Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale - Cigar City Brewing

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Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin AleGood Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,163 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,163
Reviews: 187
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 11.4%
Wants: 507
Gots: 270 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing visit their website
Florida, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: tpd975 on 01-03-2009

Legend has it that when a pumpkin comes into the world it is possessed by either a good or an evil spirit. Ours got all the good baby! Bursting with real pumpkin flavor and yummy pumpkin spices including Ceylon cinnamon, Jamaican all-spice, Zanzibar cloves and nutmeg, Good Gourd is a celebration of Fall and that spookiest of holidays, Halloween. Pair Good Gourd with pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie and costume parties.

35 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,163 | Reviews: 187
Photo of adam42381
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 Edition

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Spiegelau tulip.

Appearance: Pours a medium orange-caramel with a 2 finger foamy off-white head. Nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet malt with pumpkin and a nice mix of pumpkin pie spices including nutmeg, cinnamon and clove. The smell is a little more subdued than I had hoped for, but the aroma that is there smells good.

Taste: Delicious mix of pumpkin pie spices up front followed by sweet malt in the middle before ending with a decent hoppy bite at the finish. Aftertaste is spicy with a touch of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Goes down very smooth.

Drinkability: Excellent drinkability. The elevated ABV% is very well-masked and it goes down very smooth.

Overall: Excellent beer overall. One of the best pumpkin ales on the market. Like almost everything from Cigar City, I highly recommend this one.

Photo of DmanGTR
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this today and just cracked it open. The aromas of Fall now waft through my room.

Pours a deep amber, almost a burnt sienna color, perfectly clear, with a short lived off-white head that diminishes into a slight ring in my snifter. Aromas are quite abundant and include tones of overripe squash (I believe the butternut variety... although sometimes when you carve a jack-o-lantern and leave it out for a week, you develop a pre-rotting pumpkin smell that is actually pleasant), vanilla, maple, nutmeg, allspice, clove, and cinnamon. This reminds me deeply of walking into Yankee Candle during October/November. I think emphasis is mainly of the nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon; this is a spice bomb. The flavor is akin to the bouquet. It begins sweet with maple and sweet caramel malt, evolving quickly into the spices aforementioned, and finishes sweet with much nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon residue. I will add that the spices come as an explosion and leaves little subtlety for the imagination. Vanilla may be an afterthought, but very diminished. The feel is slick and rich with smooth carbonation. This beer is nearly cloying in my opinion and I am one who enjoys intensely sweet beers. However, the body is appropriate for supporting the plethora of flavors.

Overall, I think this is a big, bold treat that is intensely flavorful and will definitely sneak up on those unaware of its potency. It is probably one to be shared amongst friends on a chillier evening after a nice meal. I can see this pairing well with desserts during the Thanksgiving holidays. In my current position in hot, humid Florida, probably not the best thing. A well made beer by CCB, probably one of the better ones they have to offer. If I were to make changes, I would balance the spices a little more, maybe less clove and cinnamon.

Photo of BMMillsy
4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at the brewpub. Pours a deep dark reddish orange with a nice fluffy off white head with a slightly orange hue. Aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg, maybe some sweet vanilla, and some faint pumpkin, sweet sugar, and some booze when I take a big whiff. Sweet pumpkin flavor and some cinnamon and clove spice. Lingering sweet vanilla cream and pumpkin is definite a highlight here. Finishes nice, medium carbonation. Would be even better if it weren’t 105 with the humidity outside. Neat beer even for non pumpkin beer fans.

Photo of Shaw
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first pumpkin ale of the season.

The first time I've had this beer in the bottle. Last was a growler in 2010.

A lovely orange/amber in color with lots of carbonation and a short tan head.

Big aroma of spices like cinnamon.

It's sweet, but not cloying, with lots of spice and pumpkin flavors.

Big body is great.

Overall this is one of the better pumpkin ales out there. Seek it out.

Photo of hdelavega
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice burnt orange with a thick off white head.
Great aroma, roasted pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove.
Flavor keeps up with the nose. A great balance between the pumpkin and spice. I get more clove in the taste balanced by brown sugar.

Photo of jcartamdg
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orange amber with a one finger head that sticks around in my bruery tulip. Aromas of pumpkin spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and a bit of ginger. Taste follows nose, really creamy, smooth and easy to drink. This is a great pumpkin beer, I could drink it all year!

