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Fermentation Without Representation - Epic Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Fermentation Without RepresentationFermentation Without Representation

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

145 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 145
Hads: 514
Avg: 3.83
pDev: 21.67%
Wants: 20
Gots: 65 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Epic Brewing Company visit their website
Utah, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JohnGalt1 on 11-06-2011

Our first ever collaborative beer has all the familiar flavors of the season, but done with Epic style. To a base of strong, roasty, and chocolaty porter, we add 200 pounds of real pumpkin per batch, five spices and whole Madagascar vanilla beans. As you pour this deeply ruby brown beer, you’re greeted by the aroma of fresh cut squash,followed by rich chocolate. The flavor starts sweet with marshmallow,vanilla, and some pumpkin pie, then yields to a coffee roast and darkchocolate dryness. This beer is a great introduction for curious drinkers and a special holiday treat for fans of the style.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 145 | Hads: 514
5/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This has to be the best if not a close second best pumpkin beer I've ever had. It poured dark brown with light head into a snifter. The smell is of cocoa, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and peanut butter. The taste of this beer I only can describe as a peanut butter cup made with pumpkin spice. This beer goes down extremely smooth and creamy. Overall I loved this beer, of course I love peanut butter cups and pumpkin spice stuff. So if you like both those things just imagine them combined.

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Photo of jtierney89
4.65/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep Deep brown color with auburn colors with what looks like pretty good clarity. Sticky crystal like tan head. Smells of fresh pumpkin, cinnamon sticks, and fresh vanilla.

This beer literally tastes like pumpkin pie with a scoop with a whipped cream on top. Rich creamy mouthfeel with a bold pumpkin flavor up front. Sweet biscuit malts are followed by big pumpkin flavor and fresh vanilla. Semi-smoked dark malts with an earthy hop bitterness. The Balance in this beer is impeccable. Cinnamon, allspice, cardamon and clove make an appearance on the back end of tongue while the beer finishes with big whipped cream and chocolate flavor. As much as every pumpkin beer wants to be "pumpkin pie in a glass" this is the only beer that has truly pulled it off while still having a big beer flavor.

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Photo of Danimals_Beard
4.65/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Good thick head. A solid rich dark color, moderate lacing. Carbonating Is on the lighter side, but not weak or flat. Smells strongly of nutmeg, vanilla bean, but not so much pumpkin. The taste however taste like pumpkin and vanilla. I definitely have the urge to make a pumpkin porter shake with this one. It's got a pleasant mouthfeel, has a good crispness to it for a porter. Very drinkable, overall, my favorite Pumpkin Porter next to Four Peaks.

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Photo of ChrisKayler
4.61/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a New Belgium Globe.

Appearance: With an average pour, 3/4''' of caramel colored, soapy, creamy head was produced. This head diminished rather quickly. Color of the beer is darkkkk red-brown, only able to be seen around the edges. Lacing was quite good for a darker beer.

Smell: Mild dark chocolate is prominent, with hints of bread, a general nuttiness, and toffee. Pumpkin is subtle but present in the background along with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Taste: Taste is sweet malt, followed by subtle vanilla and pumpkin, as well as cinnamon and nutmeg, followed by an extremely long subtle chocolate flavor. Alcohol is present but well hidden for the ABV. Spices contribute, but not too much. Pumpkin and other sweeter flavors become more prominent as the beer warms, but the chocolate is always present no matter the temperature. Flavor duration is long, with heavy sweetness and light sour/bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Body is medium, with soft to average carbonation, and a sweet, but dry finish. Alcohol warming is also noticeable.

Overall: Amazing beer. Quite complex, a nice change from the usual pumpkin beer suspects. My favorite pumpkin beer to date. It's almost like a flavorful pumpkin ale, with less spice, and then chocolate undertones added.

