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Photo of Gary1
1.12/5  rDev -70%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Stuff tasted like potpourri. I bought a case on recommendation. What a mistake. It turned out the guy who recommended it didn't even like pumpkin ales. He was just trying to move product for his boss.

I tried to give the rest of the case to multiple people but one in 10 liked it. 10th guy got the rest.

This is not just my opinion either. I bought this from our area super store. At the season's end, this and a really, really expensive pumpkin ale were the only pumpkin ales left in the store.

Save your taste buds. Buy something else~ like Weyerbacher, Post Road, Uinta, Long Trail, Buffalo Bill, Ichabod, UFO, or Tommyknocker. All of these are much better. Weyerbacher is my current favorite.

As you can read, I am a huge fan of pumpkin ales. Smuttynose, Blue Moon, and Samuel Adams are at the bottom of my pumpkin ale category. Maple Mistress is another pumpkin ale loser. This is supposed to be an imperial pumpkin ale, but tastes like a maple ale. I guess that makes it an imperial maple ale.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.81/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer has bright orange color body with a small fizzy head. The smell has a inviting and light aroma of spice and pumpkin. The taste has a very light pumpkin and.spice taste. Its not overpowering but very nice. Mouthfeel is smooth and overall it is a good pumpkin beer.

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Photo of Scarvingdozen87
2.5/5  rDev -33%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

S: smelled like an IPA than pumpkin. I was definitely expecting more pumpkin with this one.

T: Tasted very dark and bitter. Definitely not a fall delight! Wish it would have eluded to this beer tasting like an IPA. Very dark and heavy!

O: It was not necessarily a bad beer, but not a pumpkin beer. If you are into dark beers, hoppy and IPA than this would be the right beer for you!

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Photo of woodychandler
3.17/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is my year of the pumpkins, apparently. How is it that I have never reviewed this annual gem? This year, I laid them in upon release in late-August and awaited October's arrival.

From the bottle: "ale brewed with pumpkin puree & spices"; "Cucurbita Pepo".

My pour created a dense mound, finger high, of tawny head with good retention. Color was a hazy orangish-amber (SRM = ~ 9). Nose smelled like a fresh deck of clove cigarettes! Man, that took me back. I was a young sailor in 1983 and smoking was the vogue of the time. I disliked anything but cloves and smoked a lot of them with early girlfriends, many of whom I have not thought of until now. They were all always black-clad, tough-talking and great teachers. I learned a lot from them and I regret none of it. It's only kinky the first time. Mouthfeel was medium and the clove/cinnamon presence was unrelenting. Phew! I am feeling pretty festive after today. I walked away from this for a moment to allow the spices to sink in, but coming back to it, I was still overwhelmed by the spices. Finish was dry, too dry for my taste and all tanks to the overabundance of spices.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the first free weekend I’ve had in a while – time for a pumpkin beer marathon. Expect my reviews to be less and less intelligible as the day wears on.

Best-by date is four months after the date of this tasting (02/12/14).

A: Hazy pumpkin orange with a creamy white, micro-bubbled head. The foam never tops an inch in height, but it sticks around for a while and leaves jagged strands of lacing on every available surface.

S: This is no pumpkin pie character – it’s pure cooked pumpkin. This nose is chock full of that earthy, fleshy tone, accentuated by a familiar nutmeg, orange peel, and gingerbread scent. As the beer warms, the spices come out in greater magnitude, which does eventually give each whiff that pie quality.

T: Hoppy! Now that’s a surprise. A zesty, peppery, somewhat Noble bitterness sits on a bed of cracker, white bread, and brown sugar malts tastes, with pumpkin in the background bringing it all together in an earthy shared character. The aftertaste, quite dry, lets cinnamon and allspice linger among the black pepper hop finish.

M: Drinkable – a great example of refreshing drinkability that’s not too thin. Light-to-medium body with a mild, creamy carbonation.

O: Starting off the tasting right; a beer like this (that has just a bit of pumpkin flavor) is the perfect introduction to what promises to be a day full of very pumpkin-heavy brews. Normally, I’d be dissatisfied with a pumpkin beer that’s not all about pumpkin, but what Smuttynose is offering here is a wonderfully balanced pale ale with an added pumpkin dimension. Can’t be upset with that.

