1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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: 7 | 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: 170 | Reviews: 144 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of Norfawkers
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A little too much of the gourd to go back for a second helping

Appearance: Opague, cloudy; minimal orange-amber head

Smell: Pumpkin pie

Taste: Faint spicy, pumpkin bread

Mouthfeel: Bitter with CO2 up front, a bit sour

Drinkability: It has a touch of rotten at the end making this a once-and-done beer. It looks better than it tastes.

Norfawkers, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of beer2day
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
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 kshankar
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper with a white head that lingers for very little. Recedes to a layer of film at the top. Plenty of carbonation

Aroma is of pumpkin pie spice..and there is something sweet lingering in the background. I don't quite know what it is. Pleasant though. I like it

Taste of the spices come through with that sweetness. Balance is okay....the spices aren't that intense and that sweet flavor profile kind of takes over and mutes everything else out. With all this being said, this is still a good beer

Mouthfeel is carbonated with a light to medium body. Not an overpowering beer, and it delivers on the basic aspects of a pumpkin ale, so I wouldn't mind a couple. Try it out

kshankar, Oct 09, 2009
Photo of mentor
2.4/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a 3 finger yellowed fizzy head over a clear amber liquid. Smells spicey zing, cherry sour, and mildly of oranges. Pumpkin underneath, but the nose is mostly spice (nutmeg, allspice, clove, and a little ginger).

Spice presents at the lips and holds throughout, persisting even into the somewhat tart sour to finish. Some esters and a suttle pumpkin present. Something is not right about the malt, it's both wet and sour. Add on a drying spice and the beer is out of whack. Comes across as a bit medicinal. Md-thick body and too strong carbonation.

mentor, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of CBlack85
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

This beer pours an amber copper color with a very active off white head that never quite goes away.

A very unique sweet aroma. I couldn't place any real pumpkin but very pumpkinish? definately hints of allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon. Gets me ready for Thanksgiving dinner

Sweet, very noticable pumpkin flavor, smooth, very nice...complex

Good enough to add to my regular seasonal rotation.

CBlack85, Sep 30, 2009
Photo of farrago
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
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 twiggamortis420
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

twiggamortis420, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of StarlightSeraph
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

StarlightSeraph, Feb 08, 2009
Photo of hellbilly
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

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

hellbilly, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of CrellMoset
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

CrellMoset, Jan 16, 2009
Photo of Poser
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

Poser, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of Monkeyknife
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Monkeyknife, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of ncbeermonger
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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!

ncbeermonger, Dec 13, 2008
Photo of Mauerhan
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Mauerhan, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of craytonic
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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 CAP1868
2.63/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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-

CAP1868, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of clayrock81
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

clayrock81, Oct 15, 2008
Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale from Carolina Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 170 ratings.