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Black Creek Pumpkin Ale - Black Creek Historic Brewery

Not Rated.
Black Creek Pumpkin AleBlack Creek Pumpkin Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
74
okay

56 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 56
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 3.1
pDev: 19.68%
Wants: 1
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Black Creek Historic Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: bobsy on 11-02-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 25 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Unexceptional pumpkin ale. Yes, pumpkin aroma with a nominal amount of spice. A little orange, no retained head. Prickly carbonation, and not much of it. Not offensive but simply not tasty pumpkin nor interesting. Lighter mouthfeel.A little nutmeg and pepper.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light pumpkin notes with light cinnamon notes. Taste is also dominated by medium pumpkin notes with some cinnamon and ginger also discernable. Malt backbone is present and provides semi-sweet caramel flavours. Body is about average with light creaminess and good carbonation. Nothing extreme in this beer – just good balance mix between pumpkin and light spices.

Photo of biegaman
3.35/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Though far from sparkling, Black Creek Pumpkin Ale has much more clarity than I imagine most historic pumpkin ales would have. What they likely share, however, is the orange-amber tone (like the colour of pumpkin flesh itself). While those aspects of the visuals are nice, the complete lack of visible carbonation is concerning. The beer has not a trace of suds.

The aroma makes the beer instantly recognizable as a pumpkin ale, albeit not the most perfumed one. The squash-y scent of pumpkin is almost more prominent than the spice, which overwhelming leans towards fresh-cut ginger. Adding to that 'zing' is a dash of cinnamon heat. Still, it nonetheless smells more like pumpkin soup than pumpkin pie.

It may sound odd, but not every pumpkin beer tastes like pumpkin. In fact, many don't even use actual pumpkin in the recipe. This offering, however, does and it has a distinctly gourd-like flavour that strongly resembles canned pumpkin and/or squash puree. Without much maltiness, it lacks the biscuity or pie crust notes, and the ginger and cinnamon notes don't hold up for too long.

The resulting beer isn't overly exciting. Without the sweet, nutty maltiness and spices, any resemblance to pumpkin pie is purely superficial; the impression of canned squash all the more vivid. If only it were more savory or sweet or spicy - as is there's no real mouthfeel. Carbonation would help too; this is hopelessly flat and more or less watery.

I think most all Black Creek offerings thus far have been solid, so this seasonal was playing with house money so far as I'm concerned. I'm willing to gamble that next year's will be better. But while I like the more balanced approach (soup rather than pie), it will need to be much maltier, carbonated and perhaps a little more spiced if it is to be considered worthwhile buying again.

Photo of liamt07
2.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from the LCBO, 500ml into a tulip. Best before January 2014.

Reddish orange, with a finger or two of white head with an ultra-aggressive pour. Light retention and lace. Nose of pumpkin, clove and mild allspice and even a bit of citrus zest. A bit muddled all around, but still identifiable as a pumpkin ale. Taste has some pumpkin flesh, slight spicing, grainy breads/cereals. Light bitterness and some citrus cleaner. Some metallic on the back end. Watery feel, low carbonation. Not a good beer at all really.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.58/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured in to tulip.

A - Medium amber; translucent. Thin layer of off-white head.

S - Big pumpkin pie aroma up front - pumpkin puree, all spice, clove and lighter cinnamon and nutmeg flavours. A nice overall nose.

T - Pumpkin and spice up front. Clove, all spice and nutmeg with a hint of cinnamon in the finish. Overall flavour profile is nice but this is a touch light at times. Could have used a little more kick.

M - Light boy, a touch watery at times. Light carbonation.

Photo of spinrsx
3.05/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

500ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for 4$

Appearance - Brownish copper colour with a below average size fizzy/frothy off-white coloured head. There is a below average amount of carbonation and there isn't much lacing. The head lasted for around 2 minutes.

Smell - Malts, pumpkin, all spice

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and a bit of pumpkin. There is also some clove/allspice and some peppery notes.

Overall - It's a little too thin and it needs some more carbonation. It also doesn't have a whole lot of pumpkin flavour. There are better options for pumpkin beers out there.

Photo of andrenaline
3.15/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From notes...

A - Pours a slightly hazy orange colour with a copper hue, thin layer of head with little retention or lacing.

