Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine
Almanac Beer Co.

Heirloom Pumpkin BarleywineHeirloom Pumpkin Barleywine
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Pumpkin Beer
4.23 | pDev: 10.64%
Almanac Beer Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Heirloom Pumpkin BarleywineHeirloom Pumpkin Barleywine
Notes: 50% ale brewed with pumpkins aged in brandy barrels
50% ale brewed with spices

This is a beer made with real pumpkins. We hand-roasted over 500lbs of heirloom pumpkins from La Tercera Farms in Bodega Bay. The caramelized gourds were then added to our velvety American Barleywine and aged in brandy barrels for a year. Finally, we blended the barrel-aged beer with freshly brewed ale and added a delicate hint of pumpkin pie spices to round out this decadent autumn sipper.
Reviews: 117 | Ratings: 816 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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SierraFlight from Virginia

3.51/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Only bought a single bottle, which I aged for a few years. Not drinking one fresh was a mistake, as I'm not sure if the beer developed a tangy, sour flavor or if that was intentional. I did not enjoy this beer, but would try again if Almanac brought the recipe back.

Jan 18, 2019
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draheim from Washington

3.99/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375mL into a tulip. Pours a clear amber w/ a minimal head.

Aroma is earthy, malty and sweet. Pumpkin spices, nutmeg and clove.

Taste is a blend of malty sweetness and spice. Nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, liquid Red Hots.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slick. Goes down with a warming finish.

Overall a unique barleywine with the pumpkin and spice.

May 24, 2018
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured into a sample flared pilsener glass. There was a nice light half finger-ed white foamy head that dissipated within less than a minute leaving a slight lacing roaming here and there. The smell had an authentic bourbon to vanilla sweet and somewhat pie - like/crust to light bread and even biscuit - like to an extent. The taste was mainly sweet and bready toasty /biscuity - ness roaming across my tongue. Light vanilla to roasty sweet aftertaste leading to a sweet and dry finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a fairly decent sessionability about it. There’s a light sweet carbonation about it. Overall, definitely a pumpkin ale I could come back to with extra compliments to it.

Jun 20, 2017
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macrosmatic from Florida

3.99/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to eyebereej for sending this! Reviewed from notes. Poured from a 375 mL bottle into a Russian River snifter glass.

A: Pours a hazy, pumpkin-pie-filling brown. A thin white head forms but quickly fades, and it has a good amount of large bubble visible carbonation.

S: Caramel and toffee malts. Nutmeg and cinnamon. Sweet and boozy and pumpkiny. A nice and complex aroma, though maybe not a personal favorite.

T: Toffee and sweet malts, pumpkin and brandy. The cinnamon and nutmeg mix with the booze and ethanol heat. There are some raisins and dark fruit as well as mild woody tannins. It finishes with sweet malts, alcohol and residual pumpkin.

M: Full-bodied with a sticky mouthfeel. The alcohol is obvious but never hits that excessive level. Fairly low carbonation sensation.

O: This had the hallmarks of everything I don't prefer in a beer, but I actually found it pretty pleasant to drink. Well-planned, well-executed. It's nothing that I'd choose to drink frequently, but definitely good if you're in the right mood.

Feb 17, 2017
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Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 bottle. Ruddy amber brown in color. Clear in appearance. Earthy. Cinnamon, nutmeg and Brandy booze. Fairly dry. Not too sweet. Balanced but boozy. Holding up well. Pretty good.

Oct 27, 2016
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LloydDobler from Indiana

3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle to snifter.

Hazy orange pour with an eggshell white head. Lots of sediment floating around in the glass. This is my first go-round with Almanac so didn't know what to expect. I love all the thanksgiving day aroma here, but not getting the sweetness of a typical barleywine. The taste threw me for a loop. Tangy pumpkin up front with a sweet finish. Nutmeg and cinnamon are present the whole way through. At first the tart was off putting but it grew on me. Not sure if this was the intention of the brewer, but this is a nice change of pace for me.

