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Highballer Pumpkin Ale | Grand River Brewing

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Highballer Pumpkin AleHighballer Pumpkin Ale
BA SCORE
3.76/5
Very Good
97 Ratings
Highballer Pumpkin AleHighballer Pumpkin Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Grand River Brewing
Ontario, Canada
grandriverbrewing.com

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Pumpkins for the Highballer Pumpkin Ale are all grown by our owner Bob Hannenberg in his Garden.

Added by Viggo on 09-29-2007

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#22,336
Reviews:
52
Ratings:
97
pDev:
9.31%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
4
Gots:
6
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 97 |  Reviews: 52
Reviews by evil_liver:
Photo of evil_liver
4/5  rDev +6.4%

More User Reviews:
Photo of cam477
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of R_Kole
3/5  rDev -20.2%

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the UW Grad House. I wasn't as impressed with the bottle version this year, but on tap, this was some quality stuff! Keg was tapped previously that afternoon.

Poured into a Grand River ale glass. Amber copper, about a 1/2 inch head, terrific retention. Every sip yielded sheets of lacing, with patches scattered here and there. Looks terrific.

Nose is primarily that of spicy pumpkin pie, with nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and molasses asserting themselves, and with pumpkin and malty sweetness providing the backing.

The taste is quite good for a pumpkin ale - really hit the spot on a cold, rainy October day. Pumpkin flavor was rich and hearty, a touch of molasses and piecrust, with nutmeg and cinnamon proviing a sharp spicy tang. Finishes clean with a slight hop bitterness. Keeping the whole thing in check was a lovely red ale base, malty and crisp. Quite enjoyable, and not an artificial-tasting flavor in the lot.

Mouthfeel is creamy, with an assertive carbonation that peppers the tongue with spicy goodness.

I've had this ale three different years now, and I've got to say that Rob and Bob have nailed it with this year's edition, at least on tap anyhow. Rich, satisfying, but drinkable (as far as a pumpkin beer goes). All the great flavors of pumpkin pie, but with enough of a pale ale base to make it easier to down a pint or two in an evening. A fine effort!

 1,390 characters

Photo of BGDrock
2.75/5  rDev -26.9%

Appearance: bright, light copper, not quite clear; head does an ok job of sticking around

Aroma: kind of funky, real pumpkin aroma like pie filling, with some cooked apple, caramel sweetness, spices accompanying it

Taste & Mouthfeel: thin and watery is the first impression, with little carbonation - there's no backbone; light flavour, barely anything to speak of, just hints of spice and caramel, nominal pumpkin; minerally

Overall: a boring brew, feel led astray by an interesting aroma, may as well have been a glass of water; not worth the time

 552 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.15/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A malty-spicy aroma. A slightly brown appearance with lace and decent head. High carbonation. Sourish taste that barely let out the spices. Not much of any flavour came out, indicative to me of injection and end of batch or not good batch at all.On-tap at Cask Ale Fest Volo 2007.

 280 characters

Photo of JahTurbo
2.87/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.54/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of heebes
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottled on Sep 4th 2012.
5.2% abv.

Pours a rich dark orange with half a finger of light tan foamy head. Nose is brisk with lots of pumpkin, spices, cinnamon, faint hops. taste is majorly pumpkin, cloves, spices and cinnamon, some good barley malt caramel backing, very fresh and full tasting. Good body, peppery mouthfeel, smooth.

Overall a well rounded pumpkin ale from Grand River, spot on this year.

 411 characters

Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A small off white head reminiscent of milk foam tops medium amber semi opaque body. The retention is low and leaves some ok lacing.

S: Strong pumpkin up front followed by curious fruity scents of unripe mango, chayote and grapefruit rind. Some cinnamon and cardamom spices hide behind roasted pumpkin seeds and dried apple. There is a faint hint of shortbread.

T: A strong amber malt spine supports assertive pumpkin and cinnamon flavours. The rest of the profile is made up of sweet bready tastes; gram cracker and shortbread. There is next to no showing of hops. The carbonation is medium low and the beer coast the mouth somewhat.

A good effort if a little one dimensional.

 682 characters

Photo of al_al1357
3.46/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Jtee
2.52/5  rDev -33%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.25

From a 473ml can served straight from the fridge at 8 degrees Celsius into a white wine glass. Canned on date: 09/19/2017.

