Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine | Almanac Beer Co.

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Heirloom Pumpkin BarleywineHeirloom Pumpkin Barleywine

Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co.
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Rollzroyce21 on 08-02-2013

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Ratings: 813 |  Reviews: 114
Photo of rderedin
2.85/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Photo of MrJuengling
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of facefox
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of icemanls4
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of devilfluff
2.5/5  rDev -40.3%
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.

 226 characters

Photo of Sweffin
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Damian
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

 1,663 characters

Photo of beeragent
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CharlesK
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of cp45
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Grodd87
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of TimG_0913
2.55/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Photo of Vylo
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of RebornStussy
3.84/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of beergoot
3.99/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

 751 characters

Photo of cherche
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

 754 characters

Photo of darktronica
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

 604 characters

Photo of fox227
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

 892 characters

Photo of swanfungus
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sendbeer
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of TruePerception
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

 1,158 characters

Photo of cj8311
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Morockm
3.82/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Jmikepow
4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bgold86
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heirloom Pumpkin Barleywine from Almanac Beer Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 813 ratings.
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