Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

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Pumpkin Beer
Ranked #57
Ranked #18,152
3.89 | pDev: 11.83%
Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada
Very Good
Notes: A high gravity pumpkin ale brewed with barley, fresh roasted pumpkin, hops, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise, water and yeast, it is one of the local seasonal favorites. This beer is produced in very limited quantities each fall as part of the John Mitchell series.

19 IBU
Reviews: 70 | Ratings: 210 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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leaddog from Canada (AB)

4.19/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a deep garnet red with three fingers of bubbly off white head.

Smell - pumpkin, earthy, leafy, and floral hops, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, anise, licorice, bready malts, and earthy yeast.

Taste - Pumpkin followed by the earthy, leafy, and floral hops. The spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, anise, and licorice make a strong presence next. The bready malts and earthy yeast finishes the brew off.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes a tad sticky with the spices and pumpkin lingering.

Overall - A well constructed and flavourful pumpkin ale from Howe Sound. The spices and flavours are spot on. One of the better examples of the pumpkin spiced beers out there. This will pair nicely with the pumpkin pie I will be having for dessert after dinner!

Oct 09, 2018
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Bluecrow from New York

3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The 1 liter bottle poured a clear deep amber. The rich aroma included cinnamon and sugar. The flavor is bready and caramel-like, but not overly sweet or spiced. The alcohol is is not detectable in the taste. This is a moderately spiced and very pleasant imperial pumpkin brew.

Dec 10, 2016
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dacrza1 from New Jersey

3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

DATE: October 14, 2016... OCCASION: after watching LVR defeat Hackettstown, time to warm up... GLASSWARE: Schneider Edel-weisse pokal...dense, dark brown amber body that allows little light through... tough to discern effervescence... head is one-finger, off-white and solid in its consistency... nutmeg, pumpkin, cinnamon, clove, and some licorice provide a cornucopia of aromas... the palate is easy-drinking, with some activity up front and a slight warming return... the flavor profile is decidedly cinnamon and nutmeg, with licorice, clove and pumpkin, as advertised... overall, a fine, albeit understated, ale that clocks in at 8%... I like its flavor profile, its balance, and its easy warming feeling... love the fact it comes in a quart bottle with a stopper--not that I will stop until it is finished!

Oct 15, 2016
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ScruffySouthpaw from New York

4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Transparent Amber color with heavy bubbles to the body. Head comes off slightly off-white but drops quick before first sip rising initially rising maybe one finger'a length.

Smell: Lighty cinnamon and light pumpkin pie.

Taste: Sweet and touch malty, light hint of cinnamon and creamy pumpkin.

Mouth: Medium carbonation and medium stickiness.

Overall: Good brew, little on the malty side for a pumpkin ale but definitely worth the grab. I was a bit spoiled yesterday and think I might have to go back. Salud!

Oct 09, 2016
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avalon07 from South Carolina

3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dirty brown color and a thick consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Not much lacing at all.

S: A very subdued aroma of pumpkin, spices, and some malt.

T: Tasted of some different spices (cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg), a bit of yeast (not that much), some malt, light hops, and a light bready quality. This could have been a good flavor, but it's uneven and kind of watery. Not nearly and powerful as it should be, but not horrible either.

F: A below average amount of carbonation with a mostly smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Pumkineater is one of those beers that might have been great if given a few tweaks. Has its good points, but doesn't wholly succeed.

Oct 05, 2016
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sAvAgE69 from Canada (AB)

4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is the second batch that I have tasted. For an imperial beer. The taste seems to be all natural. In my opinion. This is the standard of what a pumpkin ale should be. There is no tinfoil taste, the pumpkin and spices are bursting with flavour and the lacing is immaculate. If you can get it. Give this beer a shot.

