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Pumpkin Ale - Horseheads Brewing Inc.

Not Rated.
Pumpkin AlePumpkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

37 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 37
Hads: 114
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 64
Gots: 16 | 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.
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Reviews: 37 | Hads: 114
Photo of jeremyg
5/5  rDev +20.2%
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. (294 characters)

Photo of pjkelley82
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%

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. (295 characters)

Photo of NJBeer265
4.71/5  rDev +13.2%
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. (545 characters)

Photo of suspect
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
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! (1,152 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.51/5  rDev +8.4%
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. (593 characters)

Photo of lovindahops
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

ok, horseheads most prized specialty brew... let's see if this can stand up to my favorite seasonal style of brews...cut to the chase.... let's see where this stands to pumking

a- a flawless autumn orange with a nice whip cream head of foam that is released to a decent head... not to jump on the whole pumpkin pie scene, but the colors of the body and the foamy scene makes that comparison noteworthy

s- ok.... this is what it's all about! It's not just a spicy brew with nutmeg and cinnamin. Pumpkin ale smells like a pumpkin pie. Include the predominat pumpkin scent with graham crackers and dough themes. Horseheads uses canned pumpkins to make this a brew of integrity

t- perfect. The pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamin, spices are compiled to make the most perfect depiction of a pumpkin ale you can ask for. This is spot on for what everyone wants in this style!

m- balanced with the smoothness and necessary carbonation. Flavor is delivered right

o- this is a crafted pumpkin beer. Soon enough, people are going to get a chance to try brews like these from horseheads. A pumpkin brew that is built with all the necessary ingredients to make a winner. Pumking and Pumpkin Ale will be side by side forever. Great to see they are both from the southern tier of NY (1,264 characters)

Photo of Joe_from_Planet_Kenmore
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

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. (155 characters)

Photo of tviz33
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
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. (554 characters)

Photo of atr2605
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
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 (369 characters)

Photo of bolus14
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (808 characters)

Photo of keithmurray
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
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 (522 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
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. (714 characters)

Photo of Kadonny
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I received this via trade with rageagainst123. Thanks Ryan! Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A: A light to medium orange color with a huge two finger fluffy white head. Nice glass lacing.

S: Wow, pumpkin pie. Nutmeg, cinnamon, cream, vanilla and sweet caramel. Not getting a lot of pumpkin smell, just the creamy pie notes.

T: Follow the nose. The nutmeg, cinnamon, cream, vanilla and some pumpkin flavors mix with the heavy caramel sweetness to make a real nice beer. Not too sweet, but just perfect. This is similar to Pumking in that it really tastes like pumpkin pie. Finish is lasting and creamy smooth. Wonderful.

M: Medium, not overly full but the creaminess is wonderful. Not much alcohol is detected.

O: So all pumpkin beers have to match up the the King, Pumking. This one does it spectacularly. A fantastic beer that is just a notch below Pumking, but it no doubt belongs in the same tier. I really think if more people get to try this, it will become a favorite of many...like me.

Ryan was kind enough to send me two bottles of this gem, so I still have one more. A fantastic pumpkin beer that people need to try. Great job Horseheads, you have a fan. (1,194 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
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! (947 characters)

Photo of SpdKilz
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (1,656 characters)

Photo of almychristopher
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer pours a pleasant golden amber with a white head. the aroma is straight out of the oven pumkin pie, I'm not sure how the effect is obtained but it smells and tastes like pumpkin pie in a glass. the mouthfeel is a medium body with a nice smooth finish... deffinitely the best pumkin beer I've had. (305 characters)

Photo of utopiajane
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (1,728 characters)

Photo of CloudStrife
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
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. (754 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a beautiful golden color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a very balanced pumpkin aroma with just the right amount of pie spice. These guys use the canned pumpkin and I've gotta admit. It's quite tastey. The taste is good. It has a smooth dessert like flavor that resembles pumpkin pie almost as good as Southern Tier's Pumpking. It stays in check and isn't overly spicey. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is one of their more popular beers and I can see why. It's delicious. (594 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear brass color with a short white head that left a few trails of lacing.

S - nice spiced aroma, nutmeg, cinnamon and sweet ginger.

T - very good tasting beer, pumpkin pie in a liquid form. I was almost tempted to put whipped cream on top.

F - light/medium bodied with a refreshing feel which is a bit unusual for a pumpkin beer.

D - goes down easy, overall a very good beer. (431 characters)

Photo of naproxen
4.2/5  rDev +1%
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. (805 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (527 characters)

Photo of BeerPhan86
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
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. (2,052 characters)

Photo of animalchin
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
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. (1,001 characters)

Photo of asabreed
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
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. (1,209 characters)

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Pumpkin Ale from Horseheads Brewing Inc.
91 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.