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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

147 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 147
Hads: 529
Avg: 3.83
pDev: 21.67%
Wants: 22
Gots: 69 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 147 | Hads: 529
Photo of BrianOhio
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour is dark cola-like with an extremely thick 2 finger, fluffy head. Great retention as well.

The aroma leans heavily towards nutmeg, which concerned me a bit.

Tasting, the nutmeg is more muted (thankfully) and balanced with pumpkin spice. You get a real creaminess that almost makes you think lactose was added as well. In the finish, a nice smokiness cuts through the sweetness and reminds you this is a porter.

I am not a pumpkin beer fan. I always feel like I want to be, and then I find myself overwhelmed with cinnamon and nutmeg. This one gets it right, and in my opinion is the best pumpkin seasonal out there. I will be buying more tomorrow.

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Photo of hopsputin
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Release #12. bottles 2012, drank 2013

a: dark black with hints of purple towards the bottom of the glass. large 3-4 finger beige head that seems to be hanging around. gets a little rocky on the top as it dissipates

s: its loaded with toasted and roasted malts. lots of milk chocolate and vanilla fill the nose. there is a nice creamy malt sweetness that helps blend everything as well. no hint of pumpkin or spices though...I assume the year has faded them

t: more pumpkin than the nose indicated, but not much - again a year old bottle may have something to do with that. its not strong, but you do get that pumpkin pulp flavor in here, which provides some initial sweetness. its then followed by a quick spice (clove/graham..i know thats not a spice) jolt, which fades to the roasted malty porter flavor - full of roasted malts and bittersweet chocolate, with the slightest hint of lactose to add some nice creaminess. finishes with some alcohol

m: medium mouthfeel. quite a bit of carbonation though

o: again - this is a year old. its an alright porter, however the pumpkin qualities (while there) are nowhere as present as i'd like them to be. perhaps they're stronger in fresher bottles. it can stand on its own as a porter, but if you're looking for a pumpkin porter - this year old bottle won't give you what you're searching for

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep brown, almost black, with about a half finger of dark khaki colored head that fades into a solid ring along the edges of the glass. Solid lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, burnt sugar, and caramel. I get subtle malt in there as well. It smells nice. I hope this translates into taste.

T: The taste follows the nose pretty closely. It starts out with some roasted pumpkin flavor along with a touch of vanilla, and caramel. However, it's a bit thin and I'm left wanting more.

M: Medium bodied beer. It's crisp and pumpkin-y up front. It gets a bit watery and light in subtle in the middle, and it finishes sweet semi-sweet.

O: It's good, but it's not amazing. The flavors are nice, but it's too watery for my tastes and the booze is evident in a 7.6% beer. With so many pumpkin beers on the market, I'd skip over this one and try some of the others.

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Photo of jamesDaExMoBeerGuy
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass, dark roasted amber color with just a bit of head but persistent lacing.

Smell was a bit underwhelming, expected more character here, just a bit of toasted malt and grain and nothing given away to the squash itself.

Taste is malty, subtle peppery but PUMPKIN comes through rich and well balanced with hop. Feels a bit thin in the middle, but left with a wonderful pumpkin aftertaste.

Finishes well, aside from a bit thin mid-mouth taste this beer just hit me right on a fall night with a real chill in the brisk wind. Seemed just about perfect for the occasion and the best pumpkin styled porter I have had.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an Elysian snifter. Pours a very dark mahogany brown with a thin light tan head that dissipates to patches and a thin ring around the glass. Aroma of toasted malt, roasted pumpkin, hints of vanilla and dark dried fruit. Flavor of light toasted malt, mild pumpkin, burnt toast, light vanilla, some nuttiness; finishes with charred, non-aromatic coffee and bitterning hops. Medium bodied. An interesting take on a pumpkin beer that leans more towards a toasty porter than most, but does not have the body or heavy malt of a pumpkin porter. A nice change of pace on the boundary of the two styles. It will not knock Elysian's Dark of the Moon or Great Pumpkin off their thrones, but is a pleasant alternative.

