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Fermentation Without Representation - Epic Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Fermentation Without RepresentationFermentation Without Representation

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

144 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 144
Hads: 504
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.23%
Wants: 20
Gots: 62 | 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: 144 | Hads: 504
Photo of malloyca
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque deep brown to black color. Some faint pumpkin and spice aromas, but these are not as dominant as in many other pumpkin beers and give way to roasted malt aromas. On the palate, the pumpkin flavors are very restrained, I'd say they take a back seat to more typical roasted malt flavors of a porter, with some stout-like bitterness. A very drinkable and not overpowering pumpkin ale. (397 characters)

Photo of Scotchboy
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fermentation without Representation, Batch #1. 22oz bottle split into pint glasses.

A: Pours a very thin black that I can pretty much see right through, with tons of ruby red highlights. Head dissipates quickly - typical of vegetable beers.

S: Highlighted by light squash notes, nutmeg, spiciness, light roastiness and chocolate notes underneath.

T: Taste follows the nose...porter-ish with light pumpkin/spice highlights...light coffee and hops notes on the finish.

MF: Very (light) medium body, ok carbonation.

O: Not my favorite BUT not too overpowering in any sense. Both the pumpkin and porter aspects were light and worked ok together. I would prefer a touch more roastiness. (686 characters)

Photo of BelgiumBill
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I paid $5.49 for a 22oz bottle at Total Wine.

Using a Guinness pint glass, this poured a dark mahogany brown with ruby highlights at the edges. Crowned by a moderately thick beige foamy head which receded quickly and was very sticky throughout the session.

The nose was classic porter with roasted malts, french roast coffee, bitter chocolate, intertwined with subtle hints of pumpkin, and spices such as clove, nutmeg, allspice.

The flavors were much like the nose with the porter qualities dominant and amped up a bit being an Imperial. The pumpkin and associated spices were quite subtle and not as expected given the label. However, I found that the pumpkin was present, along with the other spices and were complex when you searched for them.

The mouthfeel was execellent with the alcohol well concealed.

I think temperature will play a big role in your flavors on this one. Thought I didn't take a thermometer to it, I served it at about 45F degrees. Once it warmed to about 55 the pumpkin and spice was more evident.

Other reviewers were disappointed with the lack of pumpkin present. Frankly, I was pleasantly surprised as I'm not sure I really want a pumpkin bomb. So, before you imbibe set your pumpkin expectation low and enjoy the excellent porter with nuanced pumpkin and spice. (1,298 characters)

Photo of Teleweizen2
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a deep chocolate brown. Two fingers worth of tan foam leave some spotty lacing on the glass.

S - strong aromas of chocolate syrup waft from the glass. Pumpkin pie spices are bright as well. Notes of cinnamon, clove and allspice. A quick wiff of herbal hops elicits a vegetal stem sort of character.

T - sweet malt flavor up front. Mostly chocolate syrup. Spicy flavors build mid palate. Strong cinnamon flavor as well as a peppery note.

M - smooth creamy mouthfeel. Medium bodied with medium high carbonation.

O - Sort of reminds me of Hershey's chocolate milk spiked with spices. Which gives me other ideas obviously. Nice porter. (645 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Pours brown with a medium creamy tan head that quickly diminishes to a thin collar that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is a bit subdued - sweet chocolate malts and some pumpkin and pumpkin spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice).

The flavor is sweet chocolate malts with a little roast and a lot of pumpkin spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice). The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a nice pumpkin porter. (452 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle picked up from Rick's in Alexandria. Served in a Three Floyds / Intelligentsia mini-snifter.

Pours a nearly-black deep brown color with a thin light tan head and not much in the way of lacing. Thin tan collar as it goes down. The nose carries some light pumpkin spice and plenty of porter character. Fairly roasty with a bit of chocolate. Faint spice. Flavor has chocolate and a fair amount of roast. Medium body with light carbonation and a nice full mouthfeel. Not over the top in any direction. Well done. (516 characters)

Photo of nrbw23
3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a really dark brown color if not black. Has a bit of an odd colored whiteish colored head not at all what I expected here. Head turns into a layer of bubbles and leaves a few spots of lacing.

S- Smells of roasted malts, pumpkin, spice, light chocolate and smoke.

T- Follows the nose pretty well. Taste is roasted malts, chocolate, pumpkin and spice. A good mixture of pumpkin, spice and roasted malts.

M- Lighter side of medium in body and carbonation was pretty nice.

O- Surprisingly impressed. Probably not something I would drink often but solid. (564 characters)

Photo of Makisupajoey
3.59/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Release #9 8.1% per label. Poured 12 oz. in a 16 oz. snifter.

A: Poured dark, but not black. I expected a darker, thicker beer based on the "Imperial Porter". Nice head, about an inch,.

