1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin AleSamuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,136 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,136
Reviews: 588
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 15.8%
Wants: 43
Gots: 190 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brought back in 2010

(Beer added by: Kegatron on 11-10-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,136 | Reviews: 588 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Flounder57
3.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz beer was poured into a pibt glass

Appearance: The beer poured a very thin head that has reduced to nothing. The color of the beer is a ruby red/mohogany shade. There are signs of carboantion and the clarity is somewhat visible due to the dark shade

Smell: Smells delicious. Pumpkn spice, pumkpin, brown sugar, cinnamon, all spice, clove, and sweet malts.

Taste: All the same as smell, the taste lingers off very quickly. Nice balance of sweet malts too.

Mouthfeel: smooth, a decent amount of carbonation, watery and thin, and light bodies. Spices are starting to annoy me.

Overall: I will have to say that is not the best pumpkin beer I have tried, but a reasonable one at best. Wouldn't mind trying it out on draft if possible. I would try it again if it were offered to me.

Flounder57, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of steinlifter
4.38/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear amber...big foamy 1 inch head, that reduced to a 1/4 inch collar.
nose was of sweet pumpkin spice.
Taste is very satisfying, creamy full mouthfeel, nice pumpkin flavor,but not overwhelming, some roasted malts round this out nicely, DFH pumpkin ale is my fave, but I would put this one as my runner up, very well done...good stuff! :)

steinlifter, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of DannyDan
3.85/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark red amber with a thin tan head that leaves little retention and not much lacing. The smell is pumpkin and spices. The taste starts with some spices followed by some hops and pumpkin. The sweet caramel malt is consistent through out and gives it a nice balanced taste. The mouthfeel is sticky, but easy to drink and overall a very good tasting beer that gives Sam Adams another winner.

DannyDan, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of MadCat
4.2/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A beautiful reddish brown color, with a short tan head, leaves little lacing

Smell: Spices, pumpkin, and caramely malts

Taste: This really should be know as the pumpkin pie beer, because it tastes like you're drinking pumpkin pie. There is a generous amount of pumpkin pie spices and pumpkin, balanced out with some good caramely malts and some hops. It tastes much better than it sounds. I've had one pumpkin beer before, and it was nasty. This, however, is amazing. Sam Adams hit a home run with this one, in my book anyways. This alone is worth the purchase of the Fall 12 pack (though I like most of what that 12 pack contains).

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, with good carbonation. Gives you some of that thickness that pumpkin demands, but doesn't go overboard, as the beer isn't too rich.

Overall: Love it. With good brews like this, it makes me wonder how Sam Adams puts out some terribly mediocre stuff. But I guess with the kind of selection they offer, I'm not going to like everything.

MadCat, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of Fulky
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 16 oz taste activator glass.

Pours a deep amber red with practically no head even when poured hard to try and force one. Very little lacing if any.

Smells sweet of caramel and pumpkin spice. Nothing else too noticeable.

Taste is overwhelmingly creamy, sweet pumpkin pie. A reflection of roasted malt to finish.

Good amount of carbination, but not too dry or crisp. A fair medium, not too thick not too light.

Overall a pretty tasty beer but not one that I would like to have more than one or two of. I was anticipating this out of all of the beers in the Harvest Collection, but unfortunately it's not my favorite. I would recommend giving it a sampling though.

Fulky, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.68/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pretty good looking, very amber and pretty clear, head is good and lasts a bit, with a pretty good lace left behind.

Smell is nicely pumpkin, with some good spices and a nice malt backbone. Taste follows with sweet malts, spices, pumpkin, toffee.

Feel is nice and light, almost medium, easy to drink and medium carbonation.

A nice addition to the fall sampler. Not the best pumpkin ever but it's still pretty good stuff.

AlCaponeJunior, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of rmolledo
4.22/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark mahogany. Tan head. Nice lacing.
S: caramel sweetness. Toffee. Pumpkin spices.
T: toffee, caramel, light pumpkin spices. Roasted malts.
Mf: moderate body. Not too heavy. Moderate carbonation.
O: great pumpkin ale. Not over powering like most pumpkins ales.
Pretty refreshing.

rmolledo, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of rudzud
3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up from Julio's. Wante to try this for a couple years now...

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a rich, crystal clear deep copper almost hazelnut with a nice one finger creamy head that faded slowly to leave minimal side lacing and nice haloing.

S - Sweet malts, light pumpkin spice notes, and even some nice pumpkin.

