Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine - Almanac Beer Co.

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Heirloom Pumpkin BarleywineHeirloom Pumpkin Barleywine

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766 Ratings
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Ratings: 766
Reviews: 104
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 10.69%
Wants: 148
Gots: 147 | FT: 24
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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Ratings: 766 | Reviews: 104
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.

Photo of kemoarps
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep russet red, little bit of an off white head, quickly returns to just the ring around the rosie, though it leaves little to no poseys in the glass pocket.

Nose starts out a little bit sour, but I do get a bit of the syrupy sweet barleywine malts, some tobacco, and just a touch of grassy greenery, though not much. Towards the end it gets a fruit-meat rounded edge to it that could easily be attributable to the pumpkin, and there's a brush of pie spice to remind you that indeed, this is a pumpkin-ified beverage. The brandy sweet and rye spice don't particularly stand out.

Starts off with that familiar barleywine sweetness that I absolutely love so much, a vintage table soon gives way to the tartness that was promised on the nose and some of that smoothe/sweet brandy. The tart notes actually kind of serve to accent the alcohol, and the brandy specifically. Finishes by throwing it all together for a grand finale: traditional boozy barleywine, tart pucker-side, a bit of brandy booze, and then on the finish/aftertaste, the ghost of pumpkin spice past flutters by and gently brushes your cheek to remind you it's there, it's watching you, but it's not doing too much.

Lightly carbonated the bubbles join together with the sour notes to accent their presence as well as the alcohol, while contributing to downplay the BW side, and almost completely negating the pumpkin.

Very pleasant surprise, considering it's not even the beer I thought I had bought. My first experience with combining sour tendencies with a BW, and while it's not a perfect fit, it works for the most part. The pumpkin is an afterthought, and the brandy/rye aging, while interesting and a net positive, may be a little superfluous.

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Server in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Hazy brown-copper, heavy bubbles in the body. Orange tinted white head rising roughly a fibger's length.

Smell: strong pumpkins.

Taste: Seriously a story mix of white wine and pumpkin with a hard hit of sweet fruit. This beer seriously is one if the most complicated I have had in a longtime which already gets extra points with me.

Mouth: medium to heavy bubbles, real f'n sticky. Sour finish that will crush your palates.

Overall: First piece of advice let it warm up, it gets better and better as it closes in on room temperature. Complex taste, I know I said it before but I can't emphasize it. Grab a glass and indulge...salud!

Photo of TheCuriograph
3.99/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Pours an opaque rosy amber with a fleeting rocky head.

S - The nose is strangely barnyard, with crisp cider notes and musty dried hay. It’s grassy and sweet, with notes of kiwi and unripe apple. A bit wild without being funky, there’s not actually a dominant pumpkin-spice smell.

T - Tartness isn’t as pronounced in the taste as the nose would suggest. Rather, you get malted mealiness and oak (though little whisky) and, at last, the pumpkin and spice. There’s cinnamon, cloves, pepper, but also lemon zest, pear and fuji apple.

M - Quite lightweight and dry for its ABV.

Most pumpkin beers taste like pumpkin pie filling, while Almanac’s is reminiscent of a gourd cut open straight form the patch. As delicate and bright as Heirloom Pumpkin is, I’m not sure it’ll unseat Pumking as my preferred pumpkin ale. Almanac’s beer is brighter, tarter, and dewier. It’s also higher in ABV by nearly half. A tasty diversion, not a seasonal staple.

Photo of Furlinator
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%

Bottled Autumn 2014.

Pours a hazy orange amber. The 1/4 inch off-white head fades to a thin film and ring on top and leaves spots of lace.

The smell is of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and roasted pumpkin.

The taste is of pumpkin pie, with pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, burnt sugar and faint citrus.

The texture is heavy bodied with medium carbonation.

A well done pumpkin barleywine with impressive pumpkin pie flavor and a pleasantly thick mouthfeel.

Photo of burymeinhops
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Spiced nose. Winey/brandy up front pumpkin in the back

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This is a very good beer- I don't like pumpkin beers or barley wines so this is a real success. Pours a slightly hazy amber mahogany color with little head, good retention and some nice lacing.

Smells like pumpkin, caramel, and a little rye whiskey.

Tastes like malt, caramel, pumpkin, brandy, a little rye spice but not as much as the nose.

Medium full bodied and modestly carbonated. I realoymlikemthis one but it is pricey and I'd probably get their other beers over this one.

