Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale | Carolina Beer Company

BA SCORE
86
very good
173 Ratings
Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced AleCottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Carolina Beer Company
North Carolina, United States
carolinabeer.com

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by aracauna on 09-18-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
173
Reviews:
144
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
13.8%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
9
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 173 |  Reviews: 144
Photo of rabidawg
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

One of the top three pumpkin beers I've had (DFH, CBC). Definitely tastes like a pumpkin pie, without the overwhelming nutmeg of some. I think I've noticed that the better of this style emphasize cinnamon to round things out instead of the overly nutmeggy of the variety. There's something nicely vegetal and round about this one in the mouth. Becomes . . . more as it warms. Not precisely sure if that's good or bad, but definitely "more." I'm very glad I finally got to try this one, but I'm also glad I don't have to drink two.

Thanks AKSP for the appropriately-timed treat!

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Photo of danadeny
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark redish orange, nice off white head, good carbonation. No smell at all, disapointing. Taste is very subtle, little spice, but raw pumpkin flavor is different from other pumpkin ales i've had. This one focuses on the pumpkin flavor and not the spice or a pumpkin pie flavor. A little fruity too.

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Photo of Chadbrew
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours out sort of hazy and brown with a big cap of tan head. I swear it looks like a piece of pumkin pie in a glass. Smells like it too. I detect plenty of spices and some sweetness. The taste is nice and bitter sweet with a solid spice presence but nothing overwhelming. Lots of body definately matches the spice.
This is sooo easy to drink. Not too much of anything but plenty of all. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it is very well balanced.

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Photo of hellbilly
3.54/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

bottle from emacgee.
clear and coppery brown... almost the color of raw pumpkin pie batter (?) with a very short lived natural cotton hued off white 'head'.

the aroma is of 'real' pumpkin pie... true cooked pumpkin meat, definite nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, caramel and floral hoppiness.

bitter nutmeg leads the way on the tongue... followed by caramel, a much more toned down pumpkin flavor than the aroma lead me to believe, some vanilla richness, floral hops and a very spiced finish. ginger powder noted in the aftertaste.

light to medium body with a prickly mouth feel from high sharp carbonation. it does soften a bit when it warms.

not bad... it just lacks a bit of richness and depth of flavor...8/3/6/3/15/3.5

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Photo of jsdunlop
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I look forward to Cottonwood's arrival each fall here in NC, kinda lets me know Fall's arrived...finally getting around to reviewing this one so here it goes:

Pours out as a darker orange with lots of carbonation and a nice fluffy white head that recedes fairly quickly down to some minimal lacing on top. Smell consists of a blast of cinnamon, nutmeg, and some raw pumpkin, not quite as intense as some others out there on the "pumpkin pie" spices, but definitely smells delicious. Next comes the taste, which along with the drinkability, are the key elements of this brew. What I enjoy about this beer is the fact that there is a slight pumpkin bitterness that hangs around with your standard run of the mill holiday spicing, nothing too overwhelming going on here, light on the malt side with a spice note similar to that of a rye beer. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with an abundance of carbonation and sort of a slick aftertaste that lingers on the tongue. Drinkability is extremely high, unlike other bold tasting pumpkins out around this time. This would be a great beer for the cool fall evenings, but at the same time, it is light enough to enjoy on a hot summer day out in the yard...might go ahead and grab a case to test that theory out next summer

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Photo of numenor1
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orangish red with a two finger head that reduces to nothing quickly. Smells of perfect pumpkin pie. Upfront is bready malts riddled with pumpkin, reminds me more of a really good pumpkin bread then pie, then midway the pumpkin spices catch on. Sweet for just a moment then ends with a nice blend of mild hops and pumpkin. Pumpkin lingering on. Very light bodied and mildly carbonated, quite nice. I would have liked a slightly heftier body. On cask this would rock.

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Photo of kneeland
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found a 6 pack of this on clearance in February, score! I've never had pumpkin ale this time of year, it actually makes me think it's autumn.

I'm not picking up on the spices, but yet the flavor is almost overbearing. The added pumpkin taste is nice though, not too much, not too little. So in other words, this isn't my favorite pumpkin ale, but it's in the top few.

The pour is a nice golden orangey color. The head works well enough. Overall, a pretty good little beer.

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Photo of Norfawkers
3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A little too much of the gourd to go back for a second helping

Appearance: Opague, cloudy; minimal orange-amber head

Smell: Pumpkin pie

Taste: Faint spicy, pumpkin bread

Mouthfeel: Bitter with CO2 up front, a bit sour

Drinkability: It has a touch of rotten at the end making this a once-and-done beer. It looks better than it tastes.

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Photo of Sivad
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of ncbrewerbun
1.81/5  rDev -52.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Brown long-neck twist off bottle.

Based on the other reviews, I must have gotten a bad bottle (or six pack). This beer was bad from the get go. Could it have been left over from last year??

The beer poured a cloudy (chill haze) almost murky amber with a small quickly disappearing head.

