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Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale | Carolina Beer Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
86
very good
144 Reviews
Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced AleCottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Carolina Beer Company
North Carolina, United States | website

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
Reviews:
144
Ratings:
173
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
15.1%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
9
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 144 | Ratings: 173
Photo of kbutler1
3.12/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours an opaque reddish brown rust color with minimal head. Wow, lots of pumpkin spice abound in the nose on this one with some notes of cinnamon as well. Sweet pumpkin taste along with allspice and nutmeg. If this is what pumpkin ale tastes like then I guess it's ok but I'mnot a huge fan in the end. Medium mouthfeel.

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

I wasn't expecting good, but I was impressed. Great balance of pumpkin, spice and the malt. Came across tasting a lot like a good pumpkin pie without getting too heavy, sweet or thick.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Quite a deep amber - quite a bit darker than many others of the same style. Head fizzled up quickly and dramatically, but drops just as swiftly.

S: A big pumpkin pie aroma... plenty of spices, but the pumpkin is there as well (rather than being drowned out in spices, as can happen!) A nice, toasty malt aroma adds a pleasant touch.

T: Pumpkin and spice... plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg. Quite sweet compared to others. It gets a little close to being TOO sweet, and maybe just a little tart, but a pretty tasty beer. A bit of a 'smokiness,' but without truly tasting smoky - that doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, but I can't quite find a description to match what I'm thinking on that matter.

M + D: Wet... slippery... a little touch of dryness. A mellow carbonation tingle. Low alcohol makes it incredibly sessionable. It COULD get a little too sweet, but I'd risk it. A surprisingly decent take on the style, really.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been working my way slowly through this six-pack because it is such a rich and hearty beer.

Pours a rich auburn with a slight orange twist. Slight ead that evaporates to essentially a film. Nose is full of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Just like my Ma's kitchen whenever she makes a pumpkin pie.

Flavor is rich and bold and spices. Honestly, I am not sure if there is pumpkin or all the pumpkin pie spices are just tricking my mind to think that there is pumpkin in there. But anyway, the flavor is so rich and full that it coats the inside of my cheeks. Very sweet too. Full body that holds up well even as the beer warms. Such a nice example of the style

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Photo of beer2day
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

New label on the bottle this year.

Dull orange color with fizzy one and a half finger head. Decent retention.

Very strong, bold nose. Lots of spice (nutmeg and pumpkin).

Flavor much less than expected based on the aroma. Picking up some floral esters but not much else. A little malt sweetness way back in the finish.

Very thin mouthfeel. Disappointing.

Easy to drink once you start, but not the best pumpkin this season.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Draft pour produces a rich, lightly clouded sunset- orange brew with a creamy beige head that leaves some lace patchwork on the glass.

Sweet spicy aromas of warm pumpkin pie, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and clove, along with vanilla, mild piney hops, and caramel.

Flavor is rich and desert-like, with a well rounded malt entry, developed pumpkin tones shadowed by warm and sweet spices. Authentic tasting. Enough hops in the finish to provide roundness. Pleasantly sweet without being sugary. Very natural tasting and surprisingly easy to drink.

Like most of the Cottonwood brews, it is a bit light in body, not chewey enough. Finished like a slice o'pie, making me wish I had some good vanilla ice-cream to go with it. I like this better than most of the pumpkin beers I've had so far.

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

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Semi dark and hazy from the yeast, though I didn't even pour. A more amber or copper color depending on what kind of light you're putting on it. Immediately frothy head sinks down not rapidly but more quickly than I expected, though the brew's still a bit cold.

Smell: Nice peppery pumpkin spice instead of the overly sweet variety. Citrus hops melds well with the cinnamon sticks, maple, and vanilla too. Not too sweet either, with a citrus hop sourness melding nicely with the spices. Quite nice, especially for this rainy fall day in Richmond.

Taste: Initial blast of citrus hops, pumpkin spice, lemon grass, and cinnamon. An odd but very nice combination. Being not too sweet, the flavors are melding nicely, letting the spice come out through the hops rather than the malt outdoing itself. Again, peppery spice melds nicely with the sweeter aspects of the malt, gingerbread, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice, making it quite odd but really good, with a long, semi-sweet and sour finish.

