Pumpkick | New Belgium Brewing

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Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: Pumpkin Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 225 | Ratings: 1,460
Photo of hardy008
1.75/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Orange with a one finger off white head with decent retention and lacing. the aroma has cranberry juice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and something I couldn't pick out until I looked at the bottle - lemongrass. I had no idea all this was in the beer when I picked up the single bottle, or I would have left it on the shelf.

I can taste the cranberry juice, lemon grass, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pumpkin, as mentioned on the bottle. Wow, this is really bad. The only thing going for this beer is the fact that it is also somewhat bland. Not a good combination of flavors. A regular pumpkin beer with no cranberry juice or lemongrass would have been a lot better.

Light bodied and over carbonated. Not worth seeking out.

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Photo of SassieCassie
2/5  rDev -42.2%

It's definitely not bad tasting, but it is a poor representation of the style. The fruit juices added and the abundance of cinnamon make it taste more like a mulled cider than a pumpkin beer.

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Photo of gilstrac
2/5  rDev -42.2%

I bit to much of a pumpkin taste for me. I prefer something more subtle pumpkin taste. I like pumpkin ales with some other spice taste to compliment the pumpkin.

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Photo of exx
2.23/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

A: Rich opaque golden copper orange, faintly luminescent. Dense with particulate. Good head retention, no lacing to speak of.

S: Somewhat syrupy sweet smell, an expect-able amount of nutmeg and cinnamon scents but not of any remarkable quality. Mild smell of pumpkin juice. Label advertised as brewed with pumpkin juice rather than with whole pumpkin, so not surprisingly there is nothing complex or exciting here with regards to pumpkin smell, or regards to the cranberry smell. It smells as if Ocean Spray made a watery cranberry/pumpkin juice cocktail.

T: The ocean spray analogy is perfect here, mixed in with a tired and tasteless base. Brewing with fruits should bring out the complex tastes of the fruit and pair it with some exciting malt and grain flavors. "Pumpkick" does not accomplish this. Most notably, there is no "kick" to be found.

M: Shallow, watery. Rolls around the mouth without soaking in.

O: Very disappointing. Pairing pumpkin with cranberry is a fantastic idea and I'd love to see New Belgium do it right. This beer might pair well with a rich Thanksgiving dinner but on its own the shortcomings are too overwhelming to recommend.

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Photo of Vierenner
2.28/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Not so good. Would probably be a better ale without the spices thrown in. I don't even taste pumpkin ... I taste a lot of cinnamon though. Kind of sour too. I can't imagine why the brewery would be proud of this product.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.3/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. Pours hazy golden orange with a small fizzy white head that quickly goes to a thin collar.

The aroma is pumpkin spices (nutmeg, cinnamon) with some malt.

The flavor is some vegetative pumpkin and light spice (mostly cinnamon) with a bit of medicinal bitterness. I don't get much cranberry or lemongrass. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation and is a bit watery.

Overall, a bit of a letdown. Might be better if they waited and used real pumpkin rather than releasing in July.

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Photo of harrymel
2.33/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

It's fucking August and not only is this out, but nearly sold out at my local. I hate beer.

Best by 01DEC13

Amber with a solid quilt of near bone white foam. Smells of allspice, cranberry juice, some grain and plenty more cranberries, but sweet. Too bad the cranberries aren't more like Serendipity - that was a yummy beer. Flavor is malt, mild spice, raisin, sweet, muddled overall and kinda bland....even for a pumpkin beer. Medium bodied with light carb and a wet finish. This beer was subpar.

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Photo of Rhine
2.38/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

This beer tastes like someone made their first pumpkin ale homebrew (with unsanitized equipment), bottled it, opened a bottle a few weeks later, left it out on a table in the sun on a 90 degree day for 12 hours, put the cap back on and sold it as is. It just has a putrid aftertaste. I'm a huge fan of pumpkin beers, but this one sucks. Must be the cranberries, but I'm not really sure. The only thing I'm sure about is the fact I wold honestly rather drink a warm Icehouse than this beer.

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Photo of teromous
2.41/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: A thin white head of small white bubbles rests atop a body the color of burnished gold. Small islands of lacing forms to the glass but only a few bubbles stay. The body has very good transparency.

