Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Harvest Time Pumpkin Ale - Big Boss Brewing

Not Rated.
Harvest Time Pumpkin AleHarvest Time Pumpkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

71 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 71
Hads: 199
Avg: 3.73
pDev: 22.79%
Wants: 14
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Boss Brewing visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: blackie on 10-05-2007

This is a Subtly Spiced Fall ale Brewed with Real Pumpkin that will evoke memories of holidays and family. It is brewed with our own proprietary blend of spices that will make this one of the best recieved pumpkin ales available.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 71 | Hads: 199
Photo of MichaelProcton
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very clear, caramel/burnt orange with active carbonation that leads to a sustained head. The smell is of pumpkin pie, with a touch of malt. However, the pumpkin isn't absurdly pumpkin. Plenty of malt, especially on the back end. Mouthfeel is a touch thin, but I like the bite of the carbonation.

 299 characters

Photo of rdipper
2.96/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice local NC effort; however, I can't imagine drinking another one of these. It wasn't bad, but if you want to drink a pumpkin beer, there are better pumpkin beers out in the market. Find those and drink them.

 211 characters

Photo of Carlson
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Bourbon color with subtle pumpkin and fall spices. Spices are not overpowering . Smooth finish with pleasant after taste. A seasonal treat worth trying.

 152 characters

Photo of humuloner22
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Appearance: Dark caramel decent head retention.

Aroma: Pumpkin spices and sweet caramel notes.

Taste: Pretty much its a spice bomb, its not got a lot of pumpkin taste but it does have caramel in there too. Its more of a spice dominant beer. Its not my favorite of beers in this style.

Overall: I would probably not seek this one out again, but it was worth at least trying.

 377 characters

Photo of barczar
3.71/5  rDev -0.5%

Ginger, nutmeg, pumpkin, and nutty caramel malt form the aroma. Spices dominate slightly, but pumpkin and malt presence aren't far behind. Flavor follows suit, with ginger upfront, a slight tangy squash character, then nutmeg and toasted bread, which lingers in the finish. Flavor is even more balanced than the aroma. Aside from that tangy note, which is far more subtle than most examples, a very nice pumpkin beer. A buttery note emerges.

 441 characters

Photo of Davepoolesque
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's just ok. I actually like the restrained spice flavors. Good pumpkin underscore..........................................................................

 157 characters

Photo of Dave1999
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark orange with a white head.

The smell is pumpkin and cloves, almost perfume like.

The taste is pumpkin, vegetables, cloves, pepper.

The feel is quite light with medium to high carbonation.

Overall a very decent pumpkin beer, easy drinking and tasty.

 269 characters

Photo of Lonestar9
4/5  rDev +7.2%

From a tap. Poured a very nice, reddish color. You can taste the pumpkin spices and flavors but it does not overwhelm the beer. As it warmed a little you could taste pumpkin flavors a bit more. The smell was also subtle but definitely pumpkin pie. Overall a beer worth trying, a solid one for me that I'll seek out next year in bottles up in NC.

 349 characters

Photo of Brenden
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Just newly released, this was out 6th beer in an all-NC beers tasting with BA styleisking.

[Appearance: 3.5] It's a pretty coppery color with a slightly more than wispy off-white head that foams up to a firm layer and releases some heavy spotting.
[Aroma: 3.75] Pie spices are prominent here without being overdone, with nutmeg, clove and cinnamon seeming discernible. It would be a solid 4 is the pumpkin flesh gave a stronger show, but it's there behind bready malts and, of course, the spices.
[Flavor: 3.5] Pumpkin flesh is squash/vegetal and placed behind the spices which, again, work very nicely. Malts give a little caramel sweetness and bread.
[Mouthfeel: 3.25] The medium body holds for most of the time but thins a touch in the end, while carbonation goes a bit too effervescent and then spritzy to hold a firm crispness either before or after the middle, though it achieves that much.

 900 characters

Photo of buschbeer
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a teku glass

I'll call it burnt orange with orange highlights. It is topped with an inch of beige head with little lacing.

I get your usually suspects, cinnamon and nutmeg.

It has a nice pumpkin beer flavor. The spices come through with cinnamon being prominent.

Thin mouthfeel

This is a pretty good pumpkin ale. It does nothing to separate from the herd, but I would try it again.

 418 characters

Photo of I3eck
4.21/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle -> Wine Glass
A: Hazy dark amber / iced tea-colored, 1/2" slightly off white head, stumpy lacing.
S: Apple cider, cinnamon, pumpkin, brandy.
T: Cinnamon, apple, pumpkin, over-ripe fruit, sweet potato, clove, baked bread crust, malty undertones.
M: Good CO2, medium-full bodied with a lingering baked goods flavor.
O Delicious concoction of multiple spices and fruits. I've enjoyed this beer over the past two years around this time - awaiting its release in Sept this year. It really stands out for me because it is complex and has a wicked over-ripe fruit / banana flavor which I find interesting and enjoyable. This beer reminds me of baked pies - especially apple and pumpkin. Good times.

