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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 clemtig76
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown 12 oz bottle produced on 08/22/06 purchased at Green's in Columbia, SC. Pours a beautiful burnt orange/copper color with a thin tan head that quickly disipates. The aromas of clove, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and cinammon remind me of a freshly baked pumpkin pie. Just a little malt in the background. Tastes very much like it smells, malty with those wonderful pumpkin pie spices. Finish is slighlty sweet and warming. Very pleasant and refreshing. Would make a great tailgating brew.

clemtig76, Oct 09, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably as good as any Pumpkin Ale that I have ever tried. Seems like they start with a lightly colored English Pale Ale base, and added pumpkin character at a pretty good clip. Appropiately spiced to make this thing smell exactly (and taste very similarly) to actual pumpkin pie...with whipped cream. Decorated with all-spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Very delicious. Feels full and creamy, but not heavy. Lightly buttery and spicy feeling. A mild spicy bite in the throat, but to not the extent of all other pumpkin ales that I have tried.

BEERchitect, Oct 19, 2006
Photo of buckiflyer
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Anoter 1.75$ bottle purchase from Total Wine and More. Poured a light orangish color, big head, much larger than I anticipated. Instant pumpkin and spice smell, fresh pumpkin pie. Average mouthfeel, smooth hop and punkin taste with a spice finsih, another nice pumkin offering.

buckiflyer, Oct 02, 2005
Photo of brentk56
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a caramel brown slightly cloudy body with a robust head and some lacing

Smell: Pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg dominate the nose

Taste: Starts out with a nice pumpkin flavor the provides a backbone for a fairly spicy kick; a slight hop bitterness joins on the finish but overall it is fairly sweet

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied but a bit fizzy

Drinkability: Overall, a very nice effort and one of my favorite pumpkin ales

brentk56, Nov 26, 2005
Photo of jsdunlop
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I look forward to Cottonwood's arrival each fall here in NC, kinda lets me know Fall's arrived...finally getting around to reviewing this one so here it goes:

Pours out as a darker orange with lots of carbonation and a nice fluffy white head that recedes fairly quickly down to some minimal lacing on top. Smell consists of a blast of cinnamon, nutmeg, and some raw pumpkin, not quite as intense as some others out there on the "pumpkin pie" spices, but definitely smells delicious. Next comes the taste, which along with the drinkability, are the key elements of this brew. What I enjoy about this beer is the fact that there is a slight pumpkin bitterness that hangs around with your standard run of the mill holiday spicing, nothing too overwhelming going on here, light on the malt side with a spice note similar to that of a rye beer. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with an abundance of carbonation and sort of a slick aftertaste that lingers on the tongue. Drinkability is extremely high, unlike other bold tasting pumpkins out around this time. This would be a great beer for the cool fall evenings, but at the same time, it is light enough to enjoy on a hot summer day out in the yard...might go ahead and grab a case to test that theory out next summer

jsdunlop, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

DesMoinesMike, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Murky 'autumn leaves' orange-bronze that virtually explodes with color when sunlight is permitted entry. The cap is toasted pie crust beige in color. Unfortunately, it's too soft and too unsticky. The upper surface is smooth and featureless and the glass is nearly devoid of lace. A better head-lace combination would have put the appearance into the Pumpkin Ale Hall of Fame for sure.

The nose smells more like freshly-baked pumpkin pie than the vast majority of pumpkin ales that I've had so far (all eight of them). There's a near perfect blend of the baked gourd itself, cinnamon and nutmeg, and beer. I'd have to smell this one in concert with Smuttynose Pumpkin to come up with an absolute favorite, but it's definitely a good 'un.

Still going strong on the palate. It seems to me that it must be hard to get the mix of flavors just right in a pumpkin ale. How else to explain the shortage of great ones? The brewers at Carolina Beer & Beverage have it mostly figured out because this is wonderful beer.

The malt backbone is just sturdy enough and provides a toasted, caramel-like flavor that reminds me, in some ways, of a marzen. I could use a little more malty sweetness, but everyone probably won't feel the same. The brewery's website describes the pumpkin flavor as 'faint', probably to avoid scaring off those who 'fear the pumpkin'. It isn't faint though. It's right up front and the beer is better off because of it.

A modest bitterness appears on the finish; yet more evidence that this isn't some overly sweet pumpkin alcopop, but a real, honest to goodness, finely crafted ale. Spices linger, with nutmeg slightly more prominent than cinnamon. The mouthfeel is a fraction lighter than medium (more malt please) and the carbonation is long-lived.

Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale deserves the medals that are so proudly displayed on the label. While it doesn't quite rise to the heights of my favorite version (Smutty), it's a commendable brew from a quality brewery. If I lived in the distribution area, CPSA would have an honored place in my fridge come autumn. Thanks to WOLFGANG for sending this terrific seasonal my way.

BuckeyeNation, Oct 24, 2005
Photo of kingjames1
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First off, you should know that I am not a fan (yet) of this style. In fact, my first sample of the style I could hardly finish.

This pours a rich, dark amber, which is very appealing, though the head and lacing disappoint a little. The smell is very good, for a pumpkin spiced ale. In fact it smells just like pumpkin pie, no kidding (though only slighty weaker in aroma). Taste is pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, slight brown sugar (malt sweetness?), and just a touch of alcohol. The mouthfeel is decent, but slightly watery. I don't know if that is inherent to the style?

Again, for the style (and my tastes) this is very drinkable. Cottonwood just might win me over to the style...but then again, there are many other seasonal beers out there I would drink instead (marzens, winter warmers and other christmas seasonals).

kingjames1, Nov 17, 2005
Photo of knoxtennessee
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

knoxtennessee, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of wedge
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A fizzing head of yellowed foam rests over a clouded, burnt chestnut colored beverage - active carbonation. The head settles down to a broken, creamy ring. Smells like tasty pumpkin pie...spiced, toasted pumpkin, nutmeg...delightful! The flavor is well blended sweet pumpkiny goodness with yet more nutmeg. Well-rounded. Solid medium body could use a little more carbonation.

Want something to fit the fall season? Try one of these. I'll have to crack another few of these once the weather gets cool and the leaves change. Yum.

wedge, Sep 23, 2006
Photo of WeisGuy
4.03/5  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.

WeisGuy, Sep 06, 2006
Photo of danadeny
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

danadeny, Nov 18, 2004
Photo of numenor1
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

numenor1, Sep 13, 2005
Photo of Jason
4/5  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.

Jason, Sep 21, 2004
Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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!

merlin48, Sep 25, 2005
Photo of PhantomVodoo
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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!

PhantomVodoo, Jan 13, 2004
Photo of Stubbie1
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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!

Stubbie1, Oct 25, 2003
Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +3.4%

oline73, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of Enola
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Enola, Sep 19, 2006
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +3.4%

nmann08, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of EPseja
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

EPseja, Sep 19, 2006
Photo of Boto
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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!

Boto, Sep 18, 2004
Photo of NCBeernut
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

NCBeernut, Oct 15, 2007
Photo of craytonic
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

craytonic, Oct 31, 2008
Photo of cfh64
4/5  rDev +3.4%

cfh64, Dec 31, 2011
Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale from Carolina Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.