Apr 28, 2016
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angrybabboon from Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Consumed 3/10/16

A: Medium amber with some dark copper and burnt orange - hazy, with some clarity around the edges - medium, light beige head, fades to a wispy cap, leaves some streaks of lacing

S: A lot of brandy, with some sharp grape, wood, and barrel - lots of heat, but it melds with the other flavors as this reaches room temperature - nice amount of pumpkin under the brandy, with pumpkin flesh and squash - pumpkin pie spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, allspice - big malt base, with some cooked malts, caramelized malts, caramel, molasses, and toffee - some sweetness

T: Pumpkin pie soaked in brandy - brandy flavors dominate, with wood and alcohol - malty, with cooked grains, cooked malts, caramelized malts, dark bread, toffee, molasses, straight-up caramel sweetness - nice amount of pumpkin, with some squashy pumpkin flesh, pumpkin pie filling, pumpkin pie spices - finishes with some earthiness and more heat

M: On the full side of medium, medium carbonation, smooth with some lingering alcohol heat

O: A pumpkin barleywine helps me cope with this lousy Smarch weather

I probably should have drank this in the fall. But today could pass for the late fall. Rainy, cold, ominous. This is truly a sipper. I should also note that this was borderline awful when I first poured it. But once it warmed up, it became good.

Mar 11, 2016
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FriedSlug from North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured ruby, brown, and cloudy with an off white head. Smells like tart pumpkin with notes of caramel and brandy. Has a nice boozy aroma. The taste follows the smell with the tart pumpkin and spices early and the caramel and brandy at the end with a nice sour bitter finish. Nice medium mouthfeel.

Dec 22, 2015
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spacecake9 from Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased in the Fall of 2014 and in my cellar for a year.
A - Pours a dark orange/brown color with a small head that settles to a ring quickly.
S - The aroma is pumpkin with a hint of sour.
T - Flavor is very much like the nose. Nice pumpkin flavor with a tart finish. The alcohol is not noticeable.
M - Medium body and carbonation.
O - I really liked the idea of a boozy barrel aged pumpkin barleywine but what I got was more of a tart pumpkin ale. Not bad but I would not buy again. On the other hand, if you like sours this may be perfect for you.

Nov 12, 2015
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devilfluff from New Jersey

2.5/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sour. This bottle was clearly infected. The beer behind the unwanted intrusion had potential, but I can't rate it on hopes. The bottle wasn't so far gone as to be undrinkable, but a sad fate for a beer I had high hopes for.

Oct 03, 2015
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Damian from Massachusetts

3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Drank from a 12.68 fl.oz. (375ml) bottle purchased at Royal Liquor, Encinitas, CA
Bottled Autumn 2014
Served in a snifter

Deep, dark, orangey-amber appearance. The liquid was capped by a finger tall crop of bubbly, khaki colored foam that left odd shaped droplets along the glass. The head quickly fell to a frothy, lasting ring of bubbles.

The aroma was interesting and rather surprising. It contained strong yet not overwhelming pumpkin pie spice notes. Nutmeg dominated. Some clove and allspice were also apparent. Touch of caramel malts and brown sugar-like sweetness. There was a bit of a vegetal quality as well. Some crisp, tart, lemony notes were detectable in the background. If I had to guess the base beer, I might say a saison but definitely not a barkeywine.

The flavor was malty and spicy but not quite as pumpkin ale-like as the nose. Pie spice notes were present but they seemed a bit muddled. Good amount of caramelized malts. Touch of brown sugar sweetness. Some vegetal notes appeared on the back end. The beer finished with lots of crisp, citric tartness. This reminded me a bit of a spiced wild ale. At 12% ABV, the alcohol was surprisingly nowhere to be found.

The mouthfeel creamy and soft and contained a finely beaded effervescence. In terms of body, however, the beer was disappointingly thin for the style.

Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine is a really interesting hybrid pumpkin beer. Aside from the lackluster mouthfeel, the steep price point and the fact that the barrels play absolutely no role in the flavor or aroma, this is still worth a try. Perhaps a fresher bottle would showcase more pumpkin and spice notes and less tartness.