 701 characters

Photo of seydou
2.99/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured out of a bottle. Almost no head and what was there disappeared. Don't see carbonation. Hazy, tan-reddish.

Smells great, spicy, outdoorsy, not like pumpkin at all. (Sometimes you get that whiff of sweetness).

The smells is just like the front of the mouth taste -- maybe like a packet of instant spices to make a pumpkin pie. It's warm and lingers. This is unusual for a pumpkin beer. I can't describe any of the flavors really well, but it's got a pine-y bite to it, fall like. I honestly can't decide if I like it or not.

Through a bottle, I get tired of the really blatant spice overtones, whatever they are. Not a favorite.

 639 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.87/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a crystal clear, dark, caramel coloring with a ton of carbonation action and no head. Aromas of pumpkin, sweet potato, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and baked bread characteristics. Smells delicious! Flavors are smooth and richly sweet, with a baked bread feel throughout. Pumpkin, hints of vanilla, and roasted notes, with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. Solid, balanced, and drinkable. Smooth, light bodied, delivering through to a pumpkin pie aftertaste. The finish is slightly effervesced, but ultimately crisp and clean, with a slightly sweet and spiced linger. Light enough to drink in numbers.

 653 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.53/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a crystal clear medium burnt orange in color with some light amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the surface of the beer and some amber highlights. The beer has a half finger tall foamy light beige head that quickly reduces to a medium sized patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg and clove) with some more subtle aromas of pumpkin and sweet toasted malts.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of toasted malts with some light amounts of grainy sweetness. That is followed by light flavors of pumpkin and moderate flavors of pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg dominates with lighter amounts of clove) in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy enough to drink but I would appreciate a better blend of spices that is not so nutmeg centric. The alcohol is well hidden and you can actually taste the pumpkin.

 988 characters

Photo of Buffjones
3.64/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, the appearance was a nice darker golden color.

The smell, strong clove, with some cinnamon and spice. Very subtle pumpkin if any in the nose.

The taste, very balanced between the spices and malts, very subtle pumpkin in the flavor.

Overall, this is a good choice for a fall harvest brew, maybe standing outside grilling/or smoking some tasty meats while the leaves turn. We have a limited offering of pumpkin ales at the local grocer, but this, and the Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin have been the best of what I've tried so far. Still hoping to snag a six pack of the Southern Tier Pumking.

 618 characters

Photo of Fergyx825
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: A nice amber color and darkens at the edges, exactly what a pumpkin ale is supposed to be. There was some head on the pour, and is going away as the beer settles. No bubbling is noticed within the beer.

Smell: Spiced smell with a little bit of pumpkin. I can't smell too much alcohol. This is definitely more spice heavy though. But non the less i am excited to take a swig.

Taste: This is a very different than most of the pumpkin ales that i've had. You can taste the spices, and the pumpkin right away, but at the back end of the taste it has some alcohol taste to it. I don't know how much at the end of the taste i'm thinking light. It has some sweetness to it, but its shortlived. only if they could capture that.

Mouthfeel: Very low carbonation, and a light beer. I am in favor of low carbonation, but the light side of the beer makes me wanting more. Perhaps good when it comes to drinking in mass quantities, but not so much for the actual beer itself.

Overall: Appearance, and smell this beer hits it head on. The thickness of this beer really affects the taste of it, and in the end brings it down. If they could make this thicker and capture that sweetness at the end of a sip this would be great stuff!

 1,231 characters

Photo of Axnjxn
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on draft at beer study in chapel hill. teku glass.

pours a hazy orange with a slight head. huge shot of pumpkin aroma on the nose. taste is real big on cinnamon and nutmeg and even pumpkin flavors, without the bittering of nutmeg. really like this one. medium bodied with light carbonation.

overall an excellent pumpkin ale.

 326 characters

Photo of MordorMongo
3.51/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ASUbeer for the tick, he knows I am a sucker for a pumpkin brew!

12oz bottle to tulip.

A - Burnt orange with some amber hues, nice off-white head which settles to a nice cap, lacing throughout....not too shabby

S - Holy spices batman! Cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, pumpkin, allspice...yowza, lot going on here....kind of turns me on.

T - Big spice notes, some breadiness as well. As it warms it picks up some slightly tart almost cidery notes. Definitely preferred it colder which is unusual for the style.

M - Medium and a bit lackluster...nothing special in any way....average.

O - I don't think I would drink like 7 of these...but one was a treat and I could see picking up a 6er each fall of this and having them perhaps to break up other more sessionable brews. My wife liked it more than I but she doesn't count, haahaha.

