Terrapin Pumpkinfest | Terrapin Beer Company

264 Reviews
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Terrapin PumpkinfestTerrapin Pumpkinfest

Brewed by:
Terrapin Beer Company
Georgia, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Although this is a pumpkin beer, it is a lager and therefore doesn't belong in the pumpkin ale category. Originally a Side Project, now a Fall seasonal in six-packs.

Added by mikesgroove on 10-06-2009

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Reviews: 264 | Ratings: 923
Photo of EPseja
1.81/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Like Lakefront Pumpkin Lager, this beer SHOULD be classified as a Fruit/Vegetable beer. Anyone looking for a real Marzen / Oktoberfest should steer way clear of this one -- you've been warned. The numbers above reflect my rating as a Marzen / Oktoberfest, and I will change them when and if this beer gets properly categorized.

Served from a 12oz. bottle in my SABL glass at between fridge and cellar temperature.

A - Bright, deep orange with an initially decent head that subsides to a thin mat after a minute or two. Noticeable viscosity during the pour. Barely any lacing.

S - Sweet and spicy, with a wet cardboard undertone which isn't too uncharacteristic (or unpleasant) for the style. Lots of cinnamon and ginger right up front. Perhaps some vanilla in there as well. No sticky caramel. No warm biscuit. Nothing that would let the drinker think this was a Marzen.

T - A massive spice bomb that hits even before the malty sweetnes does. Cinnamon attack. Slight tartness in the middle that might be due to the inclusion of pumpkin in the mash, followed by more cinnamon. The finish is crisp and bitter, leaving you with a dry cinnamon-powdery throat. The lack of balance and absence of typical maltiness in the front keeps this from tasting anything like a Marzen.

M - Decent effervescence, rising up to a creamy, spice-laden whipped froth. Down the throat the beer causes some uncomfortability as the heavy-handed use of spice leaves you feeling like you just ate a teaspoon of powdered cinnamon.

D - Not sure where to go with this one, so I'll break it out based on what the drinker might be looking for:

As a Marzen / Oktoberfest beer, this beer is really unpalatable. The requisite malts are crushed under the weight of the spices, and any hops are lost in the wreckage. Having more than one of these would be a punishment. My rating above reflects this, and I would recommend seeking something German if you're really looking for a Marzen / Oktoberfest beer.

As an experimental hybrid Oktoberfest/Fruit-Vegetable beer (or even a straight Fruit-Vegetable beer like Lakefront Pumpkin Lager), it would be passable if not for the crazy overuse of spices that throws it way out of balance. In this style, it would get a 2.5 at best.

Against Pumpkin Ales however, where the spices are expected, this one sits at the low end of the center of the mediocre pulp that dominates the field. In this style it would get about a 2.5 as well. Being a Pumpkin Ale enthusiast, there are a dozen other beers I would recommend before this one.

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Photo of jtierney89
2/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pumpkin lager, very interesting. Nice orange and amber glow with about a 1.2 finger of well retaining off white head. Smells extremely spicy.; pickled pumpkins, allspice, cinnamon and clove. Some dried out pie crust as well.

Thin bright body, light effervescence. A littler watery and overall pretty light in flavor. For being barren of flavor though the alcohol is pretty well hidden. Semi-sweet with very light pumpkin taste and just a dash of spice on the back end of the tongue. Dry clean finish with something left to be desired. In a reasonably priced 6 pack this beer could do pretty well because of it's light flavor and drinkability but for an expensive 4 pack not so much. It's a session beer, a bland one at that, at high end beer prices.

I see what they were going for, a pumpkin octoberfest combo, but really the octoberfest side of this beer doesnt come out at all.

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Photo of NODAK
2.05/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Smells quite a bit like many other pumpkin beers, even though this is a mix with an oktoberfest. Nutmeg and cinnamon are apparent. Pretty much like a pumpkin pie on the nose.

In the taste, the nutmeg and cinnamon are there upfront, but there only a slight sweetness to this beer. It seems somewhat watery in that aspect. There's also a fairly big hop bitterness on the back that has an aspirin-like quality about it, which was definitely unexpected for this style. There's a bit of a funky aftertaste too, which I will call "soapy" for lack of a bitter term. It's offputting.

