Harvest Time Pumpkin Ale - Big Boss Brewing

Not Rated.
Harvest Time Pumpkin AleHarvest Time Pumpkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

195 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 195
Reviews: 74
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.64%
Wants: 13
Gots: 20 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 195 | Reviews: 74
Reviews by kkipple:
Photo of kkipple
3.37/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Duckworth's in Charlotte.

A. Dirty copper, low 1cm head, fizzy. Decent, nothing much to write home 'bout.

S. Safe pumpkin here, nothing too weird. Mild spice - cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. Starchy - difficult to tell the base beer from all the pumpkin - is it an amber, a brown ale, a Marzen...? Hmm.

T. Yeah, that. Crisp, sweet, well-spiced. Gets a little too sweet for my tastes over time, not sure if this is under attenuated or if they were going for more of a pumpkin pie sorta thing... a fine attempt, nothing really "wrong" here... but it doesn't come together as well as some.

M / D. Fine, really. Okay pumpkin-pie spice finish, mild sweetness, hint of grain lingers. But I don't want another.

I would try it again next year... but one is enough for this trip around the sun.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled on August 11th 2010.Poured into a standard pint glass a dull slight hazed copper color with a thinner whine head that did not las for long.Very muted aromas,hints of cardamom,and clove,but they are faint,really faint.Much lighter flavor profile than expected,spices that include cardamom,ginger,and clove make the most presence but again they are really light,the fresh pumpkin flavors trickle in a little as the beer warms.I had higher expectations from the beer,I was left very dissapointed.

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a darker brownish-orange color, mostly clear, with a light brown head head of 1-2 fingers. Head dissipates rather quickly and lacing was light.

Smell is definitely that of pumpkin with cinnamon and spices. It's a hearty smell, inviting, with some secondary malts that are most difficult to pick out, but caramel seems to be a good bet.

Flavors are like straight up pumpkin pie with hints of nutmeg. It's a relatively heavy flavor but not really cloying or overly sweet. The flavors really stay together tight, all the way through the finish.

Mouthfeel was interesting. The carbonation was lighter than I would have expected and it seemed to work for the beer. For a brew that wasn't really all that sweet, the lack of carbonation seemed to add a ton of weight in the mouth.

Overall drinkability was good. First drink was absolutely flavorful and great, but the more you drink, the more you think "maybe one or two of these at a time is enough". Very good overall.

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ericandersnavy for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a nice orange color with a white head. The aroma is strong ginger. The flavor is very spicy. Lots of ginger with some caramel malt and some light hops. Slightly water mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of lanamj
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice maple brown with a 1/4 inch foamy white head that quickly dissolves into a light lace.

S- Lots of spice. I get all the familiar thanksgiving spice. Such as cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and allspice. Some pumpkin and caramel malts are presence.

T- Lots of pumpkin and spice. It has a good balance between the two, unlike the smell which i feel is much more spicy.

M- Nice and smooth. Carbonated nicely and its rather refreshing.

O- A great pumpkin beer. Although a little heavy on the spice it has a nice pumpkin presence that helps balance the spice. The smooth malts and carbonation help counter balance the spice as well.

Photo of Brenden
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

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.

Photo of CoalPorter
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured fairly aggressively into a pint glass.

A - 1 finger ecru head burns away quickly with little lacing
color is a slightly hazy burnt orange

S - pumpkin, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar all combine to give a lovely pumpkin pie effect

T - pumpkin pie again, but not overwhelmingly sweet, mostly clove, allspice and cinnamon backed by pleasant malt sweetness and a dry hop finish which gives balance to the whole beer

M - tingly and lighter than expected, with moderate carbonation

O - This is a very drinkable seasonal brew, not my favorite pumpkin but close to it.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We are given the choice to "Reap" or "Sow" on this label. At the risk of offending the deathskull, I'll go for "Pour" and "Drink" instead...

Pours a burnt orange color, like the color of a turning autumn leaf...appropriate! The head is bone-white (no pun on the label character, I swear) and it thins to a skim and crown quickly.

