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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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

111 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 111
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 11
Gots: 11 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 111 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of djrn2
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of GRG1313
2.75/5  rDev -28.8%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of kylehay2004
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of biboergosum
4.17/5  rDev +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.

Photo of Jason
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of MarkyMOD
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of kojevergas
3.19/5  rDev -17.4%
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)

Photo of woodychandler
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Photo of afsdan
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of tempest
4/5  rDev +3.6%

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.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Haybeerman
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of ArrogantB
3.16/5  rDev -18.1%
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.

Photo of Gatordaddy
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of IrishColonial
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of crobinso
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of TX-Badger
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of birchstick
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of allengarvin
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Photo of emmasdad
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
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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Upslope Pumpkin Ale from Upslope Brewing Company - Lee Hill
87 out of 100 based on 111 ratings.