Pugsley's Signature Series: Smashed Pumpkin | Shipyard Brewing Company

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Pugsley's Signature Series:  Smashed PumpkinPugsley's Signature Series:  Smashed Pumpkin
1,629 Ratings
Pugsley's Signature Series:  Smashed PumpkinPugsley's Signature Series:  Smashed Pumpkin

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A big-bodied beer with a light coppery orange color and pleasing aromas of pumpkin and nutmeg.

Added by Casey10 on 08-31-2009

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,629 |  Reviews: 486
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one really looks goood. A bright amber color just about glows wit good carbonation and clearity. The head is healthy and pretty dang foamy with some lace.

Oh, sweet and thick Pumpkin pie..with cream. The heat from the alcohol is obvious and buzzy with some nice earthy and herbal aroma's rounding it all out.

The flavor has a big pumpkin pie flavor and thankfully light on the herb additions but there is some vanilla and nutmeg happening with subtle cloves. The heat is obvious but not really hot. The feel is a crispy and smooth medium bodied with plenty of life. The heat buzz is felt more than tasted. Very complex overall with a gentle, earthy and hearty hop balance that hits the season perfectly.

Samhein is easily my favorite holiday.

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Photo of bcastine
2.67/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Clear filtered copper hue, head that dissipates immediately leaving you with a beer that looks like an orange apple juice.

S: Lots of pumpkin and nutmeg

T: Over the top, to much up front pumpkin, that doesn't really taste like real pumpkin. Not fan of the wheat malt in this style either.

M: good carbonation, medium bodied.

D: just to rich in pumpkin flavor and spices to go down easily. This was rather disappointing of a brew. But then again, a pumpkin ale doesn't have much buisness being imperialized, and this is a good example as to why.

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Photo of mynie
4.35/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark, pumpkinmashy orange. Looks a little limp but that's forgivable considering the style and the high ABV.

Smells kinda maybe a little too intense. Lots of spice--big fiery cinnamon, especially--and then lots of alcohol and yeast. Not bad, certainly, but this might be hard to get down.

Tastes much better than I had anticipated! Creamy, spicy pumpkin pie. Fruity, fresh pumpkin starts it off, moving into a big cinnamon that dominates from middle to end, offset by nodes of nutmeg, and ginger. It's odd--the alcohol that's so present in the aroma absolutely vanishes in the flavor.

A-and you know how when you first look at that duckrabbit picture you think it's either a duck or a rabbit, but then once you see the one you didn't see before you're never able to just see one or the other again, you only see them as the amalgam? That's how the aroma is, after you've tasted the beer. The harshness vanishes and all you perceive is the good

I can see how some people wouldn't like this. They'd think it wasn't beery enough or maybe they just don't like pumpkin and spice. But if you're into pumpkin deserts--not the cheap Sarah Lee pies, either, but the *real*, burny, complex stuff--then you're probably going to like this beer.

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Photo of countrocula
2.07/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Why did I do this to myself? I already tried this brewery's "normal" pumpkin offering and was put off in a major way.

Was my weak mental moment a result of the implied value conveyed in the lofty price and flashy packaging? Maybe it was a Mainer friend's constant love of Shipyahhhd product? Egad, could I have been swayed by some of the favorable BeerAdvocate reviews for the brew?

Whatever the case, I'm still at a loss for why I made this purchase.

I popped this 22 open in darkness, basked in TV glow from VH1's TOOL ACADEMY while my darling daughter and belligerent wife slept in the room down the hall.

Appearance was not immediately evident as the room I was sucking this down in was unlit. I flirted with disaster, turned on a light that could wake the wife or baby, and spied a bottom shelf soda amber hue. Foaming/head was eerily similar to pouring Coke into a glass. Barely any heft to it and retreated very quickly. If you could buy store brand pumpkin soda, this is what it would look like. I believe it would be stocked between the red birch beer and translucent yellow pineapple soda.

