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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
86
very good

167 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 167
Reviews: 143
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 14.03%
Wants: 10
Gots: 6 | 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: 167 | Reviews: 143 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ncstateplaya
3/5  rDev -22.1%

ncstateplaya, Sep 09, 2014
Photo of mikesgroove
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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 -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

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 -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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 -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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 -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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 12, 2003
Photo of Chaney
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

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 -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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 -15.6%

wvbrewcrew, Jun 21, 2014
Photo of RWLawman
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

RWLawman, Sep 12, 2012
Photo of Indybeer
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

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 -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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 -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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 -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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 -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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 -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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
Photo of khiasmus
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A tired horse trots up the dusty lane, an empty saddle hanging cockeyed on his back. The orange sunset glows behind him and creates a thick haze, a turbid orange/brown through the plumes of dust. His muscles are quaking and a sheen sits atop his skin, with just the slightest bit of foam at the mouth left over from his hard run.
The rider left this morning, and was planning to return before nightfall, but that was before the messenger had arrived shortly thereafter, with word of a thunder moving across the plains, a stampede such as the area had not known in many a year.
Brows furrow with the obvious assumption, what with the horse returning all alone and the state of the saddle. The pumpkin-carving party has been suspended in preparation for the onslaught that can just now be felt in the vibration of the ground. The aroma hangs in the dead air, of pumpkins and spices, cider and biscuits all baking in the warm sun.
Dry, the cider is, almost tart, with the spice elements and faint honey blending but finishing with a nutmeg and lemon. A medium body, but the carbonation and tartness all lending a dry, please-have-another-sip finish.
All of the streets have had to be cleared, nothing left in the open. Their sides will press along the buildings as they part like so many sea-waves around the buildings, we hope. The porches will cave as their pillars are crushed in the onslaught. Sit still on the other end of the house and sip and enjoy, and hope for the best. The glasses are clinking on the tables and the pictures are falling from the walls. They're closing in...

khiasmus, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of Kegatron
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a somewhat murky amber with a finger width of off white foam that settled down into a nice light covering and left some decent lacing. Aroma is quite heavy on spicy cinnamon and nutmeg but there is also a fairly large sour pumpkin presence.

Spices aren't quite as dominate in the taste which gives way to a big pumpkin flavor, as well as some hop citrus. This mixed with the pumpkin, gives an almost sour apple cider type element to it. Mouthfeel is my biggest gripe, being thin, watery, and finishing with an acrid fizziness on the back of the throat.

This was kind of a middle of the road Pumpkin Ale for me. Decent taste and smell but the body just didn't impress too much. I could go back to this for one or two in a sitting but that's about it.

Kegatron, Dec 07, 2007
Photo of rfgetz
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a orangy copper color with a decent fluffy white head, minimal retention and lacing. Smell is of pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg, cinamon, clove), brown sugar and vanilla. Taste is spice forward with a muted blend of pumpkin puree, vanilla and brown sugar. Body is leight to medium, somewhat over carbonated and semi-dry. good but not great with the spice forward and muted background tatstes.

rfgetz, Oct 22, 2009
Photo of bamadog
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this as an extra in a recent trade. The review is from notes taken on 8/6/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a cidery/coppery color; starts with a 1/4 finger light tan creamy head that fades to a thin cap; body is very cloudy and shows some orange/blonde highlights around the edges; only a few spots of lacing are left behind.

Smell: Smell of pumpkin mash, nutmeg and even a bit of cinnamon; slight caramel maltiness and a faint crackery breadiness.

Taste: Starts out matching the nose -- lots of the pumpkin and accompanying spices, but then it becomes a little buttery and finishes a little thin and watery -- overall, it starts out great finishes a little weak.

Mouthfeel: Body is fairly light and the carbonation is spot on -- strong, but not overly so; a mostly dry thin coating is left on the roof of the mouth.

Drinkability: Not the worst pumpkin ale I've ever tried, but certainly not the best. I'd definitely drink it again, and really, with an ABV of 4.5%, it'd be easy enough to get through a couple with no problem at all.

bamadog, Aug 10, 2010
Photo of jampics2
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ the Charlotte airport Carolina Beer Company restaurant. We were flying back from our honeymoon in Jamaica and were thrilled to have this oasis in the airport to relax during our layover. This was my first taste of real American beer in a week, so I was just happy to not be drinking Red Stripe.

Brought to the table in an oversized pint glass, this looks average at best. Muddy and brown with no head. Unfiltered and cloudy, it almost looks like, well, I'm not going there.

Smells decent, with nutmeg, allspice, and clove setting the stage and asserting that this is a fall beer. Also has an unfortunate "cooked veggie" smell, perhaps pumpkin, but perhaps a touch of sulfur/DMS. But overall, this isn't bad smelling by any means, and the spices all but mask what could be an imperfection.

After a mixed nose, I'm happy that the taste was really quite refreshing and well balanced. Cinnamon is the dominant flavor, alongside a touch of sweet caramel malt and some lingering spices. It's pleasant and comes together well, but it's not the most flavorful beer I've had. Still quite decent, even above average.

Average light to medium body is supported by average carbonation and a refreshing aftertaste with mild spices lingers. Overall, this was a good beer and hit the spot after a week of Caribbean lagers.

jampics2, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a orangey color ale with a medium head that disappeared way too fast. Aroma is clearly dominated by some cinnamon. Taste is quite particular with a mix of cinnamon, what I think is pumpkins and some nice malt. Very warm feeling after a couple of sip, which I did, enjoyed during a cold winter night. Overall, considering this is my first pumpkin beer, I was enough enamoured that I wouldn’t mind trying some other ones.

Phyl21ca, Dec 13, 2004
Photo of adowney523
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass from a 12 oz brown bottle bought in Durham, NC. Appearance is deep-amber and hazy. White head fades quickly but leaves some lacing.

Smells faintly of nutmeg and allspice with a hint of leather.

Hint of smoky and woody malt along with pumpkin and spice with good balance.

Moderate body with a semi-dry finish. Drinkability is above average.

Definitely worth a try. The smokiness makes for a not your average pumpkin ale.

adowney523, Oct 17, 2007
Photo of Shiloh
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is a very deep dark orange in colour and a little cloudy
accompanied by a very short tan crown leading to a tiny lace and thin ring.
The body is full and the carbonation is very lively.The aroma is very fragrant of a multitude of spices and pumpkin.
The taste is very rich and seems a minced pumpkin.
One of these beers will stay with you for a long time. Not a session beer but may be okay for fall dinning.

Shiloh, Sep 07, 2004
Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale from Carolina Beer Company
86 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.