S: My nose is stuffed. so.... yum?

T: mild pumpkin, not overwhelming

M: I expected something a little thicker being an Imperial Porter, but its nice. Easy to drink on this 20 degrees cooler day than yesterday day. I can imagine that even on a warmer day still pleasant to drink.

O: Not bad, (I"m only like 4 beers in, but...) Epic still hasn't disappointed me! Thank you! (563 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Release #1.

Pours a dark caramel brown color with mahogany edges and a frothy, two finger beige head. Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the glass with chunks of soapy lacing.

Slightly smokey dark malt aroma with an earthy, vegetal presence balancing out the roasted quality. Hints of chocolate, oatmeal and coffee bean countered by autumnal spice and pumpkin.

Medium bodied with a blast of autumnal spices up front that lingers over the roasted malt and sweet pumpkin into a dry finish. Lots of clove, cinnamon and brown sugar followed by the toasted dark malt notes. Hints of coffee, toast and oatmeal along with some silky chocolate malt before finishing with pumpkin and some nutmeg.

Overall this was an interesting experiment that is somewhat successful. It still has the roasted dark malt qualities of a porter with a subtle pumpkin presence. The spices are what really give it a seasonal feel. They are a bit heavy for my liking, overpowering the other notes a bit but this is still a pretty solid beer. (1,053 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown coloured body with little head. Just spice, perhaps a touch of pumpkin in the finish. Roasted coffee taste. Decent drinkability. Spiced out, pumpkined out. SOme chocolate malt, even more would be interesting but too odd for the style.
And the spices could have been betterMediumm mouthfeel. Liam's bottle. (311 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours dark chocolate brown with a massively sticky head and lacing.

S - Dark chocolate malt aroma with pumpkin, a cinnamon spice undertone, and a little smokiness.

T - First and foremost, dark chocolate malt throughout with a touch of pumpkin (not as strong as expected), vanilla, and spice. Leaves a slight tang on the back of the tongue and has a moderate lingering dark roast chocolate bitterness with some vanilla spice.

M - Heavy medium body with gentle carbonation.

O - Interesting but would rather have a full blown pumpkin beer. (544 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch #1; Sampled November 2011
A solid pour into my Lost Abbey Teku glass produces a three-finger thick, light tan colored head that leaves some light lacing on the sides of the glass as it slowly subsides. The beer is a concentrated brown color with suggestions of black to it; when held up to the light it shows a brilliantly clear, deep, concentrated ruby and plum color. The nose smells of brown toasted bread and an initial tartness that seems sort of pumpkin like; this last is surprising as I wasn’t expecting to notice any actual pumpkin in this beer. My second sniff has me noticing sweet spice notes of cinnamon and cardamom, some sweet clove and maybe some of the tartness is actually accentuated by a light ginger note. Ah, the sweetness is really accentuated by a smooth vanilla note that I am mistaking for an actual sweetness.

The beer is lightly sweet, even somewhat light bodied on the palate. It finishes with a roasted bitterness that is a bit like cold black coffee as well as a lingering spiciness and hint of tartness that also lingers on for quite some time in the finish. The spiciness contributes notes of nutmeg, cardamom, perhaps a touch of allspice, clove and a definite vanilla note. The body has a light prickliness to it from the carbonation and it does have a viscous texture to it up front, it finishes light though as the combination of roast, bitterness and spiciness lightens up the effect of this beer pretty quickly. The beer is certainly a bit colder than I would perhaps prefer right now, but that is easily remedied. This has a prominent astringency / bitterness to it, though I am not sure what all contributes to this; certainly roast malt and perhaps some hop bitterness does, but there seems to be more to it somehow. As the beer warms up the spices open up a bit more with the cardamom, a touch of ginger, some smooth clove notes and perhaps some of the sharpness comes from some peppercorn notes in the finish.

Interestingly enough, this beer does actually have some real pumpkin noticeable in both the aroma and flavor; it is light, but certainly adds some tartness and a bit of a squash / vegetal note to this beer. The spice character here is actually somewhat restrained compared to most pumpkin beers and it actually works pretty well. I am surprised that I am not getting an anise aroma or flavor from this beer though as that seems to be one of the more noticeable notes in beers that have had Five-Spice added to them; though perhaps this blend of Five-Spice is different. An interesting go at a Pumpkin Porter; it could really use a touch more body and rounded malt flavor to balance out the spiciness and the roast bitterness that can be a touch distracting in this beer. (2,733 characters)

Photo of DenverHopHead
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pub glass.
Appearance - surprisingly dark; in fact this is black with just a touch of blood orange at the bottom of the glass. A thin, mocha head leaves a sticky curtain of lace down the glass!
Smell - sweet malts, molasses and spice; very little pumpkin.
Taste - initial sip is sweet with a flavorful rush of butter, cream and spice! I detect far more cherry than pumpkin.
Feel - sweet, creamy and flavorful! Medium body that has excellent drinkability for the 8.4% ABV!
Overall - an unexpected surprise; this may be one I seek out each Fall! (577 characters)

Photo of claspada
3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Release #4, 7.7%ABV

Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with a small tan head that recedes rather rapidly with moderate carbonation evident. Leaves a little bit of soapy, spotty lacing.

