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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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

170 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 170 | Reviews: 144
Photo of ncbeermonger
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
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!

Photo of adowney523
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

Photo of cbleary
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of finepaws
4.67/5  rDev +21.3%
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.

Photo of tommy78
4.12/5  rDev +7%
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 homersimpson
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

Photo of BeardedSquash
4.12/5  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.

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 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.

Photo of willjansen
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of harryhood41
5/5  rDev +29.9%

Photo of CpnYates
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
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

Photo of CAP1868
2.65/5  rDev -31.2%
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-

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 brewshakes
3.62/5  rDev -6%
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.

Photo of knoxtennessee
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My favorite type of beer and my favorite time of year.

A- Great orange color but super hazy and no head to speak of. This is pretty typical of the mediocre Knoxville bar I frequent.

S- Lovely aroma of nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon. Nice malty sweet smells as well.

T- As good as it smells. Sweet malt and spice. Nice and bready. A little dryer than expected. I like these beers a little sweet and heavy, but this one is lighter and cleaner than most. To each their own I suppose.

M- Lighter than you'd expect. Medium-light.

D- I had two back to back and could have kept going. More quaffable than one would expect.

Photo of manleyphoto
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of jfhrtn92
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%

Poured as a orange-brown with about a 2 finger head that held its retention well. Has a spiced pumpkin with a hint of a peppery smell to it. For the taste almost has like a cinnamon pumpkin pie taste. Very light on the hops side but a great beer overall. One I will steadily have for sure

Photo of ClarkPinnock
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I had very low expectations for this beer--not a big fan of the flavored stuff. But I have to say that they managed to make a beer that taste just like pumpkin pie and yet is still a tasty beer (perhaps some magic was involved here.)

Strong notes of coriander and cinnamon here. This beer has a very attractive caramel color. Full, nicely-carbonated mouth feel.

The taste, as you would expect, is of caramel, cinnamon, and pumpkin. Yet this is such that the beer flavor still comes through and indeed complements the other flavors.

As to drinkability....maybe one a year.

Photo of Hijump24
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of slickmick22
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
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

Photo of Bieregod
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of stevew77
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of LiveaHoppyLife
4.74/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of JBMartin23
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

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