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Pumpkin Down | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Pumpkin DownPumpkin Down
BA SCORE
3.81/5
Very Good
651 Ratings
Pumpkin DownPumpkin Down
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
ballastpoint.com

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Some might think we’re out of our gourd for making a pumpkin ale, but our Pumpkin Down is not like the others. The caramel and toffee maltiness of our Piper Down Scottish ale is the perfect backdrop for a boatload of roasted pumpkin. Just before bottling, we add a subtle amount of spice to complement, but not overwhelm, the earthy flavor. It was a smash at the brewery, and we think you’ll agree.

Added by DoubleJ on 10-31-2013

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#14,469
Reviews:
156
Ratings:
651
pDev:
9.45%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
37
Gots:
212
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 651 |  Reviews: 156
Photo of kylehay2004
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jaydoc
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 8/19/15.

Pours a hazy super dark crimson-orange with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of pie crust and pumpkin pie spice aromas. Taste is much the same with pie crust, pumpkin pie spice, and earth 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 a good beer with a nice combination of pie crust and pumpkin pie spice characteristics all around.

Serving type: bottle.

 629 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a really nice pumpkin beer, one of my first of the season. i love the idea of having a scotch ale as a base, i think the earthy sweetness provides an entirely different launching pad for the stereotypical fall flavors. i like their piper down, a nice drinkable example of the style, and the addition of pumpkin is right on. you can definitely taste the squash, earthy and roasty, and still sweet. the spices for me are whats just a little off here, it seems overly spiced at the expense of the squash. this is not an uncommon issue, but here the spices linger and even cut though the base beer a little too much. clove and cinnamon is what i get, but its a bunch of them all together, even anise for a second. i think its overdone a little, and the nuance is lost. that said, there is a nice honey sweetness in the base beer that carries the flavors on a long time, makes it hearty and seasonally just right. i could drink a six pack of these without much effort. its a little something different, which i really appreciate, the scotch ale base makes it, but the pumpkin and spice flavors are a little on the generic side for ballast point.

 1,140 characters

Photo of spycow
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kjkinsey
3.89/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Knapp85
3.69/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.69/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear but very dark reddish amber in color (very dark brown and close to being opaque when viewed from afar) and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of pumpkins and pumpkin spices (such as allspice and nutmeg) are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, but the taste has a little more in the way of spices compared to the pumpkins. No sweetness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: For a beer using a base of a Scottish Ale, I found this to be quite drinkable and exhibits properties that you would expect from both styles. It's also not too spiced or gimmicky with a lot of sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

 910 characters

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of oline73
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of zeff80
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SocalKicks
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of LXIXME
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass; no bottle dating, but is a recent seasonal release. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy deep ruby red/copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, caramel, brown sugar, toasted brown bread, raisin, plum, apple, light roast/smoke, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, pumpkin/spices, and light-moderate fruity yeast notes; with good strength. Taste of pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, caramel, brown sugar, toasted brown bread, raisin, plum, apple, light roast/smoke, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/spice bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, caramel, brown sugar, toasted brown bread, herbal, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, pumpkin/spices, and light-moderate fruity yeast flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 5.8%. Overall this is a very nice pumpkin/spiced Scottish ale! All around nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, pumpkin/spices, and light-moderate fruity yeast flavors; very smooth and easy to drink. This hits the Scottish ale style profile really well, without being overwhelming on the spice flavors. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,797 characters

Photo of Boone757
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of largadeer
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Ballast Point Brewing Co. "Pumpkin Down"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, coded "PK 34 17189 14:02" (whatever that means)
$2 @ Shop Rite, 2800 Fox St., Philadelphia, PA

Notes via stream of consciousness: "Scottish ale with pumpkin" - that sounds good. And it looks like a Scottish ale with a clear ruby & mahogany body beneath a short head of creamy khaki colored foam. The aroma isn't too pumpkin-spicey but there's a hint of it. I get dark sugar and a bit of cinnamon. Unfortunately the head has dwindled before my eyes and now I have only a thin collar of creamy lace. That's not good, and the lacing doesn't seem like it will be that great either. The flavor follows the aroma with a very nice dark sugar maltiness; and I'm finding it to be a fairly low-key pumpkin-spice ale. But does the spice do anything for the base ale? Does the base ale do anything for the spice? I'm not sure, but it occurred to me that if this was not listed as a "pumpkin" beer I might find it to be a good spiced ale in and of itself. There's a light fruitiness to it that I can't quite pinpoint, and some underlying almost-chocolate and very light roasted malts. It's a decent Scottish ale with some pumpkin spices, and it's a refreshing change from over-spiced pumpkin ales but there's nothing great about it, and the lack of head retention and lacing is disappointing. Otherwise it's pretty nice. Medium-light in body and moderately carbed for a gentle caress on the tongue. Moderately bitter with a semi-dry finish that leaves some dark sugary malt and cinnamon and earthiness lingering. It's interesting and enjoyable in and of itself, but I think the "pumpkin" tag can be distracting; and at the same time I think the Scottish ale underneath is probably better on it's own without the added spice.

 1,785 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear very dark reddish mahogany in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation and moderate garnet red highlights. The beer has a two finger tall foamy tan head that reduces to a medium thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices (allspice, nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon) with a hint of brown sugar sweetness.

T: Upfront there is a light flavor of toasted and caramel malts with a light amount of brown sugar sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of pumpkin and moderate to strong flavors of pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and clove in descending order of strength). Minimal amounts of bitterness are present.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Moderately smooth.

O: Nice hybrid of the Scottish Ale and Pumpkin Ale styles, good complexity to the flavors without being too one dimensional as some pumpkin beers can be. Easy to drink and enjoyable, definitely one to try if you enjoy pumpkin beers.

 1,137 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter glass.

Look: The clear body has a dark red-brown color. Pours with a good tan head but this reduces to partial coat too quickly. Spotty lacing.

Aroma: Caramel, brown sugar and cinnamon with hints of vanilla and pumpkin pie spices. Enticing. Approaches 9.

Flavor: Toffee, molasses, spices, dark bread, dates and other dark fruits, and roasted grains. Cooked pumpkin emerges in the finish and aftertaste. Enough hop bitterness for good balance. Likewise for the spices. While the spice complement is clear in the aroma, upon tasting, its more subtle and does not overwhelm the malty flavor.

M: Medium bodied. Near medium carbonation. Inexplicable mild harshness.

O: This modified Piper Down Scottish ale is indeed an excellent choice for a seasonal pumpkin treatment. The Scottish ale is provides a solid, malty base for the pumpkin and spices, and differentiates this beer from less interesting or over-spiced alternatives.

 966 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of vfgccp
3.64/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of billab914
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Pumpkin Down from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 651 ratings
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