Glad to get to try this one, while it isn't something I would punch an old lady in the throat to get again, I would grab one if I saw it and was in the mood.

I give this one 14 yellow bandanas and 2 stink eye marbles.

 1,060 characters

Photo of hopsolutely
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Somewhat embarrassed to admit that I had no idea this was a pumpkin ale until logging in to this site. The label makes reference only to "ale brewed with spices" and initially I found the cloves so overpowering that it didn't occur to me that this was also a pumpkin beer i.e. I didn't pick up on the gourd at all. It has mellowed on my palate somewhat since those initial tastes, but remains a very spice-forward brew.

Pours a hazy dark orange with minimal head that dissipates quickly. Cloves overwhelm the aroma, but cinnamon and nutmeg are also present in the background. The flavour introduces some sweet caramelized malts and pumpkin notes, with a bitter finish that lingers along with those prevalent spices.

I’m not saying it’s not well brewed, but although I love many pumpkin beers, this isn't one I'd personally purchase again.

 846 characters

Photo of KajII
3.02/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

[Suggested Glassware: Lager Glass]

The pour was a clear medium burnt orange with an average (1-2 finger) white fizzy head that was mostly diminishing, reducing to a light film and small collar with fair spotty lacing.

The aroma was of a light bread malt and a mild doughy yeast with notes of pumpkin, nutmeg, brown sugar, clove and a bit of cinnamon.

The taste was sort of thin with a light brown sugar sweetness and a malty pumpkin flavor early on, then became infused with a mild dose of spices and had a slight astringent taste towards the finish. The flavor was short lived, fading almost immediately after the swallow and leaving nothing behind.

Mouthfeel was light in body and watery in texture with a lively carbonation.

Overall this was like drinking a “Light” Pumpkin Ale, if there is such a thing. It did however possess a decent drinkability and a nice refreshing taste...


 935 characters

Photo of devilben02
3.31/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I generally don't care for pumpkin beer season since the typical heavy, spiced flavor profile become overwhelming after a short while, and this beer does nothing to change my perception of this kind of seasonal beer. It pours from the bottle with a nice, deep, semi-transparent amber color, but without much of a head. The aroma is an expected combination of seasonal spices and a thin sweetness. The flavor has more depth, with a fruity sweetness and some dry herbal hops, but it certainly feels over-spiced since the underlying beer is difficult to identify. The texture doesn't do much to counteract my disappointment, with a medium-thin body doing little to add character. Overall, the heavy-handed use of spice makes me wonder if the brewers just really love pumpkin pie or if they are covering a forgettable, bland beer.

 826 characters

Photo of kell50
4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look forward to this beer every year here in NC. Also, the label's pretty eye-catching too!

A: It pours a dark orange color with a small head that quickly fades away. Absolutey no head or lacing after completely pouring the beer.

S: It does smell of fall spices/aromas, i.e. nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, pumpkin, etc. I always get excited after popping the top with this one. A very aromatic beer.

T: Taste follow nose; spices and pumpkin coming through. There's just enough spice to it to know what style you're having, but not so viscous and cloying that you're one an done. I really feel that this beer would be accepted by those who don't typically enjoy spice-heavy pumpkin beers, and those that do.

M: Very nicely carbonated. A very easy drinking 5.5% ABV. Medium bodied.

O: As previously metioned- Harvest Time is a beer I get excited about when the leaves begin to change. This is a solid example of a pumpkin ale- I will definitely buy it again.

 958 characters

Photo of MuddyFeet
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper in color. Shines when held up to the light. Mild foam that dissipitates to a thinner film. Nose is fruity--almost apple. Subtle favors that balance each other nicely. But I wish there was just a tad more pumpkins. Nice spice flavor counters the sweet malts. Medium body. Solid fall beer. I will say the label turned me away from this beer for a long while. I was expecting it to be more over the top.

 407 characters

Photo of Dodo2step
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

P- Thanks to my buddy Trask in NC for this brew

A- a cloudy dull orange color. Half finger head that leaves a patch o lain and hangs around for a minute.

S- hints of nutmeg and clove. I get a dominate malt smell like vinegar though. Its lke a white vinegar smell that is pungent.

F- Pumpkin vinegar malt flavor. Different but not what i want with my pumpkin ales. I also get some clove and nutmeg in the taste as well.

M- Sour vinegar taste and pumpkin is kind of bland, no kick.

O- just an average pumpkin ale for me, i have had much better but much worse as well.

 570 characters

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

Excellent Pumpkin Ale. Not overly spiced nor overly sweet. Good mouth feel and definitely a fall pleasant beer.

I am not a fan of Pumpkin Ales only because I think there are more bad ones than good ones but Harvest Time is a very obvious difference to the ones I have tried in the past.

 287 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Harvest Time Pumpkin Ale from Big Boss Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.