Pumpkin-Head Ale | Red Car Brewery and Restaurant

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Brewed by:
Red Car Brewery and Restaurant
California, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TheLongBeachBum on 10-03-2004

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 3 | Ratings: 4
Reviews by instrumentality:
Photo of instrumentality
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was invited to a Halloween party this Saturday and decided to go on a mission to find some pumpkin beer to contribute. Being anything but an expert on pumpkin beer (my only experience was that Jack's Pumpkin Spice Beer from Anheuser-Busch, which actually tasted almost like pumpkin bread), and not really even being a fan of the taste of pumpkin, I asked around on the beer forum and Red Car was one of the most recommended sources.

Yesterday evening after work, my girlfriend and I rolled into the Red Car brewery. I ordered a pint of Pumpkinhead. She ordered the sampler. Of the four beers she tried, the Pumpkinhead was the one she ended up ordering in a pint glass, so it was flavorful enough yet mellow enough to please someone who's equally against Bud/Miller/Coors and IPA's.

Moving on to my own perception...

The brew poured a clean, rich reddish-orange color, a suitable visual for preparing one's mind to drink a pumpkin flavored beverage. The head was nonexistent--not even lace existed--but there were tiny scattered bubbles of carbonation throughout the glass.

I don't know if my sense of smell was off that day, but I could barely detent any scents...maybe the slightest hint of pumpkin, but I think my brain just wanted to smell that.

The flavor was light and wheaty like a standard hefeweizen, with very subtle flavors of slightly sweetened pumpkin (my girlfriend couldn't even detect any pumpkin qualities). I would have liked a little more kick in there...either some extra hops or maybe some nutmeg and/or cinnamon to compliment the pumpkin...but no such luck. The mouthfeel was also pretty light and easy on the palate with minimal alcohol taste and light carbonation--but not so little that it tasted flat.

This brew was nothing too memorable, but it was a worthy attempt at a pumpkin beer. The good news is, because the beer was so mellow and easy to drink, I decided to go ahead and buy two growlers of it, figuring that the majority of the people at this weekend's party will enjoy it.

I'm hoping that I can find the time to locate and enjoy at least one more pumpkin beer on tap. That way I can get another growler of that and hang onto a growler for myself. As unexciting as this beer is, it's definitely refreshing and light enough on the ABV where I can drink a pint or two after work and still use my brain for other things afterward.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.9/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Sampled on draft during a recent visit to the Red Car Brewery & Restaurant.

Appearance: Clear amber-orange body with some gold flashes. Presented with a decent white head that seemed to quickly fizzle to a thin covering as it sat on the Bar. Nice conditioning.

Nose: Decent nose, best described as Pumpkin Pie meets American Pale Ale in a dark alley. A restrained nose that is neither over the top but neither a disappointment.

Taste: Nice layers of malts and hops but the soft Pumpkin gets to shin in the latter third of this one. Fresh, clean and crisp itÂ’s a nice drinking Pumpkin brew that somehow relaxes. Has a very Cask ale feel to it also.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Yet again, as with other Red Car Brewery beers I noted a distinct Cask-like feel. Served on draft the Pumpkin Ale most certainly benefits from a subdued but present carbonation that helps the flavors of the Pumpkin-Head Ale flourish. I had Two Pints of this wonderful brew tonight, it accompanied my tasty triple cheese Burger easily, and it also stood on its own as a great drinker. A session beer for sure!

Overall: A delicate tasting Pumpkin Ale, the kind I prefer. A solid American Pale Ale base with a teasing hint of fresh Pumpkin. At 5.5% it is also extremely quaffable and makes for one of the better Brew Pub Pumpkin Ales that I have had this Fall. Nice.

 1,368 characters

Photo of atrocity
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: I know its corny to say that its the color of pumpkin, but I'm going to say it anyways. "Its the color of pumpkin", quite hazed with a medium sized off white milky head.

S: Caramel, light pumpkin pie spices and thats really about it. Not a lot of odor, surprisingly.

T: Sweet pumpkin with brown sugar start the show off with a mild malty base balancing the two out. Once can find cinnamon and nutmeg lurking beneath the surface. Finishes spiced with lingering maltiness.

M: Medium body with a hard mouthfeel.

D: This was pretty good and I really don't like pumpkin beers that much. It wasn't as aggresive as other pumpkin beers, had good balance to it.

 667 characters

Pumpkin-Head Ale from Red Car Brewery and Restaurant
3.73 out of 5 based on 4 ratings.
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