S - Spiced pumpkin pie with sweet cinnamon, cloves, all-spice and earthy gourds.

T - The flavours are slightly mild, with the spices dominating alongside a solid caramel malt backbone. Sweet cinnamon and cloves with vanilla undertones and earthy pumpkin.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and finishes wet.

O - A tasty brew, but a tad mild. Worth a try but by no means mind blowing.

Photo of bobsy
3.9/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black Creek recreates a pioneer brewery and tries to craft their beers as would have been done in the early days of Canada's history. This pumpkin offering turned up at Volo's 5th Annual Cask Days.

This pours far darker than any pumpkin ale I've had before, and the only potential orange colour comes from the highlights in this brownish body. A small cap of off-white bubbles soon drops to a collar. Spicy, meaty pumpkin aroma, with far more emphasis on real vegetal pumpkin than you'll find in a lot of examples. Pumpkin IPA describes the flavour! Good, raw pumpkin flesh, with delicate touches of cinamon, ginger and clove. This is eventually overpowered by a growing leafy hoppiness. Unlike anything else I've had before, but in part this is the point of the brewery. Medium-light mouthfeel with a restrained carbonation.

This is certainly a unique pumpkin ale. I came in with low expectations and left feeling pretty good. I'm sure its far closer in style to the original recipes, and it makes a nice change of pace to taste a pumpkin beer that doesn't empty the spice cupboard.

Photo of jrenihan
3.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

BB Jan 2013.

Beer is light brown, a bit copper in colour. No head at all and appears to be very minimal carbonation.

Some caramel malt, pumpkin, a bit of nutmeg. Not bad but pretty simple.

Taste is similar to the nose. Pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, some caramel malt, a bit of grassy hops. Somewhat thin, but not bad. Nothing negative but not exciting and a bit dull.

Almost no carbonation. Very thin. Not a great feeling.

Overall, meh. Not bad, but nothing to go back to. I doubt I will finish the bottle.

Photo of Molson2000
3.25/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of DaPan
3.25/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of peensteen
3.15/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Amber orange colour, wispy white head, not much in the way of lace. Smell is spicy, nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin tart filling and a bit of bready malt are present. Taste is spicy, warm spices, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, a little vanilla and some cracker like biscuit malt as well, only a light bitterness at points as well. Little carbonation and very thin in body, almost like water and I'm not even stretching the truth, caught me off guard a little. Not a favourite I have to be honest, the mouthfeel on this throws off whatever promise this may have shown.

Photo of patre_tim
4.05/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Copper orange with tons of white floating particles within. 2 fingers of creamy off white head, medium low carbonation of large fast rising bubbles.

S: Pumpkin pie spices all the way. Roasted pumpkins, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, a candied quality, really pie forward.

T: Pumpkin pie spices, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon, little pumpkin quality, light dull bitterness lingers in the finish that is typical to Black Creek Brewery. Not sweet, but dry and bitter.

M: Medium chewy body, medium high carbonation, dry bitter finish.

O: Drove 30 minutes to Cannington from Uxbridge today, June 3rd, 2014 to get this brew as there are only 3 places left at this time that sill have this beer in stock. I had to ask the lady to find it after looking around the beer room. I really like this one. No sweetness, all dry, worth a try.

Photo of SebD
3.08/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: It has a nice orange/amber color to it. It has a thin white head that dies down very fast and leaves no lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of light pumpkin, sweet caramelly malts, spices and cinnamon.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some light pumpkin, some spices and sweet caramelly malts. Lot a whole lot going on in this one.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a somewhat thin overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with decent flavors and aromas. Expected more from Black Creek.

Photo of deonreds
3.5/5  rDev +12.9%

Photo of TerryW
3.15/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear copper orange under a moderate head that settles to a heavy film and leaves steady spotty lace. Looks decent enough.

Lots of pumpkin and a gentle dose of spice on the nose. A touch of sweetness. Appetizing enough. Not overpowering spiciness like too many pumpkin ales.

Thin bodied with some sweetness up front and a slightly bitter finish. No big flavours, gentle like the aroma. Easy drinking ale, but not really interesting.

