1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Gritty McDuff's Halloween Ale - Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Gritty McDuff's Halloween AleGritty McDuff's Halloween Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

293 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 293
Reviews: 183
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.33%
Wants: 15
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
Every fall marks the return of our legendary Extra Special Bitter for the season, Halloween Ale – the beer so good, it's scary! From its humble beginnings in 1990 as a small-batch seasonal in our Portland Brew Pub, Halloween Ale has grown to be one of the year's most anticipated beer releases. This robust brew has a deep amber color, a bold, malty palate and a well-rounded hop finish. The perfect beer for a crisp autumn day!

(Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 08-29-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Gritty McDuff's Halloween Ale Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 293 | Reviews: 183 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PressFastF0rward
1.5/5  rDev -60%

PressFastF0rward, Jun 27, 2014
Photo of bonbini26
2/5  rDev -46.7%

bonbini26, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of BGsWo22
2/5  rDev -46.7%

BGsWo22, Mar 23, 2013
Photo of TheBigBoy
2.25/5  rDev -40%

TheBigBoy, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of Ecxeeder616
2.25/5  rDev -40%

Ecxeeder616, Nov 08, 2013
Photo of yeti123
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%

yeti123, Aug 21, 2012
Photo of brentblack1
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%

brentblack1, Sep 07, 2012
Photo of MacCherry
2.55/5  rDev -32%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into pint glass.

A- Beautiful brown/copper with a creamy, off-white head @2in thick. Laced all the way down. This is what beer should look like; before, during, and after.

S- Metallic. Some grain, a little caramel, and some yeastiness. But it's just swimming in this metallic twang. At first I thought it was the glass, then maybe just this bottle, but subsequent bottles were the same. Not sure what the deal is here.

T- A little more of that caramel breadiness. Dry, dry, dry and long-lived hop bitterness.

M- Tight carbonation hides some of the malt sweetness. A little on the sticky side.

O- I can't see why they would market an ESB far inferior to the Gritty's Bitter. I suppose you've got to do some market pandering, but I expected more from this beer than a Halloween label and a "it's not a pumpkin-beer" presentation.

MacCherry, Oct 19, 2012
Photo of waughbrew
2.55/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

The reddist beer I have ever seen. red. red red. very clear. sticky head with medium retention. Smells like buttery diacetyl, earthy (english?) hops, toastiness. A lot of esters including a lot of strawberries. Smells like a high-alcohol brew.
Tastes like higher alcohols with piney and resinous qualities, ending with a cheezy hop taste. A little caramelly and a little chemical-like.
Good medium-bodied feel, could have been very good but the fusel alcohols and chemical notes ruin it for me.

waughbrew, Oct 30, 2003
Photo of awaer
2.75/5  rDev -26.7%

awaer, Aug 27, 2012
Photo of Ropowers3
2.75/5  rDev -26.7%

Ropowers3, Jul 24, 2014
Photo of KarlosT
2.75/5  rDev -26.7%

Wow. Can't believe the high scores.

Got a flight at the Gritty McDuff's in Portland ME:
Halloween Ale
Cask Best Bitter
Maine's Best IPA
Pub Style

All were exactly the same amber color, with the same head. The aroma was exactly the same, except for the Pub Style. I also had a pint of their Black Fly Stout, which fortunately did have a different color.

I iterated between their Halloween Ale, their IPA, and their Cask Bitter. All were exactly the same, except that the Cask Bitter was slightly warmer.

When I suggested to the waitress that the beers might have been mis-poured, she said that they were correct, that she was also a bartender, and that she could tell from the color of the pours.

Assuming what I drank was correct ...

I found the beer was watery, and it was as though they used poor quality water. All their beers had an off after-taste ... as though their was a Gritty McDuffs flavor they added to all their beers (including their stout)

Mouth feel was watery. And a little evervescent ... a slight bite from the c02. Interesting, even the cask best bitter had a slight CO2 bite to it.

Very sorry I went to this pub. Food was ok. But the beers were mediocre to poor.

KarlosT, Saturday at 01:59 PM
Photo of djrn2
2.75/5  rDev -26.7%

djrn2, Aug 31, 2013
Photo of rderedin
2.75/5  rDev -26.7%

rderedin, Jun 22, 2014
Photo of aquatonex
2.88/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Was expecting something different from this brew, perhaps it is because it is bottled?

Pours a rich dark auburn with a slight head, slight lacing, good carbonation. Smell consists of hops and some light spice. Taste provides good hoppiness, some malts, light spices again (coriander, vanilla), but a severe metallic flavor encompasses my tongue soon after the sip that continues after I drink. Eh. It's really putting a negative effect on the entire beer. I wonder if it's this particular batch in the bottle.

aquatonex, Oct 02, 2005
Photo of Kookiekwan
2.93/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours amber/red with a one finger head it has some good retention and nice lacing. The beer has a toasted grain aroma and its smooth and creamy. For an ESB it lacks alot of bitterness. The flavors of toasted grains and caramel stand out and it had a slightly metallic finish.

Reflection: I find it hard to believe that this is an ESB. The beer is to malty and it didn't have nearly enough hops to make it bitter. Fall brings out many different beers to try, I prefer drinking something with more spice on halloween( one plus is that it has a really cool label).

Kookiekwan, Nov 26, 2004
Photo of Goldndomer
3/5  rDev -20%

Goldndomer, Feb 09, 2014
Photo of MaineMike
3/5  rDev -20%

MaineMike, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of erlenmeyer
3/5  rDev -20%

erlenmeyer, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of Didier
3/5  rDev -20%

Didier, Sep 23, 2012
Photo of bacher468
3/5  rDev -20%

bacher468, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of costanzo_mike
3/5  rDev -20%

costanzo_mike, Jul 17, 2014
Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -20%

JAHMUR, Monday at 06:41 PM
Photo of Dburke
3/5  rDev -20%

Dburke, Nov 01, 2013
Photo of jfcaa193
3/5  rDev -20%

jfcaa193, Feb 18, 2012
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Gritty McDuff's Halloween Ale from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 293 ratings.