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Pumpkin Ale | AleWerks Brewing Company

137 Reviews
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Pumpkin AlePumpkin Ale

Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company
Virginia, United States | website

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.40%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by on 09-19-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 137 | Ratings: 504
Photo of t8s8l8
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Look- A clear golden brow, very much pumpkin looking. clear with little head but a rim of foam that stays close to the sides.

Aroma- a balanced spice bill. all spice cinnamon, some nutmeg, sweet spices as well difficult to distinguish.a very pleasing smell, not at all overpowering for the style.

Taste- a nice spiceness present. very smooth tasting no strong bitterness just enough to keep it balanced. there is a slight alcohol presence in the finish could possible be from the spices. would like some more malt character though.the taste beckons one for more.

Overall Experience- a decent pumpkin beer, not to crazy like some that make the beer taste like a dessert. Very warming as well. would love this beer on tap in October or early november.

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Photo of ksurkin
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1st rating for this brew! 12oz bottle from grape & gourmet, batch 91009. pours a very nice clear, dark copper with a whispy, off white head and a solid ring of lace. aroma is great and very similar to pumpkin cheescake with big, sweet pumpkin notes, graham cracker crust, and pure spice notes of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg, with a touch of caramel malts. flavor is excellent as well with natural pumpkin flavors blended with sweet vanilla, big spice notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, orange peel and clove, and a touch of nutty, carrot cake with a lingering, spiced finish. palate is medium bodied and very well carbonated with a great balance of sweetness and fall spice. overall, another great new brew from Geoff and AleWerks!

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Photo of Tripphop
3.55/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright orange color, very opaque, glows in the light. Head is nonexistent. A vigorous pour generates a few bubbles, but nothing to speak of. Looks very still in the glass. Aromas are of pie spice and candy corn. Body is surprisingly light for the high abv, sweet but not too much. Pumpkin flavor is mellow with good spice and pie character, not overdone. Solid beer overall, but I think it was better a few months ago.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A good two inch or more of white foamy lace formed as a head on top and actually had some really good retention as it was still around a good couple minutes later. This gradually settled down and formed a thin film of lace across the top. Lots of carbonation could be seen streaming up from the bottom of the glass, and this lasted until the end. A decent amount of side glass lace could be seen down the glass and lasted again until the end.

Aroma was highly spiced but yet not overpowering as you see a lot with these pumpkins. They usually put too much of everything and try to force home the point of what it is, but this seemed to be very nice and subtle. It had a lighter overall smell then some, lots of nutmeg, and cinnamon and a good amount of fresh grass or even a tree like smell to it.This was followed by loads of fall spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, lots of spiced apple, just a good all around mix. There was a noticeable hoppy presence and this definitely could not be hidden. Great finish left you wanting another sip almost right away and there was just really an overall light and vibrant feel and flavor to this. Again very well put together. Super light but yet smooth at the same time. Very nice carbonation led itself to this and really helped to push the flavors out at you. This was full of the little carbonation bubbles if that makes any sense at all. It really made it feel silky like and had a great smoothness to it.

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Photo of ramseye4
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful dark orange/amber color, with a 2 finger head that every so slowly fades away, lacing that covers the insides of the glass. Aroma is nutmeg, clove, and Cinnamon. The aroma is of nearly all spice, but it still manages to be mellow and not overpowering. Tastes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla, but not as strong as DFH punkin ale, and quite frankly it works for it. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and moderately carbonation, and the excellent but almost subdued spice make this a great drinkable beer.

Second only to pumpking in terms of pumpkin ales ive tried so far

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Photo of billab914
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Starr Hill shaped glass. It poured a dark amber, slightly orange color with a very thin white lacing barely covering the top of the beer. Very nice color to it.

The aroma has a moderate pumpkin pie spice to it. Cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice all come through. It has a sweetness to it as well that helps smooth out the spices. It's almost smells like the cinnamon, sugar and butter combo my mom would put on toast. I typically prefer more reserved spices in my pumpkin beers but this one actually does them very nicely. Very appealing aroma for the style.

