Wolaver's (Organic) Pumpkin Ale | Otter Creek Brewing

194 Reviews
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Wolaver's (Organic) Pumpkin AleWolaver's (Organic) Pumpkin Ale

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing
Vermont, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.35%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-08-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 194 | Ratings: 513
Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the bottle, it pours a orangey amber with a moderate head with BIG bubbles, dissipating to a light foam in short order. Some pumpkin pie spices in the nose (very light) and mouth. Enjoyable.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.76/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

3.0 A: Murky amber brown color. One finger of frothy off-white head. Retention is below average and a few wisps of lacing are left.

3.75 S: Good balance of pumpkin and spices. Nutmeg and allspice are most prominent with cinnamon pulling up the rear. Toasty malts with a caramel backbone. Fairly simple by pumpkin beer standards, but has everything you want.

3.75 T: Like the nose, this isn't very intense, but it tastes good and has great balance. Good pumpkin flavor, spices per above. Caramel and toastiness.

3.75 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Pleasantly creamy and super smooth.

4.0 D: This doesn't get a lot of love, but I really like it.

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Photo of ordybill
2.78/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. This murky red amber ale has a very small white head. The aroma is almist non existent and the flavor has almost zero pumpkin flavor. Not a good pumpkin ale.

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Photo of bdaggett
4.43/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best pumpkin beers I have ever had. REAL pumpkin flavor. It even smells like a freshly cut pumpkin, bringing you right to those Halloween days. For me, this beer is second only to the king, Pumking!

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Photo of gchristner
3.27/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I am trying a few different pumpkin beers that I have not tired before. This is the first of the bunch. Not bad, but nothing special. Good color and smell. Very average taste, not much pumpkin, some spice.

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Photo of Claude-Irishman
4.9/5  rDev +42.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I like Pumpkin ale/beer. Most have an artificial pumpkin pie taste, which I am not so crazy about( harpoon pumpkin comes to mind)) This is the best Pumpkin ale there is.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.74/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Orange body and lots of bubbles to show off a tan head that falls quickly. Nose is excellent. Smooth malt a touch of the gourd and not too many spices. There is to my delight a bit of spicy hop. Floral and hops give this one a nose that is demure against some well crafted spice that has only a light touch to it. A little cinnamon a little biscuit, nutmeg. Drink is dry and earthy. Sweet with a bit of caramel. There's a taste to it like dry leaves and twigs. It really grows on you.

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Photo of illpass78
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Libby craft glass.

Appearance: Pours a slightly murky orange-amber with a finger-width white head that sticks around forever with slight dissipation. Some somewhat heavy lacing on the way down.

Aroma: Pumpkins, and lots of them. Smells quite a bit like pumpkin pie. Some spices and a floral note, too.

Taste: Pumpkins, cinnamon and spices lead the way. Nice composition. The pumpkin flavor is bold and has a spicy character, but isn't cloying or overpowering.

Mouthfeel: Nice autumn depth, similar to that of an amber ale.

Overall: A swell pumpkin ale. This or Smuttynose will likely be my go-to pumpkin beer, since it's 2014 and everyone needs one.

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Photo of thebeersrallright
4/5  rDev +16.3%

This one's not nearly as bad as the bros review or even the overall BA score would indicate. If you like your pumpkin beers to taste like pumpkin pie then keep looking. Try a Whole Hog Pumpkin or that tsp of vanilla extract per bottle beer that everyone on BA likes so much Pumking. This falls in line with alot of the Wolaver's stuff I've had in that it's not a wow beer, but there's also not much wrong with it. It's a beer you aren't going to fall in love with, but it's also an easy drinker in a category that seems to go way overboard with flavors. If you're gonna have just one, this probably isn't the one, but It's a nice followup to drink after punching yourself in the face with some of the other pumpkins out there. Try it after you drank something called Imperial Pumpkin something or other and you'll be glad you did.