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Photo of stimulus
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Release #4. 7.7%abv.

A: Pours a dark brown with ruby edges and a 1/2 finger beige head.
S: Lots of vanilla bean and a bit of cinnamon.
T: Similar to the taste, but other spices come out here, especially cloves. Some bitter chocolate is present on the finish to balance out the sweetness and spice from the adjuncts used in this beer.
M: Good carbonation, medium bodied, and no alcohol bite at all.
O: I think this is a good spiced winter porter, but could have used more flavor of the pumpkin. Otherwise, I think the brewery should go a little lighter on the vanilla bean, cinnamon, clove, and whatever else was used in this beer, if they would like to market it as a pumpkin porter.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 PT. 6 FLUID OUNCE bottle
Served in a beer mug

A - It is pretty dark with some ruby highlights. I got a mountain of mocha head on top of it.

S - The aroma is chocolate with some pumpkin spice.

T - The taste offers a roasted malt with a little chocolate. The cinnamon and nutmeg compliment the solid base porter.

M - Medium to full

O - I originally had this beer on tap and loved it. It is not as great out of the bottle. This is definitely a beer that improves as it get closer to room temperature. Porters and stouts are a style I think is better suited for pumpkin beer. The chocolate and roasted malts are complimentary to the pumpkin spices.

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Photo of Brenden
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Release # 4.

This beer is dark brown with a big, rocky medium-brown head that's creamy and frothy yet very dense. Big, sticky lacing is left in pretty heavy deposits on the glass.
The aroma is light but not lacking. It's a good aroma diplaying great balance between the pumpkin and the spices without going too far or stopping too short on either. Spices seem to include the typical nutmeg and cinnamon with something a little leafier and gentler as well as something gently hot but not peppery.
The taste follows suit. It's a very nice, well-balanced and potent flavor, even adding a bit of hoppiness, until a strange thing happens: within just a short time, the pumpkin and spices fade out and I find I'm just drinking a regular porter. I like porters, and it's a good one, but this is not supposed to happen.
The mouthfeel is good, an appropriate medium body with moderate carbonation setting the stage for a fairly thick and creamy brew.

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Photo of liamt07
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Steve, 650ml into a tulip. Release #8.

Black body with a light brown head. Good retention and spots of lace. Nose has some light pumpkin pie spicing, some roast, smoke and some peripheral vegetal and anise. Taste is roasty and drying, cocoa, pumpkin pie spicing midpalate and into the finish. Creamy thinner medium body and medium low carbonation. A nice pumpkin spiced porter, much nicer as it warms.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Release #7

A: Pours an opaque but clear very dark amber (almost black) in color with dark brown highlights when held up to the light and light amounts of visible carbonation near the surface of the beer. The beer has a finger tall light tan head that quickly reduces to a medium sized patch of large bubbles, a thin film covering the majority the surface of the beer, and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of roasted malts, chocolate, pumpkin, and vanilla. This is followed by much lighter notes of spices - nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger.

T: Moderate flavors of roasted malts and chocolate upfront, followed by the flavor of the pumpkin and the vanilla. There are spicy notes in the finish with nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger standing out.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin with a bit of dryness in the finish.

O: A very interesting take on a pumpkin beer, the pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices really add to the depth of flavor of the porter. Enjoyable and pretty easy to drink - the alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of mactrail
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark chestnut color in the chalice. Decent foam and lively on the tongue.

The spice is pleasant rather than flamboyant. Cloves and a little cinnamon. Starts out sweet with warm malt flavors but changes to a dry finish. A substantial burnt sugar and bark taste. The squash shows up as a yammy quality. Ends on a bitter note, so it does have some hoppy underpinnings. Quite drinkable. Also it's a nice strength-- stronger than average but not a ten percenter. This would be one to watch for during the holidays.

From the 22 oz bottle bought at Bine and Vine in San Diego. This is Batch #8 and 7.7% ABV.

