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Pumpkin Ale - Horseheads Brewing Inc.

Not Rated.
Pumpkin AlePumpkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

43 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 43
Hads: 135
Avg: 4.14
pDev: 12.08%
Wants: 65
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Horseheads Brewing Inc. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: israel on 09-17-2008

Tempting tastes play seek and hide,
off the trail that's true and tried.
Aromas dance as spirits guide,
down the path the pumpkins ride.
View: Beers (26) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 43 | Hads: 135
Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
4.09/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a transparent orange color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated at a nice pace. Light lingering lacing trickles down the side of the glass.
The smell had some sweet pumpkin flesh with a lightly pronounced spice of ginger, cinnamon and allspice.
Light toasty to caramel malts balance in underneath.
The taste balances nicely between the sweetness of the pumpkin and the breadiness to the spices. A semi-sweet and dry aftertaste runs into the finish.
The mouthfeel was about a light to medium in body with a semi-creamy sessionable feel to it. Carbonation feels spot on for the style and for me.
Overall, this was a really nice pumpkin ale that I would have again.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.77/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bomber poured into a pint glass.

3.5 A: Nearly clear light orange color. One and a half fingers of frothy off-white head. Retention is about average and a short ring of lacing is left.

4.0 S: Smells great! The big appeal is the pumpkin itself. Too many pumpkin beers rely too heavily on the spices. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and maybe a touch of allspice. A touch of toastiness with a caramel backbone. Has just enough sweetness to make me happy.

3.75 T: Like the nose, the pumpkin is the star here. Same mix of spices as above. Malts offer light caramel and toastiness. The only issue I have is that it's a bit too dry. Still, it's very good.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Could use some more body and creaminess.

3.75 D: It's rare to find a good pumpkin beer, so I'm quite happy.

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Photo of EMV
4.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a clear dark amber color. 1 finger of off-white head. Nice lacing on the glass.

S: Pumpkin pie spices. Nutmeg and allspice... a bit of ginger perhaps.

T/F: Bready and malty at the outset. Spicy. Cloves, nutmeg, and allspice are all in there. Nice dry finish. Moderately carbonated.

O: A pretty nice pumpkin ale, and probably on par with Dogfish Heads Punkin and Southern Tier's Pumking. One I'll definitely have again.

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Photo of chrishiker1409
4.31/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Light copper brown. Poured with an ever so slight amount of head. Left good lacing.

S: Spices. Clove, cinnamon. A little pumpkin.

T: The spices are there. Nutmeg, clove cinnamon. But there's a great pumpkin taste there too.

F: Medium carbonation. Medium bodied.

O: A pumpkin beer done right. I find too many rely on spices and are short on the pumpkin. This one has the right balance. Almost as good as Schlafly's.

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

We crack a bomber, pouring into our St. Bernardus goblets. It shows a deep, tawny, toffee orange-brown coloring through the thick glass. A thin one finger head makes a quick appearance on the pour. This is spotty, and largely white in coloring, but as it fades it leaves thicker islands of lacing around the glass. A generous amalgamation of bubbles then collects atop the liquid for what seems to be the remainder of the tasting. The aroma is incredibly fresh and authentic. Notes of powdered ginger spiciness, fresh cinnamon sticks, nonphenolic cloven burn, sweet caramel and amber grain roast, brown butter, sunblock chemical smear, sweet and savory roasted pumpkin flesh, corny bourbon booziness, salted pumpkin seeds, sweeter notes of buttery graham cracker-crusted pumpkin pie, and brown sugar Poptarts flood the nose. The following flavoring gives you a warming, spicy medley of burnt tobacco leafiness, brown sugar, raw cinnamon, and crushed nutmeg, darker graininess of brown, caramel, pale, and amber malts, soft and balancing distant herbal hoppiness, graham cracker sweetness, burnt pumpkin pie from the corners of the baking tin, dried pumpkin pulp and seeds, pureed squash starchiness, brightly drying ale yeastiness, and black pepper spiciness. The aftertaste breathes of denser spiciness of pumpkin, allspice, coriander, and nutmeg, and lightly sweet booziness. The body is on the lighter side, aiding drinkability, but it actively knocks the beer’s heartiness down a peg or two. Cream and froth are otherwise rather thin to the lip. The abv is reasonable, and the beer drinks back well.