All in all, I'm disappointed. The sweetness is nearly non-existent, the spices are downplayed and it just doesn't seem done well for style.

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Photo of JRed
2.46/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Clear Amber in body with off-white head that fades to a thin film. Aroma of ginger, cinnamon, apple, pumpkin, and sweets. Tastes of cinnamon, sweets, apple, ginger in the finish with mild hops. Light in body and medium carbonation.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.7/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I love pumpkin beers, and I have partaken in more than a few this fall. However, I found this one to be lacking, and fell short of my hopes for it. It came across to me as flat and having some spice but really missing the essence of pumpkin that some really good pumpkin beers possess (Southern Tier Pumking, Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin, Hoppin' Frog Double Pumpkin). And while I know that the dirty little secret of this style is that there is no actual pumpkin in many pumpkin beers, with this particular example there was no doubt in my mind that there was no pumpkin in this example. It's just sort of there - a touch like a one-dimensional winter warmer.

Color was a dark orange/gold color with a medium amount of white, densely-packed head. Aroma was nutmeg but not much else - the lack of pumpkin was apparent. Flavor was spice and that's it. Mouthfeel was disappointing - watery.

I am not a fan.

I bought this bottle at Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, VA.

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Photo of CAP1868
2.85/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A-Pours a thin coppery orange color, minimal head with no lacing while consuming the brew.

S-smells lightly like pumpkin, not much to note here. Maybe some nutmeg and clove floating around somewhere.

T-Tastes about how it smells, lightly of pumpkin notes, decent but not great.

M-Light, watery mouthfeel.

D-easy drinking pumpkin brew, good to start some friends out on who normally drink busch light.

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Photo of iheartmyTHO
3/5  rDev -19.4%

The pumpkin flavor is overall pretty mild, and I don't get much pumpkin spice flavor either. I wouldn't say that that is a bad thing. But this beer tastes more like a brown ale to me, than anything else. There is a nice bit of nuttiness to it though.

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Photo of humuloner22
3/5  rDev -19.4%

This is an attempt to cross two fall styles into one. Interesting but not really. It has all that malty sweet Marzen stuff going on. But then it brings in the fall bouquet of cinnamon, clove and maybe some other pumpkin spices. My bottle did not have a date on it, but it did say 2013 edition. I just bought this one, off a singles rack, but surely it hasn't been sitting around that long. Maybe I will give it another go, but this one tasted pretty lackluster, especially up to the standards I have previously had with Terrapin. But, with me fall beers can be phenomenal or down right boring. This one was almost interesting but was not quite there. Maybe it was an old edition, or maybe it was a typo. I am not sure. The store I bought it from was pretty reputable so the likelihood they kept an old one around is pretty low, but there is always a possibility.

It did keep a pretty decent amount of carbonation but it did taste a bit moldy. I am going back and try this one again and make sure it has a 2014 date. If I get the same profile I will leave this review as is, otherwise, drink with caution!

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

I'm a big fan of Terrapin beers, but this one falls flat.

It pours a burnt orange with 1/2 to 3/4 inch quickly fading beige head.

Smells of pumpkin, minerals with a slight hint of spices.

Tastes follows through. The pumpkin flavor is there, along with some carmel malts, but not much beyond that.

Mouthfeel is medium with decent carbonation.

Not a bad beer, but just does not stand up to the offerings from Southern Tier, Cigar City, Weyebacher and others.

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Photo of Khazadum
3.05/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I think this is another Bill offering. Thanks Bill! If it wasn't, BM me!

A- Mild head formation reminiscent of white walls within a pack-per-day smokers house. Quickly dissipates to nothing but a thin thin collar. Average amount of carbonation on the bottom of the glass.

The liquid itself is this odd ruby-red hue with an orange background. Disturbingly different enough to beat the average score by a bit.

S- Decent amount of aroma. It isn't hiding itself in here. There just isn't much to enjoy. Pumpkin comes froward with a bit of cinnamon backing and nutmeg edge. The pumpkin is the main start with the spices playing deep safety.

