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Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale - Carolina Beer Company

Not Rated.
Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced AleCottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

144 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 144
Hads: 170
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 10
Gots: 9 | 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:
Beer added by: aracauna on 09-18-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (1) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 144 | Hads: 170
Photo of numenor1
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orangish red with a two finger head that reduces to nothing quickly. Smells of perfect pumpkin pie. Upfront is bready malts riddled with pumpkin, reminds me more of a really good pumpkin bread then pie, then midway the pumpkin spices catch on. Sweet for just a moment then ends with a nice blend of mild hops and pumpkin. Pumpkin lingering on. Very light bodied and mildly carbonated, quite nice. I would have liked a slightly heftier body. On cask this would rock. (478 characters)

Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tried this one during a layover at Charlotte Int'l Airport and was very satisfied by it.
It's a dark orange/tan color and very hazy. The body is on the heavy side of medium for thickness and is not watery at all. The aroma has some cinnamon and malt. The taste was a combination on cinnamon, nutmeg, and just the right amount of pumpkin. It goes down the gullet rather smoothly. After wards some of the spice and hops linger. This is definitely a repeat if I'm ever in that area again, or if they start distributing in the Midwest. (533 characters)

Photo of WeisGuy
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a - deep copper/burnt orange, medium tan head with little retention, little lacing, hazy

s - great pumpkin pie/bread smell, instantly makes me think of thanksgiving, cinammon and clove, normal pumpkin pie spices

t - malty up front with lots of pumpkin flavor, clove, cinammon, lots of ginger as well

m - medium-bodied, moderate carbonation

d - very drinkable, especially with the low abv, could definitely drink several of these

This is my first pumpkin ale, and it was a good one in my opinion. This is exactly what I was hoping the style would be. Not something I'd drink everyday, but a good change of pace beer for a fall day. (645 characters)

Photo of knoxtennessee
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My favorite type of beer and my favorite time of year.

A- Great orange color but super hazy and no head to speak of. This is pretty typical of the mediocre Knoxville bar I frequent.

S- Lovely aroma of nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon. Nice malty sweet smells as well.

T- As good as it smells. Sweet malt and spice. Nice and bready. A little dryer than expected. I like these beers a little sweet and heavy, but this one is lighter and cleaner than most. To each their own I suppose.

M- Lighter than you'd expect. Medium-light.

D- I had two back to back and could have kept going. More quaffable than one would expect. (621 characters)

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 version pours a clear, copper body with a two finger, beige head that quickly falls away. Patch lacing is sporadic. Aroma has some vegetal fresh pumpkin that I don't recall from the 2004 edition, but adds a fresh pumpkin character missing in the other pumpkin ales I've tried. All the pie spices are prominent in the aroma, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger. Malty toffee and spicy hops are also assertive, such that the pumpkin and spices compliment, rather than overwhelm the aroma. Very nice. Mouthfeel is light to light medium bodied, with higher carbonation than expected. Taste mirrors the aroma, but is more complex. Vegetal pumpkin is very appealing and well executed here. The pie spicing is aggressive, but folds nicely into the malty toffee/caramel and spicy hop profile. This one is the best pumpkin ale I've tried, and eclipses Cottonwood's 2004 version. The fresh pumpkin presence is amazing here, but this ale is executed so well that it is actually very drinkable. Well done! (1,009 characters)

Photo of PhantomVodoo
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark tan head. Amber to mahogany in color.
Bold aroma of nutmeg, pumpkin, and spice.

Taste shows a good dose of nutmeg and other spices. Seems to have the most pumpkin flavor of any of the pumpkin beers I've had. Solid malt backbone. Nice balance, but the spices really own the beer. Finishes pretty well, although the spice flavors linger a bit.

Good body to the mouthfeel.
Good drinkability as far as spiced ales go, but I don't think I would want to knock back more than a couple of these in one sitting.

Overall, a good pumpkin ale. Heavily spiced, but you really can taste the pumpkin.
Big thanks to AKSmokedporter for the bottle! (648 characters)

Photo of Stubbie1
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice deep blood orange is the color of this brew. It is topped of with an off white head. Decent retention, fading to a thin but sticky lace.

Aroma is malt and spices. Nutmeg and cinnamon come to mind. Not overpowering but, more complementing the brew. It is not a slap in the face type of aroma. Ah yes, there is a hint of pumpkin in the middle of the malt and spices.

The flavor starts with a nice malt flavor. It is not to sweet from the spices but rather nicely balanced between the malt and spices. As this goes across the tongue, hints of the pumpkin come into play. What I thought was nice about this beer was the flavor after the swallow. It seems to me that is where a nice balance of spices are. There is no watery after taste like in some brews.

