Great Pumpkin Ale
Cambridge Brewing Company

Great Pumpkin AleGreat Pumpkin Ale
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Style:
Pumpkin Beer
Ranked #33
ABV:
5.5%
Score:
88
Ranked #10,715
Avg:
3.93 | pDev: 13.23%
Reviews:
136
Ratings:
376
From:
Cambridge Brewing Company
 
Massachusetts, United States
Avail:
Fall
Wants
  69
Gots
  43
SCORE
88
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: 136 | Ratings: 376
Photo of CuriousMonk
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Quite disappointed with this one after much hype surrounding this beer. Pours a slightly cloudy golden orangish amber in color with a medium and tight white head that stuck around to produce a small amount of lacing on the glass. Aroma is mild of bready yeasts, pumpkin pie spices and very slight of pumpkin itself. Not impressed. Flavor is pretty mild all around with pumpkin spices with just a hint of pumpkin fruit. Watery and slightly bitter finish. Expected more out of this well-hyped pumpkin beer.

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Photo of JustinAniello
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours clear orange with a one finger head. Dissipates to a light lacing and cap.

S - Heavy aroma of astringent pumpkin with mild spices in the background.

T - Starts with sweet malts and spice, like cinnamon and sugar. Heavy pumpkin comes on the swallow, lightly sour. A mild pumpkin seed aftertaste takes up the finish.

M - Medium body and light carbonation. Slightly syrupy feel to it. Works excellently with the flavor.

O - This is a very good pumpkin beer and one of the best I have tried this season. Has a nice pumpkin taste, not heavily astringent like many of the other pumpkin ales I have had. Heavily recommend if you happen to be in the Boston area to try out some of CBC's brews.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear with an amber-tan color. Smells delicious, like a sweet, savory handmade pumpkin pie cooling off (minus the steam): pumpkin, pumpkin spices, and a touch of biscuit malt balance. Thinner body than I anticipated, but it’s not thin-bodied by any means. I’m guessing it’s in the range of a sessionable 5% or so. The touch of malt is just enough to give some balance to the cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and allspice I pick up in tasting. A great lingering finish. Delicious. Definitely one of the more memorable pumpkin ales I’ve had this year.

Soapbox disclaimer: Had this in a plastic glass at a Cambridge-area pizzeria. Pint-prices for what seemed like a bottle-sized pour to boot. Which is just to say that for what I was charged I’d expect more attention to serving. All that aside, what a beer! Contemplated a growler-to-go upon my visit to the brewery, but travel demands made that unwieldy and impractical. Why, I would have had to drink it all that night…

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Photo of Durge
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A hazy golden amber color with a decent white fluff on top and fair traces of spotty lacing. The aroma is skunky swamp squash with a hint of cardboard. Not exciting me but not a game ender. The flavor is a bright orange pumpkin squash with an Alka-Seltzer feel. This is definitely a vegetable beer. No real hop presence, very little sweetness or spice touch, just bare bones authentic raw pumpkin with a soda-like feel. Thin bodied with a hint of woodsy-leafy almond. It becomes more palatable as you finish it but this is far from my favorite pumpkin beer. Interesting but not delectable.

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Photo of Dope
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A very cloudy orange pour. Decent white head with just a hint of orange in it. Retention is so-so and almost no lacing.

S: Very subtle smell. Just a touch of pumpkin and nutmeg. Not much else that I can discern.

T: Nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice. Maybe just a hint of pumpkin. Sweet at the start and in the middle and just a brief hit of some earthy bitterness in the aftertaste. Pumpkin spice flavor is very long lasting, sticks to your mouth. All flavors are pretty mild as this is a low ABV beer.

M: Very thin but not watery at least. All smells and flavors are pretty mild. A good departure from the high ABV pumpkin monsters (Pumking for example).

O: Interesting take on a pumpkin ale. Once of the mildest I've ever had, it's almost hard to discern the flavors sometimes. Wish it was a little stronger but it accomplishes what it came to do. Well balanced spices with the pumpkin and nothing is too dominating.

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Photo of tigg924
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: one inch head, orange-gold in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: nutmeg, pumpkin, and pumpkin spice

Taste: sweet caramel and bready start followed by pumpkin spice in the middle that continues to the end. There are slight hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel: sweet and spicy with slight bitterness at the end, moderate-high carbonation, medium bodied

Drinkability: This one falls in the middle of the pumpkin beers I have had this season. Above average, but I have had better. I would be really curious to have this on tap. Subtle, I would reach for others first, but would not pass this over if offered to me.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a Playboy pint glass.