T- Flavor is strong in pumpkin. Big boy with nothing overbearing. It should be proud how well it nailed this flavor down. However, there is this annoying yeasty presence that claws at me. The spices bite at the back of my tongue before they become apparent, again cinnamon and nutmeg the mainstays. The finish and the opening both get a thumbs up from me. The ending notes are pumpkin and caramels playing around like a memory.

M- Decent body that is almost full. The carbonation is very mild for me. What I must note is a biting alcohol presence. For a six percent this shouldn't exist at the beginning of the sip. It hits the middle of the tongue along the same battle lines as the spices do giving it an unfortunate shock value.

D- I'd bring this as an example of where pumpkin beers should start, and where they can go from. Sure it is decent, but would I want this over other offerings? Probably not again. Still nice one to tick off and try.

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Photo of number1bum
3.05/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear dark copper color with only about one finger of beige head. Lacing is pretty thin, mostly a rimjob at the edge, and doesn't leave much of any stick.

Smell is big on the spices, cinnamon and nutmeg in particular. Those dominate the nose, although there is some sweetness here too. It's very one dimensional, however, and I don't get any authentic pumpkin at all.

Tate is also dominated by spice. Tons of nutmeg and cinnamon. Too much. There is a strange fruity flavor in the finish, as well. Like a tropical fruitiness. Not sure if that's maybe coming from some hops or what, but it seems out of place. The finish is very spicy, with a ton of nutmeg remaining on the palate. This is overly spiced and weird with the odd fruitiness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with crisp carbonation. I'm left with a bit of burn in the back of my throat as this has a rather sharp astringency to it. Somewhat chalky finish.

Bleh, I've only had a handful of pumpkin ales this year and this one is reminding me why I don't bother much with the style. It's all spice and not much else, and even has a few strange elements to it. I don't find this one to be very successful.

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Photo of Patrick999
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured into my DFH glass. Decent head, very clear amber pumpkin-looking color.

S - Pretty run of the mill. Light sweet pumpkin pie aroma.

T - Reminds me a bit of DFH Punk, though a little more crisp. More of an acorn squash taste with some spices rather than pumpkin. It's OK. Nothing too special.

F - Slightly high on the carbonation, I think it detracts a little from the flavor.

D - And with this, I think I am done with pumpkin ales for the year. I'd really like to see an unfiltered bottle conditioned pumpkin ale from someone....even the stronger pumpkin ales are getting a bit dull to me.

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Photo of MichaelPhiladelphiaBeer
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


Medium amber, small yellow tinged head

S- little sweet pumpkin smell with subtle vanilla, not really spicy but something I can't put my finger on

T- sweet pumpkin, not too bitter - lacks a spice I was expecting. Very light, but not watery.

Mf - standard little more smooth and less bubbles than what I'd consider average

Overall - good, like the lack of bitter and the sweetness isn't too much. Very drinkable for 6.1% with no real presence of alcohol flavor.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.09/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: orange/gold body, no head, mild lacing

S: allspice and malt

T: allspice, malt, and mild bitter/dry finish

M: med/light body, semi-dry mouth

O: Like this brewery + love the style, but not
this beer. would not get again nor recommend.


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Photo of JLSIV
3.1/5  rDev -16.7%

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams glass, amber with a light tan head, one finger on pour, then rapidly dimished to a thin small bubble film, some lacing

Aroma is above average, allspice, cinnamon, definite smell of pumpkin pie

Taste is cinnamon up front, followed by the pumpkin in the finish

Mouthfeel is decent although the cinnamon left an off-aftertaste. Carbonation was okay,

I think there are better representations of this type, I think the flavor is good as a novelty, but I don't think I would go again on this one.