Overall, the best thing about this beer was how drinkable it is. A huge hand in this is the beer’s flavoring. This is not your overly sweetened, cloying pumpkin ale. This, here, is something serious. The spice is the real deal, titillating and dancing across the tongue in wide arcs. Behind this, in almost a washing fashion, comes a hearty, smoked meatiness of the most authentic pumpkin flesh you’ve ever had in a beer. The nose initially gives you that beautiful authenticity and cleanliness as well, but there the beer possesses a bit more of that “beery” pumpkin quality. This helps mark an additional starkness between these two components, but in a fluid, still concordant way. Between the vast ease of drinkability and the lingering, effortlessly bold flavoring, this is a fantastic seasonal beverage that transcends the field of novelty that so many in the style sadly fall within.

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Photo of metter98
4.14/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy orange yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass. The head faded away some more, leaving only a ring of bubbles on the sides.
S: Moderate aromas of nutmeg are present in the nose along with notes of pumpkin.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has lots of flavors of nutmeg along with notes of allspice and pumpkin with faint hints of alcohol towards the finish. Bits of sweetness are also perceptible.
M: It feels just about medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a pleasant combination of nutmeg and pumpkin. Although I generally prefer pumpkin beers that have a good balance between the pumpkins and spices, I liked the nutmeg in this once. With its subtle bit of sweetness, it could make for a possible choice as a good beer to pair with pumpkin pie.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of StevensBrewing
3.63/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Horseheads Brewing makes some very good beer, and this is one of them. It looks great for a pumpkin ale, very clean, it smells more of the spices used for flavorings then it does pumpkin, but that will happen when you're using a good deal of "wintery" spices, cloves, nutmeg, etc. It tastes more like these spices too, but you do get notes of pumpkin, which is just enough. Overall this is a good beer, get your growler filled as often as you can when its out!

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Photo of Joe_from_Planet_Kenmore
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

Delicious pumpkin on the mouth and finish. Great because not too much pumpkin pie spiciness. One of the best pumpkins I have had. Draught, is a home run.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Has some small particulates in a gel like suspension the color of apple jelly, but slightly towards orange rather than red. Whipped cream like head.

S: Predominantly vanilla-cinnamon spicing. Graham cracker, buttery flaky pie crust.

M: Maintains lofty body with light feel. Delicate considering heft, sugar, savor. Pillowy and lowly carbonated.

T:Imitation or just heavy-handed spicing, very much like liquid vanilla. Stereotypically, a pumpkin pie tasting beer.I appreciate the spiciness of ginger

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Photo of pjkelley82
4.77/5  rDev +15.2%

Top 3 pumpkin beer(non stout/porter) beer I've had behind whole hog and ahead of cigar city's Good Gourd.

Smell was amazing but what set horseheads apart was its drinkability. 7% and couldnt tell. Goes doqn smooth like drinking water.

Highly recommended to any pumpkin fan. Will not disapoint.

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Photo of keithmurray
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - hazy, cloudy orange liquid with white head

Smell - spices are prominent - ginger, clove, cinnamon, pumpkin flesh

Taste - good balance of flavor here - cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, pumpkin flesh

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, high level of carbonation, slight sweetness upfront, spices make their presence known on the finish. not at all cloying

Overall - well done pumpkin beer, not too in your face with the spices. easier to drink versus other pumpkin ales. worth a try

Price Point - $6.99/22 oz bottle

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.51/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle purchased at Beers of the World in Rochester, NY. Poured into my Southern Tier Pumking glass (ooh, scandal!)

Pours a golden orange, very hazy, carbonation swirls around the glass. 2 inch head.

Smells like pumpkin pie spices, vanilla, and toasty malts.

Tastes very sweet- but not quite as sweet as Pumking. Lots of vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamom, slight oak, gingerbread possibly. Not much actual pumpkin flavor, but the spicing is spot on.

Light to medium bodied with rich carbonation. Goes down creamy and smooth. Awesome beer, and the best from this talented brewery in New York.

