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Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale - Carolina Beer Company

Not Rated.
Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced AleCottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

163 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 163
Reviews: 143
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 10
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Carolina Beer Company visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: aracauna on 09-18-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 163 | Reviews: 143 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stevew77
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

stevew77, Oct 09, 2013
Photo of Hanzo
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Hanzo, Mar 03, 2012
Photo of Sivad
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Sivad, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of Bieregod
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

Bieregod, Sep 26, 2012
Photo of doppelmeup
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is like pumpkin pie in a bottle! This should be the standard from which all other pumpkin ales are measured, IMHO!

Poured a deep, pumpkin color into a pint glass. Not a great head, and minimal lacing. Very nice coloring.

Aromas of pumpkin pie spice and fresh pumpkin. Allspice predominates with side notes of ginger and cloves. Not much in the way of hops or malts, but I wasn't really expecting any of those aromas.

Taste was exactly what I would think a pumpkin ale should taste like. Mild spiciness with pumpkin flavor, but not overly sweet or cloying. Just an overall nice flavor. Without a doubt the best pumpkin ale I have had.

Light, slightly fizzy mouthfeel keeps this beer refreshing, yet it still has a rich, full body. A beer of this style could risk being slightly overpowering, but Cottonwood balances the flavors and mouthfeel perfectly, IMO.

Very drinkable pumpkin ale. An excellent brew for the Fall when evenings start cooling down. I drank this with a bowl of beef stew and it was an excellent choice of beverage. Highly recommended.

doppelmeup, Sep 06, 2006
Photo of mmmbeer
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz with no freshness date. I poured it like a hefe to get all the unfiltered goodies out. The body is an opaque raspberry/brown with some sediment and a 1 finger yellowish/tan head that doesn't leave lacing but a thin blanket of foam remains throughout. It looks like a dank IPA. Soft pumpkin pie aroma - real pumpkin pie with a light spicing of nutmeg and cloves. Tastes like pumpkin pie also. Nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin, a bit of cinnamon... some sweetness and the malts/hops of the beer make faint appearances in the second half. The body is medium and fairly smooth but the carbonation is a bit sharp at times. Overall it's very tasty and I wish I had a slice of pie to pair it with.

mmmbeer, Nov 03, 2005
Photo of Metalmonk
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This beer holds special nostalgic value for me, as it defined my fall of 2003, particularly the music I was heavily getting into at the time. I go back in time by just smelling it, revisiting the look, feel and sound of used vinyl records, the sounds emanating from the hi-fi, and that particular melancholy, bittersweet feeling exclusive to the onset of autumn. This tells you nothing about the beer, but I can't review the beer without mentioning it. I drank my share that autumn, and will continue to buy a case every season. Not just for nostalgic reasons, it remains the best pumpkin ale I've tried so far...but I'm far from having tried them all. I'm still looking for something to beat it.

This beer doesn't hold up well in the appearance department because the head pours out thin and doesn't hang around long at all. The color is a cloudy rust-brown, which is nice. No significant lace buildup.

Aroma brings a nice pumpkin-y smell, seems a natural enough aroma, and there's a layer of sharper spices, like a cinnamon/nutmeg mixture, coming into the nose.

The flavors are much like the aroma, with a milky, dessert-y satisfaction in the finish. Spicy and malty flavors abound (cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, butter), reminiscent of the traditional Thanksgiving pie, and even baked apple shows itself. Hops mingle in there offering adequate bittering. Just about the only improvement needed is a creamier mouthfeel. It's a bit over-carbonated, tingly and fizzy where the flavors clearly call for something smoother and creamier. [I like to let this beer warm a bit, which seems to diminish the bubbly attack quite a bit.]

I've tried 4 or 5 other pumpkin ales. Some were crap and some enjoyable, but so far this is the best I've had.

