Venetucci Pumpkin Ale | Bristol Brewing Company

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Venetucci Pumpkin AleVenetucci Pumpkin Ale
28 Ratings
Venetucci Pumpkin AleVenetucci Pumpkin Ale

Brewed by:
Bristol Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Pumpkin Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
What a way to welcome the harvest season! This ale starts with 'Baby Pam' pumpkins grown on Venetucci Farm, picked by brewery staff, family, and friends, and roasted right after picking. Our brewers blend a variety of malts, adding the roasted pumpkin to the mash for just a hint of pumpkin flavor. Then the brew is mingled with subtle spicing and a touch of hops to create a malty treat that just says "autumn." One of our Community Ales, 100% of the profits from this beer go to the care and preservation of Venetucci Farm.

Added by russpowell on 01-30-2007

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 28 |  Reviews: 16
Reviews by StoneTSR:
Photo of StoneTSR
4.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: A somewhat aggressive pour results in a quarter-inch, fizzy head rising quickly and then falling. On my beer it leaves a mushroom shaped, thin layer of foam extending from the bottom of the glass upwards and covering most of the middle of the surface. Beneath it, is a deep, ruby red, almost a brown colored beer. Lacing is minimal.

SMELL: Gorgeous aroma. Molasses, cinnamon and clove blend together to provide a very inviting first sniff.

TASTE: While this is a spicy beer, the pumpkin still comes through strong. The clove and allspice provide a perfect compliment to the gourd while a touch of chocolate lingers beneath it all.

MOUTHFEEL: Light bodied and a little thinner than expected, but the balance is nearly perfect. This beer is just sweet enough with a dry middle and finish.

OVERALL: I really appreciate that the actual pumpkin flavor comes through so well in this beer. It is clearly made with real, no-foolin' pumpkins. The malt bill is complex and fun, while not becoming too overwhelming. What a fantastic effort from Bristol here.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of ehammond1
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, quirkzoo!

A very dark amber--nearly brown, though with distinct, dark ruby edges. Small khaki-colored head. Leaves the glass spotted.

A really exceptional aroma for a pumpkin ale. This is the closet to the "pumpkin pie" descriptors I often hear flung around for beers like Southern Tier's Pumking. Lots of nutmeg, allspice, a little cinnamon, and some sweet crust notes combine quite nicely. A wonderful pumpkin-pie-for-dessert aroma. Well done.

The flavor is nearly as successful. Great pumpkin pie flavors combine nicely, along with a bit of a classic toffee note. Very drinkable. Very successful.

I suppose the one aspect where this beer is sorely lacking is it's mouthfeel. It's fairly thin, even for the style, and there's not a lot of carbonation to bring it more life.

An excellent pumpkin ale. This would be fantastic, as well, with the right food pairing. Thanks for sending this my way, Chris!

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Photo of quirkzoo
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of russpowell
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this on tap at old chicago, since there's none left at the brewery, this will have to do for my 1st draft taste of this:

Poured coppery brown with 1 finger of off white head. Great lacing & okay head retention

S: Great pumpkin & spice spice scents; allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg in realistic proportions

T: Nice pumpkin taste along with some caramel flavor & the requisite spices up front. More of the same in the middle with some herbal& metallic hops on the finish

MF: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A bit of stickyness there as well

Drinks pretty easy this is probably the best pumpkin ale I've had, DFH's offering would be second. Sure wish they'd made more of this, impossible to find around here in almost any form

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Photo of stampfler07
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of SaltyLime
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A friend shared this with us and I was lucky to have a few more bottles at a local bar called Bombardier's Hangar. This was a nice full flavored beer.
Appearance - nice soothing dark brown with a little tan head
Smell - great representation of the season, pleasant spiciness
Taste - just like it smells, nutty, cinnamon, caramel - caught the pumpkin at the end as a sort of overall flavor
Mouthfeel - nice medium body, a little hoppy tingle
Drinkability - easy to drink, feels a little heavier than 5.6%, just like liquid pumpkin pie in my opinion...definitely worth a try if you can find it

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Photo of mcb4538
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of ucsbmullet
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of hopdog
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle acquired in trade.

