Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

648 Reviews
Read the review
Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin AleSamuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brought back in 2010

Added by Kegatron on 11-10-2008

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 648 | Ratings: 2,637
Photo of hdf561
3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had in a bottle in make your own 6 pack

The initial smell was almost overpowering, I could distinctly smell every spice in this beer, to be honest it was a tad overwhelming and made me sneeze.

The taste was much more mild, able to still taste the spices, and pumpkin flavor but not as harsh as the smell.

The mouthfeel was very smooth, with little to no aftertaste.

Overall this was a solid beer, that I would have again just not as good as other offerings.

 464 characters

Photo of IPA4LIFE
3.12/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A- Deep copper, nearly light brown when it pours. 1 finger khaki colored head with weak retention and very little lacing. Looks beautiful.

S- Typical pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices. Subtle hints of toasted pie crust adds to the perception that you are drinking a liquid pumpkin pie.

T- A little sweet nuttiness. Not overly complex (for the style anyway). Slight hints of pumpkin bread with butter. Mostly pumpkin pie spices.

M- A little too thin for me. The head dropped quickly, and I would have preferred a more full-bodied mouthfeel to support the richness of the flavors.

O- While I’m on “richness of the flavors” I do wish they had been just a bit richer. Everything was decent and well balanced, but it all just had the volume turned down a little more than I would have liked.

 802 characters

Photo of JustinAniello
3.84/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A leather brown with a finger wide head that dissipates quickly. Very light lacing around the edge.

S - Nice nutmeg and clove smells, with a light scent of toasted malts.

T - Light spice flavor that grows heavier after swallowing. A very light pumpkin flavor in the end.

M - Light body, though a lot of carbonation.

O - This has great smell and taste, almost like mulled wine. However, the carbonation really takes the flavor out of it while it's in your mouth. If this had a bit more pumpkin and less fizz, it would go from good to excellent, I bet it would be even better on tap.

 589 characters

Photo of GeckoPunk
3.57/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I agree with BarryMFBurton on this one... Copied from him.

I second the fake sweetness is present in this beer, similar to what the Hazel Brown tastes like to me.

Starting basic with pumpkin ales: Sam Adams Harvest. These guys usually set a good benchmark for styles, it seems.

A: A small, fizzy tan head over a translucent body of dark amber; a wonderful color, but a very average head. Retention is very slight, as is lacing.

S: A spiced malt-fest – pumpkin aromas are present, but only under the overwhelming kick of allspice and cinnamon. It resembles the scent of a pumpkin pie candle rather than the actual food, and it’s the first thing you notice; still, it’s pleasant. Medium-strength bready malt on the back, lightly toasted but with a moderate biscuit and grain husk aroma throughout.

T: You can always tell when low-quality additives have been jammed into a beer, and this is one of those times; the allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg give off more of a fake sugar and aspirin flavor rather than a nice, smooth spiciness. The off-flavors extend into the aftertaste, unfortunately, but with an overhang of sweet malts and toasted pie crust that show up toward the finish. Slight moment of nutty flavors in the aftertaste, finally showing a few signs of pumpkin flavors; however, the aspartame tastes end up leaving this with a lingering effect of Diet Coke.

M: Way too carbonated; when you think of pumpkin flavors, it’s all about smooth sweets and rich earthiness. As such, the fizz shouldn’t be too big a feature here, and it feels out of place.

O: Hard to call this one a pumpkin beer; it’s more of a light, spiced ale meant for the fall season. Seems like it’s only up from here, as far as pumpkin beers are concerned.

 1,752 characters

Photo of arboristfish
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep amber color, with a white frothy head. The smell is of pumpkin spices, with a faint hint of pumpkins. The taste of the beer is sweet, almost caramel like, with pumpkin spices. Not much pumpkin flavor, more so just pumpkin spices. I was hoping for more pumpkin flavor. The mouthfeel is medium. I would consider this a drinkable beer, but again I was hoping for more pumpkin flavor.

