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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

160 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 160
Reviews: 142
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 11
Gots: 3 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 160 | Reviews: 142 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerBeing
BeerBeing

Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
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

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2005 20:03:19 | More by BeerBeing
Photo of FriedSlug
FriedSlug

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -22.7%

11-11-2012 02:46:03 | More by FriedSlug
Photo of gabe23
gabe23

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2009 01:27:22 | More by gabe23
Photo of Sivad
Sivad

Missouri

4.5/5  rDev +16%

12-20-2011 00:36:07 | More by Sivad
Photo of cosmo4u
cosmo4u

New York

3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

10-29-2012 17:53:15 | More by cosmo4u
Photo of Big78CJ
Big78CJ

Michigan

3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I buy lots of this beer every year and cellar it all year so I never run out. I encoutered it a few years back in a mixed six-pack of "holiday beers" and then had a friend mention that he throws "Pumpkin Parties" every year in Asheville, NC (original home of Cottonwood). I accompanied him to a party and drank on a keg of pumpkin all night...it was great!

This review concerns the bottles i picked up for cellaring this year:

Cellared for about 4 months so far:

Appearance: This beer is not much for giving head and when it does it doesn't stick around long. The thin (<.5") head that poure3d onto the beer dissolved within seconds. The whole beer is a murky orange, almost as if I were drinking pureed pumpkin juices. Some lighter orange-yelloe highlights are visible near the bottom of the glass.

Smell: As another reviewer noted the bottle does not have as strong a smell as the tap but there is definitely a strong pumpkin presence and even some nutmeg in the aroma. I also think i taste soem cinnamon riding on a wave of clove. This is very much like a cold pumpkin pie smells.

Taste: You can taste the pumpkin much more than you can smell it and thankfully much of the spice is muted. There is a definite clove spice and if you breathe in you can taste cinnamon. Many pumpkin ales tend to allow the spice to boldly go where no beer has gone before, or wanted to go. Cottonwood lets it take a backseat to the pumpkin itself. There is also something sweet in this taste...maybe molasses, honey, brown sugar?

Mouthfeel: I like the way this beer makes me feel like I'm drinking a pumpkin pie (without the thickness). The carbonation is not too strong but does well to spread the pumpkin flavor over the palate.

Drinkability: Ordinarily I would say a fruit beer is limited in how often and how many I can drink (and I like fruit beers), this one is an exception for me. I could see myself drinking this from a keg all night (and i have the pictures to prove it's possible).

Serving Type: 12oz bottle poured into 33cl Hoegaarden glass.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2007 21:21:20 | More by Big78CJ
Photo of Poser
Poser

Alabama

3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Georgia

3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks again MetalMonk!! This pours a rusty orange haze with almost no cap. Kinda makes me think of canned pumpkin as it slithers out of the can. Aroma is a wallop of cinnomon, nutmeg, and clove. The pumpkin is so discernable with the old vegetable pumpkin meat... like I just stuck my head in a real pumpkin. There is a backbone of caramel malt in the nose as well. By far the best pumpkin beer I have had hit my nose. The flavor is a little dissapointing on the spiciness side however. But the juicy fresh pumpkin flavor makes up for it. Earthy pumpkin and toasted caramel carry througout with a light cinnamon and nutmeg to make you think of a pie. Hops don't have much meaning in the brew, but just enough to give a hint of citrus on the back-end. Medium body, medium carbonation, and very refreshing. Very nice!!!!

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2006 23:02:06 | More by jabocu
Photo of mortarit
mortarit

North Carolina

3.23/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle.

Appearance: Deep amber/copper/auburn color with off-white head and great lacing.

Smell: Fresh baked pumpkin pie with roasted malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and herbal scents. The aroma screams fall and begs to be paired with Thanksgiving dinner.

Taste - Start with a pumpkin flavor; mid-palate the spices join in: brown sugar, ginger, mace; a bit of hops on the finish. I really can't sit down and drink a lot of spiced beer like these. One or two at the most.

Overall, a good pumpkin ale. Heavily spiced, but you really can taste the pumpkin. One of the better Pumpkin ales.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2007 04:09:46 | More by mortarit
Photo of kingjames1
kingjames1

South Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
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).

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2005 04:02:51 | More by kingjames1
Photo of ncbeermonger
ncbeermonger

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
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!

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2008 02:21:53 | More by ncbeermonger
Photo of adowney523
adowney523

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass from a 12 oz brown bottle bought in Durham, NC. Appearance is deep-amber and hazy. White head fades quickly but leaves some lacing.

Smells faintly of nutmeg and allspice with a hint of leather.

Hint of smoky and woody malt along with pumpkin and spice with good balance.

Moderate body with a semi-dry finish. Drinkability is above average.

Definitely worth a try. The smokiness makes for a not your average pumpkin ale.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2007 00:57:54 | More by adowney523
Photo of cbleary
cbleary

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

North Carolina

4.68/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite beers. Had it at a fall rennaisaunce festival locally. 2 years running now. Couldn't get enough of it last year. Cleared the shelves at the grocery stores. Hate that it's seasonal. Even my "No Thank you, I don't like beer" friends loved this one! The color was a nice reddish/brownish/and yes, orange. Frothing with a pumpkin smell, my friends were a bit offended by the odor, til they tasted it too. You just don't expect pumpkin pie in a beer, yet there it is. We all just kept saying, wow! It was light, and very refreshing on a hot autumn day in the south, and yet warm and comforting on the cool ones. I can't wait for the fall, to get my paws on it again!

