Pumpkin Spice Ale
John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House

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Pumpkin Beer
3.81 | pDev: 15.22%
John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Reviews: 7 | Ratings: 17 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of vfgccp
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Came to the table with a rim of cinnamon and sugar on the glass.

A – Stellar color, a deep ruby amber. Creamy off-white head has great retention and lace.

S – Bright, fresh cinnamon and a backdrop of malt, brown sugar, and apple. While there isn’t much pumpkin, the pumpkin-spice notes are fantastic.

T – Smooth, sweet malt and raw pumpkin right as it hits your palate. A kick of bitter spruce in the center balances the sweetness of the opening and keeps things in check. Light nutmeg and cinnamon through the middle and finish.

M – Very nice mouthfeel. Medium-full body thins just a bit on the backend. Nice carbonation. Nice smoothness.

O – A great pumpkin beer – one of my perennial favorites. Excellent structure to the profile.

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Photo of gskitt
3.34/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a golden amber with little and a little lacing.
S- Cinnamon scent is ever-present and festive.
T- Pumpkin and earthy but no hops. The brews house suggests that drinking this ale with a cinnamon sugar coated rim. It definitely adds to the experience.
M- Neutral mouthfeel. Nothing special.
D- Yes, but some may question why.

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Photo of SkunkWorks
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at John Harvard's Brew House in Smith Haven. Reviewing this beer is a bit difficult for the following reason; the beer itself is okay but as noted by the other reviewers, the flavor and aroma is dominated by the brown sugar and cinnamon stuck around the rim (similar to salt on a margarita glass). The head formation on this beer is better than on the other beers served at John Harvard's and the color is a beautiful, deep amber color.

With the sugar and cinnamon, the beer is very delicious and is one of the best pumpkin spice beers I've had. It tastes somewhere between an amber ale (which is what it is based on) and a pumpkin pie. I would rate it straight 4.0's based on this.

However, once you've killed off all the sugar and cinnamon and your glass gets warm, the beer is a horse of an entirely different color. The spices are a bit overpowering and there's also a slight alcohol flavor in it. When a beer goes warm, the real flavors come out and this beer's flavors are no good. For this, I would rate it straight 2.0's.

My advice is just to drink this beer fast and make sure you ration your sugar/Cinnamon and you'll enjoy it!

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at JH. This is an interesting beer. As noted below, it is served with brown sugar and cinnamon on the rim of the glass. Pours a deep orange/red with a thick tan head. You can't smell the beer past the cinnamon and brown sugar. Additionally, the flavor is dominated by cinnamon and brown sugar with light pumpkin and nutmeg in the finish. So to sum, the sugar/cinnamon really obscures the beer. However, I happen to like sugar, so I enjoyed this beer a lot. Very interesting presentation. 7/4/7/4/14

Update 11/27/08: I know that this isn't a great beer intrinsically, but I do love it wholistically and I order it every time I'm at JH. So I've got to bump its numbers up because it's pretty damn tasty!

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Photo of BBM
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Locally john Harvard's is known mainly for this brew. Even years ago before I was into different kinds of beer, I heard people raving about JH's pumpkin ale. So last night I finally put it to the test. The beer is a transparent burnt orange color with a thin white head atop. The aroma is of mainly cinnamon, with other spices (nutmeg, allspice, ginger) coming through as well. It's like a pumpkin pie in a glass.

The taste is more of the same. Spices, pumpkin puree, sugary malt, all bring the illusion that you're knee deep in pumpkin pie. It's really not overly sweet though, which is a big plus. There is a nice balance here, and if you're into pumpkin pie at all, you'll enjoy this brew. Mouthfeel is a bit thin and carbonated. This is a solid session pumpkin, and goes fairly well with food, as well. If you're at JH, you might as well give it a try. It's what they're known for 'round here.

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Photo of oldirtycaffrey
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler of this for $13. In addition to the growler, they gave me a little plastic cup of the cinnamon/pumpkin sugar to go around the rim of the glass before drinking.

The appearance of this beer is very nice -- a rich, dark brown, with a foamy white head and some lacing on the glass. The smell is great -- hints of pumpkin, cinnamon, and spice. The taste echoes the smell and is wonderful. This is a smooth beer and an excellent session choice.

I hope to pick this up again before fall's end.

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Photo of plaid75
3.36/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep ruby hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a mild cinammon and nutmeg aroma and a light toasted grain aroma. Weak aromas in my opinion.

The taste was mild as well with traces of cinammon and nutmeg. Again a decent toasted malt.

The mouthfeel was thin and mildly astringent.

Overall not a very impressive pumpkin ale. Certainly drinkable, but the flavors seemed fake and uncomplex.

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Pumpkin Spice Ale from John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 17 ratings