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Pumpkin Ale - Horseheads Brewing Inc.

Not Rated.
Pumpkin AlePumpkin Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

92 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 92
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 61
Gots: 8 | 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:
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.

(Beer added by: israel on 09-17-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 92 | Reviews: 33 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BeerPhan86:
Photo of BeerPhan86
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I live in Upstate NY and had never even heard of this NY brewery until today. Decided to give the Pumpkin Ale a shot, which not many seem to have tried but apparently has been well received by those who have.

A - Light golden body with a one finger white foamy head that persists. Seems to be plenty of carbonation rising in the glass.

S - Spices and pumpkin (good thing to smell, most pumpkin ales are simply spicy brown ales). There is also a nice malty/biscuity backbone. Already I can smell some cinnamon and brown sugar. The sweetness and spices come through very well especially after the first sip.

T - Wow, this is unlike any other pumpkin ale I've had. The closest thing to it is the Southern Tier Pumking and it is still very different. Pumpkin, spice, very sweet tasting with a nice almost burning bite to it. I like that it has that squash taste to it that most pumpkin ales lack. There is definitely a cinnamon and brown sugar taste going on here, and it tends to lean towards the spices, but still balances well with a nice bready malt backbone and true pumpkin flavor. They are infusing that buttery pie crust flavor in the finish that Southern Tier Pumking pulls off, which I am VERY impressed by.

M - Smooth silky mouthfeel but the overcarbonation is a bit much. If they toned down the carbonation this would be perfect.

D - A very nice treat but I can't even tell the ABV on this one (it puts on quite a buzz even after a couple of sips so I imagine it is 8-10%). It is extremely flavorful so I would probably not session this one. It seems like a more imperial style pumpkin ale than your average pumpkin ale, but I guess we won't know until there is an ABV reading. The 22oz does just fine!

Overall, a very nice change of pace in the onslaught of pumpkin ales this season. Definitely seems to be more of an imperial style and the closest thing to it (and still my favorite) is the ST Pumking, but this is completely unique in its own right. I should have grabbed more! Definitely recommended from this pumpkin ale fanatic.

BeerPhan86, Oct 07, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Maybe the lightest pour of any pumkin ale I have had with its light to medium golden body and thinner but well sustained white head atop.Nutem and cinnamon spice really jump out at ya oin the nose,maybe a passing sweet alcohol note as well.Graham cracker crust,cinnamon,and nutmeg on the palate,its like a whole pie with crust,I like the added pie crust flavors.This is a damn good pumpkin ale,it has enough pumpkin flavor to let ya know it's not all spice,but the spice and graham cracker flavors enhance the beer a whole lot.

oberon, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of SkiBum22
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%

SkiBum22, Oct 03, 2014
Photo of Mills13
4.92/5  rDev +16.3%

Mills13, Aug 23, 2014
Photo of butters_mcgee
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

butters_mcgee, Sep 14, 2014
Photo of CloudStrife
4.23/5  rDev 0%
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.

CloudStrife, Oct 15, 2012
Photo of Mszwejb
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%

Mszwejb, Oct 05, 2014
Photo of Griffith
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Griffith, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of asabreed
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Samuel Smith 12 oz. nonic.

Appearance: Pretty light in color, surprisingly, for a pumpkin, with gold straw tints along with very minor copper highlights. A nice bright white head likes to stick around about 1/4" after leaving some nice drops of retention.

Smell: Pretty big on the caramel and the spice here, with a bit of diacetyl and biscuit going on too. As it warms there's a nice malty sweetness with hints of pumpkin pie filling.

Taste: Initially sweet, but with a nice balance of hops at the end. I'm definitely getting caramel here, along with nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, but the spices aren't out of control. And again, the hops are nicely lingering, both for bitterness and commingling with the already-present spices.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with nice crisp carbonation and good sense of mild creaminess throughout.

Drinkability: A very solid pumpkin ale, and one of the most drinkable versions of the style I've had in a while. I've had a few other brews from Horseheads I really liked that I didn't end up reviewing, so I'm hoping to be able to review a lot more in the future, especially since I'm so close to the brewery, which I hope to visit soon to pick up some more.

asabreed, Nov 19, 2010
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Horseheads Pumpkin Ale pours a mostly clear golden body that appears orange in the full glass. The bright white head makes a nice contrast at first, but fades away all too quickly, leaving behind only minor spots and streaks of lace.

Pumpkin spices and sweet malt are clearly present in the aroma, and that's certainly true of the flavor as well. I get nutmeg, cinnamon, and I believe, allspice. There might be some ginger in there as well, but whatever it is, it's a nicely balanced blend, and not over-done. There's also a hint of what I'm thinking of as a butter & vanilla note that helps to round it all out. I can smell it and taste it - might be from the yeast, might be from the pumpkin, might be from vanilla flavoring... who cares?! Quite pleasant!

In the mouth it's medium bodied and gently carbonated, allowing you to taste the malt and spices without too much additional 'zing'.

Surprisingly drinkable for a spiced ale! Well done!

NeroFiddled, Sep 25, 2010
Photo of animalchin
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A dark burnt orange body with a surprisingly good head for a pumpkin beer. Spotty and thin lacing with spore-like foam clusters freckling the surface.

S - Very sweet aromas with all of the autumn dessert fixings to go along - brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and of course a very distinct pumpkin smell.

