Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale | Great Lakes Brewery

BA SCORE
81
good
124 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Great Lakes Pumpkin AleGreat Lakes Pumpkin Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewery
Ontario, Canada
greatlakesbeer.com

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
In our pursuit to bring you the most flavourful and unique beers possible, we are proud to release this tasty autumn ale. Handcrafted with an assortment of specialty malts and hops, we added a generous amount of pumpkin directly into the brew. Combine this with hints of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and allspice, and you've got a beer that you won't soon forget. Rich, satisfying and slightly spicy, our seasonal ale goes perfectly with your favourite dessert or traditional feast. But like fall, Pumpkin Ale comes but once a year!

Added by Viggo on 09-29-2007

BEER STATS
Ratings:
124
Reviews:
68
Avg:
3.55
pDev:
14.37%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
13
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 124 |  Reviews: 68
Photo of DannyBaldoni
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Vyronian
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%

Photo of slitherySOB
3.57/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy orange colour with about a fingers worth of head thad did not last long. Some lacing was left behind. Smells of pumpkin pie. Nutmeg, cloves, allspice, pumpkin and sweet malts. Taste is a little light when compared to aroma. Kind of like a light pumpkin pie. Their is some earthy malts to balance out the maltiness and pumpkin pie flavour. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, medium carbonated and overall well balanced with a spicy aftertaste.

 458 characters

Photo of decimator
3.54/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle poured into a pint glass. ABV 5.5%.

A - Poured a slightly hazy golden orange colour. The 1cm head didn't last long. Some short lived lacing.

S - Spice aromas upfront such as nutmeg, cloves & allspice with a backing of cooked pumpkin flesh. I love pumpkin pie and this beer always smells inviting.

T - Disappointingly light. Sure, there's a taste of pumpkin and desert spices among the sweet malts and light hops but it's all quite mild. Certainly milder then the aroma indicates. Despite that it still tastes pretty good.

M - Medium body, medium-low carbonation, some tang, mildly spicy aftertaste with a hint of metal.

O - More spicy than fruity. I always find it could be sweeter. Still enjoyed every fall usually accompanied by a slice of pumpkin pie.

 772 characters

Photo of SebD
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice golden/orange color to it. It has a nice thick off-white head that dies down moderately and leaves some nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and some pumpkin.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice spicy character of all spice, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves along with sweet malts and some pumpkin. I wish I could taste more pumpkin in this one.

Mouthfeel: It has a low/medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with decent flavors and aromas. Not the greatest Pumpkin Ale I've tried but still nice and refreshing.

 666 characters

Photo of BigBry
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft pint at C'est What in Toronto.
Slightly hazy, dark amber-brown color with an inch of off-white foam. Good head retention with the slightest amount of lacing.
Has all the smells you want from a pumpkin beer -malty sweetness, pumpkin, and cinnamon spice. Caramel malt taste dominates, all spice, clove, cinnamon. More spiciness than pumpkin
Average carbonation, solid body with out being too sticky sweet. More flavors came through as it warmed up in the glass. A very good example.

 486 characters

Photo of BigGruntyThirst
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of batmanbach
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of Wordslinger
2.75/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of Dayna
4.5/5  rDev +26.8%

Photo of rogueleonardi
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - nearly clear golden orange, creamy head retained very nicely with random blobs of lacing
S - roasted pumpkin and spice with a leafy hint and lingering booziness
T - big cinnamon and clove spice kick, mild pumpkin, toasty maltiness with some alcohol creeping in
M - light body with a big spice tingle, finishes lightly dry
O - a pumpkin ale dominated by spice, it is definitely tasty although I tend to prefer the style when the pumpkin is more prominent than spice, but still a tasty treat

 493 characters

Photo of kelvarnsen
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of andrenaline
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another welcome sight to northern Ontario, which rarely sees the gems that southern Ontario LCBO's enjoy. Cheers to peensteen for the hook up!

A - Pours a slightly hazy golder copper colour, finger of head with solid retention and some spotty lacing.

S - Loads of spice on this one; cinnamon, all-spice, nutmeg and cloves, hint of earthy pumpkin and caramel and toffee on the finish.

T - Much like the nose with the spices dominating, cinnamon, all-spice, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla; the earthy pumpkin is detectable but subdued; the caramel and toffee backbones lingers on the finish alongside some leafy hop notes and spiced up bitterness.

M - Nice and smooth, good carbonation level and finishes wet.

O - A tasty pumpkin ale, though a bit heavy on the spices. A bit more earthy would've bumped it up a notch. I find the lower ABV pumpkin ales can get away with less spice, which can lead to a bit more of an authentic experience. Not to be misinterpreted, I would buy this again and recommend it to others.

