Dark Pumpkin Sour - Almanac Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Dark Pumpkin SourDark Pumpkin Sour

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

335 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 335
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.88%
Wants: 18
Gots: 59 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ThatsThatDude on 07-02-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Ale brewed with pumpkin and spices aged in wine barrels.
View: Beers (28) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 335 | Reviews: 33
Reviews by Celtics17:
More User Reviews:
Photo of RaulMondesi
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not bad, but the Raul man is a little pissed. I've noticed that the majority of their sours are 7%; so it's basically wash, rinse, repeat (just add whatever different flavor this month) and send it out to the masses (well, Californians, at least). And what we have here is your girlfriend during year four, but she bought a new tube of lipstick. You're looking at her like something is new, and it kind of is, but is it?

So, yeah. Those well known sour characters are there, along with a tad (just a tad) of spice and pumpkin. Again, it's nice, but Raul is getting tired of this one trick pony.

Photo of kojevergas
3.13/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

BOTTLE: Brown glass. Bottled Autumn 2014; purchased in Centennial, CO. Appealing label design. Branded pry-off pressure cap.

Reviewed live as a wild ale; per the label it's a (sour) "Ale brewed with pumpkins and spices and aged in wine barrels." 7% ABV. Served cold into a tulip at high altitude in Castle Rock, CO. Expectations are high given the brewery.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 3 fingers wide. Khaki colour head. Good creaminess, smoothness, fullness, and thickness, with a good even consistency and a nice shiny complexion. Retention is very good - easily 7-8 minutes. Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: Opaque solid black. Clean; no yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible.

Appears well-carbonated. Overall, it's an appealing dark sour but it's far from unique or special looking. Frankly, if you handed this to me blind I wouldn't know from the appearance alone that it wasn't, say, a milk stout.

AROMA: Hm. The faint pumpkin pie notes and brown sugar clash with the dark malt base and no sourness or bacterial character at all is indicated. The red wine barrel further disrupts the balance, seeming out of place and unnecessary. I do get a hint of the pie-like acetic character I love in beers like Rodenbach, but it's weak and underwhelming.

Aromatic intensity is mild, to its detriment. It seems the wild yeast/bacteria just doesn't have control of the beer. Even the pumpkin gourd is muted. Not too sure about this one...

No alcohol, hop character, or off-notes are detectable.

TASTE: The red wine character has gone rampant here, putting grape where it doesn't belong and clashing with the mildly acetic pie-like character. The bacteria/wild yeast doesn't have control of the beer, and the sourness at best evokes infection rather than deliberation on the brewers' part. Unnecessary pumpkin pie spices - nutmeg, allspice, maybe cinnamon - make the beer even more of a mess, such that by the time you get to the horribly misplaced brown sugar and dark malt backbone you're very confused as to what the intention behind this beer is. Unfocused and muddled, without a cohesive flavour profile or a clear direction. I have trouble liking this, even when I focus on its star note - the acetic character.

Oh, and the pumpkin? Unimpressive, and hardly noticeable. It's a shallow mess of a beer. Far from a gestalt build. Flavour duration and intensity are average. Horrible flavour amplitude. There's complexity, but it complicates what should be an effortless simple build dominated by sour wild yeasts. The sourness, by the way, is a 3/10 in terms of intensity at best.

It worsens as it warms, as it takes on notes of caramelized raisin, licorice (a note I despise in beer and in food alike), wilted (and perhaps rotted) prune, and still more sweet red grape.

TEXTURE: Mildly smacky on the palate. It lacks the acidic oopmh of superior sours. Medium-bodied, smooth, and wet, with a periodic coarseness and hardness redolent of dried fruit. Mildly gooey, overcarbonated, and unrefreshing. The texture is less chaotic than the taste, but still fails to nail the style. Not a great companion to the taste.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, rough, or scratchy. It does need work.

OVERALL: An uncommon miss from Almanac, this wannabe sour will fail to impress the discerning drinker, and in trying to reconcile pumpkin notes with wild yeast loses sight of what brings us to the style to begin with - the sourness. It's further complicated by questionable notes of red wine and strains for balance atop a wholly unnecessary dark malt base. I wouldn't get it again, but it does hide its ABV decently and the premise has promise; it's just a shame the execution isn't there. A reminder that Almanac is still very much a new brewery.


Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%

Bottled Autumn 2014.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is sour with dark roasted malt, dark fruit, pumpkin pie spice, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with sour fruit and acidic flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a pumpkin pie spice presence that I am only getting in the smell as the beer warms up.

