Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale | Smuttynose Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
850 Reviews
Smuttynose Pumpkin AleSmuttynose Pumpkin Ale

Brewed by:
Smuttynose Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.84%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale is our homage to the craft and heritage of America’s brewers. Recipes calling for the use of pumpkins in beer date back to early colonial times, when brewers sought to extend their supply of costly imported malt with locally grown ingredients, such as squash and “pompions.”

In that spirit, we brew our ale with the addition of pumpkin to the mash, along with traditional spices to create a delicious American original.

35 IBU

Added by purplehops on 08-28-2003

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 850 | Ratings: 1,893
Photo of iceball585
2.89/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Cloudy golden brown color, thin white lacy head

S- Strong smell of pumpkin, spices (mostly cinnamon and brown sugar)

T- Spices, pumpkin, bitter hops, creamy

M- Medium body, low/medium carbonation, bitter feel kind of lingers after the taste is gone

D- Good auroma but not quite the taste I was expecting

This beer has great auromas of what you'd expect out of a pumpkin beer. On the other hand this beer is quite over spiced and has a really bitter after taste that is a slight turn off.

 495 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.89/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2

Appearance - pour begins a clear and bright amber. About two-thirds of the way, a clump of sediment hits the flow and clouds things up. Nice creamy manila head, good sticky lace all around.

Aroma - primarily cinnamon and clove, complements of pumpkin pie spice I imagine.

Taste - malty start, typical spices are nice and festive. The swallow turns rather bitter rather fast. Chasing out all sweetness, the aftertaste and finish are kind of harsh. The end stays dry and harshly bitter, not really what I would consider to be in the style. Not that a pumpkin beer can't have hops, but these dominate the malty, spicy side and undo the beer.

Mouthfeel - average body, plenty crisp and refreshing.

Overall - I have an outside thought that this bottle may have a rogue strain of something in it that is turning it dry and bitter some five months after Halloween. Best before 1/31/13, I could try a fresher sample this season.

 924 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.92/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.
6.3% ABV, Best before 12/20/13 printed on neck. "brewed with pumpkin puree and spices"

A - Giant clumps of sticky lace cake the whole pint as the tall off-white foam plateaus to a sparkling pile above the hazy orange beer. It doesn't look much better than this!

S - This pumpkin ale is a bit spicier on the nose than it is pumpkin-y, smelling of nutmeg, allspice, and a dash of cinnamon on some fresh pumpkin; however, I keep getting notes of baby diaper and wet cardboard trailing behind sweet pale malts.

T - The flavor mirrors the nose in that it's very spice forward, rushing forwards while pumpkin hangs back with the malt and relaxes. Strong astringency rises up for a biting, off finish that's not very pleasing.

M - Well carbonated with a slight tingle to the swallow, this spicy and generally smooth pumpkin ale has quite a bit of an astringent, bitter finish for the style.

O - Beautiful from the get-go, this pumpkin ale has a nice introductory aroma that quickly becomes off with unpleasant wet cardboard - though not oxidized - and carries slightly into the bitter, astringent flavor and feel for a pumpkin beer that's not at all pleasing to drink.

 1,222 characters

Photo of hops4me
2.92/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was really looking forward to this one for two reasons. I love pumpkin beers and I really like Smuttynose. BUT I was left disappointed. It smelt spicy and the taste proved the smell right. Cloves, cloves, and more cloves. I had to ask my wife what the spice in ham glaze was because it was all over this beer. The spice is just too much in my opinion...unless you love ham glaze. There is also an astrignecy in the aftertaste as well that is unpleasant. There are plenty better options out there. Pick up some Robust Porter instead.

 534 characters

Photo of ZAP
2.92/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Did a blind taste test with this,and pumpkins from Dogfish Head and Weyerbacher last night and am now reviewing this solo...it finished third in my blind taste-test but is decent enough.

Suble spicing which allows for more of a true pumpkin feel to it...the problem I have with it is probably more so with the base recipe...it actually has a mild hoppiness to it which combined with the pumpkin gives off a somewhat sour finish.

Not a bad beer but not one I would be excited to try again..

 491 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.92/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy orange color. The head is a rather typical barely off-white shade about one finger high. Great lacing is left behind, but retention isn't the best.

S: As expected, the spices are there. The spice component is low on sweetness, but high on nutmeg. I also pick up a bit of citrus peel, which adds a nice component to the (well restrained) spiciness.

