The Great Pumpkin Ale

Cambridge Brewing Company


This pours a hazy, burnt orange color and produces a finger of fluffy, white head. It has good retention and plenty of signs of lacing to come. It’s a pretty one.


The aroma consists of a solid, earthy pumpkin smell mixed with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and a bit of clove. There’s a layer of sweetness underneath, indicating a malt-driven taste to come. It’s a bit nutty and roasted smelling.


The front is defined mostly by spices that follow the nose. I get cinnamon, nutmeg and clove on the palate, as well as a mild, vegetal pumpkin. These marry together nicely and sit on top of an even distribution of toasted malt and some bright hops. The transition intensifies the base, as the malt character increases and the hops keep it in check. The spices tingle the palate well into the finish. In the end I’m left with a pristinely balanced taste of fresh pumpkin and spices on top of a really great foundation.


This is a medium-bodied beer with moderate carbonation. It combs the palate splendidly thanks to the spice and hops. It’s crisp, smooth and very drinkable. It really feels wonderful to be honest.


The entire experience is very refreshing. The flavor is great and the mouthfeel is just as enjoyable. The beauty of this option is it’s ability to strengthen a base with such balance. The sweet malt and the bitter hops keep you engaged and are always well-balanced. It’s this stage that allows the simplicity of a staple spice bill to shine. If anything, I’d prefer just a tad more pumpkin. I do recall this one being slightly sweeter in the past. Nevertheless, it’s a well-coordinated option that is clean and pristine. It’s worth grabbing this one if you can.