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Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale - Great Lakes Brewery

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Pumpkin AleGreat Lakes Pumpkin Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

93 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 93
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 13.88%
Wants: 10
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
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!

(Beer added by: Viggo on 09-29-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 93 | Reviews: 63 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GodOfBeer
GodOfBeer

Ontario (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev -2.3%

Poured a nice amber colour with a thin head that dissipates.

Smells like pumpkin pie...very spicey, with some subtle hop notes.

Loads of cinnamon is what I mainly get, way too much, some nutmeg and the pumpkin is barely noticeable, needs more sweetness or malt.

A thin mouthfeel, overall this beer is lacking something, but I don't know what, more pumpkin and malt maybe?

10-17-2008 01:03:21 | More by GodOfBeer
Photo of EatsTacos
EatsTacos

Yukon (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +16.1%

The beer pours a very deep orange to amber colour. Pumpkin orange I'm sure is what they shot for and its pretty good.

Aroma is totally pumpkin pie, I get nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin, some hops poke through.

Taste is nicely complex and very spicy. The pumpkin is in the background, but I think that works well here. Although the taste is dominated by the spices, there is a good balance between hops and malt, and the finish is very clean and dry

Good level of carbonation and a medium to light body make this beer fairly drinkable. I could have a few of these no problem

10-07-2008 04:10:21 | More by EatsTacos
Photo of Ralphus
Ralphus

Ontario (Canada)

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
Photo of bobsy
bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev +8.5%

I've had this beer at three different time points now, and the character has been slightly different at each tasting. From the tap at the fall festival of beers, it tasted fresh and full of pumpkin. From the bottle, just after release, the spices dominated and the pumpkin lurked in the background. I'll base my comments on a bottle that has been sitting for several months.

A frothy off-white head crowns a radiant orange body. I believe this is what pumpkin beer would look like in a perfect world. The aroma, as expected, was pumpkin pie. The spicing seems more subdued than the previous bottle, so this could be a good sign. That's more like it! The flavours have become very well integrated, and it tastes like sipping on a pumpkin pie. A nicely carbonated pumpkin pie. I'll definitely pick up some more next fall.

Edited to add: tastes excellent on cask.

01-12-2008 15:27:41 | More by bobsy
Photo of irishkyle21
irishkyle21

Ontario (Canada)

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
Photo of crwills
crwills

Ontario (Canada)

3.3/5  rDev -6.5%

OK, I confess. I just don't like pumpkin ales. I try them for the sake of trying them, but there's something about the spices in them that I can't tolerate for some reason. With that in mind...

This one was decent. Looks nice (deep, orangey gold with a big bubbly white head). Smells nice -- I have no problem with the smell of these ales, I just don't like the taste -- lots of the usual spices, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, although very little pumpkin. Some pumpkin-like notes in the flavour, although, again, the artificial spices dominate. Solid mouthfeel, although I felt the carbonation emphasized the spices a little too much.

I've got one more bottle to drink, which I may share out at Christmas or trade.

12-02-2007 17:51:07 | More by crwills
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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
Photo of sstackho
sstackho

Ontario (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev 0%

22oz bottle purchased from LCBO in Toronto for around $5. (The "Double" in its name here comes from early kegs on draft. I don't believe there is any intentional difference between the draft versions and the bottled version that does not say "Double".) Pours a light straw with lots of carbonation. Quite nice aroma of "pumpkin beer" spice. The first taste is tangy from all the carbonation. The wife comments that it burns her tongue. Flavour is a nice, typical pumpkin beer. Not mind blowing, but nice to at least have the option in this variety-starved province.

11-25-2007 04:48:08 | More by sstackho
Photo of MMansfield
MMansfield

Nova Scotia (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev -1.4%

Received bottle from trade. Thanks Viggo. Bottle is painted glass and labeled just Pumpkin Ale with no double.

Appearance: Pours an orangey copper colour, clear, creamy white head diminishes slowly to a ring and leaves some lace.

Aroma: Dominated by cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and other pumpkin pie spices. Sweet and earthy notes in there as well.

Taste: Starts off sweet and then a smack of pumpkin pie seasonings. As the beer warms some actual pumpkin flavours come through. Finish is a little dry, sweet, and spicy/herbal.

Mouthfeel: Quite thin, which is something I would prefer a pumpkin ale not to be. Drinkability is medium.

Final Statement: The best pumpkin ale I've had to date, but that doesn't mean much as it's only my third. I would prefer a darker, fuller, richer pumpkin ale with less spice. Overall not too bad.

11-11-2007 17:05:38 | More by MMansfield
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

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
Photo of trevorwideman
trevorwideman

Manitoba (Canada)

3.1/5  rDev -12.2%

Not sure where the "double" in the name comes from, my bottle just says Pumpkin Ale. 650ml bomber poured into a pint glass, sent out by pootz. Thanks buddy!

