Highballer Pumpkin Ale - Grand River Brewing

Not Rated.
Highballer Pumpkin AleHighballer Pumpkin Ale

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BA SCORE
85
very good

82 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 82
Reviews: 45
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 9.23%
Wants: 4
Gots: 3 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 82 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mick303
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500mL bottle that was bottled 9 days ago, had this after Nightmare on Mill St as a comparison. This was noticeably lighter, an amber brown colour, large visible carbonation and a lot of creamy white head, and really solid lacing. 4

S – ginger, sweet pumpkin, caramel, cinnamon, resembles fresh baked pumpkin pie in a good way. Some pleasant biscuit malt, the pumpkin is sweet and appetizing. Awesome. 4.25

T – a gingery lemony start, with the fresh pumpkin coming across. Pleasant lightness of body, some malt comes through and compliments well, nutty for sure, the pumpkin is there but not as intensely as Mill St. This is a smooth session ale, with light spices, more hops (grassy and fruit, apple, some citrus) and a much sweeter profile. Finish is crisp, malty with a pumpkin twist. Refreshing. 4

M – mild, sweet profile with a full feel, quite sessionable with appropriate carbonation and a balanced profile, leading to a smooth crisp finish. 3.75

Of the two, this one despite the marginally higher ABV seems to be playing it safer spices and making a really tasty pumpkin session ale that I could and would drink all evening (fall?) long. I admire some of the boldness in Nightmare, and theyre both quality beers, this seems to be more of a malty session pumpkin ale. Great flavor without being dominated by pumpkin, and worth trying. 4

Photo of drinkininthewood
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Ive had this beer every year since its introduction ( i still have the bottles to prove it! ) and it never disappoints. So glad to have growlers back from GRB also.

Served from a 500ml bottle in to a Snifter. Bottle Aug 27th 2013

A- Clear bronze color with a fluffy white head of foam that diminishes fast with some lace.

S- The smell is rich with aromas of Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie mix, caramel sweetness with aromas of fresh baked shortbread cookies and pumpkin spice muffins.

T- Rich and creamy. Liquified pumpkin pie with whip cream is the best way to describe it. Nice malty brew with the perfect amount of spices and incredibly well balanced. The nose translates into the palate very well. As you tilt the glass towards your lips the aroma enters your nose and as you sip the aroma and flavors meet with perfect execution.

M- Smooth, medium bodied with soft carbonation that works wonders for the beer.

D- this is hands down one of the most ( if not the most ) drinkable pumpkin beers in Ontario.

Overall Highballer Pumpkin ale has always been good but as the years go on GRB is continuing to perfect this brew. For someone like me who likes more spice and a nice malty chew to a pumpkin ale this is as good as it gets i believe. So fresh and delicious. A few growler fills for thanksgiving are in order for sure.

Photo of esto
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of thehyperduck
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

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.

Photo of BigGruntyThirst
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of gloryhole
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of DaPan
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of bigox420
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of SandS
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of jmkoscie
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of bgibbard
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of kinguy
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Kremlock
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on September 14th 2012, drank on October 21st 2012.

A: Dark copper in colour. Pours a 1/4 inch head that collapses to a ring around the glace.

S: Smells like unspiced pumpkin, a bit of caramel followed hint of vanilla

T: Taste is opposite of the smell, more spices less pumpking. Spices are spicy cinnamon, pure vanilla bean and ripe pumpkin. There is a nice bitterness that starts and follows through all the way.

M: well carbonated, smooth feel on the palate. Nice dry finish.

O: Carbonation is high enough to cut into the flavours of the pumpkin. Spices and hops are well balance and the finish is nice and dry. I much prefer dry and bitter pumpkin ales vs the more maltier and sweeter ones.

Photo of wordemupg
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into tulip 10/10/12 thanks liamt07 for the bottle

A hazy orange amber with a few bubbles and suspended particles, a noisy thumbs width of foam falls fast and leaves no lace

S ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg with a little pumpkin puree, some bread and toffee with just a little earthy hops in the background

T much of the same really, not over the top with the spices like many pumpkin beers I've had in the past,

M a little thin with prickly bubbles leaving a tingle on the tongue, ginger and pumpkin linger faintly on the finish

O this one worked for me, not heavily spiced and pretty mellow all-around, still beer unlike many pumpkin beers I've had that are almost unrecognizable from all the spicing

Its to bad this didn't show up before my Thanksgiving dinner because it would've been a great beverage choice with my turkey, ham and pie. yup that's right bitches I got turkey AND a ham, living the dream, living the dream

Photo of RedAleMan
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of spinrsx
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of slitherySOB
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark golden amber colour with a fingers worth of head that disipates quickly but leaves lacing. Smells like pumpkin pie. Pumpkin, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sweet malts. Tastes like it smells. LIquefied pumpkin pie. Mouthfeel is smooth and low carbonated with a great overall balance. A delicious beer.

Photo of fostachild
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of jrenihan
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled Sept 4, 2012.

Beer is a slightly hazy copper colour. Smallish off-white head. Fades fairly quickly to a film.

Nice smell. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and pumpkin. Some bready malt and grassy hops.

Taste is good, and very similar to the nose, though not quite as nice. Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger. Spices are very prominent. Grassy hops there as well. Well balanced. Has the characteristic Grand River flavour that I cannot quite describe, but I expect has to do with the water.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

Overall, pretty tasty!

Photo of SebD
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of bryehn
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on Sept. 14 (5 days ago).

Pours a clear golden-copper colour with a small but frothy white head. Solid, long-lasting collar, but little lace.

Smells of ripe pumpkin, honey sweetened toasted malts and grasses. Very warm and inviting.

The taste is also pumpkin forward. There is a lovely light and fruity ale underneath with a sweet caramel tone. Grassy, floral hops bring earthy and tart characteristics, as well as a mild orange pekoe tea flavour. Subtle spiciness present throughout that comes forward in the finish.

Full-bodied with low carbonation. Dry cracker character on the tongue. Pepper and allspice in the aftertaste.

Quickly became one of my favourite pumpkin ales after a couple days. The pumpkin shines, rather than the spice and it’s extremely smooth drinking. Great with (or in) a stew, crusty bread, roasted meats and, of course, pumpkin pie.

Photo of mspang
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of philmen
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Molson2000
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Highballer Pumpkin Ale from Grand River Brewing
85 out of 100 based on 82 ratings.