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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

170 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 170
Reviews: 144
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.77%
Wants: 10
Gots: 8 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 170 | Reviews: 144 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WeisGuy
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a - deep copper/burnt orange, medium tan head with little retention, little lacing, hazy

s - great pumpkin pie/bread smell, instantly makes me think of thanksgiving, cinammon and clove, normal pumpkin pie spices

t - malty up front with lots of pumpkin flavor, clove, cinammon, lots of ginger as well

m - medium-bodied, moderate carbonation

d - very drinkable, especially with the low abv, could definitely drink several of these

This is my first pumpkin ale, and it was a good one in my opinion. This is exactly what I was hoping the style would be. Not something I'd drink everyday, but a good change of pace beer for a fall day.

Photo of ppoitras
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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."

Photo of BeerBeing
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown glass longneck generic bottle, multicolored label

Appearance: clear mahogany-orange color, smalloff-white head, no lacing

Smell: spices, pumpkin, kinda cherry (?), malt

Taste: medium body, crisp mouth feel, good balanced spiciness, some hops, minor pumpkin. toasted maltiness

Notes: very good, pleasant and refreshing brew

Photo of whartontallboy
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of brentk56
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

Photo of kingjames1
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First off, you should know that I am not a fan (yet) of this style. In fact, my first sample of the style I could hardly finish.

This pours a rich, dark amber, which is very appealing, though the head and lacing disappoint a little. The smell is very good, for a pumpkin spiced ale. In fact it smells just like pumpkin pie, no kidding (though only slighty weaker in aroma). Taste is pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, slight brown sugar (malt sweetness?), and just a touch of alcohol. The mouthfeel is decent, but slightly watery. I don't know if that is inherent to the style?

Again, for the style (and my tastes) this is very drinkable. Cottonwood just might win me over to the style...but then again, there are many other seasonal beers out there I would drink instead (marzens, winter warmers and other christmas seasonals).

Photo of Chadbrew
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours out sort of hazy and brown with a big cap of tan head. I swear it looks like a piece of pumkin pie in a glass. Smells like it too. I detect plenty of spices and some sweetness. The taste is nice and bitter sweet with a solid spice presence but nothing overwhelming. Lots of body definately matches the spice.
This is sooo easy to drink. Not too much of anything but plenty of all. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it is very well balanced.

Photo of tommy78
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got it straight from the tap. Immediately, I smelled a pumpkin aroma. Colour is a brownish/orange tint. As soon as I tasted it, a pumpkin flavor mixed with spicy hops hit my tongue. It reminded me of having pumpkin pie, except in alcoholic, liquid form. A good feel to the beverage, though it was hard for me to drink it consistantly. I had to take a couple of sips of h2o in between to cleanse the pallet. Good fall beer to have.

Photo of mmmbeer
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

Photo of cracgor
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brown color with a nice little tan head that quickly receeds to a thin ring around the glass with no lace. Smells so much like pumpkin pie. Spicy pumpkin pie. Makes me think I need whipped cream. So delicious tasting. They nailed pumpkin pie. It even has a little of the smooth texture I identify with the pie. Crap I need pie. This is the first pumpkin beer I ever tried, and I have always enjoyed it.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of pentathlete
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark orange with small quickly dissipating head. Opaque, with tiny bubbles and no columns. No table or lacing. Smell is pumpkin pie all the way...nutmeg, cinnamon, light clove. Delicious smell...should I float some whipped cream on this? Taste doesn't quite live up to the nose. Malty, spicy flavors fall short due to a watery thinness that belies the nose. Easy to drink and a fine beer to serve for a fall get together.

Photo of Winter
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
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!

Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first pumpkin ale and it was something of a surprise - much better than I'd anticipated...

The brew poured a deep reddish brown, somewhere in the neighborhood of a dark amber ale... Thick off white head that stuck around for a bit but then completely disappeared. No lacing on the glass - it looked like I was drinking a cranberry juice.

The smell was incredibly inviting and perfect for autumn - somewhere between pumpkin pie and mulled cider. The nose was almost entirely cinnamon and allspice with a little bit of that pumpkin funk.

The taste was heavy on the malt - plenty of toasted bread notes with a faint hint of pumpkin followed by a strong finish of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. No hops notes that I noticed but the spicing provided plenty of zing.

Mouthfeel was okay but a little flat. It seems all the carbonation left in the head leaving only a slight tingle on the tongue. Slightly dry finish (so there must be -some- hops in there) and leaves a surprisingly clean palate.

