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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 kneeland
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found a 6 pack of this on clearance in February, score! I've never had pumpkin ale this time of year, it actually makes me think it's autumn.

I'm not picking up on the spices, but yet the flavor is almost overbearing. The added pumpkin taste is nice though, not too much, not too little. So in other words, this isn't my favorite pumpkin ale, but it's in the top few.

The pour is a nice golden orangey color. The head works well enough. Overall, a pretty good little beer.

kneeland, Feb 19, 2011
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 TheKingofWichita
2.88/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark russet brown color with a thick tannish white head and tons of lacing. Smells of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg + some booze. Tastes very mediocre. Like pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc, but just too boozy. Mouthfeel is decent. Drinkability is high.

TheKingofWichita, Nov 21, 2010
Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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!

BeerFMAndy, Nov 21, 2010
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 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 jsdunlop
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I look forward to Cottonwood's arrival each fall here in NC, kinda lets me know Fall's arrived...finally getting around to reviewing this one so here it goes:

Pours out as a darker orange with lots of carbonation and a nice fluffy white head that recedes fairly quickly down to some minimal lacing on top. Smell consists of a blast of cinnamon, nutmeg, and some raw pumpkin, not quite as intense as some others out there on the "pumpkin pie" spices, but definitely smells delicious. Next comes the taste, which along with the drinkability, are the key elements of this brew. What I enjoy about this beer is the fact that there is a slight pumpkin bitterness that hangs around with your standard run of the mill holiday spicing, nothing too overwhelming going on here, light on the malt side with a spice note similar to that of a rye beer. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with an abundance of carbonation and sort of a slick aftertaste that lingers on the tongue. Drinkability is extremely high, unlike other bold tasting pumpkins out around this time. This would be a great beer for the cool fall evenings, but at the same time, it is light enough to enjoy on a hot summer day out in the yard...might go ahead and grab a case to test that theory out next summer

jsdunlop, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of Onenote81
2.93/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, part of an autumn-themed mixed sixer. Poured into a pint glass. Pours a very thick, cloudy dark rusty amber. The thinnest of heads rests atop. Disappears quickly. Not even a ring around the edge. No lace. The nose is weak and underwhelming. The spices are muted, pumpkin is absent. I'm finding sour fruits, and syrup. Not what I expected.

The mouth is decent. Good carbonation play, and a slightly heavy finish. I don't know. This has some mild pumpkin in the flavor, but it's pretty weak. It's more cider-y, with notes of apples and light spices. I'm not sure I would or could have another one of these. I expected more, but it was found lacking. Too bad. I wanted to like this.

Onenote81, Oct 27, 2010
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 DesMoinesMike
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tried this one during a layover at Charlotte Int'l Airport and was very satisfied by it.
It's a dark orange/tan color and very hazy. The body is on the heavy side of medium for thickness and is not watery at all. The aroma has some cinnamon and malt. The taste was a combination on cinnamon, nutmeg, and just the right amount of pumpkin. It goes down the gullet rather smoothly. After wards some of the spice and hops linger. This is definitely a repeat if I'm ever in that area again, or if they start distributing in the Midwest.

DesMoinesMike, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of thagr81us
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

thagr81us, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of knoxtennessee
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My favorite type of beer and my favorite time of year.

A- Great orange color but super hazy and no head to speak of. This is pretty typical of the mediocre Knoxville bar I frequent.

S- Lovely aroma of nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon. Nice malty sweet smells as well.

T- As good as it smells. Sweet malt and spice. Nice and bready. A little dryer than expected. I like these beers a little sweet and heavy, but this one is lighter and cleaner than most. To each their own I suppose.

M- Lighter than you'd expect. Medium-light.

D- I had two back to back and could have kept going. More quaffable than one would expect.

knoxtennessee, Sep 27, 2010
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 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 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 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 rapidsequence
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz twist off bottle-- cmon guys, a twist?

Appearance: I feel strongly that a pumpkin beer should be orangey. This one is a dark orange, just slightly hazy beer. with a little head that immediately disappears. Looks OK, not great.

Smell: This is very pumpkin-pie like. Which is good. It is also very un-beer like. I like the pumpkiny smell, but it doesnt smell that much like beer. I like it though.

Taste: OK. This tastes like you think its going to. Very pumpkin-pie-y, too sweet. Not great for a good pumpkin beer, but not too bad if you're in the mood for it. It does have a little hoppiness that attempts to balance things, but the malt that attempts to build the body is caramelly sweet. Bah-- I like it in spite of myself.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is pretty good actually. Surprisingly big for the low ABV actually. Carbonation is appropriate, but not instrusive and contributes some foamy, full feel in the mouth.

Drinkability: I did not want to like this, but its pretty good. I would not want another, but I never do with pumpkin beer. Worth a try.

rapidsequence, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of CHADMC3
3.85/5  rDev 0%
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 slickmick22
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep orange in pint glass. Small head and slight lacing.

smells just like a pumpkin pie. Great. Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and nice malt.

Taste is great as well. The best pumpkin I have tried. Excellent!

mouth is medium bodied. Great spice taste.

Very drinkable but usually stop at two. Great around Halloween/Thanksgiving.

Serving type: bottle

slickmick22, Nov 27, 2009
Photo of gabe23
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Cloudy, honey colored brew with a dense off-white head. It fades quickly to a thin cap with no lacing.

S - Very pleasant spicy aroma. Ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and pumpkin with a gentle caramel sweetness and a touch of earthy hops. Not really very beer like, but nice.

T - Cinnamon and ginger up front, with a mild pumpkin flavor following. Fairly sweet but with ginger bite that balances things out at the finish.

M - Fairly thin with moderate carbonation.

D - This is a unique take on the style, and one that I'll try again. The spices are a bit strong and linger on the tongue, so I doubt that I'd ever drink more than a couple at a time.

gabe23, Nov 18, 2009
Photo of towersfall
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours an opaque slightly cloudy orange with a quickly disappearing head.

Smell: An overly sweet pumpkin smell with a slight hint of spices. Smells like Thanksgiving.

Taste: Way more pumpkin (possibly from a puree) than needed with little or no spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium body that's easy to down with a slightly under-carbonated feel.

Drinkability: This is balanced well enough for me to reach for it again next year but I may find it hard to finish multiples of these because of the strong pumpkin puree taste.

towersfall, Nov 05, 2009
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 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 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
Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale from Carolina Beer Company
86 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.