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Pumpkick - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
PumpkickPumpkick

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

937 Ratings
THE BROS
79
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 937
Reviews: 134
rAvg: 3.38
pDev: 14.79%
Wants: 8
Gots: 98 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerWizard on 07-30-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 937 | Reviews: 134 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

UCLABrewN84, Sep 01, 2013
Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

zestar, Aug 21, 2013
Photo of nmann08
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%

nmann08, Sep 02, 2013
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +18.3%

Texasfan549, Aug 30, 2013
Photo of BEERchitect
3.76/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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!

BEERchitect, Oct 10, 2013
Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev +10.9%

kjkinsey, Aug 17, 2013
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%

ygtbsm94, Aug 12, 2013
Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +10.9%

jaydoc, Aug 06, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

kylehay2004, Aug 10, 2013
Photo of Knapp85
3.1/5  rDev -8.3%

Knapp85, Sep 27, 2014
Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -11.2%

largadeer, Aug 27, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
2.8/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

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.

TMoney2591, Aug 13, 2013
Photo of SocalKicks
2.75/5  rDev -18.6%

SocalKicks, Sep 13, 2013
Photo of biboergosum
3.55/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

16oz glass at Beer Revolution - this one was a bit hard to track down around here.

This beer appears a clear, medium copper amber colour, with one thick finger of puffy, loosely foamy, and mildly bubbly off-white head, which leaves a decent array of snow rime lace around the glass as things slowly dissolve.

It smells of semi-sweet, fleshy pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon spice, bready caramel malt, and tame earthy, leafy hops. The taste is sugary, pastry-like caramelized malt, pureed pumpkin, rather mild earthy seasonal spices - maybe some ginger, maybe some allspice - a touch of white pepper, and leafy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is fairly peppy, with a swirling frothiness, the body a sturdy medium weight, and plainly smooth, the spices affecting things seemingly from beyond. It finishes off-dry, the pumpkin continuing to meld into the base caramel malt, as the pie-friendly spices carry on fading out.

A so-so, and kind of underwhelming version of the style, as the pumpkin and spice alike seem to be phoning it in. Not sure that I'm overly content paying premium Canadian prices for this, when I could have had it for a song a few weeks ago in Denver.

biboergosum, Oct 14, 2014
Photo of zeff80
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

zeff80, Sep 25, 2013
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.7/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

StonedTrippin, Sep 28, 2013
Photo of Jason
3.49/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Jason, Sep 22, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +18.3%

Appears orange tinted amber in the glass, with a nice beige head forming thick…it looks great even spread lacing brilliant construction to the beer so far.

Aroma I get pumpkin flesh and subtle pumpkin pie spices the label lists them as cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice. It mentions in addition to the pumpkin juice and spices that they add lemongrass and cranberry juice. Honestly I couldn’t have picked that up blindly based on the aroma so far. When I focus on cranberry I get a tart earthiness that’s about it no lemongrass notes for me.

Flavor is especially refreshing and well balanced compared to most modern day pumpkin ales on the market this gets high marks for the pure ease of each sip along with a solid balanced spice level and actual pumpkin flavor. Again the cranberry/lemongrass kick this beer has would be hard to pick out blindly but the faint tartness somewhat exotic flavor combinations are there after reading the description on the label.

Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied for the style, what’s beautiful is the semi dry relatively clean finish which lacks the perfume like spice additions that usually kill the finish for me in this style. Even flowing carbonation carries everything just right, I’m happy.

Overall, interesting little twist with masterfully brewed balance in this beer make it a winner in my book, New Belgium seasonals thus far have been a hit for me. I’m glad their token pumpkin ale could do my palate justice just like their hoppy Tour de Fest seasonal did with a nice change of pace from this malt monster fall seasonal slam that most breweries send out in force.

WVbeergeek, Sep 10, 2014
Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

Kegatron, Oct 25, 2013
Photo of russpowell
3.04/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

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

russpowell, Aug 18, 2013
Photo of MarkyMOD
3.75/5  rDev +10.9%

MarkyMOD, Aug 26, 2013
Photo of kojevergas
2.76/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

"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.

Low C

kojevergas, Sep 25, 2013
Photo of XmnwildX12
3.25/5  rDev -3.8%

XmnwildX12, Dec 11, 2013
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev +10.9%

oriolesfan4, Sep 09, 2013
Photo of GClarkage
3.5/5  rDev +3.6%

GClarkage, Jul 08, 2014
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Pumpkick from New Belgium Brewing
77 out of 100 based on 937 ratings.