Sep 22, 2016
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dbrauneis from North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear dark garnet reddish brown in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and moderate cola brown highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy dark beige head that reduces to a large patch of medium thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, and anise) with light to moderate aromas of roasted pumpkin and caramel + toasted malts. Hints of earthy hops are present as well.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of caramel + toasted malts with a light to moderate amount of sweetness. That is followed by light to moderate flavors of roasted pumpkin and slightly stronger than moderate flavors of pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, and anise). Hints of earthy hop bitterness in the finish which does not linger for long.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: I love the fact that these Howe Sound beers come in the 1L swing top bottles. Easy to drink and enjoyable, hiding the ABV very well. Nice balance between the flavors of the pumpkins, pumpkin pie spices, and malts.

Oct 18, 2015
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JuicesFlowing from Kansas

4.31/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Look: A rust colored body, opaque ... the color of cinnamon sticks. A cream colored head recedes to a wisp with little or no lacing.

Aroma: The spice rack of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, and a fleshy, real pumpkin meat aroma on the tail end.

Taste: Just like the aroma with all the spices of Autumn. A much more pronounced cinnamon finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, goes down very smooth at 8% ABV.

Overall: Very much a pumpkin ale in every way, but I do appreciate that aroma and taste of gourd flesh on the back end.

Sep 27, 2015
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headlessparrot from Canada (ON)

3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the 1L Howe Sound swing-top almost the colour of cola (albeit somewhat translucent cola), dark caramel/ruby/reddish/brown. A super aggressive pour nets a couple fingers of head that recedes quickly down to a few millimetres and then some islands, but does leave some runny lacing.

Smell is starchy, cinnamon, nutmeg, slight pumpkin, licorice (anise, I guess?), caramel, toasted malt, slight biscuit. Pie crust? Very pleasing.

Taste is very pumpkin pie. Again, pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove. Light licorice. Decent malt body. Rather starchy. Carbonation is rather high and spritzy, and while the body is surprisingly light for the ABV and pumpkin content (too light, almost), there's a certain sharpness, a bile-ish dryness that makes large doses a bit unpleasant.

Not bad--the smell is the real winner here, and the 1L format isn't doing this beer any favours, because it's better in small doses--but I remain ever on the lookout for the perfect pumpkin ale.

Sep 14, 2015
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Svingjo from Canada (BC)

3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Was a bit disappointed with this year's version of Pumpkineater. This is usually one if my favourite pumpkin beers. This year's version the pumpkin flavour was very subdued and the carbonation was too active. Actually gave me instant heart burn. I'm not sure if the bottle I got was off or not. I will give it another shot though.

Sep 13, 2015
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clayrock81 from Florida

3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a clear, copper body with reddish tints and two finger head which left a minor lace ring. The aroma is mostly a mix of clove/spice and some nutmeg and pumpkin sweetness (I don't really pick out the cinnamon but I know it's there). Light bodied, smooth, straddles the line between pumpkin flavored beer and beer that just has pumpkin added to it. The cinnamon and nutmeg, along with pumpkin, add sweetness to a spicy beer that finishes crisp. Not the best pumpkin ale out there but worth trying although the dry, boozy finish slightly detracts from beer at times.

Sep 04, 2015
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Jeffreysan from Maryland

4.73/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750 ml bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, semi-cloudy, deep, dark, mahogany color, speckled with orange highlights, and a half of a finger of white-colored head that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Delicious! Lots of toasted malt and pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spices such as brown sugar, nutmeg, ginger, all-spices, cinnamon and clove, as well as some black pepper and a hint of dark chocolate.

Taste: Just as delicious as the aroma! Lots of toasted malt, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spices such as nutmeg, ginger, all-spices, cinnamon and clove, up front, followed by tons of brown sugar-like sweetness. As the beer warms up, more and more dark chocolate comes through, making the beer, more complex and deep in flavor. Absolutely delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and, nicely carbonated to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 8.0%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a damn good pumpkin beer! Strong in all of the pumpkin pie spice-like flavors, but the addition of dark chocolate really makes this pumpkin ale stand out from the rest and makes it very unique. Delicious!

