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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

161 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 161
Reviews: 142
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.66%
Wants: 10
Gots: 4 | 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: 161 | Reviews: 142 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

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
Photo of StarlightSeraph
StarlightSeraph

North Carolina

3.4/5  rDev -12.1%

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.

02-08-2009 22:51:56 | More by StarlightSeraph
Photo of hellbilly
hellbilly

Arizona

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

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

01-31-2009 19:21:46 | More by hellbilly
Photo of CrellMoset
CrellMoset

Virginia

3.38/5  rDev -12.7%

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.

01-16-2009 06:23:41 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of Poser
Poser

Alabama

3.7/5  rDev -4.4%

Pours an amber with healthy head and decent retention. Cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar aroma. A brown sugar stickiness up front with a crisp finish. No hops noticed but there is plenty of bitterness from the spices (which isn't a demerit). A little watery. Suffers from a common problem I have with pumpkins -- they taste like a light beer with spices added at the end. Slightly off in the aftertaste.

01-03-2009 04:37:11 | More by Poser
Photo of Monkeyknife
Monkeyknife

Missouri

3.73/5  rDev -3.6%

Thanks to SaCkErZ9 for this bottle.

Poured from the bottle a cloudy orange amber color with one finger of small-bubbled beige head.

Aroma is like a whiff of pumpkin pie. Cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and biscuit make it happen.

The taste is not as bold as the aroma. Watered down with just a hint of cloves and cinnamon.

Thinner bodied and moderately carbonated.

A pretty good pumpkin ale from Cottonwood but I wish the taste had the punch I found inn the aroma.

12-20-2008 19:54:56 | More by Monkeyknife
Photo of ncbeermonger
ncbeermonger

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +1.6%

pours a dark copper color

Smells like pumpkin and cinnamon, outstanding!

tastes like pumpkin pie, far better than any other pumpkin beer I have ever had, I could drink a six pack of this no problem!

The mouthfeel is clean and crisp

This is a very drinkable pumpkin ale, if you can find it you should try it!

12-13-2008 02:21:53 | More by ncbeermonger
Photo of Mauerhan
Mauerhan

California

4.2/5  rDev +8.5%

pours a rich dark orange into my pint glass. a flash of head appears and is gone as quickly as it came...(nickel for every time i heard that one) tiny lacing.

smells awesome. pumpkin spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, possibly some cloves. along with the flurry of spices i get some nice malt characters.

taste follows suit. earthy spices play with the senses while the sweetness of the malts follows close behind. the flavors of this beauty meld together great. whoever created this beer made sure of that.

mouth is medium bodied. between the spice and the carbonation its like a symphony on my tongue.

drinkable yes. but im not sure i could put back more than two of these in a row. but this would be great for special occasions.

11-14-2008 07:59:20 | More by Mauerhan
Photo of craytonic
craytonic

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +3.4%

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.

10-31-2008 17:23:07 | More by craytonic
Photo of CAP1868
CAP1868

North Carolina

2.63/5  rDev -32%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Poured a light hazy orange about what you'd expect from a pumpkin ale, had a small head but it didn't last

S- Smelled of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg

T- Tasted way to light and fruity for me, when you read "spice" on the bottle I thought spicy, not fruity. Just didnt do much for me.

M- Decent mouthfeel, medium bodied but the taste just doesn't do it for me

D- You could easily drink quite a few of these but I must refrain from doing so.

UPDATE- I think I got skunk beer when I bought this. I tried this brew on 9/12/09 and it was excellent. I would give it an A-

10-27-2008 20:33:25 | More by CAP1868
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81

Virginia

4.1/5  rDev +5.9%

Pours a auburn tinted orange with one-finger head and some lacing. Nutmeg is what I smell most, but there is good dash of cinnamon and pumpkin spice, and maybe some bread/pie crust. Incredibly smooth and creamy were the first two adjectives to hit me. There is a substantial pumpkin flavor in this beer. It maintains a sweetness while balance the malts and hops so it isn't overly sweet and it has a crisp, relaxing finish. Medium-bodied but filling due to the carbonation. With the ABV low and the pumpkin taste not a killer (meaning you'd get sick of it after awhile), I could drink this all day.

10-15-2008 17:16:37 | More by clayrock81
Photo of LiveaHoppyLife
LiveaHoppyLife

North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

I love this beer. I went to Appalachian State, which is where this beer began. Cottonwood Brewery was the best, and it was very sad to see Boone lose it. Especially to Carolina Beer Company!
The flavor of this pumpkin ale is very different than any others out there. They truly have figured out how to create a liquid, alcoholic pumpkin pie! The only pumpkin ale I've had that is close to this flavor is Dogfish Head Punkin'.
Give this beer a try. I don't recommend any food with it, because the flavor is so complex you really should devote your entire palate to it.
This beer is fall only, not year round as stated above.

10-06-2008 20:01:35 | More by LiveaHoppyLife
Photo of PatrickJR
PatrickJR

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +14.5%

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.

10-06-2008 05:37:00 | More by PatrickJR
Photo of Proteus93
Proteus93

Virginia

3.95/5  rDev +2.1%

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.

09-29-2008 03:38:08 | More by Proteus93
Photo of Strix
Strix

Wisconsin

3.63/5  rDev -6.2%

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.