Poured a deep amber color with a larger sized tan head. Aromas of vanilla cream soda, pumpkins, and spices. Tastes of pumpkins, vanilla soda, and various spices. I think this bottle is a little old, but it is still holding up nicely and was pleasantly 'different' from other pumpkin beers.

Notes from: 11/22/07

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 2011 vintage poured into a goblet. There was a one bottle limit at Coaltrain (by reservation only) and thus I am cracking my first and only bottle this year.

The body of this beer is beautiful. In low light it appears dark brown, but when held up to light the glass is illuminated by a stunning amber-tinged ruby color that is unmatched in any pumpkin beer I have seen, and few beers of any style. Initially this beer had two fingers of smooth foamy head, and after a few minutes this fell to a soft layer on the top of the beer.

This beer smells like a cold, sweet pumpkin pie. Vanilla, pie crust, cream, nutmeg and pecans all show up with surprising clarity. The core of the aroma is of course pumpkin, and the smell is amazingly like a fresh, cold, pumpkin pie filling. Pretty awesome.

Following suit with the aroma and visuals, the flavor is astounding. This tastes like a cold pumpkin pie; even the malts manifest themselves like a light, flaky pie crust. No hop flavors are detectable, but hop bitterness (or some type of bitterness) is present which keeps all the sweet flavors in check.

The mouthfeel is smooth and rich, and the carbonation is low (just how I like it). There is a lightly drying twang near the end of the feel that is intriguing, and I can see it either being a positive or negative depending on one's tastes.

Conclusion: This is a go for broke pumpkin pie beer. If you want pumpkin accents in your amber, this isn't the beer for you. This is like liquid pie in beer form, and it marks a fairly outstanding achievement in my opinion. Did they "dry hop" this with pumpkin pies? This beer contains a wealth of flavors. Next year I am going to try to obtain more than just one bottle.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.61/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Bottle courtesy of Max and Steve - thanks!

I get some artificial pumpkin puree and a hint of nutmeg. Neither pumpkin nor spices are vivid or expressive. Undertones of caramalt and amber malt reign - though they shouldn't.

Shallow and simplistic. More mediocre fare from Bristol. The cash-grab 22oz format doesn't help.


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Photo of brentk56
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The head develops like a stout, bringing a couple of foamy inches to layer on top of the slightly hazy amber liquid; the retention was good and several shards of lace stick to the pint glass

Smell: The aroma of baked pumpkin and caramel wafts up from the liquid, with ginger, nutmeg and vanilla adding a spicy element

Taste: Pumpkin and caramel flavors provide the base, with the ginger, nutmeg and vanilla bringing a gingerbread aspect in the middle; the spices build, in the finish, adding some allspice and clove to the mix

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Not the most pumpkin-y of pumpkin ales, but the spices are deftly handled and the balance is excellent; hard to find but worth seeking out if you like the style

Thanks, joshuaseresse, for the opportunity

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Photo of backslide311
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of beergoot
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2012 release with an ABV of 5.7% per the Bristol Brewing web site. Ratings: 4.0 4.5 4.0 3.5 4.0

Dark, copper body with a nice creamy head. Excellent pumpkin aroma coupled with allspice and cinnamon; nice roasted grain background, .very slight alcohol heat at the end. Spicy flavor full of nutmeg, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Crisp, clean, medium body.

A very satisfying pumpkin ale. Goes down tasting like a piece of liquid home-made, warmed pumpkin pie. Too bad it's extremely limited when released each year, but the good folks at Coaltrain Wine and Liquor do a fantastic job of ensuring customers get a fair shake at getting at least one bottle at a fair price. Grab a bottle if you see one!
2015 Release Notes: Much the same as my review of the 2012 release with the exemption of the mouthfeel being bumped up .25 of a point. It seems a bit fuller and richer.

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Photo of benito
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The folks at Coaltrain were kind enough to sell me three stashed-away bombers of this that they had hanging out in back long after it had disappeared from the shelves. Cheers, guys for the kindness and willingness to share good brew!

Venetucci's Pumpkin Ale started as a one-off to honor the good works of Bambi and Nick Venetucci, who gave away pumpkins from their farm to children around Colorado Springs. All profits from this beer support the Venetucci farm, so this is beer with a bit of social capital attached. It is also something of a rotating release from Bristol now, as it's popped up in their tap room a few times in the last year.