Serving type: bottle.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

i like that this is an attempt at something so different, never heard of anything like it. props for that. i also like that its not caustically sour, its approachable still, with a little citrus pucker and wine sharpness, but no brutal sourness. the pumpkin in this is really reserved compared to their heirloom pumpkin beer, its way in the back. fortunately, the spice complex is also appreciably mellow in this, allowing the fruity wine barrel character to stand out and play with the pumpkin itself, a really neat feature that is new to me. the body is pretty light for the color, see through brown, and the mouthfeel isnt heavy either. it looks fizzy in the glass but feels a little less bubbly than i wish it did on the palate. the oak wine barrel character is prominent in the finish, tannic and just a little acidic. malts are nice and dark, with some mild unsweetened chocolate and even smoke. a perfect fall beer for those who dont jump on the pumpkin pie flavored ales out there. a good way to make the seasonal classic totally different. top quality right here, but a polarizing flavor profile i have to imagine...

Photo of spacecake9
2.75/5  rDev -28.8%

Poured into a Tulip glass.

A - Pours dark, cola colored with no head and only a few bubbles around the edge.
S - Slightly sour wine aroma, not surprising as it was aged in wine barrels.
T - All I taste is sour, no pumpkin or spaces.
M - Beer is rather thin, and flavor falls off pretty quickly. No carbonation to speak of.
O - I don't have any experience with sour beers, and I'm not a wine drinker so this was probably the wrong beer for me. I'm a big fan of pumpkin beers and wish I wish some pumpkin flavor had been present.

Photo of riotontheroad
4.65/5  rDev +20.5%

Really wish there was a touch more of pumpkin spice in this. Otherwise, great sour!

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.29/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an oversized wine glass- pours a hazy dark mahogany color with minimal head, lacing and retention.

Smells very tart- you can smell some burnt sugar and a little spice.

Tastes excellent- definitely very very tart, but I taste caramelized pumpkin later as well as a little fig and nutmeg and cinnamon.

Mouthfeel is very nice- medium bodied and well carbonated. If you don't like sour beers, do not waste your money on this. If you like sour beers, this is awesome and unique cause of the pumpkin aspect. It's not perfect but it is very good and worth a try.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

375 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep brown body. Small off-white head. Some lacing.

Smell - Musty and kinda bretty and earthy. Pumpkin spices, but I don't get pumpkin directly. A bit of that wine barrel.

Taste - Lots of pumpkin spices. Too many. Very earthy and spicy. Mild sourness. Builds in spice and sourness. Wine flavor linger.

Mouthfeel - Medium body and kinda gritty. Well carbonated.

Overall - Eh. Not working. Very odd spice flavors.

Photo of metter98
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is very dark reddish brown in color. It poured with a short white head that died down and only left a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of sourness and white wine barrels are present in the nose along with slight hints of pumpkin spices. The smell becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is a little sour and has notes of pumpkin spices along with some hints of pumpkins.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a low amount of carbonation.
O: This is more of a wild ale than a pumpkin ale but is an interesting hybrid of the two styles. I wish that the pumpkin and spices could have been a little stronger. It isn't nearly as sour as the other Almanac beers that I've had.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of rlee1390
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%

A-Cloudy amber brown not much carbonation.

S-Not much pumpkin, good bit of funk. Smells almost like a burnt pumpkin candle.

T-Some pumpkin, mild tartness good bit of burnt notes.

M-Lighter and not much carbonation.

O-The first Almanac that did not really do it for me. The pumpkin flavor was off and it was not that sour either.

Photo of MNishCT77
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.68 oz. (375 mL) bottle purchased online at CraftCity.com, unknown brewing/barreling/bottling date, poured into my The Lost Abbey teku glass, drank over 30 minutes

Photo of coobstar
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

doesn't taste like a can of pumpkin pie filling - A-

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a deep mahogany, almost black. two to three fingers of a tannish head that fades at a decent rate but doesn't leave much behind in terms of a lacing. dark and opaque.

Smell: strong pumpkin spice, nutmeg, maybe a touch of cinnamon. strong dark fruit aspect from cherries to blackberries. some dark roasted malts, and a touch of green apple skin tartness.

Taste: opens up with black cherries and blackberries. finish to the fruit is slightly tart. spices play in next with pumpkin spice, nutmeg and some cinnamon. brown sugar sweetness comes in followed by a dark malt base, with just a touch of roastiness.

Mouthfeel: medium to full bodied. slightly tart and refreshing. little to no lingering flavor.

Overall: I hoped for this one to be a bit more interesting. drinks mostly like a dark sour with spices thrown in, with pumpkin really not coming through besides the association with the spices. overall a pretty good beer but nothing I'll go out of my way for again.

Photo of Davepoolesque
3.19/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Dark. Slight sour. No pumpkin. Not a lot of flavor. Not really worth the visit on this one.