Nose is a promising melange of the usual pumpkin ale spices (ie. pumpkin pie spices) with a leaning toward the smell of actual pumpkin flesh, which is nice. A lightly hot spice, maybe white pepper, comes in along with the sweeter ones.

Flavor is a good balance of pie spices and pureed canned pumpkin, one not winning out over the other. It's easy to like--as long as you like pumpkin ales--though a little short on depth. Seems to be lacking an extra oomph to send it over the top.

Good firm body, thin but hardly watery; rather creamy with tingly carbonation to offset.

A nice local-ish offering here with a label that admittedly drew me in and sealed the purchase of a 6-pack. There's some pretty stiff competition when it comes to this style, and this one sits square in the middle. Not amazing, but far from bad.

Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Doyle for this one.

Pours a deep brownish amber with a quarter inch of head that quickly fades to a thin lacing. Smells of musty pumpkin and very faint spices; nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice. The taste is rich, smooth pumpkin with a faint hint of nutmeg and allspice. There's just a slight hop bitterness in the finish. Medium bodied and smooth.

Overall, not a bad pumpkin beer. One of the better Big Boss offering.

Photo of dirtylou
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, courtesy of bort. consumed will prepping a stew

appearance: another interesting big boss label, pours a dull hazy amber color, light white head with very little lace

smell: minimal, some light spice

taste: kind of bland - moreso than i remember from edenton's pumpkin. flavor is of mild real pumpkin, spice that is mild but features cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.

mouthfeel: a little watered down

drinkability: fine

Photo of hooliganlife
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to OldStyleCubFan for this!

pour is a mellow and hazy copper with a light head and little retention

huge nutmeg just punches you in the face and a nice light cinnamon and pumpking backing

a little more subtle but still very flavorful. big spice flavors from the nutmeg and cinnamon and a slight whipped cream flavor. light malts compliment this.

a bit thin but nothing bad at all. nice carbonation.

this was a great pumpkin ale. great spice flavor blended well.

Photo of Kegatron
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a fairly clear copper (although there are some light suspended solids present), with roughly a finger of eggshell-white head. Rich enough looking flareup on this, which leaves back a cascade of spotty foam. The aroma is even parts fall spices and green pumpkin meat. A touch of sweetness trails off in the back of the nose.

The spices are a little more subtle feeling here in the taste than it was in the aroma, with this time more malt sweetness coming out and holding it's own with the pumpkin flavor. There's a touch of balancing earthy hops here, while lingering spice and grit hang around in the finish for a while. The mouthfeel is lighter bodied, with a gentle creaminess to the carbonation but this mostly has a thin (and in a few spots watery) feel at times.

You know for a Pumpkin Ale, the overall flavor of this wasn't bad at all. It's just unfortunate that the beer gets betrayed by such a weak and disappointing mouthfeel. I'd maybe be willing to check this out again on draft at some point.

Photo of thagr81us
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a shaker. Poured a hazy copper with a minimal white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, pumpkin, and cloves. The flavor was of sweet malt, pumpkin, and slight clove. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. The flavor was very refreshing and not overly invasive to the palate. Also had a pretty nice aroma as well. This one is a definite must try for pumpkin brew fans out there.

Photo of Buffjones
3.64/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Photo of n2185
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange with a finger of beige head that recedes into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Pumpkin spices up front followed by sweet vanilla and some yam/pumpkin-like aromas. There are some light bready aromas in there as well.

T: Again the spices hit at first. Some light vanilla flavors mix in with faint pumpkin notes after. The finish has a very light bitterness with some sweet bread flavors.

M: Medium-light body with lowish carbonation, this beer feels a little watery.

O: A decent pumpkin ale, overall. Nothing to write home about, but it smells nice and isn't overly spiced.

Photo of Dodo2step
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

Photo of wedge
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an unclear orange color with a small, bubbly head that shrinks to a creamy ring around the edge. Pumpkin pie spices as well as some actual pumpkin. Fairly mild, spicy flavor wrapping up with some caramel sweetness and toasty grain. Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Better on draught, but satisfying and quite drinkable from the bottle.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now this is a pumpkin ale. I was totally floored by this one and by far my favorite of the style so far this year. Pours out a light hazelnut tinged amber with a good bit of off white head the drips down the side causing some nice lacing.