T - More of the same. Some sweet malts typical pumpkin pie spices. A little bit of roasted veg (pumpkin) rounds things out.

M - Nice mouthfeel. Good carbonation for this style though it does feel slightly thin.

O - Overall I enjoyed this sam adam's offering. I'd rather drink this than a shipyard.

rudzud, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of MrOH
3.33/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Brilliant deep copper, verging on brown. No head to speak of, just a thin bit of foam that dies down. Don't really expect head from a pumpkin ale though. No lace.

Marshmallow, pie spices, roasted squash.

Pie spice, some tang, a little bit of sweet malt and squash. Spice lingers for quite a while.

Medium bodied. Medium-low carbonation. Slick feeling.

An ok pumpkin ale, especially for the ABV, but there are way better out.

MrOH, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of kflorence
2.93/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a deep, cherry, amber in color with some golden hues near the edges of the glass when held up to the light. A good amount of foamy head sits atop, but dissipates quickly to almost nothing and doesn't leave much lacing around, either. Carbonation looks good.

S: Earthy, manure and sweet, candy-like pumpkin aroma with a malty backbone and some spice. Not very appealing to me, and has an air of "fakeness" to it.

T: Very sweet up front with caramel and molasses malts followed by a lot of pumpkin and spice, bittering on the backend with a slight hop presence. The spice doesn't sit well with me, though I imagine pumpkin fans would appreciate this.

M: Medium bodied with light and active carbonation. A bit thin on the tongue, could use a little more chewiness. It would be quite drinkable for those who can palate the flavor.

O: I was disappointed with this one, but perhaps it's just me. I guess I just don't really care much for pumpkin and spice in beer, or, at the least, I'm just not in the mood for it. I found it quite hard to drink and I think I'll pass on this one in the future. That said, I gave the remaining brews to my buddy who promptly drank them down and said he quite liked them, so don't let my review deter you. A solid offering from the Boston Brewing Company, just not for me!

kflorence, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of tweeder263
3.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear dark red beer, two finger whitish head. Smells of pumpkin spices, lightly scented. A sweet tasting beer, mildly offset by subtle spices. No real mouthfeel to speak of. The beer overall is decent comparing to other pumpkin beers that ive had.

tweeder263, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of bgjohnston
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear dark brown with plenty of carbonation, although the head dies down very quickly. You can definitely pick up on the pumpkin spices, but the pumpkin itself is more elusive. It comes through better with a sip, but I would probably like this beer better with more real pumpkin flavor. Still, this is a nice tasting beer, although not as good as their Octoberfest for the seasonal style.

I liked it just fine, but would prefer one of their Octoberfest lagers if I had my choice in the cooler.

bgjohnston, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of elNopalero
3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass a wonderfully dark and deep auburn-tan color. It’s darker than I expected, almost the color of the brown glass bottle, but tinged with a ruddy reddish hue. Looks great, which is why I’ve spent so many characters on the appearance.

On the nose I’m picking up a lot of the spices that make the better pumpkin ales so enjoyable. Elsewhere I wrote how I prefer festbiers over pumpkin ales in terms of fall seasonal, and part of that is because I want those aspects of pumpkin ales that make them, well, pumpkin-ny, to be present. On this beer I’m definitely getting some allspice, hints of cinnamon and clove, maybe some nutmeg in the aroma as it warms. Not a lot of pumpkin aroma, but at this point in my tastings of pumpkin beers I don’t expect to smell pumpkin as much as taste it—or experience it vis-à-vis the spice profile.

…only, I’m not sure I’m tasting it, either. The spices hold up on the palate, with a curious finish. Is that pumpkin? Or just pumpkin spices added to beer? It’s not harsh but out-of-balance just enough to notice, almost like the point between boiling cinnamon for tea where it turns from being sweet and pleasant to bitter and harsh. Nice carbonation throughout makes for a pleasing, crisp refresh with each subsequent sip. I’d like to sit on this and see how it warms but I don’t think it will last me long enough. Described on the label as an amber ale and I feel that, aside from the spicing and vegetable portions this could be a bolder, better beer than their Irish red I tried the other night. A fun beer and one of the surprises in the Sam Adams Fall Sampler.

Update: I don’t know if it’s because it’s had another month to sit or it’s just the reviewer (me) picking up different things from the same beer but revisiting the SA Pumpkin Ale I definitely pick up a pumpkinny-malt profile that (going back to my notes and previous review) I either missed or didn’t notice at first. It’s there, folks. And it’s delicious.

elNopalero, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of airforbes1
3.73/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'm tackling a horizontal tasting of four pumpkin ales tonight. First up, Samuel Adams.