Mouthfeel: A little slick and oily, with maybe a bit too much of a carbonation blast. Could be better, but doesn't influence the beer negatively really.

Drinkability: A solid, quite different, and easy-going pumpkin ale, especially nice, as I said, for this rainy day. Not a high alcohol content, very flavorful, and hard to put down overall.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz with no freshness date. I poured it like a hefe to get all the unfiltered goodies out. The body is an opaque raspberry/brown with some sediment and a 1 finger yellowish/tan head that doesn't leave lacing but a thin blanket of foam remains throughout. It looks like a dank IPA. Soft pumpkin pie aroma - real pumpkin pie with a light spicing of nutmeg and cloves. Tastes like pumpkin pie also. Nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin, a bit of cinnamon... some sweetness and the malts/hops of the beer make faint appearances in the second half. The body is medium and fairly smooth but the carbonation is a bit sharp at times. Overall it's very tasty and I wish I had a slice of pie to pair it with.

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Photo of bamadog
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received this as an extra in a recent trade. The review is from notes taken on 8/6/2010 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a cidery/coppery color; starts with a 1/4 finger light tan creamy head that fades to a thin cap; body is very cloudy and shows some orange/blonde highlights around the edges; only a few spots of lacing are left behind.

Smell: Smell of pumpkin mash, nutmeg and even a bit of cinnamon; slight caramel maltiness and a faint crackery breadiness.

Taste: Starts out matching the nose -- lots of the pumpkin and accompanying spices, but then it becomes a little buttery and finishes a little thin and watery -- overall, it starts out great finishes a little weak.

Mouthfeel: Body is fairly light and the carbonation is spot on -- strong, but not overly so; a mostly dry thin coating is left on the roof of the mouth.

Drinkability: Not the worst pumpkin ale I've ever tried, but certainly not the best. I'd definitely drink it again, and really, with an ABV of 4.5%, it'd be easy enough to get through a couple with no problem at all.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark orange like a warm spiced tea. Decent head that discipated to a slight cover in about 30 sec. Excellent lacing covers the glass for the entire duriation of the beer.
S: Smells like a warm spiced tea of my wifes scented candles. I don't know if that description does it justice though.
T: Very unusual. I've never had another beer that taste like it. The spices really jump out at you, but I don't know what they are. Gets stronger and slightly metallic as beer warms.
M: Very thin. Carbonation bubbles in mouth. Fizzes like a soda.
D: Enough variance in taste to be a good beer, but as drinkable as a mainstream macro. I could drink a bunch of these really quick.

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Photo of craytonic
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle at Mac's Speed Shop before the Q arrived.

Smell - Fresh pumpkin pie.

Taste - Delicious. Once again pumpkin pie, more pumpkin than spice. I get cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, caramel, allspice. Nice balanced malts & hops.

Mouthfeel: Great medium body, not too heavy or light. Nice pumpkin finish.

Very drinkable, I look forward to the next one! Not a common sentiment for these sorts of beers. I would love to speak to a brewer about how it is made.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, amber colored with a foamy white head that dissipates leaving little lacing, clear

S: as expected, pumpkin pie spice

T: nutmeg, clove, and actual pumpkin, the spice doesn't overpower the pumpkin flavor

M: light and crisp

O: pumpkin isn't overpowered in this one

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Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.24/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A few years ago I got into trying pumkin ales. I quickly decided it wasn't a style I cared for and haven't gone back to it until this beer. Got this as a bonus via trade. Wow, I'm now rethinking this style.

A - Cloudy orangish light brown, with a small off white head that quickly disspates.

S - Good pumkin pie.

T - Better than it smells. Pumpkin, gingerbread and nutmeg stand tall and tasty.

M - Medium body, smooth and clean finish.

D - Great after dinner beer. Not overly filling. Easy to drink a couple and relax.

11-01-07 - found another one of these in the cellar that I forgot about. Suffice to say it did not age well over a year. I'd recommend buying it fresh and enjoying it current. I know it should go without saying but having had tasted this I thought I'd footnote this review.

