Pumpkin Ale | Bootlegger's Brewery

very good
17 Reviews
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Pumpkin AlePumpkin Ale

Brewed by:
Bootlegger's Brewery
California, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Halcyondays on 12-12-2009

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Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 74
Photo of SensorySupernova
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Appearance: Super hazy orange-brown.

Smell: Spicy, yeasty.

Taste: Plenty of yeast and spice (nutmeg, cinnamon). Some wheat. Not really much pumpkin, which I do not mind!

Mouthfeel: Medium body with plenty of carbonation.

Overall: Not a bad low ABV beer to have on a cold day. Tastes like thanksgiving, without being absurdly pumpkin-filled.

 344 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well, this is interesting. When I had this a year ago in the bottle it was pretty awful. This year I can't find fault with the stuff on tap.

Handsome amberish orange color in the tulip glass. A decent foam and nicely carbonated. The vegetable taste is kind of sweet, like butternut squash, but it has a sharper tang that provides some balance. The stuff actually tastes like pumpkin instead of pie. There is a little spice, but mercifully it's hot the cinnamon pie bomb that so many brewers subject us to. Warm and malty in a way that enhances the actual pumpkin flavor. Atertaste is a beery and slightly fruity with just a scratch of bitter spice.

This is definitely one of the better pumpkin beers I've had. Quite drinkable and tasty with food. On tap at Sea Rocket in San Diego.

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Photo of thepeter
2.92/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - Light Brown not much of a head that turned to film quickly. But did leave some decent lace adn legs

S - Cinamin and Spice, mostly cinamin but others there as well. Best part of the beer

T - Lot's of Cinamin in the taste, clove, all spice anise and pumkin in there as well.

M - Thin and watery, light body and not very good

O - Smelled nice and did not taste bad but not a good representative of the style

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

hazy orange tinted amber color and a nice soft off white head that reached a height of around an inch or so before it settled down with some nice lacing on the side that really just surprised me with how well it hung in there to be honest. Really quite the solid look. Nice aroma of pumpkin spice, hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, all the usual characters here with a touch of a west coast hop flair to it, especially as it warms. Crisp and super clean flavor here. Starts with a touch of a light malt note and then swoops in with a big hit of cinnamon and nutmeg which dries out the palate very nicely. Very even consistency I have to admit as it comes together very nice

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Photo of Murrhey
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

22 oz in a Pilsner glass

A- 1/2 inch offwhite head. Virtually no retention. Weak lacing. Reddish-brown color with weak carbonation. Disappointing.

S- There we go. Great nose. Pumpkin, with molasses, cinnamon and nutmeg. Very obvious and very nice smelling. Spicy but pleasant. I wish it were stronger.

T- Watery flavor, I thought it was lacking. Pumpkin is nicely present and I sort of lost the other great flavors that I had smelled. Too subtle.

M- Worst part of the beer, way too watery for the flavor and smell.

O- Liked it a lot, can't say I loved it though. The downsides are too big for me.

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Photo of phichifiji00
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Orange/Amber in color, hazy, pours 1 finger of off white head that fades fairly quickly. Lots of lacing.

Smell: Nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, pumpkin.

Taste: Nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin, brown sugar.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, crisp.

Overall: A good, very drinkable pumpkin ale. Very little astringency. Good spice level/balance.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

877th Review on BA
Bottle to Pint
22 oz

2011 bottle
Purchased from Bevmo Chino Hills

App- A mix of orange and light brown with some amber running through the center. A small impish one finger head with a lack of cling. Nice color just lacking stick.

Smell- Nice aromatics of a -bit of roast pumpkin a little bit of nutmeg, cinnamon and all spice. As it warms a little bit of vanilla prevails next.

Taste- I don't get a lot of the pumpkin but keeps a ton of the nutmeg and allspice to layer itself after a pumpkin that has a little bit of that molasses on the label. A good tasting beer but a little more pumpkin would be nice.

Mouth- A medium body with a medium carbonation. Nice residual spice, pumpkin and nutmeg with a little cinnamon. Needs more pumpkin

Drink- I haven't had a lot of pumpkin beers being from So. Cal but this was good and very tasty. A good mix across the board with layers of flavor and nice spice profile.

 935 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Slightly hazy orange-ish amber color with a very thin cream colored head.

S: Lots of pumpkin flesh, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and some brown sugar.

T: This beer definitely tastes like fall. There's just enough pumpkin flavor in here and it doesn't feel forced or artificial. A nice blend of spices as well along with a hint of grain and molasses on the finish. One of the best pumpkin beers I've ever had.

 410 characters

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.2/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Pours a almost pumpkin orange color with a 1/2 inch tan head and good retention

Smell: Pumpkin all spice clove and cinnamon notes like a typical pumpkin beer

Taste: Upfront is quite a bit of pumpkin and in the middle is just a touch of molasses and rounds off with a nice amount of cinnamon. One of the better tasting pumpkin beers I have had.

Mouthfeel: Almost a medium body with an ample amount of carbonation

Overall: Good pumpkin beer definitely recommended if your a fan of the style

 498 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.43/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky orange-brown with a 1 inch fizzy tan head that settles to a thin film. Random streaks of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spices (especially cinnamon gum). Taste is of malt, pumpkin, clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon gun. Mild spice bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a higher level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good pumpkin beer but the cinnamon flavor reminds me too much of chewing gum.

 521 characters

Photo of Cavery
3.2/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Grabbed from provisions for the heck of it, bootleggers has surprised me more than once with unexpectedly good beers. Might as well give this fall seasonal a go.

A: Amber with favoritism towards those bright orange pumpkin hues. A very weak head that seems to sizzle and evaporate like water on a skillet. Thin ring of slightly off-white foams lingers over a spicy orange/brown Halloween themed body.