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Photo of Stingraystripe
4.52/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

My favorite seasonal ever. Perfect mix of spice and real beer flavor. Very roasty up front giving way to warm spice. The 2012 and 2014 releases were top notch. 2013 seemed to miss a lot of the spice finish, but it cellared really well, and a year later was just delicious. (Don't really know what all went on there - I'll let someone with some science hazard a guess at that ).

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Photo of challenja
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

22oz bottle served into a Boulevard tulip glass

A: Black cafe body with no light permeability, mellow off orange white 2 finger head.

S: Pumpkin pie, cinnamon, allspice, vanilla bean.

T: Dominican medium roast coffee, alcohol estringent, vanilla bean, pumpkin gourd, allspice, hop bitters and nutmeg.

M: Medium to full body, smooth velvet, with no burnt characteristics.

O: This is a very well made porter/ pumpkin ale hybrid. Not as smoky as a great porters go, not as overpowering and robust as most great pumpkin ales go, but a damn solid hybrid beer made by two great beer companies that I will introduce friends to.

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Photo of palma
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Delicious pumpkin stout here.

Aroma of roasted nuts, fig, pumpkin meat. Cherry. Vanilla. Peanut butter. More malty roastiness. Faint alcohol whiffs.

Taste is excellent. Roasty goodness. Cocoa. Burnt nuttiness. Pumpkin flesh. More pumpkin at the end. All this roastiness complemented very well with the sweet pumpkin notes. Pumpkin is definitely more pronounced at the end.

Mouthfeel is almost perfect. Creamy. Mild. Silky. Good carbonation.

The porter attributes are definitely still all the showcase here. The pumpkin is not over done. Very nice and extremely complex for a sweet pumpkin beer. Just well crafted all around.

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Photo of RodneyFarva
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a snifter

a: pours a deep chocolate black with a finger of creamy and bubbly tan head. nice lacing.

s: cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin meat, vanilla, cardamon, and a strong hint of deep roasted malts. very nice.

t: deep roasted malts, chocolate with a definite creaminess to it, and then the spices and the flavor of pumpkin at the end. while the aroma began with pumpkin and ended with the porter, the taste is in the opposite order. creamy and smooth mouthfeel. alcohol very well hidden but still with a solid body.

o: a wonderful mix of two style, with equal representation for both. after the disappointment of Starr Hill's pumpkin porter, it was nice to have one done right.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.46/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Rated to style.

Amazing head retention on top of a dark, dark, brown body. Head is fluffy cream color with loose bubbles.

Lots of spice, but not syrupy, sugary, or over done. Toasty, roasty, malty, milky chocolate. A bit too much on the roastyness.

Whoa. Hands down the best pumpkin brew I've had in quite some time. Carbonation is medium and well placed. Bitterness is great too, heavy and nearly unsettling. No sweetness. Dry due to spice, allspice, light use of cinnamon, cardamon...

Rated to style. A nice brew, very well done for a spice (pumpkin) brew. Recommended for the connoisseur of fine pumpkin ales.

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Photo of GOBLIN
4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Absolutely caught off guard by this beer ! I was not expecting the flavor assault I got from this one. Pours, looks, feels and tastes more towards the stout end of the spectrum rather than on the porter side of things. Categorized as a Pumpkin ale is sure to throw some off . . . it did me. The pumpkin is there for sure, don't misunderstand. But it is done in such a way that leaves most other pumpkin beers still sitting in the patch watching this beer flourish as far as the style goes. Thick, roasty with hints of vanilla, chocolate and coffee, it is a great addition to your fall beer lineup.

