Pumpkin Ale | AleWerks Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding
139 Reviews
Pumpkin AlePumpkin Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company
Virginia, United States
alewerks.com

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.40%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by on 09-19-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
139
Ratings:
512
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
21.55%
 
 
Wants:
155
Gots:
75
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 139 | Ratings: 512
Photo of Damian
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%

Drank from a 12 fl oz bottle purchased at Whole Foods, Washington, D.C.
Served in a pint glass

With a vigorous pour, a small, frothy, eggshell colored crown topped the dark, orangey-amber liquid. The head quickly dissipated to a thin ringlet.

Not much happening in the aroma initially, and what was there was pretty unexciting. Biscuity malts were noticeable. Slightly spicy. There was a faint, lager-like yeasty quality. Some metallic notes were detectible as well. Quite odd. As the beer opened up, the nose improved dramatically. Pumpkin pie spices dominated. Cinnamon, nutmeg and clove were noticeable. The aroma became much sweeter as well. Rich caramel malts and brown sugar notes were also apparent.

Sweet and spicy notes dominated the flavor profile. Pumpkin pie spices came through front and center. Cinnamon, nutmeg and clove were most prominent. Lots of caramel malt and brown sugar-like sweetness. There was a faint vanilla presence on the back end. The beer finished with a touch of earthy bitterness before the super sweet and spicy notes made a reappearance. Almost a bit cloying.

The mouthfeel was perhaps the most impressive aspect of the beer. It was medium bodied and contained an ultra fine and zippy effervescence that gave the liquid a plush slickness. Really solid for the style. At 8% ABV, the alcohol was nowhere to be found.

I usually enjoy pumpkin beers that are sweet and heavily spiced, but AleWerks's rendition contained a bit too much of both for my liking. Perhaps this beer would benefit from a more dynamic flavor profile and a touch less sweetness.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I know, I know, I am supposed to be divesting myself of bottled beers, not buying more new ones! I am just such a sucker for these pumpkin beers and while visiting Total Wine & More in Norfolk, VA this past weekend, I came across this one, just sitting there as a single, waiting to be scooped up and taken home. I could not resist.

Being that it is intensely fresh, I went with a very heavy-handed pour, creating an initial pseudo-cascade which settled into two fingers of dense, tawny head with good retention. Color was Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had an oddly fruity quality, underlain by the spice, not the other way around, which is more standard. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was, interestingly, more sweet than spicy, more in keeping with what pumpkin pie tastes like and which the style was originally meant to mimic. I also liked that the spices were not overwhelmed by cinnamon, which can sometimes saturate this style of beer. Instead, the spices seemed to be more even and as such, more pleasant. Finish was dry, thanks to the spices, but not so dry and spicy as to be off-putting. I would say that this is probably one of the better examples of the style that I have tried.

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Photo of leantom
4.9/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Schlafly's pumkin ale IS NOWHERE NEAR AS GOOD AS THIS ONE. It's that damn good. There is NONE of the raw pumpkin taste that's found in other pumpkin ales. I have personally never had that from any other pumpkin ale.

Personally, this is one of the best ales I'VE EVER HAD regardless of style, and I consumed so much of it that people started calling me "The Pumpkin Head."

Here goes:

A: Beautiful orange and amber with a great amount of carbonation and a head that dissipates quickly. Very clear as well - see-through, in fact.

S: Wow, breathtaking. Smells of cinnamon, brown sugar, caramel, pumpkin pie, pumpkin spices, molasses etc. In fact, it smells exactly like a pumpkin pie. Since I love pumpkin pie, I can't get enough of this beer's smell.

T: PERFECT, but must be consumed either warm or at cellar temperature for maximum flavor. The taste follows the nose, and it's exactly like a pumpkin pie. Tons of cinnamon goodness mixed with pumpkin and brown sugar. I've never tasted a beer that this closely approximated a pumpkin pie.

M: Again, beautiful. A rich thickness with lots of brown sugar and molasses.