S: Smells like a cinnamon scented candle. Some real waxiness with all the appropriate seasonal seasonings. The nose seems a bit mellow on the spices with no real pop, this makes the notes all come off a bit flat and mellow. The spice doesn't seem to kick in the disproportionate way that it needs to in order to differentiate itself from the pumpkin/yellow squash sweet notes. Not too promising here.

T: A simple and sweet flavor of pumpkin that hits lightly before a rush of equally tempered spices. It's like biting into pumpkin pie jello, in reverse. The spices hit last instead of first, and the consistency of the whole thing just seems to meld into a seasonal mush. Quite a bit of waxy unpleasantness, and some green pumpkin pulp flavors makes me think this harvest started a bit early.

M: This is a light bodied pumpkin ale that doesn't really work because of the mouth. I think this flavor profile would do better on a creamier, thicker, and all together strong body. This beer just seems to fall apart in the mouth, and with the textures go the flavors.

O: I think this flavor profile could be transported to a darker style and do a bit better. The pumpkin in this beer tasted pulpy, green, and altogether too squash-like. I think you could successfully make this kind of pumpkin beer with the right spicing and squash-like character, but the body needs to be dead on. The body really is what made this beer fall apart for me. It was the unstable foundation for the entire idea of this beer. Flavors departed too quickly, seasonings hit at the wrong time, and the beer was just a miss. Maybe they could have another go at it next year.

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.39/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Nonic
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees
Huge thanks to RodBurg for bringing this one to me!

This one pours a dark shade of amber. It produces a very small, quite loose and foamy, head. This disipates quickly to nothing. Lacing is very minimal.

Lots of pumpkin in the nose, along with a good amount of pie spices. Nutmeg, allspice and a hint of cinnamon. Traces of brown sugar and vanilla.
I like pumpkin beers and this one smells very good.

A good malty backbone here, slightly earthy and slightly sweet. Good yeast presence combines with a like touch of butterey caramel and gives an almost crust-like taste. The pumpkin flavor seems real, not artificial (flavoring). The pumpkin and yeast and malts are balanced by the spices, which we already found, in the nose. There is a nice hint of the molasses flavor, with a trace of sweetness, that hits around mid-palate and rides almost to the finish.

A solid medium body on this one. It has a high level of carbonation. Not quite enough to give it a sharp quality, just enough to make it crisp.
The body is fairly well done, to style. I'd like to see someone make a pumpkin beer with a big, heavy, thich, creamy body to it.

Personally, I'd be hard pressed to tell you that there was any alcohol in this beer at all. The 6.10%abv is not the biggest in the world, to be sure, but it's very well hidden, regardless.
Very easy-to-drink.

 1,393 characters

Photo of vince4953529
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650 cc bottle poured.

It seems like Bootlegger's is bottling more and more of their brews.

The color is similar to a typical amber ale. Not a thick brew, finishes dry and clean. it's an easy-drinking pumpkin ale with medium ABV. It is a appropriate to accompany the autumn/winter atmosphere.

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Photo of jminsc76
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass, pours a large, thick soapy head atop an orange, murky body. Head reemerges decently.

Aromas of pumpkin (like, real pumpkin), some spices, and brown sugar. Not getting any of the molasses, but whatever. Smells good, moderate in intensity.

Flavors of pumpkin (like, real pumpkin), some spices, and ah yes, there's the molasses. It all blends well to make something of a pumpkin pie flavor. Similar to the aromas, mellow in its intensity.

Mouthfeel is thin, insubstantial.

Overall, this is a decent pumpkin ale. Plenty of flavor, though the finish is a little watery. Bootlegger's has a lot to work with here, and I would like to see them improve on the mouthfeel, just a little bit.

Unfortunately, Thanksgiving dinner wasn't quite ready, so no pairing with stuffing or sweet potatoes for me. Boo hoo.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.19/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the source itself, on to the beer:

This is orange amber colored, topped by a fast fading head which leaves a tiny amount of lacing obto the maso jar it sits in. The aroma comes out in full force, pumpkin pie spices fly right out with a whiff of vanilla. Despite the medium body, it's full flavored. The pumpkin base stands out and provides the base to the generous amounts of nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and vanilla notes in this beer. Fizzy carbonation appears to intensify the spices. However, you'll want to drink this slow.

Talk about hitting the spot, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner. I've tasted this in the past, so it was great to revisit and get an "extended taste" on this seasonal.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Bootlegger's

A: The pour is a dark orange/copper color with a finger's worth of tan head.

S: This pumpkin ale is certainly heavy on the spices. I get a lot of cinnamon, nutmeg, and all-spice, pretty standard pumpkin pie spices. A little bit of sweet malt and maybe vanilla.

T: Again, the spices are the dominant character of the beer. Pretty similar to the nose with a bit more malty sweetness than the nose exhibited. There's a dry cidery sort of character to this beer, too.

M: The body is medium with a medium to high level of carbonation.

D: Lots of spices which is not a problem to me, but the cider sort of qualities were off-putting to me.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours amber with a soft white head, good head retention for the style, no lace.

S: Hard to come by at first, but got some nice vanilla and fall spice by the end of the pint.

T: This is a pretty darn good pumpkin ale. Real pumpkin flesh flavour is very well balanced by the simple spicing - nutmeg, allspice, cinnnamon(minor). It doesn't go to the extreme one way or the other as many pumpkin ales tend to do.

M: Medium-bodied, has the fizzy carbonation I find in pumpkin beers often, smooth drinking though.

D: Definitely one of the better pumpkin beers I've ever had and certainly the best CA made one I've had. Very impressive. Certainly something to be on the lookout for in October 2010.

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Pumpkin Ale from Bootlegger's Brewery
3.78 out of 5 based on 74 ratings.
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