[Note to self two years later: Southern Tier, Elysian and Smuttynose have pumpkin ales that beat this one, hands down. But I still want no other pumpkin ale with my Manfred Mann's Earth Band vinyl than this one!]

Metalmonk, Oct 03, 2006
Photo of PatrickJR
4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Deep amber/red with a slight haze. Nearly three fingers of head rise with decent retention. No lacing.

S - Perfect! Cinnamon and nutmeg are the most obvious spices, but there's a huge amount of actual pumpkin pulling through as well with a slight sourness. A hint of toasted malt as well. Very well balanced and big on the pumpkin aroma.

T - The cinnamon and nutmeg (with perhaps a bit of clove in there?) take hold first with a mild malt sweetness in the background. A small toasted flavor starts drying things out and then there's a big hit of sour pumpkin. Sourness lingers in the finish. Nicely balanced and great focus on the pumpkin.

M - Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation.

D - A great drinking pumpkin ale without the high ABV of some others. This is a very focused and balanced effort and the emphasis on the pumpkin flavor is perfectly executed. A top-notch pumpkin ale right up there with the big boys. It also manages not to become too sweet or bitter as others of the style.

PatrickJR, Oct 06, 2008
Photo of slickmick22
4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep orange in pint glass. Small head and slight lacing.

smells just like a pumpkin pie. Great. Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and nice malt.

Taste is great as well. The best pumpkin I have tried. Excellent!

mouth is medium bodied. Great spice taste.

Very drinkable but usually stop at two. Great around Halloween/Thanksgiving.

Serving type: bottle

slickmick22, Nov 27, 2009
Photo of Caesar1pup
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I’m in heaven! This is one of the best, if not the best Pumpkin Brews I have ever gotten my greasy grimy mitts wrapped around.

12 ounces of golden orange color with a good tan head. Aroma is incredible; nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, you’d think you were in the kitchen waiting for mom to pop this into a pie shell to bake in the oven.

The taste was very pleasing and the spices take front stage but do not completely cover the malt flavor. Real pumpkin in every bottle with a brewer not afraid to add the right amount of spices, what more could you ask for? How about another…..happily.

Caesar1pup, Sep 12, 2005
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured hazy amber-brown and the bottle had quite a layer of sediment in it for this beer to not be bottle conditioned. The head fell back quickly. The aroma is spice and malt, actually lots of malt aroma and a good spice balance. Also in the aroma is caramel, and ginger. The flavor is well done with clove and cinnamon spice, probably alspice all well balanced. The malt flavors accompanying the spice are well done also. The body works well and gives the beer a good drinkability.

This is a very well done Pumpkin Ale.

GCBrewingCo, Nov 21, 2003
Photo of FenwaySquid
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle with twist-off cap, no dating of any kind, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep burnt orange color. The head formed small and faded almost immediately into some lacing. Nice color, though.

Aroma: Sweet pumpkin and some cinnamon and allspice. Extremely pleasant.

Taste: Sweet pumpkin flavors mixed with some maltiness, it's tough to tell where one ends and the other begins. The spices stay in the background but compliment nicely.

Mouthfeel: Very crisp, carbonation was nice and lively.

Overall: An excellent version of the style. If you've never had a pumpkin beer before this a good one to make your first.

FenwaySquid, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep magenta color with hints of orange and a two finger head. I'm picking up a nice pumpkin pie nose with cinammon and nutmeg. Pumpkin cider....damn this smells good...brings me back to the holidays!

Pumpkin puree mashed up with a heaping helping of cinnamon, nutmeg and a sweet maltiness. All of the spices work well and don't overpower the pumpkin flavor...a delicate balance is achieved that is not often found in pumpkin ales. Damn good.