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Photo of beergoot
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark mahogany color with a thick, foamy head. Roasted grains, a tad bit of chocolate, and a spicy, pumpkin-like aroma; allspice, nutmeg, and dulled cinnamon notes; cocoa. Nice combination of malt sweetness and hop bitterness in the taste, closely following the aroma. Medium-light body; semi-sweet, clean finish.

Flavor-wise, this beer comes across like a rich, chocolate-spicy pumpkin cookie. Somewhat light feel overall, but the aroma and taste make this a beer worth exploring. Excellent depth and complexity with the flavors. A really good, interesting twist on the pumpkin ale style.

 597 characters

Photo of billab914
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into my Dogfish glass. It poured black in color with a thick, foamy tan head to it. Very good head retention and lacing as I drank it.

The aroma shows some pumpkin pie spices to it, but it's milder and smoother then most pumpkin spiced beers. I also get some raw pumpkin mixing with some chocolaty, cocoa like flavors. I liked that the spices were a little more reserved.

In the taste I get a little more of the porter character coming out. I get a little more chocolate to it with a moderate roasty, slight coffee like flavors. The pumpkin and spices come in more on the back end. Again the spices are pretty mild and I get more of a raw pumpkin, squash like flavor.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is moderate. Overall I thought it was a pretty good beer. I really liked that the spices were a little more reserved in it and some actual pumpkin seemed to come out. There are tons of spice bombs out there so it was a little refreshing for me that this was a little different. The porter characteristics were nice as well and the flavors worked pretty well together. Overall a pretty nice beer of the style.

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Photo of rootbeerman
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours black with a thin cream and coffee colored head.
S: light pumpkin with some coffee and chocolate.
T: a mix upfront of pumpkin and coffee, followed by some pumpkin spice, and chocolate.
M: lightly thick, lingers around on the palate.
O: epic brewing continues to impress my taste buds.

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Photo of thegodfather1076
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Presentation: Very classy label with really nice colors an a very attractive layout. Label states “Collaboration with DC Brau”, “Exceptional Series”, “Release #9”, give a bit of brewery info, ABV info, and web info.

Appearance: An aggressive pour from its 22oz brown bomber into a 20oz imperial pint led to a 3 finger tightly packed tan head atop a deep dark brown if not black beer. Head retention was a phenomenal 5min 14sec with no signs of dissipating fully. Head faded to a thick rocky cap and ring with phenomenal lacing.

Smell/Aroma: Smells of deep toasted chocolate and coffee malts with hints of vanilla, very light pumpkin and just barely any spices.

Flavor/Taste: Tastes of fresh pumpkin and a slight bit of nutmeg and cinnamon on the front end with the pumpkin a bit more subdued than I expected. Mid point has a vanilla sweetness with a nice toasted chocolate maltiness detectable. Back end is dominated by a deep roast coffee malt flavor with a slight hint of pumpkin and a roasty aftertaste.

MouthFeel/Drinkability: Medium bodied with a smooth mouthfeel. Very drinkable and tasty.

Overall/Comments: I was expecting a bit more out of this offering but I will say that it was still a pretty good overall beer that was very drinkable. I would have like to see a bit more prominent pumpkin flavor. Classified as a Pumpkin Ale @ 8% ABV. Consumed 10/27/2013.

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Photo of 1sophrosyne1
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my DC Brau can glass from a 22 ounce bottle sent by MNishCT77.

Pours thick syrup brown with a hint of rouge and a thin with a thin light-tan head that leaves foamy-cream sheets of lacing, despite falling rather fast. Maintained well by carbonation that's not visible through the mire.

The nose fits well with the stock description above...raw vegetal notes of squash sprayed with a fine resin jump up early. Vanilla dusted onto charred malt comes next. Cinnamon and nutmeg then usher in the chocolate, whose milky and grassy lightness are reflected in the taste profile. It's a complex bouquet that, for me, is the best part of the experience. With warmth, the milk chocolate and nutmeg notes strengthen in a pleasing way.

