Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine
Almanac Beer Co.

Heirloom Pumpkin BarleywineHeirloom Pumpkin Barleywine
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American Barleywine
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: 815
Photo of Brabander
3.77/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I am not really a pumpkin ale man so this one was my cup of tea. Decent head and nice lacing, no carbonation. Slight sourness and the barrel is far away noticable.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got in a trade with RaulMondesi. 375 ml bottle into snifter, bottled on 8/4/2014. Pours hazy dark orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of tart cherry, pumpkin, green apple, caramel, brown sugar, toast, red wine, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, oak, leather, vinegar, light vanilla, and oak/spice earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, spices, and oak barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big tart cherry, pumpkin, green apple, caramel, brown sugar, toast, red wine, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, oak, leather, vinegar, light vanilla, and oak/spice earthiness. Fair amount of earthy spiciness and fruity tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of cherry, pumpkin, green apple, caramel, brown sugar, toast, red wine, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, oak, leather, vinegar, and oak/spice earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity and robustness of dark/bready malt, fruity yeast, spices, and oak barrel flavors; with a good malt/spice/tartness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and fairly creamy/acidic mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice pumpkin beer. I obviously got an infected bottle; but it still turned out very tasty with balanced malt, spice, and barrel flavors with the tart/fruity yeast notes. A very enjoyable offering even with the infection.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled sutumn 2014, poured into a tegu glass

A- pours a bright clear amber color with a ruby hue, small foamy white head eventually reduces to a thin layer skimming the top, some nice lacing left behind

S- caramelized pumpkin & brown sugar sweetness mixes with subtle cinnamon & nutmeg. Brandy, oak barrel and a touch of spicy rye, buttered rum

T- surprisingly tart up front with notes of pumpkin, cinnamon & clove immediately kicking in. Brown sugar/caramel sweetness mixes with the barrel flavors of brandy, oak & spicy notes from the rye barrel. There's still a slight hop presence with some herbal/earthy hop flavor before finishing sweet and fruity with more tart linger

M- medium body with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a tart & dry finish, ABV is hidden brilliantly

O- quite a different take on a pumpkin beer, and it's outstanding. Perhaps we need more pumpkin barleywines

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

Interesting take on a pumpkin ale. Lots of spice and pumpkin flavor. Slight peppery flavor which lessens as it warms leading to other spices. Definitely a complex take on a pumpkin beer. Not my favorite pumpkin beer, but definitely worth trying.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Firestone Walker snifter. Pours a hazy orange amber with a half finger light khaki head that dissipates slowly to a thick film with nice lacing. Nice holiday aroma of pumpkin, light brandy, caramel malt, faint pie spicing. Flavor is pumpkin, light caramel malt, cinnamon and clove, finishing lighter with some tartness; mild butteriness and pumpkin finish that is reminiscent of fresh pumpkin ready to baked into a pie. Medium bodied without the expected heaviness of a barleywine. A nicely made, well balanced pumpkin ale with a great interplay of malt and pumpkin and light, but distinct pie spicing. The light tartness was expected from this brewery that excels at sours, and seemed to be more a yeast flavor than rye (which I would have preferred). Not quite to my taste, but nicely made and flavorful as anticipated from Almanac. Brandy flavor is present, but I wouldn't have identified without prior knowledge. Interesting and festive.

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Photo of brentk56
4.21/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled Autumn 2013

Appearance: A hard pour produces a rocky two inch head that leaves some patchy lace; the liquid is a muddy tea brown color

Smell: Buttered Rum, pumpkin, Brandy and caramel dominant; subtle hints of cinnamon and nutmeg

Taste: The buttered Rum and caramel flavors lay down a sweet backbone, with the pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg spices building in the middle; after the swallow, the Brandy barrel adds another layer of flavor; there is an oddly metallic tone in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet, though not as much as would be expected given the ABV

Overall: A really different take on a pumpkin beer with great complexity and nice balance

Thanks, c64person, for the opportunity

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Photo of Ancalagon
4.67/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Excellent beer. Look reminds me of leaves falling from the tree. Smell is sweet with pumpkin and brandy. Taste is exceptional. Heavy on the pumpkin. Also taste vanilla and nutmeg and slight tartness. Feel is very thin. Can't believe it is 12%. Overall, this is an exceptional pumpkin/barley wine ale. Very great pumpkin flavor.

