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Highballer Pumpkin Ale - Grand River Brewing

Not Rated.
Highballer Pumpkin AleHighballer Pumpkin Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

73 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 73
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 8.36%
Wants: 5
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Grand River Brewing visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Pumpkins for the Highballer Pumpkin Ale are all grown by our owner Bob Hannenberg in his Garden.

(Beer added by: Viggo on 09-29-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 73 | Reviews: 41 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ThinkAgain:
Photo of ThinkAgain
ThinkAgain

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +4.4%

01-06-2012 16:16:01 | More by ThinkAgain
More User Reviews:
Photo of beerhunter13
beerhunter13

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +4.4%

10-03-2012 00:24:06 | More by beerhunter13
Photo of JohnnyBarman
JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +1.8%

On tap at the UW Grad House. I wasn't as impressed with the bottle version this year, but on tap, this was some quality stuff! Keg was tapped previously that afternoon.

Poured into a Grand River ale glass. Amber copper, about a 1/2 inch head, terrific retention. Every sip yielded sheets of lacing, with patches scattered here and there. Looks terrific.

Nose is primarily that of spicy pumpkin pie, with nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and molasses asserting themselves, and with pumpkin and malty sweetness providing the backing.

The taste is quite good for a pumpkin ale - really hit the spot on a cold, rainy October day. Pumpkin flavor was rich and hearty, a touch of molasses and piecrust, with nutmeg and cinnamon proviing a sharp spicy tang. Finishes clean with a slight hop bitterness. Keeping the whole thing in check was a lovely red ale base, malty and crisp. Quite enjoyable, and not an artificial-tasting flavor in the lot.

Mouthfeel is creamy, with an assertive carbonation that peppers the tongue with spicy goodness.

I've had this ale three different years now, and I've got to say that Rob and Bob have nailed it with this year's edition, at least on tap anyhow. Rich, satisfying, but drinkable (as far as a pumpkin beer goes). All the great flavors of pumpkin pie, but with enough of a pale ale base to make it easier to down a pint or two in an evening. A fine effort!

10-29-2010 17:37:02 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.1/5  rDev -19.1%

A malty-spicy aroma. A slightly brown appearance with lace and decent head. High carbonation. Sourish taste that barely let out the spices. Not much of any flavour came out, indicative to me of injection and end of batch or not good batch at all.On-tap at Cask Ale Fest Volo 2007.

10-21-2007 21:18:17 | More by Sammy
Photo of heebes
heebes

Ontario (Canada)

4.23/5  rDev +10.4%

500 ml bottled on Sep 4th 2012.
5.2% abv.

Pours a rich dark orange with half a finger of light tan foamy head. Nose is brisk with lots of pumpkin, spices, cinnamon, faint hops. taste is majorly pumpkin, cloves, spices and cinnamon, some good barley malt caramel backing, very fresh and full tasting. Good body, peppery mouthfeel, smooth.

Overall a well rounded pumpkin ale from Grand River, spot on this year.

09-09-2012 15:15:45 | More by heebes
Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
Reinheitsgebot71

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +2.6%

A: A small off white head reminiscent of milk foam tops medium amber semi opaque body. The retention is low and leaves some ok lacing.

S: Strong pumpkin up front followed by curious fruity scents of unripe mango, chayote and grapefruit rind. Some cinnamon and cardamom spices hide behind roasted pumpkin seeds and dried apple. There is a faint hint of shortbread.

T: A strong amber malt spine supports assertive pumpkin and cinnamon flavours. The rest of the profile is made up of sweet bready tastes; gram cracker and shortbread. There is next to no showing of hops. The carbonation is medium low and the beer coast the mouth somewhat.

A good effort if a little one dimensional.

04-07-2011 19:17:53 | More by Reinheitsgebot71
Photo of DaveBar
DaveBar

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +4.4%

Outstanding all around

LCBO for $3.90 less $0.70 missing a label

500ml bottle at 8deg C

A- amber, opens well and pours high

S- Spicey goodness

T- Very good. Enjoyable for the season. Super well blended

M- Nice and tart with crispness to spare

O- Enjoyable. Will buy a few for the winter and spring.