Had this again in '05, what a let down. '04 has been the best so far, sad that it hasn't been matched since. Maybe '06 will make a difference.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2004 04:57:37 | More by finepaws
Photo of tommy78
tommy78

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2005 02:04:39 | More by tommy78
Photo of homersimpson
homersimpson

North Carolina

3.15/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Deep hazy brown with a pert beige head. Smells like thanksgiving day. Lots of nutmeg and spice. The taste is over the top though. Almost lambic-like, it is a wee bit on the sweet side. The pumpkin pie flavors override everything else and linger in the finish. Girls love it.

Serving type: on-tap

10-11-2003 23:07:58 | More by homersimpson
Photo of BeardedSquash
BeardedSquash

Tennessee

4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'll start this by saying that my judging for Pumpkin beer's rides a different train than it does for purity law beers. I sought this one out during my last visit to Charlotte because I remember it being the best out of the lot.

A" Pours an active amber orange, with a 1/2-inch head that doesn't stay long, but rims the edges before it leaves.

S: Cinnamon and nutmeg up front, with a bready undertone. No hops present.

T: This is what I like, a mouthful of pumpkin pie. I can almost taste the pumpkin meat (this is not figurative), and the spices retain their supportive role from the nose. The grains shine through slightly, but take a fresh baked crust aspect. All the sweetness finishes dry and satisfying. This is what a pumpkin beer is supposed to taste like.

M: This is the only area I would really work harder on. Active body and a low-medium mouthfeel. I would like to see a big full mouthfeel to accompany the whole "pie" feel this thing gives off.

D: One bite at a time. This is not a quaffer, but one to kick back and enjoy in the backyard as the leaves change. Finish the whole concept with a bowl of vanilla ice cream.

I think I'll review this one again when they get it on tap in town.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2007 15:09:18 | More by BeardedSquash
Photo of buckiflyer
buckiflyer

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2005 01:25:56 | More by buckiflyer
Photo of towersfall
towersfall

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2009 06:41:40 | More by towersfall
Photo of willjansen
willjansen

Colorado

3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks fist of all to Big78CJ, the BA who introduced this beer to me and more recently gave me a couple of these to take back to Australia. Served from a 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Definitely a holiday favorite of mine...

Appearance: Initial nice head which quickly subsides to light lacing. Dark, somewhat cloudy amber - average carbonation.

Smell: Pumpkin Pie hands down. Smells a bit sugary with obvious hints of the basic pumpkin pie spices: clove, cinnamon and nutmeg. The smell makes you excited to dive in and taste it as few other beers do.

Taste: Basically tastes as it smells, but without the exepcted spice kick in the face... pumpkin flavor tucked in the middle with a dry, sourish finish leaving plenty of pumpkin and spices on the pallate to enjoy breathing for a few minutes. Interesting, but not exciting, play between the malt, hints of hop and the comparatively heavy spiciness - they seem to battle, but only shortly as the malt and hops quickly bow down to the spices - though it's understood that for this style, this doesn't necessarily mean it's unbalanced. Heavier spices would, however, quickly lead to imbalance.

Mouthfeel: Nice medium-heavy body with average carbonation - slightly oily with drying finish.

Drinkability - Considering it's a holidy spiced ale, it's extremely drinkable for the style despite the fact that it's probably meant for moderate consumption. I've managed to down a number of these in a sitting, but beware that the "pumpkin and spice" magic fades as your pallate numbs to the flavors.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2007 10:29:34 | More by willjansen
Photo of harryhood41
harryhood41

Georgia

5/5  rDev +28.9%

11-16-2011 03:19:19 | More by harryhood41
Photo of CpnYates
CpnYates

Virginia

4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is bar none, the best "pumkin" ale I have had to date.

I enjoy the fact that I can get the full range of Carolina brewing company beers about 30 minutes away at the Food City, so I have had experince with this brewery before. And like their other beers, this one is enjoyable and refreshing, beer after beer.

I poured this into a red wine glass... it was clean. Poured a nice cherry wood color.

Smells and tastes of pumpkins, spices, pie, cider, and a soy bean candle I had once.

No lacing, head no where to be found

I gave the drinkability a 3.5, but maybe a little higher on a colder night.

Good Beer

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2007 23:29:15 | More by CpnYates
Photo of CAP1868
CAP1868

North Carolina

2.63/5  rDev -32.2%
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-

Serving type: bottle

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

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I tried this beer in a mixed six pack of different pumpkin beers. I tried two Saranacs, two Pumpkin Heads by Shipyard, and two of these. It poured a pretty orange color with a foam head that quickly went away. The nose is really good with a nice pumpkin scent. The taste is nice with pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Is a good fall beer, just not sure if I could drink a lot.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2007 00:47:30 | More by brewshakes
Photo of Caesar1pup
Caesar1pup

Georgia

4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2005 19:27:13 | More by Caesar1pup
Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale from Carolina Beer Company
87 out of 100 based on 160 ratings.