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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: 11
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
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Ratings: 163 | Reviews: 143 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ncbrewerbun
1.83/5  rDev -52.7%

Brown long-neck twist off bottle.

Based on the other reviews, I must have gotten a bad bottle (or six pack). This beer was bad from the get go. Could it have been left over from last year??

The beer poured a cloudy (chill haze) almost murky amber with a small quickly disappearing head.

Aroma was rotting vegetable -- sauerkraut...some vinegar. If you search past that, you can get some cinnamon and malt.

This beer was sour with some pumpkin and vegetable. Seemed infected.

While it was a drinkable beer, why? Life is too short to drink bad beer. I poured it out after tasting enough to make a thorough review.

(I have had this beer in previous years and it was much better. As bad as this beer was, I'm hesitant to try another.)

ncbrewerbun, Oct 25, 2004
Photo of mentor
2.4/5  rDev -38%

Pours a 3 finger yellowed fizzy head over a clear amber liquid. Smells spicey zing, cherry sour, and mildly of oranges. Pumpkin underneath, but the nose is mostly spice (nutmeg, allspice, clove, and a little ginger).

Spice presents at the lips and holds throughout, persisting even into the somewhat tart sour to finish. Some esters and a suttle pumpkin present. Something is not right about the malt, it's both wet and sour. Add on a drying spice and the beer is out of whack. Comes across as a bit medicinal. Md-thick body and too strong carbonation.

mentor, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of shippos
2.6/5  rDev -32.8%

courtesy of clvand0

poured a deep red/orange and an off white head that faded to a rim around the glass. cinnamon and mutmeg in the aroma with some butter and hints of squash. prickly carbonation followed by a muted a weak mouthfeel, bit on the thin side with some cinnamon and nutmeg aftertaste. no that bad but there are other better pumpkin beers out there.

shippos, Jan 10, 2005
Photo of CAP1868
2.63/5  rDev -32%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Poured a light hazy orange about what you'd expect from a pumpkin ale, had a small head but it didn't last

S- Smelled of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg

T- Tasted way to light and fruity for me, when you read "spice" on the bottle I thought spicy, not fruity. Just didnt do much for me.

M- Decent mouthfeel, medium bodied but the taste just doesn't do it for me

D- You could easily drink quite a few of these but I must refrain from doing so.

UPDATE- I think I got skunk beer when I bought this. I tried this brew on 9/12/09 and it was excellent. I would give it an A-

CAP1868, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of TheKingofWichita
2.88/5  rDev -25.6%

Pours a dark russet brown color with a thick tannish white head and tons of lacing. Smells of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg + some booze. Tastes very mediocre. Like pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc, but just too boozy. Mouthfeel is decent. Drinkability is high.

TheKingofWichita, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of Onenote81
2.93/5  rDev -24.3%

12oz bottle, part of an autumn-themed mixed sixer. Poured into a pint glass. Pours a very thick, cloudy dark rusty amber. The thinnest of heads rests atop. Disappears quickly. Not even a ring around the edge. No lace. The nose is weak and underwhelming. The spices are muted, pumpkin is absent. I'm finding sour fruits, and syrup. Not what I expected.

The mouth is decent. Good carbonation play, and a slightly heavy finish. I don't know. This has some mild pumpkin in the flavor, but it's pretty weak. It's more cider-y, with notes of apples and light spices. I'm not sure I would or could have another one of these. I expected more, but it was found lacking. Too bad. I wanted to like this.

Onenote81, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of KroMagnon
2.98/5  rDev -23%

Hazy beer, which is fine, with a copper-brown color and a tan head that is rocky and very appealing. The aroma is spicy, bready, clovey, very pumpkin pie oriented and nice but it would beneft from more complimentary malty notes - it seems kind of one-dimensional. The flavor is a bit odd - slightly sweet, a bit tangy (wheat malt?), but overall it seems a bit astringent and overly dry - again, it lacks the complimentary malt notes that I'd like to see for a more harmonius brew; a more "pie-like" presentation would be better. Still, I'm glad I tried it.

KroMagnon, Oct 12, 2004
Photo of FriedSlug
3/5  rDev -22.5%

FriedSlug, Nov 11, 2012
Photo of ncstateplaya
3/5  rDev -22.5%

ncstateplaya, Sep 09, 2014
Photo of mikesgroove
3.03/5  rDev -21.7%

Then I moved onto this one. I love pumpkin ales, always have and I always jump at the chance to try new ones. Well I wish this one lived up to my expectations. Very light pour, nearly pale with a one finger head of white that was soon to fade off and leave nothing in its wake.

Aroma is lightly spiced but seems to be dominated by more grains and bready notes then are really needed. This carries over well into the flavor as the spices and pumpkin like notes are there, but are either too light or totally dominated by this grainy malt flavor. A slight bitterness in the finish and a very light body do not help the cause here at all for me.

