Great Pumpkin Ale
Cambridge Brewing Company

Great Pumpkin AleGreat Pumpkin Ale
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Pumpkin Beer
Ranked #38
Ranked #13,367
3.92 | pDev: 13.27%
Cambridge Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States
Very Good
Great Pumpkin AleGreat Pumpkin Ale
Notes: New England’s first and CBC’s most sought after seasonal beer, The Great Pumpkin Ale, is back in bottles and on draft! We are very proud to be brewing with locally-grown sugar pumpkins from our friends at The Farm School in Athol, and Wilson Farms in Lexington. We’re also using organic barley that was grown in MA and then small-batch malted by our friends at Valley Malt in Hadley, MA.
Reviews: 138 | Ratings: 384 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of CTHomer
CTHomer from Connecticut

3.37/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

A; crystal clear; bronze in color; 1 finger off white head that receded to a wispy cap; OK lacing;

S: not much aroma; nutmeg first, then ginger and cinnamon get added in;

T: cinnamon is predominant from start to finish with ginger and nutmeg in the background; very mild bitterness at the end;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation - a little prickly; dry finish;

O: spices seemed out of balance to me;

Apr 22, 2020
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu from New Jersey

3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: A dense and lazy rising of micro-effervesce slowly drifts upwards in a darken orange-sun ice tea coloring. A beefy light beige, pie crust colored head, is 3 inches proud and stubborn in nature, it just doesn't want to fall. Solid foam structure leaves a nice marking on the vessel walls, spongy dabs rings makes for a truly outstanding show per style.

S: Good toasted pumpkin is accented by pie spicing with a great marriage between the two. Nutmeg and cinnamon, along with fresh pie crust and a caramel syrup sweetness makes for a good scent. Some pancake malting and an overall solid awareness factor.

T: The spicing hits you upfront, nutmeg and cinnamon brings a sweet twang in abundance, dry, dusty on the tongue. Deep toasted pumpkin compliment the spicing and brings a more natural base to play off of. Sweet toasted caramel grains, dried toffee and munich malts adds a spicy texture. Buttery-vanilla cream has a slight presence along with some chocolate malts.

M: Spicy toasty warmth with a good fullness on the mouthful. Smooth, cinnamon and nutmeg dusting and spiciness on the inner cheeks.

O: Overall seems to be a good blend of pumpkin spices and natural pumpkin aspects, usually the style goes either or. Good balance, very good drink-ability per style.

Feb 19, 2020
Photo of VoxRationis
VoxRationis from New York

4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Decanted from a 16 oz (473 ml) bottle into a Captain Lawrence taster pint; bottled on 09/05/2019.
A: Pours a slight hazy copper color with very strong effervescence, a one to two finger, wheat colored head, cap retention, but limited lacing.
S: Tangy/tart with aromas of apple, pumpkin, and caramel with cinnamon and nutmeg notes.
T: More semisweet than semidry. Flavors of caramel, dark bread, pumpkin, and toffee come through with definite cinnamon, clove, honey, and nutmeg notes. Bitterness is light, but imparts a certain sharpness and relatively clean finish.
M: Medium bodied with solid, persistent carbonation.
O: This is a very enjoyable, pumpkin beer. More a beer than an attempt to replicate pumpkin pie (which is appreciated and celebrated).

Sep 30, 2019
Photo of SABERG
SABERG from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz can dated 9/5/19 into the test glass.
A - Tawny copper color, solid carbonation supports an off white frothy cap'
S - Nice blend of spices, roast pumpkin, roast malts, brown sugar
T - Follows the nose well, add in some hints of raisin, earthy hops.
M - Medium in body, sweet start, stays the entire experience. Finishing on the dry side is a good touch
O - very ggod pumpkin beer, balanced spice and pumpkin keep this a winner

Sep 24, 2019
Photo of twosheds
twosheds from Massachusetts

3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orangey brown with a tan head

Smells mostly of cinnamon.

The taste has obvious pumpkin pie flavors but it well balanced with a hearty ale.

This is a really good pumpkin ale. One of the best.

Oct 27, 2018
Photo of mike22ne
mike22ne from Massachusetts

4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I've had it on tap and in a can.

A very nice pumpkin beer that balances the flavor and body of fresh pumpkin flesh with pumpkin pie spices and caramel malts. Earthy spicy hops too. Excellent!

Some bars like to serve it with the glass rim dipped in cinnamon sugar, that's way too much for me.

Oct 18, 2018
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill from Wyoming

2.79/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

No dating on the bottle.

Looks a lightly hazed rusty gold with a nice billowy head of foam.

Smells of nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and a bit of booze. More booze than I would expect considering the abv.

Nutmeg and cinnamon taste, cloves, and then comes the finish and aftertaste. A strange unpleasant bitterness.

Body is medium, the carbonation is spritzy, especially during the swallow.

Not my cup of tea.