Photo of claspada
4.01/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque blood red orange with a very small white soapy heady. Small off-white soapy cap lingers ever so slightly on the top of the goblet of beer. Some light soapy lacing remains as the relatively small head quickly dissipates.

Aromas begin like no other pumpkin beer I have ever had. This literally smells like a piece of Pumpkin pie candy (I don't think that even exists but I guess the closest thing would be those pumpkin candy-corn candies with spices added in). You get the bready crust, brown sugar sweetness, cooked pumpkin pie flesh and of course the traditional nutmeg, clove and lighter cinnamon and allspice. You can get a little phenolic yeast smell in there as well as it warms. It becomes a bit sweet as you attempt to consume the entire 750ml.

The taste directly follows the nose, which isn't totally a good thing. I get some banana yeast initially with some lesser clove notes also possibly from the yeast. Plenty of toasted graham cracker/bready notes with brown sugar and supported by a nice cinnamon/allspice lingering bite on the finish. As you make your way through the 750, the overall taste profile becomes a bit cloying and sweet, more so than any Pumpkin beer I have ever had. While this was beneficial on the nose to add to the whole Pumpkin Pie theme, it really hurts the flavor profile in the end.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to low carbonation. The finish teeters on being cloyingly sweet with a mild spice bite on the back end of the palate.

Overall this is a very good Pumpkin beer for me. Definitely on the sweeter side like many Cigar City beers tend to be, so if you are opposed to the sweeter end of beers, this may not be for you. That being said this is still quite impressive, recommended and worth seeking out for fans of this style.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ericandersnavy for sharing this growler.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with white bubbles. There is not much, if any, real head on the beer.

The aroma is pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon. Very nice smelling.

The flavor is reminiscent of pumpkin pie. I get a lot of sweet pumpkin, as well as some allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and caramel malt.

Medium body with low carbonation. A very nice pumpkin ale.

Photo of Heatwave33
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle to a Dogfish Head Snifter.

Color: Dark hazy orange.

Smell: Cinnamon, pumpkin, nutmeg, allspice. A lot of cinnamon.

Taste: Just like the smell cinnamon is the superior taste. Then pumpkin, nutmeg and allspice.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with a dry finish.

Overall: A very good pumpkin ale. I had the pleasure of drinking this with my wife's best friend. She enjoyed this ale a lot too. I am impressed with every Cigar City brew I try. Whatever it is they do there I hope they never stop! This is my second favorite pumpkin ale next to Dogfish Heads. Cheers!

Photo of KYGunner
4/5  rDev -7%

The nose is like pumpkin bread with a malty pumpkin tone. The spices of nutmeg and clove are obvious in the aroma.

The flavor tends strongly to the creamy pumpkin sweetness, almost like the whipped cream on top of the pie was included. There is little to no spiciness, that I can tell and nothing in the way of malty pie crust, but mostly the pumpkin pie filling.

Photo of AgentZero
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Fairly orange colored beer with a little bit of brown on the edges. Moderate head that left some decent lace and spots on the sides.

S - Has some nice pumpkin notes with some cinnamon and nutmeg. Not a whole lot else to say, but pretty solid.

T - This is actually pretty nice. Some good pumpkin flavor with nice spice and caramel. Very smooth tasting with a bit of brown sugar.

M - Pretty nice carbonation, velvety, full bodied.

O - A nice beer for a pumpkin beer. Good flavor, not cloying. Would drink this occassionally without a problem.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bomber into a tulip glass. Pours burnt orange along with a frothy off-white head that laces decent throughout. Aromas are crisp toast and caramel, vanilla and toffee, biscuits, and pumpkin puree, a bit sweeter with decent pie spice. Flavors of allspice, nutmeg, mild vanilla, and some caramel. Some crispness. Fairly balanced for a sweeter beer, spice and vanilla, sweet malts. Finish is nice, gentle spice and sweetness linger. It’s not complex, but it’s tasty, sweet slanted without being anywhere near cloying. Fairly balanced and quite a smooth pumpkin ale.

Photo of Beerisheaven
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this last night side by side with Elysian Great Pumpkin. I am actually a big fan of most of the Cigar City offerings, so I was interested in trying their pumpkin presentation. Thanks to Bryanole for shooting this my way.

