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Devious Imperial Pumpkin - Bethlehem Brew Works

Not Rated.
Devious Imperial PumpkinDevious Imperial Pumpkin

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BA SCORE
85
very good

221 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 221
Reviews: 46
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 15.3%
Wants: 7
Gots: 26 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bethlehem Brew Works visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mymrnngjckt on 09-26-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 221 | Reviews: 46
Photo of 50marathons
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very nice flavor. Nice spice treatment. At 9% you have to wAtch yourself with this one.

Photo of SG23
1/5  rDev -73.6%

This may be the worst pumpkin I've ever had. I got a mixed pumpkin case of 2 each from the local distributor. Maybe this bottle is bad? It has a weird sugary aftertaste that's thought to take. Not enjoyable at all. Must be the bottle sine it has decent reviews here.

Photo of JC333
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%

Let me start by saying I'm. Huge pumpkin fan coming from the angle that pumking is the true king in this style.

Color: orange hue that screams of fall and pumpkin. Nice half inch head after pour that quickly disappears
Smell: a pumpkin smell straight at the top with some cinnamon on the back end
Taste: this is where it falls to southern tier. You get a blast of pumpkin but it's quickly masked by the 9% abv. It leaves you wanting more pumpkin in the flavor and for the thought of....."i wish it were pumking"

If I had this first I would probably be raving more but I'll state it as such, this is a very solid representation of the style and a very good beer for pumpkin lovers but it's not the best available. You won't be dissapointed however if you purchase.

Photo of JohnL9013
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Quick review - quite good, a bit boozy, little sweet for my taste, but a really excellent example of the style. I happen to prefer the Weyerbacher which is a little more toned down.

Photo of Riggsveda
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

A good beer for the style, but it allows the alcohol to overwhelm the other flavors.

Photo of notarealperson
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Great pumpkin beer, not an overpowering but rather supplemental pumpkin flavor. Great and i mean GREAT seasonal beer.

Photo of dahlen22
3.31/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Smell: Pumpkins, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, cloves.

Taste: The usual flavors and spices you would expect in a Imperial pumpkin style. Heavy on the nutmeg, and as it warmed up, more nutmeg. Balance of flavors is just off on this one.

Overall: For some reason, I buy a bomber of this every year in hopes that they tweak it enough to get it right, but am always left wondering why they continue to miss the boat. Skip this and go for Southern Tier Pumking or Shipyard Pugley's Smashed Pumpkin.

Photo of Glennlawless
3.06/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a 16oz Pint Glasses.

A - see through copper half inch off white head.

S - smells great...hints of cloves and nutmeg and cinnamon. and very sweet too. it smells like pumpkin pie. awesome.

T - light taste and well carbonated. smells just as it tastes. for nine percent this is mellow as hell. lingering sweet ness and not too bitter. big hints of nutmeg more then any other spice.

M - pretty light mouthfeel. carbonated well.

Overall this beer was alright. it reminded me of the elysian night owl but not as herbal i guess. it was pretty good. definetley not the best pumpkin beer ive had.

Photo of microbrewlover
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This brew pours a dark, opaque amber orange color with a thin white head which dissipates quickly and light lacing.

The smell is good, strong with cardamom, allspice, ginger and anise. All of the pumpkin spices are there. It smells like pumpkin pie.

The taste is good, pumpkin spices and pumpkin taste, lightly hopped on the backend. Practically liquid pumpkin pie. The alcohol is very well masked.

The mouthfeel is thick but smooth. There is no bitterness or aftertaste.

Overall, this is the second best pumpkin ale I have had; the best being Wyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin Ale. This is a very good pumpkin ale definitely worth trying.

Photo of metter98
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is relatively clear orange amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short off white head that rapidly dissipated, leaving only a few bubbles on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of spices are present in the nose—allspice, ginger and nutmeg seem to stand out in particular followed by hints of pumpkins.
T: The taste has slight bits of sweetness—flavors of pumpkins stand out most prominently in front of hints of nutmeg and other spices.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has just about a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite drinkable for an "imperial" pumpkin ale because it hides its alcohol rather well and isn't too sweet or spicy.

Photo of cvm4
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark amber with a 2 finger tan head.

S - Yams, spices and malt.

T - The spices come to the forefront and calms down into sweet potatoes & pumpkin.

M - Light to medium body & good carbonation.

O - Comes off sweeter than I care for and is slightly thin.

Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Capone's Restaurant. Amber coloured body with a little head; a lace sheet. Very pumpkiny. OK, but another beer that adds to being pumpkined out. Spice up front, including lots of salt and coriander. So-so drinkability.Could be better spice mix, would like more cinammon and nutmeg.

Photo of birchstick
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Devious pours a darkish rustic orange with a white head on it. The nose has, surprise surprise, pumpkin malts mixed in with pumpkin spice notes. The taste starts off with caramel malts that part ways to reveal a lot of nutmeg spicing on the tongue. Spicy clove is mixed in with the nutmeg and ultimately give way to the pumpkin malt before retiring. Creamy body but some carbonation burn on the backend. Overall, this is a good pumpkin beer with a nice flavor profile.

Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: Clear red-brown with a one-and-a-half finger, off-white head that lasted a minute or two. Not much lacing.

S: Strong aromas of weet pumpkin and spice.

T: Moderate to high sweetness and light bitterness. Lots of pumpkin and spice just like the nose. Wonderful. Slight taste of alcohol too.

M: Medium bodied with lively carbonation. Slightly dry and alcoholic.

O: The look and feel of this beer are just average, but the aroma and taste are really nice.

Photo of JCB14
1.6/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Big head initially, but poor head retention. Pretty good aroma for a pumpkin ale. The taste was way too strong on clove. Overall it had a horrible flavor that was so bad I could not finish the glass. The beer itself was poor, but the excessive clove flavor made it unbearable.

Photo of facundoCNB
2.68/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

a very deep amber pour with a finger of head which diminished entirely within seconds.
smell of sour apples, pie spices.. very sour/apple-ish.. kind of weird for a pumpkin ale
a very harsh malt taste.. bitter but in a dark roast type way, the spices do NOT work well with this beer. really not enjoying this at all. has a sweet-like aftertaste, but still the roasty harsh bitterness is very off putting for this "sweet" of a beer.. definitely getting the apple taste i was smelling.

medium body, slight carbonation.. almost flat.. no head, no lacing, nothing.

i'm getting a bad feeling about this brewery. this is the second beer i've had by them and both totally repulsed me. it's very hard for me to not want to finish a beer.. hell, i've sat through plenty of bad beers in hopes that by the end i'll find something i like about it, and most of the time i do... this, however, the only thing i can hope for is that i can sit through the rest of the glass without pouring it down the drain.. hell, it was $2.50.. totally not worth it.

Photo of JWU
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter

A- a hazy dark amber with orange and ruby highlights, a thin ivory head sits on top and dissipates very quick. Little lacing.

S- A nice balance of pumpkin, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and fruity esters.

T- Straightforward and balanced. Follows the smell pretty much exactly. I get a hint of vanilla on the end of the sip as well.

M- A bit thin for as big of a beer as it is. Little carbonation, and a bit sour on the end, which I get from a lot of pumpkin ales.

O- Nothing to really knock it for, but it does lack that something special of the top tiers of pumpkin ales. Pleasent, tasty, and drikable for 9% ABV.

Photo of claspada
2.88/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear dark orange color with a wispy eggshell colored head that disappears immediately.

Aromas begin with allspice, cinnamon and a bit of earthy nutmeg. Sweet toasted bread maltiness underneath with emerging fusel alcohol that is in no way pleasant. Almost like a spicy pumpkin spiced liquor.

The tastes begin with caramel maltiness but immediately you are greeted with the earthy nutmeg, spicy cinnamon and boozy alcohol. For how high the ABV is on this there is little malt flavor to backbone the spice additions.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium-light carbonation. Finish is lightly crisp to start, smooth and a touch dry but the alcohol and spices linger too long.

Overall this is subpar as a Pumpkin ale goes. Numerous better examples and I hate to hate on a local brew but the spices and alcohol are just too much to enjoy. Couldn't finish the entire bottle. Not sure how/why this is so much different than the lower ABV non-Imperial version from this brewery.

Photo of WillD
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark amber hint of orange. Very little head no lacing. Would expect more head from this beer.

Smell: dark sweet molasses with spices. masks the pumpkin a little but one of my favorite aspects to this beer.

Taste: Sweet and malty. I'm sure to mask the 9% alc. I know there is pumpkin flavor in there some where but I can't really place it. There is a lot going on with this beer and is a fairly complex in my opinion. Belgian aspect.

Mouthfeel: Solid. Tongue covered with an oil sleek of sugar and spice not quite everything nice and though not the mouth a light burn deeper down letting you know the alc content.

Overall: Very sweet very strong beer with a lot of flavor. So much the pumpkin is masked a little by them and is certainly the accent and not the star of the show.

Photo of jtierney89
1.65/5  rDev -56.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Deep tarnished orange hue. Thick off white head that settles down rather quickly. smells like a pumpkin candle. cinnamon clove allspice wax and soap. some unfermented malt extract smells as well.

Thinner body than expected. Good deal of sweetness but nothing too cloying. Extremely faint detectable alcohol. Starts bold on the tip of tongue with pumpkin pie flavors which fade to just pumpkin flavors and finally to a grainy dry malt like flavor with the addition of a touch of soapiness. Dark fruit becomes a little present as the beer warms. Figs and raisins, touches of caramel. The beer eventually turns to a misunderstood mess of flavors that try to work together but just cant. Interesting at best.

In the world of great pumpkin beers, this overpriced one doesn't stand much of a chance.

Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle to snifter. Sampled 9/5/11. $3.75 for the single.

A: Pours with a large finger and a half cream colored head, thick and frothy, with excellent retention. The body is dark ruby colored, much darker than most other pumpkin ales. Wonderful lacing.

S: Malt forward nose. Notes of caramel, cookie and toasted bread. Pumpkin pie filling. Complex and layered with spices of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice - and further notes of cardamom and clove.

