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Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine - Almanac Beer Co.

Not Rated.
Heirloom Pumpkin BarleywineHeirloom Pumpkin Barleywine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

758 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 758
Reviews: 103
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 10.69%
Wants: 153
Gots: 147 | FT: 27
Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Rollzroyce21 on 08-02-2013

50% ale brewed with pumpkins aged in brandy barrels
50% ale brewed with spices

This is a beer made with real pumpkins. We hand-roasted over 500lbs of heirloom pumpkins from La Tercera Farms in Bodega Bay. The caramelized gourds were then added to our velvety American Barleywine and aged in brandy barrels for a year. Finally, we blended the barrel-aged beer with freshly brewed ale and added a delicate hint of pumpkin pie spices to round out this decadent autumn sipper.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 758 | Reviews: 103
Photo of Franziskaner
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Murky deep brown I color with little light seeping through. There's a fingernail of beige on top. The flavor is a complex blend of pumpkin, nutmeg,cinnamon with a bit of brandy after the swallow. The mouth is thick and rich but considering the strength I would call it smooth.

Photo of tjk135
4.34/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Really good pumpkin beer. Lots going on with this one, including some tartness. As others have stated, not sure if this was intended but I really enjoyed this beer with the tartness. Split a bottle with a friend and the top half of the bottle tasted very different from the bottom. First pour was much sweeter than tart, but both were excellent.

Photo of atone315
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Doesn't taste like a b-wine, can't pick up much of the barrel , and not exactly a pumpkin ale....although I get a little bit of each, with quite a bit of tartness...I still enjoyed this brew. Would love to know if this is what Almanac wanted me to taste or not. Will seek out more to see if there is bottle variation.

Photo of rjp217
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acidity is kicking in on my 2014 bottle. The tartness somehow works with the pumpkin and brady barrel. Not sure if this an infection or a Brewers intention but it works.

Photo of Josh012012
4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a strong presence of pumpkin spice is the dominant flavor with very mild brandy barrel. doesn't really taste much like a barleywine but more like a pumpkin ale.. .also this must be the mildest 12% beer I've ever had.. alcohol is not perceivable. overall this has a nice balance and mouth feel and delivers good pumpkin spice flavor... one of the better pumpkin beers out there

Photo of MenardMa
3.51/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

As a couple other reviews have mentioned, my bottle was pretty sour which I didn't really expect. Still tastes decent but not at all what I was anticipating. Mine tastes a bit like a tart white wine with pumpkin pie spices.

Photo of dannyfayy
3.15/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Slightly sour. I had high hopes, was a bit of a letdown.

Photo of rand
4.29/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From 12 oz bottle to tulip

A stodgy-looking orange-brown brew, sudsy and viscous, yields huge wafts of grainy sugars and holiday spice, propelled by ample alcohols volatiles. It tastes as it should, pumpkin-y, resiny, oaky, but lactic acid and a prominent hop profile give this brew complexion and depth it's contemporaries often lack. This is well crafted and tasty.

Photo of Brabander
3.77/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I am not really a pumpkin ale man so this one was my cup of tea. Decent head and nice lacing, no carbonation. Slight sourness and the barrel is far away noticable.

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got in a trade with RaulMondesi. 375 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 8/4/2014. Pours hazy dark orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of tart cherry, pumpkin, green apple, caramel, brown sugar, toast, red wine, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, oak, leather, vinegar, light vanilla, and oak/spice earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, spices, and oak barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big tart cherry, pumpkin, green apple, caramel, brown sugar, toast, red wine, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, oak, leather, vinegar, light vanilla, and oak/spice earthiness. Fair amount of earthy spiciness and fruity tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of cherry, pumpkin, green apple, caramel, brown sugar, toast, red wine, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, oak, leather, vinegar, and oak/spice earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity and robustness of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, spices, and oak barrel flavors; with a good malt/spice/tartness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and fairly creamy/acidic mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice pumpkin beer. I obviously got an infected bottle; but it still turned out very tasty with balanced malt, spice, and barrel flavors with the tart/fruity yeast notes. A very enjoyable offering even with the infection.

