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Pumpkineater | Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
87
very good
69 Reviews
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PumpkineaterPumpkineater
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada
howesound.com

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by lumikuuro on 10-08-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
69
Ratings:
198
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
20.36%
 
 
Wants:
29
Gots:
37
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 69 | Ratings: 198
Photo of lumikuuro
5/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Howe Sound brewpub, late September 2009.

Pumpkins are growing early this year as a result of the hot, dry summer. This review is less detailed than normal as I was entertaining a visitor so did not take notes.

Appearance: Dark amber, clear, not as orangey as some pumpkin ales. Inviting.

Aroma: Well spiced, malty, pumpkin of course.

Taste: Well, Howe Sound have done it again. This is a wonderful beer with a lot of flavour and a step above what you would come to expect from a pumpkin ale - partly because it is an imperial ale, and partly because they seem to hit almost every nail right on the head with their brews. Great spice, very malty, and the pumpkin is allowed to flourish without bringing much sweetness to the balance. The alcohol content is evident but is kept well in check by the strong flavours.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, intense.

Drinkability: If I didn't have two other seasonals to try immediately afterwards, I'd have had a good few of these. Best pumpkin ale I have ever had.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.73/5  rDev +21.9%
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!

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Photo of sAvAgE69
4.58/5  rDev +18%
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.

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Photo of Hornet2003
4.48/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark copper pour with a lingering off-white head. Really a spectacularly coloured ale.

Smell: Wow. This is the spiciest pumpkin ale I've ever smelled. It's not overbearing with cinnamon like a lot of others. It has a great balance with other spices like allspice, cardamom, nutmeg, clove. If anyone remembers the aroma of a jack-o-lantern being singed by the candle burning inside, you can imagine the genuine pumpkin smell. So delicious...

Taste: Being an imperial, it is a touch sweeter than most beers. Such a great spicy flavour. It isn't too overbearing with any one spice. Just a great balance.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy with a little prickliness. Not syrupy like many other "imperial" beers.

Drinkability: Only drawback is the alcohol. For the "Pumpkin Ale" style, I can't give it top marks. If there was an Imperial Pumpkin Ale category, this would rank at the top.

Overall: My favourite pumpkin ale of all time. I'm truly impressed. So multi-dimensional, yet simple and easy to drink. Great job Howe Sound Brewing Company.

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Photo of BDTyre
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice copper colour with a creamy white head. Lovely scent of spices and brown sugar. The cloves and nutmeg are quite noticeable and the star anise lends a nice, interesting character to it.

Rich spicy, malty and slightly starchy pie taste. Good blend of the star anise and cinnamon and there is a definite brown sugar and molasses sweetness to it. Dry spiciness on the finish from the cloves

A little bit thin, needs to be a bit thicker to really complete. A great beer, another winner from Howe Sound. Enjoyable even at 8%.

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Photo of avwrite
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%

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.

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Photo of the_awesometeer
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%

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.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.31/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - bubbly clear burnt orange, one thumb of head retained well, eventually giving way to a consistent covering
S - cinnamon and nutmeg, sweet pumpkin, caramel and roasty malt, light leafy
T - sweet caramelized sugar and pumpkin, pleasant cinnamon and nutmeg, dark roasty malts, great flavour mix
M - smooth and creamy, the tingle of cinnamon and spice throughout
D - many pumpkin ales tend to lean too heavily on the spices, but this finds a nice balance between malt, spice, and pumpkin, and the higher ABV is completely concealed, Howe Sound does it again!

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Photo of JoanS
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

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.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to H1N1 for this one.
Poured from 1L swing top bottle in to Duvel tulip glass.

A - Dark amber colour with one finger of bubbly white head that quickly disappeared.

S - Pumpkin, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg. Standard nose for a pumpkin ale but not overly spiced, which many are.

T - Pumpkin, cloves & nutmeg are the predominant flavours. Some cinnamon is here as well but not as pronounced as it is in many pumpkin ales. I don't specifically taste the star anise but I am not sure I would know that taste if I found it anyway. A nice peppery taste is present in the finish.

M - Medium body, nice chew, lightly carbonated.