Overall when compared to some of the others I have had recently it really did not hold up well for me at all.

mikesgroove, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of manleyphoto
3.05/5  rDev -21.2%

It's shameful and embarrassing, I know, but I'm a squashist. That's right; I hate squash in all of its forms. Butternut, acorn, zucchini, they're no friends of mine. So why drink a pumpkin beer you ask? Well, Cottonwood Pumpkin Ale is generally regarded as one of the best of the bunch as far as spiced beers go. It's nearly Halloween, let's give it a shot.
It pours a pleasant hazy orange and the smell of pumpkin spice takes charge right up front. I get a whiff of that evil squash poking around in there, but mostly it reminds me of a great pumpkin pie. The taste is not quite as pungent as the aroma but a smooth malt body really carries the nutmeg and cinnamon spice well. I think the key to making a good spiced beer is having a good base beer to start with, and Cottonwood Pumpkin tastes like nice amber ale with the squash and spices woven in to make a flavorful but subdued drink.
I think once a year we should all put our petty vegetable hatred aside to enjoy something special, for me this is it. Come winter though, no gourd is getting anywhere near my drink.

manleyphoto, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of philbe311
3.08/5  rDev -20.4%

A - A finger of creamy and even, but fizzy, slight tan head... The head recedes slightly leaving a thick lacing much the same... Loads of moderate pace carbonation dance and rise throughout... A deep orangish bronze color which is slightly lighter at the bottom or the glass and much darker towards the top...

S - Highly spiced... Cinnamon and nutmeg dominate... Ginger snaps... Pumpkin... Pie crust... A wonderful autumn scent...

T - The taste is very similar to the nose... The spices dominate... Burnt pumpkin pie crust... However there is also a very strong malt backbone comprised of caramel and bread notes... Unfortunately, the actual pumpkin flavor seems very artificial...

M - Slight bite of carbonation on the tongue... Slightly creamy to start, but quickly give way to an odd slightly tart and unpleasant coating on the tongue... Medium bodied...

D - A respectable Pumpkin Ale with some definite positive attributes, namely appearance and scent. However, something is slightly "off" and the whole doesn't equal the sum of its parts... The mouthfeel is a real detractor...

philbe311, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of mothman
3.1/5  rDev -19.9%

Pours little head. Color is a ruby rust.

Aroma: Pumpkin, spices, cinnamon, cloves, and more. Malty.

Taste: More pumpkins and spice. Just like the nose. Earthy hops here though. Nutmeg.

Mouthfeel: Spiced, crisp. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with more spices. Dry.

Overall, a fairly typical pumpkin beer. Nothing out of the ordinary. Average. Okay drinkability.

mothman, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of kbutler1
3.1/5  rDev -19.9%

Bottle. Pours an opaque reddish brown rust color with minimal head. Wow, lots of pumpkin spice abound in the nose on this one with some notes of cinnamon as well. Sweet pumpkin taste along with allspice and nutmeg. If this is what pumpkin ale tastes like then I guess it's ok but I'mnot a huge fan in the end. Medium mouthfeel.

kbutler1, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of homersimpson
3.15/5  rDev -18.6%

Deep hazy brown with a pert beige head. Smells like thanksgiving day. Lots of nutmeg and spice. The taste is over the top though. Almost lambic-like, it is a wee bit on the sweet side. The pumpkin pie flavors override everything else and linger in the finish. Girls love it.

homersimpson, Oct 11, 2003
Photo of Chaney
3.2/5  rDev -17.3%

A twist-off cap huh? Stupid, idiotic, asinine, etc.

A: Pours a dark cloudy orange ....about the color of toasted caramel pumpkin. The carbonation is a bit low and the head, while pouring an inch thick, didn't keep very long.

S: The usual band of pumpkin ale spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, etc. The cinnamon dominates somewhat, which is kind of pleasant.

T: Flat as a pancake! The carbonation needs a real face lift on this one. However, the brew finishes okay, and the taste is full enough, but dang... me.wants.more.bubbles!

M: Carbonation! The ABV is undetectable, but at only 4.5%, it's pretty much non-existent anyway.

D: I guess because of it's sessionability, one could make the case for its drinkability, but as for me.... I don't want another.

Chaney, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of mortarit
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%

12oz bottle.

Appearance: Deep amber/copper/auburn color with off-white head and great lacing.

Smell: Fresh baked pumpkin pie with roasted malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and herbal scents. The aroma screams fall and begs to be paired with Thanksgiving dinner.

Taste - Start with a pumpkin flavor; mid-palate the spices join in: brown sugar, ginger, mace; a bit of hops on the finish. I really can't sit down and drink a lot of spiced beer like these. One or two at the most.

