Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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: 2,634
Photo of GRPunk
3.52/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle (notched best by Feb) poured into a nonic pint.

A- 1-finger, dark tan head almost instantly drops to a light film that leaves some decent sticky spots. The body is fairly clean, somewhere between copper and garnet with medium carbonation.

S- Right off the bat, it's sweet and spicy. Very pumpkin pieish. There's something of starchy pumpkin with brown sugar and pie spice (mostly clove, with some nutmeg, and maybe a touch of ginger?). It really does well to showcase the pumpkin and spice qualities while keeping the "beer" intact. A little warmth ups the caramel malts (I expected more spice to come through with warmth).

T- Not as spicy as expected from the aroma at first. Rich malts are supported by pie spice. Malts become really roasty to the point of showing smoked qualities, which might be supported by some of the spices (allspice? mace?). It has a pretty clean finish. Unfortunately, about halfway through the bottle the spice really adds up and overwhelms a bit.

M- Pretty solid. Moderate carbonation. A little thicker viscosity than expected makes a coating sensation. It's almost chalky at points, maybe a by-product of the spice.

D- This one suffers the fateof most pumpkin beers. That is, it's pretty much a one-and-done in any one sitting. That said, it's a beer I'd drink again. Possibly a good fall harvest/Thanksgiving brew.

 1,357 characters

Photo of Kooz
2.66/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Sam Adams pint glass. Beautiful beer. Brownish-red, not orange like many pumpkin ales. Not much head, no lacing. I think this is atypical for a Sam beer, but it is what it is.

Smells faintly of pumpkin. Not much, but a bit. It's, eh, okay.

Tastes alright, not very good though. A little too spicy. Not much pumpkin.

Very good mouthfeel. Foamy and creamy. Nice!

I wouldn't drink this if other things are available, although it isn't the worst pumpkin I've had.

 478 characters

Photo of argock
3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. Best by notched on the side of the label. Purchased as part of SA Harvest Sampler 12-pack for $13.99 at Harris Teeter (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Pleasing rust-amber hue with creamy 1-2 finger vanilla ice cream colored head with good retention and nice lacing.

S: Spices are mild, almost too mild for the style, with a crisp herbal hoppiness and plenty of caramel, toffee maltiness

T: I'm not a big fan of pumpkin ales, but this one is about as good as any I've tried as the spice and pumpkin flavor is an accent to the substantial maltiness rather than the overwhelming steamroller they are in most pumpkin beers. No extract-like flavors, just smooth maltiness with caramel, light roast, and biscuit character and a soft spicing rather than the blunt object the spices usually are in this style. Hops are a small player and mainly add herbal qualities.

M: The maltload is pretty liberal with a medium body and a soft smoothness in feel helped along by the light carbonation. Aftertaste is light pie spice and mostly caramel maltiness.

D: Easily the best pumpkin beer I have had to date with malt allowed to maintain the lead with support from spice and pumpkin rather than the other way around. This one is more like a beer spiked with pumpkin instead of a pumpkin pie with a dash of beer.

 1,351 characters

Photo of bamadog
3.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a Sam Adams Harvest Variety Pack, mostly to get a hold of this one -- I'm a sucker for pumpkin ales and since I'm running out of ones in my immediate distribution area, I'll take anything new. Review is from notes taken on 10/16/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a beautiful deep coppery color and it starts with a one finger light tan head with decent retention; head fades relatively slowly to an uneven, but full skim on the surface; body is fairly dark, has very good clarity and shows moderately strong carbonation bubbling throughout; only one lonely patch of lacing is left behind.

Smell: A little weaker than what I typically like, but it's not too bad -- it has more of a lager-ish grainy scent to it that is complimented by some warm pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices (mostly nutmeg, followed by a bit of cinnamon); there's a bit of a sweet, cola-like sweetness lingering that is kind of interesting as well.

Taste: It's actually pretty good - I kind of wish this was available in six-packs on its own based upon the taste; unlike the smell, I feel that the pumpkin pie flavor is more up front -- smooth pumpkin goodness complimented by a big ol' dash of nutmeg and cinnamon; it has a firm, but not overpowering, hop bitterness that provides just a bit of bite and balance behind the blast of pumpkin pie flavors; a fair toffee/caramel malty backing rounds out the beer in the back.

Mouthfeel: Body is medium/light and has pretty damn near perfect carbonation for the body and style -- nice and crisp, but ultimately far from sharp (really just provides the right amount of action on the palate); a moist and sticky coating is left on the roof of the mouth that becomes a little cottony dry.