Aroma is deep spices. Wow. Pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, banana and bready notes. Just amazingly complex. This really came off very much like my mother in laws spice cake. Just a superb blend and very, very full. As I take the first sip I am very impressed here as the flavor is just as full as the aroma was. Deep spices, loads of pumpkin and a heavy dose of cinnamon and nutmeg. Really just massively impressive in every sense of the word. Nice medium feel was well carbonated and kept the flavors active on the palate.

Overall a very, very well done example of the style. This really impressed me. I actually remember wondering if this may have been the best I have had of the style.

Photo of buschbeer
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%

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.

Photo of blackie
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: Great looking creamy head, khaki in color with great retention. The ale is a gorgeous deep amber-orange in color, somewhat hazy.

s: A great blend of spices upfront...typical pumpkin spices with nutmeg seemingly dominant. Cinnamon and I think ginger are also in the mix. Good malt support with a medium sweetness level and light toastiness, and a considerable aroma of meaty pumpkin. Lightly hopped it seems, and earthy in a sitting on the floor of a turning forest kinda way. Sweet potato casserole, with burnt marshmallows and all. Very nice, and quite close to perfect.

m: Carbonation level around medium, very smooth as are most Big Boss beers. Body seems to be around medium or medium-full and cleans up quickly after the swallow.

t: Spicy at first, with the caramel amber malts and pumpkin quickly making themselves known...never taking over, but balancing out very well. Moderate sweetness of concentrated grain sugars leave a sticky coating on my lips after a few glasses. Creamy pumpkin pie. Lightly hopped with a long lingering finish.

d: three with ease, but the spice does wear after a bit

Great pumpkin ale as always from this brewery. I remember it being a bit more clear and well rounded/balanced in the past, but who knows.

Would love to see some bottles, or even a limited hand bottling.

9-29-09: Just changing some scores around, both appearance and mouthfeel dropped from 4.5 to 4

Photo of seydou
2.99/5  rDev -20.1%
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.

Photo of devilben02
3.31/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Photo of rtratzlaff
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 marks the first year Big Boss is bottling their Harvest Time Pumpkin Ale.

A 12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint glass reveals a filtered yet deep amber body with a two finger head that sticks around for quite some time. Just from the look, you can tell this is no light pumpkin ale. There is plenty in there other than water.

THe aroma is pretty strong in the pumpkin category as well as the spice. Cinnamon spiced pumpkin and plenty of caramel malt in the aroma. Very little to no hop presence in the nose or taste. Just enough bitterness and spice to hold back the sweetness from cloying.

The mouthfeel is lush and medium to full.

If you don't like the flavor of pumpkin, then you probably won't like this beer. Pair with a fall afternoon while watching the leaves fall.

Photo of oline73
3.39/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy orangish amber with under a finger of off white head that disappears completely.

Smell: Sweet, caramel like malt along with some spices. Cinnamon and nutmeg are dominant.

Taste: Sweet and malty, mild caramel notes. The pumpkin flavor is very mild compared to the spices. There is some cinnamon and nutmeg just like the smell. No bitterness in the finish, which is nice.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with hardly any carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This beer tastes good, perhaps a little more pumpkin would have been nice. The mouth feel and appearance were just alright. Could have been a bit more carbonated.

Photo of towersfall
4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a dark-ish orange with a small, but nice, head. The color compliments the season well and looks like it should be a spice orientated beer.

Smell - Smells strongly of spices you may use to create the perfect pumpkin pie with a faint hint of actual pumpkin.

Taste - Refreshing and slightly different from most pumpkin ales that I have tried. I taste the spices more than the pumpkin and I actually enjoy that.

Mouthfeel - Well carbonated and the perfect blend between light and heavy.

Drinkability - Surprisingly one of the easier fall beers to down and I feel that I could have a few of these no problem. Big Boss strikes again with another solid brew. Highly Reccomended!

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Harvest Time Pumpkin Ale from Big Boss Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 195 ratings.