T: Bitter citrus peel notes hit my tongue first. The spice notes, rather than immediately opening the flavor profile, sneak up near the finish to mingle with the citrusy flavor. Not much in the way of actual pumpkin (I've come to expect that now from the style). There's even a mineral touch in the aftertaste. All the main flavors seem to exacerbate each others harshness - but at least it's bland enough where it's not really a bother. Right...?

M: It's a crisp, dry brew, but also one that's too astringent. I don't like the coarse feel in particular. A light body and moderate carbonation makes it (at least) somewhat drinkable, though.

O: Pumpkin ales like Schlafly Pumpkin Ale and Full Tilt Patterson Pumpkin succeed because they don't succumb to the pratfalls of the style. While not necessarily a total failure, this one doesn't succeed because it DOES fall victim to the problems of the style - too much bitter spicing, not enough balance between the sweet and aforementioned bitter. My first real letdown from Smuttynose, but to be fair, I wasn't expecting this to be fantastic.

 1,489 characters

Photo of DrinkingDrake
2.93/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Copper color with a big foamy head. It shrinks down quickly but doesn't fully disappear. Caramel malty nose. Some fresh pumpkin and a fruity hop character. Flavor is a spicy pumpkin hit upfront with a light caramel middle and a larger than average amount of carbonation. Sticky pine and pumpkin spice for the finish. Weird malty/tangy finish.

 342 characters

Photo of MuddyFeet
2.94/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a cloudy amber in color with a bit of an orange tint. Not much of a head. Bits os spotted lace around the edges of the glass. Nose is absolutely awesoe. Loads of freshly cut pumpkins and buckets of cinnamon and nutmeg. Unfortunately, the flavor does not match the aroma. There is the pumpkin and spie, but it tastes more as if the pie has gone bad. Kind of sour and bile-like. Light bodied. I like the nose in this beer a lot but the flavor knocks this beer down a notch.

 478 characters

Photo of kelticblood
2.94/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had a excellent appearance.Huge thick white head with alot of lacing present.The color is cloudy orange.Tons of sediment floating around.Mouthfeel is watery with no carbonated bite to it.It has an immitation like pumpkin taste.Needs more malt,carboantion,and cinnamon.It has a piney hop taste that shouldnt be there.Has a hop bitterness on the finish.I am not impressed with Smuttynose's attempt at a Pumpkin Ale.Take a few hints from Post Road.The label says it's made with Pumpkin puree and spices.It has more of a squash taste than pumpkin and is slightly spiced.Overall average.

 582 characters

Photo of PhageLab
2.95/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Freshest before February 2008 on the bottle, poured into a Warsteiner 14oz glass.

A - Small head that stuck around, with pretty good lacing for this style. Coloration was a deep golden orange.

S - Spicy, with notes of pumpkin bread, very fresh smell.

T - Mild spices initially that fade into a high bitterness. Not what I was expecting at all, it's more sour than sweet. Very little pumpkin flavor.

M - Dry finish, decent carbonation, clean feel, not bad overall.

D - Average at best. Not a bad brew in all, just not what I expect from a pumpkin ale.

 555 characters

Photo of damienblack
2.97/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a rich copper, with a frothy, merenguish head. Smell seems to be split between pumpkin/gourd, and spices, more nutmeg than cinnamon. Healthy carbonation.

First sipping - Malt sweetness comes through at first, and it isn't until the kick at the end where you get a big swirl of pumpkin, spicing, and a bit of a hop bitterness. As it gradually warms, so to do the spices more gradually come out. A well carbonated beer, lending it to a nice full mouthful. Low ABV and the low bitterness level make it very drinkable if the pumpkin style is your thing, but for me, I don't think it is. I'm not a big fan of overspicing, but I think this one could actually use a little more. There's another distinct sensation I get besides pumpkin and spice, and while I can't put my finger on it, I really don't care for it.

 813 characters

Photo of dtivp
2.97/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Pours a cloudy amber orange with a one finger foamy off white head that fades quickly into a tick ring with moderate lacing.

Aroma of clove, cinnamon and just a hint of pumpkin spice.

Taste is very spicy with a floral hops. This is a very spicy pumpkin ale with just a slight hint of pumpkin. Leaves a very bitter after taste.