S: It smells like cooked pumpkin. Not the spices of pumpkin pie, but more specifically the pumpkin. If you've ever just cooked pumpkin you'll recognize it. I'll probably sound crazy for saying this but it smells like the drippings from an oven cooked turkey as well...a bit of clove comes through and that probably contributes a good deal, but it's more than that. That's just how it smells to me. Mostly it's very muted when it comes to scents though. Again it doesn't really smell like the "standard" pumpkin pie spice smell of pumpkin beers.

T: There is very little flavor here and it is highly disappointing. There is a hint of light earthy flavor and extremely mild hop bitterness. I pick up a hint of what might be cinnamon but it's not worth even trying to identify it at this point. The label says it's brewed with cranberry juice...I have to call them out on that one because I don't taste it all. The spices are barely there, the beer itself hangs around like a wallflower, and the flavor of pumpkin (as weak as it is) is stronger than anything else. It's just off-balanced and not pleasant tasting.

M: The mouthfeel is nearly there. It's very light and thin, but the mild hop bitterness contributes positively to the mouthfeel. I would say that they need to increase the mouthfeel, but they are dead on with bitterness. Carbonation feels right too, but again the beer is too thin.

O: I would not feel honest if I rated this beer at anything above 2.5 overall. The flavor isn't there, the mouthfeel is nearly there but too weak, and there is much to be desired on the scent. I wouldn't recommend the beer.

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Photo of Richardbeerlover
2.42/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

1 finger head lasts 1 minute. Smells tinny at first and then after a few wiffs I can smell the cranberry. Lots of tiny small cranberry bits at the bottom. Cloudy appearance. Fruity aroma but without the fruity taste. Nice reddish orange color. Fresh taste that is a bit thin and dry. Slightly acidic with a fair amount if carbonation. I can't taste any pumpkin nor anything else for that matter. Refreshing but not much going on. Still don't know why they call this pumpkick as there is absolutely no pumpkin whatsoever. Should have called it cranberry kick. It's a so so beer that to me is better enjoyed in the summer. If you are a pumpkin fan this will be a big disappointment. But not too bad as a dessert beer paired with fruit.

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Photo of Fergyx825
2.53/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Appearance: Amber beer on the darker side. A little bit of head on the edges and on the surface of the beer. Why is there lemon in a fall pumpkin beer? But non the less resembles most of the pumpkin ales.

Smell: Spices, and pumpkin. A little bit of lemon too. Exactly what i'd expect from a pumpkin ale.

Taste: Spices are very obvious as you sip this beer. Then there is an alcohol taste. This isn't sweet, nor is it bitter. Almost no pumpkin tasted. A bit disappointing.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation, and a thick beer to boot. This is a bad combination.

Overall: I wasn't expecting much from this beer. And i am not surprised. Great start, but tough ending. Taste brings down mouthfeel, and thats all she wrote.

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Photo of schwansmantr
2.62/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

New Belgium threw a twist on this beer. It has a nice orange tint with very little head and filtered. Smell of pumpkin and nutmeg is strong. Light bodied but not really smooth. Has a strong pumpkin and nutmeg taste fallowed by cranberry, yes cranberries.

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Photo of Monkeefartz
2.67/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Not my favorite from New Belgium. The cranberry tartness takes away from any pumpkin and spice flavor. Not in my preferred flavor profile (pumpkin, vanilla, spice) for a fall brew.

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Photo of jmasher85
2.69/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Maybe it's just the association of pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce, but this smells a bit like Thanksgiving turkey. If you want the perfect beer to accompany your T-Day dinner, this is it, but frankly, I'd pick one that actually tastes better. Too many odd flavors vying for attention, and putting the flavor of canned cranberry sauce in a beer is not a great way to introduce yourself in a wave of tasty seasonal brews.
Good news is that the beer is pretty mild and light, and interesting enough to not want to pour out. It's not really offensively bad, per say, just...confusing. And not in an enticing way. Anyway, I'll never drink it again, but I'm okay with finishing what's in the glass, so I guess that says something.