Pretty good little Pumpkin Beer

Food Pairings

You better believe this pairs with... Roast Turkey

With those root veggies and gravy this wonderful beer will match well. Try a coffee desert.
Enjoy

12-15-2013 23:27:43 | More by DaveBar
Photo of Boozecamel
Boozecamel

British Columbia (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

10-19-2013 02:13:38 | More by Boozecamel
Photo of Stocean1
Stocean1

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -2.6%

Poured a one finger head into a big wine glass - nice orange amber colour - little lacing and poor retention. Lots to note for the smell. Banana, pumpkin with bubblebum up front. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves. Taste follows the nose but not nearly as strong as the smell led me to expect. Light body with little carbonation. Slightly bitter and very easy drinking. Overall, this is a fine brew although I would have loved the taste and mouthfeel to be a little bolder.

09-24-2011 21:55:38 | More by Stocean1
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -3.4%

Bottle: poured a clear deep copper color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and not much lacing. Aroma of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg are well balance. Taste is also a well balanced mix between some ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg with not much pumpkin per say abut a nice and easily drinkable caramel malt backbone. Body is about average with good carbonation. Very well done with great balance and easily drinkable.

10-19-2009 17:25:58 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +1.8%

On cask at volo.
Served in a pint glass.

A - Poured medium orange. Slightly hazy with a small amount of off white head.

S - Pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg and a hint of cinnamon.

T - Pumping pie! Pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon.

M - Medium body, smooth. Light carbonation.

09-30-2011 22:40:52 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of WillAndSarah
WillAndSarah

Ontario (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

10-14-2013 22:31:12 | More by WillAndSarah
Photo of irishkyle21
irishkyle21

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

09-27-2013 01:00:37 | More by irishkyle21
Photo of mrnobody
mrnobody

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev +0.5%

500ml bottle poured into a Grand River pint glass.

A: Pours a clear amber with a thin white head that quickly disappears. No lacing.

S: Smells of nutmeg, pumpkin and brown sugar.

T: Not particularly sweet tasting. One can taste some of the spices but they're not overwhelming. There is a bit of hop bitterness in the finish.

M: The mouthfeel is light to medium with medium carbonation.

D: The drinkability is pretty good for a pumpkin beer.

11-01-2010 20:09:37 | More by mrnobody
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev -9.1%

500ml bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for 4$

Appearance - Clear copper colour with an average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is a lot of carbonation and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 2-3 minutes.

Smell - Malts, cloves, all spice, pumpkin

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and all-spice/clove. There is also some pumpkin and a bit of a rustiness. It ends with a malty and spicy aftertaste.

Overall - Not the best seasonal beer by any means, but a solid effort from this brewer nonetheless. I won't be shelling out another 4$ for more but I'm glad I gave it a shot.

10-02-2012 23:57:28 | More by spinrsx
Photo of RedAleMan
RedAleMan

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +4.4%

10-06-2012 07:33:13 | More by RedAleMan
Photo of SandS
SandS

Ontario (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

12-02-2012 03:21:46 | More by SandS
Photo of liamt07
liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +8.4%

Bottle from the LCBO, 500ml into a tulip. Bottled on October 19, 2011 - 3 days old.

Pours a reddish orange with a straight white head of about a finger of head, decent retention and good lace. Nice spicy nose, allspice and cinnamon dominate with only a moderate hint of pumpkin. More pumpkin spicing than actual pumpkin itself, but some bready qualities do exist here, large amounts of pumpkin pie crust. Taste has less spicing, but still reflects the nose and takes the breadiness down a couple notches. Mouthfeel is almost watery, fairly light with spice into the finish. A pretty good pumpkin ale, and could've been much better I think if it reflected it's nose a bit better. 4/4/4/3/35

Rereview: Bottle from the LCBO, 500ml bottle into a tulip. Bottled September 4, 2012, reviewd the 30th of the same month.

