Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale - Great Lakes Brewery
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Ratings: 93 | Reviews: 63 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Ralphus:
3.7/5 rDev +4.8%
Pumpkin Ale is the next seasonal beer from Great Lakes Brewery immediately following their "Orange Peel" offering. I was initially skeptical and thought that the pumpkin might be the orange with some nutmeg and cinnamon thrown in. However, I was wrong. The alcohol content is higher, and the beer - although retaining some of the orange's fruitiness - is noticeably different.
Pumpkin Ale pours quite well with an attractive amber colour, pinpoint carbonation and a head that recedes quickly into a small off-white blanket. The smell is this beer's forte though. Even non beer drinkers will appreciate the aromas of nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and fruit that can be found within. It just smells good and you will be enjoying it often thanks to the hefty 650ml bottle it's shipped in. When it comes to taste Great Lakes has done a solid job. The flavours in the nose come through but there's also some malty flavours, hops and of course - what you came for - pumpkin.
Drink-ability I rate slightly lower however - as good as it is - its not an all night drinking beer. It does make a great fall beer however and one that you'd be amiss not to try.
10-03-2008 23:35:07 | More by Ralphus
More User Reviews:
2.6/5 rDev -26.3%
Had this as part of a Pumpkin Ale tasting event. Poured into a nonic glass.
Light copper-golden, a thin, foamy head that recedes after a few moments. Some visible carbonbation.
Nose is pretty dull - pale malts, light hops, only a faint nutmeg, pumpkin scent that I could barely detect - others with me could not.
For a beer that markets itself as a pumpkin ale, where exactly is the pumpkin??? Unlike the noble jack o lantern, which features prominently on your front step or in your window, the pumpkin here chooses instead to hide in the back, only making rare visits as the beer warms up. The spicy flavor is not all that enjoyable either - more tinny and artificial. If this were a well made pale ale with subtle pumpkin notes, this could be excused, but sadly, it is not. Truth be told, I had trouble finishing it.
Mouthfeel is thin, carbonation provides a light sting.
I had been warned about this brew by a few friends, but I thought I'd give it a go, despite having developed a mistrust of Great Lakes LCBO offerings. Comparing this brew to others of the style, and it's not even close.
Poor effort, won't pick up again.
10-25-2010 16:30:45 | More by JohnnyBarman
2.9/5 rDev -17.8%
Thanks to korguy123 for this one! Poured from a bomber into an Evolution pint glass
A: Pours a clear light orange, lighter than others in this style I have had. Nice one finger head that dissolves into a layer of white bubbles on top of the beer. No lacing.
S: I get some of the typical spices here, but relatively weak. Also get a hint of alcohol.
T:Not much, a little bit of vanilla, a little bit of spice. Dry finish.
M/D: Thinner than expected. Overall not great, on of the weakest pumpkins I have had so far. A pass.
10-26-2010 01:07:33 | More by mdaschaf
3.73/5 rDev +5.7%
Orange with a white head, and lacey. Spice including moderate pumpkin aroma. The taste is bold and a naturally above average carbonated. Tasty and one of the better pumpkins I have liked, drinkable. Balanced with some bitterness, a tad sweet with cinammon, nutmeg and faint clove, and of course gourd.
Had almost 2 years later on cask at C'est What and it was a very good cask.
11-29-2007 00:49:57 | More by Sammy
2.68/5 rDev -24.1%
My first pumpkin ale.
Good looking, halloweeny bottle. Pours, well, orange, or dark amberish if your picky, clear and visible carbonation.
Aroma may have ruined the whole experience for me. Unpleasant sour, macro-lager type smell. I was expecting to smell pumpkin pie, instead I was getting raw pumpkin pulp, not my thing.
In the taste, again I got a cheap lager impression which is not what I was expecting at all, kind of chalky. Bottle promises full flavoured ale with pumpkin, cloves, allspice and cinnamon... I got the cloves but where were the other spices? I was prepared for much more after reading reviews of big pumpkin pie beers. The pumpkin seemed subdued to me, more of a whiff in the finish than anything else. It seemed to me like the malt and the pumpkin just weren't complimentary, they didn't seem to work together. To me it tasted like a Keith's with some pumpkin in the mix.
Mouth feel was, again, not what I expected. I was looking for a big ale with some very mild carbonation. Instead I found it surprisingly thin and carbonated.
Now, as I said, this is the first pumpkin ale I've ever had so maybe I've misunderstood the style. I was expecting a full-flavoured, pumpkin pie spice experience, instead I found a thin beer with a little bit of pumpkin and cloves and not much else. Reading the other reviews, I'll give this one another shot and try some more examples of the style. As it is, I'm not impressed with this one.