Jun 12, 2015
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pat61 from Minnesota

4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Hazy copper tinted amber with a vigorous 2” cream colored foam cap.
S: Traditional pumpkin pie spices liven up a big pumpkin bouquet.
T: Pumpkin pie in a glass with an under current of brown sugar especially on the finish. The nutmeg, clove and anise are very apparent. A small pinch of hops pulls the beer back slightly from the edge of too cloying.
F: Medium full body and medium low carbonation.
O: Stands on edge of the abyss of too much pumpkin pie character.

May 18, 2015
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BirdsandHops from Oregon

3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear dark honey color with a finger of off-white head that fades into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Strong spice notes here--cinnamon, nutmeg, and a bit of anise mostly. There are some vanilla and sweet bread notes underneath.

T: The spices are a bit less heavy here with caramel malt, bread, burnt sugar, and vanilla coming through. The finish has a light alcohol burn.

M: Medium body with lowish carbonation, this beer just avoids being watery.

O: A solid beer, overall. I'd like the spice notes to be a bit more balanced and more of a body, but it is otherwise enjoyable.

Nov 28, 2014
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JoanS from California

4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

I liked it because it didn't have a strong pumpkin-y flavor. It was very smooth like the Belgian quads i like and as another reviewer noted, it sneaks up on you.

Nov 03, 2014
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the_awesometeer from California

4.35/5  rDev +11.8%

Appearance - amber/orange color. Thin head that disappears quickly. No visible carbonation.

Smell - I smelled the pumpkin and spice as soon as I opened the bottle. Nice sweet smell.

Mouthfeel - bubbly/tingle feel as you drink. Medium bodied.

Taste - very good pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavor. Nice balance between sweet pumpkin and spice.

Oct 25, 2014
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a murky dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, earth, cinnamon stick, and strong clove aromas. Taste is much the same with malt, earth, clove cigarette, and pumpkin pie spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a strong clove emphasis in the smell, but the taste has more balanced pumpkin pie spice flavors even though clove is also the most noticeable flavor.

Serving type: bottle.

Oct 19, 2014
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TruePerception from California

3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Howe Sound's Pumpkineater, Imperial Pumpkin Ale. 8% ABV.

A: One and a half finger of fairly fluffy white head. A little light on head, but good retention. Fairly hazy/unfiltered. Orange, a little deeper in color near the center. Dull yellow, in the dimple.

S: Pumpkin meat. Slightly sweet. Very slight pumpkin stem. Clove, very slight ginger, just a hint of cinnamon. A little light on the nose, but has good smells.

T/MF: Light and crisp, with decent body. Pumpkin seed sticks out the most. Pumpkin stem, skin, the stringy guts. Not so much the meat/flesh, but not bad. A bit of spice on the finish, but I can't place it. Overall, pretty drinkable.

Poured from a 1 liter swing-top, into a Belgian tulip glass.

Oct 12, 2014
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avwrite from California

4.4/5  rDev +13.1%

Nice pumpkin taste that isn't as bloated as other pumpkin ales I've had. It's supposedly has a high ABV, but it didn't seem like it. Sneaks up on you later. Nice, bronze color and surprisingly clear. Not cloudy at all. Probably my choice among halloween themed ales.

Oct 10, 2014
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Briken from Washington

3.16/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Big, bubbly, hazy orange amber with a thin foamy tan head with no retention. Cinnamon and nutmeg with light pumpkin. Clean amber beer with hints of pumpkin and spice with light warming. Sharp foamy feel.

Head disappears after 2 seconds leaving an ugly beer that looks like a soda. Nonetheless, it's a good clean beer with no off flavors and is otherwise an easy drinking beer.

