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Graham L. Barron's picture


November, 2015
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
36 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

This ale pours a very dark brown (near-black) with a light tan head that dissipates quickly, which is not surprising given the alcohol content. Upon taking the first whiff, you are immediately hit with a spiciness that brings to mind the aromas of Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Hops are hidden, replaced by intense aromatic notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and a little bit of clove. A light floral, perfume-like hoppiness sits in the background with some slight caramel and coffee. The taste follows the nose and begins with an aggressive phenolic spiciness mixed with some caramel sweetness and a balanced bitterness. Although labeled as an Imperial Stout, this beer might better be viewed as a strong, malty, heavily spiced brown ale since it lacks the roasty bitterness one would expect.  Pumpkin flavors and aromas are hard to discern, but the gourd is evident in the creamy, full mouthfeel. Pumpkin beer fans should seek this one out for sharing at their holiday table.