The color is a hazy golden amber with a finger and a half of foamy white head and some nice lacing on the glass. Some nice bubbles is cascading throughout this beer and giving it some amazing retention.

The smell is a little pumpkin but also a little bit like a wet kitchen sponge. There is some spicy aroma that is slightly like lemon but also like sweet like orange.

The taste is at first pumpkin but also has some light yeasty flavor light a Belgian white beer. There is some sweet malt flavor that is all around you and pulling things along as the flavor turns a little bitter. There is just small slap of hops but then get a little smoother as it goes down.

The feel of this beer is smooth and has a light mouth feel that nice to have in a great tasting beer like this. It will not hit you too hard as it delights your taste buds.

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Photo of Florida9
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch #1; bottled Sept '11

A: Clear orangey copper in color. Forms a sizable off-white head. Good retention, but only minimal lacing.

S: The aroma is a mix of pumpkin pie spice and herbaceous hops, but mostly the spice.

T: The flavor is fairly thin, almost like a pumpkin beer light. Starts off with some light, clean, lightly sweet malts, and then the spices kick in: nutmeg and allspice, with ginger and cinnamon to a lesser extent. Finishes with a light, juicy, almost sugary, sweetness. The bottle says there is actual pumpkin in this beer, but I can't taste it.

M: Lighter bodied with heavier carbonation. Only the faintest hint of bitterness.

O: A very light pumpkin beer. Light in body, light in flavor, light on alcohol, and light on the pumpkin. Decent and drinkable, but couldn't see revisiting this one ever again.

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Photo of bpk59
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a bottle into a Boulevard Tulip.

Color is a cloudy, rusty orange - exactly what you'd expect a Pumpkin Ale to look like. My pour yielded almost no head - maybe I poured it wrong? No lacing.

Aromas of pumpkin pie spices - cinnamon and nutmeg - are well-balanced against a mild floral counter-note. Definitely smell real pumpkin as well. Smell finishes with a mild sweet malty quality.

Taste is exceptional - like a juicy pumpkin pie. All elements of smell are pervasive in the taste and they translate into a well-balanced, medium bodied, pleasant mouthful.

Mouthfeel is solid, but could maybe stand a hint more carbonation. Smooth finish.

Overall, you'd be hard pressed to find a better Pumpkin ale. To me, this beer captures the essence of fall in a glass - whimsical, fun, beautiful and only lasts a short while (because I enjoyed it so much!).

Would love to see a thicker, foamy head on this but maybe I need to work on my pour technique :D

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

CBC Great Pumpkin Ale pours a hazy yellow/orange into the glass with a small off-white head on top. The foam fades away quickly leaving only a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is loaded with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is smooth with moderate carbonation. The flavor is like a pumpkin pie. Loads of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice. Some malty sweetness and pumpkin flavor help to balance out the spice. It finishes with a very mild bitterness. Once gone the spices linger on the palate.

This is a very tasty pumpkin beer. The spice combination is very nice. It tastes like a pumpkin dessert. I'm glad the beer is finally in bottles. I've only managed to try it once or twice at the pub in Cambridge. The bottles make it so much easier to obtain.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks, Arne!

A: Pours a pale golden body with slight amber highlights. Short-lived beige head. No lace.

S: It's earthy and slightly vegetal (I suppose I could attribute this to the pumpkin) with only a mild spice presence.

T: As the nose goes, the taste follows. Earthy, even mildly fruity -- I'd say hops have a slight edge in the flavor. Somewhat vegetal, with a slimy and oily back end. Mild on the spices; only some nutmeg is noted.

M: Light-medium bodied. Kind of slimy. Coats the mouth, but it doesn't leave any enjoyable flavors when it does.

