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Pumpkin Imperial Spruce Stout - Rock Art Brewery

Not Rated.
Pumpkin Imperial Spruce StoutPumpkin Imperial Spruce Stout

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185 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 185
Reviews: 88
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 15.13%
Wants: 16
Gots: 13 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Rock Art Brewery visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
"A big stout brewed in the colonial fashion with large amounts of pumpkins and spruce tips added to the kettle for flavor and bittering qualities. The pumpkins compliment the malt flavors, and were used to add sugars to the mash. What ever you do, do not think this is going to taste like pumpkin pie. 50 IBUs."

(Beer added by: Brad007 on 09-11-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 185 | Reviews: 88 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brez8791
1/5  rDev -72%

brez8791, Oct 05, 2013
Photo of Burt
1.25/5  rDev -65%

Burt, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of JohnK17
2/5  rDev -44%

JohnK17, Oct 30, 2012
Photo of nh2032
2/5  rDev -44%

nh2032, Jun 03, 2012
Photo of dunix
2.5/5  rDev -30%

dunix, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of AshleyMiller
2.5/5  rDev -30%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

a-translucent dark mahogany with a very limited head that dissipates quickly.

s-very little here. some pine, slight hops, very lacking

t-much like the smell, the taste leaves something to be desired here. no hints of pumpkin, spice, malt. only bitter pines and the slightest hint of coffee, maybe.

m-light, opposite of what i was expecting from a pumpkin imperial stout.

o-very disappointing. the first rock art i've had that i haven't enjoyed. was looking forward to kicking back and enjoying it on a cold, rainy vermont day. it didn't bring me the warmth and fall flavor i hoped for. perhaps it was a bad batch, and i'm certainly willing to give rock art the benefit of the doubt on this one.

AshleyMiller, Oct 03, 2011
Photo of fo5s
2.6/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

22oz bottle into a tumbler. No bottle dating, but this is new this year and I got it off the shelf just after thanksgiving.

Pours the deepest brown - not quite black here. Creamy 2-finger head suggests healthy carbonation.

Smell isn't surprising, typically nose of an imperial stout crossed with some zing, which I'm assuming is from the spruce tips. Not sure what to make of them - not spicy, not overpowering, but different.

Yikes, this is all over the place. Pumpkin is hardly noticeable (bottle disclaims that this won't taste like a pumpkin pie, but that's fitting for many pumpkin ales) behind a full palate of sprucy confusion. It's tough to distinguish how the base imperial stout is, but coming out of rock art I assume it's solid. Spruce taste lingers through the aftertase...

Actually feels great on the tongue. Carbonation is done well, livelier than I would have expected, but you couldn't go light on it with the strong spruce flavors to work with.

Drinkability? Not so much. Man I wish I had someone to split this bomber with me. The spruce becomes overpowering, almost repulsive by the end of the bottle.

Don't get me wrong, I like what rock art did here, and I'm a huge fan of the brewery in general. After being unsuccessful in tracking this one down, I finally stumbled across a bottle...and was deeply disappointed. This is more of a concept beer than a drinkable representation of the style. I likely won't revisit until rock art revises the recipe, but I do think this one has good potential if the balance is done right. (Note, I also recognize I'm off consensus here).

fo5s, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of liddytime
2.6/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

What the....?!?! Pumpkin Imperial Spruce Stout?!?!

OK, I am pretty open minded when it comes to experimental brews, but I truly believe three things that should not go together are pumpkin, spruce and imperial stout. Nevertheless, I was willing to give this concoction a shot.

It pours a dark brown to black. Not completely opaque, but nearly so. Is is topped with an inch or so of fluffy foam that quickly dissipates.

As far as the nose goes, one does appreciate minty and piney notes... the spruce maybe? The sweetness of the pumpkin is also noticeable over the roasted notes of the stout.

The taste is quite unique. Typical toasted, chocolate stout flavors come through but they are backed up by the sweetness of the pumpkin and the minty-ness of the spruce. The hops provide additional bitterness to the mix. The balance of it all is just a bit off. My wife ( a stout afficionado) described it as "tasting like shoe-polish ".