Sep 26, 2015
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beergoot from Colorado

3.99/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The body exhibits a murky, pumpkin-orange/brown color; dense, creamy, frothy head. Spicy pumpkin aroma; cinnamon, coriander, orange. Mild sour flavor underlies a likewise mild caramel and pumpkin taste; brown sugar; tart and phenolic; tannic. Medium-heavy body; creamy and smooth; dry, puckering mouthfeel.

You don't notice any alcohol or boozy character to this offering. What does stand out in a unique manner is the pumpkin-related flavors and the brandy barrel aging that adds a wine-like character to things. Overall, I like this although it wouldn't be my go-to example for a pumpkin ale, but if you've had lots of pumpkin ales and either are tired of them or want to explore a new twist on the style, then this beer is well-worth checking out.

Aug 28, 2015
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cherche from Washington

3.75/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

l: amber in color, with about 1 finger of khaki colored head. decent retention.
s: spicy, not in a jalapeno way, in a cinnamon, pumpkin spice way. for the abv there is very little detection of alcohol on the nose.
t: taste is a little more mild than expected given the smell. still has a spicy, zesty flavor but less pronounced and more prominence of the pumpkin and fruitiness .
f: feels pretty heavy on the tongue with average carbonation
o: overall a very enjoyable beer but it just doesnt have a distinguishable characteristic that separates the good beers from my the great beers. it is sort of a pumpkin spice beer, sort of a barleywine...definitely mild for the abv. worth a try but not one i will seek out or pay the almanac premium for again.

Aug 22, 2015
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darktronica from Indiana

4.46/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Autumn 2014 batch poured into a snifter. A lovely smokey topaz color, with modest head that quickly dissipates. Smells of sweet potato, nutmeg, oak, and caramel, but everything other than the spices is somewhat subdued. The taste, however, is extremely complex. The brandy barrels, in combination with the pumpkin spices and Almanac's signature barrel tartness, lend interesting apple-pie notes to what is otherwise clearly a pumpkin beer. That the base beer is a barleywine is also unmistakable, with moderate maltiness and a light hoppiness lurking just under the surface. Really nice for pumpkin fans.

Aug 18, 2015
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fox227 from California

3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The aroma is generally pumpkin pie spice. The flavor kicks things up a bit with tart cherry, the aforementioned pie spice, oak, and birch. The carbonation is lively but not over done. The mouthfeel is medium, and I don't detect very much of the 12% alcohol by volume. It is mostly covered up by a pervasive tartness. The beer is blended from different batches, one in a Rye Whiskey barrel, and one in brandy. This is further blended into a fresh, non barrel aged beer, which mellows out the proceedings. I would be more curious as to what a 100% barrel aged version would offer, as the beer is crying out for more balance with other flavors. I do not get the rye whiskey aspect, and I'm not a brandy drinker so I can only imagine the impact. I feel that a robust burnt caramel bourbon flavor would really round out this beer into something special, but as it is, it's good, if not remarkable.

Aug 17, 2015
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TruePerception from California

4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almanac's Heirloom Pumpkin, 50% brewed with pumpkin and aged in rye and brandy barrels, 50% brewed with spices. 12% ABV.

A: 2.5 fingers of light, creamy tan head. Medium orange-brown in the glass. Yellow in the dimple. Tons of free-floating sediment. Slight sheeting and lacing.

S: Creamy pumpkin, nutmeg. Slight brandy sweetness. Faint rye. Molasses slowly coming forward as I continue to sniff. I feel like this one will give off more aromas as it sits.

T/MF: Molasses and a slight green coffee note up front. Creamy pumpkin upon swallowing. Slight tartness. Nothing akin to the Dark Pumpkin Sour, but it's there. Nutty. The brandy and rye don't seem to dominate so much as round out the flavors present in the beer. A bit of pumpkin shell. Pumpkin spice is much lighter on the palate. It's not a beer where anything jumps out at you, but rather one where the elements all work in harmony. And, it's a well disguised 12% for a pumpkin beer.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. into a Belgian tulip glass.