Grab a six-pack, because you won't be satisfied with just one.

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Photo of rangerred
3.22/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear light gold with a thick one finger head. Really excellent head retention with great lacing. Quite impressive.

The aroma is very typical of pumpkin beers in that it is moderate on the typical pumpkin pie spices; clove and cinnamon. A little bit of earth underneath from the hops so it is nice that it isn't overly spiced

The taste is really interesting although not in a good way. Spice up front and it is on the light side which is nice but there is an awfully strong bitterness that comes in and just holds on through the finish. A touch of roast, brown sugar, and alcohol but it can't cut throught the odd, dish soap-like flavor and bitterness. It is not overly sweet and actually quite dry for a pumpkin beer which is nice.

Overall, this one just misses the mark. I like the more subtle flavors but the bitterness needs to be dialed back a bit.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz beer was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one ginger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a hazy pale orange color with some clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Caramel and bready malts, pumpkins, brown sugar, cinnamon, all spice, and clove. Spices are pretty strong.

Taste: The taste is a little more balanced that was I smelled. The malts and pumpkin flavors work well and are not too sweet or bitter. Great tasting pumpkin beer.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little chewy, medium carbonation, light bodied, and fall harvest pumpkin and spices.

Overall: Pretty solid pumpkin beer that I have enjoyed over the years. Good stuff.

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Photo of jhawth
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear orange with a light, creamy-looking head. Good retention.

Aroma: Vegetal pumpkin notes accompanied by subtle nutmeg and other spice notes. Some malt sweetness, noticeable hop notes.

Taste: Sweet light malts immediately followed by earthy and spicy pumpkin flavor, finishes with slight hop bitterness and more spice.

Mouthfeel: Light-to-medium bodied, lively carbonation. Not as creamy as it appears, but still quite drinkable.

Overall: Solid, subtle pumpkin ale that provides nice fall flavors while not being overly sweet or spicy. Nice balance of pumpkin flavors and hop bitterness.

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Photo of mitch3114
4.04/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured bottle into snifter

A- beautiful pour, nice thick creamy head. Light amber in color, slight orangey hue. looks like a wheat beer.

S- Pumpkin, light on the spice, allspice some hops

T- Sweet pumpkin upfront light spices, cinnamon ginger, a hint of clove, allspice. Hops! This is one of few pumpkin beers that has a notable hop presence in the taste. Had the night before for a tasting and it was pretty much unanimous, myself included that this beer was much too bitter. However, while drinking it today, I found that this beer alone is fantastic. The hops are not too bitter. They balance the beer out quite nicely.

M- I really like the mouthfeel on this. It's not too light. It's just right for the style. It's smooth and creamy and has some body to it. It's not syrupy or too thick. It's spot on!

O- I'm glad I gave this beer a second chance. This is really one of my new favorite pumpkin beers for the an easy to find, reasonably priced, non imperial pumpkin beer. Just a nice beer to grab and drink on a nice fall day, like today, and watch the leaves change on the trees. And because it's so balanced I could drink more than one!

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Photo of secondtooth
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a murky golden-amber. Thick, heavy head of white foam, and some big and ornate lace.

Nose is heavy on pumpkin spice -- specifically, allspice, like a pumpkin pie. Very nice and fresh.

Taste is also big on the spice up front, with a slight tartness alongside the pumpkin. I also get a tingle of hoppiness to the finish.

Solid, and definitely an enjoyable pumpkin ale.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.89/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz.

Pours a cloudy orange with an off-white film for a head.

Smells of sweet pumpkin, cinnamon, buttered toast, and some nutmeg.

Tastes of vegetal pumpkin with a little brown sugar and cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Some notable hop bitterness in the aftertaste, dry.

Medium body with fizzy carbonation on the tip of the tongue.

Pretty good pumpkin ale, nice aroma and interesting flavor that is different from other pumpkins I tried. I'm not sure if I really like it but it gets points for originality. Worth a try.