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Photo of t420o
4.39/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Epic/DC Brau Fermentation Without Representation

A- pour produces a 1 finger tan head resting on a deep brown body. Head recedes somewhat quick leaving little in the way of lacing 3.5 

S- fresh pumpkin, pumpkin spice, chocolate malt, mollases. The pumpkin and spice is most prevalent but in a fresh way, not a fake or overly sweet way. Smells excellent 4.5

T- I really like this beer a lot. Pumpkin, pumpkin spice, chocolate, caramalized brown sugar, roasted malt, vanilla and slightly dry on the back end. I really like that it retains the porter character but is still a pumpin beer first and foremost. Excellent beer. 4.5 

M- nice silky mouthfeel. On the lighter side carbonation-wise 4

O- excellent. I'm going back to buy more immediately. I really like pumpkin beers and this is very close to the top of my list for pumpkin beers. 4.5


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Photo of GilGarp
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #1.

Bomber served cold into a pint glass.

Dark brown color with good clarity seen on the pour. Inch thick head is slow to settle and has nice lacing.

Aroma is rich and roasty like a nice porter should be with mild pumpkin pie spice added.

Flavor is very pleasant with just the right amount of spice. It would be good just as a traditional strong porter but the spice adds an additional layer making it a bit more interesting.

It has a creamy smooth mouthfeel and good balance.

Overall a really good imperial porter and a perfect beer for a chilly Halloween night.

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Photo of andrewm190
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a fantastic beer! I'm surprised it hasn't received higher reviews thus far. I'm typically not a fan of the pumpkin infused brews, but I could drink this at any gathering. It is very sweet, certainly there is the flavor of pumpkin but it isn't overwhelming in any sense and it feels mush less cheap that the typical Sam Adams entry. It pours a good frothy head that dissipates relatively quickly. The aroma is pleasant. The mouthfeel is smooth and agreeable without an overriding sense of alcohol or sweetener. I drank at about room temperature and was only disappointed when the bottle was empty. The brew is flying off the shelves in the D.C. area and I haven't met anyone not thrilled with the product.

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Photo of kagent777
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this one as a work Christmas present (I kind of asked for it :-)) Poured into my beer goblet for tasting on a cool winter's night in SLC. Release #5 and 7.6% ABV.

Appearance: Brown in the glass but a really nice crystal clear garnet when held up to the light. This one poured with a nice fluffy tan head that settled after a little bit to a thick film on the beer. It did leave some lacing on my glass. Really a fine looking beer.

Smell: All sorts of autumn spices. I think I can pick out nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon. I nice mild pumpkin is in the background also. All of this combined with a nice roasty malt character to be expected with a porter. A touch of solvent alcohol is present as well.

Taste: The taste is very nice. Up front, there is some bitterness combining with a autumn spices. The pumpkin is pretty subtle, but noticeable. After the bitterness is gone, the porter semisweetness comes along, but never in a cloying sort of way. While this is called an "Imperial porter" the taste is not overwhelming at any point. The subtle chocolate roastiness from the malts really blends nicely with the autumn spices. A strong offering from Epic.

Mouthfeel: No problems the beer is medium bodied and carbonation is on the low side. The finish is also medium.

Overall: I really enjoyed this beer. A nice seasonal offering from Epic and one of my favorite autumn seasonals this year. This could be one offered to newbies, if they enjoy porters in the first place.

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Photo of jsanto
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

relese #7, had in a three philosophers little glass.

appearance: brown, nice light brown head,

smell: vanella, and a little cocoa

taste: light alcohol, cocoa wood, not bad for a porter, and a finish of sweet soda pop.funny huh.

mouthfeel: tangy but tasteful, i lika dat mouthfeel a lot.

overall: one of the better pumkins i have had, would buy again next year, and enjoy the epic fermentation eithout representation series of beers throughout the year.

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Photo of zeledonia
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Release 1, says the bottle. Bottled 17 October 2011, per their website.

Pours black, opaque, and dark chocolate brown at the edges. Two fingers of dense medium tan head. I can almost convince myself I see orange, but that's probably reading the label into the beer. Retention and lacing are okay, standard, you know. Except that as I drink it, the glass becomes more and more covered with gobs of foam. So maybe upgrade that lacing.

Smells rich, sweet, and pumpkiny. Smells like the roasted pumpkin puree I used to put into pies as a kid. There's beer behind it, but mostly I smell the pumpkin.