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Photo of joeyfeets
4.04/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Im generally not a huge fan of the style but this beer is hands down one of the best pumpkin beers Ive ever had. The flavor of brandy is slight & mixes very well with the vanilla, malts & roasty pumpkin flavors. The nose is sweet & slightly spicy. Even the color of the brew is a perfect light copper color. Very reminiscent of pumpkin. Although we hit double digit abv with this one, the alcohol is perfectly hidden. Very drinkable. A "spooktacular" beer.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.01/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Curran tonight.

This one pours a light amber color, with a small head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells very strongly of pumpkin flesh, with brandy, cinnamon, brown sugar, and clove.

This is a pretty strong beer, as evinced by the ABV and it being a barleywine. I get a ton of real, authentic pumpkin flesh, tons of the usual pumpkin spices- clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc, some vanilla, a ton of sweet boozy brandy, and a bit of oak.

This is pretty thin bodied for the ABV, honestly, slightly disappointing. There's a sweet, slightly syrupy mouthfeel, and a lower level of carbonation.

This is really interesting, but didn't quite meet the hype for me.

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Photo of VashonGuy
4.4/5  rDev +4%

This is a unique beer. Classified as a barleywine, but hey, it's tart! Is it a sour? No, not really, but it's definitely got a tart character. Is it a pumpkin ale? No, not really. The pumpkin is part of the show, but in a supporting role at most.

Half of this ale mixture was aged in rye and brandy barrels, and you can pick up that barrel aged character, but again, it's not the dominant note.

This beer is pretty spicy. It's got a thinnish mouthfeel. Nice appearance, with a good head up front. Color is amber. Aroma has the pumpkin and the barrel aging and the spices. And did I mention that it's a little tart? The 12% ABV is hidden to a remarkable extent - beware!

Really a remarkable creation by the folks at Farm to Barrel. In 2013, this was one of my two most favorite pumpkin beers, and in 2014, it's at the top of the charts again!

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Photo of emerge077
4.24/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Skye for this one! :thumbup:

Body was a bright coppery orange, with a compact layer of off-white foam on the surface. Minimal spotty lacing, nice clarity.

Aroma was nice, fairly complex with pumpkin spices and an undercurrent of sweet brandy warmth.

Taste was similarly complex with boozy barrel elements upfront, sticky toffee and vanilla, with pumpkin spices of nutmeg and clove in the periphery. Full bodied and sticky, we split this 4 ways and that was enough, though i'd try it again if I saw it. Unique use of pumpkin for sure.

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Photo of Impfan
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Beautiful balance of pumpkin, pumpkin spice, rye barrel, and brandy barrel. All the ingredients are very soft and natural tasting, and the barrel influence is paradoxically very present, and yet subtle and nuanced. Unlike even the better pumpkin ales I've enjoyed, this one is blissfully devoid of that perfumy, over-spiced character, and is redolent of real gourd goodness. Wow!

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Photo of coloradopumpkinbeerfreak
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Boozy on the nose with aromatics of cinnamon, nutmeg, oak, pumpkin sweetness. Beautiful deep orange hues with good lacing when poured in a snifter. taste I am hit with initial sweetness as well as some nice spice, and then it moves into the warmth and brandy notes and syrupy mouthfeel. I love this beer. I found Almanac at GABF and was very lucky to snag this bottle. No rye detected. Great beer.

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Photo of CraftFan5
4.84/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

No idea what this was supposed to taste like, but I was very pleasantly suprised.