Mouthfeel is creamy and goes down easy. A smidge more body would kick this up a notch...but I can't complain. If I had access to this brew I'd have at least a sixer on every Turkey Day. Just a tasty, easy drinking brew....yummy. Many thanks to merlin48 for being nice and sharing :-)

orbitalr0x, Jan 11, 2005
Photo of clvand0
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to merlin48 for giving me this beer. Pours a dark amber color with a moderate head that has nice retention and leaves a little lacing on the glass. Lots of pumpkin in the aroma - well balanced with the spice and the actual pumpkin. The flavor is very nice with a lot of pumpkin. I was pleased that the spices were much weaker than the actual pumpkin flavor. Very nice pumpkin ale. Right on par with my top pumpkin ale - Dogfish Head Punkin (2003 version).

clvand0, Nov 24, 2004
Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorite fruit/ veg beers. I havent had too many but this is one of my faves. Pours a cloudy amber with very little head and very little retention with no lacing. The smell is great; lots of spice aroma with cinnamon, cloves, and pumpkin pie spice. Tastes like pumpkin pie, which is a real treat. A very drinkable beer. I always enjoy many sessions of this beer around the holidays while hanging out with my family. Nice beer.

SaCkErZ9, Apr 09, 2005
Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great color,looked unfiltered,smelled like a nice spiced pumpkin pie or bread(coul smell it all day without even takin a sip.)Pumpkin pie spice came through on palate very well,cardimum,cinnamon?Had nice malty texture and didnt fill me up after 4 of them.Cottonwood for me is the best bottled ales to get here in this area.

oberon, Feb 03, 2003
Photo of CpnYates
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is bar none, the best "pumkin" ale I have had to date.

I enjoy the fact that I can get the full range of Carolina brewing company beers about 30 minutes away at the Food City, so I have had experince with this brewery before. And like their other beers, this one is enjoyable and refreshing, beer after beer.

I poured this into a red wine glass... it was clean. Poured a nice cherry wood color.

Smells and tastes of pumpkins, spices, pie, cider, and a soy bean candle I had once.

No lacing, head no where to be found

I gave the drinkability a 3.5, but maybe a little higher on a colder night.

Good Beer

CpnYates, Oct 04, 2007
Photo of jfhrtn92
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%

Poured as a orange-brown with about a 2 finger head that held its retention well. Has a spiced pumpkin with a hint of a peppery smell to it. For the taste almost has like a cinnamon pumpkin pie taste. Very light on the hops side but a great beer overall. One I will steadily have for sure

jfhrtn92, Sep 11, 2014
Photo of whartontallboy
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Little worried about being disappointed by this one: it was my all-time fav during college, and I haven't had it in a couple of years.

Pours out a muted orange-brown with a big off-white head that quickly recedes into the brew. Nice bubbling carbonation.

Smell is pumpkin-laden, moreso than other pumpkin ales. It's tempered nicely by scents of nutmeg and cinnamon, with just a little hint of allspice, and a bready malt aroma. There's also a slight bitter hop edge.

Flavor is similar to the smell, lots of pumpkin-pie, but not cloyingly sweet. The cinnamon and allspice are at the front, but the the cinnamon's not too spicy or hot. The malt-doughiness is strong enough to stand up to the spices, and a little bit of hoppy bitterness rounds things out nicely.

Overall: Still the best pumpkin ale I've ever had by a wide margin. It's not cloying, doesn't taste like canned pumpkin, and doesn't have any acidic off notes. Just a wonderful drinking brew, and one of my favorites, regardless of style.

whartontallboy, Nov 29, 2005
Photo of Lothore
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Hazy and reddish orange with a thin head that seems to dissapate quickly. Some carbonation bubbles visible through the haze.

S- Deep pumkiny smell with a hint of spices. Smells like the canned pumpkin used to make pie. A bit understated but I like the fact that it smells more naturally pumpkiny than other ones I have tried.

T- Tastes thick and full of pumpkin. Not as spicy as I was expecting. The taste seems a little bland and toned down but for me, with pumpkin ales, that is a good thing. So often people try to spice up their pumpkin beers and it leaves them tasting so "fake", this was not the case with this one.