D - Nicely balanced pumpkin beer. Not overly spiced like many pumpkin beers tend to be. This was was very well balanced (pumpkin and spiced). One of the better pumpkin ales I have tried.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at St Augustine's in Vancouver.

A: 1/4" white head over amber liquid with very good clarity.

S: Slight smell of pumpkin, hops, cinnamon and other spice.

T: Hops, ginger, cinnamon and other spice up front which transitions to yeast, wheat and pumpkin.

M: Thin viscosity which a high level of carbonation. Some drying from the alcohol.

O: Very drinkable and complex pumpkin ale.

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Photo of maclean25
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this 1L bottle at a liquor store in northern BC.

It pours a creamy, light brown head. The body is cloudy and has a copper colour. In the smell, I detect caramel, sweet fruit salad and yeast.

The taste is very similar to pumpkin pie. The spices dominate the flavour: nutmeg and cinnamon. I recognize some clove taste. I also get some ginger and molasses, but those are not listed in the ingredients. Definitely more spice than pumpkin. It is balanced well with hops, it has medium (maybe low) carbonation and a medium body.

Overall, I liked it a lot, though it is the first pumpkin beer I've had. I already went back to get more and recommended it to others. I couldn't help but compare it Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Lattee which I always found had an awkward balance between the pumpkin spices and espresso. This beer, by contrast, has an excellent balance between the pumpkin spices and the beer.

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Photo of niz
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

enjoyed from the 1 litre flip top growler, classic howe sound
pours hazy dark orange/ amber in colour with 1/2 " head that fades fast to zero head.

smells of spices, cloves, nutmeg, yum,

taste tastes of pumpkins, cinnamon, nutmeg sweet finish, with a dash of honey.

mouthfeel is good, i could go for a bit thicker (more pie crust flavor) but all in all very good.

Overall,. an excellent pumpkin ale froma local brewery, the best i've had so far this year.

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Orange in color with copper hues lingering about. There is a big bold head that is three fingers thick and eggshell in color. Very nice retention, eventually settling down to a thick layer over the brew itself. The carbonation is very mild looking as it slowly rises to the top. There is also modest clumpy lacing on the side of the glass. Very decent looking overall!

S- There is a distinct sweet, malty pumpkin aroma. This is followed by some mild spiciness (cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon)....pie spices! I didn't notice any real hop bitterness on the finish, but there is a slight boozy aroma....I guess being 8%, it's a little hard to hide.

T- The pumpkin flavor is there, but doesn't overpower and isn't as sweet as the aroma lets on. The spices are present as well, but again, aren't overpowering. Everything is nicely balanced out between the sweetness of the malt and a clean tasting bitter finish. Also of note, the alcoholic presence is modest on the palate, which is a good thing!

M- I found this to be medium in body and very creamy....it's almost like a micro-carbonated beer, and I think this characteristic does wonders for the style! The flavors, in my opinion are very much allowed to shine!

O- This is a very fine pumpkin beer and I highly recommend it! It's smooth, flavorful but doesn't make you feel like you loaded your mouth with candy, and well balanced. I feel that this exemplifies what a fall seasonal is all about!

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Photo of LampertLand
4.19/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Howe Sound's 'Pumpkineater Imperial Pumpkin Ale' @ 8.0% , served on *cask* at the GCBF'10-'16 & from a 1L pot-stopper bottle , great for home brewing , even at the $8 to $10 range per bottle
A-pour is a burnt orange with nice size off white head , that leaves some spotty lacing along the stein/sampler glass
S-interesting combination of pumpkin pie spices (cloves , cinnamon , nutmeg ,ginger and star anise)
T-wow , a boozy pumpkin sweetness seems to dominate this beer which goes down oh so easy , big tasting even on the swallow
MF-good carbonation , great body , ya can feel that 8.0%
Ov-good beer , one of BC best Pumpkin Ale ,
prost LampertLand ,
2014 version was *cask* R'umpkineater @ GCBF'14 , wow
2016 version was *cask* Bourbon Oaked Aged Pumpkineater @ GCBF'16

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Photo of papat444
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Rutager for this one.

Poured from a 1L bottle and split with my wife.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber-orange body which affects the color of the head a bit. Thick sheeting coats glass as i swirl it and very good retention.

