Pumpkick - New Belgium Brewing
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Ratings: 739 | Reviews: 107 | Display Reviews Only:
3.18/5 rDev -4.8%
Best before 12/1/13.
Pours an murky dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, pumpkin pie spice, and slight cranberry aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly tart berry and pumpkin pie spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that smells pretty good with the pumpkin pie spices working well with the cranberry, but the taste of these two aspects does not mesh all that well in my opinion.
09-01-2013 05:22:47 | More by UCLABrewN84
3.76/5 rDev +12.6%
Halloween is for armatures. Real Pumpkin Ale aficionados prefer Thanksgiving! -at least that's what New Belgium is going for in its new fall classic- PumpKick!
The common camel coloration takes on an orangy tinge to play toward the pumpkin influence. But as a somewhat amber-ish ale it stands tall with a creamy off-white head. With semi-stern retention and broken collars of lace, the ale casts a frothy sense for a classy ale appearance.
Sharp and spicy in aromas, the notes of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg all balance against a caramel and nuts in its initial aroma. As it warms, a notion of graham crackers and zinfindale emerge. The graham crackers are all about the malt character and spice but that wine-like note is a tangy sense of cranberry and alcohol- who knew?
To taste, the beer is less intense than the aromas or its appearance suggests. Its light caramel and cola nut taste is lightly buttery, biscuity, nutty and toasty- seemingly of bread crust. And the layers of spice contribute bold cinnamon and milder clove, nutmeg and allspice in order to achieve balance in the absence of meaningful hops. Trailing with a lightened taste, none of that lingers in finish. Instead the beer shuts close early with only an echo of spice and starch.
Its texture is light, airy and playful. Even as the carbonation fades, so does the sweetness so that the ale grows together over the course of the session. Its middle is spicy on the soft tissues of the mouth while the malt structures are slow to recede. To finish, the ale is malty-dry, spicy and highly drinkable- largely due to the forgotten acidity that cranberry leaves behind.
Let the beginners have Pumpkin Ales for Halloween. But the pros will reserve a few of the best ones for Thanksgiving. And that's where this ale belongs. We get the links of food flavor to beer flavor and get an added bonus of carbonated acidity to cleanse the palate: making it ideal for that savory and variant Thanksgiving dinner!
10-10-2013 05:29:50 | More by BEERchitect
2.8/5 rDev -16.2%
Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.
Alright, is there some place where I can get a bottle (or can or carton or whatever) of pumpkin juice? Am I missing something? I didn't even know you could juice a pumpkin... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear auburn-bronze topped by a finger of off-cream foam. The nose comprises white toast, a pinch of clove, a half-pinch of cinnamon, a half-dash of brown sugar, mild caramel, and a strange mini-undertow of what seems like chicken gravy. The taste brings in more of the same, with the spices all blending together into a muddled stream of near-nothingness that culminates in a gulf of rather hard water. This also serves to water down the caramel a bit. Still no sign of the cranberry (though there is a tinge in the back of the finish, but that could just be psychosomatic). The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slick feel. Overall, a pretty meek little beer, one that not only doesn't bring the spice, but one that doesn't really try to express itself in much of any way. Boo this.
08-13-2013 02:28:42 | More by TMoney2591
3.49/5 rDev +4.5%
12oz brown bottle with a freshness date.
Bright amber color, good lacing all the way. Pumpkin, cranberry tannin, spice, bread, and a hint of alcohol in the nose. Solid smoothness, modest but noticeable spicing, pumpkin, light cranberry tartness, muted hops, bread, dry finish.
Pumpkick has a slight edge over the usual pumpkin ales ... the mild cranberry character and good use of spice is just that. Worth a go.
09-22-2013 02:33:12 | More by Jason
3.04/5 rDev -9%
Got this as part of a mixed sixer, BBD date of 22 Dec 13
Pours an effervescent & slightly hazed orange/caramel with a thumb of cram colored head. Slightly better than average head retention & lacing
S: Big-time pumpkin pie spicyness
T: Follows the nose, a touch of cranberry tartness up front. More cranberry & too much spice as this warms, plus a bit of lemon juice. Finishes thin with cranberry tartness
MF: Light bodies with lively carbonation
This had some flavors that might've panned out had it not been so thin & devoid of body.
New Belgium has really let me down lately, this is one to avoid, a bad example of a style that has plenty of clunkers
08-18-2013 03:14:51 | More by russpowell
3.7/5 rDev +10.8%
why such bad reviews? this is made with pumpkin juice and cranberry juice. never heard of juicing a pumpkin, but it seems to work well in this new seasonal. the pour is as one would expect, orange tinted, mostly clear, bubbly, and with an inch of so of lazy white head. it smells a little tart from the cranberry, and I taste that element first too. the pumpkin is in the second half of both aroma and flavor, and its gentle, not overly spiced or covered up with sugar or too big of a malt, I think that aspect of this beer is quite well done. there is lemongrass too supposedly, which I guess must contribute this tropical lightness that's not usually found in fall beer. well carbonated too, it stays light despite all the robust flavors. pumpkin beer with a twist, not totally successful, but an enjoyable take on the fall classic. I will buy more this season for sure.