O: I think I sampled this out of a growler last year, but I must have thrown away the notes. I obviously didn't hate it, as I make it a point to upload reviews of beers I detest. That means I must have enjoyed it. I'm not sure what the difference is between last year's growler and this year's bottle, but this was fairly horrid and no one finished it. Maybe it's old? Off bottle? Who knows.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a pale golden amber, with a dirty white foamy head. No cling, and the head only lasted a few minutes, but ended up leaving a thin layer. Constant streams of carbonation rose from all over the bottom. Aroma was a fruity floral with just a hint of gourd. Flavor was more spicy and peppery than what I normally think of for a pumpkin beer, but it did finish off with a subtle pumpkin note. Pumpkin definitely developed as it breathed. Felt good in the mouth. Not overly chewy or sticky, and slightly carbonated. Overall it was a nice twist on a pumpkin. Not overly flavored in any direction, not artificial, not to much like a pie.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.19/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a couple fingers of foamy slightly off-white head. This retains with a thin fizzy layer that stays a touch richer on the edges and leaves back some very faint lace. The aroma smells of fresh and juicy pumpkin flesh, which seems to just jump out of the glass. Notes of herbal hops and some slight veggie character hangs on the edges, while sweet and sugary malt flavors sits along the back. The pumpkin spics are a bit more on the subdued side but I’m enjoying that aspect of this, as it keeps the overall focus of the nose on that pumpkin character.

The taste follows the aroma with a bright pumpkin flavor that has a real sweet juiciness to it. Almost like a piece of ripe cantaloupe and there is maybe a touch of a roasted edge to the flavor as well. Hops add an earthy and citric bitterness to this but it’s not overly assertive, instead adding some needed crispness to this. Doughy sugars sit along the back the profile and while offering up some balance here, mostly works with the sweetness of the pumpkin to help pop that flavor a little more. The spice is tad more forceful than it was in the nose but seems like the perfect amount is scattered throughout the taste here and finishes this with a festive feeling smack. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp on the tongue before moving out onto the palate with more of a softer foamy creaminess. The combination of crisp and smoothness to the carbonation just fits the flavors here perfectly.

I really have to offer up kudos here to the CBC and Mercury Brewing Company for getting this right in bottle form. This is very close to what you would find on tap at the brewpub (I just had some at the Great Pumpkin Fest this past weekend) and this had got to be one of thee mostly authentic tasting and easy drinking pumpkin beers out there. I love that this is in bottles and look forward to grabbing some each fall when we are up in New England.

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Photo of Kinsman
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fairly hazy copper colored orange. Creamy white head caps it off nicely.

Aroma has the spice thing going on with notes of nutmeg and allspice. Pumpkin adds a vegetable/gourdy note to it. Malty bread character rounds it all out. Palate lines up with with these notes as well, with only the spice being a bit more noticeable.

Mouthfeel is rather light and crisp. Overall, not a bad pumpkin beer but nothing really special either. Maybe I'm just pumpkined-out for the year.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade with CheesyBlaster, thanks!

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a tulip glass. The bottle bears a label stating it was part of Batch No. 1, bottled in September, 2011. The bottle had been sitting for well over half-an-hour before I opened it; nonetheless, a fountain of foam came gushing out, leading to some minor spillage and loss.

When it settled some and I poured it, it poured a hazy pumpkin orange color with a three finger creme head that quickly reduced to a slight skim on top.

Has a very fresh pumpkin flesh aroma, with mild cinnamon and nutmeg spicing underneath. The spice is pleasantly understated, and not in-your-face overly spiced like so many pumpkin beers.

Very pleasant and easy tasting; a full pumpkin taste, with moderate spicing, mild malt, and even a bit of hop to finish it off. The spiciness is rounded, rather than sharp, with a bit of warmth to help it go down.

Medium bodied, this manages to be heavy enough that it is not some weak lager-style pumpkin beer, but not as heavy as a Punking. There's a definite smooth, creaminess that serves this beer well.

A very pleasant and easy drinking pumpkin beer, this would be the pumpkin beer to use to introduce someone to the style who never has had it before. Plenty of pumpkin taste, moderate to mild spice, and a bit of hops to finish, this is a definite keeper.

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Photo of zbellino
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had out of a bottle, in first btach from the CBC, thanks to Guy Bellino.

A - Deep burnt yellow with hints of orange as carbonation ascend up through the pilsner glass. Tight foam head, with little retention.

S - Rich and spicy, with mondo pumpkin and cinnamon aromas.

T - Extremely well balanced between nutmeg, cardamom, and cinnamon versus deep earthy malts, with a tinge of bitter hoppiness that cleans the palate. This last bit can't be overstated, because it separates this from lesser pumpkin ales that tend to cloy rather quickly.

M - Excellent whole-milk to HnH feel, with really surprising carbonation that keeps it fresh.