O: You must try this beer. It's absolutely stunning if you have it at the right temperature.

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Photo of JMScowcroft
4.71/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Williamsburg AleWerks - Pumpkin Ale, poured into a Craftgeer snifter.

Look - Pours a hazy amber ruby with a barely noticeable head, some lace.

Smell - Yes!! This literally smells like a full bodied pumpkin pie! Not overly sweet or fake or half-assed, but like liquid pumpkin pie without having too much spice. Perfect.

Taste - This is amazing! Zippy ale with creamy pumpkin pie body, spice is more prominent here but still not overdone.

Mouthfeel - Medium body wit high carbonation. A hint of booziness and heat from spice but done just right. Great drinkability.

Overall - Best pumpkin beer I have had so far.

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Photo of stckhndlr
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

A- extremely clear orange copper beer with a slim white head. You could watch tv through this beer, its so clear.

S- wonderful pumpkin smell with nutmeg and sweet allspice.

T- good string pumpkin flavor with caramel and a light spicy finish.

M- good balance and great body to this one.

O- this is a clear winner. Well done with a great taste. I will be shopping for this one every year from now on.

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Photo of stakem
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter. The brew appears a hazy burnt copper color with an off-white cap that fades back to a thin penline and some spots of lace stick to the glass.

The aroma has big pumpkin character like fresh baked pumpkin flesh and the seeds. A bit of fruity alcohol blends into a bready to caramel malt inclusion. Everything blends well in the nose.

The taste has fruity alcohol notes that blend to starchy pumpkin that is a little vegetative. Somewhat earthen with almost a flavor of pumpkin seeds as well. A faint spicing like clove and ginger is present more than the typical cinnamon and nutmeg but that is present more towards the finish.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. A little different from the normal pumpkin ale but enjoyable with a baked pumpkin flavor moreso than spices which collectively I found very enjoyable.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

thanks to OlavZipser for sending this my way and thanks to richardflyr for the glassware! enjoyed from an alewerks sniftery tulip.

a - brew pours a transparent ruby orange with a half finger of head that dissolved into a thin skin of bubbles on the surface.

s - nose is nice. big pumpkin cinnamon blast, but not too intense...nicely balanced, reminds me of schlafly nose.

t - wow, again, fairly impressive. just slightly less perfect than the schlafly, but certainly towards the top of the pumpkin beer scene. pumpkin malt with subtle candied sweetness and soft spicing.

m - easy drinker...medium to full bodied.

o - overall a really nice pumpkin beer...must try for fans of the style. one of the better ones.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance:
The beer pours very little head that dissipates immediately. The beer itself is a slight clear dark orange.

Smell:
The beer has a strong scent of pumpkin pie with various spices. Spices include cinnamon, nutmeg with what appears to be notes of vanilla. The pumpkin is the strongest note and works very well.

Taste:
The beer tastes as well as beer smells. The strongest taste the pumpkin and mixes well with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla notes that follow. The vanilla lasts through the beer but the aftertaste is mainly pumpkin with cinnamon. The cinnamon is the stronger of the two flavors in the after taste.

Mouthfeel:
The beer is lightly carbonated and medium bodied but on the heavy and thick side. the overall feel of the drink is very smooth bordering on velvety.

Overall:
An impressive pumpkin ale that is worthy of the name. My only complaint is that this beer flies off the shelves and unavailable if someone is not quick enough to get one.

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Photo of uvachief
4.48/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This lightly carbonated pumpkin ale pours to leave a nice thick ring of head about 1 finger deep. The aromas smell like a true pumpkin beer should smell like - not a pie or air freshener. You can smell the brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, baked apples and loads of pumpkin - almost like a pumpkin meat pie. I tasted cinnamon and brown sugar first. Its heavy sweetness puts the melting pot of spices in the right place. This is a beer to be enjoyed on a cold November evening. It is very balanced and goes down extremely smooth. It has a spicy aftertaste that leaves a smooth but sweet taste in your mouth. Many pumpkin beers are unbalanced - either too sweet or too spicy. This one is just right. Pumking is just a prince to this ale. Grab it when you find it if you like pumpkin ale. A 6 pack of bottles goes down very easy. This is THE pumpkin beer.