10-24-2007 00:12:48 | More by CanuckRover
3.53/5 rDev 0%
A - nearly clear golden orange, creamy head retained very nicely with random blobs of lacing
S - roasted pumpkin and spice with a leafy hint and lingering booziness
T - big cinnamon and clove spice kick, mild pumpkin, toasty maltiness with some alcohol creeping in
M - light body with a big spice tingle, finishes lightly dry
O - a pumpkin ale dominated by spice, it is definitely tasty although I tend to prefer the style when the pumpkin is more prominent than spice, but still a tasty treat
01-08-2012 04:37:56 | More by joemcgrath27
3.2/5 rDev -9.3%
Welcoming in the fall season.
Pours a light gold colour, some head which dissipates quickly. Good amount of carbonation.
The nose is strong, I could smell the beer upon opening. A spice aroma is dominant. Cinnamon and pumpkin also present.
The taste is a little weak, tasting more like an ale than any sort of major flavoured specialty beer. It's a bit sour to begin with the light pumpkin and spice flavour lingering.
Again, light mouthfeel. Watery texture, a little underwealming.
Overall this is a rather average take on the pumpkin ale. I would have preferred a more flavourful and upfront spice taste. For whats available at this point in ON though, it's a great change of pace!
09-26-2010 17:56:40 | More by heebes
3.28/5 rDev -7.1%
Slightly cloudy body is a dark, pumpkin-like orange colour. The head dissipates to a very thin covering of off-white. No lacing. Nice colour for a pumpkin ale.
Faint pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove) and subtle, vegetal pumpkin, adding a certain creaminess. Caramel malt and light, spicy hops. Pretty weak on the nose.
Not much of the pumpkin or spices are coming through. It reminds me quite a bit of the taste letdown with their Miami Weiss; all the flavours here need to be amplified. Pretty much all I'm getting is a light malt character along with an earthy hop bitterness. Some grain on the finish. The spices are only present enough to make you wonder if they're even there at all. Everything here is much too far over to the cautious side of things. I wouldn't say it's too well balanced either; I could use more malt here. I'm thinking they missed the mark on this one. Not even close to enough pumpkin character.
I think I'd prefer the feel a little creamier but it's not too bad. Medium-high carbonation. More drying than you would expect at this level of bitterness.
It is drinkable. No off flavours and it does go down pretty easily in spite of it's boringness. The only thing holding it back is the drying finish, it's a little too much. If the bottle didn't say Pumpkin Ale, I'm not sure if I would think it was one. I know that pumpkin pie spice isn't something you want to overdo in a beer but for my taste the spices are way underdone. Glad I only picked up one of these, I won't be buying it again.
02-09-2011 05:36:22 | More by eat
3.85/5 rDev +9.1%
This is great lakes fall seasonal offering I've had it a few times but never reviewed it, so here we go.
It pours a clear golden orange much akin to honey, with a thin white head atop.
Aromas of pumpkin (surprised surprise) and grassy wheat first hit the nose. Bread and honey/corn syrup notes make a showing along with hints of clove. There is an underlying scent of wet leaves which seems a tad strange.
Hop bitterness is the first flavour to strike the taste, quickly followed by some malt sweetness and what can be best described as dry crackers. The bite of cinnamon and clove can be detected in the aftertaste. Additionally some subtle pumpkin flavours pop up but it adds much more to the body then the actual taste. As with most pumpkin beers there is a fine mouth feel gently coating the tongue providing a smooth slightly viscous sensation.
This is a decent pumpkin beer, tasty and easy drinking, with the characteristic fine body.
11-18-2009 19:12:10 | More by Reinheitsgebot71
3.15/5 rDev -10.8%
A: Very nice golden with a touch of amber, or pumpkin. Good head, not much lacing.
S: Maybe my nose is stuffed? No hints of the spices they speak of on the bottle. Maybe some pumpkin, but maybe just because I'm looking for it.
T: This beer isn't terrible, but the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg really seem to be lacking. There are hints, HINTS, of them in the aftertaste, but I shouldn't have to concentrate this hard to find them.
M: Kind of steely. Again, it isn't terrible, but it definitely does not scream pumpkin ale, more like a pale ale with subtle spicy notes.
O: I had this beer last year and recall being very impressed with the spicy/pumpkin flavours. I shared it with a non-craft-beer crowd and they liked it. Guess I should have reviewed it then. I can give GLB the benefit of the doubt, maybe this batch was a rough one. We'll see next year.
