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Upslope Pumpkin Ale - Upslope Brewing Company - Lee Hill

Not Rated.
Upslope Pumpkin AleUpslope Pumpkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

30 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 30
Hads: 122
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 22.48%
Wants: 12
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Upslope Brewing Company - Lee Hill visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  7.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: emmasdad on 09-26-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 30 | Hads: 122
Photo of KajII
3.02/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

[Suggested Glassware: Lager Glass]

The pour was a clear reddish orange with a head that was on the light side of average (1-2 finger), with an off white fizzy head that diminished totally after a few minutes and had poor lacing.

The aroma was of a light bread malt and a doughy yeast with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin and clove.

The taste was a light malty sweet with a touch of pumpkin and nutmeg early on, becoming lightly bitter with a hint of cinnamon and a slightly spicy note of clove at the finish. The flavor lasted an average time after the swallow, being mostly of a light sweet spiciness that faded away rather slowly.

Mouthfeel was light in body with a watery texture and a mild carbonation.

Overall this was a decent tasting Pumpkin Ale and did possess a good drinkability, but as this style goes it was nothing overly special...


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Photo of ArrogantB
3.16/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Freshcraft, heard this won a GABF medal which surprised me. Orange color, scant head. Aroma is faint but I can detect nutmeg, cinnamon, holiday spices you would expect in a pumpkin ale. The taste was really odd, maybe it was the yeast but I couldn't figure it out. Definitely has more spices and a pumpkin aspect. Overall not bad but not something I would revisit even if it was Thanksgiving.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.19/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

CAN: 1 pint. Aluminum. Metallic brown label colour.

Reviewed live as a pumpkin ale (with spices) per the label. Limited release. Served cold into a pilsner glass and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Expectations are above average given the brewery.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1.5 fingers wide. Off-white colour. Fairly frothy, somewhat creamy. Could be fuller, softer, and more luscious, with a better consistency and complexion. Retention is nice - about 3-4 minutes. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Translucent nontransparent deep amber with copper hues. Above average vibrance, I suppose. It's clean, with no visible yeast chunks.

Appears well-carbonated. It's a nice-looking ale, but doesn't pop as a pumpkin ale per se. One might guess it were an amber if they viewed it without prior knowledge. I don't notice any special or unique attributes.

AROMA: Pumpkin gourd, allspice, nutmeg, bread crust, amber malts. Not roasty or toasty. I don't find any cinnamon. Faint raisin and even prune.

No overt hop profile manifests, and (to style) it's not a yeasty or boozy brew.

Aromatic intensity is below average. Fairly muted, actually. A more evocative aroma would be ideal, particularly in terms of the pumpkin.

TASTE: There's definite pumpkin gourd in the late second act, accompanied by pleasant complementary notes of allspice, nutmeg, and a hint of brown sugar. The amber malt base was the right choice for this, lending it sufficient sweetness and backbone without going overboard into cloying territory. The hop profile is aptly minimal, with no naked hop bitterness assaulting the balance. Some roast would be nice. But the essential spice/pumpkin mix at the core of this build is right on the money.

No yeast character manifests, nor does any overt booze or off-character.

Sure, it's balanced, but it could be dialed in a lot more. With some roast to tame the sweetness a bit more, and more commitment to spices, this would improve. Pie crust notes would also do it a solid, and it could be a bit breadier and more caramel-emphatic. The pumpkin, while not of the atrocious artificial puree or extract character often observed in poor examples of the style, isn't as evocative or expressive as it could be. Overall, the issue with the pumpkin is emblematic of the beer as a whole: deeper more nuanced flavours are needed. There's ample room for still more complexity and depth, but I respect the subtlety and balance of the brew.

TEXTURE: Aptly medium-bodied and moderately thick, with slight overcarbonation. It's got a nice subtle coarseness going on, which helps coax out a bit more depth of flavour from the amber malts and spices. Wet albeit unrefreshing. Overall presence on the palate is nice but wanting. There's room for improvement, and while this texture accentuates the spice, it fails to elevate the beer.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, dragging, rough, or scratchy.