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Photo of Hendry
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep apricot pour, half inch of tawny head dissipates quickly, minimal lacing, carbonation not visible but present.

Aroma is like pumpkin pie with the sweet crust, pumpkin spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg,vanilla.

Taste mirrors the aroma, and it takes a few sips to fully realize the fine balance and fusion of flavors. Simply delicious, slightly sweet but not cloying.

Mouthfeel is light to medium, low level of carbonation seems suited for the flavors.

I feel I might have been spoiled here: this trade extra is my first pumpkin ale, and from what I have seen, it has the highest rating amongst the pumpkin ale offerings. Any reservations I had about enjoying a pumpkin ale have been annihilated by this incredible brew, but how does it get better than this? If you can get you hands on this one, do not pass it by or cast doubts on how enjoyable a pumpkin ale can be, this is a winner.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: copper slightly cloudy maybe, translucent at least. Kind of creamy head at edges, some retention
S: pumpkin pie, shockingly ;). On the sweet side, brown sugar or molasses. Maybe some light orange blossom underneath
T: sweet, brown sugar, cinnamon/nutmeg, alcohol other pumpkin spice, ending when all combined in a little cola type taste.
M: twinge of alcohol and malt sweetness throughout. No bitterness noted at all.
O: a very drinkable ale for a higher ABV beer. That said, it tends to the sweet side to balance an alcohol bite. Some mind find this off-putting, but it works for me for a beer that's supposed to be flavored.

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Photo of GJ40
3.52/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 12oz bottle marked "7 23 13". Thanks surge1311.

Copper with very good clarity but a minimal head. Strong spice in the aroma. Ginger and nutmeg. Like holiday cookies. The flavor followed closely. Some pumpkin and malt comes through but not enough. The spices are just too overdone. Smooth consistency with a low carbonation.

An interesting beer but the spice levels cover anything of any real value instead of enhancing it.

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Photo of dowen17
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange hue with minimal head and no lacing.

On the nose is pumpkin purée and spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, maybe some brown sugar. Very fresh.

Taste mirrors the nose. Very fresh tasting pumpkin and spices. The brown sugar really comes through here.

Nice carbonation. Light but not watered down.

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Photo of JayQue
3.76/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Good Pumpkin Ale. Pours a brilliant, clear orange/amber color. Practically no head...covering of the glass that faces quick, with no lacing.

Aroma of pumpkin and pumpkin spices. pleasant, fairly pronounced and nothing overdone (like a spice potpouree).

Taste is good. Not much carbonation but the pumpkin flavor and accompanying spices were done just right, no annoying over the top spicing.

Mouthfeel is very good. Rich and crisp, a good slow sipper on a fall day.

I still don't see the outstanding rating, but this is a solid pumpkin ale.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2013 Review.
12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Appearance
Orange-amber with a short off-white head that dissipates quickly. Excellent clarity with light carbonation.

Nose
Pumpkin, pie crust, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.

Taste
Pumpkin meat, toasted pie crust and hints of caramel. Has a bouquet of pumpkin spices comprised of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and clove. Touches of brown sugar and pumpkin rind.

Mouthfeel
Medium bodied, smooth, sticky and dry.

Overall
Still a damn good Pumpkin Ale.

---

2011 Review.

A: Pours a dark amber hue with almost entirely no head. A nice film clings to the side of the glass with sparse lacing. Low carbonation.

N: This is a beautiful, mouthwatering nose. Smells very close to liquid pumpkin pie. Good amount of pumpkin, caramel malts, cinnamon and perhaps hints of nutmeg and clove.

T: Pure caramel malts and pumpkin meat upfront followed by lightly toasted pie crust, candy sugar, cinnamon and clove spices. Finishes with lingering bread, allspice, pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon.

