Cape Ann “Fisherman’s” Pumpkin Stout (2011)

Cape Ann Fisherman’s Pumpkin Stout comes in at 7.0% ABV.

I poured all of a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A conservative pour yielded two fingers of light brown head that very quickly dissolved to nothing. The color is very dark brown to almost black. Medium carbonation bubbles are visible rising to the top of the glass.

Smell: The smell has some spices, with lots of roasted malt and some notes of chocolate. I sense some nutmeg, as well some spice that is sort of woody. There is a tinge of fruitiness in the background, perhaps pumpkin.

Taste: Off the bat there is lots of roasted malt, with coffee and chocolate notes. The spice is also there, coming across as it did with the nose: nutmeg-y and woody. There is a background that has a hint of pumpkin in it, though this isn’t very strong at all. I also get strong molasses, adding sweetness, in the middle and towards the end. The taste is mostly creamy and subdued. There is just a small bit of hops bitterness on the finish, which was otherwise mostly malty. The aftertaste had lots of roasted malt and a little of the spice.

Feel: This is light bodied for a stout. It is creamy, but doesn’t coat the mouth very well (and doesn’t hang on the palate very long). The carbonation is also very mild. There is something like a change in feel that you get with the slightly bitter finish. Even so, this is pretty underwhelming in terms of feel. It feels quite mellow.

Drinkability: The ABV is up there, but not too high to keep one from working on a six-pack. (In fact, the 7.0% doesn’t announce itself at all.) And the feel doesn’t weigh down the palate much at all. Even so, I think this one could get boring after awhile. The creaminess is nice, but the drinking experience isn’t very dynamic. I think it is too mellow.

Overall: The flavor is alright with this beer. I like it, and I like that it has some interesting elements. The malt, molasses and woody spices go well together. For a stout, I wouldn’t seek it out. For a good beer to pair with dinner, I would think about it around pumpkin beer season. It could be a nice alternative to the very many non-dark pumpkin beers, though the pumpkin definitely seems lacking in this one; You can sense a presence of pumpkin, but a timid one. I’d say decent in terms of flavor, but not complex enough.

Overall Rating: **1/4

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