09-21-2011 00:15:34 | More by thirstybrother
3.53/5 rDev 0%
A - poured a big four finger head into a pint glass - relatively quickly deflated to a thin collar atop a light amber boy - pretty clear with little lacing
S - has pumpkin, banana, biscuit, floral hops, nutmeg
T - follows the nose but somewhat subdued, also a cinnamon note, some mineral flavor, a little nutty
M - not overly sweet, dry, and a little bitter, light to medium body with little carbonation
O - not bad at all - typical for the brewery it has potential but is simply not bold enough in the taste category.
10-06-2011 10:48:26 | More by Stocean1
3.83/5 rDev +8.5%
Bottle: Poured a clear orangey color ale with a small foamy head with no retention and no lacing. Aroma of pumpkin and cinnamon is dominating and well balance. Taste is also dominated by some pumpkin notes with some cinnamon and maybe subtle cloves notes. Full body with some minimal carbonation. Well done overall with some good balance.
11-08-2007 16:49:07 | More by Phyl21ca
3.65/5 rDev +3.4%
Poured in to a brandy snifter
A - Orage/yellow colour; very light for a pumpkin beer. Small amount of thin white head.
S - Some warm spices up front - specifically cinnamon & nutmeg, along with a nice pumpkin flavour.
T - A nice spice flavour of cinnamon and nutmeg come through initially with a nice pumpkin backbone providing the base for this ale. Somewhat light compared to other pumpkin beers but very enjoyable nonetheless.
M - Light body, lightly carbonated.
D - A nice pumpkin beer. Only complaint is the overly light body.
10-03-2010 18:17:09 | More by TheSevenDuffs
3.85/5 rDev +9.1%
I have not had many pumpkin beers but I really enjoyed this one. I love the fact that the spices come through over everything else. It ends up being a bit unbalanced but I really didn't mind. I would not be able to drink a whole lot of them though. It pours with a fluffy off white head, great retention and lacing. Has a clear orange copper color.
I found the nose to be at its best right after the pour ( strange but thats what I thought). Notes of pumpkin pie spices ( cinnamon, nutmeg etc), a bit of pumpkin and caramel malt.
Tastes similar to the nose, the spices are king in this beer. Also has hints of caramel malt and hop bitterness. Great fall drink that I hope Great Lakes keeps on brewing.
12-03-2007 08:07:01 | More by irishkyle21
3.55/5 rDev +0.6%
22oz from the LCBO. Pours a rather lightish (for a pumpkin ale) golden orange, almost IPA like with just a slight orange hue. Light head with little retention, though plenty of carb here.
Nose is nicely spiced, nutmeg being the primary one coming through. Also hints of cinnamon, all spice, behind that some fresh pumpkin.
Taste is pretty light, not as much going on here as I was hoping for this chilly, rainy evening. Nice malt base, light pumpkin additions and light spicing in the finish, hard to distinguish individual spices there (but certainly some cinnamon and nutmeg). Pretty heavy carb and I would prefer it toned down a notch to make it seem a little smoother.
A little smoother, a little richer, little more defined - those would be on my wish list for this beer. Not a bad beer by any means, drinkable for sure. Just not super.
09-29-2009 00:43:00 | More by ritzkiss
3.55/5 rDev +0.6%
Appearance – Slightly hazy dark amber colour with an average size fizzy off-white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation visible and there is a faint amount of lacing. The head lasted for around 4 minutes before it was gone.
Smell - Malts, bread, all spice, pumpkin
Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, pumpkin, and some dry hops. There is also a lot of spice taste - all spice.. with a focus on cloves. The beer finishes with a malty spicy aftertaste that linger on the tongue for a while.
Overall – I though the beer was good, but not great. It definitely tasted better as it warmed up in the glass a bit. The taste isn't cloying, but 1 bomber of this stuff was enough for me. I don't think I'd buy this one again.. not this year anyways.
09-22-2011 19:07:56 | More by spinrsx
3.73/5 rDev +5.7%
Appearance: It has a nice golden/orange color to it. It has a nice thick off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves some nice lacing.
Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and some pumpkin.
Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice spicy character of all spice, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves along with sweet malts and some pumpkin. I wish I could taste more pumpkin in this one.
Mouthfeel: It has a low/medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.
Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with decent flavors and aromas. Not the greatest Pumpkin Ale I've tried but still nice and refreshing.
09-12-2012 18:51:48 | More by SebD
Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale from Great Lakes Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.