Drinkability: Yeah, I could really drink this beer all day during the nice, temperate and cool fall; moderate ABV, a body that's not going to weigh you down and a nice set of flavors are really fitting for the style. I have to say, I'm fairly impressed -- not that Sam Adams isn't typically solid (IMHO), but this one really kind of exceeded my expectations. While it may not compete with a Double Frog Hollow or Pumking with a year of age on it, it is really super solid.

 2,221 characters

Photo of morebeergood
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a SA Harvest twelve pack to try the Dunkel and the Pumpkin. Poured into a stemmed glass. Dark orange color, nearing a shade of burnt rust. Fairly large white head. A nice looking beer to start. Smell had a lot of spice notes to it. Taste was appealing, with flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin really standing out. Mouthfeel was appropriate for a pumpkin ale - smooth but with a bit of heartiness. Drinkability was good, as this beer had a bit of body to it, and had an enticing flavor that made you want to take the next sip. As this is Sam Adams' first commercial venture into the seasonal and finicky world of pumpkin ales, I was skeptical at first. But I will have to admit, SA released a satisfying brew with this one. I would buy this in six packs if it became available in the future.

 805 characters

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

Got this one in a fall variety pack. Poured it into a chilled pint glass.

A. Dark reddish brown body with tan head that reduced to a cap within about one minute.

S. Pumpkin pie spices, cinnamon and nutmeg, with a roasted malt body.

T. Sweet malty body with the typical Sam Adams yeast flavor. Very good depth with some hints of spices.

M. Light and slightly over carbonated.

D. Overall this is a very good brew and would pick up a six pack if I saw it in the store.

 475 characters

Photo of fank2788
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a pint glass
Pours a bright, clear reddish brown with an off white head that leaves a good bit of lace on the way down. The smell is typical pumpkin pie spices namely the nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. The taste matches the smell. Upfront you get the typical pumpkin pie spice flavors. This is backed by a solid caramel malt base with little if any evident hop bitterness or flavor/aroma. This beer is crisp and relatively dry the finish leaves a lingering pie spiciness. I'm glad that it isn't overly sweet and is well attenuated I prefer a pumpkin beer to be dry as opposed to sweet. Overall I'm quite pleased with this beer. I feel that the Boston Beer Company did a good job on this tricky style. I was skeptical that they would take the easy way out and put out a mediocre pumpkin beer but in the end I was pleasantly surprised.

 855 characters

Photo of goblue3509
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber color with a nice thick three to four finger head which is off white and holds good retention. There is a little lacing down the glass. The aroma is of a caramel malt backbone with cinnamon and nutmeg present along with a nice pumpkin spice smell. Well rounded but not as rich as others in the class. The taste is of a sweet caramel malt backbone with a little toastiness to it, there is a flavor of clove and cinnamon over the top with a good, but not great pumpkin flavor. Again for the class it is a nice flavor but not as rich and bold as other class leaders. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated. Overall it is a drinkable beer, there is nothing to dislike, however, for the class there are much worse options. There are also better options with a bigger and bolder taste.

 798 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured dark amber sort of like the Oktoberfest, with the same creamy white head.

S - Slight caramel with mild cinnamon and nutmeg. Not sure if I can smell any real pumpkin.

T - It was OK. Not too spicy and it seems they did sort of base the Oktoberfest from this since it's sweet and has a nice caramel sweetness base but the spices are really subdued and kind of bland. About halfway down the glass they are so moderate that you can't even taste them anymore.

M - Medium to light. Drinkable.

D - Well I have 3 more and I read some of the reviews to let it warm up a bit to taste more spices or pumpkin but as I figure it in a 30 dollar case it wasn't a bad pumpkin beer for 1.25. Heck Shipyards was 3x worse and I paid a solid 2.50 to try it's badness again just to review it here. Solid brew

 802 characters

Photo of sommersb
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Working my way through the Sam Adams harvest pack...this was from a bottle with a best by date of February 2011.

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint, had a dark copper color with medium carbonation. Head was tan, 2 fingers worth with a good amount of lacing at the beginning. Smelled of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices with a little sweetness to it - nice aroma. The taste has a moderate amount of spices and pumpkin flavor. The pumpkin pie taste is there but not very strong. I could feel some alcohol in this; was warm with a fair amount of carbonation.

It felt like the spices came out more as this beer warmed; finished very nicely.

 638 characters

Photo of chumba526
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appears a dark red color. With a small slightly tan head.

Smells of cinnamon and other pumpkin pie spices, brown sugar and earthy pumpkin.

It tastes much like the smell. There is a noticeable taste of pumpkin spice but it is not overwhelming. There is a slight taste of brown sugar and a nice pumpkin flavor.

The carbonation is moderate high.

The drinkability is about average for they style. I could drink more than one but probably not more than two.

Overall a nice ale by Sam Adams. I was pleasantly surprised by the natural pumpkin taste in the beer.