The taste shows the spices throughout the flavor as well. The cinnamon and nutmeg come through along with a good dose of sweetness. I get a bit of an earthy bitterness towards the finish while the spice and sweetness linger. Very nice balance for the style.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's a very good pumpkin beer. I love that they use real roasted pumpkin and they also really do get the spices right for a beer. The sweetness really cuts the cinnamon and nutmeg nicely. This is definitely one of my favorite pumpkin beers of the season and one I will buy annually right along with Pumking.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #34 (Nov 2009):

Brewed with roasted pumpkin and spices, good to know this is the real thing rather than just a pie-spice brew.

Lighter carbonation still leaves a thick ring of lace for the glass to show off. Caramelized sugars, nutmeg, cinnamon, baked apple fruitiness and cooked pumpkin meat fill the nos- trils. Very smooth, with a lush, creamy full body. Cinnamon and burnt sugar hit the palate first. Heavy malt sweetness is put in check by the spicy, subtle hopping and warmth of the alcohol, which, in the end, brings a good balance. Finishes spicy sweet with a faint burnt sugar tone.

Finding the perfect balance in a Pumpkin Ale is hard to achieve--Williamsburg AleWerks nailed it here. Certainly big enough to throw at the heartiest of holiday meals. A real winter warmer.

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Photo of KidsDoc
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this seasonal several times both in 2009/2010 (most memorable was Dec 2010 on tap at Burton Grill in Virginia Beach to celebrate when my brother made partner at his law firm)...

Reviewing tonight for the first time with one of my 3 remaining bottles while hanging out at home with a 38 wk pregnant glowing wife:

12 oz 2010 bottle into a tulip

A: dark orange/light brown, cloudy; thin one finger slight off-white head. Settles to a thin rim along the outer edge of the top of the beer. Agitation give a nice swirl of tiny white bubbles that gradually push to the outer rim once again

S: very sweet; tons of pumpkin, sugar, spice. smells like a dessert

T: nice layering of spices into a biscuity malt light roast flavor; a continuous background of pumpkin sweetened with brown sugar

M: fairly light feel that firms up both with warming and in the finish; just the right amount of carbonation. creamy sweetness

D: excellent. A great dessert beer or one I've paired with a fish dinner.

This is my favorite pumpkin beer seasonal - even above Pumking and Punkin. I like the sweetness and the huge pumpkin spice aroma that is unmistakeable in this beer from a small Virginia brewery.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.38/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 1/10/2010. Bottle thanks to dkachur. Pours a clear orange with a small white head. Aroma of sweet pumpkin, pumpkin pie, crust, and spices. Flavor is pure pumpkin pie -- the pumpkin, crust, and even whipped cream on top. Pumpkin spices in the finish. On the sweet side and a little syrupy. It becomes a little cloying by the end of the glass but it's certainly a decent pumpkin ale.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. I don't remember who shared this: either Arne or Ted. From notes.

A: Pours a clear, dark amber body with a nice, off-white foam. It retains poorly and leaves no lace down the glass, but that's not something I care too much about, here.

S: Nicely spiced with an earthiness to it. Nutmeg, cinnamon, graham cracker.

T: As in the nose, it tastes like a pumpkin pie. The bready, graham-cracker taste accentuates the spices in a pleasant, satisfying, dessert-like manner. A touch of caramel adds to the body and flavor here. It finishes clean, with some nutmeg pulling into the aftertaste.

M: A nice, full flavor on a medium-bodied beer. Good carbonation for the style.

D: Really, really tasty. One of the better pumpkin beers I've tried. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of aerozeppl
3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had some friends from work grab some random bottles for me.

A: Really nice and clear copper color. Poured with less than a quarter finger of white head. Kind of poor head retention and almost no lacing.

S: The nutmeg and cinnamon are really strong in the nose. A little too heavy on the spice side of things for me. I really do not mind the spices so long as in the end it reminds me of pumpkin pie which IMO the best examples of the style do.