 403 characters

Photo of nicksta
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A deep red and ruby body sits below thin tan lacing. It fades into a nice hazel-brown and fades again into gold. The split of colors is a nice sight. The smell is delicious. Cinnamon-sugar and nutmeg, sweet, fresh pumpkin and pie-crust malts highlight the smell. It's light but sticks in your nose. The taste isn't terrible. Pumpkin-filling malts and a hint of nutmeg. A little sour. The mouthfeel is good - smooth on the tongue - and the drinkability is better. Drinks well at a range of temperatures.

 502 characters

Photo of Lahoi
3.74/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I was very pleasantly surprised by this beer. My expectations weren't very high, but maybe that helpd lead to a great experience. I didn't sense any pumpkin until the finish. But when it did hit it was an almost perfect blend. Nothing too intense, which was a good thing. Lots of spice throughout. A very enjoyable winter beer.

 327 characters

Photo of Justin23060
2.48/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I guess I should start this review by saying I don't really care for Pumpkin beers. That being said this is a somewhat more tolerable offering. Color is a nice dark amber with a cola like head that disappeared just as with cola. Smell is like a spiced cookie but with this distracting smell like the smell of salt when you prepare a warm salt water gargle. Taste is that usual spicy after shave that dominates the style. I do appreciate the dryness in the finish which helps to keep the spiciness from getting out of hand. I probably won't seek it out again, but again I don't seek out this style by any brewer.

 611 characters

Photo of Caj1
3.57/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I thought I had reviewed this beer already, but there hasn't been much said about this beer that I can really add to.

A: Copper/brown with very slight amount of loose, tan head that leaves minimal lacing. It's clear and has light-moderate carbonation.

S: Spices at the front of the nose for sure, smells like cinnamon and cloves, maybe some nutmeg. What you'd find in a pumpkin pie, really. Some caramel from the malt and some earth from the pumpkin but minimal hops.

T: Very sweet and spicy, but the spices don't overpower the pumpkin flavor (has an earthy squash taste.) Malt is where the sweetness comes from and it has a nice toasty caramel taste on the swallow. Bitterness and hops are at a minimum here, but they are not really necessary.

F: Nice burn from the cinnamon and carbonation, and it has a very light texture and body for the type of beer it is. Refreshing without making you feel boozed up after a couple like some other fall ales can do.

Honestly, you know what you're getting if you drink this, and it's not bad. I will reach for it if I want a spicy beer that doesn't offend, but it also doesn't do much to challenge. Still a great perennial entry in the catalogue and one I will continue to enjoy... once in a while, that is.

To good health and good beer.

 1,284 characters

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

After an abysmal experience with Southern Tier's Pumpking last night, decided to give this a try as part of the Fall Sampler Pack.

Pours an orange/brown with a yellowish tinted white head that disappears fairly quickly.

Smell is faintly spicy. Cinnamon mostly with faint cloves. Not at all offensive or overpowering like most pumpkin beers.

Taste is similarly faintly spicy, with the addition of brown sugar sweetness and an astringent quality likely from the spices. It's not until the aftertaste when you can actually taste a subtle earthy squash quality which is really pleasant. Wish all pumpkin beers had this.

Overall, one of my favorite pumpkin beers. I really appreciate that they tone down the spices and let the subtle taste of pumpkin stand out.

 760 characters

Photo of twi1609372
4/5  rDev +11.7%

honestly not a bad overall beer. the spices definitely do cancel out most of the pumpkin flavor, whatever pumpkin flavor there is its pretty mild.that said, it is refreshing, quite drinkable and has a good taste overall

 219 characters

Photo of KELPAK
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pleased to see that Sam Adams decided to release in six packs.

Refreshing pumpkin taste without any of the added spices that usually make up a pumkin ale or lager. The beer stays true to its form and is genuinly enjoyable. It seemed to do better than most pumpkins on the shelves but that is in part due to its name brand.

