King Don's Original Pumpkin Ale
Catawba Brewing Co.

King Don's Original Pumpkin AleKing Don's Original Pumpkin Ale
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Pumpkin Beer
Ranked #71
Ranked #18,450
3.87 | pDev: 15.5%
Catawba Brewing Co.
North Carolina, United States
Very Good
King Don's Original Pumpkin AleKing Don's Original Pumpkin Ale
Reviews: 34 | Ratings: 105 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of outdoor7or24
3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pint glass had at the trio in Greenville,sc. Nice 1 finger off white foam head that quickly fades, great autumn fall color, taste that consist of all spice, some nutmeg, hints of cinnamon, medium body with some carbonation, overall a good pumpkin brew.

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Photo of jameslunney122
4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice pumpkin brew. Color is quite good with the red/orange color I look for in a pumpkin ale. Spice was a bit strong on the front of the tongue but had a very good after taste that lingers. The head was perfect and it is an easy drinkable pumpkin brew!

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Photo of Immortale25
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Creature Comforts slim pint glass.

A- Pours a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch light tan head that retains decently before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a small center patch of sheer surface foam. Minimal lacing.

S- Vanilla, cinnamon and tons of nutmeg.

T- Yeah, definitely way too much nutmeg.

M- Dry from the nutmeg with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- Should've known better when I saw the decent rating and somewhat hardcore following of this beer: it's just another Catawba failure. "Let's just dump a ton of nutmeg in this and call it a pumpkin ale." Done with this brewery.

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Photo of oberon
3.42/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Alas I have broken my rule of drinking pumpkin ales so early in the season.....Pours a clear burnt orange with a thin quick to vanish head atop.Graham cracker,mace ,and nutmeg in the nose,very spice forward.Too spiced for me to really enjoy flavor wise really,alot of mace and alot of nutmeg,I am more into the more pumpkin forward lesser spiced beers of the style.Not horrible and it may cater to alot of people 's tastes but not mine so much.

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Photo of barczar
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%

Specialty malt fruitiness, ginger, pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon form the aroma. It's very spice forward, but the pumpkin character comes through. Flavor is ginger dominant, which sucks for me. Pumpkin comes in mid palate, along with cinnamon, and the finish is nutty, toasted malt. Aside from the ginger dominance, an alright pumpkin beer. Could use a lighter hand with the spices, in general, and especially ginger and nutmeg. There's a tangy character that I associate with aged squash that emerges late.

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Photo of humuloner22
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

I have had this one on draft, years ago. It was great then. Pretty much turned me onto pumpkin beers. Then I had a lot more and they were not all that great. This year they are canning it. Maybe they began last year. But this is a fairly new thing for me. I love the fact they are canning it!

Color: Dark, caramel, like an Oktoberfest, brown ale color. The color of autumn.

Smell: Lots of fall spices going on. Nutmeg, clove, cinnamon. This is pumpkin pie in a can. I guess you get some pumpkin flavor in there. But what you get mostly are the spices. Which is what I like about it. But seriously do pumpkins have all that much flavor anyway. Its the spices that make the pie.

Overall: I still think this one is one of the best pumpkin beers out there. I plan on trying a lot more this fall. I have a few really good ones (supposedly) stashed away.

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Photo of chinchill
2.9/5  rDev -25.1%

12 oz can poured slightly hazy; deep red-amber body; good size bubbly head quickly dissolves.
Aroma: nice malty and spicy mix with a hint of pumpkin.
Flavor: Over-spiced with little sign of the pumpkin, although the malt base is still evident.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%

A: Pours a crystal clear golden reddish orange in color with light amounts of active visible carbonation rising slowly from the bottom of the glass and moderate copper + ruby + brown highlights. The beer has a half finger tall foamy beige head that reduces to a medium sized patch of thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of moderately sweet pumpkin pie spices - cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and clove. That is combined with moderate aromas of roasted pumpkin and caramel malts.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavors of moderately sweet caramel and toasted malts with some lighter notes of brown sugar and maple. That is followed by moderate flavors of roasted pumpkin, The beer finishes with slightly stronger than moderate flavors of pumpkin pie spices - cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and clove. Minimal amounts of bitterness in the finish which fades very quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Hints of dryness from the spices in the finish.

O: A more pumpkin pie than squashy pumpkin example of the style but definitely an enjoyable example of the style. Pretty easy to drink and really makes me think of autumn.

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Photo of brstls4drmrs
4/5  rDev +3.4%

A - A nice deep copper/orange color with a 1" head.

S - Very nice spice with some cloves and nutmeg. Faint pumpkin in there too.

T - All sorts of spice and everything nice but no pumpkin. not bad though.

M - A little thin on the finish. Good carb.

