Head of the Horseman Imperial Pumpkin Spiced Ale


Review Date 11/1/2019   Last Updated 11/26/2020 By John Staradumsky

New beer alert! For me, anyway. Iíve not been drinking as many new beers of late, you see. This time of year, I am busy with my many favorite German beers for Oktoberfest season and, of course, pumpkin beers too. That will continue through the end of the year as Christmas ales start to roll out. All that said, I do try to fit in a few new brews of interest as I come across them. Tonight, that means a glass of D9 Head of the Horseman Imperial Pumpkin Spiced Ale.

D9 is from Cornelius, North Carolina. Iíve never been there, but I know it is a little north of Charlotte. Next time I am in the area, I will definitely drop by. I have enjoyed all the beers Iíve tried from them. Pumpkin ales are the first truly American beer style, though the ones made today little resemble those made in early colonial days. They are one of my favorite styles.

D9 releases Head of the Horseman around the end of August each year. For the 2019 release they said on their Facebook page:

This Friday the 30th in the Foundry Taproom, Head of the Horsemen is back at D9! This Imperial Pumpkin Ale is back with a vengeance with clouds of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and clove with the perfect hint of pumpkin!

Beware the Horseman comes for you!

D9 Head of the Horseman Imperial Pumpkin Spiced Ale has an alcohol content of 10% by volume. I paid $8 for an 11-ounce glass at Taco Mac, and it runs $12.99 for four pint cans at Total Wine.

My glass of D9 Head of the Horseman Imperial Pumpkin Spiced Ale arrived a murky brown in color with a minimal head and  ginger and clove in the nose. Taking a sip, I got soft dark malt in the palate then the clove, cinnamon plus robust vegetal pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, some nutmeg and warming alcohol.

This was a tasty beer indeed. Although I got ginger in the nose they donít use it here. But the spice is definitely present here, and I would love to pick some of this up to enjoy at home. Four stars for style and hedonistically.  

Update 11/26/2020: D9 Head of the Horseman Imperial Pumpkin Ale on Thanksgiving, bought a Crowler from Stout's. I was too stuffed after dinner for pumpkin pie, but this served nicely in its stead. Dark malts and pumpkin flesh, clove, cinnamon, and cardamom dance all over the palate, and the beer finishes dry spicy with nutmeg. It's warm with alcohol at the last too (10%) which helps as a digestif. I paid $12.25 for my crowler, not bad for a beer of this strength.

And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.

*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.