Drinkablilty is very good. There is enough going on in this beer not to get an overload of the senesces but enough to enjoy. Mouthfeel is smooth and not sticky.

Nicely done! (945 characters)

Photo of Enola
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ever notice how your taste buds change over time? I couldn't drink this beer in the past but now it is nice.

The color is a nice deep orange. There was a small head and no lacing. The smell is like grandmaw's pumkin pie. The taste is much the same. This beer highlights the pumkin very well. The mouthfeel is very smooth with a nice aftertaste of spice. I could drink this beer again. In fact, I may go out later to secure another sixer. A good effort by Cottonwood. (470 characters)

Photo of Boto
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught @ the Brewery: The beer pours a rich coppery color that was somewhat clear. There was a bit of head on it. The aroma was completely that of pumpkin pie spices. The taste was really good. There was a fairly full malt body behind the spices. The spices could have been a hair less. Overall this was a good pumpkin beer! (325 characters)

Photo of NCBeernut
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice orange that is just a tiny bit hazy. A small bubbly head forms and then quickly vanishes leaving a thin white ring. I have a hard time picking apart all the different spices in pumpkin beer, but this one definitely smells like it tastes for the most part. Cinnamon is definitely there, along with some other pumpkin spices. Maybe just a hint of vanilla (I didn't notice this until I saw someone point this out in another review). In my opinion, not overly spiced...actually just about a perfect amount. Pumpkin taste is genuine and fresh. A touch of hops rounds it out. A good session beer. Very nice offering from Carolina B&B. (642 characters)

Photo of craytonic
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle at Mac's Speed Shop before the Q arrived.

Smell - Fresh pumpkin pie.

Taste - Delicious. Once again pumpkin pie, more pumpkin than spice. I get cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, caramel, allspice. Nice balanced malts & hops.

Mouthfeel: Great medium body, not too heavy or light. Nice pumpkin finish.

Very drinkable, I look forward to the next one! Not a common sentiment for these sorts of beers. I would love to speak to a brewer about how it is made. (465 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown twist off bottle with no bottling date on the label.

Appearance: Hazed orangey brown with a decent thin lacing.

Smell: Spices and some cooked pumpkin in the nose, slight fermented twang and toasted malt in the aroma.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Ample crispness with a wet malty palate, most of the balancing flavor comes from the spices with a faint backup of hops. Ghost like pumpkin flavor becomes hidden by the toasted malt character throughout. Light twang in the dry finish.

Drinkability & Notes: Most spiced beers have that quality of only being able to drink one, this one actually is good enough to where I wanted more. Excellent balance between the spices and malt. (705 characters)

Photo of assurbanipaul
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A ruddy and hazy pour with a medium white head that fades after a few minutes. Spices are easily evident in the aroma, smells like Thanksgiving: cranberry, allspice, some sweet malts and syrup.

Taste is dryer than the scent gives off. Mildly malted but without the bitterness of the hop bite; instead, it is replaced with a lingering spiciness of pumpkin pie, cinnamon and cloves with a very, very faint lemon. Some caramel and berry elements but not enough to turn it cloying -- surprisingly dry and reserved while remaining flavorful. Flavor triggers a memory of supermarket-brand generic cherry cola.

Mouthfeel is light and clean, well-carbonated. Smooth, no detectable alcohol taste, very drinkable. Thanks to AKSmokedPorter for this one. (748 characters)

Photo of EPseja
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to doppelmeup for scoring me a sixer of this for Autumnal enjoyment!

Served from a 12oz. twist-off bottle in a spiffy Cottonwood pint glass at a bit above fridge temperature.

A - Pours a natural-looking hazy honeyed-amber color with rusty highlights and a slight viscosity. Light tan colored head rises to about an inch before falling off to a thin film atop the beer. Decent legs, but no lacing to speak of.

S - Nose is very squashy and organic, spiced with obvious cinnamon and clove, but in modest amounts. Also noted was a slight wet cardboard smell that surprisingly was *not* a detractor, since in my opinion, it also smelled like the inside of a carved pumpkin. There is also a crispness to the nose of this beer from the hops which are nicely tucked in the back.

T - A nice, medium bodied maltiness starts things off on the tip of the tongue with pumpkin pie spices hanging out in the wings. As the beer makes its way to the middle of the tongue, an interesting squash (pumpkin) tartness comes into play, adding a very "authentic" organic edge. Also noted at this point is a nice, pointed mincemeat pie flavor that adds a tasty edge. The back of the tongue brings a hit of hop bitterness, and puts the sweet malt notes in balance. The aftertaste is pumpkin pie-like in spice content, but not overly sweet.