 560 characters

Photo of HockeytownBrew
4.33/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep amber color is instantly noticed as this brew is poured. A great, long lasting head. Minimal lacing left behind.

S: Pumpkin and roasted malt. Nice scents of cinnamon and spices as well.

T: Very well rounded. Non-overwhelming pumpkin, cinnamon, spices, and a bit of cloves make for a very impressive mix. Nicely balanced with a bit of a malty finish.

M: Light to medium mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation.

D: Very nice. Wish this was available more often.

A very impressive brew from Samuel Adams, although I've come to expect impressive brews from the fine Boston Beer Company.

 611 characters

Photo of Chaney
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've always thought that given Sam Adams taste profile, they would probably be a prime candidate to produce a nice pumpkin ale. After years of dreaming, it's now here!

A: Poured a dark, cloudy, almost peppery orange, with ruby highlights, with about a fingers worth of head that lingered substantially throughout the session. Mucho carbonation!

S: Deep, dark smell of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. A little bit of the actually gourd is buried in there as well.

T: A bit on the thin side, but not bad. In my opinion, a little more sweetness might have brought out the spices a bit more. I can actually taste a bit of Sam Adams "Scotch Ale" buried underneath the sea of spices, which I wish were more pronounced.

M: Acceptable, but once again, I could have used a little more "candy sugar" taste. The ABV is non-existent, but I usually feel that way on most pumpkin ales.

D: Last year I would have probably given this better marks, however, because I live in an area that gets most of the great pumpkin ales (Pumking, Schlafly, Punkin', Hoppin' Frog, etc.), this one is standard pumpkin fare compared to the heavyweights.

 1,126 characters

Photo of ksimons
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-a clear dark red amber with a thin layer of white head that quickly disappears and leaves a ring of lace

S-smell is very nice, cinnamon, pumpkin, malts

T-for me the malts made the biggest impression, then there was a bit of spicy cinnamon, and hint of pumpkin at the end

M-medium carbonation, medium body, creamy mouthfeel

D-I was pleasantly surprised, this is better than other pumpkin beers out there, I just wish the pumpkin flavor came out a bit more. I wish there were more than two in the mix pack!

 510 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 BennyL1
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into SA Perfect Pint glass.

A - Pours a very nice deep amber color and leaves spotty lacing on the glass.

S - I was very impressed with the smell of this beer. Strong scent of the pumpkin and all of the spices used.

T - The pumpkin flavor really came through with the first sip, not a synthetic pumpkin taste either. Followed by cinnamon and allspice with a nice malt finish.

M - Very smooth throughout. Probably my favorite part of the beer. It feels great on the palate, very good balance between heavy and light.

D - Overall a very drinkable pumpkin brew. The only issue is it only comes in the harvest pack so you only get two at a time.

 666 characters

Photo of yesferro
2.62/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bought at Tupelo, Walmart, part of the 12pack

Been looking forward to this one, saw the 12pack once and didn't get it, had to wait 2 weeks to see it again. This beer is pretty, love the deep color of it.
Smells rather odd, I don't get the pumpkin here, carmel, malt and some some spices, but no thanksgiving.
Taste was a dissapointment, I get banana flavor, brown sugar and then more banana.

If this didn't say Pumpkin on the bottle I might like this more but so far, I am feeling let down. It's not bad, but also not what I want out of a pumpkin beer.

 555 characters

Photo of greengorilla
3.35/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I poured this from a 12 ounce bottle into a mug. It is a nice copper color with very little head.

The smell is interesting and pretty good. I can pick up some of the pumpkin here.

The taste is okay, but not exactly good. It is hard to describe, but I am not a fan.

The mouthfeel is fine, and is drinkable, but I can't say much more than that for this beer. I would definitely pass on this one and order the Oktoberfest, because it is great.

 443 characters

Photo of smibroncos
3.76/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A. Poured a lightly clouded amber copper, with a short diminishing off white head no lacing visible on the glass.

S. This is the best attribute of the brew, pumpkin, cloves, cinnomon, allspice. Thanksgiving in a bottle.

T. Not as sweet as the nose leads you to believe. Decent malt sweetness, Festive spices, cinnomon, cloves. Taste allot like the smell, duration is medium, bitter aftertaste.

M. Medium bodied, good carbonation.

D. A decent representation of the style, nicely spiced, not overpowered by sweetness.

 519 characters

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

First off , it is great that this comes in a mixed 12 pack of harvest themed beers as some people don't want a lot of pumpkin beers in their fridge. If you like looks of spice and pumpkin flavour this beer may not be what you are looking for as it shows that side of the style but tones it down compared to some examples.