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

Bottled 'Autumn 2014'

Pours a dark orange with lighter orange hues towards the top and bottom. No head or retention, low lacing, nice legs

Smells pretty tart for a barley wine. Lots of pumpkin, vinegar, leather, oak, caramel, cherry, and alcohol. Smells almost like a sour, not a BW. Pretty complex though

Taste of upfront pumpkin, clove, spices, oak, vinegar, tart cherry, and alcohol. Comes together pretty well, again really complex

Feel confuses me. Tastes like a barley wine upfront, but has a sour twist on the finish. Moderate body, alcohol hidden very well for how strong it is

Overall weird but delicious. Would be fun to age

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fleshy and meaty pumpkin, rich spicing, nutmeg, cinnamon, enveloped in sweet brandy heat...a really well done and enjoyable pumpkin-centric barleywine.

Photo of Tele
4.26/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type: Bottle
2014 Vintage

A: 4 Fairly hazy reddish, brown with a one-inch light tan head.

S: 4.25 There is a ton of pumpkin pie spice on the aroma; ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. The spices all smell very fresh, unlike some flavored ales that can have a stale aroma. There’s also sweet malt and a bit of oak and vanilla in the background, but the spice really dominates.

T: 4.25 The taste is pretty similar to the nose, however the spices seem a bit more under control. There’s more balance between the base beer and the added flavors. A bit of funk shows up at first, but as the beer warms it settles into more conventional barleywine flavors. Sweetness from the malt is balanced by a pleasant bitterness on the finish with mild oak and vanilla throughout. The spices are still strong and cover up the nuance of the different barrels used, but it’s much more balanced than the nose.

M: 4.5 I really love the body of this beer. It’s quite substantial and viscous while the slightly dry and bitter finish leaves you wanting more. Also, the carbonation is just about right for the style.

O: 4.25 If you like flavored beers, this is a great example. The spices are strong and fresh, matching the beer very well. Like most spiced beers, it is a bit overwhelmed by the spices. However, there are still some interesting flavors going on while tasting like a big glass of fall.

Photo of ronricorossi
4/5  rDev -5%

bottle from Beer Rev in Oakland - pumpkin spice flavors are well done. It's heavy, but it's not overly think or syrupy like some barleywines can get. Body and carbonation levels are spot on. Really nice. Recommended.

Photo of Kgoldsbe
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Subtle pumpkin flavor but none of the spices usually associated with pumpkin pie.

Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%

The Pumking just lost his crown.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Super psyched to have picked this one up locally (welcome to NY almanac!). Enjoyed from a almanac flute.

a - brew pours a murky mahogany brown with a murky dark core and some rubyish highlights. Thin khaki head hung out as a deep ring clinging to the glass on the surface.

s - nose is majestic. Cinnamon pumpkin brandy. Great barrel to blend with a pumpkin beer...kind of like rumpkin lite.

t/m/o - SPOT ON! Really well balanced barrel aged pumpkin. The fact that it is a barleywine is not lost here. The pumpkin glazed over the caramel malt and then aged in brandy is simply the recipe to happiness. I don't get much of the rye but here is definitely wood and the blend is like a softly cinnamonized pumpkin sangria. Definitely check it out!

Photo of Axe_patel
4/5  rDev -5%


Photo of Greywulfken
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%

A: hazy amber-brown ale with a couple of fingers of tan head that thinned to a filmy cap and lace tendrils

S: spiced pumpkin, a sweetened vegetal aroma; vague wine and whiskey and wood...

T: barrel-aging is assertive with the pumpkin in the foreground; rye wood barrels and brandy wine elements at play in the vegetable patch; pumpkin and autumnal spice, faintly sweetened, mix effortlessly with herbal and earthy dankness

M: rich and smooth, medium-full body, slight tingle; chewy character with some density

O: a finely crafted marriage between pumpkin ale and American barleywine - hops are dank and earthy, lots of wood and musk; clean, fresh tasting raw pumpkin flavors are elevated through spice and sugar; barrel characteristics come forward to say hello, and then slide into the background, keeping everything a little lighter, tighter, and airier than they would have been otherwise. Epic.

Photo of Bonsall_Phil
4.64/5  rDev +10.2%

Purchased Sept 2014 from Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido Ca

V: Pours murky, the color of auburn hair with an off-white head to about one-finger with aggressive pour. The head lingers and holds stubbornly, leaving a thin lacing as the beer is consumed. (4.15)

S: Roasted vegetable on the scent, somewhere between well-roasted pumpkin and carrot with spice, cloves in particular but not overbearing. It does not smell like a pumpkin pie, but if you have ever made one from scratch, it smells somewhat like the mixture of pumpkin and spices before you place it into the crust for cooking. (4.6)

T Not far off the nose at all! Spice is there but not front-and-center, it is really the pumpkin that is predominant. The allspice/clove is noticeable but does not carry the flavor alone. I am truly amazing that the 12% ABV is so well hidden... this beer could be trouble in that regard ;)
Goes down so easy even with the unusual and strong taste of roasted pumpkin, sugars and spices. I would also like to note that the warmer this beer got, the better it tasted. Aftertaste was a caramelized pumpkin, resting brightly on the tongue. (4.8)

M: Thick and slick, silky smooth. Coasting the tongue luxuriously, the mouth feel is absolutely perfect and complimentary to the taste. (5.0)

I was completely surprised by this offering. So spectacularly made, I have tried many pumpkin beers that, out of respect to the makers, I did not review as I was disappointed greatly. This is the first pumpkin beer that excited me enough to want to seek out to have more. I intend on buying and cellaring.