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Photo of bushdere
2.75/5  rDev -20.5%

A ton of cinnamon and nutmeg. No pumpkin.
I can only drink half of a glass before I am dreading my next sip. Good thing this is only a seasonal. Rare miss for New Belgium.
Pours like a brown ale. Nice deep color.
Nose is very Spivey with strong cinnamon. Gave me hope for good things to come.
The mouth is somewhat thick. Not terrible by itself.
Taste: see above
Serving type: bottle

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Photo of kojevergas
2.77/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

"Ale brewed with pumpkin juice, Cranberry juice and spices." Fall seasonal. 6% ABV confirmed. Best before: 01/12/14. Serve at 7 C/45 F.

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with typical New Belgium label art and standard branded pry-off pressure cap acquired as part of a 6 pack at Whole Foods HQ and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are average given both the brewery (whose seasonals tend to underwhelm) and its current ratings.

Served cold - straight from me fridge - and allowed to warm slightly over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a two finger wide head of beige colour. Okay thickness and creaminess. Decent frothiness. No real lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is above average - about 3 minutes.

Body colour is a clear translucent transparent pale yellow-copper of average vibrance. Abundant floating particles of some sort are plainly visible suspended in the beer, but they look nothing like most yeast particles I've seen. Curious.

A generally appealing beer for the style. It's not unique or special, but there are no obvious flaws.

Sm: Generic pumpkin notes; quite underwhelming for a pumpkin ale. Where're the evocative gourd and skin notes? It doesn't seem to bring the pumpkin as much as it ought to.

I get a dash of cranberry. The spicing is nice, too, with notes off allspice, nutmeg, and maybe cinnamon. Plenty of bready malts as well as biscuit malts and a dash of brown malts. Any hop character is minimal and generic.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. The spicing is dominant, to its detriment.

A passable pumpkin ale aroma of mild strength. I hope the flavour profile brings more pumpkin to the table than the aroma suggests.

T: Starchy bland malts comprise the body (or lack thereof, I guess). Caramalt, biscuit malt, bready malts, clean barley. Spices are present but largely unevocative and shallow; I get allspice, nutmeg, and maybe some cinnamon. A dash of artificial cranberry juice comes through, but the pumpkin note is weak and pathetic - no gourd, no skin, no depth, just shallow pumpkin preserve. Quite a mediocre build for a pumpkin ale; why brew a beer in this style if you aren't going to emphasize the pumpkin? Has cohesion, but I wouldn't call it balanced per se. It's certainly not gestalt. Structurally, the third act feels pretty empty; there's not much happening.

Depth of flavour is quite shallow. Flavour duration and intensity are below average to average for the style.

No hop presence is obvious. I don't get any yeast character or alcohol. If I had to guess, I'd suspect an American yeast was used - it's clean enough to feel Belgian but doesn't have the rustic edge and full feel.

On the sweeter end. A boring and fairly bland flavour profile overall.

Constructively, adding some brown sugar and clove to the recipe might help. That, and more damn pumpkin - actual pumpkin.

Mf: Lightly coarse. Wet. Unrefreshing. Lacks body. Thickness is off. Bad presence on the palate; I don't feel like the flavours are being fully delivered. Not particularly soft. Even a biteen watery; it's certainly too wet. Quite shallow. Doesn't suit the flavour profile particularly well.

It's not oily, harsh, gushed, hot, or boozy.

Dr: It's downable, sure. But it's as uninspired a pumpkin ale as you'll come across. If you're going to brew a beer with pumpkin, brew a beer with pumpkin - own it. Commit to pumpkin as the core of the beer, or risk brewing something as bland and disappointing as this. It's a quaint change of pace for the casual drinker, but true appreciators of the style require more. A no-risk beer from New Belgium that I won't be trifling with again. I wouldn't recommend it to friends.

In its defense, it does hide its ABV well, and I think the idea of using cranberry as well as pumpkin was a good one. Ultimately, it's on the low side of average.

Would age poorly; the pumpkin will recede still further.