Photo of dalahodson
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Served on tap in a tulip glass. The brew was a dark brown/red. Had a dark cream head. The mouth feel was a sharp sour with a nice bitter after taste. the flavors were of dark fruit, cherry, raisins, figs. Had a nice malt back bone. The sour taste was there, but not overpowering. The brew went well with our cheese plate.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Bottle opened 10.22.14

Photo of MarshallBirdhouse
4.41/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was totally nuts. Loved it!

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Pours a dark brownish color with a light tan head. The aroma has a bit of sourness, spice, roast and pumpkin. The flavor is remarkable with great malt flavor, a solid sour core, pumpkin and light spices. Medium bodied, well carbonated. Overall, a very good beer and the name is spot on.

Photo of dar482
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

The beer comes in a dark mahogany color.

The aroma is of tart dark cherries, plum skin, lots of sour qualities along with a gentle roasted porter malt. Pumpkin spices and pumpkin underlying.

The flavor is hugely complex. A punch of tart in the front again of those tart cherries and almost Sour Patch Kid flavors. A middle layer of nutmeg and clove come through along with pumpkin. The beer then has a base of roasted malt like a porter that balances the brew.

All three elements of this "Dark Pumpkin Sour" are there, although revealing themselves in reverse order. An auspicious first Almanac beer for myself.

Photo of draheim
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375mL into a tulip. Pours a transparent brown w/ surprisingly minimal head, wondering if this is a bit undercarbonated.

Aroma is nicely tart, malty. Typical Almanac sour character.

Taste is sharply tart, acidic. Dark malt gives it a vaguely earthy quality. I'm not picking up much pumpkin or spice, these ingredients may serve more as a supporting role.

Mouthfeel is balanced and semi-dry. Initial apparent lack of carbonation rectified.

Overall another solid but predictable sour from Almanac.

Photo of cosmicevan
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle picked up locally and enjoyed from a almanac flute.

a - brew pours a brown black that has some highlights when held to the light. A thin fizzy head on the pour left a thin skin after a brief appearance.

s - nose is burgundy sour with lots of vanilla and soft hints of pumpkin. Soft hints of plastic.

t/m/o - certainly a lot going on with this one. Burgundy sour with some dry vinous qualities and spicing. The flavor leads with a puckery dark sour followed by a wash of big white wine notes and then finishes with some spicy pumpkin like smarties candy. Fairly sour but not offensive. Much like the black IPA, the dark sour is a tricky animal and I am not a fan of many, this one falls on the good side of the fence, but this is not the kind of beer I will actively seek out again.

Photo of WildSoul8
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

The bottle is printed and is beautiful. Great job on imagery, very classy. Poured into a tulip glass. Dark with reddish orange hues on the exterior. Smells sour, and metallic. Small thin layer of head dissipates to the edge of the glass at the top of my beer. At first sip sourness is medium, very little malt, clean, no pumpkin, no pumpkin spice, maybe an after thought of cloves, which is really nice. Can't seem to shake the metallic taste, it's not offensive, just not a great attribute. No caramel, no pumpkin even as it warms. I loves sours so I love this beer, but it lacks a the sophisticated complexity I was hoping for.

Photo of kemoarps
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pour initially looks to be a flat cola black, though holding it up to any amount of light reveals it to instead be a deeeeeeep rich mahogany. Practically no head to speak of, but a thin ring of off white around the edges. Small traces left behind.

Considerably more sour than I was expecting. I get a fair amount of red wine as well ,with layres ranging from red wine vinegar to port to just a medium bodied red wine.Some tobacco and leather as well which also surprises me a little bit.

Starts off smoothe and softly tart, with the wine flavours being favoured over the harsher vinegar-like aromas. In short order, the smoothe takes a fairly sharp sour turn, but never strays to the land of unpleasant (I'm not huge on sours, so this is a fine line for me). Still more cherry and wine than pumpkin, but the pie does begin to poke its nose in the door, mellowing and taking the sharp tart to a softer earthier place.

An interesting collision of worlds, one I'd drink again, but wouldn't go out of my way for. I'm not huge on sours or pumpkin, but can appreciate both, and this one is an interesting melding of the two.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%

Pour is dark, almost black, with ruby red edges and a fizzy tan head. Spice is very light, bready notes, lime and citrus. Taste has a bit more pumpkin spice, light bread, strong lime with a touch of citrus. Faintly acetic in the finish. Body is heavily carbonated, a bit slick on the back of the throat, prickly carbonation.

Photo of vitALEity
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Looks good, smells good, tastes good, good mouth feel. It's good.

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Dark Pumpkin Sour from Almanac Beer Co.
87 out of 100 based on 335 ratings.