I had hoped for a spicier start to sips that would open up the pumpkin flavor early, but the namesake vegetable really only plays a role in the warm aftertaste. For me, it's more butternut squash-like early and through the mid taste. The back third is bitter, but not tied to the chocolate, so I get a milkier smoothness and fresh herbs from hops that create the most interesting part of the flavor profile. They don't last long, though. It ends sharply upturned and a bitter, smoked cucurbits lingers.

In the mouth it's almost clean when cold, and develops some chew with more gulps and warming. There's a thin veil of anesthetic buzz from essential oils that stick to the lips. Overall, it's got medium heft with a good match of carbonation, but there's nothing thrilling about how it feels...and it starts to become a drying epoxy about halfway through a glass.

This is a good beer to pair with fruit, like apples or pears...or even a peach would be good, I'd venture--if you can get one during the season of its release. I'll admit that I have rarely been thrilled with pumpkin beers, so my lukewarm perspective may be slanted. But, it's a creative brew, not cloying or out of balance, so I'll take it as an autumn accompaniment to football season.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown in color with very little light seeping through. There's a fingernail of khaki colored head. Brussels lacing. Aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg are most prevalent. There's a faint whiff of pumpkin pie spice mixed in. The flavor is a blend of nutmeg, cinnamon, dark malt, plum, fig, and pumpkin. The mouth is a bit sticky and dry.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle poured into a tulip. This imperial pumpkin porter pours a dark black color with light tan colored head. The aroma is roasted malts and faint pumpkin and spices. The taste like the aroma is roasted malts and spices. I enjoy that this has a nice balance of pumpkin spices and the sweetness is kept in check and not too overpowering. Overall, a solid pumpkin brew for the season.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Epic Collaboration with DC Brau.

From Epic's website:

"Brewed on: October 10, 2011. Packaged on: October 25, 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."

Poured into my new Cigar City snifter... pretty decent dark tan head... nice retention and lacing... the brew is deep dark brown that shows garnet highlights on the stem end of my glass.

Nose is a pretty good porter ... dry cocoa and then the spices come out swinging... clove.. ginger... nutmeg and cinnamon...

Flavor mirrors the nose with a sweet spice up front that gives way midpalate to a dry roasty malt and bittersweet chocolate... finish lingers with ginger and nutmeg.

Body is a solid medium with good small bubble carbonation.

I normally don't really appreciate beers with spices, but this one shows a judicious hand... nicely done, but finishing the bomber is going to be a chore for me.


 1,458 characters

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bomber into a snifter. 2012 offering.

The beer pours pitch black and glugs out healthily, leaving a moderate, creamy, khaki colored head. The head appears chewy and persists for quite a while.

The smell is roasted malt, toffee, and hints of bourbon. There is also a strong sweetness, somewhat like molasses or black licorice. The taste is an extension of these aromas, as the sweetness persists, as do the deep roasty malts and toffee. The pumpkin is entirely subtle and only emerges at the end of the palate.

Finally, the beer drinks smoothly with a creamy quality and the alcohol is pretty well masked. A good beer, yet something seems to be missing. I can't place my finger on it, but this beer certainly doesn't quite compete with the best in the business. Good but not great.

 800 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a couple of tulip glasses.

Pours black with a ½ finger of light mocha head. This maintains some rich edges, with robust lacing that clings to the sides of the glass in sticky swathes. The aroma smells of green pumpkin, vanilla, spices, a bit of brown sugar, and some roasted coffee notes along the back. This is pleasant in the nose, with a nice mix of different characters at work here.

The taste is cocoa, roast, and ripe pumpkin flavor, with sweeter notes of vanilla and dark sugars working their way in as well. Earthy hops give this a green and raw feel at times and while not overly aggressive, it does linger a bit on the tongue along with a dry finish of spices and burnt malt. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lively and sharp feel up front that then gets a bit smoother along the back. There is some alcohol present but it mostly adds fullness and intensity to the flavors without interfering with them in any way. This one is definitely more of a sipper.

