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Pumpkineater | Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
87
very good
68 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:
68
Ratings:
197
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
12.11%
 
 
Wants:
29
Gots:
37
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 68 | Ratings: 197
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.

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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 SirChugsAlot
2.61/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark copper color with a white cloud of head that fades to a thin layer across the top with a touch of lacing.

Smells of spices toasted malts and sweetness

Taste is BLAH!!! too over-spiced for me. I was hoping more from this beer, but it's like a homebrew gone mad with spices. it's a very complex flavor that is hard to put a finger on all the flavors.. this beer is a mess

mouth is light and not hard to drink.. except for the taste, a little over-carbonated... i would not tell my friends to try this one

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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 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

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Photo of andrenaline
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Keeping the tradition alive with Howe Sound tastings on both my 100th, and now 200th review!

A - Pours a hazy tangerine colour with the slightest reddish hue, thumb of light big bubbled head, mild retention (< 1 minute), and no real lacing. Body shows a bit of carbonation, but pretty subtle.

S - Scent is rather bready, some sweet pumpkin and complemented by spices. It's nice to smell a pumpkin beer that isn't over the top in the spices, this one retains the beer aspect, which is nice.

T - The spices come through in the flavour with nutmeg and cinnamon dominating. The star anise is uniquely noticeable on the finish, and the higher ABV is nicely hidden. Pumpkin is also noticeable and is on par with the spices. A bit of a bready malt lingers, but again, everything is nicely balanced with nothing overpowering.

M - Probably the only weak point on this offering. Mouthfeel is a bit on the watery side and could use a bit more carbonation.

D - Overall, another tasty offering by Howe Sound. Was very excited to find this in Calgary, and am glad I picked up a bottle. In fact, I grabbed another bottle for Thanksgiving to share with the family! Really looking forward to enjoying this one again over the holidays! Much better balance between the spices and beer, and highly recommended to any pumpkin ale fan!

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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 barleywinefiend
3.18/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a glowing orange with good carbonation and a dirty white head

S: Pumpkin, allspice and light cinnamon

T: Pretty tame to be "imperial". Light toasted pumpkin, spice, nutmeg and dash of cinnamon

M: Toasted pumpkin and ok mouthfeel, no complaints but pretty boring

D: Ahhh. Worth a try I suppose. I had no problems in drinking it but not Imperial.

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Photo of Shadman
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No problems with foam on a fairly aggressive pour. Nice tight foam head, tan in colour. Good lacing. Slightly clouody, but still a bright ammber.copper mix.

More of a rounded malt aroma, toasted with sweet caramel tones. Typical pie spice is more in concert rather than dominating here. Which for a pumpkin beer is kinda disappointing really.

Smooth, a;most chewy feel at first. Nice blend of pumpkin spices and sweet caramel apple malt. Booze is there, but is decently hidden until the finish where it it masked decently by the cinnamon and nutmeg's dryness.

A nice fall warmer with the robust body. If you crave more spice this might disappoint you. I found it to be pretty darn good except in the aroma department

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Photo of prosper
2.06/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Exceptionally brisk carbonation. I poured a glass full of foam. It's a slightly hazy orange colour with an off-white head.

Smells of pumpkin pie spices, as anticipated, but not overpowering. Seems like a good balance with some toasty and some caramelly malts. No hops.

Taste is.... OK. I think it's probably over-spiced for my tastes, it's got a strange non-hoppy bitterness that's sharp and biting, oddly combined with a cloying sweetness and a mouthfeel that's moderately full up front, but seems to finish watery, somehow. There's a biscuitty malt edge that just seems to clash with everything here. It's all wrong, in my opinion. I'm going to have a hard time getting through an entire litre of this stuff; definitely NOT my cuppa tea

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Photo of H1N1
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours an orange/amber with 3 fingers of white foam after an aggressive pour. Head dissipates to a quarter finger with minor lacing.

S- Cinnamon. Smell of gourd. Smells like pumpkin pie, but more of just the sices than any actual pumpkin smell.

T- Sweet taste with cinnamon and spices. Nutmeg. It tastes like it smells. More like pumpkin pie than actual pumpkin, but I guess that's the point.

M- Thin to medium bodied. Not much carbonation lasts.

D- It's alright I guess. Nothing special. Decent price for a litre.

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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 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 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 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 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.

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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.

 460 characters

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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Pumpkineater from Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company
3.88 out of 5 based on 197 ratings.
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