 323 characters

Photo of setexascustoms
3.95/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into a SA Perfect Pint

A- Beautiful clear reddish orange. Half inch of creamy light tan head that fades quickly, but the lacing has a lot of stick.

S- I know everyone says this, but I do get the pumpkin pie, although on the spicy side dominated by cinnamon.

T- The taste changes thing up to me, now dominated by nutmeg. The pumpkin doesn't really come in 'til near the finish. A little sweet with a slight smokiness, I like it.

M- Good medium body, prickly carbonation which I could do with a little less of.

O- I love this beer. If you've read my other reviews, all four of them ;) you know my experiences are limited. Again, this is the only pumpkin ale I've had. I do look forward to trying more, but I don't really miss the pumpkin like a lot of you do. On the other hand I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin pie. Still, this screams Fall to me and I love it, and look forward to trying more.

 901 characters

Photo of NHGrafx
3.2/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a red amber color with 1 finger head and no lace.

Smell is spicy with cloves and nutmeg with roasted malts and pumpkin, there is also light cinnamony sweetness to it as well.

Taste is decent, like liquid pumpkin pie with malts. There is also a hint of what tastes like spiced chai tea. I was expecting more pumpkin taste considering the bottle claims they use 17lbs per barrel. Overall it is not bad, drinkability is pretty good as well.

 445 characters

Photo of bgillespie
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Hazel, brown, reddish color with a thin off white head.

Smell: A ton of spicy aroma, cinnamon, nutmeg, not a lot of pumpkin though.

Taste: The spices greatly overwhelm any pumpkin flavor, it may come out at the end, but still very little.

Mouthfeel: Carbonated well, medium body.

Overall: Definitely not my favorite fall beer. There is not a ton a pumpkin flavor and it overrun by the spices. I would not go looking for it.

 467 characters

Photo of afdempse
3.65/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz pour into a pint glass.

Head seems to last a bit after the pour, eventually fading away to a ring. Nice dark copper color and crystal clear.

Aromas of spice (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, etc.) and slight pumpkin meatiness.

Flavor is spice, spice and more spice with some pumpkin character and malt sweetness at the end. Some bready character pokes through towards the end but gets dominated by the remains of the spice. Body is full-ish and seems to finish cleanly but there is a lasting blanket of unnatural sweetness that seems to cling as the flavor fades into a mix of pumpkin pie and barley in the breath.

I appreciate a good pumpkin beer, but this one seems overly spiced for my tastes. A decent showing and not so spicy that it's not drinkable, although I can't see myself having more than one in a sitting.

 822 characters

Photo of Lordquackingstic
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a goblet.

A: Dark ruby red with a finger of white head. Lacing isn't too sticky and there's a medium amount of noticeable carbonation.

S: Cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg; all the normal pumpkin pie spices. A little nutty and a tad sweet.

T: Malty gourd meat blended together with pumpkin pie spices. Not overly spiced, but a tad too sweet for my liking.

M: Just a tad on the thin side, but I'm okay with that considering how hard it sometimes can be to finish a pumpkin ale. Carbonation is medium. Leaves a sweet taste on the palette.

O: I've been avoiding SA for some time now, but in all honesty they put out some decently drinkable stuff. I was expecting this to be a mess, but it's actually kind of enjoyable. I can't see myself drinking more than one at a time, but it still has a decent flavor and aroma profile.

 850 characters

Photo of whiplash3825
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 2010 Sam Adams Harvest Collection 12-pack.

Moderate pour yields a dark copper/ mahogany brew with a short-lived two-finger head.

Maybe the slightest hint of pumpkin on the nose, but mainly spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg... maybe some allspice), along with a solid malt backbone.

Taste is about the same; primarily spices along with just a hint a pumpkin-y sweetness.

Mouthfeel seems just a touch thin for an autumn ale, with a very dry finish.