Aroma was rotting vegetable -- sauerkraut...some vinegar. If you search past that, you can get some cinnamon and malt.

This beer was sour with some pumpkin and vegetable. Seemed infected.

While it was a drinkable beer, why? Life is too short to drink bad beer. I poured it out after tasting enough to make a thorough review.

(I have had this beer in previous years and it was much better. As bad as this beer was, I'm hesitant to try another.)

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Photo of BeerBeing
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown glass longneck generic bottle, multicolored label

Appearance: clear mahogany-orange color, smalloff-white head, no lacing

Smell: spices, pumpkin, kinda cherry (?), malt

Taste: medium body, crisp mouth feel, good balanced spiciness, some hops, minor pumpkin. toasted maltiness

Notes: very good, pleasant and refreshing brew

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Photo of gabe23
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Cloudy, honey colored brew with a dense off-white head. It fades quickly to a thin cap with no lacing.

S - Very pleasant spicy aroma. Ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and pumpkin with a gentle caramel sweetness and a touch of earthy hops. Not really very beer like, but nice.

T - Cinnamon and ginger up front, with a mild pumpkin flavor following. Fairly sweet but with ginger bite that balances things out at the finish.

M - Fairly thin with moderate carbonation.

D - This is a unique take on the style, and one that I'll try again. The spices are a bit strong and linger on the tongue, so I doubt that I'd ever drink more than a couple at a time.

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Photo of Big78CJ
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I buy lots of this beer every year and cellar it all year so I never run out. I encoutered it a few years back in a mixed six-pack of "holiday beers" and then had a friend mention that he throws "Pumpkin Parties" every year in Asheville, NC (original home of Cottonwood). I accompanied him to a party and drank on a keg of pumpkin all night...it was great!

This review concerns the bottles i picked up for cellaring this year:

Cellared for about 4 months so far:

Appearance: This beer is not much for giving head and when it does it doesn't stick around long. The thin (<.5") head that poure3d onto the beer dissolved within seconds. The whole beer is a murky orange, almost as if I were drinking pureed pumpkin juices. Some lighter orange-yelloe highlights are visible near the bottom of the glass.

Smell: As another reviewer noted the bottle does not have as strong a smell as the tap but there is definitely a strong pumpkin presence and even some nutmeg in the aroma. I also think i taste soem cinnamon riding on a wave of clove. This is very much like a cold pumpkin pie smells.

Taste: You can taste the pumpkin much more than you can smell it and thankfully much of the spice is muted. There is a definite clove spice and if you breathe in you can taste cinnamon. Many pumpkin ales tend to allow the spice to boldly go where no beer has gone before, or wanted to go. Cottonwood lets it take a backseat to the pumpkin itself. There is also something sweet in this taste...maybe molasses, honey, brown sugar?

Mouthfeel: I like the way this beer makes me feel like I'm drinking a pumpkin pie (without the thickness). The carbonation is not too strong but does well to spread the pumpkin flavor over the palate.

Drinkability: Ordinarily I would say a fruit beer is limited in how often and how many I can drink (and I like fruit beers), this one is an exception for me. I could see myself drinking this from a keg all night (and i have the pictures to prove it's possible).

Serving Type: 12oz bottle poured into 33cl Hoegaarden glass.

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Photo of Poser
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber with healthy head and decent retention. Cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar aroma. A brown sugar stickiness up front with a crisp finish. No hops noticed but there is plenty of bitterness from the spices (which isn't a demerit). A little watery. Suffers from a common problem I have with pumpkins -- they taste like a light beer with spices added at the end. Slightly off in the aftertaste.

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Photo of jabocu
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks again MetalMonk!! This pours a rusty orange haze with almost no cap. Kinda makes me think of canned pumpkin as it slithers out of the can. Aroma is a wallop of cinnomon, nutmeg, and clove. The pumpkin is so discernable with the old vegetable pumpkin meat... like I just stuck my head in a real pumpkin. There is a backbone of caramel malt in the nose as well. By far the best pumpkin beer I have had hit my nose. The flavor is a little dissapointing on the spiciness side however. But the juicy fresh pumpkin flavor makes up for it. Earthy pumpkin and toasted caramel carry througout with a light cinnamon and nutmeg to make you think of a pie. Hops don't have much meaning in the brew, but just enough to give a hint of citrus on the back-end. Medium body, medium carbonation, and very refreshing. Very nice!!!!

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Photo of mortarit
3.22/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle.

Appearance: Deep amber/copper/auburn color with off-white head and great lacing.

Smell: Fresh baked pumpkin pie with roasted malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and herbal scents. The aroma screams fall and begs to be paired with Thanksgiving dinner.

Taste - Start with a pumpkin flavor; mid-palate the spices join in: brown sugar, ginger, mace; a bit of hops on the finish. I really can't sit down and drink a lot of spiced beer like these. One or two at the most.

Overall, a good pumpkin ale. Heavily spiced, but you really can taste the pumpkin. One of the better Pumpkin ales.

