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Spicy Pumpkin Ale - Indian Wells Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Spicy Pumpkin AleSpicy Pumpkin Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
69
poor

33 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 33
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 2.73
pDev: 34.07%
Wants: 3
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Indian Wells Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  ABV ?

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: nickd717 on 09-22-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 33 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Nerudamann:
Photo of Nerudamann
3.48/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look – nice solid amber color, with about half a finger’s worth of foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell – the obvious smell is pumpkin, ironically though, I don’t pull out much of a spiciness to it. It almost smells like a pumpkin aroma mixed with a cider.

Taste – hard to tell if it’s an artificial pumpkin flavor or a real flavor. But the spices are more noticeable in the taste. In fact, they’re a bit more prominent, which makes sense with the label.

Mouthfeel – pretty well balanced, but leans more on the watery side.

Overall – not a bad brew at all, but it’s having a hard time pulling me in and grabbing my interest. It does taste good though.

More User Reviews:
Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev +46.5%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.33/5  rDev +22%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Out of pity for a non beer advocate who brought these to the Nevada/SDSU tailgate, I went ahead and took him up on his offering. Beer advocacy isn't always about trying to turn people on to great beers, sometimes its biting the bullet and bringing out the proverbial olive branch and meeting them halfway and trying their stuff that you might not enjoy as much as possible.

Poured a mild brown, thin head, usual stuff going on. Aroma was nuanced enough to not be overwhelming of spices or clove, like some big pumpkin beers shoot for. This was enjoyable, pumpkin, subtle cinnamon, and not much else.

Taste, a mild current of pumpkin and cinnamon, average carbonation, not a lot of malt or hop presence. It was good because they let the pumpkin lead the way, without any other competition or trying to complex it up. Same with the mouthfeel. Just standard, not showy or bad. Decent. Truly, about the only Indian Wells beer I can say I would have again.

Photo of ste5venla
2/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of Fatehunter
2.7/5  rDev -1.1%

Pours a thin head on a clear dark straw body.
The aroma is cinnamon candy and pumpkin.
The taste is watery pumpkin and a touch of cinnamon and clove.
The texture is thin and fizzy.
It's not offensive, but doesn't taste like much either.

Photo of nickd717
1.38/5  rDev -49.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Ok, I was the first to review this, then my review got deleted. largadeer was kind enough to share another bottle with me, which was worse than the first, so I'm lowering my rating from a D+ to a D-. Terrible cooked vegetable note on the aroma and flavor this time. This is awful.

Earlier review from ratebeer (luckily I review on both):
First to review! Single 12oz bottle purchased for $1.50 at Whole Foods in Los Altos. Pours clear golden orange with a fizzy white head. Aroma is pumpkin spice and pale malt. Seems really heavily spiced. Flavor is fairly sweet pale malt and loads of pumpkin spice - too much nutmeg and cinnamon - as well as some tree bark, with a dry, empty finish. Palate watery and thin with some zing from the spices. This beer is the antithesis of balance. The spice level is way too high. Not very drinkable.

Photo of djeucalyptus
2.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a golden caramel hue with hints of amber. a bit murky, although it could be chill haze. Pours with a weak one-finger off-white head that fades quickly to a meager collar that tries but fails to leave lacing.

aroma is interesting... burnt caramel, a bit of veggie squashiness. carrot juice. cinnamon and clove (go figure) but not way over the top. a hint of funk.

tastes about what I'd expect from the aroma. A bit light on the flavor with definite pumpkin squashiness, hints of hops and a good bit of crystal malts accented by a hefty - but not overpowering - dose of the usual pie spices. This one seems a touch more squashy/veggie than most...

mouthfeel is a touch on the light/thin side but leaves behind a bit of residual slickness. despite the lack of head, there's a good bit of carbonation to help it along.

All in all, this is better than I was expecting. Ive had a lot of bad pumkin ales... and this is better than most of the bad ones. Not outstanding, not great, but if I'm in the mood for a simple, spiced pumpkin ale, this one ain't that bad.

