The Horseman's Ale
The Defiant Brewing Company

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Pumpkin Beer
Ranked #77
Ranked #14,432
4.07 | pDev: 10.81%
The Defiant Brewing Company
New York, United States
Very Good
Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 19 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ummswimmin
3.57/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this at Mohawk House in Sparta, NJ. If you haven't been there, I thoroughly recommend this restaurant. The food is pretty pricey and high end, but the beer selection is exceptional.

They served this beer from tap into a pint glass. There was only about a finger of head on this orange brew, but that was probably due to the bartender settling the glass before it hit my table.

Off the top, it smells pretty good. I get cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin, and mild hopping. The flavor brings out more seasoning, but the pumpkin flavor eases back on this beer.

It was nice to try this new offering. However, I would put much more other pumpkin brews ahead of this one.

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Photo of pzrhsau
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very earthy amber color with a decent dirty vanilla colored head.
S: The hints of cinnamon and nutmeg/all spice combine to give you a dried fruity scent with slight undertones of pumpkin.
T: Crisp and clean to begin with a rush of spices and sweet pumpkin flavor. Balanced finish with notes of roasted malt.
D/M: Crisp and not too heavy. Very drinkable but maintains a lot of the spices that we expect from this style. I was impressed that they offered this later in the season. It is frustrating to have to buy all your pumpkin ales in august when a late November day is the best time to enjoy them.

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Photo of asabreed
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a pint glass.

Appearance: A darker amber color with nice retention on the top of the body of the brew and good carbonation swirling about.

Smell: Cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin, cocoa, biscuity malt and some breadiness, and some earthiness.

Taste: There's a nice spiciness to this that's a little more raucous than many other pumpkin ales out there. The cinnamon's definitely there, along with some vanilla, some darker cocoa and chocolate flavors, a good amount of earthiness, and almost spiciness from whatever yeast was used, though it could be the actual spices too. Lingering cinnamon and spice finish with pumpkin nuances.

Mouthfeel: Seemingly more medium-bodied, with moderately creamy carbonation.

Drinkability: My first of what I hope will be many brews from Defiant. I have a cousin who lives ten minutes away, who was the one who let my try this, but we don't see him often, so I'll have to load up next time I do.

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Photo of infi
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Liberty's in Northvale, NJ.

Poured into a imperial pint.

Beautiful dark amber/mahogany pour with a thin, loose-bubbled and white head with little retention. The color on this was incredibly beautiful.. very translucent, yet elegantly bronzed throughout. Smell definitely had pumpkin in it, but was completely smothered with amazing amounts of cinnamon and pie crust. Cinnamon is one of my favorite scents of all time and this one was definitely a carrier.

Biscuit malt, breadyness and cinnamon everywhere in the taste. Just a slight smudge of pumpkin in the taste - which is perfectly fine with me (not much of a pumpkin fan, honestly). Regardless, the bready malt and spice make for an amazing taste experience. The flavor profile was well-fabricated, smooth and clean. I wasn't much of a pumpkin ale person, but this one beer might be the one to change faces.

Mouthfeel was crisp, generously carbonated, light-bodied and smooth. Very easily drinkable, tasty and clean. This beer really embodied autumn weather for me and generally was a great surprise. Definitely needed after a LONG two days of academic hell. Support local!

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Photo of njmoons
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Let me start by saying, I have (or had) never had a pumpkin ale that I liked, or even finished.

However decided to give it a try at the brewery the other day. This is not retired, rather seasonal.

I have to say a well made interesting beer, that had pumkin and pumpkin spice, but in balance with the beer. I actually ordered a second one.

A: Orange-brown, and nice touch. 2 finger of head, that laced down the class. Looked good.

S: Pumpkin spices, were there but more subtle and seemed focused on spices that go with beer (cinamin, nutmeg, maybe clove), as opposed to a pumpkin pie. There was some malt and beer in the aroma as well.

T: OK the 3.5 is about as good as I could give a pumpkin beer. It really is a gimmicky seasonal for me. But like I said I ordered a second. Spice and the medium ale blended well and this was a fun beer.

M: Well done, as expected

D: As drinkable as a spiced beer gets. Try one for fun.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.82/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Never has a beer struck me in such a way that I knew a 5 / 5 / 5 was worthy in the tast feel and drinkability category. Hands down, the best pumpkin ale I've ever had the pleasure of drinking. Defiant gets an edge here tho' since he pours them DIRECTLY from the tanks.

Flavor aspect was an engaging pumpkin pie with a creamy feel and a flavor of vanilla icecream thrown in. Pumpkin beers are allabout the spices usually, which is short sighted. Defiant was all about the feel and flavor.

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Photo of PopeDX
4.77/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What a fantastic pumpkin beer! Probably my most favoritestest ever.

The color is somewhere between amber and brown. The slightest head forms upon pouring (the growler was filled right from the conditioning tank with the natural carbonation...I love the lower carbonation though). The aroma is full of fresh-cut pumpkin and cinnamon. The body is chock full of that same fresh pumpkin flavor. It lacks the cloying sweetness prevalent among others. A light hoppiness and round chocolate malt flavors merge perfectly with the pumpkin. The pumpkin and spices are evident without being overpowering. Mouthfeel is very round and thick, especially given the ABV.

I'm so tongue and nose are telling me it's a pumpkin beer, but it's so clean and easy-drinking that there's no way it could be...could there?

I could drink this all year long.