Edit: Oh my gosh! I took a breath into my mouth as I took a sip, to try to hit those olfactory spots in the mouth, and the barrel flavors bloomed nicely.

Jul 26, 2015
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Hop_God from California

4.44/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark brown murky No head

S: pumpkin pie. Spices. Sweet brandy

T: pumpkin. Pumpkin pie. Baking spices.

F: smooth. Light bite.

O: amazing. Such flavor packed in here

Jun 16, 2015
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to rudzud for sharing. Batch 1

Pours a bit if a fluffy fizzy bubbly head covering, nice lacing, hazy auburn reddish murky sediment color.

Nose brings vegetal gourd, pumpkin flesh, little pumpkin pie and mild bready crust dough malt, mild brandy and barrel notes, nice pumpkin pie filling and spices, toffee candy.

Taste is super sweet, candy galore, malty sweet with reddish toffee caramel malts, sweet syrupy candy and just a hint of booze. Nice pumpkin, little vegetal, into mild pumpkin pie filling with mild pie spices, nice candy toffee and caramel, faint biscuit pie crust, mild brandy notes, apple brandy cinnamon schnapps, tasty. Finish is sticky syrupy toffee caramel apple cinnamon candy and pumpkin pie, mild bitterness and spices lingering, pretty bitter.

Mouth is med bod, syrupy, decent but lighter carb, hint of booze.

Overall pretty interesting, nice beer, nice pumpkin, nice spices, nice barrel and brandy, but just too sweet syrupy and candy like.

Jun 06, 2015
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Franziskaner from Missouri

4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Murky deep brown I color with little light seeping through. There's a fingernail of beige on top. The flavor is a complex blend of pumpkin, nutmeg,cinnamon with a bit of brandy after the swallow. The mouth is thick and rich but considering the strength I would call it smooth.

Apr 23, 2015
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tjk135 from Illinois

4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Really good pumpkin beer. Lots going on with this one, including some tartness. As others have stated, not sure if this was intended but I really enjoyed this beer with the tartness. Split a bottle with a friend and the top half of the bottle tasted very different from the bottom. First pour was much sweeter than tart, but both were excellent.

Apr 21, 2015
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atone315 from Wisconsin

4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Doesn't taste like a b-wine, can't pick up much of the barrel , and not exactly a pumpkin ale....although I get a little bit of each, with quite a bit of tartness...I still enjoyed this brew. Would love to know if this is what Almanac wanted me to taste or not. Will seek out more to see if there is bottle variation.

Apr 15, 2015
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rjp217 from Massachusetts

4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acidity is kicking in on my 2014 bottle. The tartness somehow works with the pumpkin and brady barrel. Not sure if this an infection or a Brewers intention but it works.

Mar 24, 2015
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Josh012012 from Minnesota

4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a strong presence of pumpkin spice is the dominant flavor with very mild brandy barrel. doesn't really taste much like a barleywine but more like a pumpkin ale.. .also this must be the mildest 12% beer I've ever had.. alcohol is not perceivable. overall this has a nice balance and mouth feel and delivers good pumpkin spice flavor... one of the better pumpkin beers out there

Mar 24, 2015
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MenardMa from Connecticut

3.51/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

As a couple other reviews have mentioned, my bottle was pretty sour which I didn't really expect. Still tastes decent but not at all what I was anticipating. Mine tastes a bit like a tart white wine with pumpkin pie spices.

Feb 25, 2015
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rand from California

4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From 12 oz bottle to tulip

A stodgy-looking orange-brown brew, sudsy and viscous, yields huge wafts of grainy sugars and holiday spice, propelled by ample alcohols volatiles. It tastes as it should, pumpkin-y, resiny, oaky, but lactic acid and a prominent hop profile give this brew complexion and depth it's contemporaries often lack. This is well crafted and tasty.

Feb 10, 2015
Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine from Almanac Beer Co.
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 816 ratings