OVERALL: It's an above average effort from Upslope, and I'd probably nab it again if they offered it in 6 pack bottle format. Quite drinkable, with a well-disguised ABV and adequate pumpkin presence. I'm not sure why I've overlooked Upslope so much as someone who was raised in Colorado, but clearly they warrant more of my attention. I wouldn't recommend this to friends per se, but it's a welcome pumpkin ale to Upslope's distribution zone and deserves to find a healthy market. That said, the discerning drinker won't be impressed, and it's far from a world-class brew.

C+ (3.19)

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Photo of emmasdad
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

We shared a glass of this one today at Hops & Pie this afternoon. Poured a medium brown color with a little tan head. Aromas and flavors of roasted and pureed baby bear pumpkins and a blend of six spices. Reminiscent of the flavors of autumn. And I add more.

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Photo of mactrail
3.32/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Quite attractive coppery orange color with a fine-grained foam in the Troubadour tulip. Pleasant aroma with a touch of allspice. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Susan's Fine Wine & Spirits in Santa Fe. It starts with some malt and a little sweetness before the spice attack.

This seems like a lot of spice. I think the squash flavor would be pretty good but it gets lost in the hot ginger and cloves. It doesn't seem to have the usual overdose of cinnamon, though, which is a plus. The dirty spice flavor sticks in the back of my throat. Why couldn't we have an Oktoberfest beer flavored with pumpkin, and maybe a little more of the Hallertau hops? This pumpkin pie thing has got to stop.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.51/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to drumrboy22 for the can. Tasted 13 January 2013.

Pours a clear rust color; deep, very reddish brown, maybe more of a cherry wood color. Quarter-finger of yellowish head. Peering through it with light behind, I can make out a few bubbles creeping up. Color is really nice, but the rest of it isn't.

Smell is as it should be, rich sweet full juicy pumpkin. Some woody spices in the background, like nutmeg. Quite good. The highlight of the beer, IMO.

Taste is flipped. Instead of pumpkin up front, wood in the back, this is dominated by woody malts, with a sprinkling of pumpkin and spice. Not bad, not great.

Mouthfeel is, well, flat. Medium-heavy, almost oily. Like drinking flat soda. Not good, and definitely detracts from the beer. Everything just sits there, and it really needs some buzz to keep the flavors moving.

An okay pumpkin ale. Mouthfeel is blah, and taste is just okay. Smell keeps it up, lifting everything out of the doldrums.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear garnet color with a tight, off-white head that leaves little bits of lacing.

Smells of subdued spices and some toasty malt.

Tastes of the sweet malts layered with spice. Malts lead off with notes of toasted bread, graham cracker, and toffee. Fairly sweet. A bit of pumpkin makes an appearance towards the middle. Spices add in next with some nutmeg and allspice. I don't pick up much cinnamon. Finishes fairly clean.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a solid pumpkin. Nothing special, but still pretty good.

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Photo of spoony
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 16 oz can into a pint glass.

A-Pours a deep amber color with ruby highlights. Kind of an interesting color because it really looks like pumpkin in a way. There is thin, dirty-tan head that quickly recedes. Very little visible carbonation.

S-Sweet smelling. I picked up nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, and hint of burnt sugar, a touch of malt, and pumpkin (lots of pumpkin). You know this is going to be a pumpkin beer.

T-Mostly follows the smell, only sweeter. I get malty pumpkin pie with the crust included. There were some graham cracker flavors and a hint of chocolatey malt, but the dominant flavor is pumpkin and spic. Alcohol is pretty well concealed, but as the beer warmed, I picked up a strange (in a bad way) flavor that I trace back to the alcohol; the flavor wasn't a warm or spicy character, but more chemical.