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Photo of utopiajane
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a traditional orange amber and slightly hazy. Has a nice creamy head of off white foam that settles to a think layer on top and refreshes with each turn. Leaves sheets of wet lace behind to look at as they slide down the glass. Has a golden hue underneath and it surely is a handsome beer.

Nose is fragrant and authentic pumpkin. There's a touch of sour yeast. Then the fragrant spices come forward. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and clove. There is a biscuit malt in that is light and has the scent of pie crust on it. A touch of brown sugar. No alcohol on the nose.

Taste is so delicious. The taste is pumpkin and not pumpkin pie. There are spices that give a richness to the nose and to the palate but the taste is authentic pumpkin. The body is creamy and there is is even the taste of light cream. The malt is fluffy and light and reminds one of graham cracker pie crusts. No alcohol on the palate just a tiny warming sensation. I detect a slight note of vanilla which really enhances all the flavors. It is not the least bit heavy like pumpkin pie. Toasted grain comes out as it warms to a delighted palate. In fact rather than say "pumpkin pie" I would say spiced pumpkin. The clove gives a depth to each of the sweeter spices and really makes this beer something to enjoy.

Horseheads can really put a a beer together. I have had real greatness from them and I like this beer a lot. It's mild and the spices do not outdo the pumpkin flavor. The malt is kissed by a touch of sweetened cream and it drinks light. The lager yeast is perfect on this and has a slight twang. Carbonation is medium but it drinks softly. It's crisp yet smooth and finishes dry with a nice little bite to it. Flavorful and easy to drink.

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Photo of NJBeer265
4.71/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Over the years I have tasted well over 40 varieties of Pumpkin beer. Each season I go out and stock up on my favorites and new Pumpkin beer. When visiting Horseheads I had the opportunity to try their Pumpkin Ale from tap. The first thing you notice is the nice amber color and the smell of pumpkin. When tasting you are hit up front with spice notes but the finish is that of pumpkin. It does not contain the aftertaste of spices that many do. The pumpkin flavor is just enough so that it is not overpowering and you can enjoy multiple bottles.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.32/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle courtesy of Suspect pours a lightly hazed golden-copper color with a creamy cap of off-white head. Good retention and not much lace.

Nose is like apple pie....tart apples with cinnamon and nutmeg. Has a nice biscuity malt aroma that serves well as a pie crust-esque character.

Taste is more delicate than the nose would have you think. It is light and fluffy with plenty of spice to give it a pumpkin beer feel but it is not overspiced or cloying like some of the style. It throws off a little bit of clove which is interesting, and the apple flavors still play a big part. Its an easy to drink pumpkin ale that still delivers big on the spices. Good beer...one of the best pumpkin beers I have had.

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Photo of PerHops
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Fairly clear golden orange with very little head or carbonation.

S- huge pumpkin pie on this one. A ton of spice, but also great fresh pumpkin meat aroma.

T-Almost like a liquid pumpkin pie. But actually not in a bad way. There is an almost perfect struggle between spice, pumpkin and pie crust. Almost a saltiness on the finish.

M- Good carbonation, keeps it light.

O- I like this beer. It is definitely a pumpkin pie beer, but in an inoffensive way.

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Photo of CloudStrife
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Rimmed in cinnamon sugar.

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden copper with a 1.5 finger puffy white head. Some small bubbles seen floating up to the top. Leaves ample lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Get a lot of cinnamon from the rim, but when poured into another glass it is mostly allspice, nutmeg and pumpkin. Very reminiscent of a pumpkin pie.

T: Very sweet pumpkin pie flavor. Full range of nutmeg, allspice, pumpkin and the cinnamon of a graham cracker crust.

M: Medium bodied with fairly low carbonation. Has a pretty creamy mouthful. Easy drinking, but perhaps a little sweet.

Overall this is right up there with the best pumpkin beers. Has all the sweetness and spice you come to expect from the style.

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Photo of tviz33
4.47/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber poured in to a pint glass

A- Pours a transparent golden orange body with a two finger head that settles to a thin foam cap with no lacing to speak of

S- I can only describe the smell as homemade pumpkin pie. Pretty darn good.

T- Again, a lot like a pumpkin pie with a good deal of seasonal spices. A slight hop presence and alcohol bite.

