Avery “Rumpkin” Rum Barrel Aged Imperial Pumpkin Ale comes in at an impressive 15.9% ABV.
I poured some of a 12 oz bottle into a stemless wine glass.
Appearance: A conservative pour yielded a little bit of creamy foam that quickly dissipated leaving very thin lacing on the side. The color is a very hazy dark burnt orange/amber. Some tiny bubbles rising at the top reveal medium carbonation.
Smell: From the pour, the strong rum and roasty malt smell was powerful. It also smells woody, with notes of banana and raisin. This smell doesn’t have much pumpkin and is pretty boozy.
Taste: The taste has heavy malt, with elements of banana and dark fruit. There is also strong vanilla. The rum-barrel aged taste certainly comes through pretty powerfully. The beer has molasses and dark caramel sweetness. I get some pumpkin for taste, but it is not too present once the fruit, sweetness, and oaky rum sets in. This has a lot of different flavors. It is really interesting, and in danger of being a little too busy. The sweetness fades towards the long finish, giving a little bit of a boozy burn. The aftertaste is malty and a little chalky.
Feel: This is medium bodied, and it coats the mouth pretty well. It is pretty chewy, with very light carbonation. The feel is sort of warm (though with this high of an ABV, it is hard to distinguish drunk “warm” from the other full bodied or complex “warm”). This has a lot of sweetness, and it is quite syrupy.
Drinkability: I am splitting this beer 3 ways, and still am unsure whether my pour will be too much. This is really heavy on the palate, for flavor and for feel. Because of all the sweetness, this is probably best as an after dinner or dessert drink. I would suggest something like 2-3 ounces with a rich dessert, or a flavorful cigar.
Overall: This is not a great beer qua pumpkin beer. The pumpkin is almost lost in all of the flavors. It is also not something you could drink much of, so I wouldn’t give high marks there either. Even so, it is quite flavorful. And the flavors are really nice. The banana, dark fuit, and sweetness pair well with the dark rum flavors. This gets high marks for deliciousness there. I like this beer better than most of the more easy drinking pumpkin ales because of its flavors. Though, I like it less than most of the really flavorful heavy-hitting pumpkin beers. Most of the other flavorfuls feature the pumpkin better and drink better than this. This is a cool, delicious beer to try. But again, best to have a little to sip on for something after dinner.
Overall Rating: ***