M-Pretty thick and syrupy. There is a whiff of carbonation, but I could have used a little more bubble to balance the sweetness and pumpkin/spice flavors.

O-If you want a heavier, pumpkin-flavored ale with an emphasis on fleshy, sweet pumpkin flavor, this is your beer. It was a little too sweet with too much pumpkin for my taste.

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Photo of beergoot
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice, ruddy orange with a decent creamy, off-white head. Soft pumpkin and associated spice smells (e.g., allspice, nutmeg) make up the dominating smells; kind of like a pumpkin cookie or sweet bread; bitter finish; nice malt sweetness undertone; small hint of alcohol heat in the background. Light-medium body; clean and dry finish.

A solid pumpkin ale overall. Good flavor, decently balanced across the taste spectrum.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I have to sheepishly admit that I have fallen behind on my backlog of CANs, but I am now in the process of getting caught up. Blargimus sent this to me a while back and it has been refrigerated since. I am looking forward to it!

From the CAN: "Hand-Crafted Beer"; "Limited Release"; "Ale brewed with Pumpkins and Spices"; "Ingredients [-] Snowmelt[,] Malt[,]Baby Bear Pumpkins[,]Hops[,]Yeast[,]Spices"; "Specs [-] Hand-Crafted[,]Aluminum CAN[,]Portable[,]Recyclable[,]Good"; "Brewed and CANned by Upslope Brewing Co. Boulder, Colorado Pumpkins Grown and Harvested by Munson Farms".

The C rack revealed a brimful craft CAN and as the anticipation was growing, I went with an aggro pour to get the ball rolling. I quickly had a finger-and-a-half of thick, tawny head with good retention. Color was a deep-copper with NE-quality clarity. Nose was somewhat sweet and big with the added spices. Man, this took me right back to the fall, which happens to be my favorite time of the year. Lots of CO2 bubbles in evidence, so the delay does not seem to have harmed it in terms of carbonation. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite enough to be creamy, but close and the taste was really cinnamon-like. I was reminded of chewing a stick of Big Red gum. Whew! The finish was not quite so heavy on the spices, allowing some of the malt and sugar from the pumpkins to come through, but it was a pretty intense beer for the style.

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Photo of denver10
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A burnt red with a nice khaki head. A nice and balanced aroma; pumpkin and some spices - cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon - dominate but without being too sweet or aggressive. A little alcohol shows itself in the finish. Tasted like liquid pumpkin pie, again without being too sweet or aggressive in the spices . Pumpkin fillig, vanilla whipped cream, and some spices.A fuller, creamy mouthfeel but could use some carbonation. Overall, a solid beer. Not a huge fan of pumpkin ales and this one won't change that, but glad I tried it and definitely enjoyed it.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: pours a nice deep burnt orange. crystal clear. a faint, fizzy head appears initially and quickly fades to nothing.

S: pumpkin pie. graham crackers, spice. cinnamon, nut meg.

T: more pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutme), and graham cracker. tastes great. not so heavy on the spices that it is undrinkable, but they are certainly present, and blend together nicely. no alcohol. a pumpkin lingers afterward.

M: Nice mouthfeel. slightly creamy.

O: a good pumpkin beer. Head retention could use some work though.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can. Pours clear ruby amber with a smallish creamy off-white head that goes to a thin film and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is nice sweet pumpkin pie spices - nutmeg, all spice and a little ginger and cinnamon.

The flavor is sweet bready caramel malts, molasses and pumpkin pie. This sample seems a little oxidized unlike other samples I've had this year. The finish has some bitterness to balance out the sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a nice well balanced pumpkin ale with nice spicing.

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Photo of papat444
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 16oz can, no #freshbeer info.

Pours an orange body that looks blood orange in the glass. Thin creamy head doesn`t last long but there is some lacing. Aroma is all spice with some pumpkin flavor, Taste has a bit of cinnamon with no burn, creamy warming feel. Alcohol very well hidden, good overall but more spiced than pumpkin in flavor.