Sep 22, 2018
Photo of Holderness
Holderness from Massachusetts

3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

L — Burnt orange-amber body with a huge 3+-finger rocky off-white head produced with gentle pour (thanks, bottle conditioning!). Good retention and lacing
S — Cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, pumpkin, cherry, molasses, brown bread
T — Pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin flesh, caramel malt, hint of grassy hoppiness
F — The bottle conditioning results in excessive effervescence for the style: I had to swirl the hell out of the glass to get the carb down to reasonable levels. Otherwise it’s super prickly and detracts from the flavors. Medium- mouthfeel. Watery around the edges
O — This bottle was likely past its prime. Nice job locally sourcing the majority of the ingredients!


Mar 23, 2018
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was poured into a becher pint glass. The appearance was a ruddy burnt orange close to amber color. Thin finger’s worth of foamy white head started and clung nicely to the glass. Slight wispy in it’s lace. The aroma starts with the spices of allspice, light ginger, cinnamon and the cardamom (yeah, I swear I’m getting cardadmom, now where in the hell is that coming from?). Light pumpkin flesh as it warms. The flavor brings it all together nicely. Pumpkin fleshy sweetness punches some of the spices to balance decently.Light bready/somewhat pumpkin aftertaste. Sweet to pumpkin spiced finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a decent sessionability about it. Low riding carbonation. Spices don’t distract the harshness. Good all around feel. Overall, I say it was a pretty good pumpkin ale all around.

Jun 21, 2017
Photo of fitzy84
fitzy84 from Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had on a flight at Cambridge Brewing Co. The beer had a murky amber-brown appearance with a thin head around the glass. Aromas included a solid pumpkin-like aroma, including spices like nutmeg. The taste generally follows the nose as a decently sweet and malty beer. Good carbonation in general. Overall, not too bad.

Nov 07, 2016
Photo of chrishiker1409
chrishiker1409 from New York

4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: An orange brown tinge. Poured with a finger of head which quickly dissipates, but leaves some lacing.

S: Pumpkin, nutmeg

T: Follows the nose. Quite a bit of pumpkin and not too crazy with the spices.

F: Smooth and creamy.

O: Definitely one of the better pumpkin beers I have had. A nice treat with dessert at Thanksgiving.

Nov 27, 2015
Photo of HopsAreDaMan
HopsAreDaMan from Missouri

3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz, assuming fresh; bought on sale for $3. Pours a slightly hazy orange, with a large, beautiful beige-colored head (both large and small bubbles). Aroma is faint, but there are pumpkin and spices in there. Taste is definitely fruity--with pumpkin--and sweet. Light, but creamy, mouth-feel.

I was expecting more from this, based on the ratings. This is at least the 8th different pumpkin beer I have had in the last month or so (not to count the samples of at least a couple of others), and while it is good, it's definitely not the best I've had. I will give it credit for what it has going for it has at such a low ABV.

Nov 24, 2015
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons from New Hampshire

3.39/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the 60 ml bottle. 2015 batch. Sampled on Nov 1, 2015.

Dark amber-orange with an amber short-lived head.

The aroma has some pumpkin spices and a light nutmeg character.

Medium body.

The taste brings out the nutmeg and cinnamon spices I was hoping for and they work well with this beer but not extraordinary.

Nov 01, 2015
Photo of Franziskaner
Franziskaner from Missouri

3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Deep brown in color with excellent clarity. There's a fingernail of light brown resting on top. The aroma is full of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. I taste nutmeg, clove, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon in that order. The mouth is light to moderately carbonated and bone dry.

Oct 31, 2015
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is slightly hazy orange amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high light beige head that died down, leaving only a collar of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of pumpkins and pumpkin spices are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg spices along with notes of pumpkins and subtle bits of sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a very good balance between the flavors of pumpkins and spices, neither of which is overdone. It's also quite flavorful for a beer with a relatively low alcohol content.

Serving type: bottle

Oct 04, 2015
Photo of founddrama
founddrama from Vermont

3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Actually pretty good. They've toned down the pumpkin & spice compared to most of the others I've had. Nice amber color too. Color reminds me a bit of Switchback, actually.

Also: having had this right after Pumking, makes me feel like that one was maybe over-spiced and didn't really earn its 4-star rating.

LASTLY: the least pumpkinny pumpkin beer?

Mar 22, 2015
Photo of Treyliff
Treyliff from West Virginia

3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pumpkin Ale Review #50
22oz bottle, dated 9/11/14, poured into snifter

A- pours a bright copper/amber color with a creamy white head that retains nicely, eventually settling to a small film floating on top

S- notable spiciness up front on the nose, with a big emphasis on cinnamon, reminiscent of cinnamon flavored gum. Marzen-like malty sweetness with notes of dried leaves, nutmeg. toasted bread crust and pumpkin

T- malty base with hints of caramel and bread crust. The spices kick in mid-palate with cinnamon leading the way, just as in the aroma. Hints of nutmeg and clove kick in, before eventually finishing dry with a flavor of Big Red chewing gum

M- light-medium body with moderate biting carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel and a crisp finish

O- an approachable, low ABV pumpkin ale. However, there isn't anything that makes it stand above the middle of the road pumpkin beer

Dec 16, 2014
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap 11/12/2014 at Track 84, in Warwick, RI served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a bright coppery red color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains strong spices like ginger & nutmeg along with pumpkin, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of ginger, nutmeg and pumpkin. Then a hearty malt character comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a definitely one of the better Pumpkin Beers that I’ve had.