O - Solid autumn brew. Worth a shot for sure.

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Photo of rangerred
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

12oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a clear deep copper with a tiny fizzy head that quickly disappears. No lacing at all. Appearance is less than stellar.

Aroma is really really good. Loaded with nutmeg and cinnamon with some nice light caramel undertones. Almost a little creaminess in there.

The flavor also hits the spices really hard and closely matches the aroma with cinnamon and nutmeg. A little caramel and toast along with whipped cream. Very light hoppiness in the background and a slightly chalky mouthfeel.

Overall, this is a very nice pumpkin beer that hits the spices really hard. While not the best out there it is certainly enjoyable.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

on draft at beer study in chapel hill, into a snifter.

pours a very dark orange with a typical inch thick head. smell is of a lot of cloves and nutmeg...extreme amount of spice on the aroma. the taste is also filled with spicinees, but its lacking the typical super sweetness that you usually find in pumpkin beers. this definitely helps and is a big still know you're drinking a beer! light body though, but this is lower in ABV so expected.

overall one of the better pumpkin beers I've had. recommended.

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Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: The orange colored liquid wears a nice crown of foam that drapes a few strands of lace

Smell: Pumpkin pie spices galore

Taste: Pumpkin pie spices dominate the flavor profile, too; this is one of those pumpkin beers that is all about the spicing so it is hard to taste any pumpkin in the mix

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I like a bit more balance in my pumpkin beers but this is a very nice example of the spice-forward aspects of the style

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Photo of cwguy5
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this growler from Brawley's Beverage in Charlotte, NC. Poured into a Unibroue Becker style glass.

A - medium-dark reddish brown color; slightly hazy; white head consists mostly of a ring around the glass and faded to nothing; no lacing that i noticed
S - clove and nutmeg, light vegetable
T - right off the bat you taste clove, cinnamon and nutmeg; the nutmeg tastes very fresh and is almost a bit peppery; not dry by any means but not as sweet as i expected; honey and toffee in the finish; would have liked a slightly maltier backbone maybe
M - light-ish carbonation; body is medium and slightly coating; linger consists of pumpkin spices - mostly nutmeg
D - very drinkable as it is light and crisp despite a medium body and slightly coating mouthfeel; spices are pronounced but not too heavy; sweetness level is in the right area - not cloying like some pumpkin beers; would seek out again for fall sessions

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Photo of GehenHerzog
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had it on Tap at Vintner Wine Market in Charlotte and also out of a growler from Bruisin' Ales in Asheville. The quality control seems to be very good as they seemed to be close to identical at both.

A - Dark brown color, reddish-orange when held to light. Thin off white head

S - The spices really come out in the smell. Cinnamon and clove. Not a whole lot of pumpkin smell.

T - If you like pumpkin, this is a must try. Tastes like a pumpkin pie. Cinnamon and pumpkin spice are very noticeable. Sweet and spicy.

M - Good carbonation, mouthfull is medium-full.

D - Phenomenal. What every pumpkin beer should strive for. When I had the growler, I was disappointed when I finished it during the tailgate.

This is my favorite pumpkin beer and it's not even close. I wish it was bottled because my refrigerator would be stocked with it during the fall. Fortunately, growlers are readily available. My tailgate beer of choice during football season.

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Photo of aventinus829
4.54/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this wonderful brew on tap at Growler's Pourhouse in Charlotte, NC. It is quite good!

A: Reddish-brown
S: Lots of festive spices. Nutmeg and cinnamon even.
T: Awesome. Not so much pumpkin as a really good blend of fall spices.
D: Very, very drinkable.

Note: They line your glass with an interesting blend of sugars and cinnamon if you get this beer at Growler's. Quite a treat!

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Photo of mbrown26
4.79/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What every pumpkin beer should live up to. If you don't like pumpkin or pumpkin pie, this probably won't be your thing, but if you like a good pumpkin beer, this should be right up your alley.

I could see for some people that there wouldn't be enough body, but for me it was perfect. I felt like I was drinking a beer that had a pumpkin flavor instead of the other way around.

The smell had the characteristic of roasted hops, pumpkin and nutmeg and the color was a nice brownish orange.

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Photo of Deuane
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Deep brownish copper with a thin white head that quickly reduced to a wispy veil and left spotty lace.

S-Nice aroma of a freshly made, caramel coated gingerbread. Nice, pleasant aroma of real pumpkin spices.

T-Strong pumpkin pie spices come off a bit too harshly. Caramel malt needs more beef to counteract the spice punch....good but more than I prefer.

M-Medium bodied, fairly sharp with good lingering spicy bitterness.

D-Good but...see above. I think with a bit of tweaking this would be outstanding.

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Photo of Swellcox
4.85/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've enjoyed this wonderful Fall beer on tap and in a bottle.