A - Pours nicely, a dark orange red with a fairly strong white head that rises up and quickly pulls back.

S - Pretty standard pumpkin fare in that it presents a strong profile of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspince, what you would normally expect in a pumpkin beer.

T - Again, pretty standard in that it focuses on the traditional spices although there is a slight bitterness towards the end, almost a hoppy profile on top of the pumpkin beer.

M- Pretty good, not thick in any way, pretty much what you would expect.

O - Against the Great Pumpkin, this one came out the loser. I would say that CCB has done a nice job but it sits there with most other pumpkin offerings. Nothing allows this one to stand out versus the Weyerbacher and others. A good effort noting noteworthy here.

Thanks again to Bryanole for shooting these my way. I have a couple of extra bottles for the fall football tailgating season that will come in handy.

Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber hue with a translucent clarity. Nose expresses nutmeg, clove, peppery notes and a hint of ethanol. Taste consistent with nose - what I like about this beer is that the spice profile is not in your face. Mouthfeel is light-medium with an even carbonation and a slight acidity. Overall, a solid pumpkin beer. Generally not a style in my wheelhouse; however, I enjoyed this one. Definitely in my top three for the style thus far.

Photo of Sean9689
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Chris (spycow) for this one. Poured into Bell's tulip.

A - Pours a orange-brown color, cream-colored head, thin cap, thin collar, some slight spotty lacing.

S - Pumpkin, sweet pumpkin pie notes, brown sugar, cinnamon. Not overly sweet and not overly pumpkin...a nice mix of both.

T - Similar to the nose, less spice and more pumpkin. Still, a nice mix of the sweetness in the pumpkin pie notes without being overly so. Pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar.

M - Medium, good carbonation, creamy finish.

O - Solid pumpkin brew but not as good as my favorite, Schlafly Pumpkin. That said, I would def have it again and it's on the better side of my experiences with this style. Recommend.

Photo of bonkers
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up in secret halloween '11, thanks Michael. I poured from a bomber into a snifter, deep orange pour, big white head. The aroma is strong with pumpkin pie spice, especially allspice. The flavor is in good balance, good amounts of pumpkin, and spices are mixed, it has a dry finish. The body is medium, light alcohol notes, good carbonation. One of the better pumpkin beers I have ever had.

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a brown body with a more sweet pumpkin aroma with cinnamon although some spices do come out.
Beer is full bodied, smooth, a little bready like pie crust, mostly sweet pumpkin and cinnamon in the taste profile although there is balance from some peppery spices and nutmeg on backend that lead to crisp finish.
Overall, a well-balanced pumpkin ale that highlights both sweet and spicy aspects of style.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

got to be the smoothest pumpkin beer ever. been mellowing for a year now. bronze and lazy in looks, but angry and temperamental and impatient in taste. so much here, all orange and frothy. nose of gourd, its true, cinnamon, clove, ginger, turmeric, and all kinds of liquor. smooth and comfortably spiced, this is a beer of sharing proportions. vanilla, brown sugar, and cardamom. so much going on here, but so little comprehension for me as I sip away, tasting something new each time. barrel and attitude percolate heavy, as does a soft sort of pokey vibe. spice is robust, yet I am as mellow as anything. delicate feel, needs more oomph overall, but this is special stuff. the name gourd makes me want more gourds, its reciprocal in that way, special yet understated. impress me it does, perfect it is not...

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4/5  rDev -7%

The beer pours a clear dark amber/brown with a thin off-white head that fades quickly. The nose is spice forward, but not distinctly pumpkin pie-like, instead it has a slightly cinnamon and bubble gum aroma. The taste has a similar bubble gummy/plastic spice presence, which dominates the sweet malty base and leaves little room for other expected pumpkin beer flavors i.e. caramelized sugars, vegetal gourd, grain, and yeast. Drinking this beer leaves the palate saturated by a medium-heavy bodied, boozy, punishing spice bomb. It's reasonably carbonated and sweet. This is a distinct and different kind of pumpkin ale, but the dominating bubble gummy spice profile is off putting

Photo of dcloeren
3.99/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured pumpkin orange with a finger of off white head. Decent legs and spotty wet lacing.

Smell was very faint. Some gourd, cinnamon, all spice and maybe some nutmeg.

Taste is very gourd forward with just the right amount of spice. Very tasty and worth bringing back from Florida.