This beer is by far the darkest of the four. It almost looks like a brown ale. No head. There's a lot of cinnamon on the nose. It reminds me of apple cider (the non-alcoholic variety).

For me, the taste follows the nose. It tastes like apple cider to me as it has a strong cinnamon presence. There's an undercurrent of pumpkin puree, but it's the cinnamon that stands out. As a cinnamon fan, I'm OK with this.

As the beer warms, I'm finding it to be too sweet at first and and too hot on the finish. I expect some of that in pumpkin ales, but I'm finding the sweetness and the hotness to be a bit strong.

That said, I still like this beer and would consider buying it in a six-pack (if that was an option), especially at Samuel Adams' price point.

airforbes1, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of Fish113d
3.68/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served chilled (fridge) into a pint glass, it pours a dark reddish-amber color with about 1 pinky finger thick of tannish bubbly head that quickly dissipates to some bubbles on the surface. Fairly standard for the style.

Pumpkin spice and nutmeg jumps into my sinuses right away and overpower my nose. Some slight caramel also finds it's way. Overall, this is true to the style.

Sipping reveals a slightly roasty flavor of almonds or peanuts along with a nice cinnamon and pumpkin spice flavor. Pumpkin pie is very much what this tastes like having it with beer. What I expected, but even better than I expected.

Decent feel, but slightly watery on the finish. A lot of drying spice (cinnamon) really takes over the finish on this one. Makes me have to create saliva a bit due to how drying it is. Other than that, it's fairly nice.

Overall, a nice offering from a very solid brewery. There's nothing they can't pull off, make a ton of to include in boxes and ship to the masses. Well done!

Fish113d, Sep 19, 2011
Photo of tykees88
2.73/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A- a really nice white frothy head that i am not accustomed to with this pumpkin ale. The color is a very light brown with orange of course highlighting through the glass. very clear.

S- Spice overload. no hops very little malt just spices. But I like it here.

T- Spice overload a hotness from the cinnamon and nutmeg. Just a hot mess.

M- It's carbonated nicely and it also is a nice medium bodied beer.

O- The taste kills it, and the taste is the most important part of beer

tykees88, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of zaphodchak
3.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

About a finger of fine, yellowish head on an orangey-amber body.

Smell is very pumpkin-pie-ish, lots of nutmeg and spice.

Body contains a lot of spice, and some of the pumpkin. It's quite nice but tastes watered-down somehow.

Mouthfeel is textured, but again, thin, and somehow watered-down.

As far as macro pumpkin beers go, it's good. Mostly spice rather than pumpkin, but still good. Just not great.

zaphodchak, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of Kestrel452
5/5  rDev +43.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pleased to say that this is a nice drinkable pumpkin ale, in fact I like it a lot. You can definitely taste the pumpkin and it has pretty much the perfect amount of spice backing it up. This pumpkin beer is really the only one I've tried so far that actually reminds me of the Fall season, and I'd have to say it's my favorite as well. It's drinkable enough to be a good session beer, but it's not at any loss for flavor. It just gets everything right in terms of what a pumpkin ale should be. Let's all give thanks to the Steve Jobs of beer, Jim Koch.


Kestrel452, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of JayS2629
3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber with orange hints and a thick white head that fades quickly to a film. Leaves nice walls of lace.

The aroma has subtle pumpkin pie spices, toasted malts, and a touch of caramel. Low hops, but they come out a bit in the finish. Leafy.

Nice balance of gentle leafy hops with toasty grains, some nutty notes and a touch of caramel. Pie spices and pumpkin are faint but nice.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and slightly creamy

Overall an easy drinking beer that hints at pumpkin pie, but I tend more towards wanting more sweetness like some other pumpkin beers. However, they did good on making an easy drinking subtle version.

JayS2629, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of mnrider
3.1/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. brown bottle. Fresh to Date

A: Pours a dark amber with a thin almost nothing head after an initial quick forming foam.

S: Although pumpkin is the wanted flavor, spices are most dominant tot he nose. Malts bring up the rear.

T/M: Tastes like fall. The beer is smooth and clean. Not much pumpkin flavor going on. This is sad because the label clearly says Pumpkin Ale. Chewy malts and a lot of spice with an aftertaste I'm not to fond of.

