Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale - Great Lakes Brewery

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Pumpkin AleGreat Lakes Pumpkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

107 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 107
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 14.89%
Wants: 10
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Viggo on 09-29-2007

In our pursuit to bring you the most flavourful and unique beers possible, we are proud to release this tasty autumn ale. Handcrafted with an assortment of specialty malts and hops, we added a generous amount of pumpkin directly into the brew. Combine this with hints of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and allspice, and you've got a beer that you won't soon forget. Rich, satisfying and slightly spicy, our seasonal ale goes perfectly with your favourite dessert or traditional feast. But like fall, Pumpkin Ale comes but once a year!
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Ratings: 107 | Reviews: 65
Photo of Amartian
4.7/5  rDev +32%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best flavour brews.

Photo of Mit
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Pours a clear darker golden colour with minimal head.

Light spicy pumpkin smell...some bready notes....some malt sweetness.

The pumpkin notes are more subtle this year it seems and more subtle than in other pumkin beers for sure. Seems a little maltier. Very nice.

Has a nice light mouthfeel. Seems lighter than the abv.

Overall this is a great beer. I look forward to it every year.

Photo of mick303
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale
Colour is a rich orangey brown, a slightly hazy profile, pretty solid film and lacing, some visible carbonation. 3.75

S – meaty pumpkin flesh, with some cinnamon apple, lemon, nutmeg, some roasty nuttiness. The earthiness and spiciness of pumpkin pie but less sweet, though there is some toffee, caramel and maybe some vanilla. 3.75

T – a sweet lemony bitter profile, some almond nuttiness, then some roasty pumpkin comes in with some strong clove notes. Earthy bitterness. Pumpkin is there in the backdrop but not a really dominant note until the finish, mostly a rounded roasty malty beer with some cinnamon, clove, nutmeg spiciness and a biscuity aspect. Then the finish has a sourish pumpkin bitterness and a dry long aftertaste. 3.5

M – balanced, moderate body, light carbonation and some malty sweetness comes through, fair bit of bitterness for the style. Sessionable and easy-drinking but could be improved. Feel could use some more body to really carry the flavours through though. 3.25

Not the best pumpkin beer I’ve had, this had a fair bit of lemony hops and spice notes dominate, pushing the malt and pumpkin back. You could certainly pick it up but it didn’t really shine I thought. Some balance issues as well, full-flavor though and with a sharpness to it, but this is not a beer I would come back to really soon. Shows potential though. 3.25

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.42/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

650 ml bomber poured into a pint glass from LCBO for $4.95CDN.

Appearance - Dark orange color, slightly hazy but mostly clear. 1.5 fingers of head, with creamy white cap. Reminds me of whipped cream over pumpkin pie. Decent head retention. Fantastic lacing

Smell - Pumpkin, spices, maybe some cinnamon. Nutmeg was another scent I picked up on right a way but couldn't name it. Not much in the way of any earthy tones.

Taste - Quite mild, hints of pumpkin, less sweetness than expected. The remaining tastes are similar to the nose. A bit spicy after a few sips.

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation, slightly rough mouthfeel, medium dry finish. Very little in the way of aftertaste. Feels a bit thinner than I would have otherwise expected, yet finishes creamy. Interesting

Overall - My first foray into the pumpkin ale class is a pretty tasty one. Not really sure what I was expected,but this is a nice beer for autumn and I’m certain would go well with a Thanksgiving Feast.

Photo of IdeaSpeeder
4.04/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Serving Type - 650ml bomber, poured into a pint glass

Appearance - Copper coloured, leaning towards an orange hue. On top is 3 fingers of bright white head with moderate retention. The beer is hazy and some carbonation is visible.

Smell - Yumm. Smells like pumpkin pie. Nutmeg and cinnamon and vanilla. Also ya'know some beer smells too. Mostly light grains and some sweet malts, but it's seriously masked by the awesome pumpkin pie smells.

Taste - Sorta like in the nose. A good deal of spice comes in right away. Again, lots of nutmeg. A good dose of vanilla. Towards the middle there's some caramel malt, and there's an ever so faint lingering hop bite that finishes the experience off in a fantastic note.

Mouthfeel - Extremely light. But in a beer like this it might be a good thing. it certainly doesn't detract from the experience.