T: Starts off with nutmeg. Really strong. Behind that is a heavy malt backbone which saves this beer for me. The spices are strong but the choice of them is not. The nose is a little better than the taste. The balance of spices is off and I do not get much actual pumpkin. The aftertaste is more like pumpkin pie than anything else.

M: Nice thick medium body. Super low carbonation.

D: Only have a single bottle of this and that is enough. A great beer is in here but they need to play with the spices a little bit which is a really hard thing to nail down.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this for the second time, thanks tb69 for sharing a bottle, second purchased from Al's of Hampden. Poured chilled from the 12oz into a willybecker.

a deep copper that borders on bronze with a quick dropping pale cap of tan. A bead ring is left which is made of tiny bubbles, the clarity is translucent and slow moving carbonation is visible. The aroma is very nice with plenty of pumpkin pie spices. The dominant aroma is cinnamon and nutmeg however a slight clove scent accents the nose. The feel is moderately carbonated and slightly leaning toward the sweet side with spices adding contrast and the beer is lightly bittered overall w/ a semi dry finish and hardly any alcohol in the feel.

The pumpkin in this is nice and not muted with a mild caramel malt backing and slight toasted taste with lighly sweet yet substantial malt flavor. The spiced middle is moderate and holds on to the end with creamy quality and subtle pepper w/ a hint of nutmeg. The vegetal flavor is there but kept to a minimum. This is a pretty tasty pumpkin, w/ good drinkabiity. A tad on the sweet side, but there is a nice amount of spice too. This style is one I might not drink often, but this is above average with very subtle alcohol for the abv.

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Photo of beerpirates
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to raverjames for this very Nice beer

33 cl bottel poured into my lost abbey stemware glass

A: Nice light Brown amber colour with à 2 finger white head that dissepearce to à little cloud on top of the beer and leaves à little bit lacing

S: hmmm that smells good -:) first think that comes to mind is cinnamon , thats the main smell ,

T: like the nouse ,sweet cinnamon , Apple , roasted pumpkin , and it finishes with sweet malts and nutmeg , very special , very rich in taste , i like it

M: smooth and creamy , just good , carbonation is ok

D:alcohol is very well hidden , very drinkable ,

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Photo of Khazadum
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Bill for this bottle! Unexpected package arrives with this fine offering.

A- Creamy white bread head with more pharmaceutical appearance than beer. Dissipates at a reasonable rate to a mild collar and dynamic thinned memory. Deep ruby body makes you know this bad boy is an ale. It is not an imitator like so many pumpkin beers. Enough singular bubbles rise from the depths of the glass to reveal it is carbonated, but nothing overwhelming.

S- A delicious pumpkin scent wafts off the glass to the surrounding area. Not only do we have that earthy squash note, but it is roasted. This is one of the few beers where I can detect a changed molecular offering from the pumpkin itself. There is possibly nutmeg off the back end with the other baking spices.

Something generic on the last breaths, however. It is almost like they took the best pumpkins in the area, roasted them with the gentle care of trained chefs, and finished it off with dollar store spice mixtures. It was almost a home run until I noticed the... medicinal? hues.

T- Opening impressions, sweet malts of caramel and apples pair with the roasted pumpkin flavors. The middle is of course our favorite gourd. It comes forward as its nuttier, earthier, and roasted evolution. However, this becomes increasingly overwhelmed with the generic spice rack thrown on it. I'm glad it perks up right towards the end and fades almost as fast as the nose did. It allowed for a life-saving pitch to be tossed.

That curve ball is the finish. It is amazing... it literally tastes like roasted squash that is delicately seasoned with salt and pepper. I'm amazed at how great that came through.

M- Perfect amounts of carbonation, the right amount of lingering flavors, and the body is that of average ales. It just breaks the average mark by having itself paired up nicely.

D- I love this one. It was a top notch pumpkin beer. If only it was available in my area, I would have brought it to my pumpkin beer tasting. Would gladly do this one again next year.