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Photo of Hendry
4.5/5  rDev +30.8%

Nice orange/amber hue,next to no head, this one laced the glass with spots all the way down.
Outstanding nose that is a bit lighter in taste and sweetness than the aroma implies.
If you crave the heavy caramel malt and pie crust with a whipped cream sweetness, this may not be the one for you.
Light and easy drinking, I found myself enjoying the second bottle more than the first.
Despite the predominately low ratings here on BA, respect the fact that
Wolaver's Pumpkin Ale won the GOLD MEDAL at the 2014 GABF out of 52 entries, an award that should increase the profile as well as the ratings of this finely crafted organic Pumpkin Ale.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.97/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

9/18...pours hazy rusty autumn, thick lacing, very little foam. Earthy pumpkin nose, light spice. Taste is a grittier, hoppier pumpkin. Earthy. Not sweet. Very natural tasting. And very good.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.71/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Orange color with a one-finger head
S: Pleasant malt, pumpkin and pie-spice
T: Pumpkin and pie spice
M: Light-bodied and smooth
O: Not sure why this is rated so low. All the right flavors are there and it's a good example of the style, it's just a bit light and not quite as complex as some

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.11/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Hazy copper. Sunkist orange. Attractive 1 finger ivory white head. Mousse like and persistent.

S: Rather sweet pumpkin pie. Cinnamon whipped cream, marshmallow, some biscuit, nutmeg. More like a sweet potato casserole in effect rather than a pie with crust.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Clean more than chunky although it does feel a little coarse.

T: I like the pumpkin flavor in this a lot. Spice compliment very well without taking center role. Flaky malts, cinnamon, clove, ginger, golden raisins, and graham cracker. Raw pumpkin flavor seems to stand out as if you had roasted it in your oven.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.72/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2014-09-28 in Columbia, PA from a bottle

A - Pretty hazy dark orange with a 3/4-finger white head and moderate lace

S - Pumpkin spice and mild biscuit

T - Moderate pumpkin pie spices, graham cracker, moderate sweetness and just a blush of balancing bitterness.

M - Light-medium body and carbonation. Not cloying at all. Leaning towards the crisp side.

O - A flavorful pumpkin brew on the low ABV side. Good taste without going over-the-top. I like it.

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Photo of JWBaccaro
4.5/5  rDev +30.8%

This brew is amazing. It's not pumpkin pie in a bottle like Southern Tier's version, however, it still kicks arse. It has that delicious standard beer flavor with a great almost bitter-sweet pumpkin flavor. It's in my top 5 of favorite pumpkin ales.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.24/5  rDev +23.3%

I definitely have a taste for pumpkin ales. It all started for me back in the nineties when a brewer acquaintance, Stephan Danckers, brewed up a special batch. I was the only one who liked the sample that was left in the fridge at work - more for me. Anyway, a couple years ago I went on a quest to find ones as good as Stephans (which I don't think he ever made commercially). This one is pretty good, as are many others.

It pours a deep reddish brown and has a nice pumpkin aroma mixed with an ale smell. The taste is just a little more spiced than I would prefer, but the pumkin flavor is more pronounced than most - it seems real. It's a nice balance of a little bitter hoppiness with the spicy pumpkin.

This is one of my favorites of the style.

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Photo of DracoWH
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

Pours clear, light amber, many bubbles. Thin, foamy head, about a finger thick, reduces fairly quickly, but does not completely dissipate, leaving a little creamy foam across the entire surface. Lots of small bubbles rising quickly to the top

On the nose, it is sweet and creamy, mostly pumpkin pie spice, with some yeastiness, a hint of smoke and a touch of caramel.

Taste: Drier than I expected, medium to high carbonation, but very fine bubbles - almost champagne-like, and will foam in your mouth if you swish it around. In the fore, there is a bit of citrus sourness, followed by a light taste of pumpkin and malt, but mostly pumpkin pie spice, with a spice lingering on the finish. There is a bit of lingering bitterness on the long finish, too (almost, but not quite like, an IPA...I would call this the Pale Ale of Pumpkin Ales for that citrus taste up front followed by the bitterness. It is not overpowering by any means, but it *is* noticeable.)

I could drink this any time in the season in which it is released, if it was the only seasonal available, but I would probably choose other seasonal brews if they were available. It is somewhat unremarkable, but good for the beginning of the season, when you still have some of that summer heat around, and are just beginning to head into "harvest season."

 1,316 characters

Photo of AyeMito
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

This beer is pretty unexceptional. Its not bad, but not that great either. I get pretty standard notes of pumpkin and spices like nutmeg and brown sugar on the nose leading to a very mild flavor on the palate. I hardly get any pumpkin and more of a slight spice tone. It feels slightly bland to me.

