Pumpkick | New Belgium Brewing

BA SCORE
80
good
1,445 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good
Read the review
PumpkickPumpkick
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States
newbelgium.com

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerWizard on 07-30-2013

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,445
Reviews:
221
Avg:
3.53
pDev:
14.16%
 
 
Wants:
28
Gots:
358
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,445 |  Reviews: 221
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.2/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Best before 12/1/13.

Pours an murky dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, pumpkin pie spice, and slight cranberry aromas. Taste is much the same with slightly tart berry and pumpkin pie spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer that smells pretty good with the pumpkin pie spices working well with the cranberry, but the taste of these two aspects does not mesh all that well in my opinion.

 689 characters

Photo of spycow
3.59/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.69/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

why such bad reviews? this is made with pumpkin juice and cranberry juice. never heard of juicing a pumpkin, but it seems to work well in this new seasonal. the pour is as one would expect, orange tinted, mostly clear, bubbly, and with an inch of so of lazy white head. it smells a little tart from the cranberry, and I taste that element first too. the pumpkin is in the second half of both aroma and flavor, and its gentle, not overly spiced or covered up with sugar or too big of a malt, I think that aspect of this beer is quite well done. there is lemongrass too supposedly, which I guess must contribute this tropical lightness that's not usually found in fall beer. well carbonated too, it stays light despite all the robust flavors. pumpkin beer with a twist, not totally successful, but an enjoyable take on the fall classic. I will buy more this season for sure.

 872 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of Knapp85
3.1/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of nmann08
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of metter98
3.54/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BEERchitect
3.77/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Halloween is for armatures. Real Pumpkin Ale aficionados prefer Thanksgiving! -at least that's what New Belgium is going for in its new fall classic- PumpKick!

The common camel coloration takes on an orangy tinge to play toward the pumpkin influence. But as a somewhat amber-ish ale it stands tall with a creamy off-white head. With semi-stern retention and broken collars of lace, the ale casts a frothy sense for a classy ale appearance.

Sharp and spicy in aromas, the notes of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg all balance against a caramel and nuts in its initial aroma. As it warms, a notion of graham crackers and zinfindale emerge. The graham crackers are all about the malt character and spice but that wine-like note is a tangy sense of cranberry and alcohol- who knew?

To taste, the beer is less intense than the aromas or its appearance suggests. Its light caramel and cola nut taste is lightly buttery, biscuity, nutty and toasty- seemingly of bread crust. And the layers of spice contribute bold cinnamon and milder clove, nutmeg and allspice in order to achieve balance in the absence of meaningful hops. Trailing with a lightened taste, none of that lingers in finish. Instead the beer shuts close early with only an echo of spice and starch.

Its texture is light, airy and playful. Even as the carbonation fades, so does the sweetness so that the ale grows together over the course of the session. Its middle is spicy on the soft tissues of the mouth while the malt structures are slow to recede. To finish, the ale is malty-dry, spicy and highly drinkable- largely due to the forgotten acidity that cranberry leaves behind.

Let the beginners have Pumpkin Ales for Halloween. But the pros will reserve a few of the best ones for Thanksgiving. And that's where this ale belongs. We get the links of food flavor to beer flavor and get an added bonus of carbonated acidity to cleanse the palate: making it ideal for that savory and variant Thanksgiving dinner!

 1,971 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.56/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

16oz glass at Beer Revolution - this one was a bit hard to track down around here.

This beer appears a clear, medium copper amber colour, with one thick finger of puffy, loosely foamy, and mildly bubbly off-white head, which leaves a decent array of snow rime lace around the glass as things slowly dissolve.

It smells of semi-sweet, fleshy pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon spice, bready caramel malt, and tame earthy and leafy hops. The taste is sugary, pastry-like caramelized malt, pureed pumpkin, rather mild earthy seasonal spices - maybe some ginger, maybe some allspice - a touch of white pepper, and leafy and weedy hops.

The carbonation is fairly peppy, with a swirling frothiness, the body a sturdy middleweight, and plainly smooth, the spices affecting things seemingly from beyond. It finishes off-dry, the pumpkin continuing to meld into the base caramel malt, as the pie-friendly spices carry on their task of duly fading out.

A so-so, and kind of underwhelming version of the style, as the pumpkin and spice alike seem to be phoning it in most of the time. Not sure that I'm overly content paying premium Canadian import prices for this, when I could have had it for a song a few weeks ago in Denver.

 1,216 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.77/5  rDev -21.5%
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

 4,145 characters

Photo of oline73
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of SocalKicks
2.75/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of zeff80
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -15%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature globe glass, best before 12/8/2013. Pours very hazy orange amber color with a small off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, brown sugar, toast, brown bread, floral, light cranberry, and herbal earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of malt, pumpkin, and spice notes with slight cranberry presence; and good strength. Taste of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, brown sugar, toast, brown bread, and herbal earthiness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, brown sugar, toast, brown bread, and herbal earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity of malt, spice, and pumpkin flavors; with nearly zero cranberry presence and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and fairly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice pumpkin ale. All around well balanced malt, spice, and pumpkin flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

 1,281 characters

Photo of Boone757
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of chinchill
3.52/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz 2014 bottle with a BB date stamp of Jan. 2015. Then revised with a fresh 2015 bottle in September 2015.

Quite a bit more spicing in the flavor than I get in the aroma. I see this has lemongrass and cranberries too -- these may create the cloudy aromatics. The odd combinations works well in tasting but, with some tartness and lemongrass, this is not your standard pumpkin ale.

Lively, medium+ carbonation befitting the light body.

O: Pleaseant and interesting beer: interesting for both the unusual flavor profile and the mismatch between aroma and flavor.

 571 characters

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Pumpkick from New Belgium Brewing
3.53 out of 5 based on 1,445 ratings.
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