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Pumpkick - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,014 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,014
Reviews: 142
rAvg: 3.39
pDev: 14.75%
Wants: 14
Gots: 125 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerWizard on 07-30-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,014 | Reviews: 142
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look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours out a hazy orange with a thin head. Light spice, toast, pumpkin in the nose. Pumpkin and spice are subtle. Lots of toast (as with 99% of New Belgium stuff [I suppose it's the yeast strain]). Slight tartness of the cranberry. I don't pick up the lemongrass, thank God. Mouthfeel is thinnish with prickly bubbles. This is decent. Like a slightly pumpkin-y Fat Tire.

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look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Best before December 10th, 2013 - poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Ruddy gradient of tangerine to burnt orange capped by four fingers of beige mousse. Dense rocky head creeps out of the glass. Superior retention.

The spices are center-stage in the nose, though gently so. Low vegetal notes from the pumpkin and a distinctive yet vague briskness reveals the cranberry for just a moment. Low malt, no real hop notes.

Cranberry cuts through the pumpkin on the palate, wiping out any nuances it might provide - even the spices only play a modest supporting role, barely detectable until the cranberry fades in the finish. Slight malt rounds out the flavor profile suggesting just a hint of toast and leaves which is fitting for an Autumn beer.

Creamy, medium-light bodied, and a bit over-carbonated (a problem I've only had recently with New Belgium's offerings - hopefully this will be corrected soon).

Once you adjust, this is a decent and almost refreshing ale, though it is decidedly a novelty beer which I am unlikely to revisit.

Photo of kojevergas
2.77/5  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

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look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulip glass

A: Opaque bronze with a half-finger off-white head that leaves a bubble ring.

S: Astingent, butter scotch, pumpkin

T: Watered down pumpkin. Smooth, semi-sweet. A few spices. Not much pumpkin appeal. Getting a dry cranberry finish.

M: Light to medium with low carbonation.

O: New Belgium could do better. No kick to this pumpkin beer.

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Pumpkick from New Belgium Brewing
77 out of 100 based on 1,014 ratings.