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Photo of farrago
3.12/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

You get a finger’s worth of fizzy foam which dissolves down at a steady clip, mostly smaller bubbles, dark off-white color, the lacing is wispy to close to nonexistent. Very clear and bright brownish amber hued liquid, becomes more zinc orange towards the outer reaches with a final shift into yellow, hardly any visible carbonation. Big clove and nutmeg in the nose, vanilla and cocoa along with, of course, pumpkin, pie crust to scone for breadiness, mild yeastiness, has a liqueur like quality even as at times there’s a short burst of grass and pepper. Medium-bodied, has a hard mouth feel, lacks graceful movement and flow. The carbonation is light, what’s there has a tight prickle. Dry on the whole, the ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon has a spicy cumin edge too. Cocoa powder more than honey, brown sugar or caramel, in keeping with dryness. Whisper of peach, apricot fruit, any sweetness more derived from that pie dough, baked goods component. Loses any hoppy bite here but does have a mineral water feel which aids a fresher finish. Not sure it finds a clear direction and then takes it but pleasant enough, if quaffed uncritically.

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Photo of billab914
3.13/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip glass. Poured amber orange in color with a half inch white bubbly head. The head faded down to a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

The aroma is mostly filled with spices such as nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. The taste is also pretty strong with all the spices found in the nose. The cinnamon and nutmeg seem to be the most present in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability was OK, although all the spices made it a little less drinkable. Would have really liked more actual pumpkin flavors and aroma rather then all the spice flavor. If it had xmas label on it instead of pumpkin I probably would have thought it fit that season just as well.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.15/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Delerium Tremens snifter

Pours a amber-brown with one finger of head. Minimal lacing. Aroma is pumpkin pie spices - nutmeg, clove cinnamon.

First sip is big on cinnamon. Spice flavor dominates all else. Could use some more sweetness to balance. Finishes very dry, and that is not a positive quality in this beer... leaves you thirsty, the barky cinnamon flavor dries your mouth.

I'm not a fan of pumpkin beers in general, and this does nothing to change my mind. In my opinion, this needs more malt, more sweetness, and less spice.

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Photo of BeerMark
3.16/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Terrapin Pumpkinfest from Terrapin Beer Company is copper colored in my pint glass. Not a lot of foam here. I can smell faint pumpkin with some spices thrown in. As far as flavor goes, it's decent. Everything is accounted for. There just ain't much special going on here. I would probably pass on this in the future at the current price. As a note of interest, my beer was a 4-pack and cost $9.99. To me, this is a little pricey for an average beer. Terrapin, put these in 6ers and I could see myself buying some more in the future.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.16/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle. Poured into a DFH tulip glass a slightly cloudy dark amber copper color with a big fluffy 2 finger head that is slow to recede. Raw pumpkin notes in the nose, nothing too sweet and slightly vegetable smelling. The taste is better than the nose with a slightly sweet start with spices and pumpkin flavors. Slightly alcohol in the end. Medium mouthfeel. Ends with a lingering bitterness and pumpkin flavor. It's just ok.

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Photo of scanny24
3.17/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I purchased this beer in Total Wine, who gives a brief write up of each of their 6 packs(or 4 packs, in this case). The beer was described, more or less, as a cross between a pumpkin beer and an Oktoberfest, both of which I enjoy. The color was a nice amber with very little head, much of what you would expect from a beer of this kind. I thought it smelled fantastic, however, the taste was where I was a bit disappointed. Don't get me wrong, it's a good beer. I was just expecting a bit more. The pumpkin was a bit overwhelming and, to be honest, it tasted extremely similar to Blue Moon's Harvest Pumpkin Ale, which is roughly the same price for a 6 pack. I realize this beer is not an Ale, however, to me, the taste was pretty close. Like I said, it is a good beer, just gave me nothing that made it stand out and made me want to look for it again next fall.

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Photo of Chaney
3.18/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've been wanting to try this one for quite a while and I'm now taking the plunge. Observation: It seems that most of Terrapin's stuff sold in 4-packs is money!

A: Poured out clear as a bell, dark orange in color, and with a solid white foamy head with teeny tiny bubbles.

S: True to its title, I got pumpkin spices imbedded in a German mothball-like concoction. A Marzen, if you will.

T: I had problems with this one. I didn't like how this has all the makings of a pumpkin pie brew, but instead of getting the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc., this was spoiled by the German malt additive.

M: The carbonation was fine, but this was far too hoppy to be a great pumpkin ale to my mind. Quite bitter indeed. The lacing left on the glass was ridiculous.