T: The notes translates onto the palate - and just as well - with deeper flavor in the form of toffee, cola and spicy apple. Finishes really strong with with great flavor and big alcoholic notes.

M: Very full body and extremely thick and chewy. The flavor lasts long and is moderately sweet.

O: Devious Imperial Pumpkin is an excellent BIG pumpkin beer - and easily the most memorable of the year. Well done guys.

Photo of TheCorkStopsHere
3.57/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

So I grabbed this little brew on a recent trip back to PA to visit my folks, the Devious Imperial Pumpkin from Fegley's BrewWorks. The BrewWorks has a couple of brewpubs in the Allentown/Bethlehem area that I call home, so I'm looking forward to this one. Plus, I've got a few old friends that work there, as well as a number of family members that consider themselves regulars. So let's see how it stacks up, shall we?

Pours out a really dark shade of orange, like a dark rust or mahogany color. I think this is one of the darker pumpkin beers I've seen this year. The foam is really lively, with a full two-fingers of head, in a creamy, off-white color. The head retention isn't long though, it subsides fairly quickly, leaving behind a mild lacing on the glass.

The aromas are nice, but mild. There's a little bit of pumpkin, but it's barely noticeable. The spices stand out a little stronger, but are also not as evident as the spices in some other brews this year.

Taking a sip I'm, well, disappointed a little. The spices are not as present on the palate as they were on the nose, and I'm not really getting a ton of pumpkin flavors. As the beer warms up, I'm getting a bit more pumpkin, but even less on the spice-side of things. Don't get me wrong, the Devious Pumpkin is quite drinkable, and I'm sure many people would enjoy it. But I set my standards for pumpkin beer pretty high, and this isn't quite hitting the same mark that's been set this year.

Now, I've heard a few rumors that maybe I've got a bottle from last year's batch. There's no "best by" or "bottled on" date anywhere on the bottle, so I can't quite be sure. And I picked this bottle up at a Wegman's the latter part of August. Due to the kinda flat flavors, I'm hoping this is a leftover from last year. But for the sake of Wegman's stocking practices, I hope they didn't put last year's Devious Pumpkin out on the shelf at the same time as this year's Pumking, that's just bad karma.

I've also had several of my old friends tell me that the Devious Pumpkin is significantly better on tap. Unfortunately, I probably won't make it back to PA while they're still serving it, so my comparison will probably have to wait till next year.

Photo of vande
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a - a coppery looking auburn color with a thin, quickly receding head...

s - Nose is in the immediate throws of fall spices and pumpkin -- cinnamon, gingerbread, clove..

t - follows the track the nose has created... A very nice mixture of spices producing a warm, pumpkin flavor...yet, the alcohol is definitely present..., but quite tasty

m - medium-to-light-bodied beer with a good dose of carbonation...

o - a pretty good pumpkin beer, and definitely one that was new to me! Shared this with co-workers, to which all enjoyed!

Photo of chefhatt
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a nice dark orange body with a 2"whtite head that dispates quickly to a thin lace. The smell is of pumpkin pie spices(clove,nutmeg, cinnamon) also a nice pumpkin aroma come up also. The taste very dominate of pumpkin and clove. Also a very nice pumpkin taste, almost like a fresh baked pumpkin pie. This beer has a very nice mouth feel and rolls off the tonuge very nicely. Overall one of the better pumpkin beers i have had.

Photo of brystmar
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: roars to life with copious amounts of carbonation and thick, white head. Not the best retention, however, and halfway through the drink I'm left with no traces of head or lace. Lack of retention is the reason this doesn't get a 5.

S: fresh pumpkin, sweet malts, spicy cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon. Many beers smell like pumpkin pie, but this one smells like really good pumpkin pie.

T: healthy doses of malt backed up by strong spices. Tons of clove and other spices here, much moreso than its peers. The pumpkin itself is there but isn't the central focus and balances well with everything else. Mild boozy warmth as it descends leaves the familiar (and pleasant) caramel flavor, reminding you this is an imperial brew. Devious is impressively crafted, and top-notch for the style.

M: medium-bodied, more carbonation than I normally like, and not creamy enough. But this is all nit-picking: this is a fantastic pumpkin ale!

D: great flavors and balance mask this imperial pumpkin's strength well. I could happily take down this entire bomber and still beg for more.

Overall, this is a first-rate pumpkin beer. Not sure why its average rating here is so low -- this truly is a pinnacle of its style. The only other pumpkin beer on par with Devious is the Frog's Hollow Imperial Pumpkin from Hoppin Frog. I think I slightly prefer that brew to this one, but it's close. Really, really close.

*** The Pumpkin Beer Hierarchy ® ***

Top Tier: (in order, separated only by marginal personal preference)
- Frog's Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale by Hoppin Frog
- Devious Imperial Pumpkin by Bethlehem Brew Works

2nd Tier:
- Good Gourd by Cigar City

3rd Tier: (tied)
- Punkin' by DFH
- PumKing by Southern Tier

...and then there's everything else. Seek Devious out! Buy multiples! It's rare that pumpkin beers get this good.

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Devious Imperial Pumpkin from Bethlehem Brew Works
85 out of 100 based on 221 ratings.