Low C

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Photo of Slack
2.79/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Amber in color with 1/2 finger of head. Smell is sweet fruit but nothing really discernable. Taste is pumpkin up front with a mix of flavors in the middle and bitter lemon at the end. An ok beer but there are much better pumpkin beers available.

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Photo of MarkQ617
2.82/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Had this poured into a pint glass. The appearance is an orangish-copper with an off-white head. A little thin. Flavor and color is pure pumpkin, but its not super strong and there are none of the spices or sweetness you might hope for in a pumpkin ale. The mouthfeel is nothing special, but not bad. Not my favorite pumpkin.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.84/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Alright, is there some place where I can get a bottle (or can or carton or whatever) of pumpkin juice? Am I missing something? I didn't even know you could juice a pumpkin... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear auburn-bronze topped by a finger of off-cream foam. The nose comprises white toast, a pinch of clove, a half-pinch of cinnamon, a half-dash of brown sugar, mild caramel, and a strange mini-undertow of what seems like chicken gravy. The taste brings in more of the same, with the spices all blending together into a muddled stream of near-nothingness that culminates in a gulf of rather hard water. This also serves to water down the caramel a bit. Still no sign of the cranberry (though there is a tinge in the back of the finish, but that could just be psychosomatic). The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slick feel. Overall, a pretty meek little beer, one that not only doesn't bring the spice, but one that doesn't really try to express itself in much of any way. Boo this.

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Photo of Hopswagger
2.88/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

P: Fuzzy pale orange body with loads of floaters. Looks similar to pond water but lighter. No head formation but did have an off white swirly wake on top.

S: Good pumpkin aroma, metal, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cranberry sauce.

T/M: The spicy pumpkin that is present in the aroma is now shadowed by a big dose of sweet and bitter cranberry. It almost has a vinegar bite to it and interrupts the warming sensation of your typical pumpkin offering. The pumpkin and spices come through for a brief moment then are again masked by an intense metallic taste. Bitter baking cocoa in the midst of this flip flop of flavors. Light to medium body with prickly carbonation.

O: Let me say that I appreciate and understand the concept behind this brew but I really can say it works for me. The cranberry is interesting but ruins the roasty and rich pumpkin and spice flavors expected in a pumpkin beer. This is not anything I would ever purchase again but it wasnt totally horrible considering the take on the style. Again I applaud New Belgium for stepping outside the box. Cheers!

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Photo of elNopalero
2.9/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Poured a slightly caramel-tinged amber-tan color with big bubbles.

The aroma is unmistakably pumpkin-ny. Not spiced pumpkin, as in a pie, but more like that smell of sliced and peeled on the way to being boiled pumpkin. (Yes, I’ve prepped many a pumpkin for pie in my time.) It’s backed by a subtle cranberry tartness, and it’s not altogether unwelcome.

Where this beer falls apart for me is on the palate. What I was expecting was two great tastes which play well together. At least thematically. And the elements are there—I can taste the pumpkin (well, pumpkin extract?) as it lends a rounded malty sweetness to the beer, and contrasts with a tart cranberry sharpness. But they don’t play well together and the dry, lingering and somewhat unpleasant finish (like licking a piece of chalk) doesn’t help. Avoid.

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Photo of falloutsnow
2.9/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

From: Friar Tuck's, Savoy, IL
Date: Best by 2013-12-05
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

Pumpkick was New Belgium's "fall" offering for 2013 (though this arrived in early August) and comes across as a malt-meets-dried-leaves-and-slight-tartness beer. The spices used are rather indistinct, aside from the aftertaste, and one could hardly guess this was an autumnal ale. Fairly strange and not particularly tasteful, this was complex, but in a negative, "what the heck is in this?" sort of way. I would not seek this out again.