O- An exemplary Pumpkin Ale ... reach for this one if you can find it and want to ring in the early holidays with a festive flavor.

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Photo of smcolw
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lasting thin head after the initial fluffiness. Leaves only a couple of spots. The color is gold with a mild chill haze.

Some spiciness to the smell, not much pumpkin.

Notable cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice. I can detect light pumpkin. The aftertaste is lightly sour. Thin with an above average level of carbonation.

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Hazy, deep orange color with a big, fluffy white head. Allspice and fresh pumpkin pie with a buttery toasted crust. Flavor is caramel sweet malts and pie spice. Almost perfect balanced of creamy, caramel bread malts and spices. Medium body makes me think about warm pumpkin pie. Tasty and enjoyable beer but like most pumpkins beers I was satisfied after a bomber.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber into goblet, Batch #2 (at the most 19 days old), ABV listed as 4.4%.

Pours a hazy bright orange, a bit of sediment seen, white head is quickly a thick ring and cap but retains well as that.

Scent is nice, slightly better than average pumpkin ale smell, good strength. Reminds me of fall desserts. Pumpkin, sugar cookie malt, big sweet and some spicy.

Really nice harvesty squash and pumpkin notes up-front...good amount of spice, cinnamon noticeably. Sweet malts and hops are kept mostly on the DL, but at a nice level. Has an overall good autumn food vibe without being over the top at all, if anything it's a bit too subtle...but that's a nice change for pumpkin ales.

Very smooth mouthfeel, great body for the ABV but maintains a light feel, good balance.

Really dug the squash notes here, really authentic. It didn't blow me away but this is one of the better pumpkin ales I've had, the low ABV works well for this beer, great balance and pretty drinkable.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a hazy dark orange-copper color with one finger of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Light lacing left on the glass and an inch of head throughout drinking it.

s - Smells of spices, pumpkin, bready malts, light cinnamon, and light ginerbread. Pretty nice, and a little heavy on the spices.

t - Tastes of spices, pumpkins, gingerbread, nutmeg, cinnamon, and bready malts. Again, heavy on spices, thought the gingerbread comes through a bit more than the nose. A small step up from the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate to high carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a good pumpkin ale. Seemed a bit heavy on the spices, especially in the nose, but a good pumpkin ale. Very easy to drink and would like to have it again.

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Photo of cbutova
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- 22oz bomber poured into a snifter and a goblet. Small white head forms atop the somewhat hazy orange-amber ale. Head retention is low and lacing is spotty.

S- Apple cider element on top of a traditional pumpkin ale character. Cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin and bread come to mind.

T- Squash-like pumpkin flavor mixes well with spices (cinnamon, nutmeg) and apple cider/fruit notes. Yeast bread finishes off a well rounded, autumn flavor.

MF- Silky, creamy light body with nice smooth, moderate carbonation. Finishes slightly bitter.

The fruit and spice flavor meld beautifully with an authentic pumpkin flesh character. Truly a great pumpkin ale. This really makes me want to try more CBC.

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Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big fizzy 1.5 finger head fades at a semi quicker pace with some soapy lacing, over somewhat hazy orange-ish carrot colored beer.

Nose has some nice pumpkin, a bit of fresh pumpkin and pumpkin pie filling, very light toasty malts, some light pie spices as well, a light nutmeg/hazelnut like aroma.

Taste starts lighter as well, some light toasty almost bready malts, a light sweetness and juicy malt like flavors. Then come the light pumpkin, a mix of fresh pumpkin and light pie filling again. Spices come through but again lighter, with hints of nutmeg, hazelnut, allspice, etc. Hint of bitterness I think from spices and maybe a hint of hops. Finish is a bit drier which helps, touch of light malt and pumpkin lingering, as well as a bit more bitterness.

Mouth is lighter bodied, decent carb.

Overall decent, nice light and clean, light bitterness from some light hops and spices balance the light malts and nice pumpkin well. Spices come out more on the nose than taste which is how I think it should be. Good pumpkin addition overall and doesn't try to overpower anything. very drinkable and tasty beer.

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Photo of portia99
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle (batch 1 bottled September 2011) poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a stunningly clear deep orange amber color with a finger of not quite white rocky foam that dies fairly quickly to a skim coat leaving behind only faint traces of lace on the glass.

S - Immediately after opening the bottle I got a big whiff of pumpkin spices - lots of cinnamon, brown sugar, fresh pumpkin, a bit of apples, light cloves, nutmeg. A liquid pumpkin pie.