I smell hints of Kearney, New Jersey as you traverse the Pulaski Skyway in here. Chemical sweet esters like a Burger King strawberry shake. Hard to make out definite pumpkin. I can pull out the allspice/cinnamon/nutmeg thing with a wet dog basenote. All of this going on really obscures any hint of alcohol.

The _taste_ of pumpkin is overbearing and chemical. Sort of as if they flavored NyQuil with pumpkin. If DumDums made a pumpkin lollipop, it would be milder in fake pumpkin that this beer. Aftertaste/finish is oddly bitter. Possibly the oils from the spices? As if you just poured cinnamon on your tongue expecting to taste cinnamon rolls, yet are instead surprised by the bitter nature of pure cinnamon.

The mouth is thin and unremarkable. Upon swallow a boozy burn takes hold after the fifth sip.

I could see this as being VERY drinkable on a Jersey City street corner after a take out of $1.99 shrimp in lobster sauce from the Chinese joint outside the Holland Tunnel exit. Other than that, I can't really think of a time you'd want to endure the weird taste just to get tipsy. I think Steel Reserve works better for that sort of thing.

I'm sad... sad that this is on the market and sad that I succumb to the marketing devices in place to make these things sell.

On a better note, I'm feeling the 9.0% now and My Antonio is starting in 25 mins!

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Photo of bminor7
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - sudsy foam which collapses within minutes. no lacing. mahogany color.

S - bananas, strong phenols, hops, nutmeg, cloves, banana bread.

T - bready malt, spicy, good! touch of pumpkin. bitter aftertaste.

M - could stand to be a little thicker. alcohol sting in the back of the tongue. better as it warms.

D - low - heavy malts and alcohol sting/bitterness is somewhat offputting initially, but this does improve with time.

Compared to standouts Pumpking and Punkin', not as complex and well-rounded, but a good effort. nonetheless.

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Photo of BevMoAndrew
3.62/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted from a 22oz. bottle @ recommended 55 degree serving temp. Really like the label...simply and festive, but the orange really makes it stand out on the shelf.
Appearance - Nice clear orangish gold color with a nice, creamy white froth that, unfortunately, dissipates pretty quickly.
Smell - lots of pumpkin (more than the usual in my opinion), cinnamon, nutmeg, soft vanilla, and a caramel maltiness.
Taste - Holy Spices! Brown sugar, cinnamon, subtle brown sugar, & nutmeg slam the palate followed by a nice pumpkin pie flavor. A little hop flavor and bitterness are present to help dry what would be otherwise pumpkin pie in a bottle.
Drinkability - Overall I would say that this is an above average brew. Definitely over spiced, but there is no mistake that this is a pumpkin beer & at 9%, Shipyard did a nice job of hiding the heat.
This is definitely a beer that I'd only be able to have once a year, but I'll absolutely be looking for this on the shelves every year.

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Photo of Overlord
1.74/5  rDev -53.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Whoa. Pumpkin/spice overload.

I don't know how you'd make it through a 4 oz. taster of this, let alone a pint. Damn. Insane pumpkin leaps out of you as though it was fermented with no other ingredients. Ton of spices. ... cinnamon, god knows what else. I kind of think ingredients should be integrated into the beer.

Oh, and it's kind of a dull orange color with a surprisingly big head, and it smells like pumpkin.

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber purchased at Whole Foods in Portland, Maine. Pours a golden amber-red body with a good half inch of short-lived off-white head. Smells spice (cinnamon and allspice come to mind) with a fair bit of nut, pumpkin, and a slight booziness. Tastes very spicy, with a woody cinnamon and a fair bit of clove. A fairly bold suggestion of pumpkin in this also, with a slight vegetal quality. Just slightly boozy with sharp spice notes. Definitely a sipper, though it is lighter in body than anticipated with ample carbonation. Overall a very solid beer - on par with any other imperial pumpkin and many regular pumpkin beers I've had. Good stuff.