However this is a well made and easy drinking Pumpkin beer that appeals to the drinker who likes the style but prefers not to have the beer feel like dessert

 480 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.46/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A: Amber/brown with a thick off white head. Retention is good and leaves behind some patchy lacing.

S: Fresh pumpkin, cinnamon, spices, and some caramel and toffee. The smell is rather muted in all respects though.

T: Subtle cinnamon and spice are the first apparent flavors. Freshly chopped pumpkin and brown sugar then take center stage. Mild hop bitterness and notes of caramel and toffee are just barely perceptible. The finish is rather lackluster and consists of pumpkin, light hop bitterness, and caramel malts.

M: On the heavier side of moderate and silky smooth. Carbonation is low. I enjoyed this aspect of the beer the most.

D: This is a very inoffensive beer and very easy to drink, but nothing special. Did not leave me wanting more.

Notes: I generally don't like a lot of spices in my pumpkin ales, but in this case I actually think the spicing was too subdued. The pumpkin taste seems fresh and genuine; no extracts here. Other than that this beer really didn't impress me at all. I bought the fall harvest pack just because of this beer, and it has left me a little disappointed. It's not a bad beer by any means, but it is a very safe offering. It just isn't ballsy enough. There are better pumpkin ales out there.

 1,296 characters

Photo of aquaderek
3.87/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this beer into a pint glass. The appearance is a reddish amber with an offwhite head that dissapates quickly to light lacing around the rim of the glass. The nose is sweet spiciness, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. The taste is upfront sweet spiciness, followed by a well balanced crisp and slightly bitter finish. The mouthfeel is somewhat dry. Kind of a niche taste which causes the beer to loose a point on drinkability. It's a good brew, but would not be a staple in my fridge.

 486 characters

Photo of WinthrHOPHEAD89
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Irish Style pint

A - Pours a 3 and a 1/2 finger light orange pillowy head, with lots of big bubbles. Head slowly shrinks down to a 1 finger head that lasts untl the very end, and leaves some impressive lacing. This beer pours a rich dark orange color (actually more on the reddish side). Medium effervensence, with bubbles clinging to the side of the glass within the first few minutes of pouring.

S - In comparison to the taste, the smell is rather mild, but still very aromatic. Smell defitely has some pumpkin, but not a "squashy" kind of smell, more of a canned pumpkin smell. Lots of nutmeg and cinnamon there too. There appears to be that typical "Sam Adams caramel smell" as well. But all in all, the smell is very good.

T - The taste of this beer doesn't really hit you right away, but rather more so after the finish. The flavor is very smooth, and not too overpowering. This beer is definitely a step up from a lot of the "pumpkin spiced" beers that are floating around; such as the Pumpkinhead Ale or Jack's Pumpkin Spice. You can tell they definitely tried with this one, as with most Sam Adams brews. The taste of pumpkin is definitely noticeable and present, but its not as "authentic" as i'd like it to be. It tastes a bit artificial and confectionary, but still very very tasty.

M - The mouthfeel is fairly soft and chewy. The medium body and medium effervesence, along with the sticky compositon of this beer make for a very pleasing mouthfeel.

D - The drinkability of this beer is a little less than most pumpkin beers, for most of the pumpkin spiced ales tend to be on the watery side, but still very very drinkable. Since only 2 of these beers only come in the variety pack, I cant see anyone drinking more than 2. But I could definitely session this beer, and would by a 6 pack if they made it.

Final Thoughts: Definitely one of the better largy produced pumpkin beers on the market, and props to Sam Adams for continuing to expand their line-up!!

 1,989 characters

Photo of Nerudamann
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look - Very deep amber, and clear. Very little head, but good carbonation.

Smell - Sweeter scent of pumpkin, less spicy than some other pumpkin ales. Maybe a hint of caramel to add the sweetened smell, that or it's more of a pumpkin flavor than actual pumpkin.

Taste - As in the smell, this one is less spicy than some other types, and tastes more like pumpkin itself, maybe mixed with a little bit of molasses. Not too much of an aftertaste..and fairly well-balanced in terms of bitterness.

Mouthfeel - more toward the watery side of texture, but well-balanced here too in general.

Drinkability - nice brew, possibly one of the more complex varieties that I have yet to try of theirs...which is not to say that their beers are not complex.. Also doesn't seem as filling, so easier to come back for more.

 808 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber color with a thin off-white head, leaves no lacing.

Smell is mostly caramel malt with a pumpkin spice, the spice isn't overwhelming and compliments the caramel malt well.

Taste is predominately caramel malt with the aftertaste being mostly of pumpkin, as with the nose, the spice doesn't beat you over the head like some other pumpkin beers, but it's strong enough to know what you're drinking, carbonation is solid and spot on.

 445 characters

Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.58 out of 5 based on 2,634 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.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!