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Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale - Carolina Beer Company

Not Rated.
Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced AleCottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

144 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 144
Hads: 173
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 15.1%
Wants: 10
Gots: 9 | 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:
Beer added by: aracauna on 09-18-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (1) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 144 | Hads: 173
Photo of Jason
3.99/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown twist off bottle with no bottling date on the label.

Appearance: Hazed orangey brown with a decent thin lacing.

Smell: Spices and some cooked pumpkin in the nose, slight fermented twang and toasted malt in the aroma.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Ample crispness with a wet malty palate, most of the balancing flavor comes from the spices with a faint backup of hops. Ghost like pumpkin flavor becomes hidden by the toasted malt character throughout. Light twang in the dry finish.

Drinkability & Notes: Most spiced beers have that quality of only being able to drink one, this one actually is good enough to where I wanted more. Excellent balance between the spices and malt.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Creamy crimson coloration, full haze, 1/2" cap of eggnog-hued head.
Aroma: soft, sensuous, spicy...like putting your nose right up to a pumpkin pie. Nutmeg and cinnamon, bright and pleasant, a little hot.
Light on the palate, very mellow, rich with malty flavor. Brisk, tiny hop bite greets the lips and fades fast, just enough to tickle the tongue. Body's about medium, finish is sweet, if slight.
A decent brew, I can stand a few of these.

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Photo of mothman
3.12/5  rDev -18.8%
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.

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Photo of plaid75
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a murky dark copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a deep cooked pumpkin flesh aroma with hints of sweet brown sugar. Perhaps a bit of nutmeg, but otherwise no real spiciness.

The taste consisted of a think pumpkin flesh mixed with brown sugar and a bit of molasses. Some nutmeg dryness. Again, not much in the area of pumpkin spices though.

The mouthfeel was full and coating.

Overall an authentic pumpkin flesh sweetness. However, there could be a bit more cinammon or allspice spiciness to balance out the flavor.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
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."

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Photo of clayrock81
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.89/5  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!

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Photo of rfgetz
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.69/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
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!

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Photo of RBorsato
4.89/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2002 version
Hazy unfiltered orangish brown with a low light tan head and good carbonation. Perfect blend of pumpkin and spices in both aroma and taste. Medium bodied and smooth.

Blows Post Road away and is also better than Buffalo Bill's. I was pleasantly suprised !!

2003 version
Hazy amber color (near dark brown). Huge pumpkin spice aroma and taste ! An unreal job with the spices - Excellent !

Bronze - 1999 GABF - Herb and Spice Beers

DOB (on neck): 10/01/02
Tasted: & 01/24/03

2003 version
Tasted: 12/16/03

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Photo of whartontallboy
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

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Photo of blackie
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of wedge
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A fizzing head of yellowed foam rests over a clouded, burnt chestnut colored beverage - active carbonation. The head settles down to a broken, creamy ring. Smells like tasty pumpkin pie...spiced, toasted pumpkin, nutmeg...delightful! The flavor is well blended sweet pumpkiny goodness with yet more nutmeg. Well-rounded. Solid medium body could use a little more carbonation.

Want something to fit the fall season? Try one of these. I'll have to crack another few of these once the weather gets cool and the leaves change. Yum.

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Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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!

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Photo of Boto
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught @ the Brewery: The beer pours a rich coppery color that was somewhat clear. There was a bit of head on it. The aroma was completely that of pumpkin pie spices. The taste was really good. There was a fairly full malt body behind the spices. The spices could have been a hair less. Overall this was a good pumpkin beer!

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another of the beers acquired recently from my VA/NC beer pimp Metalmonk. A 12 oz. bottle poured to a pint glass. Very attractive label with a stylish king toting a large beer stein and a sizable pumpkin.

A: Rusty orange-brown with a 1-finger ivory head which fades to nothing. Quite a bit of unexpected sediment in the bottle made for a muddy pour. Appears still, but when held to the light a few vigorous streams of carbonation bubbles wiggled to the surface.

S: Delicious spicy cinnamon and nutmeg burst from the glass, creating a nice tingle in the nose. Emulates fresh pumpkin pie very well. Not much is discernable beyond the spice.