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Photo of Jmoore50
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stonequarrynest sent me two bottles of this in the Secret Halloween BIF, and beers like this make me do BIF's. What a delicious seasonal from a brewery that I have never heard of.

The appearance on this one is a beautiful orange color with the greatest clarity. It has a 'glowing' aspect to the color that just brings out the pumpkin color. Poured hard it produces a white head that does not last long. It has some medium legs with no lacing.

A great spice smell comes with this brew. It has strong notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and pumpkin pie. Smells like Thanksgiving.

A great smell is accompanied by an outstanding taste, one that is perfectly spiced and balanced well with the pumpkin and exact same spices that I mentioned in the smells. The cinnamon is very strong and especially delicious in this.

All around a great beer that I was very pleased to try.


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Photo of theghost3
4.17/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, bubbly burnt orange with a 2-finger off-white head. A slight head remains throughout; moderate lacing.

The smell is very strong of nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin. The flavor is cinnamon, allspice, sweet malts, and slightly boozy. The mouthfeel is medium to full-bodied, crisp, and somewhat sticky.

This is an excellent Pumpkin Ale. The scent is so strong you will convince yourself that a pumpkin pie is baking nearby. Watch out for the ABV; it makes this one almost an imperial pumpkin.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured hard into a tulip glass. Bottle split with Amyliz4, the resident expert of all things pumpkin. Very slight, quarter-finger head that quickly recedes. The beer itself is a dark shade of copper amber with a bit of orange. No visible carbonation bubbles. After a tough swirl, surprisingly there's a pretty good deal of spotty lacing clinging to the sides of the glass. A tiny layer of foam remains.

Initial whiff brings quite a bit of sweetened caramel malt and a bit of cider, though not in a bad way. The whole things combines with spices and reminds me a bit of Apple Jacks. This follows through in the taste, which isn't as sweet and caramelized as the nose would suggest. Mild pumpkin flavors come through, like a very delicate pumpkin mousse.

This is almost like a modification on a brown or amber ale, in that it focuses on some mildly sweet malt. This brings a decent amount of pumpkin flavor, but isn't very heavy at all on the spicing. It's much different than most pumpkin beers, but definitely has quite a bit of a Fall vibe.

Mouthfeel is fairly light with low levels of carbonation. Somewhat sweet and nowhere near cloying. The near lack of spice is much better than being overly spiced. Somewhat dry in the finish. This drinks really well overall. This is a nice and easy drinking beer, a pretty good Fall beer.

Also, wow. Just now seeing that this is an 8% abv beer. I had no idea and had assumed it was near 5%. I'll have to bump the feel up a bit. I'll leave drinkability as is, but this is way too drinkable considering how high in alcohol it is. I was just about to comment that this could be a sessionable ale on cold nights. Overall, quite good, and certainly a bit different than the average pumpkin beer.

B+ from the wife. Not as good as Pumking or Schlafly's version.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an orangish-amber color with a white head. The aroma is a nice mix of pumpkin, along with all of the spices you expect in a pumpkin pie. The flavor is more of the same. While all of the spices are present, the ones that seem to stand out the most are cinnamon and cloves. All of the spices meld nicely and create a wonderful pumpkin ale. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of ebby82
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber haze into a snifter with a minimal head. The smell is intense and wonderful. Cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin, it truly smells like a pumpkin pie. The taste does not disappoint either. Again, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin, a little clove. The pumpkin pie taste is prevalent without being overwhelming. The mouth feel is medium bodies, and it's very drinkable.

Overall, perhaps my favorite pumpkin beer I've yet had. I love the Dogfish Head punkin, but this is perhaps even better.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice copper orange in color, with a finger of beige head.

Smell was pleasant spice, cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg and a heaping of pumpkins.

Taste was pretty spot on. Medium hints of alcohol, and spice. Pumpkin/malt sweetness; which lingers enough to enjoy, but not leave a cloying aftertaste.

Feel was creamy, smooth, and upper light in body.

Simple pumpkin goodness, with nothing overdone lends itself to a good drinkability.

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Photo of BeerThursdays
3.48/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into standard pint glass.