09-28-2013 19:05:22 | More by StonedTrippin
2.76/5 rDev -17.4%
"Ale brewed with pumpkin juice, Cranberry juice and spices." Fall seasonal. 6% ABV confirmed. Best before: 01/12/14. Serve at 7 C/45 F.
12 fl oz brown glass bottle with typical New Belgium label art and standard branded pry-off pressure cap acquired as part of a 6 pack at Whole Foods HQ and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are average given both the brewery (whose seasonals tend to underwhelm) and its current ratings.
Served cold - straight from me fridge - and allowed to warm slightly over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: No bubble show forms as I pour.
Pours a two finger wide head of beige colour. Okay thickness and creaminess. Decent frothiness. No real lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is above average - about 3 minutes.
Body colour is a clear translucent transparent pale yellow-copper of average vibrance. Abundant floating particles of some sort are plainly visible suspended in the beer, but they look nothing like most yeast particles I've seen. Curious.
A generally appealing beer for the style. It's not unique or special, but there are no obvious flaws.
Sm: Generic pumpkin notes; quite underwhelming for a pumpkin ale. Where're the evocative gourd and skin notes? It doesn't seem to bring the pumpkin as much as it ought to.
I get a dash of cranberry. The spicing is nice, too, with notes off allspice, nutmeg, and maybe cinnamon. Plenty of bready malts as well as biscuit malts and a dash of brown malts. Any hop character is minimal and generic.
No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. The spicing is dominant, to its detriment.
A passable pumpkin ale aroma of mild strength. I hope the flavour profile brings more pumpkin to the table than the aroma suggests.
T: Starchy bland malts comprise the body (or lack thereof, I guess). Caramalt, biscuit malt, bready malts, clean barley. Spices are present but largely unevocative and shallow; I get allspice, nutmeg, and maybe some cinnamon. A dash of artificial cranberry juice comes through, but the pumpkin note is weak and pathetic - no gourd, no skin, no depth, just shallow pumpkin preserve. Quite a mediocre build for a pumpkin ale; why brew a beer in this style if you aren't going to emphasize the pumpkin? Has cohesion, but I wouldn't call it balanced per se. It's certainly not gestalt. Structurally, the third act feels pretty empty; there's not much happening.
Depth of flavour is quite shallow. Flavour duration and intensity are below average to average for the style.
No hop presence is obvious. I don't get any yeast character or alcohol. If I had to guess, I'd suspect an American yeast was used - it's clean enough to feel Belgian but doesn't have the rustic edge and full feel.
On the sweeter end. A boring and fairly bland flavour profile overall.
Constructively, adding some brown sugar and clove to the recipe might help. That, and more damn pumpkin - actual pumpkin.
Mf: Lightly coarse. Wet. Unrefreshing. Lacks body. Thickness is off. Bad presence on the palate; I don't feel like the flavours are being fully delivered. Not particularly soft. Even a biteen watery; it's certainly too wet. Quite shallow. Doesn't suit the flavour profile particularly well.
It's not oily, harsh, gushed, hot, or boozy.
Dr: It's downable, sure. But it's as uninspired a pumpkin ale as you'll come across. If you're going to brew a beer with pumpkin, brew a beer with pumpkin - own it. Commit to pumpkin as the core of the beer, or risk brewing something as bland and disappointing as this. It's a quaint change of pace for the casual drinker, but true appreciators of the style require more. A no-risk beer from New Belgium that I won't be trifling with again. I wouldn't recommend it to friends.
In its defense, it does hide its ABV well, and I think the idea of using cranberry as well as pumpkin was a good one. Ultimately, it's on the low side of average.
Would age poorly; the pumpkin will recede still further.
09-25-2013 01:33:26 | More by kojevergas
3.5/5 rDev +4.8%
A: Pours a mostly clear dark orangish amber in color with some light amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and some dark golden yellow + peach + copper highlights. The beer has a half finger tall foamy light beige head that reduces to a large patch of thin film and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.
S: Light to moderate aromas of toasted malts, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spices (clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg stand out.
T: Upfront there is a light flavor of toasted malts with some light hints of brown sugar and caramel sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices (clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg) and just a hint of cranberry tartness in the finish. Light amounts of bitterness.
M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.
O: Another interesting spin on the pumpkin beer - the cranberry tartness is an interesting addition and makes the beer a little less sweet overall and a little easier to drink. Enjoyable though not the best (or the worst) pumpkin beer I have tried.
08-27-2013 21:26:00 | More by dbrauneis
Pumpkick from New Belgium Brewing
76 out of 100 based on 739 ratings.