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Photo of weazal
3.69/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Gave it a great appearance rating because it totally looks like Autumn! Perfect golden brown hue and the thin wispy head perfectly resembles those thin, drawn-out clouds in front of the moon on creepy Fall nights.

Smell: Primarily a fruity, sour aroma when swirled. But oddly enough if you let it sit then faint pumpkin, nutmeg, and sweet bread notes do become more pronounced. Overall it has a light, sweet smell but nothing standout.

Taste: Immediate rush of potent spices into a decadent caramel sweetness, finishing out with a lightly sour/bitter finish. Has a continual hoppy bitterness that plays with the spritzy carbonation. There's a pleasurably thick mouthfeel which adds more contrast. Flavor-wise there's some seasonal spices but the pumpkin was only a trace in the background. Caramel sweetness dominates.

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Photo of Stringth
4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had it a few weeks ago at the Shipyard in Eliot. Golden, a tad darker than a pilsner, a muted but interesting smell, DID NOT get any of the typical pumpkin pie tastes or smells like everyone else did (huh?). I think my taste buds were functioning, weird.

The first thing I noticed and then celebrated was that the usual Shipyard bast of ringwood yeast taste was no where to be found, thank you Lord, thank you Jesus. I remember it tasting good--complex enough yet refreshing and really working to discern any pumpkin flavor. They better have some left!

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Photo of rpstevens
3.7/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into my dogfish head signature glass.

The pour yields a thick, frothy white head that quickly fades to a tight white ring around the edge of the beer. The body of the beer is an amber-orange. The appearance is quite impressive, a very deep orange when held up to the light with nice ruby highlights.

The smell is pumpkin, some doughy malt and a very healthy dose of cinnamon. The alcohol is also present at the end of the smell, adding a sweetness that compliments the pumpkin and cinnamon well.

The taste follows the nose pretty closely. There is a lot of pumpkin flavor, some biscuity malt and a lot of cinnamon on the finish. The cinnamon and alcohol really take over the finish and push to an extreme, this is the most extreme pumpkin/cinnamon flavor I have ever had in a beer (I'm not convinced that is a good thing, but it is interesting).

The carbonation is great for the style, the beer is very drinkable given the 9% abv, the only thing that hinders the drinkability is the extreme cinnamon finish. This is a beer that I am happy I tried once, but I won't rush back to it.

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Photo of far333
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystal clear golden yellow colored with a light beige head that rises up a full inch and settles out to a fine cap of tight foam.

Low aroma of corn and grassy notes, mild cinnamon.

Doughey malt initially, moving quickly to subtle pumpkin and squash notes, moderate sweetness punctuated by hop bitterness. Even more quickly moves to cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, fairly even mix, then finishing spicy and warm. ABV adds interesting warmth and depth without distractin.

Even mouthfeel, semi-slick, finishes bubbly and warm. Tasty beer, very drinkable.

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Photo of flanmedic51
2.08/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This basically tastes like the regular Pumpkinhead Ale but with 9% ABV. There seems to be more spiciness and sweetness to it that really is intolerable. There is little carbonation so the mouthfeel is more smooth and syrupy. It was nasty. I'm pissed I spent $9 and I still got a cheap beer. If I wanted to drink something like this, I would sprinkle nutmeg & cinnamon in a bottle of pancake syrup and drink that...except I wouldn't get the buzz.

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Photo of ChugsMugs
3.23/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Amber brown, red hues. Poured with medium head say one finger. Some lacing but not full ribbons.

S- almost had a cider scent. Pumpkin smells came out but not as much as I had expected. Little nutmeg trace but hardly present.

T-Hint of nutmeg. Good pumpkin blast. Taste was most present with a big full gulp. Can taste the alcohol in it.

M- very smooth, a good balance between thick and thin.

D- pumpkin beers usually aren't for me (Shipyard Pumpkin head for example) but this one was milder on the pie taste and stronger with the alcohol. Worth a try but wont spend my $9 for another one.

