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King Don's Original Pumpkin Ale - Catawba Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
King Don's Original Pumpkin Ale
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BA SCORE
88
very good

58 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 58
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 17.05%
Wants: 9
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Catawba Brewing Co. visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-06-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: The orange colored liquid wears a nice crown of foam that drapes a few strands of lace

Smell: Pumpkin pie spices galore

Taste: Pumpkin pie spices dominate the flavor profile, too; this is one of those pumpkin beers that is all about the spicing so it is hard to taste any pumpkin in the mix

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I like a bit more balance in my pumpkin beers but this is a very nice example of the spice-forward aspects of the style

brentk56, Sep 22, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at the Brewgrass festival in Asheville, North Carolina. Consumed on 09/20/2008 and reviewed from notes taken at the time.

What can I really say about this pout, it was a damn pumpkin! Rich orange color was an absolute treat to look at. Some light haze and cloudiness to it, enough to make it look a bit thicker then I thought it would. A nice one inch head of white and fizzy foam came up over the top and settled down nicely into the glass leaving a good amount of side glass lace to mix around with the carbonation that could be seen streaking up.

The aroma was about as rich in pumpkin spice as you could possibly get. Huge notes of spices that just come whiffing up to the surface. This was an enormously good smelling beer. I swear if you could bottle the fall season, it would come close to this I am sure. The flavor was more of the same, rich in every sense of the word. Huge notes here of all spice, pumpkin, and hints of earthy grains. Tingling the tongue as it went down it was like a piece of pumpkin pie, which is about all that can be said. Delicately light Mouthfeel was well carbonated and not too thin or anything that would be anything less then wonderful. Easy to sip as the flavor was far too rich to be putting this one down in too great of numbers.

Overall though this has to be one of the best pumpkin ales I have ever had, hands down. Rich and decadent, smooth and deliciously. Probably the best beer that Catawba makes, well next to Coconut. Go find this one this fall season for sure.

mikesgroove, Sep 24, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clearish, reddish-brown body with a thin, off-white head.

Smell: A fragrant aroma filled with inviting toasted spices, but pretty meak when it comes to the actual pumpkins.

Taste: Mild pumpkin flavor that's lightly sweet. The addition of fresh spices adds a measure of earthy spiciness. Slight hint of lemon near the sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's one of those pumpkin ales that lays emphasis on spices and not pumpkin flavor. Still, though, it is a pleasant Autumntime brew.

ChainGangGuy, Sep 24, 2007
Photo of dbrauneis
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%

A: Pours a crystal clear golden reddish orange in color with light amounts of active visible carbonation rising slowly from the bottom of the glass and moderate copper + ruby + brown highlights. The beer has a half finger tall foamy beige head that reduces to a medium sized patch of thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of moderately sweet pumpkin pie spices - cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and clove. That is combined with moderate aromas of roasted pumpkin and caramel malts.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavors of moderately sweet caramel and toasted malts with some lighter notes of brown sugar and maple. That is followed by moderate flavors of roasted pumpkin, The beer finishes with slightly stronger than moderate flavors of pumpkin pie spices - cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and clove. Minimal amounts of bitterness in the finish which fades very quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Hints of dryness from the spices in the finish.

O: A more pumpkin pie than squashy pumpkin example of the style but definitely an enjoyable example of the style. Pretty easy to drink and really makes me think of autumn.

dbrauneis, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours orange with a fairly thin head that fades all too quickly. Pumpkin pie spices and sweet malt dominate the nose. No real pumpkin detectable in the aromas. Still, the spice blend is quite pleasant with cinammon, nutmeg, and allspice. The taste is somewhat sugary and grainy with more of the pumpkin pie spice. The pumpkin makes an appearance as a slickness, but not much flavorwise. Creamy mouthfeel, and overall pretty enjoyable.

Georgiabeer, Oct 01, 2007
Photo of chinchill
2.9/5  rDev -26.2%

12 oz can poured slightly hazy; deep red-amber body; good size bubbly head quickly dissolves.
Aroma: nice malty and spicy mix with a hint of pumpkin.
Flavor: Over-spiced with little sign of the pumpkin, although the malt base is still evident.

chinchill, Sep 15, 2014
Photo of atrocity
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%

atrocity, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of Axnjxn
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

on draft at beer study in chapel hill, into a snifter.

pours a very dark orange with a typical inch thick head. smell is of a lot of cloves and nutmeg...extreme amount of spice on the aroma. the taste is also filled with spicinees, but its lacking the typical super sweetness that you usually find in pumpkin beers. this definitely helps and is a big plus...you still know you're drinking a beer! light body though, but this is lower in ABV so expected.

overall one of the better pumpkin beers I've had. recommended.

