Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Pumpkin Ale - Horseheads Brewing Inc.

Not Rated.
Pumpkin AlePumpkin Ale

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

37 Reviews
THE BROS
-
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.
View: Beers (25) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 37 | Hads: 114
Photo of spokeydonkey
2.41/5  rDev -42.1%
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. (1,174 characters)

Photo of bminor7
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 from beers of the world.

Pours a hazy golden brown. A nice head forms but it goes away quickly. Some nice lacing though. Not too sticky.

Tastes like Punkin' but a little sweeter and heavier on the spice. Not as bready as either Punkin or Pumking but not to say it's not bready at all. Quite nice.

Good MF...not quite an imperial but a little better than the 'standard'...

Drinkability is reasonable. A bit more to it than you'd want in a sessionable brew though. (472 characters)

Photo of stawn
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter.

A - An aggressive pour yields a centimeter white head which quickly dissipated into a fine ring, clinging to the edges of the glass. The beer is sunburned copper with hazy clarity.

S - Smells just like cold pumpkin pie. All of the typical spices are there with nutmeg and clove standing out more than others. Some cinnamon comes out as it warms.

T - Taste is very artificial. Reminds me of a grocery store pie. There is something in the background I can't place...possibly diacetyl. It does have a faint buttery flavor, but is mostly covered up by the various spices. Some alcohol as the beer warms.

M - Good amount of carbonation, appropriate for style. Body is moderate and this beer seems to have attenuated quite well, as its not too sweet.

D - I've had quite a few "Pumpkin" ales and this one seems sort of in the middle of the road. The pie spices seem a little overdone, but maybe that's what they were going for. If you like store bought pumpkin pies, you'll probably like this beer. (1,038 characters)

Photo of SLeffler27
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
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. (575 characters)

Photo of StevensBrewing
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
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! (460 characters)

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A dark golden body with a thick, off-white head that leaves some nice lacing and has pretty good retention.

The aroma is pretty good; spices are present but by no means overwhelming. The smell of pumpkin is there too, which tends to get lost among lots of spices in many pumpkin beers (yeah, I know, pumpkins don't do much for aroma and flavor in beer, but I still smell it). Underneath all of that I can pick up a backbone of buscuity malt.

The taste is a little more skewed toward spices, but it is still relatively balanced. Cinnamon sugar, pumpkin; overall it tastes a good bit like a really well-spiced pumpkin pie. The biscuity malt is in the background. The finish has a touch of hops to it, making it pretty dry.

Slightly creamy body with moderate carbonation.

Not a bad drinker at all; I think I've reached my quota for pumpkin beers this year though. (864 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.82/5  rDev -8.2%
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 (550 characters)

Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.95/5  rDev -5%
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. (536 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (432 characters)

Photo of PerHops
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
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. (459 characters)

Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
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 (505 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)

Photo of israel
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours amber in color with an off white head that seems to hang around for awhile.

S - hints of spices but nothing too forth-coming, nice aroma of maltiness also

T - hard to describe but nothing too overpowering, this might be one of the best balanced pumpkin beers I've had. I can taste the pumpkin and spice, but if this wasn't called a pumpkin ale it might take me a little while to figure out the flavors.

M - nice carbonation and silky smooth mouthfeel, finishes on the drier side with very little residual sugars.

D - This beer is really drinkable and I could easily polish a few bottles off myself. Might be the best pumpkin beer I've had this year (671 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Pumpkin Ale from Horseheads Brewing Inc.
91 out of 100 based on 37 ratings.