Taste is good - one of the better pumpkin beers that I've had. The porter behind it seems a little thin and light on the roast, present mostly as charry bitterness that comes on late. Pumpkin is present throughout, and it's good, pure, squashy, vegetabley pumpkin. Tasty.

Mouthfeel is, IMO, exceptional. Smooth, fluffy, and chewy without being fizzy or overly heavy. Has that creamy feel of an oatmeal stout. Simply lovely.

I really like this beer. It's got great pumpkin aroma and flavor, and the mouthfeel is exquisite. Main complaint is that the porter isn't more present (and since they bill it as an "imperial pumpkin porter", that's a problem).

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a brandy snifter. Release #2. Brewed on 3 October 2011. Bottled on 21 October 2011.

A: Mahogany brown, with a nut-brown creamy head. Good retention. Opaque and impressive. Scattered lace.

S: Excellent pumpkin and heavy spice. Yum. In fact the nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and clove (mostly nailed it, before looking it up!) might be a touch much, but I'm eating it up. Smells like canned pumpkin.

T/M: What? Great! Creamy, smooth, full-bodied, and with excellent balance between roasted, buttery-bitter malts and spiced-sweet pumpkin. Vanilla beans lend themselves to the creamy sweet side, whereas cacao beans lean to the darker, bitterer flavors. Complex and rewarding, the added spice isn't as obvious on the maintaste as the aftertaste, where it lingers.

O: A phenomenally interesting and excellent tasting pumpkin porter that has aged gracefully. In this incarnation, a must-try. Would drink again.

ABV: 7.9%
Hops: Nugget, Perle, Tettnang
Malts: Muntons Maris Otter, Briess 2-Row Brewers Malt, Muntons Crystal, Weyermann Munic Malt Type I (light), Briess 2-Row Chocolate Malt, Weyerman Carafa III
Spice: Pumpkin, Vanilla Bean, Allspice, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves
Brewers' Commentary: "Our first ever collaborative beer has all the familiar flavors of the season, but done with Epic style. To a base of strong, roasty, and chocolaty porter, we add 200 pounds of real pumpkin per batch, five spices and whole Madagascar vanilla beans. As you pour this deeply ruby brown beer, you’re greeted by the aroma of fresh cut squash,followed by rich chocolate. The flavor starts sweet with marshmallow,vanilla, and some pumpkin pie, then yields to a coffee roast and darkchocolate dryness. This beer is a great introduction for curious drinkers and a special holiday treat for fans of the style."

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Photo of Jree261
4.26/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance-Almost black, dark brown with a maroon tint on the rims with a cream color foam.

Smell-Coffee predominates. Mocha. Very little pumpkin in the nose.

Taste-Coffee on the front and end of the palate. Middle is mainly vanilla. Very nice progression.

Mouthfeel-Big porter. Good long finish that stays for quite a while.

Overall-This is a great beer. My issue with it is the fact that there is almost zero pumpkin in it. With last years brew the pumpkin with subtle but it was definitely there, a great fall weather, Thanksgiving beer. This year this is just straight porter with very little pumpkin to speak of. One of the things I like most about Epic is that their fruit beers aren't usually overpowering, the beer still holds centerstage and the fruit just adds another layer. Don't get me wrong, this is a really good beer. It's just not a pumpkin beer.

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Photo of Benish
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Batch # 18. Poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: nice creamy tan head presented which dissipated very slowly. Color was like any typical porter - brownish black.

Smell: Instantly picked up some pumpkin pie spices. Can also smell subtle pie crust and brown sugar and coffee. Smell is outstanding. Can't get enough of it.

Taste: not overly spiced like most pumpkin ales. Very mild pumpkin flavor. The flavor of the porter dominates with the pumpkin notes on the side. The porter itself is outstanding with its malty mellow sweetness. Also notes of coffee at the finish.

