nuplastikk (6508) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 20, 2008
12oz bottle. Big pumpkin pie aroma. Medium to dark color for a Pumpkin Ale, nice and murky. The taste is full and spicy, but somewhat different a lot of beers it’s style. The spicing is well done and very balanced, earthy nuances and hops coming through. Harshly underrated thus far at 3.15, this one is recommended for those inclined to enjoy the style. Excellent. noncaloric (684) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - NOV 1, 2008
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
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. ChadPolenz (1847) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - MAR 28, 2010
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?Jcb14 (13) - Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 13, 2012
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:
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.
generallee08 (778) - New York, USA - JUN 25, 2014
The body had a deep amber color with some visible carbonation. The head on top was off white in color, tall and slowly faded down to thin ring of lace. On the way down the glass it left behind some nice lace rings. The nose had notes of sweet malt, rich pumpkin meat and pumpkin pie spice with ginger being the stand out. Its spice character is up front and center with ginger and then cinnamon standing out. Next up is a sweet malty middle with noticeable roasted pumpkin flesh notes. Hop flavor also mixes in and adds to the spicy character. The finish has a nice balance of all its components and slowly fades off the tongue. It has a rich smooth texture with nice carbonation and a solid medium to full body.
willblake (2664) - Bel Air, Maryland, USA - OCT 3, 2008
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.