Special thanks to Neil for being a gracious host to Ev, Karen and I while we were up there. What a fantastic place Defiant is, I only wish it were closer. Still, it was worth the trip, and I look forward to making it again. The world needs more places like it, and more people like Neil.

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Photo of treehugger02010
3.45/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My buddy got a growler from the Defiant Brewing Company. I poured into a 32 ounze mug (not full). It had a nice strong fruity smell. The appearance was dark and thick, but it wasn't as thick tasting. The taste was pretty good, milder than I thought, and there wasn't any sense of Pumpkin that I got. All in all it was a solid brew. Don't drink and review.

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Photo of maddogruss
4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

If you're looking for a quality beer right along the New York-New Jersey border, the Defiant Brewing Company is where you want to go. My first visit there, I tried this ale and was very impressed. I took one of m,y friends here and converted him to a beer drinker with this beer.

Appearance: Beautifully amber, however the steward seems to be the only person to be able to get a decent head for the beer. Out of the tap, the head is fair and exceptional; out of the growler, it slowly rises after a ferw seconds.

Smell: Good aroma, smells like pumpkin pie (so, Thanksgiving fans, this is a beer for you).

Taste: Once again, tastes like pumpkin pie with all the spices. Not very hoppy.

Mouthfeel: Perfect feel. Not too thick and it doesn't taste like water. Perfect beer.

Drinkability: Do not recommend drinking this beer very speedily, but slowly, enjoying this beer is the way to go. Good for hanging out and chilling with friends.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Growler fill from the long-awaited Defiant Brewery, and I couldn't be more thrilled that a twenty minute hike is all that's needed for some great brews from the accomplished Neill Acer. This one was first sampled before the Iron Maiden concert along with EPseja and friends, nothing like tailgating in the parking with four growlers in tow. This one is from last night, sealed tightly in the fridge.

Appearance- Even on a rough pour, the head barely nudges its way to the surface. A bubbly o-ring of suds lines the outside edge of the beer, popping sporadically over several minutes. The color is a deep, reddish chestnut that showcases some of the malts and I'm sure the pumpkin puree. On tap, this looked a lot nicer...

Smell- This is a wonderful example of how a pumpkin ale should express itself... the nose is dominated by a sweet, rich, baked pumpkin brownie (if such a thing exists) that smells more like food than a beer. The ingredients are in superb balance, with a cookie and cake-like character that showcases the spices eloquently and seamlessly. WAY up there at the top of my personal list of pumpkin ales.

Taste- Bravo. Bready and full, this ale is Autumn in a beverage. Spiced just right, the Fuggles hops lingering in the background... it's so perfect for this time of year, with the leaves changing and the temperature dropping. No cloying sweetness here, just true pumpkin pie flavors and a balanced delivery.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Much thinner than on tap... this beer shines fresh from the tank. Great drinkability points, as this can be sessioned until next weekend with no complaints. My first beer from Defiant, I look forward to all of Neill's upcoming brews.

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Photo of TongoRad
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This was served from a growler and I suspect a bit of carbonation was lost in the process so for this review I am not going to put much stock in appearances, though it must be mentioned. The color is a hazy chestnut-brown with a wisp of tan foam on top. Swirling adds a touch more head.

Aroma is maybe too mellow yet quite suggestive of the season. I get more apples than pumpkin, though that is present if you search for it, and a hint of spices. Definitely not overdone- so a plus in my book for that.

The palate is where it gets interesting. Pumpkin and some toasty/caramel malt jumps to the forefront. The apple quality is more of a cooked apple (like in apple pie) than a raw one- again a nice mellowness there. The finish is lingering with cinnamon and nutmeg and some added cocoa.

The mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side, which could be helped by more carbonation, but that is not a major offender. Bitterness is unobtrusive but exactly where it should be.

The second glass is better than the first- this beer is definitely made for sessioning. I appreciate that as these beers usually tend to be on the cloying side. Nice job, Neill- it just needs a touch of tweaking for next year.

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Photo of dherling
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ah, the horseman commeth. Cloudy chocolate brown beer with a semi-thick off white head. The nose gives a big apple and cinnamon flavor, hello, it's Applejacks cereal, I shit you not! You also get pumpkin in the nose, but it's not forefront like the apple and spice. When I take my first sip I continue getting apples and cinnamon, but now I get a good amount of fresh pumpkin flavor, with an underlying nutmeg. It all works wonderfully well together, a unique statement, different, big, and satisfying. It goes down warm and lingers, like a cider donut. This is what fall is all about. well done!

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Photo of cbl2
4.6/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

10/4/2006 $7.50 5.20% Fresh on tap.


After a hard pour, this dark brown ale is speckled with ruby, and adorned by a thin film of off-white head that settles rapidly, but leaves an impressive lace behind.


Mulled hot apple cider leaps from my goblet, evincing memories of cinnamon, a touch of cocoa, some coffee, and days spent sipping toddies by the fire.


Someone took my apple cider, and dumped a gallon of cappaccino in there! This is sublime, eradicating any preconceived notions that one may have about this style. Notes of pumpkin are present, along with an intense mulled cider sensation, which is highjacked by an intense burst of espresso.

Neill's sign proclaims: "brewed with imported English malted barley, fuggles hops from the UK with an infusion of American Pumpkin". Regardless, this is phenomenal. Pumpkin ales are usually frowned upon, but this is exceptional, and with the low alcohol, I may finish the growler tonight, just so I can go back for more tomorrow.

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The Horseman's Ale from The Defiant Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 19 ratings