Epic/DC Brau “Fermentation Without Representation” Imperial Pumpkin Porter (2011)

Epic/DC Brau “Fermentation Without Representation” Imperial Pumpkin Porter comes in at a hearty 7.3% ABV.

I poured some of a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A conservative pour produced two fingers of fluffy hazelnut head that lasted a bit, eventually dissipating to a thin foam with medium lacing. The color on this beer is an opaque dark brown that is almost black. Some light carbonation is visible at the top.

Smell: The nose has definite roasted malt and chocolate notes. There is also faint pumpkin and some minimal spices. This is inviting.

Taste: Immediately there is lots of roasted malt, with some coffee and chocolate. There is some vegetal pumpkin that becomes clearer as you sip. It is accented by a little spice, but not overwhelmed. The flavors in this work quite well. Sweet roasted malt with some pumpkin, and notes of chocolate and coffee. The coffee adds some bitter notes, which contrast nicely with the other creamy and sweet tastes of chocolate and malt. The pumpkin could be more steadfast. Even so, this is flavorful!

Feel: This is medium bodied, and very smooth. It is somewhat creamy, with the coffee and chocolate notes adding some texture or motion to the feel. There is also light carbonation, forming a soothing backdrop. The carbonation seems just right. The finish and aftertaste provide a pleasant and smooth feel.

Drinkability: This beer is drinkable and delicious. The ABV is a bit high, which could hold one back from having a lot of this beer. Even so, I’ll have no problem finishing the rest of this 22 oz. It is smooth and a bit creamy, and the alcohol does not come through at all.

Overall: This beer is definitely a good one. The malt, chocolate, and coffee really work together. They are binded, with pumpkin discernible. The creaminess is really nice, and is made more dynamic with the mild carbonation. This gets high marks for flavor, and for not taking the standard route of pouring lots of pumpkin pie spices in the mix. The brewers lost nothing in terms of flavor by taking this path. The one downside is that the pumpkin isn’t as active or forthright as I would have liked. A little more pumpkin flavor would have been great, though this may be hard to do with this style.

Overall Rating: ***

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