Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale - Carolina Beer Company
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Ratings: 161 | Reviews: 142 | Display Reviews Only:
3.6/5 rDev -7%
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.
11-04-2010 15:24:01 | More by Thorpe429
4.05/5 rDev +4.7%
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.
10-24-2005 14:18:22 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.05/5 rDev +4.7%
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
11-26-2005 22:30:08 | More by brentk56
3.5/5 rDev -9.6%
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 wouldnt mind trying some other ones.
12-13-2004 20:06:57 | More by Phyl21ca
4.08/5 rDev +5.4%
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.
10-19-2006 14:17:50 | More by BEERchitect
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.
09-22-2010 00:18:10 | More by mikesgroove
4.3/5 rDev +11.1%
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.
02-03-2003 07:27:54 | More by oberon
4.25/5 rDev +9.8%
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!
03-09-2004 22:43:42 | More by NeroFiddled
3.75/5 rDev -3.1%
Acquired via trade from NClifestyle, so a big Thank you goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.
A: The beer is a cloudy light brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.
S: The aroma is of pumpkin (as one would expect), brown sugar, spices and caramelized malt.
T: It has a very sweet and bready taste of pumpkin and gingerbread, with caramelized malt, cinnamon and a touch of hops. The after-taste has me looking for a sip of coffee to wash down the pie, but then I remember that Im drinking a beer.
M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium-to-high carbonation (I was expecting a bit less fizziness), finish is a little sticky.
D: Very tasty, goes down easy, a little bit filling, especially if you drink it as a dessert beer after a meal, a good representation of style, there are others in the style that I would choose first.
12-02-2006 02:55:58 | More by TheManiacalOne
4/5 rDev +3.4%
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.
09-21-2004 21:07:45 | More by Jason
3.45/5 rDev -10.9%
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.
12-07-2007 17:56:31 | More by Kegatron
3.78/5 rDev -2.3%
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.
10-29-2004 09:37:23 | More by feloniousmonk
United Kingdom (Wales)
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.
09-12-2010 01:37:47 | More by mothman
3.73/5 rDev -3.6%
12oz bottle from hoppedup as part of the East Coast 6-Pack & Shirt BIF. Thanks for the opportunity. *Disclaimer: Not the world's biggest pumpkin or spiced beer fan, but I'll give everything a try once, at least when it comes to beer.*
Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 2" pumpkiny tan head above the slightly cloudy orangey copper brew. Head lasts very nicely, with plentiful delicate lacing. Aroma is strongly of pumpkin and spices. Even if I'm not a big fan, hard to fault a brew for delivering what they advertise on the label... Taste is spiced pumpkin bread, with cloves and such coming on even stronger at the close. Mouthfeel and drinkability are what I would expect from the style, and could certainly be worse. As some would say, "Not bad, for a spice pumpkin beer."
02-15-2006 23:20:49 | More by ppoitras
3.88/5 rDev +0.3%
Poured a murky dark copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.
The smell featured a deep cooked pumpkin flesh aroma with hints of sweet brown sugar. Perhaps a bit of nutmeg, but otherwise no real spiciness.
The taste consisted of a think pumpkin flesh mixed with brown sugar and a bit of molasses. Some nutmeg dryness. Again, not much in the area of pumpkin spices though.
The mouthfeel was full and coating.
Overall an authentic pumpkin flesh sweetness. However, there could be a bit more cinammon or allspice spiciness to balance out the flavor.
12-21-2006 04:46:42 | More by plaid75
4.5/5 rDev +16.3%
12oz bottle, picked up a 6 pack in Raleigh
appearance: a nice rich orange/copper mix with a fluffy tan head and nice lacing. Compared to the last few pumpkin beers I have had this thing looks like a winner
smell: mmm, pumpkin pie, all sorts of traces of spices including cinnamon and nutmeg. brown sugar aromas add a nice touch....wonderful
taste: well, this thing owns new holland ichabod, no question about it. it actually tastes like pumpkin pie with great hints of spices that came through in the nose coming through in the taste as well. The pumpkin and spice is balanced well in comparison to some other pumpkin ales. the pumpkin really gets to shine in this beer. bravo
mouthfeel: definately not too thin which was my beef with some others, nice carbonation, medium bodied, tickles the tongue
drinkability: just like i remembered, i can drink these all day long
congratulations cottonwood, while the brewery has changed greatly over the past years, this brew remains top notch for a pumpkin ale.
09-10-2005 20:08:35 | More by dirtylou
3.9/5 rDev +0.8%
12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. No date or info.
Thanks to Onenote81 for sending this in a big surprise box!
A - Completely hazed over, this amber-orange beer had a moderately retained off-white head that ended in a lace-less thin pile.
