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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: 10
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
Ratings: 163 | Reviews: 143 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorite fruit/ veg beers. I havent had too many but this is one of my faves. Pours a cloudy amber with very little head and very little retention with no lacing. The smell is great; lots of spice aroma with cinnamon, cloves, and pumpkin pie spice. Tastes like pumpkin pie, which is a real treat. A very drinkable beer. I always enjoy many sessions of this beer around the holidays while hanging out with my family. Nice beer.

SaCkErZ9, Apr 09, 2005
Photo of Lantern
5/5  rDev +29.2%

Lantern, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of daliandragon
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Been holding this one in the fridge for a week and a half, which is an eon by my standards. Pour looked ggood initially but the head crapped out almost instantly withut a trace. Color is a dark cider with hints of orange. Nose has as much pure pumpkinn smell as any of the style I've ever tasted. Also as nice cinammon/nutmeg backing with malt undertones..mmm..tasty.

Taste is full and well flavored as the nnose with a spicy/clove finish, joined by a smoky flavor. Diifferent, and nice. Unfortunately the mouthfeel doesn't measure up the same way..too thin, without enough body to let the taste really shine. Also, the carbonation burns a bit whiile you're collecting flavor.

Definitely has its faults but this is still an original, well crafted pumpkin, certainly the best I've had besides long time favorite Post Road, and well worth a shot if you see a sixer or single.

daliandragon, Oct 05, 2006
Photo of kbutler1
3.1/5  rDev -19.9%
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 aracauna
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I wasn't expecting good, but I was impressed. Great balance of pumpkin, spice and the malt. Came across tasting a lot like a good pumpkin pie without getting too heavy, sweet or thick.

aracauna, Sep 18, 2002
Photo of JISurfer
4.65/5  rDev +20.2%
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 Proteus93
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Quite a deep amber - quite a bit darker than many others of the same style. Head fizzled up quickly and dramatically, but drops just as swiftly.

S: A big pumpkin pie aroma... plenty of spices, but the pumpkin is there as well (rather than being drowned out in spices, as can happen!) A nice, toasty malt aroma adds a pleasant touch.

T: Pumpkin and spice... plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg. Quite sweet compared to others. It gets a little close to being TOO sweet, and maybe just a little tart, but a pretty tasty beer. A bit of a 'smokiness,' but without truly tasting smoky - that doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, but I can't quite find a description to match what I'm thinking on that matter.

M + D: Wet... slippery... a little touch of dryness. A mellow carbonation tingle. Low alcohol makes it incredibly sessionable. It COULD get a little too sweet, but I'd risk it. A surprisingly decent take on the style, really.

Proteus93, Sep 29, 2008
Photo of mntlover
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
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 farrago
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very active and frothy head or cream white, the bubbles pop at such a rapid rate that it fizzes down to the surface in no time, no lacing. Deep amber red color, filmy sort of translucency but you can still see through it decently, more copper orange around the rims. The nose is crisp, however, light, the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg spices jump out at you, the pumpkin isn't too sweet, mild citrus touch as well, throws in a pinch of brown sugar on top. In the mouth it's medium-bodied with broad and fluffy carbonation, the orange and lemon citrus more present and you get edgier clove and ginger notes alongside sweeter cinnamon and allspice. As in the nose, not too much sugar or caramel dolloped on the pumpkin, retains a natural freshness. Once the fizz subsides, and that's pretty much at the finish, it displays a more creamy mouth feel. Avoiding excess sweetness good but the carbonation gets a little annoying.

farrago, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of MuddyFeet
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been working my way slowly through this six-pack because it is such a rich and hearty beer.

Pours a rich auburn with a slight orange twist. Slight ead that evaporates to essentially a film. Nose is full of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Just like my Ma's kitchen whenever she makes a pumpkin pie.

Flavor is rich and bold and spices. Honestly, I am not sure if there is pumpkin or all the pumpkin pie spices are just tricking my mind to think that there is pumpkin in there. But anyway, the flavor is so rich and full that it coats the inside of my cheeks. Very sweet too. Full body that holds up well even as the beer warms. Such a nice example of the style

MuddyFeet, Sep 28, 2006
Photo of deonreds
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

deonreds, Mar 19, 2012
Photo of beer2day
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
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 AlexJ
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
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 mmmbeer
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz with no freshness date. I poured it like a hefe to get all the unfiltered goodies out. The body is an opaque raspberry/brown with some sediment and a 1 finger yellowish/tan head that doesn't leave lacing but a thin blanket of foam remains throughout. It looks like a dank IPA. Soft pumpkin pie aroma - real pumpkin pie with a light spicing of nutmeg and cloves. Tastes like pumpkin pie also. Nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin, a bit of cinnamon... some sweetness and the malts/hops of the beer make faint appearances in the second half. The body is medium and fairly smooth but the carbonation is a bit sharp at times. Overall it's very tasty and I wish I had a slice of pie to pair it with.

mmmbeer, Nov 03, 2005
Photo of asabreed
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Semi dark and hazy from the yeast, though I didn't even pour. A more amber or copper color depending on what kind of light you're putting on it. Immediately frothy head sinks down not rapidly but more quickly than I expected, though the brew's still a bit cold.

Smell: Nice peppery pumpkin spice instead of the overly sweet variety. Citrus hops melds well with the cinnamon sticks, maple, and vanilla too. Not too sweet either, with a citrus hop sourness melding nicely with the spices. Quite nice, especially for this rainy fall day in Richmond.

