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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

170 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 170
Reviews: 144
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.77%
Wants: 10
Gots: 7 | 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: 170 | Reviews: 144 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of DeadWalkerAir
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

DeadWalkerAir, Jul 19, 2014
Photo of hellbilly
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

bottle from emacgee.
clear and coppery brown... almost the color of raw pumpkin pie batter (?) with a very short lived natural cotton hued off white 'head'.

the aroma is of 'real' pumpkin pie... true cooked pumpkin meat, definite nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, caramel and floral hoppiness.

bitter nutmeg leads the way on the tongue... followed by caramel, a much more toned down pumpkin flavor than the aroma lead me to believe, some vanilla richness, floral hops and a very spiced finish. ginger powder noted in the aftertaste.

light to medium body with a prickly mouth feel from high sharp carbonation. it does soften a bit when it warms.

not bad... it just lacks a bit of richness and depth of flavor...8/3/6/3/15/3.5

hellbilly, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of vtfan77
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark orange-red with a small head that is gone in a flash.

S- Well, this is definitely a pumpkin ale. Big pumpkin pie aromas here, with the pumpkin and nutmeg and... whatever else there is in pumpkin pie. It just smells like pumpkin pie, ok? Besides that, there's not a whole lot else.

T- A little sweet upfront with a touch of malt, but then it's all pumpkin pie. No hops to speak of, and the finish is lacking in any sort of bitterness. Don't get me wrong, it's a good flavor and I definitely like it. It just needs a bit more beer character. Still, not bad at all.

M- Thin mouthfeel with a low level of carbonation.

D- I'd have a couple of these in a sitting for sure. However, any more of that and the spices might get on my nerves. I don't think I could make a session out of it.

This is a tasty beer for sure. It's pretty much like drinking liquid pumpkin pie. The only problem was that there wasn't enough beer character. Had the pumpkin pie been complemented by a strong malt presence, it could have been great. Still, a tasty beer and a good seasonal. Recommended for pumpkin pie fans.

vtfan77, Sep 06, 2008
Photo of beer2day
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

New label on the bottle this year.

Dull orange color with fizzy one and a half finger head. Decent retention.

Very strong, bold nose. Lots of spice (nutmeg and pumpkin).

Flavor much less than expected based on the aroma. Picking up some floral esters but not much else. A little malt sweetness way back in the finish.

Very thin mouthfeel. Disappointing.

Easy to drink once you start, but not the best pumpkin this season.

beer2day, Oct 10, 2009
Photo of michaelbaird26
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%

michaelbaird26, Oct 28, 2014
Photo of burnstar
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours murky brown with a niced sized head that sadly dissipates quickly. Aroma is spicy- kind of like spiced apple cider. Tastes rather tart. Pumpkin spices. Again some apple cider flavors which seem maybe a bit out of place. Medium mouthfeel. Moderately drinkable but I don't think I'd want to have a lot of this in one sitting. This is a decent pumpkin ale overall.

burnstar, Oct 30, 2007
Photo of CWiggins
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A brief but thick head appeared when I poured this beer into my Duvel glass. The dark copper color is attractive, and bubbles continued to rise from the abyss of the glass for several minutes. Although the head left rather quickly, a modest bead of light tan foam hung around for quite some time around the perimeter. It left a nice wash of bubbles on the side of the glass as I turned it up to take a whiff.

The smell is rather impressive. It's not the least timid, filling my nostrils with pumpkin bread, spices, and hints of clove and nutmeg. Nice!

I had great expectations for the taste, as the last pumpkin beer I tasted was darn great. This one isn't as full flavored, so I was a bit disappointed–at first. After several sips, however, I began to appreciate what it had to offer. One tastes a bright citrus on the front, followed by pumpkin and spice. The finish lingers forever; even after two or three minutes have passed I can still feel and taste a slight bitterness along with bread and spice. Tasty!

It is definitely a beer of medium body, and the carbonation, while heavy up front, quickly fades as the intense flavors consume the mouth. The finish is nice and dry.

CWiggins, Sep 17, 2006
Photo of Thorpe429
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. Color is orange-caramel with a slight head. Nose is pmpkin spicing, sweet pumpkin, and a bit of brown sugar. Taste is pumpkiny with a bit of spice. Feel is medium and a bit creamy. Love the low ABV and mild flavors. This is a fairly sessionable pumpkin brew.

Thorpe429, Nov 04, 2010
Photo of kshankar
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper with a white head that lingers for very little. Recedes to a layer of film at the top. Plenty of carbonation

Aroma is of pumpkin pie spice..and there is something sweet lingering in the background. I don't quite know what it is. Pleasant though. I like it

Taste of the spices come through with that sweetness. Balance is okay....the spices aren't that intense and that sweet flavor profile kind of takes over and mutes everything else out. With all this being said, this is still a good beer

Mouthfeel is carbonated with a light to medium body. Not an overpowering beer, and it delivers on the basic aspects of a pumpkin ale, so I wouldn't mind a couple. Try it out

kshankar, Oct 09, 2009
Photo of shbobdb
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Now, there has always been a huge problem for my taste: I love pumpkins. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, ect. But I've never really had a pumpkin BEER worth having again.

Until now.

It pours looking like a slightly fizzy, slightly transluscent piece of liquid pumpkin pie and smells just like mama used to make.

Mmmm, tastes that way too. I was (honestly) tempted to add a touch of whipped cream to the top of this beer (instead of a head, which it had very little of)

The mouthfeel was a tad thin, and I really think I could only drink one of these -- but, damn, it was really good. Doppelmeup passed this beautiful beer on to me telling me it was the best Pumpkin ale out there. He was right.

shbobdb, Nov 18, 2006
Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale from Carolina Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 170 ratings.