Photo of slitherySOB
3.57/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy orange colour with about a fingers worth of head thad did not last long. Some lacing was left behind. Smells of pumpkin pie. Nutmeg, cloves, allspice, pumpkin and sweet malts. Taste is a little light when compared to aroma. Kind of like a light pumpkin pie. Their is some earthy malts to balance out the maltiness and pumpkin pie flavour. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, medium carbonated and overall well balanced with a spicy aftertaste.

Photo of decimator
3.54/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle poured into a pint glass. ABV 5.5%.

A - Poured a slightly hazy golden orange colour. The 1cm head didn't last long. Some short lived lacing.

S - Spice aromas upfront such as nutmeg, cloves & allspice with a backing of cooked pumpkin flesh. I love pumpkin pie and this beer always smells inviting.

T - Disappointingly light. Sure, there's a taste of pumpkin and desert spices among the sweet malts and light hops but it's all quite mild. Certainly milder then the aroma indicates. Despite that it still tastes pretty good.

M - Medium body, medium-low carbonation, some tang, mildly spicy aftertaste with a hint of metal.

O - More spicy than fruity. I always find it could be sweeter. Still enjoyed every fall usually accompanied by a slice of pumpkin pie.

Photo of SebD
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of BigBry
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft pint at C'est What in Toronto.
Slightly hazy, dark amber-brown color with an inch of off-white foam. Good head retention with the slightest amount of lacing.
Has all the smells you want from a pumpkin beer -malty sweetness, pumpkin, and cinnamon spice. Caramel malt taste dominates, all spice, clove, cinnamon. More spiciness than pumpkin
Average carbonation, solid body with out being too sticky sweet. More flavors came through as it warmed up in the glass. A very good example.

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of andrenaline
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another welcome sight to northern Ontario, which rarely sees the gems that southern Ontario LCBO's enjoy. Cheers to peensteen for the hook up!

A - Pours a slightly hazy golder copper colour, finger of head with solid retention and some spotty lacing.

S - Loads of spice on this one; cinnamon, all-spice, nutmeg and cloves, hint of earthy pumpkin and caramel and toffee on the finish.

T - Much like the nose with the spices dominating, cinnamon, all-spice, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla; the earthy pumpkin is detectable but subdued; the caramel and toffee backbones lingers on the finish alongside some leafy hop notes and spiced up bitterness.

M - Nice and smooth, good carbonation level and finishes wet.

O - A tasty pumpkin ale, though a bit heavy on the spices. A bit more earthy would've bumped it up a notch. I find the lower ABV pumpkin ales can get away with less spice, which can lead to a bit more of an authentic experience. Not to be misinterpreted, I would buy this again and recommend it to others.

Photo of marty21
3.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a pretty clear nice orange colour with one finger worth of creamy off white head. Settles to a very solid cap and left a bit of lacing at the top of the glass.

S: Very nice pumpkin aroma right off the bat. Then you get the spices of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Maybe a little caramel, but hardly any.

T: The taste is a bit thin but still good. Up front you get all of the spices and more in the after taste is when you get the pumpkin. The pumpkin is more creamy though almost like pumpkin pie.

M: Light to medium carbonation with a light to medium body.

O: A really good take on a Pumpkin ale. I would gladly have another glass of this.

Photo of Stocean1
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of thehyperduck
3.57/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber picked up at the LCBO. Leaked all over when I tried to open it... at least the carpet will smell nice.

Pours a slightly hazy deep amber colour, topped with a finger of silky off-white head that lasts for a few minutes before giving up the ghost. A thin film and collar remain on the surface. The aroma is quite nice, with biscuity, nutty malt sweetness, as well as pumpkin and the whole gamut of spices - cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Coalesces to make a nifty pumpkin pie smell.

Pretty tasty stuff. Sweet, biscuity malts, pumpkin and some nutty notes provide the backbone with plenty of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon flavour to add a bit of complexity. Way more spice than pumpkin, which seems like a sin. Medium-light bodied with subtle carbonation. Disappointingly watery for something I assumed would be more of a full-bodied ale, but otherwise tasty.

This is the first pumpkin ale I have ever reviewed, and I would be lying through my teeth if I said I didn't like it. That being said, even as an admitted newcomer to the style, there are some noticeable flaws. None of the flavours are especially intense, and along with the light-ish body this just gives it a bit of a diluted feel. Regardless, it's pleasing enough that I wouldn't shy away from recommending it, and the light, 'polite' nature of the brew makes it a good intro to the style. Something I may pick up next year.