Pours a 1.5cm head of light beige-colored foam, made up of small-sized bubbles, yielding a fairly frothy appearance. Retention is average, the head declining in about one minute to a thin ring around the perimeter of the glass and a modest island of foam lingering atop the body. Lacing is quite good, with a complex, dense mix of small dots and larger blotches clinging to the walls of the glass. Body is a medium-dark golden orange color with a slight reddish hue, light bringing out brighter golden-orange hues. Carbonation visible through the transparent body, quite numerous and active.
Aroma of dried leaves and medicinal herbs, with toasted bread undertones and hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. The cranberry is nowhere noticed, and the aroma itself is fairly muted.
Flavor is heavily malty and dried-leaf-like, with mild tartness (supposedly from cranberry) and very subdued spices. Front of palate is of dried leaves and dark brown bread, with slight hints of cinnamon. Mid-palate of dried leaves, toasted bread, very mild light caramel, and light tartness. Back of palate experiences sharper spices and phenols, with a modest hint of dark brown bread and dried leaves. Aftertaste of spicy phenols, cinnamon, and nutmeg, with a modest graininess in the background.
Beer is medium to medium-light in body, with carbonation of medium-high intensity, resulting in a mouthfeel that is at first fizzy, calming to a gentle foaminess on the palate. A bit less carbonation would have suited this beer better. Closes dry, with moderate stickiness clinging to the palate and lips.

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Photo of quaybr
2.91/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

An ambery-orange body with a modest white head that dissipates into a thin yet lingering covering of bubbly white foam.

Smells of allspice and sweet caramel with a faint hint of nutmeg. A bit sweeter than what the style typically is, and too much so to be enjoyed.

Caramel malts are a little too heavy on the front of the tongue, as are the cranberries on the back. Leaves a relatively unpleasant resin at the back of the mouth. Seems even more unbalanced as the beer warms: too malty, which is interesting given the fact it isn't a brown.

A slight under-carbonation leads to a slimy and oily feel.

I am a little confused by this beer and what NBB is going for. I wouldn't suggest spending your weekly beer money on this season.

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Photo of Chiefy770
2.92/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle (DEC 22 2013 freshness date) into a nonic pint glass.

A foamy, bubbly white head sat on top of a golden-orange body, a color very similar to apple cider. The head dissipated quickly and left good lacing.

Sweet spices, cinnamon, allspice, and pumpkin pie filling dominate the nose. I picked up a slight hint of malts too. The taste is quite similar. The spices hit the tongue first. You get a subtle hint of the cranberry juice in the aftertaste. The body is relatively light. Pumpkin does not necessarily dominate this beer, much more flavor from the spices. Carbonation is mild, leaning towards the high side.

Overall: Pumpkin ales are pretty hit-or-miss. Pumpkick is definitely not as heavy as other pumpkin ales. The flavors are good but they seemed a little off to me. New Belgium's take on the pumpkin ale is a solid effort but they seem to focus more on infusing this beer with a pumpkin desert flavor rather than a more straight-forward hit of pumpkin... this is not bad, it is just something to take note of.

Bottom Line: Pumpkick strikes me as more of a novelty seasonal beer, jumping on the Pumpkin flavored (insert food or drink here) bandwagon. It is not bad, in fact it is much better than I expected. Obviously those who do not like pumpkin flavored drinks or food should avoid this beer. It is not overwhelming but this tasted more like a spiced fall beverage than a beer. If you are a fan of the style, go for it.

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Photo of MaximalC
2.92/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a translucent amber color with a modest off-white head that soon dissipates. Ample quantities of visible particulate traverse the glass. Aroma is mild but pleasant, consisting of allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin--a reasonable approximation of pumpkin pie.

Flavor resembles the nose at first blush, with the aforementioned spices and pumpkin, but the taste buds are soon walloped by a bold kick of a substance of indeterminate origin. Something foul precipitates aggressively on the tongue toward the middle, like a chemical reaction gone awry. The label would suggest cranberry juice, lemongrass, or some combination thereof, but cranberry juice proper is undetectable as far as I can tell. Lemongrass is more believable, as there is a slightly citric twang to the flavor in question. Body is on the lighter side, but appropriate for the style. Carbonation is moderate and quite suitable.

Overall, the avant-garde "kick" in Pumpkick doesn't do the beer any favors. It could have been passable as a more traditional pumpkin ale, but something funky throws it off kilter. Beer brewed with pumpkin juice and cranberry juice didn't sound good on paper, and it tastes just as good at it sounded. Still trying to figure out why New Belgium has such a considerable following...

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Pumpkick from New Belgium Brewing
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 1,460 ratings