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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 AlexJ
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Draft pour produces a rich, lightly clouded sunset- orange brew with a creamy beige head that leaves some lace patchwork on the glass.

Sweet spicy aromas of warm pumpkin pie, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and clove, along with vanilla, mild piney hops, and caramel.

Flavor is rich and desert-like, with a well rounded malt entry, developed pumpkin tones shadowed by warm and sweet spices. Authentic tasting. Enough hops in the finish to provide roundness. Pleasantly sweet without being sugary. Very natural tasting and surprisingly easy to drink.

Like most of the Cottonwood brews, it is a bit light in body, not chewey enough. Finished like a slice o'pie, making me wish I had some good vanilla ice-cream to go with it. I like this better than most of the pumpkin beers I've had so far.

AlexJ, Dec 31, 2004
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 clvand0
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to merlin48 for giving me this beer. Pours a dark amber color with a moderate head that has nice retention and leaves a little lacing on the glass. Lots of pumpkin in the aroma - well balanced with the spice and the actual pumpkin. The flavor is very nice with a lot of pumpkin. I was pleased that the spices were much weaker than the actual pumpkin flavor. Very nice pumpkin ale. Right on par with my top pumpkin ale - Dogfish Head Punkin (2003 version).

clvand0, Nov 24, 2004
Photo of kmpitz2
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This beer is dark for a pumpkin in my mind. The beer pours a amber ruby color with a finger of head that falls to coat the beer. The nose is full of pumpkin. Not a lot of spices, just enough to balance it out. As it sits, the spices come out more, but give it a swirl, and the pumpkin takes over again. The flavor is really heavy on the pumpkin and lighter on the spice. A nice nice beer. The feel is maybe a touch thin...just a touch though. Drinkability is very good on this beer. I could sit down to a few of these, and thats a lot to say for a pumpkin ale.

kmpitz2, Nov 24, 2004
Photo of danadeny
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
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 feloniousmonk
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Creamy crimson coloration, full haze, 1/2" cap of eggnog-hued head.
Aroma: soft, sensuous, spicy...like putting your nose right up to a pumpkin pie. Nutmeg and cinnamon, bright and pleasant, a little hot.
Light on the palate, very mellow, rich with malty flavor. Brisk, tiny hop bite greets the lips and fades fast, just enough to tickle the tongue. Body's about medium, finish is sweet, if slight.
A decent brew, I can stand a few of these.

feloniousmonk, Oct 29, 2004
Photo of ncbrewerbun
1.83/5  rDev -52.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

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 Skidz
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to AKSmokedPorter for this treat!

Pours out a foggy orange brown and sits a cloudy caramel brown in the glass with a small light tan head.

Aroma is highly penetrating. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice line up and march in. Good backing of toasted pie crust and really makes you feel like you've got a big slice of grandma's pumpkin pie right there in front of you, hold the ice cream.

Tastes lightly sweet up front and then enters a mild arrangement of spices. Allspice, cloves and nutmeg make their way into you mouth on a butter coated slip and slide, then after they run and slide, they hit the bump of malt and hops and take a dive into the pool of icy cold water from the garden hose. Caramel, light hoppy spiciness and possibly a hint of vanilla soak in the malts and lead you into the lightly bitter finish.

Nice and creamy in the mouth with easy handling carbonation. Medium bodied.

This beer hit a home run for Aroma City, then switched teams, but only hit a double for Flavor Country (baseball....eh...too much). Still, a great pumpkin beer all around.

Skidz, Oct 21, 2004
Photo of rabidawg
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

One of the top three pumpkin beers I've had (DFH, CBC). Definitely tastes like a pumpkin pie, without the overwhelming nutmeg of some. I think I've noticed that the better of this style emphasize cinnamon to round things out instead of the overly nutmeggy of the variety. There's something nicely vegetal and round about this one in the mouth. Becomes . . . more as it warms. Not precisely sure if that's good or bad, but definitely "more." I'm very glad I finally got to try this one, but I'm also glad I don't have to drink two.

Thanks AKSP for the appropriately-timed treat!

rabidawg, Oct 15, 2004
Photo of KroMagnon
2.98/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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 Jason
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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 Boto
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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 Backer2004
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bartender suggested I taste the Pumpkin Ale before ordering a glass but I boldly declined and went straight for the pint. Surprisingly impressed. The smell, of course, was like cinnamon pumpkin pie with the taste to match (although at first the after taste is what impressed me the most). Enjoyed the flavor and aroma the entire time and so did my wife. However, this is not a beer I could enjoy all evening.