Mouthfeel: smooth and creamy

Overall: outstanding. It's not an overkill like other pumpkin beers are. It is well executed in a porter. The smell was truly outstanding.

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Photo of Gregfalone
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a tulip glass at congregation ale house in Azusa California

Pours dark amber brown with some light showing through with one finger head that holds well, leaving a nice pattern behind as it goes down

Smells of baked pumpkin, with molasses and spices (mainly ginger)

Tastes like a fresh baked pumpkin pie, with cinnamon, brown sugar and all the other great spices that make a good pumpkin pie.

Mouthfeel is medium, with matching carbonation an a not so dry finish

Overall, this is a very good porter, I would drink again

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Photo of psuKinger
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber, picked up at Vintage Estate as a recommendation from one of the staff, poured into one of my New Belgium Globes.

A: Pours a murky deep deep dark brown with a thin off-white head.

S: Roasted coffee grounds and a touch of pumpkin come through at a muted volume. I think this beer may be a shade too cold, hopefully it opens up a little as it warms.

T: Big bold flavors of coffee, pumpkin, and spice. What I like about this beer is that there's plenty of fantastic, rich, pumpkin flavor, and it's in no way overly-sweet. The roasty coffee flavors strike a harmonious chord with the pumpkin, and there's just a touch of cinnamon and perhaps some other spice on the back end to really give this beer a zing.

It finishes with just the appropriate amount of hops of the back end, which add a touch of dry bitterness and a touch of grapefruit that works well with the spice.

M: Carbonation bubbles are very "fine" here; no large bubbles. That "fizz" affect is still present, but I'd prefer just a touch more carbonation. Plenty of good roast/spice/hop flavors left behind on the finish, though.

D/O: I genuinely enjoyed this brew. It didn't seem like "novelty beer" to me, as most pumpkin's do. Repeatable.

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Photo of dorianmarley
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Straightforward in body and flavor, with cola adding drinkability. Striking bitterness. Not dry for a porter. Pumpkin flavor is simple and smart. I appreciate the restraint on spice. Overall, a good beer, and a fun play on a porter, but the flavors are too restrained to be especially memorable.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass; release #12 bottled 7/22/2012. Pours nearly opaque clear dark reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of chocolate, pumpkin, caramel, cocoa, roasted malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, toast, vanilla, dark bread, ginger, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt, pumpkin, and spice notes; with great strength. Taste of big chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, pumpkin, caramel, cinnamon, toast, clove, nutmeg, vanilla, ginger, dark bread, and roasted earthiness. Lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, pumpkin, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, dark bread, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance, complexity, and robustness of dark malt, pumpkin, and spice flavors; with a great malt/spice balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very creamy and moderately slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent pumpkin porter! All around great balance, robustness, and complexity of dark malt, pumpkin, and spice flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of BeerNutz324
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bomber into an oversized wine glass (live review)

Ap- a dark dark brown that barely see through. Nice light tan head has pretty good retention.

Ar- some sweet and dark malt, chocolate, lots of pumpkin and spice scent. Smells like pumpkin pie

T- has a great roasty malt backbone with a cocoa flavor and hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, and pumpkin puree

M- medium bodied, good carbonation and a bit sticky

O- a nice pumpkin ale. Very smooth and tasty, for me this one is better than the ever-famous pumking.

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Photo of jtd1969
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black. Typical for a porter. Good lacing. Nice medium carbonation

S - Pumpkin, Pumpkin spices( nutmeg, cina, etc), vanilla, burnt sugar.

T - Roasty pumpkin with slight vanilla and dark malt notes. Some orange flavors as well. I don't get chocolate really, more roasty

M - Medium body with good carbonation.

O - Saved this from last Spring when I bought it. Enjoyed with one with a friend. Really good porter. I recommend trying this one as it is different but delicious.

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Fermentation Without Representation from Epic Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.