Epic/DC Brau “Fermentation Without Representation” Imperial Pumpkin Porter is 7.7% ABV.
I poured some of this 22 oz bottle into a porter glass.
Appearance: A steady pour gave about two fingers of light brown head that hung on for a few minutes before dissipating to leave some frothy and bubbly foam and thick lacing along the sides of the glass. The color is a dark brown with a red tint to it that can be seen clearly when held to bright light. Some light does make its way through this. This appears to have light carbonation.
Smell: I get some dark malt, and an almost dark fruit like quality to this one. There is some nice roastiness, along with some warm spicing. I also get some cinnamon, but am not sure what other spices there are (especially since the dark fruit and dark malt notes are pretty strong). This smells like it would have a dark molasses-like sweetness. It smells complex, strong (but not overly so), and inviting.
Taste: To start I get dark malt, some slight dark fruit, pumpkin, and some earthy and warm spicing. This definitely works as a nice porter, and comes with some juicy fruit. The somewhat vegetal pumpkin comes across decently, and isn’t overwhelmed by the roasted malt or the spices. As for the spices, I get cinnamon, and maybe some allspice. There are probably other additions as well, though it is difficult for me to grab them with the dark malt and roasty notes. This has a complex molasses sweetness with a touch of juicy dark fruit. This finishes with the dark and roasty malt that also engenders a slightly bitter finish. An aftertaste of roasty malt and earthy spicing leaves me with the end of a very pleasant taste experience.
Feel: This is medium to heavy bodied, with light to medium carbonation. This is also quite creamy and soft. Despite having the roasty and spice notes, which poke through the otherwise silky texture, this has an enjoyable milky smoothness. This beer is also not too thick or viscous, but still has some decent body to it. Good marks here.
Drinkability: Even with the 7.7% ABV and the imperial porter style, I’d say this is decently drinkable. As noted, the body isn’t overly thick or heavy, which also helps out the drinkability quite a bit. I’d say there’s no real impediment to going through a 22 of this.
Overall: I definitely like this beer, just as I remember liking it last year. It has nice complexity with some bitter spicing, roastiness, and decently present pumpkin. The body allows nice drinkability. Also, this has a nice smooth feel. Really, it is fairly well accomplished on a number of dimensions. Among the porters, stouts, or otherwise fairly dark pumpkin beers, I like this quite a bit. I like it a bit more than Flying Dog’s “The Fear”, in that this has great flavors, quite a better feel, and more consistent pumpkin flavor. However I don’t like this as much as the Ardmore Brewing Pumpkin Porter, which was really quite accomplished for great complex flavors and balance. In any case, this is a great one to try in the dark pumpkin beer style. It runs about 8 bucks a 22, which is a tad high. I’d pay it, though.