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Photo of kingjames1
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First off, you should know that I am not a fan (yet) of this style. In fact, my first sample of the style I could hardly finish.

This pours a rich, dark amber, which is very appealing, though the head and lacing disappoint a little. The smell is very good, for a pumpkin spiced ale. In fact it smells just like pumpkin pie, no kidding (though only slighty weaker in aroma). Taste is pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, slight brown sugar (malt sweetness?), and just a touch of alcohol. The mouthfeel is decent, but slightly watery. I don't know if that is inherent to the style?

Again, for the style (and my tastes) this is very drinkable. Cottonwood just might win me over to the style...but then again, there are many other seasonal beers out there I would drink instead (marzens, winter warmers and other christmas seasonals).

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Photo of ncbeermonger
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a dark copper color

Smells like pumpkin and cinnamon, outstanding!

tastes like pumpkin pie, far better than any other pumpkin beer I have ever had, I could drink a six pack of this no problem!

The mouthfeel is clean and crisp

This is a very drinkable pumpkin ale, if you can find it you should try it!

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Photo of adowney523
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass from a 12 oz brown bottle bought in Durham, NC. Appearance is deep-amber and hazy. White head fades quickly but leaves some lacing.

Smells faintly of nutmeg and allspice with a hint of leather.

Hint of smoky and woody malt along with pumpkin and spice with good balance.

Moderate body with a semi-dry finish. Drinkability is above average.

Definitely worth a try. The smokiness makes for a not your average pumpkin ale.

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Photo of cbleary
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed out of a 12oz bottle into a cold glass mug.

The beer looked great and light orange with a frothy but quickly dissipating head. Some nice lacing in the glass though.

Of the pumpkin ales I've had, this one tastes the most like an appetizing pumpkin pie. The spices are just right and it strikes a great balance in achieving a fun sweet pumpkin taste with out forgetting it's a beer. Even people who hate beer would drink this, and that's a compliment.

A good beer to have once or twice a year to celebrate the season.

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Photo of finepaws
4.67/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite beers. Had it at a fall rennaisaunce festival locally. 2 years running now. Couldn't get enough of it last year. Cleared the shelves at the grocery stores. Hate that it's seasonal. Even my "No Thank you, I don't like beer" friends loved this one! The color was a nice reddish/brownish/and yes, orange. Frothing with a pumpkin smell, my friends were a bit offended by the odor, til they tasted it too. You just don't expect pumpkin pie in a beer, yet there it is. We all just kept saying, wow! It was light, and very refreshing on a hot autumn day in the south, and yet warm and comforting on the cool ones. I can't wait for the fall, to get my paws on it again!

Had this again in '05, what a let down. '04 has been the best so far, sad that it hasn't been matched since. Maybe '06 will make a difference.

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Photo of tommy78
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got it straight from the tap. Immediately, I smelled a pumpkin aroma. Colour is a brownish/orange tint. As soon as I tasted it, a pumpkin flavor mixed with spicy hops hit my tongue. It reminded me of having pumpkin pie, except in alcoholic, liquid form. A good feel to the beverage, though it was hard for me to drink it consistantly. I had to take a couple of sips of h2o in between to cleanse the pallet. Good fall beer to have.

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Photo of homersimpson
3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Deep hazy brown with a pert beige head. Smells like thanksgiving day. Lots of nutmeg and spice. The taste is over the top though. Almost lambic-like, it is a wee bit on the sweet side. The pumpkin pie flavors override everything else and linger in the finish. Girls love it.

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Photo of BeardedSquash
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'll start this by saying that my judging for Pumpkin beer's rides a different train than it does for purity law beers. I sought this one out during my last visit to Charlotte because I remember it being the best out of the lot.

A" Pours an active amber orange, with a 1/2-inch head that doesn't stay long, but rims the edges before it leaves.

S: Cinnamon and nutmeg up front, with a bready undertone. No hops present.

T: This is what I like, a mouthful of pumpkin pie. I can almost taste the pumpkin meat (this is not figurative), and the spices retain their supportive role from the nose. The grains shine through slightly, but take a fresh baked crust aspect. All the sweetness finishes dry and satisfying. This is what a pumpkin beer is supposed to taste like.

M: This is the only area I would really work harder on. Active body and a low-medium mouthfeel. I would like to see a big full mouthfeel to accompany the whole "pie" feel this thing gives off.

D: One bite at a time. This is not a quaffer, but one to kick back and enjoy in the backyard as the leaves change. Finish the whole concept with a bowl of vanilla ice cream.

I think I'll review this one again when they get it on tap in town.

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Photo of buckiflyer
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Anoter 1.75$ bottle purchase from Total Wine and More. Poured a light orangish color, big head, much larger than I anticipated. Instant pumpkin and spice smell, fresh pumpkin pie. Average mouthfeel, smooth hop and punkin taste with a spice finsih, another nice pumkin offering.

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Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale from Carolina Beer Company
3.84 out of 5 based on 173 ratings.
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