Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Pumpkin Down | Ballast Point Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Pumpkin DownPumpkin Down
BA SCORE
3.81/5
Very Good
650 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:
#14,460
Reviews:
156
Ratings:
650
pDev:
9.45%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
37
Gots:
212
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 650 |  Reviews: 156
Photo of cuvtcuv
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of The_Beer_Guru
3.71/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of HungarianCount
3.59/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of Spikester
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear dark brown with three fingers of rapidly falling tan head. Nice splatters of lace as the head falls.
Smell is pumpkin spice and some sweet caramel like malts.
Taste sweet pumpkin pie spice with just a hint of hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel is light with modest carbonation. The finish is mildly sweet.
Overall one of the better pumpkin beers around. Give it a try people.

 372 characters

Photo of Scotty_Karate
2.57/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of pstam87
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Cbmcguire
4.14/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Spiced aroma. Smooth texture.

29 characters

Photo of heddar33
4.24/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Tim_G
4.14/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

One of the best pumpkin beers I've had. I am not a huge pumpkin beer fan but if it has the right spice and flavor it can be great. Tasting this one made me want to try everything ballast point makes.

 201 characters

Photo of PMarcy78
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 nater919
3.54/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Ob512316
3.57/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12oz bottle into beer glass.
Look: dark brown with no head.
Smell: Pumpkin, cinnamon, and some malt.
Taste: light pumpkin and cinnamon notes, followed by toffee, caramel. No hop presence.
Feel: Average, middle of the road.
Overall: was expecting more pumpkin taste, the sweetness threw me off. Then again it is based off of a scottish style beer. Strange combination. Recommend for people first trying pumpkin beer.

 422 characters

Photo of Grackos
4.16/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Ballast Point Pumpkin Down, 5.8% ABV, 22 IBU. Pours medium viscosity and dark brown with a slight off-white head that left no lacing. Nose is pumpkin and maltiness, taste follows with some spice, some pumpkiny sweetness, almost no bitterness. Decent moutfeel, overall excellent. One of the better pumpkin beers I've had, like that it's based on their scottish ale.

 368 characters

Photo of sunsjammer
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 17195.

17 characters

Photo of arizcards
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Shared a bottle with my bro tonight. Bottled on 17195.

Dark amber, decent head with initial pour.

Nose is pumpkin pie spices, very nice.

Taste is pumpkin pie spaces, a tad bit sweet.

Feel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall a nice brew to have.

 251 characters

Photo of garymuchow
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up fairly in the early fall season.
More pumpkin spices than pumpkin in the aroma. Beautiful amber color with more red than orange, but it just glows. Fizzy sounding tan head that settles down and out in a somewhat short order.
In taste the spices are greater than the based beer and the pumpkin. Prominent drying on the finish with a layer of soft hoppy bitterness there too - although in time I think it's a spice effect as it has a powdery dry quality. Having a hard time finding the malt base.
Less than moderate feel with rather fizzy, spritzy carbonation. Seems a little odd for a pumpkin ale (I think of as thicker and heavier).
I'm getting a little harder on this style in time, esp as my standard increase for wanting a pumpkin presence. This is spiced nicely, quite nicely, and the soft malt appears some in time. But still...where's the pumpkin.

 873 characters

Photo of Red5StandingBy
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass. No Date.

L: Dark amber, finger and a half worth of khaki head.

S: Lots of pumpkin, some faint spices in the background, toffee, clove, cinnamon and nutmeg.

T: Lots of malty toffee, with less than expected pumpkin and spice flavors. Sad.

F: Light-medium body, crisp, lingering pumpkin spice.

O: Average for a pumpkin beer.

 377 characters

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

12 oz. Bottle

Poured into a DFH glass a pretty nice dark golden brown color, pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice thick/creamy one-finger off-white head, which leaves minimal sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, some roastyness. The taste is pretty nice, malty, pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon. Medium body, ABV hidden pretty nicely. Overall, tasty, nothing special.

 409 characters

Photo of valkyre65
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MHJeff06
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Trboley
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of andrewh995
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark and clear orange amber. Smells of spices, pumpkin, and toffee. Tastes of spices such as nutmeg, pumpkin, toffee, caramel, peat, and malt. Medium in body and light in carbonation. Overall it's a good beer, I just don't have any other pumpkin beers to compare it to.

 282 characters

Pumpkin Down from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 650 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.