This was solid, being an Imperial Porter with a nice range of flavors and enough of an ABV to help take the chill off a bit. This was a tasty sipper.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Pours a dark and toasty blackish brown color with an off white head. The aroma is very roasted with some pumpkin and spice notes also coming forth. Upfront in the flavor there is plenty of roasted character followed up by the pumpkin pie taste and mocha even. Just a bit of spices mainly just pumpkin and roasted malt here but they definitely work well together. Full bodied well carbonated ale. The Pumpkin Stout is becoming a big trend in seasonal beer here in the states. With these flavor combinations, it can easily be understood why.

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Photo of siege06nd
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Alright, man I'm excited to try this one, a collaboration between Epic and one of my very favorite breweries, DC Brau. Poured into my Guinness British pint glass....

A: This thing is black. Pitch black. If I didn't know any better, I'd say I was having a stout. Four fingers of mocha colored head explode upon pouring, and slowly fade to a light tan color, but only recede to two fingers. The head on this is extremely thick and very bubbly: bonus points.

S: Lots of raw pumpkin, allspice, cinnamon and clove. Giving it a hard swirl allows some of the sweet chocolate and the lightest of roasted coffee bean aromas to escape. This is a very pumpkin forward beer, but the porter characteristics begin to come out more as it warms and as you swirl it. One of the few pumpkin beers where I actually get more raw pumpkin than I do pumpkin spice. Very well done.

T: Smooth, creamy chocolate on the front with raw pumpkin and some pumpkin pie spices on the mid. Hmmmm. If the nose was pumpkin forward, the taste is very porter forward. A little creamier than I expected. Chocolate is the dominant flavor, followed by pie spices and coffee roast. A little too much porter and not enough pumpkin for my taste. Not bad, but a little disappointed.

M: Curiously flat feel to this. It's extremely thick and chewy and reminds me quite a bit of Guinness. But it seems under-carbonated. The balance also seems off, as the chocolate and coffee from the porter really kind of overwhelm the pumpkin. I'm having a hard time discerning the two.

O: In all fairness, I've never had a Pumpkin Porter before. That being said, I was disappointed by this one. Maybe I just don't like the style, but I felt that the pumpkin/porter flavors could have been integrated better, as the porter side of this beer dominates the pumpkin. The smell gave me a lot of promise, but ultimately, the taste didn't live up to it. Also think the carbonation on this needs to be ratcheted up a touch. This one is slightly flat, sticky sweet, and really heavy. A decent brew and worth checking out, but I don't see myself revisiting this.

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Photo of darthvohn
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Glass Used: snifter

Appearance: Poured dark brown, which looks opaque at first but once you hold it up to the light you see hues of deep garnet around the edges and bottom of the glass. The head foamed to a quarter inch and subsides slowly, leaving patches of residue floating on top.

Smell: Roasty, Chocolatety with vanilla & caramel notes followed by the stronger pumpkin pie spices. A wiff of booze lingers at the end.

Taste: Roast & Chocolate rolls first, then comes the vanilla, allspice, nutmeg and hints of cinnamon. The gourd flavors and creaminess are present before the low bitter hop finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light, on the thinner side with decent carbonation. Somewhat dry finish.

Overall: I really enjoyed this as for me it was a porter first, with support from the pumpkin and pie flavors. If you're looking for a pumpkin beer that isn't overly sweet, or heavy this is for you.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.74/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed fro the 22oz bottle in a snifter. This brew pour a deep brownish black with a decent off white head of foam that dissipates to a moderate ring and thick lacing. Nose of the usual suspects....nutmeg, cinnamon, mild pumpkin, with a moderate dose of molasses. Flavors follow the nose with a medium brown molasses and pumpkin note, followed by cinnamon and nutmeg on the rear. Decent carbonation and smooth mouth feel finishes lightly dry and tart. Decent. Not my favorite from one of my favorite breweries.


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Fermentation Without Representation from Epic Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.