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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

144 Reviews
THE BROS
89
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
North Carolina, United States | website

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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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Photo of wagenvolks
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A generous pour, directly into the center of my Duvel chalice produces a a bright orange body with a good amount of carbonation to fuel a fleeting, tan head. Poor retention and lacing.

Aroma is definately packed with pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, bready malts, and more cinnamon. Smells like that first bite of pumpkin pie.

The taste is quite good, with a smooth pumpkin-y note complemented by sweet vanilla, cinnamon & nutmeg spices, and a slight touch of hops. Mouthfeel is about average: medium body with a great deal of carbonation and not much of a bite, but a smooth finish. Very easy to drink, especially with the low alcohol content. As far as pumpkin beers go, it's pretty solid. Then again, that's not saying too much.

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Photo of philbe311
3.12/5  rDev -18.8%
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...

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Photo of atsprings
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served a hazy deep orange with almost no head that quickly diminished to nothing. The aroma was of some pumpkin spice and deep caramel malts. The taste was dominated by pumpkin spice against some mild caramel malts. The beer was light bodied with slight carbonation and a decent spice bite. This beer is a decent local pumpkin ale, but not at the top of my list.

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.02/5  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.

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Photo of jampics2
3.47/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ the Charlotte airport Carolina Beer Company restaurant. We were flying back from our honeymoon in Jamaica and were thrilled to have this oasis in the airport to relax during our layover. This was my first taste of real American beer in a week, so I was just happy to not be drinking Red Stripe.

Brought to the table in an oversized pint glass, this looks average at best. Muddy and brown with no head. Unfiltered and cloudy, it almost looks like, well, I'm not going there.

Smells decent, with nutmeg, allspice, and clove setting the stage and asserting that this is a fall beer. Also has an unfortunate "cooked veggie" smell, perhaps pumpkin, but perhaps a touch of sulfur/DMS. But overall, this isn't bad smelling by any means, and the spices all but mask what could be an imperfection.

After a mixed nose, I'm happy that the taste was really quite refreshing and well balanced. Cinnamon is the dominant flavor, alongside a touch of sweet caramel malt and some lingering spices. It's pleasant and comes together well, but it's not the most flavorful beer I've had. Still quite decent, even above average.

Average light to medium body is supported by average carbonation and a refreshing aftertaste with mild spices lingers. Overall, this was a good beer and hit the spot after a week of Caribbean lagers.

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Photo of Onenote81
2.9/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, part of an autumn-themed mixed sixer. Poured into a pint glass. Pours a very thick, cloudy dark rusty amber. The thinnest of heads rests atop. Disappears quickly. Not even a ring around the edge. No lace. The nose is weak and underwhelming. The spices are muted, pumpkin is absent. I'm finding sour fruits, and syrup. Not what I expected.

The mouth is decent. Good carbonation play, and a slightly heavy finish. I don't know. This has some mild pumpkin in the flavor, but it's pretty weak. It's more cider-y, with notes of apples and light spices. I'm not sure I would or could have another one of these. I expected more, but it was found lacking. Too bad. I wanted to like this.

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Photo of clvand0
4.34/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to merlin48 for giving me this beer. Pours a dark amber color with a moderate head that has nice retention and leaves a little lacing on the glass. Lots of pumpkin in the aroma - well balanced with the spice and the actual pumpkin. The flavor is very nice with a lot of pumpkin. I was pleased that the spices were much weaker than the actual pumpkin flavor. Very nice pumpkin ale. Right on par with my top pumpkin ale - Dogfish Head Punkin (2003 version).

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.42/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

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Photo of JISurfer
4.67/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is hands down THE best pumpkin ale I've ever had. I had it on tap at the brewery, which was almost heavenly. So much, that I sampled it like 3 times and got 2 pints of it(all for only $5 for the tour charge, drinks were free)! The color was a dark orangey color and had a creamy head to it that frothed very well, as well as lasted a while. The smell was oh so delicious, just like the taste was. It had elements of all spice and cinnamon. They said that they brew it with actual pumpkin, all spice, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, all of which are all natural. I was very suprised by their rigidness for the whole all natural thing. Anyways, I couldn't really think of any way that they could have improved on making the smell any better. The taste was similar to the smell, but was more complex. You could taste the all spice at first, but then the pumpkin, cloves, and ginger took over. It settled so nicely on the tounge. It was well balanced, so that it wasn;t too sweet or too malty. That in itself was very impressive, I thought. I honestly could sit at home, or anywhere esle, and drink this stuff forever. After having this, it makes me wanna go out and spread the word of the Carolina Pumpkin Ale. If you ever have the chance, go taste it. You will die a happy person.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep magenta color with hints of orange and a two finger head. I'm picking up a nice pumpkin pie nose with cinammon and nutmeg. Pumpkin cider....damn this smells good...brings me back to the holidays!

Pumpkin puree mashed up with a heaping helping of cinnamon, nutmeg and a sweet maltiness. All of the spices work well and don't overpower the pumpkin flavor...a delicate balance is achieved that is not often found in pumpkin ales. Damn good.

Mouthfeel is creamy and goes down easy. A smidge more body would kick this up a notch...but I can't complain. If I had access to this brew I'd have at least a sixer on every Turkey Day. Just a tasty, easy drinking brew....yummy. Many thanks to merlin48 for being nice and sharing :-)

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