S - The twist of the cap and following gun smoke wafting into the air released a burst of spicy pumpkin ale aroma. Ginger, nutmeg, pumpkin, cinnamon, and allspice combine for a pleasurable pumpkin pie aroma. Bready caramel malts make up a good crusty-like base for the pumpkin.
T - Heavy on the spice as the aroma suggested, it's got a great conglomerate of spice dashed in. Nice pumpkin flavor and smooth maltiness. Never overwhelming.
M - A little on the carbonated side, this pumpkin has a medium-light body, smooth entry, and a sharp finish.
D - This is a good pumpkin worthy of drinking all fall long. Enjoyable and tasty! Thanks Jon!
11-21-2010 19:45:49 | More by BeerFMAndy
4.2/5 rDev +8.5%
Served from tap into a SweetWater IPA shaker. Poured murky dark orange with a one finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. There was no lacing evident throughout. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, pumpkin, nutmeg, and graham cracker. The flavor was of sweet malt, pumpkin, and pie crust. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this brew was quite excellent for its style. Basically tasted like pumpkin pie without a doubt. I understand that this could be a love/hate brew, but I am on the love side. My idea of these styles of brew is: dessert in a glass... Yes please!
10-18-2010 18:13:04 | More by thagr81us
3.65/5 rDev -5.7%
Pours a bright copper color with a medium-bubbled thin head that neither grows nor goes away with a continuous feed of bubbles, even from a non-etched glass.
Mmmmm, smells good. Real good. Sweet pumpkin pie nose that can be detected from 2 feet away. Not too heavy on the spices, mainly focuses on the pie and sweet caramely malts.
Smooth pumpkin flavors, nothing too drastic. I am a bit bummed that not much of the sweetness made it through to the taste. Easy drinking pumpkin ale that really delivers on the pumpkin aspect of the beer and does not go overboard with the spices. Has noticeable hops to keep it crisp and dry enough to warrent drinking 2 or 3 at a time. Overall, not too shabby and glad I have another bottle.
02-14-2009 05:31:18 | More by twiggamortis420
4.15/5 rDev +7.2%
Aroma is strong but not overwhelming, rather pumpkin-like and with strong spice overtones, particularly cloves. Color is a nice dark reddish amber; head is off-white and fairly thick but does not persist. Flavor is smooth and malty with a solid pumpkin overtone and spicy hints, so it is almost like drinking a liquid pumpkin pie. Perfect for the holidays.
12-30-2007 19:29:17 | More by Cyberkedi
4.9/5 rDev +26.6%
Hazy unfiltered orangish brown with a low light tan head and good carbonation. Perfect blend of pumpkin and spices in both aroma and taste. Medium bodied and smooth.
Blows Post Road away and is also better than Buffalo Bill's. I was pleasantly suprised !!
Hazy amber color (near dark brown). Huge pumpkin spice aroma and taste ! An unreal job with the spices - Excellent !
Bronze - 1999 GABF - Herb and Spice Beers
DOB (on neck): 10/01/02
Tasted: & 01/24/03
12-16-2002 10:59:45 | More by RBorsato
4.3/5 rDev +11.1%
Little worried about being disappointed by this one: it was my all-time fav during college, and I haven't had it in a couple of years.
Pours out a muted orange-brown with a big off-white head that quickly recedes into the brew. Nice bubbling carbonation.
Smell is pumpkin-laden, moreso than other pumpkin ales. It's tempered nicely by scents of nutmeg and cinnamon, with just a little hint of allspice, and a bready malt aroma. There's also a slight bitter hop edge.
Flavor is similar to the smell, lots of pumpkin-pie, but not cloyingly sweet. The cinnamon and allspice are at the front, but the the cinnamon's not too spicy or hot. The malt-doughiness is strong enough to stand up to the spices, and a little bit of hoppy bitterness rounds things out nicely.
Overall: Still the best pumpkin ale I've ever had by a wide margin. It's not cloying, doesn't taste like canned pumpkin, and doesn't have any acidic off notes. Just a wonderful drinking brew, and one of my favorites, regardless of style.
11-29-2005 16:04:24 | More by whartontallboy
3.73/5 rDev -3.6%
appearance: Dark, reddish amber in color. The off white head is short lived, and leaves a ring around the top of the beer.
smell: Smells strongly of pumpkin pie spices: nutmeg, brown sugar, cinaman. Some caramel aromas, maybe from the malt. Cannot pick up on too many hop smells.
mouthfeel: medium thin in body, on the high end of the medium carbonation range
taste: More of the pie spice form the nose, but muted in comparison. The initial spice flavors fade and some light caramel malts come in. Very light hop bitterness in the finish, as well as slightly watery.
drinkability: Good, but the aftertaste might limit me to about three of these. A nice pumpkin ale.
09-15-2005 22:46:35 | More by blackie
Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale from Carolina Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 161 ratings.