Taste: Initial blast of citrus hops, pumpkin spice, lemon grass, and cinnamon. An odd but very nice combination. Being not too sweet, the flavors are melding nicely, letting the spice come out through the hops rather than the malt outdoing itself. Again, peppery spice melds nicely with the sweeter aspects of the malt, gingerbread, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice, making it quite odd but really good, with a long, semi-sweet and sour finish.

Mouthfeel: A little slick and oily, with maybe a bit too much of a carbonation blast. Could be better, but doesn't influence the beer negatively really.

Drinkability: A solid, quite different, and easy-going pumpkin ale, especially nice, as I said, for this rainy day. Not a high alcohol content, very flavorful, and hard to put down overall.

asabreed, Oct 25, 2007
Photo of bamadog
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
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 wcudwight
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark orange like a warm spiced tea. Decent head that discipated to a slight cover in about 30 sec. Excellent lacing covers the glass for the entire duriation of the beer.
S: Smells like a warm spiced tea of my wifes scented candles. I don't know if that description does it justice though.
T: Very unusual. I've never had another beer that taste like it. The spices really jump out at you, but I don't know what they are. Gets stronger and slightly metallic as beer warms.
M: Very thin. Carbonation bubbles in mouth. Fizzes like a soda.
D: Enough variance in taste to be a good beer, but as drinkable as a mainstream macro. I could drink a bunch of these really quick.

wcudwight, Sep 02, 2005
Photo of craytonic
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle at Mac's Speed Shop before the Q arrived.

Smell - Fresh pumpkin pie.

Taste - Delicious. Once again pumpkin pie, more pumpkin than spice. I get cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, caramel, allspice. Nice balanced malts & hops.

Mouthfeel: Great medium body, not too heavy or light. Nice pumpkin finish.

Very drinkable, I look forward to the next one! Not a common sentiment for these sorts of beers. I would love to speak to a brewer about how it is made.

craytonic, Oct 31, 2008
Photo of Lob
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Lob, Sep 04, 2012
Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A few years ago I got into trying pumkin ales. I quickly decided it wasn't a style I cared for and haven't gone back to it until this beer. Got this as a bonus via trade. Wow, I'm now rethinking this style.

A - Cloudy orangish light brown, with a small off white head that quickly disspates.

S - Good pumkin pie.

T - Better than it smells. Pumpkin, gingerbread and nutmeg stand tall and tasty.

M - Medium body, smooth and clean finish.

D - Great after dinner beer. Not overly filling. Easy to drink a couple and relax.

11-01-07 - found another one of these in the cellar that I forgot about. Suffice to say it did not age well over a year. I'd recommend buying it fresh and enjoying it current. I know it should go without saying but having had tasted this I thought I'd footnote this review.

barleywinebrewer, Jan 03, 2007
Photo of Winter
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brownish amber in color with a a tan head that disappeared. Sweet aroma of pumpkin pie. Cinnamon, nutmeg and pie crust all present. Truly smells like pumpkin pie in a bottle. Where's the Cool Whip? Mouthfeel is medium in body. Taste mirrors the nose and consists of pumpkin and cinnamon upfront. Nutmeg flavor emerges midway through. Malt in the finish is reminiscent of pie crust.

This is an excellent pumpkin ale. Probably my 2nd favorite behind DFH's Punkin', but this tastes more like pumpkin pie than theirs does. I wish we could get this around here on a regular basis.

Thanks to AKSmokedPorter for this Fall treat!

Winter, Oct 11, 2005
Photo of CHADMC3
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours a hazy copper to brown with an off white head that quickly dissolves to leave just a thin layer to sit atop the beer with almost no lacing.

Appetizing aroma of allspice & cinnamon highlights this traditional autumn pleaser.

The palate is surprisingly sweet, but not too much so and also featuring the traditional allspice & cinnamon highlighted in the aroma. A second visit seems to offer a touch of ginger, but also sweet malt.

Medium to light in body and carbonation with a very pleasant and palatable spice presence.

This is a good pumpkin ale that does not overwhelm the senses or approach the "imperial" category that others may. Have a try.

CHADMC3, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of Shiloh
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
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 PatrickJR
4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Deep amber/red with a slight haze. Nearly three fingers of head rise with decent retention. No lacing.

S - Perfect! Cinnamon and nutmeg are the most obvious spices, but there's a huge amount of actual pumpkin pulling through as well with a slight sourness. A hint of toasted malt as well. Very well balanced and big on the pumpkin aroma.

T - The cinnamon and nutmeg (with perhaps a bit of clove in there?) take hold first with a mild malt sweetness in the background. A small toasted flavor starts drying things out and then there's a big hit of sour pumpkin. Sourness lingers in the finish. Nicely balanced and great focus on the pumpkin.

M - Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation.

D - A great drinking pumpkin ale without the high ABV of some others. This is a very focused and balanced effort and the emphasis on the pumpkin flavor is perfectly executed. A top-notch pumpkin ale right up there with the big boys. It also manages not to become too sweet or bitter as others of the style.

PatrickJR, Oct 06, 2008
Photo of Strix
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazy dark brown-orange with a decent head.

Smells nearly exactly like pumpkin pie.

Tastes pretty much like pumpkin pie too, with a long pumpkin pie aftertaste. Not a lot of beer flavor, but if you like pumpkins, and pumpkin pie, and spices, this has it.

Mouthfeel a little thin.

This was my first pumpkin beer, and it's not a style I'm particularly enamored with. I wouldn't want to drink 2 of these, but it was an interesting experience - this definitely captured the flavor of pumpkin pie.

Strix, Sep 24, 2008
Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale from Carolina Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.