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Photo of Winter
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brownish amber in color with a a tan head that disappeared. Sweet aroma of pumpkin pie. Cinnamon, nutmeg and pie crust all present. Truly smells like pumpkin pie in a bottle. Where's the Cool Whip? Mouthfeel is medium in body. Taste mirrors the nose and consists of pumpkin and cinnamon upfront. Nutmeg flavor emerges midway through. Malt in the finish is reminiscent of pie crust.

This is an excellent pumpkin ale. Probably my 2nd favorite behind DFH's Punkin', but this tastes more like pumpkin pie than theirs does. I wish we could get this around here on a regular basis.

Thanks to AKSmokedPorter for this Fall treat!

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Photo of Strix
3.67/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazy dark brown-orange with a decent head.

Smells nearly exactly like pumpkin pie.

Tastes pretty much like pumpkin pie too, with a long pumpkin pie aftertaste. Not a lot of beer flavor, but if you like pumpkins, and pumpkin pie, and spices, this has it.

Mouthfeel a little thin.

This was my first pumpkin beer, and it's not a style I'm particularly enamored with. I wouldn't want to drink 2 of these, but it was an interesting experience - this definitely captured the flavor of pumpkin pie.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours a hazy copper to brown with an off white head that quickly dissolves to leave just a thin layer to sit atop the beer with almost no lacing.

Appetizing aroma of allspice & cinnamon highlights this traditional autumn pleaser.

The palate is surprisingly sweet, but not too much so and also featuring the traditional allspice & cinnamon highlighted in the aroma. A second visit seems to offer a touch of ginger, but also sweet malt.

Medium to light in body and carbonation with a very pleasant and palatable spice presence.

This is a good pumpkin ale that does not overwhelm the senses or approach the "imperial" category that others may. Have a try.

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Photo of Shiloh
3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer is a very deep dark orange in colour and a little cloudy
accompanied by a very short tan crown leading to a tiny lace and thin ring.
The body is full and the carbonation is very lively.The aroma is very fragrant of a multitude of spices and pumpkin.
The taste is very rich and seems a minced pumpkin.
One of these beers will stay with you for a long time. Not a session beer but may be okay for fall dinning.

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Photo of PatrickJR
4.44/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Deep amber/red with a slight haze. Nearly three fingers of head rise with decent retention. No lacing.

S - Perfect! Cinnamon and nutmeg are the most obvious spices, but there's a huge amount of actual pumpkin pulling through as well with a slight sourness. A hint of toasted malt as well. Very well balanced and big on the pumpkin aroma.

T - The cinnamon and nutmeg (with perhaps a bit of clove in there?) take hold first with a mild malt sweetness in the background. A small toasted flavor starts drying things out and then there's a big hit of sour pumpkin. Sourness lingers in the finish. Nicely balanced and great focus on the pumpkin.

M - Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation.

D - A great drinking pumpkin ale without the high ABV of some others. This is a very focused and balanced effort and the emphasis on the pumpkin flavor is perfectly executed. A top-notch pumpkin ale right up there with the big boys. It also manages not to become too sweet or bitter as others of the style.

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

I figured this one wasn't going to get any MORE seasonal until like September, so I'd better drink it now! Thanks to ipa2xs for sending this one to me in the course of the No Name BIF.

Appearance: A dark orange/honey/amber color with red tints. Nice one or two finger off-white head. Some floaties poured in, despite a careful pour. From my own experience brewing a pumpkin beer this year, I sympathize - it's hard to get all of the pumpkin and spice out! Retention is fair. No lacing.

Smell: Lots of pumpkin aroma, acidic-smelling, with brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice notes. The brown sugar makes it stand out from other pumpkin beers I've had.

Taste: Not as flavorful as the smell, I'm afraid. Acidic, with pumpkin, very minor caramel in the finish. Spices are balanced enough that no one in particular dominates. Finishes dry from the acidity. Very nice aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light body, carbonation a bit on the high side.

Drinkability: Not the "perfect pumpkin beer" as described by some of the reviews, but very solid. Easy drinking with low alcohol, light body. Still a novelty beer, however.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz twist off bottle-- cmon guys, a twist?

