Pumpkin-Flavored White Russian—Why Not?

Fulton's Harvest Pumpkin Pie Cream Liqueur

Fulton's Harvest Pumpkin Pie Cream Liqueur

I Paid: $8.99 for a 750-milliliter bottle (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 4 stars

Marketing: 2 stars

Flavored liqueurs justly have a bad reputation: Typically they're artificial confections of overwhelming sweetness. We don't ask a lot of the Baileys of the world, and perhaps that's a shame.

On that note, it's easy to see why Fulton's Harvest Pumpkin Pie Cream Liqueur might not inspire a lot of confidence. Nine dollars for a bottle of pumpkin-flavored novelty drink? Ugh.

And yet: This is the rare mass-marketed liqueur that exceeds expectations. While not mind-boggling in its subtlety or quality, this 12.5-percent-ABV product basically works. Its thick, light brown liquid starts sweet, and has a satisfying pumpkin-pie-spice base with nutmeg and cinnamon notes, plus gourd-inspired funkiness. It ends with a bit of a chemical hollowness that is not pleasing, but not overwhelming ... and not unexpected at the price.

If your ambition is to mix pumpkin White Russians or do Thanksgiving-themed shots (and believe me, I suggest both of these things without judgment), this is the serviceable, highly affordable stuff that'll get the job done.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal Heavy Table. He's also the coauthor of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers. Follow CHOW on Twitter, and become a fan on Facebook.