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Photo of Brezzy24
2.42/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

We are on a taste test to find the best Pumpkin ale for fall beer of choice. Post Road Pumpkin is bitter tasting with less spice then others I've tired. This is no a pumpkin ale that I could drink all night. I always willing to try a beer once. Have a great day

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

finally a pumpkin brew that's not overspiced! this one is still spiced, but I can taste squash too, and it really works. orangey amber on the pours with just under an inch of bubbly airy white head, fades fast. the nose is clove and pumpkin, roasted and sweet, caramel and red malts, and ale yeast, all in good proportion to one another. the taste is great, understated seasonally perfect spice profile, hint of bitter gourdy flesh, and a brown sugar finish that tastes rich but drinks easy. lighter in body than many pumpkin ales, and pleasantly smooth too, despite assertive carbonation. this is a very well executed pumpkin brew, and should serve as an example to others how to use spice but still allow pumpkins to shine through. couple of pints of this are no worries.

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Photo of superspak
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 1/19/2014. Pours moderately hazy bright orange amber color with a 2 finger dense off white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big pumpkin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread, toast, floral, and herbal. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of spice, pumpkin, and malt notes; with good strength. Taste of pumpkin, toast, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, gingerbread, floral, light pine, and herbal earthiness. Light bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pumpkin, toast, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, gingerbread, and floral on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity of malt, pumpkin, and spice flavors; with solid robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and moderately crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good pumpkin ale. Good balance of malt and spice flavors; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of SlainteAlbanyNY
4.39/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Over the years this has become my favorite pumpkin beer. I dislike beers that overdo the pumpkin taste. This beer has the perfect amount in my opinion. Great beer!!

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Photo of smmeier819
3.27/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Cloudy, burnt orange (is that a color?). Lots of lacing, but head retention is poor. Started out with about a finger and a half, then quickly disappeared. I like the cloudiness, deceiving though because the body is so light.

S- Wow! Nutmeg! Not much else other than some faint notes of citrus.

T- Spicy, subtle sweetness. Not quite balanced, maybe too much bitterness versus what I was hoping for, but it does work out surprisingly. Lots of citrusy orange, almost like it has orange peel added.

M- Light, dry, and perhaps astringent. Just right on the carbonation.

O- Not as pumpkiny as other pumpkin ales, but nice to drink nonetheless. I like it, but that may be because this beer is very sessionable and I've drank three in an hour.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.92/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy orange color. The head is a rather typical barely off-white shade about one finger high. Great lacing is left behind, but retention isn't the best.

S: As expected, the spices are there. The spice component is low on sweetness, but high on nutmeg. I also pick up a bit of citrus peel, which adds a nice component to the (well restrained) spiciness.

T: Bitter citrus peel notes hit my tongue first. The spice notes, rather than immediately opening the flavor profile, sneak up near the finish to mingle with the citrusy flavor. Not much in the way of actual pumpkin (I've come to expect that now from the style). There's even a mineral touch in the aftertaste. All the main flavors seem to exacerbate each others harshness - but at least it's bland enough where it's not really a bother. Right...?

M: It's a crisp, dry brew, but also one that's too astringent. I don't like the coarse feel in particular. A light body and moderate carbonation makes it (at least) somewhat drinkable, though.

O: Pumpkin ales like Schlafly Pumpkin Ale and Full Tilt Patterson Pumpkin succeed because they don't succumb to the pratfalls of the style. While not necessarily a total failure, this one doesn't succeed because it DOES fall victim to the problems of the style - too much bitter spicing, not enough balance between the sweet and aforementioned bitter. My first real letdown from Smuttynose, but to be fair, I wasn't expecting this to be fantastic.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Acme Bar and Pizza in Rochester, NY.

Pours a slightly hazy dark orange. 1 inch head, not a whole lot of lacing down the glass.

Smells like most good pumpkin ales do- cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, vanilla. Bit of caramel.

Tastes great. A thick malt backbone of brown sugar, caramel and toffee is overlaid with a lot of pumpkin pie spicing. The malt backbone isn't as sweet as I'd expect, much drier, which keeps the possibility of this beer being too cloying in check. Not much actual pumpkin flavor here. Some actual hop flavor too- a bit of pine.

Full bodied, creamy, dry mouthfeel.

A great pumpkin beer. A step down from Southern Tier, Horseheads, and Schlafly, in my opinion, but still quite excellent.

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Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 843 ratings.