Amber pour, with a creamy, thin, and persistent off-white head. Beautiful mix of pumpkin pie spices in the bouquet--nice balance of allspice, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. The spice flavors play out well in the flavor, which is well-balanced and has a nice malt backbone through the first three-quarters of each sip. The finish is a little watery and bitter, as some finishing hops step in and move the spices off center stage. I don't know if they actually used pumpkin in the mash for this brew (the Bristol website is mum on it), but there doesn't seem to be any hint of it in the texture and moutfeel of the brew. Nonetheless, it is a well-spiced and nicely balanced brew. A bomber goes down easily.

Overall, this is a nice pumpkin ale that could only be improved with a more rounded finish; it's definitely one of Bristol's better beers.

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Photo of sjdevel
3.84/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber and did not quite get a 1 finger head. The head that was apparent, fades quickly with some residual lacing and a decent foam ring. The color is a deep copper color and quite hazy.

There is a slight fruitiness that is followed by toasted malts and spices. Slight brown sugar, caramel, and vegetable scents.

Immediately hit with spices. There is a bit of hop bitterness, but the spices push it aside. Really strong clove and ginger. It gets sweet pretty quickly and "desserty" (pumpkin pie of course). As the pumpkin and spice fades, a smoky campfire, roasted nuts, and charred malts come through. After the smoke clears, the brew dries out.

Medium plus mouth feel. It is a bit slick on the tongue. Slightly dry at the end. Still fairly fizzy.

Decent beer. Better than hyped up pumpkin ales like Shipyard's. It is bit too heavy on spices. It could use more malty and pumpkin flavors.

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Photo of rye726
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pumpkin ale pours a dark mahogany with a nice tan head. The nose has fruity malts, pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon. The taste was a bit light on the pumkin and spices. Like most pumkin beers I try, this taste too much like an ordinary brown ale. Medium body goes down well. A good beer, I just want more flavor.

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Photo of a74gent
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fresh 2010 bottle.

Beer courtesy of non-BA true friend.

Pours a surprisingly dark brown with expected medium body. Slight foam that dissipates rather quickly.

The smell is nice and spicy...notes of a particular spice but I'm not skilled enough to identify it.

The taste is nice and spicy with a slight touch of cream in the mouthfeel.

A very slight, very minor flat astringency left on the palate lingering, but doesn't really impact the quality of this really nice brew.

As close as you can get to the top pumpkin beers without being at their level...bring on some more.

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Photo of Domvan
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of drumrboy22
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 bottle. Poured from 22oz. bottle into a Shipyard Pumpkinhead pint glass. Beer was a dark brown color, with a one-finger, sandy head. Moderate carbonation and light lacing.

Aroma was nutmeg, pumpkin spice, cloves and candy apples.

Taste was faint pumpkin spice, cinnamon, bread and light hops.

This was aged for one year just to expirement to see how it would hold up. I've had this fresh and thought it was much better. I thought it was a bit too thin after one year. Still, a very good pumpkin beer.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked up a 22oz bottle when I went down to Bristol for the XXX Warlock release. Neat story behind this beer and the Venetucci pumpkins. The color was orange with a white head. The smell was spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie. The taste was nearly identical to the smell. Delicious for the style but it should be in 12oz bottles because one is enough.

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Photo of TheOldMachines
4.54/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

was real fortunate to get my hands on a rare bottle of this delicious fall beer. first of all it raises money for charity, which is not common enough in the for profit beer world. it pours really dark orange color, almost brown, more of a porter in smell too, the malts are nearly burnt, very earthy, with wafts of brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and some sweet cream. the flavor is really interesting, spicy, but not traditinally for a pumpkin beer. more vanilla than i am used to, and pretty light on the cinnamon and clove. more of a pie filling than a raw squash vibe, which works perfectly with the mouthfeel. its light and airy despite its dark color, very surprising. its almost like a whipped cream texture, which makes sense on pumpkin pie. amazing what they have accomplished here, this is a fine specimen. one of the most well crafted pumpkin beers ive tasted. one of the better bristol beers as well. if you are lucky enough to find this, buy it.

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Photo of toddstolarski
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of atomlane
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

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Venetucci Pumpkin Ale from Bristol Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 28 ratings