M - Enters the mouth with a tongue-tingling carbonation, rising very airily to a puff in the mouth. Swallow is thick and slightly gassy in the belly. The mouthfeel gets better as the beer warms, but not enough to make a very big difference. Lots of burps from this one.

D - This is a very fine Pumpkin Ale that uses real pumpkin instead of simply tossing spices into the beer like others might. This creates a very different taste experience - one that is natural and fresh, loaded with craft-brewed character. If only the carbonation were better kept in check, this one would have a better head retention, creamier mouthfeel, and be much more drinkable. (1,986 characters)

Photo of Big78CJ
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I buy lots of this beer every year and cellar it all year so I never run out. I encoutered it a few years back in a mixed six-pack of "holiday beers" and then had a friend mention that he throws "Pumpkin Parties" every year in Asheville, NC (original home of Cottonwood). I accompanied him to a party and drank on a keg of pumpkin all night...it was great!

This review concerns the bottles i picked up for cellaring this year:

Cellared for about 4 months so far:

Appearance: This beer is not much for giving head and when it does it doesn't stick around long. The thin (<.5") head that poure3d onto the beer dissolved within seconds. The whole beer is a murky orange, almost as if I were drinking pureed pumpkin juices. Some lighter orange-yelloe highlights are visible near the bottom of the glass.

Smell: As another reviewer noted the bottle does not have as strong a smell as the tap but there is definitely a strong pumpkin presence and even some nutmeg in the aroma. I also think i taste soem cinnamon riding on a wave of clove. This is very much like a cold pumpkin pie smells.

Taste: You can taste the pumpkin much more than you can smell it and thankfully much of the spice is muted. There is a definite clove spice and if you breathe in you can taste cinnamon. Many pumpkin ales tend to allow the spice to boldly go where no beer has gone before, or wanted to go. Cottonwood lets it take a backseat to the pumpkin itself. There is also something sweet in this taste...maybe molasses, honey, brown sugar?

Mouthfeel: I like the way this beer makes me feel like I'm drinking a pumpkin pie (without the thickness). The carbonation is not too strong but does well to spread the pumpkin flavor over the palate.

Drinkability: Ordinarily I would say a fruit beer is limited in how often and how many I can drink (and I like fruit beers), this one is an exception for me. I could see myself drinking this from a keg all night (and i have the pictures to prove it's possible).

Serving Type: 12oz bottle poured into 33cl Hoegaarden glass. (2,064 characters)

Photo of aracauna
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I wasn't expecting good, but I was impressed. Great balance of pumpkin, spice and the malt. Came across tasting a lot like a good pumpkin pie without getting too heavy, sweet or thick. (184 characters)

Photo of danadeny
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark redish orange, nice off white head, good carbonation. No smell at all, disapointing. Taste is very subtle, little spice, but raw pumpkin flavor is different from other pumpkin ales i've had. This one focuses on the pumpkin flavor and not the spice or a pumpkin pie flavor. A little fruity too. (304 characters)

Photo of jabocu
3.96/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks again MetalMonk!! This pours a rusty orange haze with almost no cap. Kinda makes me think of canned pumpkin as it slithers out of the can. Aroma is a wallop of cinnomon, nutmeg, and clove. The pumpkin is so discernable with the old vegetable pumpkin meat... like I just stuck my head in a real pumpkin. There is a backbone of caramel malt in the nose as well. By far the best pumpkin beer I have had hit my nose. The flavor is a little dissapointing on the spiciness side however. But the juicy fresh pumpkin flavor makes up for it. Earthy pumpkin and toasted caramel carry througout with a light cinnamon and nutmeg to make you think of a pie. Hops don't have much meaning in the brew, but just enough to give a hint of citrus on the back-end. Medium body, medium carbonation, and very refreshing. Very nice!!!! (819 characters)

Photo of blitz134
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy, murky brown-orange brew. Off-white head with a slight orange tinge to it. Head was an inch of loose foam to start with and finished in a thin dense layer.

Smell is strong of pumpkin spices, gingerbread. Definate pumpkin flesh underneath. Smells as I think a pumpkin beer should. Pretty inviting.

Flavor is slightly different but still pretty good although it is a bit light. Pumpkin flavors and biscuity malts form the base then a good mix of spices come in again similar to the smell. The spices hold on in the finish and linger for a bit.

Mouthfeel is maybe medium bodied. Carbonation levels are good, not too crisp. Flavor coats the mouth alright, but I'd like the flavors to hold on a bit longer.