Orangey brown, just offwhite head. Decent retention and lace. Lots of cinnamon and cloves on the nose, a bit of pumpkin and sweet malt character. Taste has more pumpkin flesh, cloves, cinnamon and a bit of allspice. Sweet and mildly drying finish. Heavier medium body and lower carbonation. Quite a nice pumpkin ale, good body and some flavours that come through real nicely. 4/4/4/45/45

10-23-2011 04:41:10 | More by liamt07
Photo of SebD
SebD

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -3.4%

Appearance: It has a nice deep golden/amber color to it. It has a thin white head that dies down somewhat fast and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of pumpkin and spices (cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon).

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a some pumpkin but not as dominant as the aroma, some cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon and some malts.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

09-19-2012 21:53:43 | More by SebD
Photo of gloryhole
gloryhole

Ontario (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

08-11-2013 21:55:10 | More by gloryhole
Photo of philmen
philmen

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

09-15-2012 01:47:02 | More by philmen
Photo of mrmanning
mrmanning

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

500 ml bottle from the brewery- Slightly hazy, deep gold pour pours a frothy beige cap. Nose of pumpkin pie spices...nutmeg, cinnamon, some allspice, a bit of coriander, followed by earthy malts. Tastes of hoppy pumpkin pie with all the aforementioned spices. A bit of caramel malts with fresh hops leading to the finish. Bitter, spicy, good.

10-28-2009 13:05:52 | More by mrmanning
Photo of thehyperduck
thehyperduck

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +7%

500 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO; bottled on August 23rd (if I am properly deciphering the smeared code that was stamped on the label). This is one of a very small group of pumpkin ales that I have never heard anything overtly bad about, and thus I've been seeking it out for close to two years now. Finding this fresh bottle in a small town LCBO was a nice surprise. Served slightly chilled.

Pours a bright, crystal-clear orange-amber colour, generating a little less than one finger's worth of dense, smooth, off-white head. It fades quickly, leaving nothing more behind than a thin cap and collar. Some strands of lace cling to the sides after each sip. The aroma is lovely, and (unsurprisingly) rather reminiscent of pumpkin pie. Spicy notes of nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and a bit of ginger are easily detectable, with the underlying malts offering up vibes of buttery pie crust and graham crackers. Not a lot of pumpkin/squash on the nose, but my mouth is watering anyway.

The bite of the taste backs up the bark of the aroma - this is a yummy ale that is a pleasure to drink. A nice, malty backbone of pie crusts and doughy biscuits underlies the central 'pumpkin pie' flavours, providing the perfect counterbalance to the aforementioned spicy notes of cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg. The finish is full-on pumpkin pie filling, with some mild cinnamon and earthy bitterness closing things up. Rather light-bodied, with moderate carbonation that provides a somewhat crisp mouthfeel. Real easy to toss back.

Final Grade: 4.1, an excellent A-. Grand River's Highballer Pumpkin Ale is a sessionable pumpkin ale done properly, and one of the few examples of this style that I'd be willing to drink repeatedly before the season is over. While it doesn't skimp on the spices, it also doesn't go completely overboard into 'potpourri' territory, which is one of my pet peeves with this style (and spiced beers in general). Instead, the spice aspects are balanced beautifully with the malts, causing this ale to come closer to liquid pumpkin pie than perhaps any other I've had the opportunity to try. Great stuff from a great brewery - the perfect pairing for Thanksgiving dinner.

09-07-2013 18:57:16 | More by thehyperduck
Photo of bgibbard
bgibbard

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +4.4%

11-12-2012 18:15:49 | More by bgibbard
Photo of kinguy
kinguy

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

11-03-2012 21:17:37 | More by kinguy
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Highballer Pumpkin Ale from Grand River Brewing
86 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.