M: Medium-full bodied, smooth and sticky.

O: This is one malted beast of a Pumpkin Ale. I really respect Williamsburg AleWerks approach. This is focused primarily on the pumpkin and malts with spices only coming secondary. A rather hefty brew at 8% abv that would be best enjoyed on cold fall evenings.

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Photo of Shumania
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a Harpoon IPA strange

A: Dark amber, with a 1 finger head that goes away pretty quickly, small little bubbles

S: Sweet pumpkin pie, cinnamon, nutmeg, and slight biscuit

T: Comes across like the smell, lots of sweetness from the pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

M: This is a full bodied beer. The sweet taste does not make it cloyingly of the top and some good balance from the malt at the end.

This is what a pumpkin beer should taste like. It hits all the right notes and tastes like pumpkin pie without over doing it.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-nice orange amber color with a one finger off-white head and no lacing

S-caramel malt, pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar

T-pumpkin, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, caramel malt, light bitter finish

F-medium body with light to moderate carbonation, smooth

O-great balance of spice and pumpkin flavor in this beer, really enjoyable and is one of my favorite pumpkin ales

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Photo of Omnium
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours out a beautiful clear dark orange/amber color, 1 finger of fizzy head, little lacing.
S -Wow, this is awesome, one of the most prominent if not the most, pumpkin aroma's ive smelled in a pumpkin beer. Fresh big pumpkin aroma, like a pie right out of the oven, sweet caramel malt, cinnamon, a little nutmeg, not too much spice. The aroma is big on sweetness, which I welcome gladly in any pumpkin beer.
T - The pumpkin flavor and sweetness is incredible, you get the cinnamon and nutmeg up front, but it goes to an outburst of pumpkin pie flavor mid to end. Its not overwhelming at all, but just perfect. This is not a spice beer, this is the way a pumpkin beer should taste. This also end on a roasted pumpkin flavor, and lets the sweetness fade away.
M - Creamy and rich, excellent mouthfeel and aftertaste, the 8% is slightly felt in this one.
O - Pumpking looks like a joke compared to this, I had heard good things and was expecting a good pumpkin beer, but this takes gold this year for me, I'm glad I got to score a bottle of this. AleWerks is something to keep an eye on, they're brewing solid beers. Not crazy styles or new things, but a perfect example of what its style should be. Get some.

EDIT: Having this right now with Schlafly, and they're both outstanding. This is more sweet upfront and then roasted on the end, but they're both outstanding brews.

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.07/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours dark amber (the color of dark maple syrup), clear as they come, but with a very anemic head that faded quickly, and no lacing whatsoever.

S: Super heavy on the spices -- allspice, cinnamon, and a little ginger dominate -- with a little vegetable smell that I can imagine is pumpkin.

T: Initially sweet. I mean, REALLY sweet. As in, I can't believe they reached this level with malted grain alone (a liberal addition of Belgian candi sugar is high on my list of suspects). Then the spices hit, and they hit hard and linger to the end. There are other flavors in the mix (some faint grain notes, pumpkin for sure, and the obligatory hops), but they are all drowned out by the spices. Indeed, the bitter hops in the finish didn't balance the sweet malt, it just accentuated the spices in a harsh way.

M: Initially moist, then crisper and drier toward the finish. The high ABV is well hidden (but you could hide just about anything with the level of spice they used!)

O: If you read my other reviews, you'll soon find that I like my beers to be balanced in terms of flavors. There is no balance here at all -- it's all sugar and spice (and nothing else nice). Drinkable once, but there are far better pumpkin ales to be had.

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Photo of Doppelbockulus
4.77/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

By far one of the best pumpkin beers I've had.

I opened the bottle expecting a good pumpkin beer, and then the smell hit me and I knew I was going to be blown away. It smells exactly like a good, fresh, sweet pumpkin pie. There is an abundance of pumpkin, caramelized sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon on the nose. You could blindfold me, hold it in front of my nose, tell me that there is a fresh slice of pumpkin pie in front of me, and I would believe you.