A - Copper orange, burnt pumpkin color. Thin white head which dissipated very quickly leaving absolutely nothing on top. Lots of bubbles coming from the bottom. Looked great with the head, not a nice without.

S - Smell is brown sugar, clove, all spice, and... pumpkin. Bready malts, and some sweetness.

T - Over the top pumpkin spice flavor, and not too much else. Not bad for the style, but not even as good as other pumpkins. Cinnamon, nutmeg powder and caramel malt up front. Pretty good, but missing something. I don't know what, maybe a bitter finish.

M - Lots of carbonation. It stings the tongue. Very slight tinge of alcohol, which is a good thing. Other's I've had hide the alcohol completely, but this one kind of tastes like a beer instead of liquid pumpkin pie.

D - With this much spice, I'm not sure I could drink it all day. The slight alcohol tinge makes you realize it's a beer, so while it's nice to have one or two, I'd probably switch to something else.

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Photo of raverjames
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally found this great seasonal in Richmond, thanks to Once Upon A Vine.

A: Dark amber with a white head. Not the best head retention.

S: Rich graham cracker and pumpkin spice. Lots of nutmeg and allspice. I also get some cinnimon in the aftertaste.

T: pumpkin pie mixed with brown sugar.

M: Med-light body. Good carbonation. Very little heat.

D: Easy to drink and great for dessert.

This is an excellent pumpkin beer and may be my favorite. This brewery is really brewing some impressive beer.

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Photo of droomyster
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper with a small head. As far as pumpkin ale aromas go, this one is on the extremely spicy, potpourri-like, end of the spectrum. If I were blindfolded and asked to smell it, I would not not be able to identify it as a beer. Normally I would consider this a major drawback, but in this case, the intense aromas of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, pumpkin, and brown sugar are so natural and enticing that I consider them an asset. The taste is almost like a highly spiced cider, like the mulled ciders we used to drink when the weather turned cold. The unabashed intensity of its holiday character draws me in and recalls family parties past. As far as pumpkin ales go, this is a love-it-or-hate-it beer, and I love it. Only complaint is that it's too sweet for anything but sipping very slowly.

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Photo of neorunner
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip. This beer is one of the best pumpkin beers I've had. Poured a full inch of head that dissipated within 30 seconds. Color is a medium brown with a bit of cloudiness that obscures anything behind the glass. Aroma is of spice, nuts, and bananas. The banana aroma seems to smell like a Belgian yeast, fruity esters. The spice and banana notes let this beer almost smell like fresh banana nut bread. Once you get into the taste of the beer, the pumpkin pulls through with a pleasant ghram cracker crust taste. Body is a bit weak for pumpkin pie, but it drinks really easily. I think this would pair very well with a good chocolate brownie or some vanilla bean ice cream.

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Photo of Chaney
4.67/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've heard a lot of good buzz about this one from many of my beer friends. Some say it's even better than Schlafly's, so... I'm doing a comparison tasting and drinking a Schlafly at the same time. Here goes:

A: Pours pretty thick, with a slight bubbly head that quickly withers away to nothing, and a beautiful dark dark orange-red (almost bronze) color. The carbonation is moderate.

S: Deep smell of pumpkin. And I mean HUGE! All the standard spices are there (nutmeg, brown sugar, etc.), but the smell of the actually gourd is prominent.

T: Much sweeter than Schlafly and not as much pumpkin "roast" overall. I really love the crispness. The spices are a little more muted than the Schlafly, and the sweetness is a bit more "tart."

M: Really good. Nothing offensive about the sugar content. It feels exactly the way it should for this style.

D: Since I love pumpkin ales and the harvest time of year in general, I'll drink this again. Definitely in the top 5 pumpkin ales available!

UPDATED REVIEW! The 2011 version is much better than Schlafly's (the local phenomenon). It's richer, creamier, and more pumpkin-like.

Honestly, I couldn't imagine a better pumpkin ale.

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Pumpkin Ale from AleWerks Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 137 ratings.