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Photo of Chakri
3.19/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Its better than all others in the Volaver's organic assorted beers collection. Next time I would go and buy this alone than the other Volaver's ales. To mention I never like those dark colored ales/beers which would taste a bit like chocolate. This was a good tasting beer.

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Photo of asaharyev
3.19/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Very sweet pumpkin in the aroma, with a bit of zucchini and hints of Wolaver's Pumpkin Ale banana bread. There’s also a good deal of fall spices, particularly cinnamon, though the sweetness takes over. The taste follows, very sweet up front and at the end, with a bit of a toffee character to the malt. The middle has some of the actual pumpkin flavor, with weird banana notes. Overall, this one was too sweet for me. I assume Wolaver’s uses only organic pumpkins in the brew process, but the flavor tastes similar to artificial pumpkin to me.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.77/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I really, truly thought that I had finally exhausted my pumpkin beer stash for the year and then this one popped up! I want to get back to The CANQuest (TM), plus now the Holiday beers are starting to appear ...

From the bottle: "Better beer[,]Better world"; "Brewed with Vermont pumpkins"; "Since 1987, Wolaver's has combined a passion for exceptional ales along with a strong belief in the benefits of organic farming. Handcrafted by Otter Creek Brewing, Middlebury, VT, we are proud to brew the finest organic ales using the highest quality local Vermont and domestic ingredients."; "Generous use of Vermont grown organic pumpkins artfully blended with four fresh organic spices craft this seasonal treat."; "Unfiltered. Unpasteurized. Organic."

I have a nice, clean glass fresh from the dishwasher and the pour went well, creating a finger of dense, eggnog-colored head with good retention. Color was a rich coppery-amber (SRM = > 13, ~ 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a pretty big cinnamon presence along with clove and nutmeg. The malts gave it a cookie-like nose. Mouthfeel was medium and the cinnamon was big and immediate on the tongue. The finish was semi-dry from the spices and I felt as though I had been chewing a stick of Big Red when I was finished. It was an interesting beer, but one was plenty at this juncture.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a bottle at Pilsener Haus in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a crystal clear dark orange/copper to amber in color with light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation.The beer has quarter finger tall off-white head that quickly fades to a very thin film covering about half the surface of the beer with a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon and nutmeg), and caramel malts.

T: Light to moderate flavors of pumpkin with moderate flavors of pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon and nutmeg) that intensifies as the beer warms ups. There are some very light notes of caramel malts with just a touch of sweetness.

M: Light to medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable but not as good as some of the other offerings in the style.

Original review on 10-14-2012 20:47:08 but on a retired beer incorrectly.

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Photo of Joe_Grizzly
4.18/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I didn't mind this beer at all it was little sweet

I wish I didn't have this as my first beer of the night good but sweet and lingering on the palate

it reminded me as a poor mans PUMPKING had that butter popcorn nose on it

I would like to see what others think of the comparison

the body on it was weird it was super cloudy, and had no lacing and wouldn't bubble when swirled like it was 2 days old and flat nice copper hue to it

overall if you like pumpking give it a whirl I wouldn't want to session it stomach couldn't handle it

would drink again but wouldn't travel for it

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Photo of mtomlins
3.59/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.

A: A bit hazy, orange brown beer with a big, persistent, sudzy off-white head and nice lacing.

S: The nose is full of sweet caramel malt, brown sugar and pie spice.

T: Soft sweet malt (maybe a touch metallic), light brown sugar, pie spice; mild pumpkin flavor at start but becomes fuller as beer warms and the cinnamon and nutmeg also become more pronounced. A nice, subtle hops bitterness dries out the finish which is very clean.

M: Medium light body (a bit thin) and medium carbonation.

O: Not a ton of pumpkin here but still a nice amount of spice resulting in a tasty ‘fall beer.’

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Photo of chefhatt
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I poured this beer into a glass, it has a dark orange color body with a small head. The smell has a very punget smell of nutmeg. The taste has a overpowering taste of nutmeg and spices, it has some pumpkin taste. The mouthfeel is ok an overall is a ok pumpkin beer.

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Wolaver's (Organic) Pumpkin Ale from Otter Creek Brewing
3.44 out of 5 based on 513 ratings.
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