Photo of Treyliff
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled sutumn 2014, poured into a tegu glass

A- pours a bright clear amber color with a ruby hue, small foamy white head eventually reduces to a thin layer skimming the top, some nice lacing left behind

S- caramelized pumpkin & brown sugar sweetness mixes with subtle cinnamon & nutmeg. Brandy, oak barrel and a touch of spicy rye, buttered rum

T- surprisingly tart up front with notes of pumpkin, cinnamon & clove immediately kicking in. Brown sugar/caramel sweetness mixes with the barrel flavors of brandy, oak & spicy notes from the rye barrel. There's still a slight hop presence with some herbal/earthy hop flavor before finishing sweet and fruity with more tart linger

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a tart & dry finish, ABV is hidden brilliantly

O- quite a different take on a pumpkin beer, and it's outstanding. Perhaps we need more pumpkin barleywines

Photo of Kevinpitts
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting take on a pumpkin ale. Lots of spice and pumpkin flavor. Slight peppery flavor which lessens as it warms leading to other spices. Definitely a complex take on a pumpkin beer. Not my favorite pumpkin beer, but definitely worth trying.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.04/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Firestone Walker snifter. Pours a hazy orange amber with a half finger light khaki head that dissipates slowly to a thick film with nice lacing. Nice holiday aroma of pumpkin, light brandy, caramel malt, faint pie spicing. Flavor is pumpkin, light caramel malt, cinnamon and clove, finishing lighter with some tartness; mild butteriness and pumpkin finish that is reminiscent of fresh pumpkin ready to baked into a pie. Medium bodied without the expected heaviness of a barleywine. A nicely made, well balanced pumpkin ale with a great interplay of malt and pumpkin and light, but distinct pie spicing. The light tartness was expected from this brewery that excels at sours, and seemed to be more a yeast flavor than rye (which I would have preferred). Not quite to my taste, but nicely made and flavorful as anticipated from Almanac. Brandy flavor is present, but I wouldn't have identified without prior knowledge. Interesting and festive.

Photo of brentk56
4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled Autumn 2013

Appearance: A hard pour produces a rocky two inch head that leaves some patchy lace; the liquid is a muddy tea brown color

Smell: Buttered Rum, pumpkin, Brandy and caramel dominant; subtle hints of cinnamon and nutmeg

Taste: The buttered Rum and caramel flavors lay down a sweet backbone, with the pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg spices building in the middle; after the swallow, the Brandy barrel adds another layer of flavor; there is an oddly metallic tone in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet, though not as much as would be expected given the ABV

Overall: A really different take on a pumpkin beer with great complexity and nice balance

Thanks, c64person, for the opportunity

Photo of Ancalagon
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Excellent beer. Look reminds me of leaves falling from the tree. Smell is sweet with pumpkin and brandy. Taste is exceptional. Heavy on the pumpkin. Also taste vanilla and nutmeg and slight tartness. Feel is very thin. Can't believe it is 12%. Overall, this is an exceptional pumpkin/barley wine ale. Very great pumpkin flavor.

Photo of Getalegup
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Really good! Amber. Light spice, pumpkin smell. Spice, pumpkin, brandy, vanilla flavor that gets better as it warms. Thin. ABV is well hidden.

Photo of joeyfeets
4.04/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Im generally not a huge fan of the style but this beer is hands down one of the best pumpkin beers Ive ever had. The flavor of brandy is slight & mixes very well with the vanilla, malts & roasty pumpkin flavors. The nose is sweet & slightly spicy. Even the color of the brew is a perfect light copper color. Very reminiscent of pumpkin. Although we hit double digit abv with this one, the alcohol is perfectly hidden. Very drinkable. A "spooktacular" beer.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.01/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Curran tonight.

This one pours a light amber color, with a small head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells very strongly of pumpkin flesh, with brandy, cinnamon, brown sugar, and clove.

This is a pretty strong beer, as evinced by the ABV and it being a barleywine. I get a ton of real, authentic pumpkin flesh, tons of the usual pumpkin spices- clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc, some vanilla, a ton of sweet boozy brandy, and a bit of oak.