A - rich dark color, reddish-brown in a glass, nice thick head

S - a spicey, but not sweet, pumpkin aroma

T - smooth on the tongue, very palatable, smooth malty sweetness, nice aftertaste with lots of spices

M - enough natural carbonation to lighten this thick beer

D - outstanding!!! What every Pumpkin beer should strive to be.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep orange color tinged with brown. Very thin wispy white head that quickly fades but leaves moderate lacing on the glass.

S - Wow, it smells just like my wifes gingerbread. Lots of clove, allspice, and cinnamon in the nose. DOnt pick up a whole lot of pumpkin, but I'm not sure pumpkin really has the strongest smell.

T - Strong taste of pumpkin pie spices including allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. A little light breadiness to it as well provides a nice backing.

M/D - A little thin on the feel but it goes down real easy. Good carbonation level and one of the better pumpkin ales I have tried.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at the Brewgrass festival in Asheville, North Carolina. Consumed on 09/20/2008 and reviewed from notes taken at the time.

What can I really say about this pout, it was a damn pumpkin! Rich orange color was an absolute treat to look at. Some light haze and cloudiness to it, enough to make it look a bit thicker then I thought it would. A nice one inch head of white and fizzy foam came up over the top and settled down nicely into the glass leaving a good amount of side glass lace to mix around with the carbonation that could be seen streaking up.

The aroma was about as rich in pumpkin spice as you could possibly get. Huge notes of spices that just come whiffing up to the surface. This was an enormously good smelling beer. I swear if you could bottle the fall season, it would come close to this I am sure. The flavor was more of the same, rich in every sense of the word. Huge notes here of all spice, pumpkin, and hints of earthy grains. Tingling the tongue as it went down it was like a piece of pumpkin pie, which is about all that can be said. Delicately light Mouthfeel was well carbonated and not too thin or anything that would be anything less then wonderful. Easy to sip as the flavor was far too rich to be putting this one down in too great of numbers.

Overall though this has to be one of the best pumpkin ales I have ever had, hands down. Rich and decadent, smooth and deliciously. Probably the best beer that Catawba makes, well next to Coconut. Go find this one this fall season for sure.

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Photo of 65dos
4.65/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is by far the best Pumpkin ale I have ever tasted personally.

a: really rich in color. Deep orange.
s: can I say pumpkin pie meets carbonation?
t: The rich pumpkin pie flavor of this beer made me consider putting whip cream a top the beer.
m: Very smoothly flows across the palette.
d: all fall.

Give this a try next October if you are in the region.

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Photo of blackie
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: gorgeous color...deep orange-red-brown, lacks much head and doesn't retain well what it has...the only fault here

s: Decent malt presence, and I have to say it smells really good, but the spice seems quite out of proportion to the squash. Moderate-high sweetness and very gently hopped. I really want to like this a lot, because the spice is excellent, but it certainly needs more pumpkin.

m: medium carbonation, full medium body

t: Pretty much the same as the aroma, but I get even less depth here. Cleans up pretty well, with spices lingering.

d: enjoyable

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours orange with a fairly thin head that fades all too quickly. Pumpkin pie spices and sweet malt dominate the nose. No real pumpkin detectable in the aromas. Still, the spice blend is quite pleasant with cinammon, nutmeg, and allspice. The taste is somewhat sugary and grainy with more of the pumpkin pie spice. The pumpkin makes an appearance as a slickness, but not much flavorwise. Creamy mouthfeel, and overall pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clearish, reddish-brown body with a thin, off-white head.

Smell: A fragrant aroma filled with inviting toasted spices, but pretty meak when it comes to the actual pumpkins.

Taste: Mild pumpkin flavor that's lightly sweet. The addition of fresh spices adds a measure of earthy spiciness. Slight hint of lemon near the sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's one of those pumpkin ales that lays emphasis on spices and not pumpkin flavor. Still, though, it is a pleasant Autumntime brew.

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Photo of ncvbc
3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour was a dark orangish amber with a thin head that was gone quickly. Not much of a looker but it gets better...

Smell is great. Spices abound, cinnamon being the most obvious. A true pumpkin pie essence in this one.

Taste is even better than the smell. Cinnamon, nutmeg, hazelnut, pumpkin, a spot of brown sugar. Very bold considering the low ABV. I am surprised at how much flavor this one packs. It's more on the spice side and less on the pumpkin, though.

Mouthfeel is somewhat bland following this tasty brew. A little thin and light though not to a serious extent.

Overall I would say I enjoyed this greatly. Quite the drinkable beer we have here. I don't believe I've tried it in the past unless it was just a sample at Barley's. Either way, you should try it if you have the chance!

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King Don's Original Pumpkin Ale from Catawba Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 105 ratings