Photo of largadeer
1.3/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

12 oz bottle into a tulip. This one was recommended to me by nickd717, who was raving about it for weeks. The beer pours a clear orange-amber, not unlike the color of pumpkin skin. Clarity is excellent, but the head is as small and limp as a 70 year old with erectile dysfunction. The nose is all pumpkin pie spices; cinnamon and ginger being especially pungent. I get a touch of musty vegetables as it warms. On the palate, the vegetable character is horrifically prominent, overshadowing even the grossly abused spices. The body is curiously watery and flat, and the finish puzzlingly tannic and astringent. This beer is everything I was hoping for and more; another home run from Indian Wells. Bravo, guys.

Photo of Zorro
2.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Picked up at Fresh and Easy, $3.99 for the six pack.

Clear amber colored beer with a small off-white colored head.

Smells sweetish with a fair amount of caramel and allspice. Trying as hard as I can, that is about all that is in there. There is a little toasted wheat scent and slight butter scent, but I doubt most can pick up on those.

Starts out sweet with a strong scorched sugar and caramel taste, something like pumpkin pie that got baked a little to hot. Strong artificial vanilla taste! Little bit of allspice but the artificial vanilla taste easily runs it over like a tank crushing a Geo Metro. Needless to say this is a vanilla flavored beer. No pumpkin detected.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Overall damn, they really need to cool it with the artificial vanilla and add some cinnamon sticks and allspice berries to the recipe.

Photo of Koester
3.5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of jpaulsen
3.25/5  rDev +19%

Photo of womencantsail
2.15/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Much to the surprise of my cohorts, this was my first Indian Wells tick. Thanks, Chris.

A: The pour is an excessively carbonated pale amber/orange color with a fizzy off-white head.

S: The nose isn't anywhere near as offensive as I was lead to expect. Like a mix of really old sugar and cinnamon with some of those butter cookies (extra butter). Maybe a bit of body odor too.

T: A delectable blend of carbon dioxide, soda water, table sugar, and cardboard. A soup of champions. Certainly some butter begins to make its way into the flavor profile as well. Truly delicious.

M: The body is light and watery with far too much carbonation.

D: As bad as I made this beer sound, it wasn't completely horrible. We certainly had way worse beers on this evening.

Photo of DeadeyeOTDO
4/5  rDev +46.5%

Photo of Rizalini
2/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Stone tulip...

A - Pours a clear burnt orange color with almost no head, even when poured agressively. Spotty off white whead.

S - Smells sweet, almost like bubblegum strangely enough. Juicy Fruit bubblegum. Hmmm...?

T/M - I can see where the spices are supposed to come thru, but they just don't. And it still posesses a wierd bubblegum flavor. Lite on the pallete

O - This beer was nothing like I've expected. The flavors were way too off for me to want another. Definately not a drain pour, but not a recomended pumpkin brew.

Photo of Buttermaker
2.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Every September/October I enthusiastically by a bunch of pumpkin ales and every Christmas there's still a few left in my fridge. I guess the thought of drinking a Pumpkin Ale on a brisk Sunday afternoon in front of a Vikings game is more appealing than actually doing it. The novelty wears off fairly quickly for me. In this case, the novelty of drinking an Indian Wells Spicy Pumpkin Ale wears off after the first sip. Everything leading up to that first sip is fine...the nose is rather beguiling, very strong cinnamon and nutmeg...then the taste...astringent, almost medicinal, too much spice with nothing to set it off against. It's surprisingly dry and thin for a pumpkin ale. Maybe that's how they were hoping to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pumpkin ales out there and I guess in that sense they've succeeded. Was it really as bad as I thought...another sip...yep, it's really that bad. This one won't still be in my fridge on Christmas morning because it's going down the drain.

Recommended Music Pairing - Dead Kennedys - Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegatables

Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.73/5  rDev +36.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - Pours a clear bright orange with a two-finger off white head of craggy bubbles. Rings of small tiny bubbled lacing.

S - Strong aroma of cinnamon, apple pie (?), nutmeg, baked pumpkin seeds, and wet cardboard. Strange, but weirdly good.

T - Big apple cider taste matched by candy sugared, extremely yeasty backbone; actually yeasty is a complete understatement; it almost tastes like your drinking beer straight out of a pie crust. I don't know why there is so much cinnamon apple here? There's actually more cinnamon/apple pie flavor than there is pumpkin. Some nutmeg and vanilla as well. A vegetal, wet cardboard/squashed pumpkin taste lurks in the finish. Everything described here shouldn't possibly work, but somehow it does and the taste is oddly appealing.