All in all tasty and pleasant - I can easily see drinking this at holiday meals and gatherings. A good preview of the winter warmers to come and a tasty seasonal style.

[Thanks to mntlover for another interesting NC brew - proving once again that low ABV beers don't have to be boring]

Photo of buckiflyer
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Anoter 1.75$ bottle purchase from Total Wine and More. Poured a light orangish color, big head, much larger than I anticipated. Instant pumpkin and spice smell, fresh pumpkin pie. Average mouthfeel, smooth hop and punkin taste with a spice finsih, another nice pumkin offering.

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 version pours a clear, copper body with a two finger, beige head that quickly falls away. Patch lacing is sporadic. Aroma has some vegetal fresh pumpkin that I don't recall from the 2004 edition, but adds a fresh pumpkin character missing in the other pumpkin ales I've tried. All the pie spices are prominent in the aroma, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger. Malty toffee and spicy hops are also assertive, such that the pumpkin and spices compliment, rather than overwhelm the aroma. Very nice. Mouthfeel is light to light medium bodied, with higher carbonation than expected. Taste mirrors the aroma, but is more complex. Vegetal pumpkin is very appealing and well executed here. The pie spicing is aggressive, but folds nicely into the malty toffee/caramel and spicy hop profile. This one is the best pumpkin ale I've tried, and eclipses Cottonwood's 2004 version. The fresh pumpkin presence is amazing here, but this ale is executed so well that it is actually very drinkable. Well done!

Photo of blackie
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of numenor1
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orangish red with a two finger head that reduces to nothing quickly. Smells of perfect pumpkin pie. Upfront is bready malts riddled with pumpkin, reminds me more of a really good pumpkin bread then pie, then midway the pumpkin spices catch on. Sweet for just a moment then ends with a nice blend of mild hops and pumpkin. Pumpkin lingering on. Very light bodied and mildly carbonated, quite nice. I would have liked a slightly heftier body. On cask this would rock.

Photo of Caesar1pup
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I’m in heaven! This is one of the best, if not the best Pumpkin Brews I have ever gotten my greasy grimy mitts wrapped around.

12 ounces of golden orange color with a good tan head. Aroma is incredible; nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, you’d think you were in the kitchen waiting for mom to pop this into a pie shell to bake in the oven.

The taste was very pleasing and the spices take front stage but do not completely cover the malt flavor. Real pumpkin in every bottle with a brewer not afraid to add the right amount of spices, what more could you ask for? How about another…..happily.

Photo of dirtylou
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Luigi
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very rich amber color and a light tan thin lace for a head. The aroma is like pumpkin pie. Nutmeg, pumpkin seed, with sweet malts. The flavor is about the same. Sweet malts and pumpkin pie spice. A perfect balance of maltiness and spice. Goes down easy and taste great. This is a brew that I look forward to every fall.

Photo of silver0rlead
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My first Carolina Beer & Beverage purchase since the boycott ended a few weeks ago. Pours a slightly hazy deep amber with an almost pumpkin colored tint and a nice tan head that dissapates very quickly. Smell is of sweet pumpkin pie with hints of spices and vanilla, an incredible aroma for a pumpkin beer, bar none the best smelling pumpkin beer ive had. Flavor is similar to the smell: sweet pumpkin pie with hints of spices and vanilla and almost no detectable hops presence , almost like pumpkin pie a la mode...very nice but the sweetness detracts from the character slightly i think. Mouthfeel is creamy with moderate carbonation and a medium body. An excellent pumpkin ale, with extremely good drinkability...a tad on the sweet side but great regardless. I was worried about this one as the quality of the other cottonwood beers has definately declined in the past year but they seem to have at least gotten this one right.

Photo of wcudwight
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

Photo of assurbanipaul
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A ruddy and hazy pour with a medium white head that fades after a few minutes. Spices are easily evident in the aroma, smells like Thanksgiving: cranberry, allspice, some sweet malts and syrup.

Taste is dryer than the scent gives off. Mildly malted but without the bitterness of the hop bite; instead, it is replaced with a lingering spiciness of pumpkin pie, cinnamon and cloves with a very, very faint lemon. Some caramel and berry elements but not enough to turn it cloying -- surprisingly dry and reserved while remaining flavorful. Flavor triggers a memory of supermarket-brand generic cherry cola.

Mouthfeel is light and clean, well-carbonated. Smooth, no detectable alcohol taste, very drinkable. Thanks to AKSmokedPorter for this one.

Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale from Carolina Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 170 ratings.