noncaloric (684) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 1, 2008
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Huge aroma: earth, grass, spices, especially nutmeg and allspice. Hazy amber orange, significant yellow-beige head leaves abundant lace. Initially bittersweet, grass and pumpkin, then turning towards tart orange juice with significant earthiness. The spices come to the fore in a lingering finish. Creamy on the front, clean in the finish, very quaffable.
ld50 (1) - New York, USA - NOV 8, 2009 does not count
3.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This is the nicest pumpkin beer I’ve had yet. Not too heavy on the spices. Tastes like beer with a mild pumpkin aftertaste. Beautiful color.
Chad9976 (1016) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 28, 2010
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Remember when you were a kid and you were convinced you wouldn’t like a food without actually eating it? I’m still like that way when it comes to some things as an adult, namely – organic beers. I decided to make Wolaver’s Will Stevens’ Pumpkin Ale my introductory organic beer since I’m a huge fan of pumpkin beers. I’m glad I did because this is exactly what I look for in a pumpkin beer: a fairly complex palate with genuine spice and smooth drinkability that satisfies. What was I so afraid of?
APPEARANCE AND AROMA
This beer may be organic but I can tell it’s filtered since it pours to a shade bright orange or copper and is crystal-clear. Plenty of carbonation is noticeable, although it dies down fairly quickly. Its head is rather small, off-white and foamy and dissolves a little quicker than I prefer.
The aroma is very inviting, though, with nutmeg, cinnamon and pumpkin scents quite prominent. I don’t get any kind of grainy or boozy aroma, either, which is good.
I guess I was expecting an organic pumpkin beer to taste like an organic pumpkin pie (which tastes very vegetable-like since it’s not the canned stuff with sugar added). Thankfully that was not the case of Wolvar’s Pumpkin Ale. In fact, if the brewery kept it a secret that their beers are organic I never would have tasted a difference.
The flavor here is just what you want in a pumpkin beer: very distinct flavors of nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla and pumpkin and all well-balanced so none overshadow any of the others. Taken together they add up for a tasty liquid potpourri with a slightly bitter ending. It’s fairly rich but at the same time it doesn’t dance on your palate. But where other pumpkin beers tend to fail, Will Stevens’ brew succeeds since its thick palate doesn’t wash itself away.
In retrospect I probably would’ve enjoyed an even more intense palate, but what’s here is very satisfying.
The irony of “spicy” beers is that their palate is often so complex and intense they’re difficult to drink. Wolaver’s is able to have it both ways. The mouthfeel is rather heavy with a seemingly creamy texture. The spices don’t overwhelm so as to give the beer a gentle, soft mouthfeel. It finishes extremely smooth and leaves a pleasing aftertaste.
I’m not entirely sure of the ABV of this beer, but would guess it to be under 5% ABV (the bottle doesn’t say, neither does the brewer’s website). Considering the taste and drinkability I think it would work extremely well as a session beer.
I think Wolaver’s Will Stevens’ Pumpkin Ale is one of the most versatile pumpkin and fall seasonals on the market today. It’s extremely drinker-friendly in terms of taste and finish and having the organic certification makes it something of a politically-correct or “green” beer. I could honestly see Joe Six Packs substituting this for their Sunday afternoon football “light” brew (although I’m not sure it can compete price-wise).
NOTE: Watch the video version of this review at:
Jcb14 (11) - Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 13, 2012
3.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
The head on this beer was weak with little retention. This was perhaps the only negative. The aroma was excellent. It smelled like a warm pumpkin pie. The beer had a great hop flavor that is often missing in this style. It also had a lingering taste of all spice. This is a beer that I would gladly have a second. In general a good beer for this style it was great.
willblake (2626) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - OCT 3, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
20081003 12oz bottle, Spirits RB. Dark amber color with small, quickly fading off-white head. Aroma shows undertones of pumpkin with a mild raw squashiness, a good deal of spice but not overwhelming with mostly notes of cinnamon and clove. The flavor is lightly tart, lightly sweet across a medium bodied middle, and finishing with an almost hot spice, more cinnamon, pie spice, and lots of clove. Somewhat aggressive eff, especially at the finish, but goes well with the flavor. In fact, reminds a bit of a sharp wit, only with squash instead of wheat and pumpkin pie spice instead of corriander. Dries out nicely. As pumpkin beers go, this one is very pleasing.
SuIIy (1984) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - OCT 31, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pours a hazy copper color with a small off white head. Nose is rich pumpkin muffin, nutmeg, cinnamon. Palate full and rich, coats the mouth and light tingles on the tongue. Flavor of pumpkin, sugar granules and cinnamon, bready malts.
Damico (2202) - Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 1, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
It pours lighter orange amber with a light off white head. The aroma is potent for an organic brew with nice notes of cinnamon and sweet pumpkin. The flavors of light spices and subtle earthy sweet pumpkin come through on a light but decent body.
Earlier Rating: 9/30/2011 Total Score: 4.1
The aroma is pumpkin rounded with spices, definitely cinnamon niceness in the nose. It pours amber orange with a decent head. The flavor is nice pumpkin notes with lots of good spice, again a blend of cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and the fall in general and pleasing. The best organic brew I may have ever had.
HardingG (76) - Butler, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 16, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 4, 2012 Great Pumppkin ale (withouut the ’Will Stevens’ on label). The aroma was deep with spice and a hint of pumpkin. The taste bordered on too much spice, but was just short of overboard. I liked the sensation on the palate. Sensed ginger and clove. Overall, A seasonal winner. Great for the cool fall evening.
sailracer (353) - Massachusetts, USA - OCT 5, 2012
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Tap. Pours a rusty orange with a dense foam head. They didn’t go overboard with the pumpkin flavor or sweetness which makes this a very pleasant, drinkable beer. One of my favorite pumpkin beers so far.
Beerathon (780) - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 15, 2012
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Honestly, one of the better pumpkin ales I’ve had. The spices seemed to be just right; not too faint, not too strong. Pleasing brew.