Mouth Feel was light leaning medium body with moderate carbonation. Crisp and very spicy, smooths out some as it warms, a little sweetness creeps in.

Overall not the top of my list for pumpkin ales, this is definitely the spiciest one have tasted.

 579 characters

Photo of UnderPressure
2.98/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bright orange, slightly hazy beer with a fizzy one-finger head. Some lacing.

Spices and sweetness in the aroma. I'm picking up some kind of minty or herbal spice I wasn't expecting in a pumpkin ale.

Heavy spice in the flavor. Too much, in my opinion. This is the spiciest pumpkin ale I've had. It's like I'm drinking a spice cabinet. But it does get more tolerable as you drink.

A nice light to medium bodied viscosity with pleasant carbonation with an average length spicy bitter finish.

Smuttynose beers are usually spot-on. But, the spice really ruined an otherwise great beer. Way too overwhelming.

 606 characters

Photo of funkengruven
2.98/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This brew poured a nice amber with abundant head, quite nice to look at. Smell was unique, some spicyness in there with some other aromas I cannot identify. Taste at first was very astringent and bitter, finished with an aftertaste of pumpkin spice which was actually rather pleasant. However the astringency is a bit much which damages the drinkability of this brew significantly.

Not something I would go out of my way for.

 426 characters

Photo of HopDerek
2.98/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a coppery orange color with 1 finger of off-white head. OK retention leaves some spotty lacing. Smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, citrus, clove, honey, a touch of pumpkin, and light malts. Tastes of cinnamon, clove, allspice, and nutmeg up front then an unusual sour/bitterness takes over, like ginger, lemon juice, grapefruit, orange, and lemon peel, with a bit of pumpkin trying to poke out but gets recalled by some earthy hop presence. Medium in body with ok carbonation, some spices before an overload of sourness, chalkiness, and an unclassifiable bittering finish. Not a pumpkin ale I'd pick up again this year, maybe if the recipe changes next year I'll consider it.

 684 characters

Photo of Tomdee74
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

If you like pumpkin ales then you have to try this. I'm in New Haven, CT and this is the best there is. Another great job by smuttynose I swear this brewery produces the greatest beer around!

Appearance - Love the look of this. Dark brown but not too dark.

Smell - wow you can smell the pumpkin but not overbearing. you know you are in for a treat when you smell this.

Taste - Exceptional I must say! A great pale ale with pumpkin spices and i find the balance perfect.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied

Drinkability - of course i have to say very high. i drank 6 of these yesterday pretty quickly as they almost go down like soda.

Great Job Smuttynose - Thank you for making me look forward to the fall!!

--- edit on 8/24/2010

okay time to review.. and it hurts to do what i'm about to do... you see my avatar is smuttynose.. i'm a huge fan.. i look forward to the pumpkin... was a little scared this year as they have another company producing and bottling the batch this year... and i don't know if there was a change to the palate.. but smutty33 also a huge smuttynose fan is with me that we don't think it's the same... i'm sure people are waiting to jump on this and waiting for someone to say it... but it reminds me more of a saranac beer or something light.. it seems like that usual smutty "earthy flavor" is gone from this batch... Would love to be able to do a side by side comparison to see if it's just me or if there is anything real here.. it could be a palate change maybe? i'm not sure..

anyway i'm not impressed with the batch this year.. i bought one six pack and it will probably be the last one i buy of that this year.. it's okay i'll be buying plenty of other smuttynose stuff!

 1,703 characters

Photo of MTNboy
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- A light copper color that yields a little smaller than average head that does not stick around long. The lace is present but kind of weak.

Smell- The smell is a little bitter to the nose at first. It has that bland fruity scent of carving a fresh pumpkin but there is not much of a pumpkin spice scent to it .

Taste- Overall it is a good pumpkin beer my only gripe was the aftertaste was oddly sour. It tastes of pumpkin and spice but has nice mildly hoppy ale flavor to as well.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied and mildly carbonated.

Drinkability- It is alright if I had a selection of pumpkin beers this would not be my first choice or even my fifth but maybe in my top ten or fifteen.

 698 characters

Photo of nrpellegrini
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not impressed by this one.

To me a pumpkin beer is made by the pumpkin flavor but more importantly the spice and how it mixes with the rest of the beer. It was like they had a lot of spices and just threw them all in without seeing how they would all work together. It was too much and too confusing to get a good flavor. I hardly picked up any pumpkin flavor as well. Not going to get this guy any more..