M - Suitably full bodied, and chewy. Prickly carbonation. Fits the flavor profile very well. Slick and slightly buttery.

O - This is one of the strangest beers I have had or reviewed. I KNOW it's flawed, but yet I liked it just the same. I know other reviewers hated it, maybe I'm just a sucker for apple pie crust. Hell, I'll probably buy it again. I cant say I'd recommend it thought because it's such an odd duck that I think each person would have to judge for themselves; but I bet this is kind of a "love it or hate it" beer.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.18/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle pour at Field Of Drafts held at The Hanger in Lancaster, CA.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, perfume, and fake spice and fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with fake spice and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a poor beer with some very artificial aromas and flavors that make it hard to drink.

Photo of bunbury
2/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

Served from bottle into a pint glass.
Almost no head at all if any it dissipated very quickly.
Smell of something similar to spice, perfume and malt.
On the palate, mouthfeel was of earth, grass and piquant, not true spiciness.
A very hard to drink beer since is watery, unbalance, off-flavors. The "spicy" smell makes it difficult to endulge.

Not what I was expecting from this Pumpkin beer, maybe I should stay away from the term Spicy.

Photo of Arbitrator
1.6/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Chilled bottle into a glass, courtesy of largadeer.

My first Indian Wells beer. Now you're probably wondering, "How can you possibly drink with / near nickd717 and never try an Indian Wells beer?" Well, until now I've just been refusing to try them, or discreetly tossing them down the drain. But when t0rin0 and womencantsail rolled into town and brought some of the worst offerings they had, I decided now was the time.

A: Caramel-copper body with an amber tint to it.

S: Butter, cinnamon, ginger, cooked vegetables.

T: Like musty, buttery, spiced cinnamon cookie served on roasted squash. It's still better than Pumking (I can't stand Pumking).

M: Thin-bodied, oily.

D: This wasn't quite the trainwreck I expected it to be, and largadeer even remarked that it's better this year. It's near the bottom of the style, but I was expecting to write an epic poem about how this beer kidnapped Helen of Troy and led to the war that launched a thousand ships. Instead, it's just... innocuously bad, if that makes any sense.

Photo of lacqueredmouse
2.95/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light golden orange colour, with a pretty dense and cloudy body. Head is merely a film of fine-bubbled white. Lots of tiny carbonation. A little sudsy lacing. Not a lot though. Looks decent enough.

Nose is pretty light on flavour, but the spice is noticeable. Flavours of nutmeg and clove, with a light banana ester coming through to give a slightly overripe sweetness. It's not all that bad. Light, but not unpleasant.

Taste is also light, but also inoffensive. Decent pumpkin pie spice characters that appear on the front and disappear, with a slight lingering sweetness. Something nutty on the back. Mouthfeel is woefully thin, unfortunately, but otherwise it's really not that bad overall on the palate.

This was nowhere near as bad as I expected it would be. I'm still searching for a genuinely good pumpkin beer, but this is, I feel, along the right tracks. Too thin, and too light, but it has genuine pumpkin pie characters at least, which is a good start.

Photo of Danciepants831
4.13/5  rDev +51.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Well had I read all the other reviews first, I probably would have never tried this beer. However, a friend of mine who knew I was a beer lover brought me this bottle and I tried it. TRUE: it should not be called "Spicy" it's not spicy at all. The Sam Adams Double pumpkin I had was spicy with no pumpkin, this was the opposite. It was a smooth drinkable beer upon first sip and the finish was pumpkin pie. YES pumpkin pie. It was sweet, so for hop-heads probably you wouldn't like it. I had one and I could have had another, probably because of the season, but I was brought only one and that's all I drank:)

Photo of wrightst
3.75/5  rDev +37.4%

Photo of VWBuggirl
1.7/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Ugh. When I first heard about pumpkin ales, this is what I expected. It took me quite a while to try one because it didn't sound like it could be good. I am so happy I got DFH Punkin Ale to start with so I know that it is a style with potential to be awesome. Had this been my first I would not have had another.

This was down right gross. It tasted like I was drinking a bad pumpkin pie. Sickeningly sweet. I couldn't finish it.

Photo of zestar
2.75/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of kp29
3.5/5  rDev +28.2%

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Spicy Pumpkin Ale from Indian Wells Brewing Company
69 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.