Look: The beer pours a brilliant medium amber with 0.5cm of big bubbles that fully disappear in less than a minute. I totally missed the head colour as it was gone in an instant. Poor overall head with no lacing. The clarity and colour manage to score some points.

Smell: Medium-light, sweet, and a bit strange. I had to take a moment to figure out what memory the aroma triggered. It's reminiscent of a drink from my childhood that is pretty close to mulled wine. The nose is lacking beergredients and driven by strong cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a touch of pumpkin. I wish there was more overall balance between the special ingredients and the actual beer.

Taste: Moderate intensity and sweet. Follows the nose seamlessly in its “mulled wine” character. The pumpkin is subtle with the malts and hops overpowered by the spices. Same notes as the with the aroma. The finish is of moderate intensity and length while leaning towards sweet.

Feel: Medium body with fairly mild carbonation. Smooth and wet with no apparent alcohol. No astringency or any kind of harshness. Quite pleasant actually.

Overall: A simple beer with moderate drinkability that makes me think of Christmas instead of Halloween. A step up from macro breweries yet not far from boring. Because of the prominent spices and lack of malt and hop character, I'm not entirely sure I'd recognize this as beer if I was blind tasting it. I will likely not revisit Highballer Pumpkin.

 1,578 characters

Photo of DaveBar
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Outstanding all around

LCBO for $3.90 less $0.70 missing a label

500ml bottle at 8deg C

A- amber, opens well and pours high

S- Spicey goodness

T- Very good. Enjoyable for the season. Super well blended

M- Nice and tart with crispness to spare

O- Enjoyable. Will buy a few for the winter and spring.

Pretty good little Pumpkin Beer

Food Pairings

You better believe this pairs with... Roast Turkey

With those root veggies and gravy this wonderful beer will match well. Try a coffee desert.
Enjoy

 504 characters

Photo of Boozecamel
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of Stocean1
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a one finger head into a big wine glass - nice orange amber colour - little lacing and poor retention. Lots to note for the smell. Banana, pumpkin with bubblebum up front. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves. Taste follows the nose but not nearly as strong as the smell led me to expect. Light body with little carbonation. Slightly bitter and very easy drinking. Overall, this is a fine brew although I would have loved the taste and mouthfeel to be a little bolder.

 463 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: poured a clear deep copper color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and not much lacing. Aroma of ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg are well balance. Taste is also a well balanced mix between some ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg with not much pumpkin per say abut a nice and easily drinkable caramel malt backbone. Body is about average with good carbonation. Very well done with great balance and easily drinkable.

 426 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at volo.
Served in a pint glass.

A - Poured medium orange. Slightly hazy with a small amount of off white head.

S - Pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg and a hint of cinnamon.

T - Pumping pie! Pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon.

M - Medium body, smooth. Light carbonation.

 276 characters

Photo of ThinkAgain
4/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of WillAndSarah
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of irishkyle21
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of ikidunot
4.06/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mrnobody
3.84/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a Grand River pint glass.

A: Pours a clear amber with a thin white head that quickly disappears. No lacing.

S: Smells of nutmeg, pumpkin and brown sugar.

T: Not particularly sweet tasting. One can taste some of the spices but they're not overwhelming. There is a bit of hop bitterness in the finish.

M: The mouthfeel is light to medium with medium carbonation.

D: The drinkability is pretty good for a pumpkin beer.

 445 characters

Photo of patre_tim
3.93/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Orange amber and filtered with very little carbonation. Topped with 3 fingers of off white head.

Smells of pumpkin spices, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, oranges, and an array of light, fruity notes.

The taste follows the nose, with a light sweetness, lots of ginger, and a hint of metallic.

Light body, low carbonation.

Got this yesterday in Kitchener, drinking nearby Nov 21st, 2017. Really good, standard, pumpkin ale. Would definitely have it again.

 459 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.47/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for 4$

Appearance - Clear copper colour with an average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is a lot of carbonation and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 2-3 minutes.

Smell - Malts, cloves, all spice, pumpkin

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and all-spice/clove. There is also some pumpkin and a bit of a rustiness. It ends with a malty and spicy aftertaste.

Overall - Not the best seasonal beer by any means, but a solid effort from this brewer nonetheless. I won't be shelling out another 4$ for more but I'm glad I gave it a shot.

 656 characters

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Highballer Pumpkin Ale from Grand River Brewing
Beer rating: 3.76 out of 5 with 97 ratings
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