M- Crisp and of medium viscosity. This is where the beer really shines for me. I love how crisp it is without being overly carbonated.

D- Pumpkin ales that I have had in general aren't very drinkable but this one seems to be an exception. While I wouldn't want more than one of two in a sitting every once in a while, it is definitely enjoyable.

Thanks to brentk56 for the opportunity.

Lothore, Nov 05, 2007
Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A few years ago I got into trying pumkin ales. I quickly decided it wasn't a style I cared for and haven't gone back to it until this beer. Got this as a bonus via trade. Wow, I'm now rethinking this style.

A - Cloudy orangish light brown, with a small off white head that quickly disspates.

S - Good pumkin pie.

T - Better than it smells. Pumpkin, gingerbread and nutmeg stand tall and tasty.

M - Medium body, smooth and clean finish.

D - Great after dinner beer. Not overly filling. Easy to drink a couple and relax.

11-01-07 - found another one of these in the cellar that I forgot about. Suffice to say it did not age well over a year. I'd recommend buying it fresh and enjoying it current. I know it should go without saying but having had tasted this I thought I'd footnote this review.

barleywinebrewer, Jan 03, 2007
Photo of kmpitz2
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This beer is dark for a pumpkin in my mind. The beer pours a amber ruby color with a finger of head that falls to coat the beer. The nose is full of pumpkin. Not a lot of spices, just enough to balance it out. As it sits, the spices come out more, but give it a swirl, and the pumpkin takes over again. The flavor is really heavy on the pumpkin and lighter on the spice. A nice nice beer. The feel is maybe a touch thin...just a touch though. Drinkability is very good on this beer. I could sit down to a few of these, and thats a lot to say for a pumpkin ale.

kmpitz2, Nov 24, 2004
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow! Stunning! This beer actually smells and tastes like pumpkin pie. I've never had a pumpkin beer that could actually do that. It pours a clear, crimson-tinted mahogany with orange and ruby highlights beneath a creamy head of light-tan foam. The head retention is fair, and it holds a short while before dropping to an average collar (no lacing). The nose is exactly like pumpkin pie with notes of sweet brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and all-spice. The body is medium-full; and it's lightly zesty on the tongue with a fine-bubbled, median carbonation. The flavor, of course, is not nearly as sweet as real pumpkin pie, but the spices are present in just the right proportions. The maltiness beneath is sweet, and a touch caramelish; and its sublime bitterness acts only as a secondary to the spice in balancing the malt. It finishes with some residual sweetness that lingers stronger than the spice does; although the spice outlasts the malty sweetness. Still, it's not overpowering at all, and would make a satisfying addition to many dishes. A Thanksgiving dinner seems the most appropriate (whether with the meal or at dessert), but I think this could actually serve quite well in several other situations (Indian cuisine, for example). Really interesting, quite enjoyable, and surprisingly drinkable given the style!

NeroFiddled, Mar 09, 2004
Photo of GabbyTapped
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

GabbyTapped, Dec 24, 2013
Photo of silver0rlead
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My first Carolina Beer & Beverage purchase since the boycott ended a few weeks ago. Pours a slightly hazy deep amber with an almost pumpkin colored tint and a nice tan head that dissapates very quickly. Smell is of sweet pumpkin pie with hints of spices and vanilla, an incredible aroma for a pumpkin beer, bar none the best smelling pumpkin beer ive had. Flavor is similar to the smell: sweet pumpkin pie with hints of spices and vanilla and almost no detectable hops presence , almost like pumpkin pie a la mode...very nice but the sweetness detracts from the character slightly i think. Mouthfeel is creamy with moderate carbonation and a medium body. An excellent pumpkin ale, with extremely good drinkability...a tad on the sweet side but great regardless. I was worried about this one as the quality of the other cottonwood beers has definately declined in the past year but they seem to have at least gotten this one right.

silver0rlead, Sep 03, 2005
Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale from Carolina Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.