Headbanger (3556) - Aurora, Illinois, USA - SEP 7, 2011
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
12oz bottle 9/7/11 (Binny’s Downers Grove)-46° in Lager Glass-Pours black with a small tan head. Aroma of pumpkin, chocolate, and coffee. Taste of pumpkin, chcolate, coffee, spices, roasted malt. This light to medium bodied brew is well balanced and is a nice refreshing take for a pumpkin brew. Though for a porter and much less an imperial porterit seems a bit light.
bsp77 (724) - Minnesota, USA - SEP 6, 2011
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.
Appearance: Very dark, near-black brown without much head or lacing.
Aroma: Sweet chocolate and molasses, light soy sauce and coffee, and just a tinge of spices.
Taste: The sweet chocolate and molasses flavors are dominant, with some very light coffee and burnt roasted malt backing. Mainly tastes like a sweeter-than-typical Porter, although there are some pumpkin-like spices as well. Not sure I taste any actual pumpkin.
Palate: Moderate carbonation, medium body but seems a little light for the word "Imperial". The finish is not as dry as desired from a Porter.
Overall: While an interesting and somewhat tasty beer, the mix of Porter, sweetness and light spice doesn’t gel as well as it should and dampens drinkability. The closest beer to this would not be other Pumpkin beers, but Anchor Our Special Ale, as that is also Porter-like with spices. Unfortunately, this does not hold a candle to Anchor.
Once again, this is a good beer, but I would label it more of a "near miss" than a "hit" in terms of the Summit Unchained series. So far, 1, 2 and 3 were "hits" (especially the #3 India Rye Ale), while 4 (Belgian Golden) was a huge "miss" for me.
BarZigKin (511) - San Antonio, Texas, USA - AUG 13, 2011
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
12oz bottle from Spec’s in Houston. Dark brown, almost black body with a haze of tan head that’s sticky. Aromas of fall spices, pumpkin, some roast. Flavors of spice, day old coffee, roasted malts, ashy and a bit of pumpkin towards the end. Roasty/mild bitter finish. Mouthfeel and body is thinner than expected. No alc in the nose or palate.
smith4498 (3282) - Miami, Florida, USA - JUL 29, 2011
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from a trade with CLevar. Pours dark brown/black with brown head. Aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, graham cracker and roasted malts. Bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt flavors with pumpkin pie spices. Medium to full body with moderate carbonation. The roasted malt flavor adds a dimetion that makes this more enjoyable than typical pumpkin beers. Thanks Caleb.
andyhwcinc (1682) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JUN 25, 2011
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Enjoyed on tap at Bottom Lounge in Chicago, IL while watching the band Most Precious Blood. This one really was like a chocolate pumpkin pie. Appearance very dark with creamy tan head. Aroma of chocolate, bit of cocoa, faint amount of pumpkin. Taste nice and creamy, not really thick, just creamy with notes of chocolate, lactose, a bit of pumpkin but not much, pretty delicious. It really is decadent and a fantastic desert brew.
CheersMate (1316) - Fremont (Seattle), Washington, USA - MAY 17, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
12 oz. bottle from Steve’s in Madison. This has a nice, dense black body with a frothy head. The head remains around for some time. This looks perfect to me. This has a nice pungent roast aroma, that is accompanied by a wonderful subtle cinnamon aroma. There is a bit of earthiness in this one. The roast seems to dominate all of the other aromas. Some chocolate is starting to show up as the beer warms. There are some great nuances here, but it’s not particularly pungent enough. The texture, to me, is a little flat in the sense that it could have a more viscous texture. A thick roast, and subtle smoke flavor are present. There’s also a subtle cinnamon and pumpkin flavor. This one is great, but it doesn’t have that punch that I was expecting from such a highly rated spice/herb/vegetable. Bits of chocolate poke through and meld quite well with the cinnamon, but again, this isn’t what I was expecting. There are some great nuances here, but they’re not bold enough. Good stuff, but not great.
douglas88 (7445) - Portland, Oregon, USA - APR 23, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle thanks to Eric. Pours a pure black color with a medium beige head. The aroma is spicy pumpkins, chocolate. The flavor leans toward the porter side of the spectrum with still huge pumpkins and spices, cocoa, chocolates, dry and tasty. Well done! Give me pints of this in October please.
Thorpe429 (5016) - , Illinois, USA - APR 21, 2011
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Picked up this bottle at Famous Liquors in Lombard, IL. Served in a snifter.
The pour is quite nice. Black body with a two-finger mocha-colored head to start out with. This doesn’t last for too long, however, as it quickly fades into a very bubbly cap with a thick collar and a few dots of lacing. The nose is quite nice with a bit of pumpkin spice, some heavy chocolate, and some nice roasted malt.
The flavor really packs a lot in with the chocolate really coming out alongside the roast and pumpkin character. Some mild cinnamon and other spices in the background. A really nice touch to this. Feel is pretty thick and viscous, though the carbonation level is maybe a bit too high. Quite tasty. A solid hit from Summit and something I wish I had regular Fall-time access to.
Serving type: bottle
Reviewed on: 01-06-2011
JMerritt (1899) - Macomb, Illinois, USA - APR 9, 2011
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Black with a small, fizzy light-brown head. Interesting aroma: at first I got some really roasty bittersweet bakers cocoa, but under this was some rich coffee grounds, pumpkin pie spices (especially nutmeg). Roasted barley is rich and pungent, and I also pick up some light smoke towards the end. Flavor is actually moderately sweet up front with a rather mild roast, though the bitterness of the roast does creep in a little stronger towards the middle-end of the flavor profile. Finish is where the pumpkin truly popped - earthy, mildly sweet nuttiness of pumpkin flesh is definitely still there, along with some sweet chocolate pudding and light coffee. Lingering aftertaste is bitter coffee grounds and bittersweet cocoa. All around a pleasing beer - big thanks to Narnad for finding this last fall. I’m drinking it now in April at the end of an unseasonably hot 83-degree day in Illinois, but it’s still drinking really nice.
wedgie9 (2513) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - APR 6, 2011
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Tasted on 4/6/11 from a 12oz bottle obtained as an extra in a trade, batch 05. Pours very thick opaque black with a thin tan head that recedes to some very thin lacing and a nice collar. The nose is darkly roasted malt with dark chocolate, coffee, and spiced pumpkin nicely integrated. The flavor is lightly sweet with chocolate syrup up front, moving to the more roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and spice pumpkin flavors, and a dry finish. The body is full with very lively carbonation and a long dark chocolate and spiced pumpkin finish.