This is pretty thin bodied for the ABV, honestly, slightly disappointing. There's a sweet, slightly syrupy mouthfeel, and a lower level of carbonation.

This is really interesting, but didn't quite meet the hype for me.

Photo of VashonGuy
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%

This is a unique beer. Classified as a barleywine, but hey, it's tart! Is it a sour? No, not really, but it's definitely got a tart character. Is it a pumpkin ale? No, not really. The pumpkin is part of the show, but in a supporting role at most.

Half of this ale mixture was aged in rye and brandy barrels, and you can pick up that barrel aged character, but again, it's not the dominant note.

This beer is pretty spicy. It's got a thinnish mouthfeel. Nice appearance, with a good head up front. Color is amber. Aroma has the pumpkin and the barrel aging and the spices. And did I mention that it's a little tart? The 12% ABV is hidden to a remarkable extent - beware!

Really a remarkable creation by the folks at Farm to Barrel. In 2013, this was one of my two most favorite pumpkin beers, and in 2014, it's at the top of the charts again!

Photo of emerge077
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Skye for this one! :thumbup:

Body was a bright coppery orange, with a compact layer of off-white foam on the surface. Minimal spotty lacing, nice clarity.

Aroma was nice, fairly complex with pumpkin spices and an undercurrent of sweet brandy warmth.

Taste was similarly complex with boozy barrel elements upfront, sticky toffee and vanilla, with pumpkin spices of nutmeg and clove in the periphery. Full bodied and sticky, we split this 4 ways and that was enough, though i'd try it again if I saw it. Unique use of pumpkin for sure.

Photo of Impfan
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Beautiful balance of pumpkin, pumpkin spice, rye barrel, and brandy barrel. All the ingredients are very soft and natural tasting, and the barrel influence is paradoxically very present, and yet subtle and nuanced. Unlike even the better pumpkin ales I've enjoyed, this one is blissfully devoid of that perfumy, over-spiced character, and is redolent of real gourd goodness. Wow!

Photo of coloradopumpkinbeerfreak
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Boozy on the nose with aromatics of cinnamon, nutmeg, oak, pumpkin sweetness. Beautiful deep orange hues with good lacing when poured in a snifter. taste I am hit with initial sweetness as well as some nice spice, and then it moves into the warmth and brandy notes and syrupy mouthfeel. I love this beer. I found Almanac at GABF and was very lucky to snag this bottle. No rye detected. Great beer.

Photo of CraftFan5
4.84/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

No idea what this was supposed to taste like, but I was very pleasantly suprised.

For a 12% barleywine, I was expecting a thick, dark, pumpkin-y brew. Instead, I got a light, tart, pre-Thanksgiving holiday treat. It's possible it was infected, because I'm not sure it was supposed to be tart, but I enjoyed it immensely anyway. Appearance was standard for a pumpkin ale - a deep orange with a light fluffy head. Nose had that slight tartness along with the pumkin and spices. Taste had all the holiday spices you could ask for. The tartness was definitely there, adding to the complexity of this beer. I couldn't taste the 12% at all, like at all at all. Mouth was medium to light with a pleasant amount of carbonation. This was a masterpiece, accidental or not.

Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is hazy yellowish amber in color. It poured with nearly a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving only wispy lacing covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of sourness and pumpkins are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is a little sour and has notes of pumpkins and spices in the flavors. Hints of whiskey are also perceptible.
M: It feels just about medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is rather drinkable for a 12% abv beer as it hides its alcohol very well. I liked how it wasn't dominated by flavors of pumpkins or pumpkin spices.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of i4ourgot
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Great beer I get a little scared when it comes to fruit or vegetable beers. I am not a fan of a beer with a overpowering dominant flavor. This beer pours with little to no head, a little lighter in color than maple syrup. Very light in carbonation but the body is rich. Lots of caramel flavors and fruity raisin/ fig. This beer is sweet but not overly sweet. Lots of different caramel flavors come out. Some oak vanilla and whiskey flavors are present as well. I really enjoyed this beer and the barrel ageing really does wonders for this beer.

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Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine from Almanac Beer Co.
94 out of 100 based on 758 ratings.