T - The aroma set me up to think this was going to be an overly sweet beer...but happily, not the case. Spices come thru nicely, especially the nutmeg and cinnamon but these are melded nicely into a somewhat dry overall impression. Malt is biscuity, hops are noticeable with a mid-level bitterness that really serves to balance things out almost perfectly. Left behind after the swallow is a mild but distinct fresh pumpkin flavor that lingers a bit.

M - A lighter body, just shy of medium with a corresponding carbonation level. Carbonation is lively but not overpowering...seems to effervesce the flavors out onto the taste buds...almost gives a sense of inhaling the flavors.

O - One of the better pumpkin beer examples I've had. Really well balanced - has the required pumpkin pie spices, but doesn't overpower as the syrupy dessert that many of this style seem to do. A welcome change of pace that fits well with the season.

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Photo of stakem
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Kegatron for hooking me up with this fine brew. Poured from a bomber (batch 01, bottled Sept 2011) into a shaped pint glass. The brew appears a hazed copper color that is hazed. Some golden coloration appears around the edges. 2.5 fingers worth of yellowish stained head sits atop the brew with a bold, uneven topping of froth. Patches and finger-like patterns of lace reach upward from the top of the liquid.

The smell of this brew is pretty darn nice. Pumpkin flesh is noted immediately with some green veggie character. A little bit of sulfur and some herbal hops keep this in check reminding you that this is in fact a beer. The herbal character of the hops plays a very nice contrast to the seemingly sweetness of the pumpkin flesh. More smells reveal a caramel hint of sweetness mixed with spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and maybe something a little brighter like ginger. This isn't the most pumpkin forward flavored brew I have had, but the mixture of character to the nose presents itself in a very pleasing and not too spiced aspect. Very well done.

The taste of this brew is earthy with pumpkin flavor that is a mixture of toasted quality and raw almost veggie aspects. The hops provide a nice amount of herbal bitterness which is enjoyable and really works that earthen feel throughout this flavor. Nutmeg is noted lightly mid palate and a bit of cinnamon comes into the finish that clashes a bit with the herbal bitterness. At times there is a bit of a fruity sweet alcohol touch. The grain inclusion is toasty with a bit of bready to biscuit attribute. The flavor that stays on the tongue right before the swallow is perfect, it is a perfect balance of pumpkin to spice ratio.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. This is quite a dry, herbal and bitter representation of the style which is quite enjoyable. As far as spicing goes, I think CBC has nailed this one perfectly. Any more spices and it would have been a bit distracting, any less and it just wouldnt have been enough to withstand the inclusion of the hops and grain. I am loving the level of alcohol in this one, its something I am happy to pour a second glass of. Thanks again Heath!

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22oz bomber poured into a New Belgium globe. Batch 01, bottled Sept. 2011.

A: Pours a mildly hazy copper/orange with a creamy white dollop of a head seemingly dropped right on top. Good retention, spotty lacing. Looks very inviting.

S: Chopped, cooked pumpkin and mild spice scents of cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, and ginger. Crust-like toasted malts. Smells great.

T: Spices are apparent at the outset. Nutmeg and ginger are prominent, with a backing of cinnamon and clove. Sweet, gourd-like chopped pumpkin tastes dominate the mid-palate, but spices poke through intermittently. Brown sugar and some bready, cookie-like toasted malt flavors call to mind some favorite holiday desserts. Maybe just a hint of some grassy hop tastes, but the hop bitterness has mainly a balancing role. Finishes with some sugary pumpkin tastes and mild spices.

M: Medium bodied. Very silky and creamy. Carbonation is prickly, but not forceful. It rounds out the mouthfeel nicely and makes for a delightfully smooth impression. A very impressive mouthfeel.

O: Excellent. Supremely balanced, which cannot be said for the vast majority of pumpkin beers out there. This is hands down the best pumpkin beer I've ever had. I know what I'm drinking with dessert on Thanksgiving this year.

Notes: The freshest, most authentic pumpkin taste I've ever come across in a beer. The spicing is done perfectly; not too ambitious, and it lets the beer stand on its own two feet. Great mouthfeel, excellent all around, really. Flawless. Can't praise it enough. I can't wait to see what other CBC beers will hit shelves around here next.

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Great Pumpkin Ale from Cambridge Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 376 ratings