O: This was an interesting experiment, but it proved one thing to my mind: Don't mix pumpkin and Marzens... the ingredients just don't mesh well together.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.19/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

If you read my original, bottle review dtd 20 November 2013, I said that I will not be revisiting this beer. I was not so prescient as to foresee them putting it in CANs, which I why I am having another go at it today, H, 10 December 2015. The CANQuest (tm) lives!

From the CAN: "Harvest [-] Spice [-] Gourd [-] Autumn"; "Seasonal Sessions Limited Release"; "Like the changing leaves, the Terrapin Pumpkinfest remids you that the Fall season is soon approaching. Brewed with real pumpkin and delicately spiced, this amber colored beauty will make for an easy pick."; "'Carving Out a Fall Tradition'".

Hoo ha! A loud Crack! CAN only mean that an inverted Glug is on its way. Oops! There was foam coming through the vent, so I may not be able to pull it off. Sure enough, as soon as I got it started, the foaming action was too much to deal with. Still, it settled into two fingers of foamy, tawny head with good retention and without breaching the rim of the glass. I am always glad for small favors. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was spicy with cinnamon, but that seemed like the extent of it. Is this a one trick pony? The taste was spicy, but that was about the extent of it. It was easy-drinking, but kind of ho-hum. Finish was dry, thanks to the spice, but I just felt unfulfilled. My original numbers stand out of sheer laziness, although they should probably be lower.

This has been my year for reviewing pumpkin beer, both ales (primarily) and lagers. It kind of bothers me that Stoudt's Pumpkinfest is listed as an Oktoberfest/Marzen, while this one is a Fruit/Vegetable beer. A decision may need to be made ...

From the bottle: "Pumpkin beers have been an American tradition since the Pilgrims hit Plymouth Rock, while Oktoberfest beers have been brewed in Germany since Prince Ludwig got hitched in 1810. Now Terrapin is 'CARVING OUT A FALL TRADITION' by combining these two great styles into a unique PumpkinFest beer."

My pour produced two dense fingers of tawny head that slowly fell away to wisps, leaving some nice, sticky lacing in its wake. Color was an oh-so-slightly hazy coppery-amber (SRM = > 13, ~ 17). Nose smelled heavily of cinnamon and nutmeg and I will be honest here - I am getting really tired of smelling the whole spice rack in these beers! Balance, people! And this coming from a self-avowed hophead who likes DIPAs. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, creamier than many of its ale counterparts. The taste was really muted and frankly kind of watery. What happened to the spices from the nose? They seemed to have disappeared! Finish was rather bland and nondescript. Unless they tweak the recipe for next year, I will not be revisiting this beer after the 2013 edition.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A – Nice ruby copper color. Off-white head with a loose bubble structure. Ok retention and low lace.

S – Round pumpkin and apple with bright, fresh cinnamon and a touch of sweet apple vinegar.

T – That trace of apple cider vinegar in the nose unfortunately finds its way into the opening of the profile, and then gives way to fresh red apples, light allspice, nutmeg, and a kick of cinnamon. Nice pumpkin pie flavor on the backend.

M – Nice carbonation. Medium body.

O – Nice cinnamon character, but the vinegar note really throws things off and the profile is relatively light on the pumpkin.

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Photo of Mavajo
3.21/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Although this was just re-released in 4-packs, this tasting is from one of the original bombers. So about a year old at this point.

Pours an amber color with a very thin white head - a brisk pour barely even yielded a finger thick. No lacing.

Nose is brilliant. Loaded with notes of pumpkin, spice and another character that I can only describe as floral potpourri. I came into this beer with very low expectations, but this aroma is starting to make me think I shouldn't have been so quick to judge...

Never mind. The taste blows. Very faint pumpkin notes, with a healthy kick of spice. There's also a bit of a chemical taste here - it reminds me of when you thought something smelled good as a kid, so you took a taste, and then realized that the chemicals that made that wonderful aroma in no way translated to the taste.

Mouthfeel is OK. Medium bodied but overly carbonated. Too much tingling across the tongue for a taste this flat.

All in all, what a disappointment. This beer is mediocre in every way, except for that fantastic aroma. What a waste.

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Terrapin Pumpkinfest from Terrapin Beer Company
3.72 out of 5 based on 923 ratings.
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