09-24-2008 02:52:47 | More by Strix
Photo of kaleidoskope
kaleidoskope

North Carolina

4.7/5  rDev +21.4%

I'm a big fan of fruit/spiced beers, and this is without a doubt the best pumpkin ale I've ever had. I'm in NC, so mine is always fresh. I think the bad reviews might be the result of people getting year-old bottles from shady sellers.

Appearance - Hazy burnt orange with about a quarter-inch head that dissipates quickly. I've not seen another pumpkin ale quite this color before.

Smell - Just like pumpkin pie! It's very strange, but in a good way.

Taste - Sweet, yet very fresh-tasting. The spices (nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger) come through stronger than the pumpkin, in contrast to the aroma, which is much more pumpkin-heavy.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation (more than I'd prefer, to be honest). Tickles the throat on the way down.

Drinkability - Quite good. As much as I love fall seasonals, especially pumpkin ales, I'm generally tired of them by December. This, however, I could drink year-round.

09-15-2008 23:19:35 | More by kaleidoskope
Photo of vtfan77
vtfan77

Virginia

3.53/5  rDev -8.8%

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.

09-06-2008 03:33:54 | More by vtfan77
Photo of manleyphoto
manleyphoto

Virginia

3.05/5  rDev -21.2%

It's shameful and embarrassing, I know, but I'm a squashist. That's right; I hate squash in all of its forms. Butternut, acorn, zucchini, they're no friends of mine. So why drink a pumpkin beer you ask? Well, Cottonwood Pumpkin Ale is generally regarded as one of the best of the bunch as far as spiced beers go. It's nearly Halloween, let's give it a shot.
It pours a pleasant hazy orange and the smell of pumpkin spice takes charge right up front. I get a whiff of that evil squash poking around in there, but mostly it reminds me of a great pumpkin pie. The taste is not quite as pungent as the aroma but a smooth malt body really carries the nutmeg and cinnamon spice well. I think the key to making a good spiced beer is having a good base beer to start with, and Cottonwood Pumpkin tastes like nice amber ale with the squash and spices woven in to make a flavorful but subdued drink.
I think once a year we should all put our petty vegetable hatred aside to enjoy something special, for me this is it. Come winter though, no gourd is getting anywhere near my drink.

02-14-2008 18:08:10 | More by manleyphoto
Photo of cbleary
cbleary

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -2.3%

Enjoyed out of a 12oz bottle into a cold glass mug.

The beer looked great and light orange with a frothy but quickly dissipating head. Some nice lacing in the glass though.

Of the pumpkin ales I've had, this one tastes the most like an appetizing pumpkin pie. The spices are just right and it strikes a great balance in achieving a fun sweet pumpkin taste with out forgetting it's a beer. Even people who hate beer would drink this, and that's a compliment.

A good beer to have once or twice a year to celebrate the season.

01-03-2008 23:54:30 | More by cbleary
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

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
Photo of Kegatron
Kegatron

Pennsylvania

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
Photo of Lothore
Lothore

California

4.3/5  rDev +11.1%

A- Hazy and reddish orange with a thin head that seems to dissapate quickly. Some carbonation bubbles visible through the haze.

S- Deep pumkiny smell with a hint of spices. Smells like the canned pumpkin used to make pie. A bit understated but I like the fact that it smells more naturally pumpkiny than other ones I have tried.

T- Tastes thick and full of pumpkin. Not as spicy as I was expecting. The taste seems a little bland and toned down but for me, with pumpkin ales, that is a good thing. So often people try to spice up their pumpkin beers and it leaves them tasting so "fake", this was not the case with this one.

M- Crisp and of medium viscosity. This is where the beer really shines for me. I love how crisp it is without being overly carbonated.

D- Pumpkin ales that I have had in general aren't very drinkable but this one seems to be an exception. While I wouldn't want more than one of two in a sitting every once in a while, it is definitely enjoyable.

Thanks to brentk56 for the opportunity.

11-05-2007 02:06:56 | More by Lothore
Photo of jdubjacket
jdubjacket

Georgia

4.53/5  rDev +17.1%

Acquired this in a trade with limesmut.

I first had this beer about 5 years ago. This was before I knew about good beer, and didn't know that you could make beer from pumpkins. This beer blew me away at the time, and I've been looking for it ever since. I got this in a trade with limesmut, and I must say that this beer is as good today as it was 5 years ago.

Pours a murky amber color with no head to speak of or lacing. Smells like pumpkin pie, cinnamon and spices. Tastes like it smells, only intensified. Very well balanced! The pumpkin and the underlying spices complement each other quite well. Mouthfeel is very smooth. It's slightly effervescent - but not too bad. I could drink these every day in the Fall if I had to. The season isn't complete until I get one of these, and I'm really glad I was able to pick up a sixer.

This is the best pumpkin beer of the season. Post Road & DFH Punkin' are good, but this is much better in my opinion. Now if only I could get my hands on some Southern Tier Pumking...

11-01-2007 01:18:54 | More by jdubjacket
Photo of burnstar
burnstar

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -7.5%

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.

10-30-2007 01:22:43 | More by burnstar
Photo of asabreed
asabreed

New York

3.95/5  rDev +2.1%

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.

10-24-2007 23:17:57 | More by asabreed
Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale from Carolina Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 161 ratings.