Photo of hopsolutely
3.68/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright, burnt orange colour with a slight haziness and a minimal white head that dissipates quickly. Although this bottle may be unusual, I’d welcome greater carbonation in a future release.
Wonderfully autumnal aroma of pumpkin fruit and spices; smells genuine rather than grossly pre-fabricated. The flavour is well balanced, starting with the sweetness of caramelized malts and pumpkin flesh and finishing with bittering hops and allspice. Enough cloves and cinnamon to be flavourful, but not spiced over the top.

Really enjoyed this pumpkin ale and will definitely buy more.

Photo of mick303
2.31/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Poured a really quick dissappearing head, no lace, looks like cloudy apple cider in a glass, dull brown and cloudy. Some small trace of carbonation. Looks = unappealing.

Smell has a big hit of pumpkin puree upfront. Also seems to have a strong cooked apple presence, with maybe a slight prickle of biterness. A hint of roastiness but not much malt body.

Taste is bad. I may not finish this. Mouthfeel is very watery, no carbonation or bite, tastes like basement-fermented apple juice with pumpkin thrown in. Spice is pretty non-existant, mostly just cold pumpkin-water. No malt presence, some sour pumpkin notes. Really light and watery, finish has some dry pumpkin and apple notes, not very dry really on the wet side.

Pretty unimpressed by this. Hoping maybe this is a bad batch, but I won't rush out to try another. Its only just tolerable, but really unbalanced, flavour swings all over the place and never in the direction of 'satisfying' or 'this is really good beer'. Tastes watery and lacklustre. Avoid it.

Photo of thehyperduck
3.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.5

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before Feb. 2013. Thanksgiving weekend seems like the proper time for my first pumpkin beer of the year.

Pours a somewhat muddy brownish-orange colour, with little in the way of head besides a soapy, off-white film on the surface. A thin collar clings to the sides of the glass for a while, but considering I basically dumped this stuff into it, the flimsy head gives off a bit of a flat, weak vibe. Fortunately, the aroma is distracting enough to allow me to forget about first impressions - it's a bit flowery, with lots of allspice and pumpkin-bready malt notes. Appealing and fresh, not to mention enticing.

Fairly tasty, but kind of muddled. Freshly-mashed pumpkin is probably the strongest component, with allspice and nutmeg rounding it out toward the finish, which is a little dry and spicy. Disappointingly thin-bodied, which might be acceptable if the carbonation weren't also extraordinarily low. At least the thin, unreactive mouthfeel makes this very easy to drink quickly... assuming you like the vegetal, gourdy pumpkin that dominates the profile.

Final Grade: 3.33, an acceptable B-. My first sip left me a little confused, and it took me a few more to decide if I liked the taste. It's definitely thinner than all of the other pumpkin beers I've had to this date, but there's no rule saying all pumpkin beers have to be big, malty, spicy, boozy monsters like Pumking. Overall, I think I'd have to give Black Creek Pumpkin Ale a thumbs-up - albeit an unenthusiastic one. There's lots of authentic mashed-pumpkin flavour with just enough spice to complement rather than dominate - but the flat mouthfeel is this brew's Achilles' heel.

[Updated Oct. 13 2013]

I decided to pick up another bottle to see if this year's batch has improved any. Right off the bat - it's still a super-flat beer, and generating a decent-sized head is pretty much impossible no matter how it is poured. It tastes alright, but the watery mouthfeel sort of ruins this one for me. Given the fact that I don't mind the flavour and it's supposed to be a re-creation of early pumpkin ales (which presumably had very weak carbonation), I can't knock this one too hard. That being said, fans of pumpkin pie, spiced-type ales aren't likely to be particularly impressed with this one. While those sorts of beers pair nicely with dessert, a simple brew like this would do quite well washing down some turkey and sweet potatoes.

Photo of irishkyle21
1/5  rDev -67.7%

Photo of RedAleMan
3.25/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of beerhunter13
3.5/5  rDev +12.9%

Photo of ThinkAgain
2/5  rDev -35.5%

Photo of bigox420
3.5/5  rDev +12.9%

Photo of GoHabsGo
3/5  rDev -3.2%

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Black Creek Pumpkin Ale from Black Creek Historic Brewery
74 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.