For a 12% barleywine, I was expecting a thick, dark, pumpkin-y brew. Instead, I got a light, tart, pre-Thanksgiving holiday treat. It's possible it was infected, because I'm not sure it was supposed to be tart, but I enjoyed it immensely anyway. Appearance was standard for a pumpkin ale - a deep orange with a light fluffy head. Nose had that slight tartness along with the pumkin and spices. Taste had all the holiday spices you could ask for. The tartness was definitely there, adding to the complexity of this beer. I couldn't taste the 12% at all, like at all at all. Mouth was medium to light with a pleasant amount of carbonation. This was a masterpiece, accidental or not.

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Photo of metter98
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is hazy yellowish amber in color. It poured with nearly a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving only wispy lacing covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of sourness and pumpkins are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is a little sour and has notes of pumpkins and spices in the flavors. Hints of whiskey are also perceptible.
M: It feels just about medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is rather drinkable for a 12% abv beer as it hides its alcohol very well. I liked how it wasn't dominated by flavors of pumpkins or pumpkin spices.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of i4ourgot
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Great beer I get a little scared when it comes to fruit or vegetable beers. I am not a fan of a beer with a overpowering dominant flavor. This beer pours with little to no head, a little lighter in color than maple syrup. Very light in carbonation but the body is rich. Lots of caramel flavors and fruity raisin/ fig. This beer is sweet but not overly sweet. Lots of different caramel flavors come out. Some oak vanilla and whiskey flavors are present as well. I really enjoyed this beer and the barrel ageing really does wonders for this beer.

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Photo of kemoarps
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep russet red, little bit of an off white head, quickly returns to just the ring around the rosie, though it leaves little to no poseys in the glass pocket.

Nose starts out a little bit sour, but I do get a bit of the syrupy sweet barleywine malts, some tobacco, and just a touch of grassy greenery, though not much. Towards the end it gets a fruit-meat rounded edge to it that could easily be attributable to the pumpkin, and there's a brush of pie spice to remind you that indeed, this is a pumpkin-ified beverage. The brandy sweet and rye spice don't particularly stand out.

Starts off with that familiar barleywine sweetness that I absolutely love so much, a vintage table soon gives way to the tartness that was promised on the nose and some of that smoothe/sweet brandy. The tart notes actually kind of serve to accent the alcohol, and the brandy specifically. Finishes by throwing it all together for a grand finale: traditional boozy barleywine, tart pucker-side, a bit of brandy booze, and then on the finish/aftertaste, the ghost of pumpkin spice past flutters by and gently brushes your cheek to remind you it's there, it's watching you, but it's not doing too much.

Lightly carbonated the bubbles join together with the sour notes to accent their presence as well as the alcohol, while contributing to downplay the BW side, and almost completely negating the pumpkin.

Very pleasant surprise, considering it's not even the beer I thought I had bought. My first experience with combining sour tendencies with a BW, and while it's not a perfect fit, it works for the most part. The pumpkin is an afterthought, and the brandy/rye aging, while interesting and a net positive, may be a little superfluous.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Server in a snifter glass.

Appearance: Hazy brown-copper, heavy bubbles in the body. Orange tinted white head rising roughly a fibger's length.

Smell: strong pumpkins.

Taste: Seriously a story mix of white wine and pumpkin with a hard hit of sweet fruit. This beer seriously is one if the most complicated I have had in a longtime which already gets extra points with me.

Mouth: medium to heavy bubbles, real f'n sticky. Sour finish that will crush your palates.

Overall: First piece of advice let it warm up, it gets better and better as it closes in on room temperature. Complex taste, I know I said it before but I can't emphasize it. Grab a glass and indulge...salud!

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

A - Pours an opaque rosy amber with a fleeting rocky head.

S - The nose is strangely barnyard, with crisp cider notes and musty dried hay. It’s grassy and sweet, with notes of kiwi and unripe apple. A bit wild without being funky, there’s not actually a dominant pumpkin-spice smell.