Overall, a good pumpkin ale. Heavily spiced, but you really can taste the pumpkin. One of the better Pumpkin ales.

mortarit, May 17, 2007
Photo of wvbrewcrew
3.25/5  rDev -16%

wvbrewcrew, Jun 20, 2014
Photo of RWLawman
3.25/5  rDev -16%

RWLawman, Sep 12, 2012
Photo of Indybeer
3.33/5  rDev -14%

12 oz bottle. Poured a cloudy brown with very little head, that didn't last. No visible lacing to be seen. Aroma is nutmeg, and pumpkin spice. Taste is sweet, and full of pumpkin pie flavor. More so than any other pumpkin ale I've tried. But on the downside it is weakly carbonated, and doesn't have much other than the pumpkin flavor going for it.

Indybeer, Feb 06, 2004
Photo of Norfawkers
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%

A little too much of the gourd to go back for a second helping

Appearance: Opague, cloudy; minimal orange-amber head

Smell: Pumpkin pie

Taste: Faint spicy, pumpkin bread

Mouthfeel: Bitter with CO2 up front, a bit sour

Drinkability: It has a touch of rotten at the end making this a once-and-done beer. It looks better than it tastes.

Norfawkers, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of CrellMoset
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%

Bottle courtesy of dkachur - thanks! Poured into a cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a dirty reddish body, halfway to brown, that color's that's opaque of its own accord unless you hold it up to the light. The one-finger tan head bubbles up quickly and fades rather quickly as well, leaving only a thin, sheen and a sudsy collar. The carbonation is incredibly fast and plentiful, as well.

Aroma: This beer's best aspect, in my opinion. Very doughy, roasted malts, with brown sugar and caramel sweetness mingling with ginger and nutmeg. Fairly authentic, moderately pungent, and well-balanced.

Taste: Much meeker than the nose would suggest. The malts are still roasted, yes, still brown-sugar like, yes, but they're watery, thin, husky almost. The spices are similarly muted. There's also a fair amount of tart, lemon-like notes which seem sort of out of place. The pumpkin also seems sort of muted, in the background, hidden by the tartness and the general neutrality of it all.

Mouthfeel: A relatively thin body with tons of carbonation yields an overly crisp, uneven, effervescence mouthfeel, complete with that slightly uncomfortable enamel-stripping feel that comes from having too much tart acidity.

Drinkability: A decent stab at a pumpkin ale, though nothing to write home about. The tart acidity seems out of place, and everything's just too faded in the mouth. Amp things up a bit, though, and you'd have a really solid, drinkable beer, low in abv% and with a great balance of flavors.

CrellMoset, Jan 16, 2009
Photo of StarlightSeraph
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear reddish-amber, with a three-finger slightly off-white head that slowly subsided. A very minimal amount of lacing.

Smell: Not so much pumpkin, but pumpkin pie. Nutmeg, allspice, hints of ginger and cinnamon. A sweetness I couldn't place.

Taste: The pumpkin is much more evident in the taste than the smell. There's an initial sweet bite, with the pumpkin flavor coming through. Cinnamon and nutmeg are especially present behind it. Left a nice, cinnamony aftertaste. Kind of watery though, overall.

Mouthfeel: Decently thick, and nicely carbonated.

Drinkability: The sweetness to this one that I just can't place is kind of a turn-off - it's almost cloying initially, and while it quickly subsides, each sip starts off that way. I have had this on tap before, and I remember it being MUCH better. Still not a bad pumpkin ale out of the bottle, but nothing spectacular, either. The sweetness makes it difficult to drink more than one, and there are plenty of other pumpkin beers I'd rather have.

StarlightSeraph, Feb 08, 2009
Photo of krisandajt
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%

Getting down to the last of my pumpkin stash...

Appearance: Pours a clear, amber color with about an inch worth of head that fades a bit too quickly leaving behind a slight amount of soapy lacing.

Smell: A subdued, sweet, pumpkin smell with a small amount of spice. A bit lacking here.

Taste: More sweet pumpkin than spice, which is a good thing...however nothing really stands out. I would like to have the pumpkin stand out a bit more.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, decent, if not slightly under, carbonation, and smooth going down.

Drinkability: Not bad for a pumpkin brew. Fairly well balanced, and easy drinking. I can see myself drinking this one again, but there are better pumpkin brews out there.

krisandajt, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of ClarkPinnock
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%

I had very low expectations for this beer--not a big fan of the flavored stuff. But I have to say that they managed to make a beer that taste just like pumpkin pie and yet is still a tasty beer (perhaps some magic was involved here.)

Strong notes of coriander and cinnamon here. This beer has a very attractive caramel color. Full, nicely-carbonated mouth feel.

The taste, as you would expect, is of caramel, cinnamon, and pumpkin. Yet this is such that the beer flavor still comes through and indeed complements the other flavors.

As to drinkability....maybe one a year.

ClarkPinnock, Oct 30, 2010
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Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale from Carolina Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.