Pumpkineater | Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

BA SCORE
87
very good
198 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
198
Reviews:
69
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
12.11%
 
 
Wants:
29
Gots:
36
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 198 |  Reviews: 69
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle half pint at Bar Volo takeover. About an average pumpkin beer. Attractive orange colour, with little head. A good spicing, ginger, cardomon, cinammon, white pepper. Decent drinkability. Spicy nose, average mouthfeel, appropriate understated carbonation.

 260 characters

Photo of jaydoc
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

 709 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another of those homebrew-friendly 1L swing-tops...and with that weird 'imported into the USA' mention on the label, for something domestically produced.

This beer pours a rather hazy, medium orange brick amber colour, with two fat fingers of densely foamy, and yet somewhat bubbly tan head, which leaves some random cirrus cloud-like lace around the glass as it lazily recedes.

It smells mildly of pumpkin pie spices - cloves, ginger, and cinnamon (hearts) - brown sugar, vegetal gourd flesh (pumpkin, and perhaps some of its squash cohorts), bready, crackery caramel malt, and an underlying twinge of metallic booze. The taste is sweet bready caramel malt, a blend of fall seasonal spices - clove and nutmeg, mostly - well-meshed pumpkin, squash, and even zucchini, and a pleasantly integrated, if a tad edgy at times, warming alcohol.

The carbonation is moderate, manifesting in but a plainly supportive frothiness, the body quite full and coddling (like there was a whole metric whack of pumpkin pulp in it), and actually fairly smooth, with a slight whipped dessert creaminess. It finishes more or less sweet, the spiced caramel malt most prevalent.

A sort of balanced, spicy, malty, chai tea-esque, and duly warming autumn-worthy beery tipple, one also good for a place where Indian Summer skipped September altogether, preferring instead to show itself in November, of all times. Whatever, it's still pumpkin season, and this offering does a bang-up job of reminding me of the fact.

 1,498 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3.69/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and minimal lacing. Aroma consists of cinnamon and cloves are quite dominant with light pumpkin and caramelized notes. Taste is a solid mix between some cinnamon and cloves notes with some good notes of pumpkin and caramelized malt. Body is full with good carbonation with no apparent alcohol. Solid interpretation of the style and somewhat reminiscent of Pumpking with less aggressive spicing.

 476 characters

Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%

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.

 629 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

 1,282 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Gkruszewski
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of BEER88
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium somewhat cloudy orange-copper amber with a half finger medium white head. Light aroma of pumpkin with light sweet malt and light spicing. Flavor of roasted pumpkin, light sweet malt and some spices. Somewhat dry and a touch sour finish. The flavor is not as robust as other pumpkin ales, but pleasant. The finish takes away somewhat from an overall positive impression

 417 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from wordemupg, 1L into a tulip. 2011 bottling.

Browned orange with an offwhite head. Good retention, OK lacing. Nose of cloves, cinnamon, banana and pumpkin flesh. Some caramel and brown sugar like sweetness. Taste has cinnamon, banana, clove and pumpkin again, with alcohol interwoven. Sweetish finish, and some bitterness. Medium body, carbonation was a tad high initially. A good pumpkin ale, but not on Pumpking level.

 431 characters

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.

 820 characters

Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Derek
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Copper with an off-white head, thin ring of retention, hint of lace.

S: Huge cinnamon, ginger, cloves, vanilla.

T: Cinnamon, ginger, mace, vanilla, pretty spicy, hints of Gourd, balanced bitterness, warming alcohol.

M: Well-attenuated, with a drying finish.

D: It's a little warming.

 291 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pumpkineater looks like it's already eaten a few - this beer looks like semi-digested pumpkin and all the colour and clarity you'd imagine that to have. And if that image doesn't sound very appetizing, then good, I've done my job because what's in the glass certainly doesn't look overly tantalizing. Giving off little highlighting, it looks muddied. It's also pathetically flat; not even an upright pour could produce lasting bubbles.

You'd have to use a microscopic amount of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and anise for the aroma to smell like anything other than those spices. Indeed, this is a spicy, savory amalgamation of all the above (no one ingredient stands out above the others) that conjures thoughts of ginger cookies and pumpkin pie. It also manages a distinct gourd-y note, like fresh-cut butternut or acorn squash (it's also brewed with real pumpkin).

While there is a bit of cinnamon heart taste, I feel as though I'll be flossing strings of pumpkin flesh from my teeth instead of cinnamon bark. Surprisingly, maple-y squash flavour holds its own. That's not to say, mind you, that the chai-like profile of clove and nutmeg aren't appreciated - they certainly are. Even the anise is present in small quantity (provided you know to look for it). Quite a nice balance. I suppose it's a draw then.

While I wouldn't tinker with the spices, I would up the malts. Refreshingly, for a higher gravity beer there is little (if any) alcohol noticed. However, the other side of that coin is that it also drinks much thinner than a beer of its strength should. The flavour suffers most; it all but dissipates within seconds of swallowing and only a brief memento of the chai note is retained. More biscuity, toasty maltiness would help prop the beer up.

Any knocks that I might have about Howe Sound Pumpkineater have little effect on my overall enjoyment of it. Although a wee thin, it's still a fully loaded pumpkin ale that finds balance - and that's not an easy thing to do. Now, whether it's worth the price tag ultimately depends on how much you care for pumpkin ales; it will suit casual pumpkin ale drinkers but it might not suit their budget. I don't regret splurging on it one bit.

 2,198 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

 573 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1L Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for 11$

Appearance - Clear copper colour with an average size fizzy/frothy beige coloured head. There is a lot of carbonation and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes but then it was gone completely.

Smell - Malts, cloves, all spice

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and pumpkin. There is also some all-spice, clove, and a bit of a smokey/peat like flavour. It ends with a malty spicy aftertaste.

Overall - Good not great.. I will say that it is fairly drinkable. Given the size of the bottle, this is a good thing. It's a decent seasonal beer.. It's no pumpking though.

 690 characters

Photo of Erik-P
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

 473 characters

Photo of Hohnbaum
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of wordemupg
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

1L bottle poured into tulip sept26 2010

A slightly hazy deep amber with some bubbles popping up too a large beige head that has good retention but leaves no lace

S lots of nutmeg, cinnamon, and a little licorice with some booze

T a little sweet with some clove and pumpkin on top of what I smell with a little heat but the booze is fairly well managed

M a little flat and some bite to it, leaves a little grit in your mouth not bad but nothing special

D a little strong and the big ass bottles take some commitment but I managed without to many issues

not a bad beer and well suited for the season, I can't think of many pumpkin beers this strong but when the weather cools off it would be most welcome

 710 characters

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