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Photo of SamN
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Average looks, nice color. Smell is equal parts pumpkin, English-like malts and spices, mostly cinnamon, maybe nutmeg. Quite pumpkin-y, but richer and fuller, like pumpkin pie, sweet and almost creamy. With each sip is a upfront blast of sweet malts and not quite pumpkin, it's sort of earthy, like a gourd. It's odd how much differently it tastes from the smell? It's less pumpkin tasting than smelling. Other than that, it's pretty good. Enough hops flavor to balance the malty "pumpkin" (gourds) flavors. Mildly sweet, low bitterness.

Upslope is nothing if not consistent. A true CO craft brewery, Upslope Pumpkin is a solid, solid seasonal for their already stellar lineup. Tasty, spciy, earthy, a little sweet and just good.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

one of the more enjoyable pumpkin brews ive had in a long time. this one pours a rich copper to yam orange color with a one inch white head that slowly fades. gentle carbonation is rising to the top, and its emitting aromas of butternut squash, brown sugar, and toffee. there is almost none of that nutmeg/allspice/cinnamon spice that used to enhance these beers but has now mostly come to plague them. the flavor confirms that. its sweet roasted pumpkin and caramel malts, straight up. a touch of vanilla in the conclusion, but this isnt a sweet dessert beer, its a well balanced autumn drink, perfectly sessionable. i really like this a lot. the feel is great without much sweetness. its fuller bodied and well carbonated. the only flavors left at the end are pumpkin and alcohol, which work nicely together. overall a great pumpkin beer, and some of upslopes best work to date.

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Photo of KLHBB
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, clear brown. Rich taste of pumpkin pie spice, sweet malts, toffee, cinnamon, and a bitterness that tempers the candy sweetness. Smooth mouthfeel, quite excellent.

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Photo of tempest
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Big candied pumpkin nose with mild hints of cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Its a big pumpkin beer, but doesnt go overboard on the spices. Caramel malts blend into the meaty, sweet pumpkin character. The body is smooth and drinkable, barely hinting at the strength, sort of like a dark Belgian. A juicy pumpkin flavor lingers, like I just swallowed a big bite of pie.

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Photo of OsoRojo
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Cracking a can on a crisp Fall morning in Boulder. Thx Corey @ Upslope for the sample! Easy drinker, subdued ABV% seems to be a trait of Upslope brews, one I am fond of. Definitely in my top 1/4 of pumpkin brews tried this season. Well done Upslope!

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Photo of StoneTSR
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

APPEARANCE: Perfect copper in color with a thin, white head that fades fast. A nice little, wispy cap is left on top.

SMELL: A subtle and pleasant, straight pumpkin aroma wafts up from the glass when it has been agitated a little bit. A touch of pie spices round it out.

TASTE: Pumpkin Pie spices lead the way. Cinnamon and nutmeg are all over this. The great thing is, however, that the actual pumpkin flavor comes through strong. Such a good balance betwee pie spice and pumpkin flavor.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium bodied and very dry. Medium carbonation as well with a slight tickle of the palate and just enough to cleanse the palate.

OVERALL: This is one of the most balanced pumpkin beers I've ever had. Supremely drinkable at 7.7%, this is an amazing fall beer; perfect for the patio on a cool, crisp fall afternoon in Colorado.

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Photo of znichols
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= pours a dark amber with a small off white head. Head is gone in seconds. Decent lacing. Very clear. Excited to get into this.

S= soft spice aroma with a touch of sweetness. Actually smells like beer unlike a lot of pumpkin ales. Solid biscuit malt and subtle hop nose. Light pumpkin guts. Not strong smell but balanced and pleasant.

T= wow very nice balance here. Starts with soft pumpkin notes. Good spice flavor in the middle. think allspice and cinnamon with hints of clove and nutmeg. Substantial bitterness for a pumpkin beer but it balanced the higher alcohol content. Very well composed and drinkable beer.

