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Pumpkin Down - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pumpkin DownPumpkin Down

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

89 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 89
Hads: 384
Avg: 3.82
pDev: 18.59%
Wants: 25
Gots: 114 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: DoubleJ on 10-31-2013

Some might think we’re out of our gourd for making a pumpkin ale, but our Pumpkin Down is not like the others. The caramel and toffee maltiness of our Piper Down Scottish ale is the perfect backdrop for a boatload of roasted pumpkin. Just before bottling, we add a subtle amount of spice to complement, but not overwhelm, the earthy flavor. It was a smash at the brewery, and we think you’ll agree.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 89 | Hads: 384
Reviews by DoubleJ:
Photo of DoubleJ
3.42/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

On-tap at Ballast Point itself. This beer is a combination of their Piper Down Scottish Ale and pumpkin ale, so it should be an interesting tasting. On to the beer:

Ruby amber colored with an orange hue, topped with decent head retention and a few spots of lace. The aroma is pleasant and brings fall to the air. Pleasing pumpkin pie spices dominate the nose, including nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon. Initially, the tastes started off strong with a pleasant smokiness of the base beer. Pumpkin pie filling is next. Allspice. The pumpkin spices don't show much in the flavor of the beer as they did the aroma, which means I'm left with a Scottish ale with spices. The malt has a note of astringency and some squaw bread. Could be better I think. It's a medium bodied beer with an acceptable level of carbonation.

Decent stuff. A few aspects could be smoothed out, but on the other hand, I haven't tried Piper Down in its virgin form, so I wouldn't know what could and what couldn't be worked on.

 998 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of chinchill
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter glass.

Look: The clear body has a dark red-brown color. Pours with a good tan head but this reduces to partial coat too quickly. Spotty lacing.

Aroma: Caramel, brown sugar and cinnamon with hints of vanilla and pumpkin pie spices. Enticing. Approaches 9.

Flavor: Toffee, molasses, spices, dark bread, dates and other dark fruits, and roasted grains. Cooked pumpkin emerges in the finish and aftertaste. Enough hop bitterness for good balance. Likewise for the spices. While the spice complement is clear in the aroma, upon tasting, its more subtle and does not overwhelm the malty flavor.

M: Medium bodied. Near medium carbonation. Inexplicable mild harshness.

O: This modified Piper Down Scottish ale is indeed an excellent choice for a seasonal pumpkin treatment. The Scottish ale is provides a solid, malty base for the pumpkin and spices, and differentiates this beer from less interesting or over-spiced alternatives.

 966 characters

Photo of Urk1127
4.58/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

-dark. Deep brown almost black
-sweet dry malts, tiny bit of toffee, nice fall spices, roasted pumpkin
-Sweet caramelized sugars, very nice pumpkin, dark fruits, roasted smoky malts
-A bit thin, but its nice its not super heavy, carbonation is light, dryness is perfect

-One of the best pumpkin beers ive ever had if not the best. Holy shit it was that good.

 360 characters

Photo of BeerDawgs
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L - Copper, with no clarity, head or lacing, or much carbonation

S - Big step up on the aroma. Lots of sweet malts, pumpkin, brown sugar

T - Slightly sweet scottish ale with hints of pumpkin and spices. Definitely not drowning in any specific flavor.

F - Medium carbonation and well balanced.

O - Definitely an enjoyable and drinkable fall brew.

 355 characters

Photo of beveragebattle
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ballast Point Pumpkin Down Ale coming in at $1.67 per 12 oz. bottle with a 5.8% ABV.

Round 1-Value
Ballast Point @ $1.67 per 12 oz. bottle with a 5.8%

Round 2-Aroma
Ballast Point: Caramel and pumpkin

Round 3-Flavor
Ballast Point: Malted toffee and roasted pumpkin, with a caramel-y finish

Round 4-Finish
Ballast Point: 30 seconds

Round 5-Packaging
Ballast Point: On the Necker is Ballast Point’s quintessential sextet, with a Scottish skeleton in a kilt with a bagpipe falling on his face on the main label.

Ballast Point Pumpkin Down is a solid value and super-drinkable.

 583 characters

Photo of DrStiffington
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Good new beer. Very pumpkin flavored without being pumpkin pie flavored. Most pumpkin beers I've had have the pie taste, which I like, but this is a nice change of pace.

 171 characters

Photo of Tiernan
3.77/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Andnkuhn
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dandaugherty1221
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A dark red/brown color. Small tan head that retained.

Aroma of pumpkin spice (nutmeg, cinnamon) and graham cracker.

The taste followed the nose, but in a more diluted sense.

Overall OK

 187 characters

Photo of warnerry
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of alarmclock314
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Doomcifer
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of JakerLou
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours orange-dark brown in color with 1/4 inch head and medium-low carbonation. Taste is very much a good pumpkin beer--cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, pumpkin, and heavy--brown sugary, malty backbone. Not sure I get much Scottish ale here, but this is a really good pumpkin beer. It drinks bigger than it is. This will be on the yearly must get pumpkin ales.

 356 characters

Photo of jamesmk48
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JC333
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of bsp77
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Dark orangish-brown with root beer float head.

Smell: Pumpkin pie spices, earthiness, dried out caramel, and cherry.

Taste: The pumpkin pie spices are immediately evident, but then it deepens to include caramel, toffee, cherry and an overall earthiness. The finish is spicy (spices and hops?) and slightly smoky. Despite some of the flavors, it really isn't very sweet.

Feel: Moderately low carbonation, with a medium to full body. Quite creamy and a very dry finish.

Overall: This was a surprise. Top echelon Pumpkin Ale, even better than Imperial ones. I have never had the base Scottish Ale, but this mix really works for me.

 705 characters

Photo of gibgink
3.89/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An interesting and successfull take at a Scottish ale with pumpkins. The pumpkin flavor does not over take the Scottish ale aspect. Well made, but not sure if it the correct style to mix with pumpkins.

 202 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
3.32/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Brown in color with good clarity and a fingernail of tan colored head covering the rim and the majority of the top. Aroma is moderately to heavily spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and pumpkin pie spice. The flavor is fairly aggressively spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove leading the way. Pumpkin pie spice is distantly present. The mouth is moderately carbonated and slightly chewy.

 396 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.24/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of off white head which settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: An earthy, spicy, and sweet malt driven aroma with good hints of fall pumpkin spices, caramel, and biscuit. Upfront scent of pumpkin and fall spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger. Toasted barley malt with hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit, toast, and subtle smoke. Sweet scent of brown sugar. Mild hints of earthy hops. A very solid aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, an earthy, sweet, and spicy malt forward taste with notes of pumpkin spice, caramel, and biscuit. Good taste of pumpkin along with fall spice notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and ginger. Toasted barley malt with notes of caramel, toffee, toast, biscuit, and slight smoke. Sweet taste of brown sugar. Subtle presence of earthy hops and dark fruit. A pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, somewhat chewy, and smooth.

Overall: A very solid spin on a Pumpkin beer. The Scottish ale base adds some nice malt complexity to the pumpkin spice.

 1,180 characters

Photo of boogerisu
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of butters_mcgee
3.76/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of HopsForBrains
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tappangordo
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Pumpkin Down from Ballast Point Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.