Sep 18, 2014
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oberon from North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -6.2%

I normally refuse to drink a pumpkin ale before the middle of September but I gave in this year damn it.Pours a deep burnt orange with a full half finger slight off white head but is gone in an instant.The aromas are the bast attribute of this beer,clove,cardamom,and ginger really jumps out at ya along with some sweet alcohol.Flavors start out spiced and warming but a bit of an off chemical-like flavor to go along with big alcohol sweetness in the finish kinda turns me off a little.Well it's big and sweet like alot of the "Imperial" pumpkin beers,me personally just give me a standard old school pumpkin ale and I'am happy.

Aug 30, 2014
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souvenirs from Canada (BC)

3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

1L bottle shared with friends on Thanksgiving.

A: clear copper, big foamy head, visible carbonation, slight lacing left behind.
S: maple sweetness, almost like a liqueur.
T: I found this quite sweet and I couldn't taste the pumpkin at all. I didn't even pick up much of the spices I'd associate with pumpkin / pumpkin pie. This was a definite disappointment as a pumpkin ale. It definitely tasted like 8% alcohol, or maybe higher. Bleh.
F: fairly thick, smooth.
O: I wouldn't buy this again. I was glad my friend Sara really enjoyed it and wanted to finish the bottle so that it didn't go to waste!

Oct 15, 2013
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Brianhophead from Canada (AB)

3.76/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pumpkineater is a deep copper colored ale with ruddy highlights. The head is dense, cream colored, and lasting.

S - The aroma starts off smelling like pumpkins. Pumpkin moves quickly into pumpkin pie spices, cloves, and nutmeg. These give the rich, savory aroma of pumpkin pie in a glass while also giving balance to the lush aroma of pumpkin. Pumpkins and spices are decently balanced to give a very enjoyable nose.

T - Pumpkineater is only medium bodied, a nice surprise given the lush pumpkins found in the nose. The center gives only the faintest hint of caramel but does give more pumpkin pie spices. Those spices give good balance to the sweet, lush flavors of pumpkin.

O - Given the richness of what a pumpkin pie provides, Pumpkineater shows surprising refinement and restraint. And what's more the ale carries its 8% abv with great restraint. If I didn't read it on the label I might never suspect this was such a strong ale.

Oct 13, 2013
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mick303 from Canada (ON)

4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip, a solid cap of white head, great lacing. Colour is a deep ruby orange brown.

S – deep roasty pumpkin, mild smoky nutmeg, caramel malt, nice lively spiciness, a bit of a dark breadiness, pumpkin and spice come through really nicely, rich and balanced. 4

T – a really nice caramel spice sweet start, lots of cinnamon nutmeg spice, pepper, maybe a touch of chili, lots of rich meaty pumpkin. Maybe some molasses/ brown sugar notes for sure, leading to a more toasty dry finish with pumpkin pie spices. Refreshing and tasty with good depth. Balance is really good. 4.25

M – Pleasant with a big, semisweet body and light carbonation. A bit of sharpness toward the finish, but a drinkable and tasty strong pumpkin.

A nice spicey standard take on the style. Enough pumpkin flavor to be noticed but not be too dominant. Still drinks like a well-balanced strong ale but with a lot of the spices mentioned. As far as pumpkin ales go this is certainly a tasty and complex offering and would certainly recommend it. You dont get much of the alcohol presence for sure, it drinks overall fairly moderately with a decently spice-forward profile. A good idea of what the style should be, interesting and tasty without being cloying.

Oct 13, 2013
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Axnjxn from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 liter bottle into a FW tulip. 2013 release but didnt see an exact bottling date.

Dark orange color, 1 inch head that dissipates fairly quickly. Smell is of Fall spices - cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, everything you imagine when you think of Fall, though they arent too strong. The taste is a tad different than other pumpkin beers and i prefer this one to them. We get the cloves and nutmeg that dominate here, making it not sweet like a lot of the other varieties. Good flavor in my eyes. Medium bodied with mild carbonation.

Overall a very good pumpkin beer that you should check out if youre in the mood for that style. Also, the 1L bottle is awesome.

Sep 16, 2013
Pumpkineater from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 210 ratings