Axnjxn, Oct 08, 2013
Photo of KevinGordon
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

KevinGordon, Oct 06, 2013
Photo of ZEB89
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

ZEB89, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of blackie
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: gorgeous color...deep orange-red-brown, lacks much head and doesn't retain well what it has...the only fault here

s: Decent malt presence, and I have to say it smells really good, but the spice seems quite out of proportion to the squash. Moderate-high sweetness and very gently hopped. I really want to like this a lot, because the spice is excellent, but it certainly needs more pumpkin.

m: medium carbonation, full medium body

t: Pretty much the same as the aroma, but I get even less depth here. Cleans up pretty well, with spices lingering.

d: enjoyable

blackie, Oct 15, 2007
Photo of AngusOg
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

AngusOg, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of Deuane
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Deep brownish copper with a thin white head that quickly reduced to a wispy veil and left spotty lace.

S-Nice aroma of a freshly made, caramel coated gingerbread. Nice, pleasant aroma of real pumpkin spices.

T-Strong pumpkin pie spices come off a bit too harshly. Caramel malt needs more beef to counteract the spice punch....good but more than I prefer.

M-Medium bodied, fairly sharp with good lingering spicy bitterness.

D-Good but...see above. I think with a bit of tweaking this would be outstanding.

Deuane, Jan 14, 2010
Photo of thatoneguymike
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

thatoneguymike, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer was hazy dark orange with a good head. The aromas were of roasted caramelized pumpkin and spices. The flavor is caramel and allspice. Aftertaste is dry allspice. The body is a little light.

Notes from SMA Holiday Beer and Bluegrass Festival:
"Brewed with select spices to produce a smooth festive beer."

It is my understanding that this is Don Richardson's recipe he used to brew at Cottonwood. In fact Don was standing at the tap serving the beer when I walked up.

GCBrewingCo, Dec 14, 2003
Photo of Falcone
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Falcone, Jul 26, 2014
Photo of DoctorB2B
4/5  rDev +1.8%

DoctorB2B, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of Lantern
5/5  rDev +27.2%

Lantern, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of mntlover
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours hazy dark amber with a off wihte head laces well. Aroma heavy on spice, nutmeg, light on cinammon and pumpkin flavored malt. Taste is strong on spices nutmeg cinammon flavors are lifted thru out by good carbonation finishes with cinnamon and light hops in aftertaste. All of this is on decent malt background flavored with pumpkin. Mouthfeel is a solid medium a great pumpkin brew. Drinkability is good almost like Cottonwoods maybe touch more spice here. Worth trying, if you like pumpkin beers you should find some today.

mntlover, Dec 05, 2004
Photo of ckeegan04
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep orange color tinged with brown. Very thin wispy white head that quickly fades but leaves moderate lacing on the glass.

S - Wow, it smells just like my wifes gingerbread. Lots of clove, allspice, and cinnamon in the nose. DOnt pick up a whole lot of pumpkin, but I'm not sure pumpkin really has the strongest smell.

T - Strong taste of pumpkin pie spices including allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. A little light breadiness to it as well provides a nice backing.

M/D - A little thin on the feel but it goes down real easy. Good carbonation level and one of the better pumpkin ales I have tried.

ckeegan04, Oct 31, 2008
Photo of rangerred
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

12oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a clear deep copper with a tiny fizzy head that quickly disappears. No lacing at all. Appearance is less than stellar.

Aroma is really really good. Loaded with nutmeg and cinnamon with some nice light caramel undertones. Almost a little creaminess in there.

The flavor also hits the spices really hard and closely matches the aroma with cinnamon and nutmeg. A little caramel and toast along with whipped cream. Very light hoppiness in the background and a slightly chalky mouthfeel.

Overall, this is a very nice pumpkin beer that hits the spices really hard. While not the best out there it is certainly enjoyable.

rangerred, Aug 15, 2014
Photo of AlexJ
3.18/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Rich rad amber in color with a frothy tan head that dissapears very quickly, leaving the beer looking rather flat and lifeless.

The nose has all the requisite spice, lightly sweet brown sugar malt and no real discernable pumpkin character. One thing about pumpkin brew is very deceiving, the spice almost always smells good and often masks any shortcomings or mistakes.

The flavor is decent but very predictable. Lots of spice, a decent malt back, but where's the pumpkin? Not bad at all, but kind of blah.

Body is thin, flat, and definately contributes to the snooze factor.

AlexJ, Oct 02, 2006
Photo of jaswilson2
3.12/5  rDev -20.6%

jaswilson2, Sep 16, 2014
Photo of kell50
4/5  rDev +1.8%

kell50, Sep 12, 2012
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King Don's Original Pumpkin Ale from Catawba Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.