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Photo of Jdiddy
1.76/5  rDev -52.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

As if Shipyards Pumpkinhead was not bad enough, we have this doozie. How they can taste these beers and think they taste good is beyond me. The spicing is beyond tolerable levels. This is even worse than Pumpkinhead because of the high ABV and the dreadful aftertaste. The whole bottle went right down the drain. Bye bye $9!
Tastes like something you would use to remove paint. I love Pumpkin Ales (good ones..Dogfish, Weyerbacher, Souther Tier) and this is definitely not a good example of one in my opinion. Did have a nice color though. Looks can be deceiving I suppose!

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Photo of magictrokini
4.32/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As pumpkin ales go, this may be the best I've had. Pours a very dark auburn with a creamy 1 cm off-white head that lasts. Okay lacing. Rich, spicy pumpkin pie aroma. Lots of nutmeg and cinnamon with caramel malt. Smooth, slick mouthfeel with just enough carbonation to keep it lively. Delicious pumpkin and spice taste. Like a blend of pumpkin pie and zucchini bread. Strong malts without the syrpuy mouthfeel. Slightly hoppy to give it some bite and earthiness. Loved it.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= pours a deep amber color with a nice looking off white head that lasts quite a while leaving some decent lacing on my glass. The beer actually looks pretty cool in my new glass. Even after the head falls the thin skin looks pretty cool.
S= less pumpkiny than I expected. More smells like a regular amber ale. There is some all spice smell but not as much as I expected. Maybe even a little booze comes out of it but not a lot. As it warms up a bit the pumpkin odor comes through more and more.
T= again very mildly spiced more like a good amber ale. Really good caramel malt flavor and even a small amount of hop bitterness. Really smooth sweet all spice taste comes through. The alcohol falls down my throat and warms it before falling to my warm belly.
M= really soft and even a little creamy. As I mentioned its a little hot and the hop bitterness lingers in the back of my throat.
D= pretty decent pumpkin beer. Less pumpkiny than most which I prefer. I find that a lot of these beers are trying to push the limits too much at times. Really delicious.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 9/27/09 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of pumpkin, spices, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of pumpkin, caramel and spices. There's a mild hops presence and the alcohol becomes more prevalent in the taste as you continue to drink it. The malt character is hearty. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a nice stronger pumpkin beer that is worth drinking for a little while if you're in the mood for the style.

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Photo of Gosox8787
3.48/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: Poured from a bomber into glass in to parts.

Appearance was light orange with a one finger light head head. No haze. Marginal retention. The nose hit hard with boozy pumpkin notes. A touch of nutmeg is also present. Taste was much less boozy but almost all pumpkin and malt sweetness. Touch of nutmeg still present here too. Mouthfeel was medium bodied to light bodied with moderate carbonation. I would have appreciate something heavier for this type of brew though. Drinkability was average at best. The booziness becomes more apparent throughout the beer, although it doesn't always feel like 9%. The overwhelming sweetness can wear thin after a while too.

Overall, better than I was expecting considering the Pumpkinhead Ale is my least favorite pumpkin brew. Instead of overwhelming spice, the pumpkin does take center stage. The amped up ABV seems rather unnecessary though. Either way, a unique and enjoyable brew for hte most part.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.61/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The 2010, tasted August 2010 is remarkably like the 2009 (my notes of which are posted below as originally reviewed). However, the 2010 is "toned down" in all respects. Nose still rocks!

* *

This is a review of the 2009: Strangely a good beer with lots of nice attributes but not really all that drinkable.

Pours a light to medium clear copper with a super thin head that quickly fades then disappears.

Huge aromatic nose; like sweet perfume; nose of cooked maple syrup, brown sugar and sugared orange sauce. Smells a bit like orange syrup. Mouthfeel is medium body with medium carbonation and a creamy character; nice.

Flavors are all rum and whisky and you get the alcohol coming through big time. Assertive alcohol in the nose smells "sweet" and this one has it.

Big, sweet, malty bourbon flavors - nose and taste like pecan pie with whiskey sauce. Tastes like dessert, not beer. Little in the way of actual pumpkin but a sweet bold whiskey/rum beer that might be nice with some big meats and some desserts.

