Summit Imperial Pumpkin Porter

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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

Beer Profile

  • Brewery: Summit Brewing Company
  • Website: summitbrewing.com
  • Country: United States
  • State: Minnesota
  • Style: American / Robust Porter Pumpkin Ale Spiced / Herbed / Vegetable Beers
  • Malts: Pale, Cara Brown, Simpsons Chocolate, Midnight Wheat
  • Hops: Fuggle, Northdown, East Kent Golding
  • ABV: 7.5%
  • IBUs: 40
  • Tasting Notes: Pumpkin, Spices, Chocolate
  • Preferred Glass: Nonic Pint, Footed
  • Food Pairing: Thanksgiving Dinner
  • PHM Grade: A-

Summit Imperial Pumpkin Porter

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Michael:  A few months ago a couple of PHM reviewers and I toured St. Paul’s very own Summit Brewing Co. A beautiful facility and an informative tour, it all ended with a few sample pints poured Summit’s very own brewmasters. We spoke with one of them, who we soon found out was next in line to brew a beer for Summit’s Unchained Series. Hoping for a bit of inside info, we asked what he had in mind. Cooly, he said he had ‘a couple of ideas.’ Well, here we are in November and I hold in my hand the product of his labor, a porter brewed with pumpkin and spices. Not a bad idea, Nate, not bad at all.

Pouring an oily black, the head got swallowed up by the darkness, lingering just long enough to ring the rim with a thin line of off-white. It smells like heaven…or pumpkin pie, but to me, those two are pretty close. The malts mix with the pumpkin to create a rich, chewy pie-like scent all covered in a light layer of chocolate. The sip was complex, wonderfully so. It was much richer in bitter chocolate taste than it had been in smell, but the malty backbone was still present, melting into a perfect level of pumpkin, natural, not too candied and perfectly balanced. While I can’t pull specifics from the vast array of spices, they all work well to create a wonderfully blended brew. The mouthfeel was good, thinner in typical porter fashion, but solid for its type and more coating than your run-of-the-mill.  Grade: A-

Tom:  Unfortunately, this beer will not be brewed again which is a shame as I personally feel it should become Summit’s Fall seasonal.  This Imperial Porter offers a lot of flavor with just the right amount of body to make any cold Fall night enjoyable.  In fact, it is perfect for hanging out around a fire pit roasting some ‘mallows for a Smore.  Michael was completely right in saying that it is “oily” as it looks slick.  The head was a mocha color as I poured and did not stick around long which was rather surprising to me.  More stout-like in appearance I geared up for a big brew.

The aroma is heavy burnt grains (astringently so) and spice.  Not too much pumpkin, but more nutmeg, cinnamon, hazelnut.  It was meaty and thick in my nostrils.  The malt bill provided a very roasted backbone that was highlighted by the additional ingredients effectively.  Shortly after a few sips, I started leaning towards a stout.  The mouthfeel was thick and oily while the burnt grains reminded me of an Imperial stout.  The coffee flavors and aftertaste I was expecting was not there as it was replaced by a bittersweet chocolate character.  Don’t get me wrong this was a great beer.  I felt as thought the “imperial” was not needed and could have simply been a pumpkin stout.  Grade: B-

Grade: B-

Summit Imperial Pumpkin Porter, 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings
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Comments
  1. Had it and loved it.

    Noel — April 19th, 2011, 11:12 pm
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