Light to medium body with just enough carbonation.

Overall, this is a fantastic pumpkin ale. Just the right amount o spice and pumpkin. Not too much of either which I feel is the case with most. Very well balanced and tasty.

Photo of FLima
3.99/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright copper color with a thin head with short retention and leaving a ring.
Nice aroma of pumpkin sweet, cloves, cinnamon, caramel and nutmeg.
Flavor with notes of cloves, pumpkin sweet, lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, some nuts and vanilla. Dry aftertaste with a lasting sweet spices note.
Medium body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 8.5% is well disguised.
Likely the best pumpkin I had. It has a superior balance and it is more elegant than other counterparties with good spices complexity.

Photo of ehammond1
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle

Acquired via LIF
Thanks dfclav!

A combination of orange, auburn, and copper with a very thin light, creamy off-white head. Not much lace or cling is left on the glass.

A nice Fall collection of aromas, especially as the beer warms: a bit of earth pumpkin, but not a ton, as well as a handful of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. An appropriate and pleasant aroma.

The flavor follows the aroma very closely, with the spices leading the way. My favorite part of this beer is the sweet and earthy vanilla character that lingers after the swallow.

Medium mouthfeel with ample carbonation.

A very nice, somewhat spice-forward, pumpkin ale with a tasty creamy vanilla character also.

Photo of Vec2267
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Closet aged for a year - about the best I can do.

A - cloudy orange, nice head, little lacing

S - pumpkin pie, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, fruity, sweet

T - follows the nose, cinnamon first, allspice next, followed by some fruit and caramel, and just enough bitterness to not be sweet

M - creamy, buttery, quite rich

O - its pumpkin beer - not my first choice - but this is well done and delivers what I would expect from a fall / pumpkin pie inspired beer

When I first had a fresh bottle of this I thought the alcohol interfered with the beer - 13 months of age did wonders.

Photo of BrownNut
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served cool in a tulip.
Bottled August 2011, drunk June 2012.
Bottled August 2012, drunk September 2012.
Bottled August 2012, drunk March 2013.
Bottled August 2012, drunk April 2013.

A - 3.5 - Cloudy amber like unfiltered apple cider. Fizzy head gone very quickly.

S - 4.0 - So fragrant immediately upon popping the cap. All the spices come through, especially the allspice and cloves, with the pumpkin playing second fiddle. It reminds me of the smell of turning up a mug of hot spiced apple cider around the holidays, and not just because of the spices.

T - 4.0 - The same spices are there on the palate, as well as something else, like dark gingerbread Christmas cookies. I'm not sure I get too much actual pumpkin but that's fine with me. Just a hint of bitterness in the aftertaste. I'm not even sure it's a hop bitterness, more like an apple peel astringent bitterness. Zero booze detected.

M - 4.0 - Originally lighter bodied than what I was expecting. Finishes clean just on the edge of dry. But as it has aged it has gotten a somewhat thicker slicker mouthfeel. Still ends substantially tannic though.

O - 4.0 - I first drank this fall seasonal the June after its release. It wasn't even fresh but still tasted fine. Then I had it fresh the following release and it wasn't much different. Then that one again the following March. I swear a bit of age actually makes it better, counterintuitively. It isn't one I'd want to session all night given the specialty flavors involved, but as a special seasonal, a 375ml is nice. Usually I'm a few sips in to a pumpkin beer before it starts to feel like a chore to get through it, but this one is nice. April 2013 bottle confirms that this keeps getting better with age.

Photo of womencantsail
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mike for this beer.

A: The pour is a dark amber color with some brown and copper hues in there as well. A short lived off-white head is there as well.

S: A nice blend of spices, but not overdone. I get some nutmeg, all spice, and a hint of cinnamon. Some pumpkin aroma, more than I usually get in pumpkin beers. Some light vanilla, too.

T: Fairly well balanced in terms of all the different flavors going on. The cinnamon flavor seems to be more pronounced with the other spices sort of falling into the background. A decent amount of sweetness, mild pumpkin, and a hint of bitterness.

M: The body is medium, as is the carbonation.

D: Pumpkin ales are sort of hard to do, since the spicing can really mess them up. I'm happy that CCB has managed to keep things within reason and make for an enjoyable beer.

Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Cigar City Brewing
95 out of 100 based on 1,163 ratings.