T - Tartness isn’t as pronounced in the taste as the nose would suggest. Rather, you get malted mealiness and oak (though little whisky) and, at last, the pumpkin and spice. There’s cinnamon, cloves, pepper, but also lemon zest, pear and fuji apple.

M - Quite lightweight and dry for its ABV.

Most pumpkin beers taste like pumpkin pie filling, while Almanac’s is reminiscent of a gourd cut open straight form the patch. As delicate and bright as Heirloom Pumpkin is, I’m not sure it’ll unseat Pumking as my preferred pumpkin ale. Almanac’s beer is brighter, tarter, and dewier. It’s also higher in ABV by nearly half. A tasty diversion, not a seasonal staple.

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Photo of Furlinator
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%

Bottled Autumn 2014.

Pours a hazy orange amber. The 1/4 inch off-white head fades to a thin film and ring on top and leaves spots of lace.

The smell is of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and roasted pumpkin.

The taste is of pumpkin pie, with pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, burnt sugar and faint citrus.

The texture is heavy bodied with medium carbonation.

A well done pumpkin barleywine with impressive pumpkin pie flavor and a pleasantly thick mouthfeel.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This is a very good beer- I don't like pumpkin beers or barley wines so this is a real success. Pours a slightly hazy amber mahogany color with little head, good retention and some nice lacing.

Smells like pumpkin, caramel, and a little rye whiskey.

Tastes like malt, caramel, pumpkin, brandy, a little rye spice but not as much as the nose.

Medium full bodied and modestly carbonated. I realoymlikemthis one but it is pricey and I'd probably get their other beers over this one.

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

Bottled 'Autumn 2014'

Pours a dark orange with lighter orange hues towards the top and bottom. No head or retention, low lacing, nice legs

Smells pretty tart for a barley wine. Lots of pumpkin, vinegar, leather, oak, caramel, cherry, and alcohol. Smells almost like a sour, not a BW. Pretty complex though

Taste of upfront pumpkin, clove, spices, oak, vinegar, tart cherry, and alcohol. Comes together pretty well, again really complex

Feel confuses me. Tastes like a barley wine upfront, but has a sour twist on the finish. Moderate body, alcohol hidden very well for how strong it is

Overall weird but delicious. Would be fun to age

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Photo of BarrytheBear
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fleshy and meaty pumpkin, rich spicing, nutmeg, cinnamon, enveloped in sweet brandy heat...a really well done and enjoyable pumpkin-centric barleywine.

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Photo of Tele
4.26/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type: Bottle
2014 Vintage

A: 4 Fairly hazy reddish, brown with a one-inch light tan head.

S: 4.25 There is a ton of pumpkin pie spice on the aroma; ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. The spices all smell very fresh, unlike some flavored ales that can have a stale aroma. There’s also sweet malt and a bit of oak and vanilla in the background, but the spice really dominates.

T: 4.25 The taste is pretty similar to the nose, however the spices seem a bit more under control. There’s more balance between the base beer and the added flavors. A bit of funk shows up at first, but as the beer warms it settles into more conventional barleywine flavors. Sweetness from the malt is balanced by a pleasant bitterness on the finish with mild oak and vanilla throughout. The spices are still strong and cover up the nuance of the different barrels used, but it’s much more balanced than the nose.

M: 4.5 I really love the body of this beer. It’s quite substantial and viscous while the slightly dry and bitter finish leaves you wanting more. Also, the carbonation is just about right for the style.

O: 4.25 If you like flavored beers, this is a great example. The spices are strong and fresh, matching the beer very well. Like most spiced beers, it is a bit overwhelmed by the spices. However, there are still some interesting flavors going on while tasting like a big glass of fall.

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Photo of ronricorossi
4/5  rDev -5.4%

bottle from Beer Rev in Oakland - pumpkin spice flavors are well done. It's heavy, but it's not overly think or syrupy like some barleywines can get. Body and carbonation levels are spot on. Really nice. Recommended.

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Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine from Almanac Beer Co.
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 815 ratings