Lots of cooked bananas in the finish. Interesting. Layered, a bit complex but sweet almost to a fault.

Not for everyone but some may actually find it a sipping beer for after dinner.

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Photo of Jayli
3.11/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear burnt orange color. A thin off white film coats the top of the glass, but disappears rapidly. No lacing to speak of on this beer. Nose is of pumpkin - not your typical spiced pumpkin, or pumpkin pie that is prevelant in most pumpkin beers. This is straight up pumpkin, some malt, and rather boozy. Taste is sharply sweet up front, can't quite place the sweetness, middle is filled out with pumpkin and the finish is sharp booziness. Actually the alcohol is the most dominant flavor in the entire beer from start to finish. Lighter side of medium bodied, clean on the tongue but a sharp boozy taste to it. This was nice to try, and with a lower alochol content, may have been far more enjoyable.

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Photo of Brad007
4.48/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Heh, I hope Billy Corgan doesn't go after Shipyard for the name of this beer.

Pours a nice orange-copper color with a two-finger head into my fluted glass. Looks very nice and full of ample carbonation.

Taste is chock full of strong nutmeg and pumpkin flavors with a mildly sweet, buttery malt background. Alcohol feels well-hidden.

Mouthfeel is very good as well. Warming. The flavors of nutmeg and pumpkin linger. Carbonation feels just right. Alcohol warmth is minimal.

Very nicely done and kind of like the big brother to Pumpkinhead. It just feels deceptively drinkable and delicious. I'm usually not a fan of half-hearted pumpkin ales but this stands out in a good way. Pick it up!

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Photo of Mistofminn
3.59/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Darkness Tulip. Pours a ruby amber color, almost pinkish when held into the light. A smooth and creamy slightly off white head is produced on the pour, only about a half a finger in width. It has surprisingly good retention. Leaves little sheets of lacing around the outside of the glass. Overall a pretty nice look for a beer that I didn't know what to expect going in to.

This being my first pumpkin ale, I didn't really know what to expect. Honestly, I expected to smell pumpkin pie as soon as I opened the bottle, and I didn't get it. Don't get me wrong, I did get subtle hints of pumpkin and holiday pie spices, but nowhere near what I was expecting. Maybe I served it too cold, maybe not. One thing is for certain, as it warmed up, the pumpkin and spice characters came out a little bit more. Other things I can pick up are a significant malt backbone and a light hopping.

The taste, after it warms up, is pretty much what I expected. Strong pumpking pie like flavors and spices gives it a very fall/holiday feeling to it. This is pretty good tasting, and I think it deserves a higher score than some people have given it. I can see drinking this with turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes and green beans sitting around the table at Thanksgiving with the family. This tastes like a desert beer, but I think it would go good with a hearty meal.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly light and smooth. It has a lively carbonation, but the size of the bubbles gives a very creamy feel. Little to no carbonation bite. Very easy drinking. This is some good stuff.

Overall, for my first pumpkin ale, I'm pretty impressed. I have nothing to base it on and nothing to compare it to, but I did enjoy this beer.

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Photo of thequeen711
2.26/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured light golden, leaving a 3 finger head, slowly evaporating to light lacing.Nose naked of pumpkin/spices, taste boring and without flavour, and a weird describable aftertaste. Probably near the bottom of this years pumpkin/spice brews. Did I say it also tasted flat?

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I had an imperial pumpkin last fall at Cambridge Brewing Company, and really enjoyed it. This beer doesn't come close. In a snifter the beer was a copper color with a tiny off-white head. Mostly spice aroma, maybe a little pumpkin. The taste was all nutmeg, some cinnamon, and no pumpkin. It was a bit on the hot side. The alcohol got in the way of this beer, and it was far too spicy with not enough pumpkin.

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Pugsley's Signature Series: Smashed Pumpkin from Shipyard Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.73 out of 5 with 1,629 ratings