Backer2004, Sep 13, 2004
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 finepaws
4.68/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite beers. Had it at a fall rennaisaunce festival locally. 2 years running now. Couldn't get enough of it last year. Cleared the shelves at the grocery stores. Hate that it's seasonal. Even my "No Thank you, I don't like beer" friends loved this one! The color was a nice reddish/brownish/and yes, orange. Frothing with a pumpkin smell, my friends were a bit offended by the odor, til they tasted it too. You just don't expect pumpkin pie in a beer, yet there it is. We all just kept saying, wow! It was light, and very refreshing on a hot autumn day in the south, and yet warm and comforting on the cool ones. I can't wait for the fall, to get my paws on it again!

Had this again in '05, what a let down. '04 has been the best so far, sad that it hasn't been matched since. Maybe '06 will make a difference.

finepaws, May 22, 2004
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow! Stunning! This beer actually smells and tastes like pumpkin pie. I've never had a pumpkin beer that could actually do that. It pours a clear, crimson-tinted mahogany with orange and ruby highlights beneath a creamy head of light-tan foam. The head retention is fair, and it holds a short while before dropping to an average collar (no lacing). The nose is exactly like pumpkin pie with notes of sweet brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and all-spice. The body is medium-full; and it's lightly zesty on the tongue with a fine-bubbled, median carbonation. The flavor, of course, is not nearly as sweet as real pumpkin pie, but the spices are present in just the right proportions. The maltiness beneath is sweet, and a touch caramelish; and its sublime bitterness acts only as a secondary to the spice in balancing the malt. It finishes with some residual sweetness that lingers stronger than the spice does; although the spice outlasts the malty sweetness. Still, it's not overpowering at all, and would make a satisfying addition to many dishes. A Thanksgiving dinner seems the most appropriate (whether with the meal or at dessert), but I think this could actually serve quite well in several other situations (Indian cuisine, for example). Really interesting, quite enjoyable, and surprisingly drinkable given the style!

NeroFiddled, Mar 09, 2004
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 PhantomVodoo
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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 mntlover
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy amber brown head small and falls quickly smells like pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon thanksgiving all over again. Taste is pumkin flavored malt with a touch of spice and hops thrown in for good measure. Nice medium bodied spiced beer glad I found some only have had three pumpkin beers this one probably the most enjoyable and drinkable good taste with out going overboard on the pumpkin.

mntlover, Dec 29, 2003
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured hazy amber-brown and the bottle had quite a layer of sediment in it for this beer to not be bottle conditioned. The head fell back quickly. The aroma is spice and malt, actually lots of malt aroma and a good spice balance. Also in the aroma is caramel, and ginger. The flavor is well done with clove and cinnamon spice, probably alspice all well balanced. The malt flavors accompanying the spice are well done also. The body works well and gives the beer a good drinkability.

This is a very well done Pumpkin Ale.

GCBrewingCo, Nov 21, 2003
Photo of Loki
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 12oz bottle.

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

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

Taste: Starts with nicely roasted malt that smoothly slides to nutmeg and pumpkin with hints of cinnamon and hops. The pumpkin flavor holds the middle together and makes the transition from the sweet malt to the hops very pleasant. And I don't like pumpkin. Very solid body and smooth, clean finish. Very drinkable and begs to be paired with food. One of, if not the best Pumpkin Ale I've had this season. A solid return to a line that lost a step or two in the years past during the transition.

Loki, Oct 29, 2003
Photo of Stubbie1
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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 JISurfer
4.65/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is hands down THE best pumpkin ale I've ever had. I had it on tap at the brewery, which was almost heavenly. So much, that I sampled it like 3 times and got 2 pints of it(all for only $5 for the tour charge, drinks were free)! The color was a dark orangey color and had a creamy head to it that frothed very well, as well as lasted a while. The smell was oh so delicious, just like the taste was. It had elements of all spice and cinnamon. They said that they brew it with actual pumpkin, all spice, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, all of which are all natural. I was very suprised by their rigidness for the whole all natural thing. Anyways, I couldn't really think of any way that they could have improved on making the smell any better. The taste was similar to the smell, but was more complex. You could taste the all spice at first, but then the pumpkin, cloves, and ginger took over. It settled so nicely on the tounge. It was well balanced, so that it wasn;t too sweet or too malty. That in itself was very impressive, I thought. I honestly could sit at home, or anywhere esle, and drink this stuff forever. After having this, it makes me wanna go out and spread the word of the Carolina Pumpkin Ale. If you ever have the chance, go taste it. You will die a happy person.

JISurfer, Oct 19, 2003
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 oberon
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great color,looked unfiltered,smelled like a nice spiced pumpkin pie or bread(coul smell it all day without even takin a sip.)Pumpkin pie spice came through on palate very well,cardimum,cinnamon?Had nice malty texture and didnt fill me up after 4 of them.Cottonwood for me is the best bottled ales to get here in this area.

oberon, Feb 03, 2003
Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale from Carolina Beer Company
86 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.