Photo of theholygose
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Appearance - dark hazy orange/brown with a neat head

Aroma - carmely/buttery pumpkin, spice, brown sugar. Smells amazing.

Taste - lots of spice upfront, mellows out with a ton of malt and clear crisp and sweet pumpkin, caramel from the malts in the background.

Mouthfeel - full and heavy but not abrasive. Light carbonation and low acidity.

Overall - a fantastic brew, well worth the usual Almanac price for this different experience

Photo of dar482
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

The beer comes in a rich dark orange amber.

The aroma hits of deep and bold pumpkin that is not covered too aggressively by the cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. There's a big caramel sugary and maple syrup sweetness in there as well.

The flavor follows with a pop of cinnamon and nutmeg, surrounded by sweet pumpkin. Vanilla from the barrel shines through along with the brandy sweetness. There's then a sweetness of toffee and maple syrup. On the back palate, the barleywine comes through and offers a light woody bitterness to balance out the beer.

One of the best pumpkin beers I've ever had. Highly recommended for those unable to get Good Gourd Almighty.

Photo of tclipse
1/5  rDev -76.2%

My bottle was completely infected and as sour as their Dogpatch or Farmer's Reserve bottles.... not a good match with pumpkin and spice. I love Almanac's sours, but this wasn't supposed to be one of them.... 1/5 review given for the quality control issue.

I will edit this if I am able to try it again, but as I am on the east coast, that is not likely, and I am really disappointed.

Photo of Beerzebub
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%

Autumn 2014 bottle. Smells terrific - caramelized pumpkin, dark crusty bread, brown sugar, and well integrated spices - cohesive blend of spices, with cinnamon, nutmeg, and dried ginger the most noticeable. Similar elements on the palate, along with flavors from the brandy and rye barrels which come through more than in the aroma. Spicy cigar tobacco. Nice depth and complexity. Sweet, but not overly so, and dries out in the finish as a touch of bitterness comes in. Lingering old liquor barrels, tobacco, and spice, quite tasty.

Photo of _RL_
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Oh my. This is delicious. A good deal more nuance than most pumpkin beers and much less sweetness and in-your-face buttery or sweet pumpkin flavor than Pumking or Schlafly's Pumpkin beer. Extremely smooth and drinkable - not at all a sipping beer despite the 12% abv. I agree with an earlier review that the flavor and aroma is unique. Just outstanding.

Photo of hopsputin
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%

a: a hazy murky dark brown color with a hint of light purple matte. not much head to speak of, but that to be expected from a 12%

s: pumpkins, sweet potatoes, brown sugar, caramel. smoothly fades into some definite brandy notes along with a hint of wood and some more sweet sugar

t: the flavor profile in here is truly unique. you can feel the flavors transiting inside your mouth after the first sip. pumpkins up front with a hint of ginger. that fades into a nice pumpkin pie flavor, which definitely includes some nice spices and a bunch of clove. there is a nice pie crust flavor that follows which includes more of those spices. this finishes with the barrels. brandy for sure in here, but not in a way that it dominates the flavor - its more of an afterthought and then you pick up the alcohol in here; yes there is some, but helps cut some of the sweet

m: its on the fuller side of medium. medium carbonation

o: truly complex flavor profile in this beer, that really put a smile on my face. all i will say is if you are a lover of pumpkin beers, give this one a try

Photo of MrMoose916
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

A: Mahogany brown, slight orange tinge.

S: Tons of spice; Cinnamon is dominant, clove, nutmeg, ginger, I also get a fairly nice sniff of the rye barrel, but don't get much brandy

T: Wow wow follows the nose very nicely; tons of spice (ginger, cinnamon, clove), sweet pumpkin, carmel, the rye and brandy mesh so well. Excellent

M: Medium-full mouthfeel, right on for the style

O: this is an amazing pumpkin beer, I am blessed to live so close to the brewery so I pick up several bottles for the fall season, everything goes together so well in this beer, I highly recommend picking up or trading for this beer. Cheers.

Photo of trippytbta
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Bottle poured into tulip

A: Pours amber brown with tiny off white head

S: sweet carmel pumpkin

T: As it warms up it is perfect alcoholic pumpkin pie

M: full to medium bodied

Overall: Pumpkin barleywine, such an epic style, and Almanac does this perfectly.

Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine from Almanac Beer Co.
94 out of 100 based on 766 ratings.