T - All sorts of fall sweetness, with the majority being brown sugar, but the pumpkin certainly is a very apparent presence. This is one of only two pumpkin ales I've had that are this sweet overall, while others rely on hops. A sticky maltiness also exists in this beer that goes along to assist the sweetness that makes up the overall presentation.

M - A medium slick body with some dense carbonation. Pretty standard.

O - I'm surprised this hasn't turned more heads of pumpkin heads. Just as adventurous as Southern Tier Pumking, and a little more relfective of pumpkin taste. Certaintly a great beer from a brewery that unfortunately is not widely distributed. Worth the search and try.

animalchin, Oct 23, 2011
Photo of SpdKilz
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First of all, a huge thanks to steelersxl for this great extra! I always love a good pumpkin beer during this time of year and seeing as it is a cold, wet night in Southern California, what better a time to have this?

Appearance - Pours a dark golden color with about a finger of white head that recedes relatively fast, leaving minimal lacing.

Smell - Damn, what a great smelling beer. There is something different about the spices with this beer versus another spice bomb pumpkin beer like DFH Punkin. The spices here are very clean - heavy nutmeg and cinnamon with a hint of ginger. Toasty malts, a definite brown sugar aroma reminiscent of when I was a child and would steal some from when my mother was baking. Smells like pumpkin pie, no joke.

Taste - Damn again. Utter and total liquid pumpkin. I believe it is the nutmeg that really stands out here with the cinnamon right on its back. The initial burst is spicy goodness followed by caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, and light pumpkin flavor. There was another flavor that was escaping me until I read the review beneath me and there really is a slight buttery note but not in a negative way - in a "it completes this flavor profile" way.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, quite creamy, and just enough carbonation to make this more quaffable than shippable.

Drinkability - Very happy I was able to try this. It just goes to show you that there CAN be good pumpkin beers out there. For how many horrible ones make it on the shelves, there are a couple that blow the norm away. This is one of those beers. A fine example of a pumpkin beer and I would have loved to have this at desert this Thanksgiving.

SpdKilz, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of naproxen
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this for the first time yesterday, on tap at the brewery (3rd batch) and later on bottled with BeerTruth.

This medium golden amber babe comes included with good carbonation and an appropriately resilient white head, score!

The nose on this is really inviting. It smells of whipped cream, sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin...like real pumpkin.

Yep, my new favorite pumpkin beer. This tastes to me like the filling of a pumpkin pie and whipped cream topping. To make it even more enjoyable this beer is smooth and not heavy or sticky sweet in the body. This beer is to me what Pumpking was, half as sweet and 8 times more drinkable. The focus is more on creamy pumpkin and spices and not sugar and graham cracker.

Very drinkable, I took home a growler for this weekend and 3 bottles for whenever.

naproxen, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of spokeydonkey
2.38/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I picked this up recently while grabbing all the pumpkin beers I could find at a local beer store. I had high hopes for it after reading the reviews here, but I just can't bring myself to like this beer.

A - A decent dark-copper color with a fizzy white head. Good color, but an almost soda-like head on it.

S - Strong smell of spices and (artificial?) pumpkin pie. It smells like pumpkin spice syrup you can buy for coffee drinks.

T - Sweet. Very, very sweet, followed up by a pumpkin-pie spice kick. Just tastes artificial to me. I don't know if it is, or if its the combination of sweet and overspiced that makes it taste like a pumpkin latte, but it does. There's just enough spice and hops to keep it drinkable, but most of the complexities are just overwhelmed by the sweetness and pumpkin pie flavors.

M - Surprisingly good mouthfeel. Rich and creamy, which does go well with the sweetness and desserty-ness of this beer.

D - It's drinkable, but barely. The artificial-tasting pumpkin spice and sweetness overwhelm everything else and keep it pretty one-dimensional. There's enough hints of malt and hops to keep it drinkable, but its definitely not balanced.

spokeydonkey, Oct 10, 2009
Photo of woodycorn44
5/5  rDev +18.2%

woodycorn44, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of BrewinHeadBanger
5/5  rDev +18.2%

BrewinHeadBanger, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

GreesyFizeek, Sep 17, 2013
Photo of mikesgroove
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

very hazy looking orange liquid came gurgling out of the bottle, hitting the glass with decent enough force to throw up a nice two inch layer of off white head.

Super sweet with lots of gingerbread, and sweet cookie goodness. This was about as good as it gets. Translated over as perfectly as you could have imagined into the flavor. Huge notes of cinnamon, pumpkin spice, gingerbread, The only drawback was this was soo rich with sugar it was hard to drink too much of it as it became a little bit tough after a bit. Aside from that this was about

mikesgroove, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of tclapper
4/5  rDev -5.4%

tclapper, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of JohnQVD
5/5  rDev +18.2%

JohnQVD, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of twiggamortis420
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

twiggamortis420, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of russwilliam
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

russwilliam, Oct 07, 2013
Photo of tviz33
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

tviz33, Oct 02, 2012
Photo of DrewShalvoy
4/5  rDev -5.4%

DrewShalvoy, Nov 09, 2013
Photo of BeerBucks
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

BeerBucks, Oct 20, 2013
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Pumpkin Ale from Horseheads Brewing Inc.
93 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.