 1,014 characters

Photo of Kaydogg
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of Swedes21
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of bigox420
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of oldp0rt
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of RedAleMan
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of Molson2000
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of marty21
3.92/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a pretty clear nice orange colour with one finger worth of creamy off white head. Settles to a very solid cap and left a bit of lacing at the top of the glass.

S: Very nice pumpkin aroma right off the bat. Then you get the spices of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Maybe a little caramel, but hardly any.

T: The taste is a bit thin but still good. Up front you get all of the spices and more in the after taste is when you get the pumpkin. The pumpkin is more creamy though almost like pumpkin pie.

M: Light to medium carbonation with a light to medium body.

O: A really good take on a Pumpkin ale. I would gladly have another glass of this.

 654 characters

Photo of Stocean1
3.53/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - poured a big four finger head into a pint glass - relatively quickly deflated to a thin collar atop a light amber boy - pretty clear with little lacing

S - has pumpkin, banana, biscuit, floral hops, nutmeg

T - follows the nose but somewhat subdued, also a cinnamon note, some mineral flavor, a little nutty

M - not overly sweet, dry, and a little bitter, light to medium body with little carbonation

O - not bad at all - typical for the brewery it has potential but is simply not bold enough in the taste category.

 522 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
3.57/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber picked up at the LCBO. Leaked all over when I tried to open it... at least the carpet will smell nice.

Pours a slightly hazy deep amber colour, topped with a finger of silky off-white head that lasts for a few minutes before giving up the ghost. A thin film and collar remain on the surface. The aroma is quite nice, with biscuity, nutty malt sweetness, as well as pumpkin and the whole gamut of spices - cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Coalesces to make a nifty pumpkin pie smell.

Pretty tasty stuff. Sweet, biscuity malts, pumpkin and some nutty notes provide the backbone with plenty of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon flavour to add a bit of complexity. Way more spice than pumpkin, which seems like a sin. Medium-light bodied with subtle carbonation. Disappointingly watery for something I assumed would be more of a full-bodied ale, but otherwise tasty.

This is the first pumpkin ale I have ever reviewed, and I would be lying through my teeth if I said I didn't like it. That being said, even as an admitted newcomer to the style, there are some noticeable flaws. None of the flavours are especially intense, and along with the light-ish body this just gives it a bit of a diluted feel. Regardless, it's pleasing enough that I wouldn't shy away from recommending it, and the light, 'polite' nature of the brew makes it a good intro to the style. Something I may pick up next year.

[Updated Sept. 6 2014]

I'd been craving a pumpkin beer, and this one happened to be the first to become available locally this year. I don't think I've had it since 2011, but now that I've had a bunch of other pumpkin ales to compare it to, I figured I'd update its rating. I still don't think this is the best example of the style, but there's nothing all that wrong with it. It's not too spicy, with a nice gourdy flavour in the background and a beautiful aroma. At 5 bucks a bomber, this is a very affordable ale that makes a suitable introduction to the style.

Final Grade: 3.57, a B grade.

 1,990 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.57/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

650ml Bottle

Appearance – Slightly hazy dark amber colour with an average size fizzy off-white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation visible and there is a faint amount of lacing. The head lasted for around 4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, bread, all spice, pumpkin

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, pumpkin, and some dry hops. There is also a lot of spice taste - all spice.. with a focus on cloves. The beer finishes with a malty spicy aftertaste that linger on the tongue for a while.

Overall – I though the beer was good, but not great. It definitely tasted better as it warmed up in the glass a bit. The taste isn't cloying, but 1 bomber of this stuff was enough for me. I don't think I'd buy this one again.. not this year anyways.

 831 characters

Photo of thirstybrother
3.16/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Very nice golden with a touch of amber, or pumpkin. Good head, not much lacing.

S: Maybe my nose is stuffed? No hints of the spices they speak of on the bottle. Maybe some pumpkin, but maybe just because I'm looking for it.

T: This beer isn't terrible, but the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg really seem to be lacking. There are hints, HINTS, of them in the aftertaste, but I shouldn't have to concentrate this hard to find them.

M: Kind of steely. Again, it isn't terrible, but it definitely does not scream pumpkin ale, more like a pale ale with subtle spicy notes.

O: I had this beer last year and recall being very impressed with the spicy/pumpkin flavours. I shared it with a non-craft-beer crowd and they liked it. Guess I should have reviewed it then. I can give GLB the benefit of the doubt, maybe this batch was a rough one. We'll see next year.

 856 characters

Great Lakes Pumpkin Ale from Great Lakes Brewery
3.55 out of 5 based on 124 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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