M- Moderate carbonation and medium-bodied. Creamy and easy to drink.

O- I'm not big on pumpkin flavors in general, but Horseheads did a nice job with this brew. This is basically liquid pumpkin pie.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to merc for this bottle.
The beer pours a crystal-clear, bright orange with a loose white head that poorly laces. Big notes of vanilla and pumpkin spice dominate the nose; it's definitely sweet, but not at all cloying. The taste hits home with a big pumpkin pie spice presence, but has a weird lidocaine/cough syrupy aftertaste that changes into a lingering bitterness...not what I expected. The beer has a light body with adequate carbonation and slightly unpleasant aftertaste. Quite a worthy pumpkin beer, but not perfect.

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Photo of jeremyg
5/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hands down best pumpkin ale out there! I've tried a lot and my friends have tried a lot of pumpkin ales. we all agree this is the best around. If you haven't had it yet, you better get it before its off tap. There is no way you will disappointed. Great smell great taste and great holiday beer.

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Photo of atr2605
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-pours soft orange amber color with an off white head that leaves a nice lace
S-pumpkin, allspice, gingerbread
T-Very well balanced pumpkin flavor with a good deal of spice, not over bearing but very evident.
M-medium bodied-
O-its more spiced than alot of other pumpkin ales I have had and I really dig it. Still balanced and smooth with tons of flavor. Well crafted

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Photo of bolus14
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice autumn orange/golden color. Clear as can be with slow rising bubbles. Had about half an inch lacing that dissipatedto sone nice lacing thay lasts for the ehole glass.

S - Spices, but not strong. Very well done with cinnamon and nutmeg most niticeable. Like othees have notes there's a slight graham crack smell there too.

T -Follows the nose. Nothing is overpowering and it all blends together. Pumpkin comes in after the spices. My only complaint is that there could be a little more pumpkin to it. Like a light pumpkin pie.

M -Slight carbonation feel on tje tongue, but mostly creamy and smooth. I love it.

O- Hard to beat this one, a little more pumpkin and it would be perfect. Many I've tried are too heavy on the spices or watery. This is perfect for the nights as it starts to get cooler.

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Photo of suspect
4.52/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A: Pure golden, crystal clear color with just a touch of amber hues making it a rich golden color instead of pale. Mildly aggressive just off center pour leads to a fizzy 2 finger head that dissipates in less than 15 seconds. Some lacing...not much.

S: Runs the gamut of pumpkin pie from the pumpin spices to the graham cracker crust and even the sweetness comes through here as well. Full nose but not overpowering. Might just be the best smelling pumpkin beer I've had.

T: Perfectly balanced between sweet and spiced. Spice shines through intermittently with the sweetness and I don't know how but the graham cracker notes even make their way in here as well. There is certainly no sign of the 6.6% ABV in the taste.

M: Crisp yet smooth finish. Perfect amount of bite at the end. Absolutely perfect amount of carbonation lifts the flavors off of your tongue and slams them back down again.

O: What an excellent beer. I think this is the best pumpkin ale I've ever had. This is *the* quintessential fall beer and I couldn't be prouder of this little brewery in Horseheads. Bravo!

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.6/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fills a Horseheads pint glass with a clear, bright copper beer with pale orange highlights and some carbonation. The head is rocky, white and reaches half an inch before leaving rings.

As expected, I found pumpkin pie spices including nutmeg and cinnamon.

Rather sweet pumpkin pie. This one is enjoyable, but nothing special. In fact, it is rather trite. There is no discernible finish.

Crisp medium body with prickly carbonation.

Another fun seasonal that is easy on the palate. This one is better than most pumpkin beers, but still nothing more than a seasonal novelty.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a golden brown color with a thin creamy white lacing and mild carbonation.

S - Spiced pumpkin aroma, nutmeg, a little bready and yeasty, biscuity, and some cinnamon.

T - Biscuity, cinnamon, pumpkin, nutmeg.

M - Medium light body, a little watery in the finish, and leaves a vanilla/nutmeg/pumpkin aftertaste that cleans itself up rather quickly.

O - It's good, but after trying their Imperial Pumpkin, it's far better.

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Pumpkin Ale from Horseheads Brewing Inc.
91 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.