This brew has a clever name that most of us wouldn’t identify with immediately. For those devoid of search engines, a Lahar is a mud / debris flow, usually associated with volcanic activity. (It’s also a Sumerian god, but we don’t think that’s what they were going for here. – Mike). Put two and two together, and you’ll find that the Puyallup River valley lives peacefully, most of the time, in the shadow of Mt. Rainier. That’d be pretty high on the Most Dangerous Volcanoes in the World list. So when you’re worrying about razorblades in your candy, and knife wielding masked men on All Hallow’s Eve, just remember, the citizens of Washington might soon be living through a bad Tommy Lee Jones movie.


Name:  Jack O’Lahar Pumpkin Ale

Place of Origin / Brewer: Washington, USA / Puyallup River Brewing Company

Beer style / ABV%:  Pumpkin Ale / 5.8%

Specialty Prep / Individuality:  Jack O’Lahar features an expansive grain bill including American 2 Row, Vienna, Dextrine, Dark Crystal Malt, Choolate Malt, and Roasted Barley. Roasted pumpkin is also added to the mash and boil, and an array of spices are added.



I enjoy the plethora of information for the beer, like what malts are used, but the desktop like graphics employed for the “art” that takes up all the room on the label is an afterthought for sure. I guess the positive is you know it’s a pumpkin beer. – Rick

A to the point label with a jack o lantern front and center and bats flying through a Puyallup River sky over a would-be volcano.  There is something to be said for brand identity.  – Brittney


Color:  6.5

I like the dense, almost opaque appearance. It’s a dark brown sugar body that almost conceals the effervescing sediment within it’s amber glow. Actually, an appealing aspect for a light ABV. – Rick

A rusty caramel/copper ale with a smallish cream head and dissipates quickly into a soft off-white ring. – Tim

M- 6.5 / T- 7 / B- 6 / R- 7


Aroma: 7

Allspice, honey crisp apple, cinnamon, and clove. This smells pretty fantastic. – Mike

Buttery with hints of cinnamon and brown sugar plus a touch of maple, which brings a slight creaminess to the nose and a lot of spice. – Brittney

M- 8 / T- 6 / B- 7 / R- 8


Mouth feel:  6

Mid-bodied in body and carbonation with smooth spices on the tongue. – Tim

It has a weird watery feel which is unexpected from the dense coloration of the body. There’s a nice burn to it, but I suspect it’s from the overabundance of cinnamon though. – Rick

M- 6 / T- 6 / B- 6.5 / R- 6


Tasting notes:  5.5

Brown sugar and cinnamon prevail with hints of apple jack whiskey and cream of wheat. The mash bill really shows in a nice way here, with a lot of grain present in the ale. It’s very tasty, but it’s not very pumpkin. – Mike

I’d place this squarely in the ‘pie’ category with predominant spices overpowering any natural pumpkin elements.  Vanilla and dark caramel balancing nicely with the cinnamon and nutmeg on display in the nose—actually the spice balance on this beer is really rather spot on, I just wish for more pumpkin. – Tim

A lot of spice to taste, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and enough clove to make Anne Gwish roll her eyes with disdain (that’s a good thing). There is a very small amount of smooth caramel but I’m missing the pumpkin. – Brittney

It has a good dry taste that’s pumpkin-y  with lots of sweet cinnamon, but overall does not hold up to the awesomeness of the aroma and coloration. It’s actually kind of a let down. – Rick

M- 4.5 / T- 6.5 / B- 6 / R- 5.5


Finish:  6.5

Clove and cinnamon with a creamy swallow that’s extremely long and lingers for quite some time. If you’re going to hook up this Halloween, skip the mints. This is your make out beer of choice. – Mike

The finish is final and clean for the most part but the spices tend to hang on for dear life.  Something about the finish, maybe just the combination of spices and malt give it a lean towards an eastern five-spice flavor. – Brittney

M- 6.5 / T- 6.5 / B- 7 / R- 6


Flavor balance:  5.5

–         Pumpkin to Spice balance: 5

It’s off kilter.  The spices—while harmonious (for the most part)—are balanced but the pumpkin is too subtle to notice.  This is unfortunately, the usual case with ale brewed where the pumpkin is added to the boil and mash (noted on the label) as most of the inherent flavor is cooked out. – Tim

Dominated by cinnamon and brown sugar the pumpkin is barely noticeable. – Rick

M- 4.5 / T- 5 / B- 6 / R- 4

–         Sweet / Dry balance: 6

The totalitarian spice approach here makes this brew feel downright arid upon swallow. It’s a shame because in the mouth, it’s otherwise nice and sweet. – Mike

Surprisingly, it’s pretty balanced in this realm. I would expect with the heaviness of the spice that it would lean toward the dry side but the touch of caramel it really brings it together.  – Brittney

M- 5 / T- 6.5 / B- 6 / R- 7

–         Multiple Drinkability?  6

I don’t know if this is the kind of beer I’d run out to tell everyone about.  But at less than 6% ABV it’s nice enough to session and it does offer some cool depth of flavor from the caramel. I’d just like the spices dialed back a bit so the pumpkin could shine more. – Tim

This sucker is so spice heavy, it’s likely to murder your palate and spit on it’s grave. – Mike

M- 4 / T- 6 / B- 6.5 / R- 5.5


Overall:  6.17

M- 6.00 / T- 6.33 / B- 6.50 / R- 6.33