Good drinkability for the pumpkin brews I've had. This one tastes alot like pumpkin pie to some extent. I'd have this seasonally, but probably have a hard time drinking it all the time. (906 characters)

Photo of asabreed
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Semi dark and hazy from the yeast, though I didn't even pour. A more amber or copper color depending on what kind of light you're putting on it. Immediately frothy head sinks down not rapidly but more quickly than I expected, though the brew's still a bit cold.

Smell: Nice peppery pumpkin spice instead of the overly sweet variety. Citrus hops melds well with the cinnamon sticks, maple, and vanilla too. Not too sweet either, with a citrus hop sourness melding nicely with the spices. Quite nice, especially for this rainy fall day in Richmond.

Taste: Initial blast of citrus hops, pumpkin spice, lemon grass, and cinnamon. An odd but very nice combination. Being not too sweet, the flavors are melding nicely, letting the spice come out through the hops rather than the malt outdoing itself. Again, peppery spice melds nicely with the sweeter aspects of the malt, gingerbread, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice, making it quite odd but really good, with a long, semi-sweet and sour finish.

Mouthfeel: A little slick and oily, with maybe a bit too much of a carbonation blast. Could be better, but doesn't influence the beer negatively really.

Drinkability: A solid, quite different, and easy-going pumpkin ale, especially nice, as I said, for this rainy day. Not a high alcohol content, very flavorful, and hard to put down overall. (1,387 characters)

Photo of BeerBeing
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown glass longneck generic bottle, multicolored label

Appearance: clear mahogany-orange color, smalloff-white head, no lacing

Smell: spices, pumpkin, kinda cherry (?), malt

Taste: medium body, crisp mouth feel, good balanced spiciness, some hops, minor pumpkin. toasted maltiness

Notes: very good, pleasant and refreshing brew (359 characters)

Photo of Proteus93
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Quite a deep amber - quite a bit darker than many others of the same style. Head fizzled up quickly and dramatically, but drops just as swiftly.

S: A big pumpkin pie aroma... plenty of spices, but the pumpkin is there as well (rather than being drowned out in spices, as can happen!) A nice, toasty malt aroma adds a pleasant touch.

T: Pumpkin and spice... plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg. Quite sweet compared to others. It gets a little close to being TOO sweet, and maybe just a little tart, but a pretty tasty beer. A bit of a 'smokiness,' but without truly tasting smoky - that doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, but I can't quite find a description to match what I'm thinking on that matter.

M + D: Wet... slippery... a little touch of dryness. A mellow carbonation tingle. Low alcohol makes it incredibly sessionable. It COULD get a little too sweet, but I'd risk it. A surprisingly decent take on the style, really. (937 characters)

Photo of gabe23
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Cloudy, honey colored brew with a dense off-white head. It fades quickly to a thin cap with no lacing.

S - Very pleasant spicy aroma. Ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and pumpkin with a gentle caramel sweetness and a touch of earthy hops. Not really very beer like, but nice.

T - Cinnamon and ginger up front, with a mild pumpkin flavor following. Fairly sweet but with ginger bite that balances things out at the finish.

M - Fairly thin with moderate carbonation.

D - This is a unique take on the style, and one that I'll try again. The spices are a bit strong and linger on the tongue, so I doubt that I'd ever drink more than a couple at a time. (650 characters)

Photo of hunteraw
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I figured this one wasn't going to get any MORE seasonal until like September, so I'd better drink it now! Thanks to ipa2xs for sending this one to me in the course of the No Name BIF.

Appearance: A dark orange/honey/amber color with red tints. Nice one or two finger off-white head. Some floaties poured in, despite a careful pour. From my own experience brewing a pumpkin beer this year, I sympathize - it's hard to get all of the pumpkin and spice out! Retention is fair. No lacing.

Smell: Lots of pumpkin aroma, acidic-smelling, with brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice notes. The brown sugar makes it stand out from other pumpkin beers I've had.

Taste: Not as flavorful as the smell, I'm afraid. Acidic, with pumpkin, very minor caramel in the finish. Spices are balanced enough that no one in particular dominates. Finishes dry from the acidity. Very nice aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light body, carbonation a bit on the high side.

Drinkability: Not the "perfect pumpkin beer" as described by some of the reviews, but very solid. Easy drinking with low alcohol, light body. Still a novelty beer, however. (1,118 characters)

Photo of pentathlete
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark orange with small quickly dissipating head. Opaque, with tiny bubbles and no columns. No table or lacing. Smell is pumpkin pie all the way...nutmeg, cinnamon, light clove. Delicious smell...should I float some whipped cream on this? Taste doesn't quite live up to the nose. Malty, spicy flavors fall short due to a watery thinness that belies the nose. Easy to drink and a fine beer to serve for a fall get together. (421 characters)

Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale from Carolina Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.