Nov 13, 2014
Photo of mynie
mynie from Maryland

4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Everyone at work was freaking to the max when they heard this beer had been released (also, side note, "freaking to the max" is my beerphrase).

One guy says "They don't release it on a set time because they make sure to use a special type of pumpkin."

Then this girl says "it's like you're drinking pie!"

And I says, "that's like how a small brewer should make a pumpkin ale, guys," only says that quiet so as to not be mean.

In this state, the bar is low. Sure, there's Trillium, but you can't find them unless you're within a quarter mile of the brewery. And Jack's Abby is great, I guess, but sometimes you feel like having ale, you know. And that's it, really, so far as reliable brewers are concerned. There's tons and tons of not very good, pornographically expensive micro and nano brewers, all pumping out beer that tastes like an Englishman's shoe. That ain't my style, man. I want beer that tastes like an *American's* shoe, like alpha acid citrus and cat pee.

The pumpkins I've had around here have all been fucked up and weird. Cisco's was like from George Washington's recipe, or something. A couple other places went with an inexplicably firm hop profile. CBC, however, does it right--which is to say, they do it Midwest style. It tastes like pie.

Nov 11, 2014
Photo of wattoclone
wattoclone from California

4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

So much flavor for a low ABV beer with lots of malty pumpkin and hints of aromatic spice. The finish is a bit tart but not in an offensive way. One of the better pumpkin beers that goes well with or without food.

Oct 21, 2014
Photo of Beric
Beric from Massachusetts

3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Serving: On tap, pint
Served: October 2014

Appearance: Pours a hazy somewhat sickly yellow, without much of a head. This could have been from the small 8oz serving size, but the beer truly looks unimpressive in the glass.

Smell: Soft muted pumpkin pie spice notes with some sweetness.

Taste: One of the best pumpkin beers I've had. The beer had nice sweet notes, with a definite "squashy" sort of note. The pumpkin pie spices were not overly dominant and really rounded out the beer in a great way.

Feel: Smooth and silky, but somewhat thin.

Overall: One of the best pumpkin beers I've had, event though I'm not bananas about the style. I would definitely recommend this one to those who want to get into pumpkin beers but aren't looking for pumpkin-pie beer or a boozy spicy mess.

Oct 13, 2014
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

a great pumpkin (pun intended). its hazy and rusty orange, dull in luster but robust in flavor. the spice is minimal so the squash can stand out. it wasnt always this way, but i am moving in the direction of preferring this with my pumpkin beer. the nose is reserved, a touch of ginger maybe, and the protein of the base. malty sure, but never sweet. there is a lot of body on it, a nice yest profile, which we almost never see in pumpkin beer, and finally a dry finish with excellent carbonation that makes this stand out both in terms of quality and uniqueness. squashy flavors, perfectly autumnal, and one of those beers i could drink way more of than i should. i like the feel, and the flavor is more alive than the nose, with a cool spice profile that marries well with the buttery vegetable part of the pumpkin. love how dry it is too. one of the best pumpkin brews of the year for certain. cambridge always impresses me, and should probably be regarded higher than they are on the whole. always solid, often brilliant.

Oct 10, 2014
Photo of BradMacMullin
BradMacMullin from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +2%

I am so ashamed. I am too trendy to like a pumpkin ale, but this is not bad. Pumpkin is lighter on the palate then others I have had. This actually tastes like pumpkin, not a melted Yankee Candle Pumpkin catastrophe others make. Pretty good. Although I won't confess to my friends I had a pumpkin ale

Sep 09, 2014
Photo of 57md
57md from Pennsylvania

3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light, cloudy copper with over a finger of head that dissipated quickly. There is a great deal of sediment at the bottom of the glass. The nose has light malt notes, but little else. The flavor is pretty bland with only traces of malt; no discernible pumpkin flavor present. The finish is pleasantly dry. There is certainly nothing “great” about this pumpkin.

Dec 18, 2013
Photo of Hendry
Hendry from Vermont

4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep apricot pour, practically no head or lacing,carbonation visible in the form of tiny bubbles.

Aroma is mildly spiced pumpkin and not much else.

Pumpkin flavor that is moderately spiced with nutmeg,ginger,vanilla,cinnamon and only a slight hop presence in the finish. Easy drinking and pleasant tasting.Less sharp than other pumpkin ales I have tried, but not quite a spiced up as others. Flavors do improve upon some warming.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side, well carbonated.Lacks a creaminess you expect in a good Pumpkin Ale.

I almost wish I had tried other pumpkin ales first before trying Williamsburg Alewerks pumpkin ale, because none have measured up. I don't have enough interest in the style to sample several others in search of one that really hits the mark.The Great Pumpkin is a solid effort and the second best Pumpkin Ale I have tried thus far. Worth trying and a solid brew.

Nov 24, 2013
Great Pumpkin Ale from Cambridge Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 384 ratings