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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: 200
Avg: 3.73
pDev: 22.79%
Wants: 14
Gots: 26 | 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
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Reviews: 71 | Hads: 200
Photo of atsprings
4.02/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a DFH Signature glass pours a crisp, bubbly dark amber with a decent off white head that diminishes to a ring. Aroma is loads of fresh pumkpkin and loads of spice along with caramel malts. The taste is a nice amount of fresh pumpkin and spice with a nice amount of caramel and brown malts, loads of great flavor all around! The beer is quite light, crisp and very smooth. I remember having this one on-tap last fall and not being that impressed, this time around, I truly enjoy this beer and will be enjoying this one numerous times this fall!

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Photo of nboris827
4.6/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a great Pumpkin Beer! I look forward to its release in the Fall.

It is a typical Pumpkin Ale: strong hints of pumpkin pie in the nose, and when sipped, the tastes of ginger, a bit of nutmeg, and perhaps cinnamon are on the tongue. Recommend on draft if you can get it!

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Photo of Kegatron
3.25/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of KalH
3.1/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Received Harvest Time as part of a trade I did not too long ago. I had been interested in trying out as many pumpkin ales as I could get my hands on and this happened to be one of those I wanted to try specifically.

The pour was a murky orange-brown with very little head. Upon smelling the brew, pumpkin spice and nutmeg became very present. I was a little surprised by how quickly the smell dissipated though.
After taking the first sip, I noticed that there was little carbonation to this beer and that it had a thin taste and body to it. Was not as complex as I thought it would be. The taste matched the smell, with the main spice kick it delivered in the front and mid palette. Slight foamy lacing appeared as well.
I will say though that this beer has a nice, clean finish and is certainly drinkable, but its not anything special when it comes to pumpkin ales. I was a little disappointed by it, but overall not a bad beer.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this from my Secret Santa KarrHeel03, thanks for the opportunity.
Pours a slightly hazy orange color with a two finger tightly bubbled off white head that slowly dissipates to a cap. Smells of nutmeg and pumpkin pie spices mostly. I really can't get through the spices to find any beer in the nose. Taste is more of the same spices with an almost vegetal taste deep in the background. Medium body that finishes on the dry side. Lightly carbonated. Nothing objectionable here, but nothing spectacular either.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
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

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Photo of beer2day
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours medium gold with a nice 2-finger head. Decent retention and some lacing.

Nice and not too overpowering pumpkin spice nose. Some numtmeg and slight cloves.

Slightly syrupy sweet hit, not something expected for the style. Lots of malt presence. Spices kick in midway and build through the finish. Pumpkin with a slight clove chaser.

Feel is oddly a little thin, given the malt presence and syrupy hit.

Decent fall session drinker.

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

12oz bottle, poured into a standard pint glass.

A: orangish/brown in color, slight haze, decent white head, some lacing

S: cinnamon and spices, and pumpkin. smells like a pumpkin pie. there is a residual malt aroma beneath the pumpkin pie.

T: tastes like it smells. like a fresh pumpkin pie out of the oven. pumpkins, cinnamon, and other pumpkin spices. no hop flavor stood ou. has a sweet finish.

MF: medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Drinkability: wife,"what are you drinking?" me,"try it." wife,"why does it taste like pumpkin pie?" so, tastes like a liquid pumpkin pie. not bad once every now and then.

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Photo of CAP1868
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A-Pours a copper/orange color like a typical pumpkin ale, has a decent head.

S-Smells of fall, spices and pumpkin very heavy in the nose of this brew.

T-Tastes a lot like it smells, you get a decent amount of spice in the front, then washes with pumpkin pie on the back end, really good.

M-Nicely blended between the heavier spice flavor and the pie flavor throughout the brew. Very well balanced.

D-Nicely carbonated, I could drink quite a few. Would highly recommend this brew to anyone who enjoys this style.

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Photo of towersfall
4.17/5  rDev +11.8%
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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Photo of hooliganlife
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Emerges clear and sweet potato orange in color with a nice, creamy white head. A bit of lacing but and the head retention is quite nice.

Aroma is a bit powerful and mostly filled with cloves. Cinnamon is a close second and is also followed by allspice and ginger. Pretty powerful but pretty well done.

Perhaps a bit overspiced for some but I quite like it. Again, mostly cloves but cinnamon and some brown sugar lend a helping hand and add a bit of balance andd give the beer a little something extra. Tastes like a sweet pumpkin pie. Slightly sweet up front as well but a bit of hoppy/ spicy kick in the finish.

Medium bodied and well carbonated. Easy to drink. The pumpkin spiciness may wear the welcome out on this one pretty quickly but given the right circumstance and mood, this is an easy sessioner.


I really think that the 2011 version is great. It has more balance, flavors and overall tastiness. My review reflects a combination of both "vintages", with the clear favorite being the 2011.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.82/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single 12 oz bottle. Pours a hazy orange with a slight head that settles to a thin ring. Smells more of spice than pumpkin, but its a nice blend with a touch of sweetness. Mace, cardomom, a touch of cinnamon, perhaps some ginger and absent of, or light on, nutmeg and clove. Tastes fairly well balanced with sweet malt, brown sugar, a touch of sour vegetal note from the pumpkin, and the same spice blend. Nice spice finish of ginger and perhaps clove. A little thin in body, and the pumpkin sourness intrudes a bit. The best pumpkin ales that I've had that used copious amounts of fresh pumpkin were all made with either heirloom varieties of pumpkin, or pie pumpkins- processed or not. This seems to be a bit too vegetal- perhaps the amount or type of pumpkin? In any case, except for the slight detraction from mouthfeel, this is a decent pumpkin beer to add to the stable.

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Photo of SIRIUS2
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of ncvbc
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an bright orange with brownish hues and a nice creamy head with solid retention. Smell is heavily spiced with some pumpkin in the background. Pumpkin pie. Yummy. Good spice and hop flavors with a light bready background soaked in caramel. Very easily drinkable pumpkin beer, as I'm not a fan of many. Not too over the top with pumpkin flavor and the somewhat heavy spice character was a plus for me. Good beer.

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Photo of brentk56
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a cloudy apricot color and a very modest head that quickly becomes a ringlet without leaving much lace behind

Smell: Pumpkin aroma with hints of various spices, including allspice and cinnamon

Taste: Pumpkin pie right up front, with underlying flavors of pumpkin and pie spices; after the swallow, it is more of the same, with the pumpkin vegetal flavor becoming more pronounced

Mouthfeel: Thick, almost too thick, with low carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice pumpkin, with both vegetable and spice flavors

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Raleigh Times in Raleigh, NC. [AKA "Harvest Time Pumpkin Ale"]

Presented with a 22 oz. pour of a gorgeous, bright orange-bodied ale, sporting an attractive inch of light khaki head on top. Probably the best head retention I've encountered for a Pumpkin Ale, and lacing to boot. The aroma met the style requirements with ease, sending notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and a good deal of pumpkin squash to the olfaction.

The flavor was unassertive, yet at the same time let you know exactly the style the brewers were after. Notes of soft pumkpin pulp gave way to a creamy, vanilla flavor ("whipped cream", as my friend described it), and a beautifully balanced backbone of biscuity malt and spice that included cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and (of course) pumpkin. Mouthfeel was light and nicely carbonated, with a lingering finish of creamy vanilla and gingerbread malts. All in all, an exceptional brew that finally resurrected Big Boss in my mind after a slew of seemingly lack-luster attempts (Black Diamond, Bell Wringer Double Wit, etc..). Get at this one if you can.

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Photo of blackie
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
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

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Harvest Time Pumpkin Ale from Big Boss Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.