Pours a crystal-clear light copper colour with a healthy inch of head, some wet lace and medium-high carbonation. Nose is full of sweet malty aroma with tons of spice. I'm mostly getting cloves and allspice, with the cinnamon and nutmeg coming in right after. The whole mix is just a little bubblegum-like.

Taste is much lighter than I was expecting. A bit of zip from the spices, especially the cinnamon. The rest of the flavour comes off a little cheap as the malt profile is extremely generic with hints of veggie. Nothing to report in the way of hops in here besides a light herbal quality. There's a mineral flavour in here as well, which is somewhat welcome. Medium bodied and a bit creamy, cinnamon burns the tongue a bit but isn't really very dry at all. This is drinkable but a bit boring. I'm looking for more of a balls out beer to celebrate Halloween with.

11-01-2007 02:49:05 | More by trevorwideman
Photo of shamus
shamus

Ontario (Canada)

3.23/5  rDev -8.5%

We found rust (or is that pumpkin guts) under the cap too. Is this left over from last year I wonder? Not a lot of head. Nothing interesting to smell. tastes like someone dipped a slice of pie in a sleemans ale and let it marinate over night. That being said I am enjoying it. It's definitely a novelty beer. I have had better pumpkin ale before. However this will do for now.

10-28-2007 19:27:06 | More by shamus
Photo of allergictomacros
allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

2.58/5  rDev -26.9%

A - Hmm... Orange under the cap is not pumpkin but rust. Bodes poorly? Pours a clear copper with copious off-white head. Kinda loose though.

S - Doesn't smell like much of anything. Kinda raisiny and a hint of pumpkin. Uh... hint of fish sauce. Warms up with some cinnamon and spiciness.

T - Slightly buttery with some apple and pear - harvesty yes, pumpkiny no.

M - Kinda chewy.

D - Alright I guess but I am underwhelmed by the lack of pumpkinyness
in this.

10-26-2007 03:39:06 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

3.3/5  rDev -6.5%

Nice silk screened bomber with thick orange foil on the neck.

The pour reveals a slightly hazy orange liquid with slow moving large carbonation bubbles abounding. The head is flash in the pan shortlived and only leaves moderate lacing behind. A strong all spice, nutmeg aroma fills my nostrils upon first sniff. Spices really dominate the nose. The flavor follows suit with lots of powdery nutmeg and other phenolic flavors mixing with cinnamon and other spices. Some vegetal, fiberous flavor is there too, Im guessing this is the pumpkin meat added. Malt is very restrained in the back, providing just some sweetness. Hops are essentially MIA. The mouthfeel is full bodied and cloying with sweet spices. The finish is herbal, like my grandmother's spice cabinet.

This is a decent pumpkin ale, though a little unbalanced. Some more malt depth and hop flavors would go a long way to counter the wall of spices.

10-26-2007 03:37:13 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Photo of CanuckRover
CanuckRover

Ontario (Canada)

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
Photo of pootz
pootz

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +11.9%

Had a draft at the brewery but this rating is from a fresh bottle sample.

Poured a bright orange-amber with a 1 finger white cap...does not last long but makes a surface lace that laces the glass well enough.

Wonderful nose: pumpkin pie spices with toffee malts and some botanical mustiness ( the pumpkin)

Good mouth feel, silky and ample.

Big caramel malts in the front start to go sweet but the spice- hop astringence rushes in to balance very well, lovely spicy, malty lightly sweet middle with a sharp clean finish and light spice and bread after taste.

Well carried off Pumpkin ale....rich and satisfying but smooth and drinkable...best of the seasonals from this Brewer so far

10-14-2007 01:05:06 | More by pootz
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev +9.9%

A: Copper-bronze, off-white head, no retention, slight lacing.

S: Pumpking spice (ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon).

T: Ginger, nutmeg, mace, light cinnamon, pumpkin, balanced bitterness.

M: Light to moderate body, dry finish, greater than moderate carbonation.

D: Decent drinker.

10-03-2007 02:19:20 | More by Derek
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev 0%

On tap at C'est What? Festival of Small Brewers. Not sure what the double is for, not particularly pumpkiny or alcoholic.

Pours a clear orange, thin white head forms, lace spots, settles to a ring around the glass. Smell is pumpkins, clove/allspice, bread, bit of citrus character, caramel, not bad. Taste is similar, sweet malt, some pumpkin, bit of caramel, spices, wheat, weak finish, spicy bitterness unbalances it a bit. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Better of the two pumpkin ale at the fest, but not by much.

09-29-2007 19:57:40 | More by Viggo
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Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale from Great Lakes Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.