Appearance: I feel strongly that a pumpkin beer should be orangey. This one is a dark orange, just slightly hazy beer. with a little head that immediately disappears. Looks OK, not great.

Smell: This is very pumpkin-pie like. Which is good. It is also very un-beer like. I like the pumpkiny smell, but it doesnt smell that much like beer. I like it though.

Taste: OK. This tastes like you think its going to. Very pumpkin-pie-y, too sweet. Not great for a good pumpkin beer, but not too bad if you're in the mood for it. It does have a little hoppiness that attempts to balance things, but the malt that attempts to build the body is caramelly sweet. Bah-- I like it in spite of myself.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is pretty good actually. Surprisingly big for the low ABV actually. Carbonation is appropriate, but not instrusive and contributes some foamy, full feel in the mouth.

Drinkability: I did not want to like this, but its pretty good. I would not want another, but I never do with pumpkin beer. Worth a try.

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Photo of Backer2004
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bartender suggested I taste the Pumpkin Ale before ordering a glass but I boldly declined and went straight for the pint. Surprisingly impressed. The smell, of course, was like cinnamon pumpkin pie with the taste to match (although at first the after taste is what impressed me the most). Enjoyed the flavor and aroma the entire time and so did my wife. However, this is not a beer I could enjoy all evening.

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.26/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My first Carolina Beer & Beverage purchase since the boycott ended a few weeks ago. Pours a slightly hazy deep amber with an almost pumpkin colored tint and a nice tan head that dissapates very quickly. Smell is of sweet pumpkin pie with hints of spices and vanilla, an incredible aroma for a pumpkin beer, bar none the best smelling pumpkin beer ive had. Flavor is similar to the smell: sweet pumpkin pie with hints of spices and vanilla and almost no detectable hops presence , almost like pumpkin pie a la mode...very nice but the sweetness detracts from the character slightly i think. Mouthfeel is creamy with moderate carbonation and a medium body. An excellent pumpkin ale, with extremely good drinkability...a tad on the sweet side but great regardless. I was worried about this one as the quality of the other cottonwood beers has definately declined in the past year but they seem to have at least gotten this one right.

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Photo of Enola
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ever notice how your taste buds change over time? I couldn't drink this beer in the past but now it is nice.

The color is a nice deep orange. There was a small head and no lacing. The smell is like grandmaw's pumkin pie. The taste is much the same. This beer highlights the pumkin very well. The mouthfeel is very smooth with a nice aftertaste of spice. I could drink this beer again. In fact, I may go out later to secure another sixer. A good effort by Cottonwood.

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Photo of Skidz
3.89/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to AKSmokedPorter for this treat!

Pours out a foggy orange brown and sits a cloudy caramel brown in the glass with a small light tan head.

Aroma is highly penetrating. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice line up and march in. Good backing of toasted pie crust and really makes you feel like you've got a big slice of grandma's pumpkin pie right there in front of you, hold the ice cream.

Tastes lightly sweet up front and then enters a mild arrangement of spices. Allspice, cloves and nutmeg make their way into you mouth on a butter coated slip and slide, then after they run and slide, they hit the bump of malt and hops and take a dive into the pool of icy cold water from the garden hose. Caramel, light hoppy spiciness and possibly a hint of vanilla soak in the malts and lead you into the lightly bitter finish.

Nice and creamy in the mouth with easy handling carbonation. Medium bodied.

This beer hit a home run for Aroma City, then switched teams, but only hit a double for Flavor Country (baseball....eh...too much). Still, a great pumpkin beer all around.

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Photo of burnstar
3.59/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours murky brown with a niced sized head that sadly dissipates quickly. Aroma is spicy- kind of like spiced apple cider. Tastes rather tart. Pumpkin spices. Again some apple cider flavors which seem maybe a bit out of place. Medium mouthfeel. Moderately drinkable but I don't think I'd want to have a lot of this in one sitting. This is a decent pumpkin ale overall.

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Cottonwood Pumpkin Spiced Ale from Carolina Beer Company
86 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.
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