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Pumpkin Down | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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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 DrMindbender
4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 81tillinfinity
3.51/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Very ginger cinnamon forward pumpkin beer to me a bit to much spice with a residual bitterness where I feel there should be a sweetness a little lactose sugar would be nice in this. Still a good beer if you like pumpkin beers give it a try.

 240 characters

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours orange-dark brown in color with 1/4 inch head and medium-low carbonation. Taste is very much a good pumpkin beer--cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, pumpkin, and heavy--brown sugary, malty backbone. Not sure I get much Scottish ale here, but this is a really good pumpkin beer. It drinks bigger than it is. This will be on the yearly must get pumpkin ales.

 356 characters

Photo of baklo
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Dirtydee5
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of TCMike
4.14/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of justintcoons
4.04/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pub-style pint glass.

Appearance
Reddish copper with 1 plus finger of tan head. Excellent clarity with light carbonation.

Nose
Caramel, toffee, slight pumpkin meat, and slight pumpkin spices.

Taste
Firm caramel and toffee backbone. Only has the lightest touch of pumpkin meat and spices. Finishes with hints of earth and smoke.

Mouthfeel
Medium-light bodied, crisp, creamy, and semi-silky.

Overall
This is a Scotch Ale first and foremost. It only has the slightest bit of Pumpkin Ale characteristics. Overall, it's simple and effective and makes for a good Scotch Ale.

 600 characters

Photo of Cycle69
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of vette2006c5r
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pumpkin Down pours a dark copper color with a small lacing head. There is a mellow and pretty weak pumpkin aroma. The taste has a nice sharp malty backbone, with noticeable hints of fresh pumpkin. Good body and good flavors. Overall its a very solid pumpkin on a very good base.

 281 characters

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

Photo of CaptDavyJones
3.94/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Duff27
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of logicalparadox
3.01/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

An interesting take on a pumpkin beer, Ballast point brings us a scottish ale (their Piper Down) brewed with pumpkin and spice added. Me thinks that Ballast Point is trying to double down on a formula that's been working so well for them so far this year: seasonal modifications and additions to an existing brew in their line up as they did this summer with Grapefruit/Habanero Sculpin and just recently with "Calm Before the Storm", their Cream Ale version of their "Victory at Sea" porter.

I like the concept, but ultimately, Pumpkin Down suffers from the same problems besetting so many other pumpkin offerings. The spice is on the heavy side, the pumpkin itself subdued, and the base beer is one I'm not familiar with and which seems to me to get smothered beneath the weight of the adornments. I might want to give this another try before casting final judgement, but my initial response to this beer is that I'm not a fan.

Digresion (perhaps even a diatribe):
I've never really understood the reason that "pumpkin" beer always seems to equate to "pumpkin pie", rather than, say, roast pumpkin or pumpkin ravioli. I don't really love the classic American pumpkin pie any more than I love the classic American sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows. I'd like to think we've come a long way from those unfortunate culinary legacies, but maybe not. In so many spice-forward pumpkins beers the nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove are too harsh and dominate the beer. While focusing on spice doesn't have to be a bad thing, I was excited by this beer in that I hoped it would take the pumpkin beer concept in a fresh direction. A scottish ale with just pumpkin, and maybe something else like a hint of oak to round it out, could have been a truer and more welcome change from the norms. But maybe this is a first step in the direction of breaking the October mold for the craft beer scene and getting back to the basics of the ingredient.

Just my take. End of rant.

 1,974 characters

Photo of South2NW
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of bmeehan
4.54/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer balances pumpkin notes and what tastes like gingerbread notes really well. The pumpkin isn't too much and the rest of what you'd associate with a Scottish ale is readily apparent and it all combines nicely to make a really smooth beer.

 245 characters

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

Photo of n2185
3.26/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

At first I enjoyed this, but the more it warmed up, the more watery and blander it became.

90 characters

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

Photo of Dur921
4.21/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of butters_mcgee
3.76/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.49/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of atr2605
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a deep amber color with an off white head that fades rather quickly
S-lots of pumpkin spice, toffee, brown sugar
T-pumpkin and spice up front, followed by brown sugar and caramel flavors, with lingering spice in the finish
M-medium bodied, average or slightly above carbonation
O-pretty good beer, I was expected more body and slightly less carbonation but still a pretty good (somewhat heavy spiced) pumpkin ale

 420 characters

Photo of warnerry
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of AlpacaAlpaca
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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