I think this would be a good beer if it was kept simply as an imperial stout. The pumpkin and spruce really do add odd, unbalanced flavors which are totally unnecessary. Sometimes less really is more.

liddytime, Oct 17, 2010
Photo of rjvanston
2.75/5  rDev -23%

rjvanston, Nov 24, 2012
Photo of angelogarcia3
2.8/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

As many of you know, I love stout beers. However, I've run into my first stout beer that I was disappointed with. Rock Art's Imperial pumpkin spruce stout is that beer. A very translucent black color indicates it's weakness in body. A very thin head also tells you not much in carbonation or body. The taste is of burnt coffee with a hint of pine. Moderate bitterness which lingers afterwards.

angelogarcia3, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of Gosox8787
2.85/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Presentation: Bomber bottle poured into a snifter glass in two parts. This is my first taste of a Rock Art beer, and this combines two of my favorite styles, pumpkin and stout.

Appearance: Black in color with a two finger medium brown head and good retention. About par for the course for most stouts.

Aroma: It's hard to identify one note that is standing out more than the others. There are espresso, bitter pine, and some sweet pumpkin. The spruce tips provide the pine and also sting a little bit. They really mask some of the other aromas, but not the alcohol burn.

Taste: A nice balance of sweet pumpkin and coffee and chocolate notes from the malt for a second upfront. This part of the beer has some serious promise. Then the added element of the spruce tips make an appearance. They add a harsh, astrigent bitterness to the back end and really give anything else. Just really heavy pine bitternes with no sweet counter. The spruce makes this unbalanced and harsh most of the time.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thin for a double stout. There's some carbonation here, although its a tad flat. Dry finish.

Drinkability: The ABV being noticable in the nose and taste hurts this as well as the overly bitter and almost unpalatable spruce tips.

Overall, an interesting and different stout, but that doesn't mean a good one. The pumpkin is nice in its ridiculously small role, but the spruce tips are where this beer falls flat. This is my first experience with this ingredient in beers and it completely ruined a nicely balanced stout upfront. They were overly bitter and provided nothing to the taste other than really astrigent pine pitch. This beer was a letdown for me.

Gosox8787, Sep 01, 2010
Photo of stonermouse
2.95/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Sam Adams glass. Drank over about an hour, so had it cool through room temp.

Pours cola-brown, with a head that vanishes quickly. Low carbonation and no lacing at all. Looks like a flat RC Cola.

Aroma is decent, if nondescript. A little coffee comes through, along with, believe it or not, a little cola-like smell. Not quite the overwhelming wallop I expected from an "extreme" beer.

I expected big flavor, and I didn't get it. This is pretty mellow all around. There's a bit of chocolate and coffee, but pretty generic, mild flavors. The advertised pumpkin flavor pretty much didn't exist, and there was a touch of pine, earthiness, and a bit of plain hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is rather dry and thin. Finishes with a bitter and mildly unpleasant dryness.

Not sure what to say about this one. It's a fairly average stout advertised as an "extreme," imperial-type stout. Nothing about this brew is extreme. It's not an offensive brew, but it offers only slightly more than a Guiness in a fancier bottle.

stonermouse, Oct 21, 2011
Photo of Doshkin
2.98/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

a - very dark almost black amber. decent head that dissipated quickly

s - some spicy, hoppy smells. not too strong

t - fair amount of hops for what i expected. bitter. no pumpkin taste at all. this was kind of a weak, hoppy stout

m - bubbly, smooth, spiced

o - this is not very "extreme", as claimed very blatantly across the label. i guess the one good thing about it is that it masks the 8% pretty well. i didn't find this beer particularly impressive in any way. i won't buy it again. would not pick it as a beer to hang out and relax with, and i definitely not drink more than a bottle of it. too bad a got a big bottle to come to these realizations : P

Doshkin, Oct 10, 2011
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3/5  rDev -16%

BTVflatlander, Oct 19, 2013
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3/5  rDev -16%

IdrinkGas, Nov 03, 2012
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3/5  rDev -16%

nafredet1, Jan 02, 2013
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3/5  rDev -16%

ygtbsm94, Apr 24, 2012
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3/5  rDev -16%

Rojada1988, Sep 07, 2012
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3/5  rDev -16%

SFC21, Jan 28, 2012
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3/5  rDev -16%

GeorgeCarroll, Aug 28, 2014
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3/5  rDev -16%

jrempel, Apr 28, 2013
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3/5  rDev -16%

sholland119, Dec 19, 2011
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3/5  rDev -16%

kwjd, Jan 28, 2013
Photo of Matt1385
3/5  rDev -16%

Matt1385, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of LoveStout
3/5  rDev -16%

LoveStout, Sep 27, 2013
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Pumpkin Imperial Spruce Stout from Rock Art Brewery
81 out of 100 based on 185 ratings.