M= medium body with a creamy finish. good amount of carbonation. A touch of alcohol on the tongue. Not bad.

O= just a great representation of the style. Lots of smooth beer flavor with subtle hints of fall spice and pumpkin. A home run in my book. Enjoy with autumn food and a bonfire on an October night.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

16oz can, a sparely-designed copper deal, procured in Denver a few weeks ago - thanks to doktorzee for the sample.

This beer pours a clear, dark bronzed amber hue, with one skinny finger of thinly foamy, wispy beige head, which leaves some spooky mitochondrial lace around the glass as it quickly wafts away.

It smells of sweet, pastry-heavy pie crust, pumpkin puree, zippy nutmeg, ginger, and allspice, a bit of ethereal splintery wood, some doughy, yeasty caramel malt, and tame earthy, leafy hops. The taste is more of the same - pumpkin pie tarts, replete with ginger, nutmeg, star anise, and metallic cinnamon, with caramel malt, brown sugar, earthy, leafy hops, and a wee touch of simmering alcohol.

The carbonation is soft, but adequately supportive in its furtive fizziness, the body a decent medium weight, and generally smooth, the pumpkin brownie character overriding some tacky, stony flintiness. It finishes off-dry, but with a strong trend towards the latter, as the heretofore steady sweetness starts to really tail off, in the face of the lingering spice, hops, and booze.

I had a good swig of this in a Littleton hotel ballroom, among others, in advance of day 2 of the Beer Diaries' Colorado premiere activities during Denver Beer Week, and savoured the hell out of it. Now, back home, it seems just as heady and enjoyable, a stable ward in keeping the burgeoning cool weather at bay.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint can served cold into a pint glass.

Upslope's Pumpkin is a beautiful redish orange hue with some thick but short-lived head.

Aroma has a nice caramel-richness with undertones of the pumpkin and pie spice.

Flavor is similar and really nicely done. It has balance so the pumpkin, spices, and malts all compliment eachother nicely.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated. It would probably be just as good or better if it was served a bit warmer.

Overall an excellent pumpkin beer and very enjoyable on a cold autumn night.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.19/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 3.75 - Reddish copper with a medium, airy head.
S: 4.0 - Actually smells like pumpkin, with the spices restrained.
T: 4,25 - Good amount of pumpkin flavor--nice, a PA that doesn't just toss in a handful of pumpkin and a ton of spices. The pumpkin pie spices are subtle and work more as a sum than a bunch of strong individual components, though the cinnamon is easily picked out. Medium bitterness prevent it from tasting too sweet. And gets better as it goes a long. I started out 3.75, and have upped it twice. Highly drinkable!
M: 4.0 - Good carbonation levels, full bodied
O: 4.5 - Top notch pumpkin ale--understated so it takes a moment to realize how good it is, just like the rather plain cans of this solid brewery.

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Photo of bcostner1
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Great looking pumpkin ale. Deep orange/pumpkin hued.

S: Smells like autumn. Cinnamon along with some allspice, nutmeg and clove. Pumpkin in there too.

T: Great tasting brew. Follows the nose with cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg. Light on the clove (which I like...I don't enjoy clove heavy pumpkin ales). Fleshy pumpkin. Some brown sugar as well. Blends together great.

M: Fairly easy drinker. Alcohol is well hidden but does sneak up on you a little bit. The "tall boy" can made this a one and done for me for the night.

Overall, this is definitely in the upper tier of pumpkin ales for me. I picked one up on a recent trip to Colorado on a whim and am glad that I did. It closely resembles Schlafly pumpkin to me (my favorite pumpkin ale) but across the board is just slightly more muted in taste and aroma that one. Definitely worth trying.

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Upslope Pumpkin Ale from Upslope Brewing Company - Lee Hill
86 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.