Smell: Chunky pumpkin pie , low carbonation.(the gelatinous part), nutmeg, sweet spices. Rich and pleasing.

Taste: Has that meaty pumpkin flavor, bit of cinnamon in the finish that grows a bit as it warms. Rich, authentic flavor. Well spiced without feeling like a whole spice bottle was dumped in.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, silky, low carbonation, real pleasant.

Overall: A winner and my favorite pumpkin ale so far!

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Photo of canucklehead
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What a great idea , taking the pumpkin beer style and increasing the alcohol and grain bill. This beer does resemble the Father John's Xmas beer in its baking spice top notes and English Old Ale body. It drinks very smooth with lots of complexity in the finish. The spices never really overpower the beer and the bigness of the mouthfeel ( including the alcohol) really set this apart from most pumpkin beers. These guys are starting to try new and different beers which is what BC needs as the our craft scene develops.

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Photo of chickenm
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orangish copper color with a medium off-white head. Aroma of nutmeg and other spices, malt, and pumpkin. Flavor is very spicy and malty with some brown sugar sweetness. A tiny bit of alcohol is noticable as well; overall the taste is quite balanced. Decent mouthfeel with a medium-light body. Pumpkin ales aren't usually something I'd want to drink more than one of, but this one is very good. All in all this is a great seasonal from Howe Sound!

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Burnt amber and crystal clear, with a few lazy bubbles finding their way to the surface. Two fingers of creamy head on the pour, but nothing more than a minimal ring around the glass after a rest.

S: Roasted pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, nutmeg & ginger and some sweet malts. The pumpkin is right there in the forefront of the scent profile as are the pumpkin pie spices. Noticeable absent is the yeast - that may be intentional, but doesn't detract from the smell.

T: Forward flavour of roasted pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices, with a hint of bitter hops, noticeable heavy on the star anise. Some rum notes on the back end, like a solid winter drink should be.

M: A little thin compared to the big flavour & smell, I hoped for something chewy & coating, however this feels crisp and clean and light. Some nice sparks of carbonation up front on the palate and just a suggestion of booze at the back end.

O: The smell and taste are definitely a strong representation of a pumpkin ale, however I find the mouthfeel a little thin. This wouldn't deter me from trying it again because the flavour and scent are so incredibly pumpkin forward. Maybe it's just me, but I think this might make a fantastic beer float!

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Photo of BigBry
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1L, stoppered bottle.

Pours a deep amber-orange color, slightly tan head a bit. Thick sheet of lace, foam lasts the entire glass.
Smell has lots of the noted spices, clove and nutmeg for sure.
Taste has a good malt base with some pumpkin elements coming through. The pumpkie pie spices are in the flavor, but not so overpowering that they take over too much. Cinnamon becomes more dominant as it starts to warm up. Alchol is pretty well hidden, but also gets a bit more boozy as it warms. Rich, full bodied flavor and mouthfeel. Low carbonation keeps it creamy and smooth.
Overall, one of the better Pumpkin Ales out there.

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Photo of korguy123
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy burnt copper pour with a two finger, sort lived light tan head. Lacing is sticky.

Pumpkin right up front, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and brown sugar. There is a slight fig aroma.

Pumpkin and cinnamon. Not over the top spices like some, this focuses on the pumpkin than the pie tastes. Nutmeg, brown sugar, vanilla and some digestive cookie notes resembling pie crust.

Light to medium body, good carbonation.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 1L brown flip-top bottle. Pours out a hazed burnished copper/amber, fluffy off-white head with great retention.

Light caramel malt on the nose, but the primary notes are that of nutmeg and cinnamon. Mild ginger notes in the background.

Flavour is quite bold for a pumpkin ale, no wonder this is labelled as imperial. Rich full malt presence, some caramelized sugar soon kicks in, however the spices steal the show very quickly. The star anise seems to be the most prominent of them all by the finish. Some light herbal hops tend to creep out in the aftertaste once it warms a great deal.

Mouthfeel is full and smooth, light carbonation.

A good solid offering from this brewery for a seasonal, on par with their Xmas release. One of the better Pumpkin ales available in these parts and a welcome addition.

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Photo of mick303
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
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!

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Pumpkineater from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 198 ratings.
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