[Updated Sept. 6 2014]

I'd been craving a pumpkin beer, and this one happened to be the first to become available locally this year. I don't think I've had it since 2011, but now that I've had a bunch of other pumpkin ales to compare it to, I figured I'd update its rating. I still don't think this is the best example of the style, but there's nothing all that wrong with it. It's not too spicy, with a nice gourdy flavour in the background and a beautiful aroma. At 5 bucks a bomber, this is a very affordable ale that makes a suitable introduction to the style.

Final Grade: 3.57, a B grade.

Photo of spinrsx
3.57/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650ml Bottle

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.

Photo of thirstybrother
3.16/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of WeedKing4
3.62/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden orange, with a decent amount of fluffy white head. Smells of pumpkin pie and cinnamon. The smell really got me excited for trying this, but the flavour is lacking a pumpkin finish. The pumpkin and cinnamon fad almost instantly. Its not a bad pumpkin beer, but based on the smell, I was expecting more flavour then this. Won't be picking this one up again next year.

Photo of peensteen
3.62/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden amber colour, one finger of white head, no lacing. Smell is bready and spicy, malt, some hop, nutmeg and cinnamon as well as some nutty character. Taste is malty and bready, the pumpkin is fairly subtle, spice, cinnamon and nutmeg, flavours are more pronounced in finish and when swirled around in your mouth. Lightly creamy, medium carbonation, decent feel. This isn't my favourite pumpkin beer but it is a solid effort, a bomber of this is a little big for personal consumption splitting this was a good idea.

Photo of bryehn
3.33/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2011 edition, I really liked it last year before I joined BA.

Pours a hazy golden colour with copper tinges. Not much in the way of head but a thin and persistant ring. Very little lacing.

Sweet and spicy aroma with a raw pumpkin smell. Honey, cloves and nutmeg with a fresh, grainy backing. Milder than other pumpkin ales and than itself in years past.

Nice pumpkin taste with a roasted malt backing and a solid hop presence. A hefty amount of spice creates a bitterness and the finish is syrupy sweet.

Medium-bodied with a low carbonation. Bitter bite on the tongue and a dry, peppery aftertaste.

Lacks a certain punch. The spices outweigh the pumpkin by a long shot, but it's still a decent after dinner beer that goes well with vanilla ice cream.

Photo of jrenihan
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours quite a light orange, with two finger widths of white head. Quite clear. Head fades to a small layer that stays quite well. Mild lacing.

Smell contains pumpkin, nutmeg and clove. Stronger on the spices than the pumpkin, but it is all there. A bit of a bready malt scent is present as well.

The flavour is much heavier on the spices than the pumpkin, even moreso than the nose. That being said, the pumpkin is obviously present. Some mild hop bitterness at the finish. A bit of a malty backbone throughout. Pretty good.

Medium bodied, a bit too much carbonation, but not bad. Pleasant but unremarkable.

Overall, an enjoyable beer but nothing to get too excited about. Nice to have if you are a fan of pumpkin ales.

Photo of eat
3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of hopsolutely
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A much lighter looking and tasting beer than any other pumpkin ale I've enjoyed in North America. Very refreshing and without the cloying malty sweetness found in some harvest ales. Pleasantly spicy aroma followed by a well balanced taste - notes of vanilla and pumpkin and many other spices. Well balanced with a nice dry finish.

Have enjoyed this beer in cask, draught and bottle form - and (unusually) the bottle is my favourite. It is light and refreshing, but somewhat limited in flavour complexity.

Photo of tbeckett
3.07/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours bright. Orange to dark golden in colour with no head and mild carbonation.

S - Spices. Lot's of cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin spice. There is a little pumpkin too but the spices dominate for the most part.

T - Spices dominate again. Mild pumpkin with lingering baking spice.

M - Light with little carbonation.

D - Good but not my thing. Too much spice, not enough pumpkin for a pumpkin beer.

Photo of MattyV
3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep-gold colour with a fluffy white head that shrinks down to a thin cap. Not much lacing.

S - Nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves mostly, as well as some biscuity malt. Overall, pretty dull.

T - Bready/biscuity malt with a slightly fruity character, the spice is there but not overpowering, the hops provide floral notes and lead to a crisp lightly bitter finish.

M - Light-bodied, pretty highly carbonated.

D - The flavour doesn't blow you away with intensity, but its still relatively complex and nicely balanced. Not my favourite pumpkin beer of the season, but probably one of Great Lakes' best offerings at the LC

Photo of mdaschaf
2.95/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale from Great Lakes Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 107 ratings.