The flavor is amazing. It is rich in pumpkin and the traditional spices you taste is a slice of pumpkin pie. There is also a little malt profile similar to that of an amber or brown ale, and a nice level of carbonation. It is as if someone blended a pumpkin pie with a really good brown ale, filtered it, and bottled it.

Totally blown away from this beer, and I want more.

 829 characters

Photo of Amanda_gree23
4.73/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

I LOVE THIS BEER. I was in phonexville at the end of fall last year and happened to walk into a bar that had it on tap. I have had ALOT of pumpkins beers, this is by far my favorite. I live in philly and am excited for the fall, mainly because of this beer, I hope that it finds me again, as I continue to search for it.

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Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Someone gave me this as an extra and I forgot who it was... My apologies, but thank you to whomever you may have been. Drinking a pumpkin ale in April doesn't seem so out of place when it's still only 37 degrees outside... Thanks, Michigan. This one pours a muddled copper, barely letting any light through. The off-white head grows to about an inch before settling quickly to a mere skin atop the brew.

Aromatics for pumpkin ales tend to get a little repetitive at times since they almost all essentially contain the same spices and ingredients. This brew has a bit of the normal things you'd expect - nutmeg, cinnamon, and some bready and caramel malts to tie it all together, giving that "pumpkin pie" feel to it. This one, however, contains a slight apple spice aroma to it, along with a a decent amount of leafy hops, slightly segregating it from the rest of the somewhat tiresome pumpkin ales out there. Nothing is really too overpowering, either - nice mix of all components.

The first sip leans heaviest towards nutmeg with a secondary nod to cinnamon, yet neither of them overshadow the other. Hops are present, just like they were in the aroma, giving a slight bitterness up front that fades over time. There's a delicate sweetness that hits almost immediately, reminding me more and more of apples. A dash of ginger makes its way in and molds with the bread and cookie-like malts to radiate a solid "gingerbread spice holiday" vibe. The finish contains a little bit of caramel with a solid nutmeg and cinnamon spice combination still resonating enough to be relevant. I love how the maltiness gives a graham cracker and cookie feel. Very festive. Medium bodied, medium carbonation, lightly creamy mouth feel.

Overall, very nice pumpkin ale, even though they typically aren't my "thing". Good addition of spices to remain strong but not too fatiguing. Malts play a huge role in providing a biscuit, cookie, and shortbread type of flavor profile. Certainly one of the best pumpkin ales I've had.

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Photo of UnderPressure
2.32/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Crystal clear copper colored beer. Little to no head. No lacing.

Heavy spice in the aroma. Cloves and allspice. It's hard to pick up anything else. Maybe a little sweet malt in the background.

Heavy cinnamon in the flavor. Hard to get past all the spice flavor.

Decent medium bodied mouthfeel. Fizzy carbonation. Clean finish.

Slightly below average pumpkin ale.

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Photo of AlexFields
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a lovely light pumpkin color.

Smells very sweet, more pumpkin than spice in the nose which is encouraging.

Lots of real pumpkin flavor, very sweet, there's subtle spice but it doesn't dominate or distract. This is exactly how I want pumpkin beers to taste.

Great beer, one of the best pumpkin ales I've had, one of the few I would buy to drink repeatedly if I had access to it.

8.4/10

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The body was an autumn-esque clear burnt orange. The head had a tan hue and lacing cascaded through the whole glass.

The aroma has a heavy dose of nutmeg up front. The pumpkin scent is that of real pumpkin, not a pumpkin spice.

The real pumpkin flavor carries into the flavor along with nutmeg, cinnamon, and carmalized sugar.

Slightly dry mouthfeel with good carbonation.

It's a really good pumpkin beer. It does have a good dose of spices yet still keeps a good sweet balance to it.

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Pumpkin Ale from AleWerks Brewing Company
4.13 out of 5 based on 512 ratings.
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