O: A good beer. Not bad, not bad. I wouldn't call it a pumpkin ale but more of a spiced autumn brew. Not sure if I'd get this on its own, but in a mix pack it is good.


mnrider, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of Brunite
4.13/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer pours a orange-brown color...an ecru head...very Fall-like. Nice head....minimal lacing.

S: Subtle but present. Classic pie spices are there.

T: Balanced. Nice pumpkin flavors that meld well with the allotted spices. There is also a nice caramel malt presence.

M: Creamy. Each swirl creates a head that lends to the creamy smoothness.

O: I like it. The 2nd best I have had of the style. (Pumking rules...but too much ABV for regular consumption. This is a nice beer that provides caramel malt, pumpkin, and spice flavors. Not over the top...but solid, tasty, and drinkable.

Brunite, Sep 15, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.98/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the Samuel Adams Harvest Collection Pack - $14.99 at the nearby Publix grocery store in Canton, Georgia. Enjoy Before: Jan 2012.

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep amber-hued body with a finger's worth of ivory foam, though it's rather short-lived.

Smell: Sweetish, bready malt notes paired with a scent of pumpkin and encompassed by a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger.

Taste: Bready, toasty malts with sweet hints of dark brown sugar. Has a good amount of squashy pumpkin flavor as well as the expected pumpkin pie spice blend (without becoming heavy-handed and overbearing) and, of course, the SA proprietary house yeast. Faint, faint touch from the herbal English hops, with a very low bitterness, allowed the spices to do their thing. Small bit of heat from the cinnamon and ginger. A bit of stickiness on the drying, gently spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: I thought it was a very solid, well-constructed pumpkin ale; a nice addition to the Autumn mix.

ChainGangGuy, Sep 15, 2011
Photo of JizackFH
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer pours a dark red mahogany color. It has a nice 2-finger light tan head on it. The head has decent retention, and it leaves behind some specs of lace on the glass.

S - The smell has a nice bit of holiday spice to it. I am getting some cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin. There is also some caramel malt and a decent hop presence as well.

T - The taste starts off with some bready and caramel malt. Then there is some spice that comes into play, mostly cinnamon and nutmeg. There isn't much actual pumpkin presence at all. Also, I am getting a very mild hop flavor. The finish is pretty clean, and just leaves a little bit of lingering spices on the tongue.

M - This has a medium body and good carbonation. It goes down easy, and it has a nice smooth feel to it. There is some sweetness from the malt, and some tingling from the spices.

O - This has good drinkability. I wouldn't mind a few pints of this on a breezy autumn night. Overall, I thought this was a pretty solid, and easy going pumpkin ale. I think it's worth a try, and I would drink it again.

JizackFH, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.68/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz brown pop-top, best by January, 2012.

Appearance: Rich burnt orange beer with bright clarity, topped with a light caramel cap which soon fades to a thick, substantial ring and patchy foam.

Smell: Overall, pretty nice! Pumpkin pie spice, dark molasses cookie, and some mild fruity esters. I especially like the molasses cookie-like sweetness in the background.

Taste: Doesn't quite live up to the aromas. The spice flavors are nice, but and there's a bit of that cookie-like or pumpkin bread-like sweetness, but it feels a bit thin. Without quite enough malt background, the spices and mild hop bitterness come off a bit unbalanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied...good for the style

Overall: Thus far, I've found one excellent Pumpkin ale (Schlafly), two very good ones (Summit Imperial Pumpkin Porter and Pumking), several fair examples, and a couple of poor ones. While this is fairly solid, I think this would have to fall between the 'very good' and 'fair' categories.

BedetheVenerable, Sep 14, 2011
Photo of CraftBeerTastic
2.28/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Ba Review #64
Served On: 9/12/2011
Glassware: Shaker Pint

This was from the 2011 Sam Adams Harvest mixed 12 pack.

Look: Color was a clear deep copper – almost ruby red. Carbonation bubbles were everywhere. Head was virtually nonexistent. Beautiful color though.

Smell: A candy sweetness – like candy apple or hardtack. Some spice, but mostly the candy smell. Some slight pumpkin, but seemed rather artificial.

Taste: First was a pungent artificial pumpkin pie taste. The spice was mixed in somewhere but hard to separate it from the intense pumpkin ‘air freshener’ flavoring. After a few more sips, it started to become extremely overpowering. I certainly couldn’t handle more than one of these before becoming ill.

Enough said…

CraftBeerTastic, Sep 12, 2011
Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
79 out of 100 based on 2,136 ratings.