I couldn't drink more than a couple of these in a row, but I'm not going to blame that on the beer as much as my own taste preferences. I don't like pumpkin, or many of the spices it's typically flavored with. Knowing that, it wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. Still nothing I'll be searching out in the future!

 771 characters

Photo of abriggs1
2.8/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Overall a fairly well balanced pumpkin ale. Nothing special, pretty average. One thing I like about this one is that it doesn't just taste like pumpkin pie. Too many pumpkin beers overdo the nutmeg and other spices so that it overpowers the pumpkin flavor. There's a bit of harshness on the end that might be some tannins from the vegetable. I've had some pumpkin beers that were better, but I've also had some that were much worse.

 432 characters

Photo of airforbes1
3.69/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'm tackling a horizontal tasting of four pumpkin ales tonight. First up, Samuel Adams.

This beer is by far the darkest of the four. It almost looks like a brown ale. No head. There's a lot of cinnamon on the nose. It reminds me of apple cider (the non-alcoholic variety).

For me, the taste follows the nose. It tastes like apple cider to me as it has a strong cinnamon presence. There's an undercurrent of pumpkin puree, but it's the cinnamon that stands out. As a cinnamon fan, I'm OK with this.

As the beer warms, I'm finding it to be too sweet at first and and too hot on the finish. I expect some of that in pumpkin ales, but I'm finding the sweetness and the hotness to be a bit strong.

That said, I still like this beer and would consider buying it in a six-pack (if that was an option), especially at Samuel Adams' price point.

 840 characters

Photo of likethetaste
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this with the SA seasonal pack. I was really curious about this one and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. Has a nice Mahogany brown color with little head.

The taste is good. Spicy pumpkin flavor this not too sweet at all. Not strong flavors but well balanced. I would have not trouble drinking a couple of these every once in a while in the autumn.

Just a nice easy to get Autumn sipper!

 400 characters

Photo of bgjohnston
3.36/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear dark brown with plenty of carbonation, although the head dies down very quickly. You can definitely pick up on the pumpkin spices, but the pumpkin itself is more elusive. It comes through better with a sip, but I would probably like this beer better with more real pumpkin flavor. Still, this is a nice tasting beer, although not as good as their Octoberfest for the seasonal style.

I liked it just fine, but would prefer one of their Octoberfest lagers if I had my choice in the cooler.

 500 characters

Photo of rlshep
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is freshly cut raw pumpkin. Some spice but can't make out specifically what it is.

Pours small off-white head. Dissipates quickly. Some lacing. Deep mahogony color. High clarity.

More of the pumpkin with a good dose of nutmeg followed by allspice. Low bitterness.Bready malt character. Some fruitiness.

Medium-low mouthfeel. Medium carbonation. Alcohol not noticeable.

Everything balanced on this beer, but balanced to the low side. It shouldn't offend too many palates.

 480 characters

Photo of doopydoogle
3.37/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark amber with an almost reddish hue. Decent head that quickly dissipated with fat carbonation that left a little lace.

S - Spices, anise, clove, cinnamon, cardamom, slight woody quality. Some malt profile buried beneath the spice.

T - Malt and sweet upfront with a slightly astringent quality. The spices talk beneath the malt but don't provide enough character to add much to the brew. Overall has a pretty sticky, flabby character, followed by a ricey finish backed up with some clove. The pumpkins come out in the finish.

M - Sticky, light carbonation without much depth.

O - Not too good. Flavor profile lacks depth for a style that generally has a good character from the spice. It's kinda like a Sam Light with some spice added.

 744 characters

Photo of artdob
4.11/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Highly drinkable. Great fall flavors with pronounced spices typical of pumpkin pie. Slight carbonation, just enough for what this beer needs. Would gladly have this one again. Among the better of the pumpkin ales I've tried over the years. Nice job Boston Beer Co!

 264 characters

Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.58 out of 5 based on 2,637 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.