 406 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

First a bunch of O-Fests, now bunch o' pumpkin brews. Fall's fun, ain't it? This one pours a clear copper topped by a finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises orange peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel, light balsa, and a decent touch of minty pine. The taste holds notes of sharp pine, orange peel, light cinnamon, banana peel, greens, and pumpkin shell. Things are just a tad too bitter for this combination to actually work... The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slick feel. Overall, this pumpkin beer just doesn't do it for me, what with the strange bitterness and lack of much of a pumpkin-ness.

 678 characters

Photo of Brad007
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice orange amber color with a decent one finger head. Aroma is strong and even somewhat hoppy with a decent amount of pumpkin aroma. Very light too. Taste is much of the same except that there's just not that much pumpkin to taste. It fades in the back and reminds me more of ginger ale than beer. A second sip confirms the same thing, with only a light pumpkin taste in the background. There's some lacing. I just get the feeling that this is Smuttynose IPA with pumpkin flavoring.

 491 characters

Photo of Nutleybeer
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I thought this pumpkin ale was okay...depends what you are looking for. It did have a decent spiced flavor, but to me, not an over abundance of it. If you enjoy a mild pumpkin taste, this is for you.
If you are looking for something that tastes like pumpkin pie in a bottle, there are others out on the market that fit this mold better. Try Dogfish or Buffalo Bills.

 367 characters

Photo of bruachan
3.01/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

i'm not a huge pumpkinbeeradvocate but this is a passable example. i suppose the flavor that pumpkin contributes seems akin to a flavor i wouldn't want from my grain bill and they're always weak and watery

the color suffers from the same wateriness that most pumpkin ales do, so i will calibrate my judgement accordingly. generally it's not a great look but, style considered, it is a decent copper. lacing is good and the foam cover is, too

the aroma is quite pumpkin-y, with a suggestion of spice and much more noble hop

malty breadiness accompanies the pumpkin flavor, along with spices. i'll hazard a guess: allspice, nutmeg, maybe some cinnamon

where this thing falls short (and again, seemingly not too out of character) is mouthfeel. the finish is a hop tea with nothing to drink it out of, so to speak. really, though, all i get after some pumpkin and mild malt is bittered water with lingering spices

again, i've handicapped the style. it might fare more poorly otherwise

 985 characters

Photo of DaveBlack
3.02/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A: Amber color with fluffy white head that has good retention and leaves behind a nice smattering of lacing.

S: The nose lives up to this being a pumpkin ale. The smell is really great, heavy on the pumpkin, lots of allspice and cinnamon, with a slight sweetness.

T: As good as the smell is, I find the taste of this bee rot be just dreadful. The dominant flavor is just bitterness, and not pleasant hop bitterness. The only thing that it reminds me of is when you cook with old spices and add too much and all you get is a deep, unpleasant bitterness. There's a little bit of pumpkin and allspice behind the bitterness, at least.

M: Medium bodied, relatively light on the carbonation. It feels like a nice fall drink.

O: I always want to like pumpkin ales, but I REALLY dislike this one. I actually find it unpleasant to drink. It has so much to recommend it in the other categories, but just flat out fails on flavor for me.

 930 characters

Photo of jtfest
3.02/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

It’s a hazy, light pumpkin-orange in color, with a thin white head. The aroma is spicy -- like nutmeg/pumpkin -- the aroma of a pumpkin pie in the oven. I enjoyed the mouthfeel, somewhat thick and syrupy without being overpowering, but the flavor didn't do it for me. The pumpkin flavor was lost in a hop bitterness that didn't match the aroma at all, with a very dry finish. The pumpkin would reappear in the aftertaste, but I found little reason to have another.

 465 characters

Photo of dashirey
3.03/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Copper and orange - very think head even after an aggressive pour.

S - Some pumpkin (obviously) Heavy with spices - cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. There is a faint belgian yeast characteristic to the smell as well.

T - Mainly spicy followed by bitterness. Some very faint pumpkin there.

M/D - High carbonation adds the spicy characteristics and the mouth sting that is present. This makes the drinkability a little lower. I was a little disappointed with this pumpkin ale. It generally lands more on the spice side instead of pumpkin side of the category!

 560 characters

Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale from Smuttynose Brewing Company
3.73 out of 5 based on 1,893 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!