T: Doesn't live up to the smell. Has some spiciness, but then a heavier pumpkin-flesh earthiness takes over. A tangy, sourness ensues. Malts are light and finish is pretty bitter. I love the cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in the aroma; they just don't present themselves as well in the taste.

M: Prickly and substantially carbonated. A bit gritty, perhaps from that sediment suspended in the glass. Medium mouthfeel but somewhat watery. Lingering bitter-sweet finish.

D: A nice pumpkin ale, with great smell and good flavor. Not the best I've had but certainly good enough to have another. Likable & drinkable; my wife voted this beer as 'pretty good'. Low ABV would make this a worthy fall 'session' beer. Thanks, Jeff!

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.34/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured hazy amber-brown and the bottle had quite a layer of sediment in it for this beer to not be bottle conditioned. The head fell back quickly. The aroma is spice and malt, actually lots of malt aroma and a good spice balance. Also in the aroma is caramel, and ginger. The flavor is well done with clove and cinnamon spice, probably alspice all well balanced. The malt flavors accompanying the spice are well done also. The body works well and gives the beer a good drinkability.

This is a very well done Pumpkin Ale.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.44/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This beer holds special nostalgic value for me, as it defined my fall of 2003, particularly the music I was heavily getting into at the time. I go back in time by just smelling it, revisiting the look, feel and sound of used vinyl records, the sounds emanating from the hi-fi, and that particular melancholy, bittersweet feeling exclusive to the onset of autumn. This tells you nothing about the beer, but I can't review the beer without mentioning it. I drank my share that autumn, and will continue to buy a case every season. Not just for nostalgic reasons, it remains the best pumpkin ale I've tried so far...but I'm far from having tried them all. I'm still looking for something to beat it.

This beer doesn't hold up well in the appearance department because the head pours out thin and doesn't hang around long at all. The color is a cloudy rust-brown, which is nice. No significant lace buildup.

Aroma brings a nice pumpkin-y smell, seems a natural enough aroma, and there's a layer of sharper spices, like a cinnamon/nutmeg mixture, coming into the nose.

The flavors are much like the aroma, with a milky, dessert-y satisfaction in the finish. Spicy and malty flavors abound (cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, butter), reminiscent of the traditional Thanksgiving pie, and even baked apple shows itself. Hops mingle in there offering adequate bittering. Just about the only improvement needed is a creamier mouthfeel. It's a bit over-carbonated, tingly and fizzy where the flavors clearly call for something smoother and creamier. [I like to let this beer warm a bit, which seems to diminish the bubbly attack quite a bit.]

I've tried 4 or 5 other pumpkin ales. Some were crap and some enjoyable, but so far this is the best I've had.

[Note to self two years later: Southern Tier, Elysian and Smuttynose have pumpkin ales that beat this one, hands down. But I still want no other pumpkin ale with my Manfred Mann's Earth Band vinyl than this one!]

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Photo of Chaney
3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This beer is dark for a pumpkin in my mind. The beer pours a amber ruby color with a finger of head that falls to coat the beer. The nose is full of pumpkin. Not a lot of spices, just enough to balance it out. As it sits, the spices come out more, but give it a swirl, and the pumpkin takes over again. The flavor is really heavy on the pumpkin and lighter on the spice. A nice nice beer. The feel is maybe a touch thin...just a touch though. Drinkability is very good on this beer. I could sit down to a few of these, and thats a lot to say for a pumpkin ale.

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Photo of mcallister
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got to admit one of the better looking pumpkin ales I've encountered. Rich, deep, nearly opaque amber, orange. A white head fades quickly and leaves a ring around the collar.

Nice balanced aromas. Pumpkin first and foremost as it should be. With the usual spices making the rounds although everything is slightly laid back. Nice mixture of malt as well.

Pretty good pumpkin but lacking depth. Dead on for pumpkin pie great flavors of pumpkin with the usual nice spices not overdone by any means. If not for the thin mouthfeel this would be one for the ages. Easy drinking.

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Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale from Carolina Beer Company
86 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.