Aromas begin and immediately remind me of the Midnight Sun TREAT I had a couple months back which is a great start, though not as powerful. Starts with dry cocoa and the spices, then you get more roasted malts, chocolate and light baked pumpkin flesh. Light brown sugar notes emerge as it warms as well.

The tastes begin with much more dominant porter flavors; roasted malts and light baker's cocoa. On the back end you get a little of the spicing (mainly cinnamon) but really not much. Flavor falls short of the aroma's expectations.

The mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with medium to low carbonation. Finish is fairly dry, crisp, smooth and easy to drink.

Overall this was a pretty good beer, but fell short of my expectations. It's basically a good porter with very light hints of spice and pumpkin. The aromas got my hopes up thinking I found a Mid Sun TREAT replacement but the flavor profile fell miles short. Not bad, just not amazing. I wouldn't turn it down if someone gave it to me for free but I don't plan to revisit anytime soon. (1,242 characters)

Photo of TechTriumph
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes on 12/03/11:
Release #1 w/ no freshness date; Poured in a pint glass.

A - One inch tan, soft head; Deep, dark brownish, ruby red color that approaches black; Pretty good lacing around the glass

S - Soft notes of pumpkin, ginger spice, cinnamon, dark chocolate, and roasted coffee beans

T - Begins with light vanilla and chocolate accompanied by subtle spices and a dash of pumpkin; Marshmallow and vanilla flavors come in the finish; A little bitterness is present throughout the taste; No hint of alcohol

M - Low to moderate carbonation; Smooth, velvet-like texture; Medium to full bodied; Finishes moderately dry, leaving a soft marshmallow-like coat on the tongue

O - This was a pretty good porter overall, though there was a bit too much ginger and vanilla flavor that pushed the pumpkin back into the background. The mouthfeel was nice and smooth, and the best overall feature of this beer. It was nice to try a mix of pumpkin and porter flavors, but this wasn't a brew that stood out for me. (1,013 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber of this art the Whole Foods in Clarendon, VA a few days ago. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my DFH glass.

a - Pours a dark brown, almost black color, with
one finger of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks pretty good.

s - Smells of roasted malts, light spices, chocolate, and light pumpkin, though not much. Ton of roasted porter notes here.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, light spices, light pumpkin, and light cinnamon. Again, roasted malts and chocolate dominate here.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty smooth and easy to drink.

o - Overall a pretty good beer. Basically a good porter with very light hints of spice and pumpkin. Not a lot of pumpkin so it that is what you're looking for, just go with a normal pumpkin ale, but if you like porters, worth checking out. (840 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Release #4.

A: Corkboard tinted head is slight but shows a moderate rate of retention atop a standard issue black porter coloring. Generous lace coverage.

S: The aroma is sweet of chocolate and cocoa most noticeably. Pumpkin spiced coffee with ginger and cinnamon come through along with some vanilla and pie crust.

T: The flavor is pumpkin spicing of cinnamon and ginger once again, sweet coffee roast. Pumpkin, sweet toffee and milky chocolate support as well vanilla. The finish finds a light chalky fade of creamer powder on the close out.

M: Thick oily roast mouthful with a lively carbonation factor.

O: Overall a nice pumpkin influence and spicing with a decent imperial porter malt base. Worthy a try. (718 characters)

Photo of BreweryRun
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a bottle into a tulip. This is the most pumpkin forward pumpkin beer I've had. Spices are there but very subtle. Very low carb. This is release #21 so some of the spices may have fallen out, also the bottle looked underfilled to my eye. Overall a very pumpkin foward beer with not a whole lots else going on. I enjoyed trying it but probably won't grab another unless it's super fresh for comparison. (415 characters)

Photo of Phelps
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into a wine glass.

Thick, heavy black, a midnight cloak. Head is well-formed and very retentive, a good inch and a half tall and khaki in color. It hangs out for several minutes and paints the glass in full, thick sheets.

Sweet roasted pumpkin and milk chocolate lead the nose. A splash of nutmeg and clove, a little caramel, some toasted biscuits. Toasty, malty nose.

Fresher pumpkin in the flavor, brighter. More clove, lots of alcohol. Cinnamon and allspice ring through upon the swallow. Interestingly, not much from the malts. Maybe a dash of cocoa. Lingering burnt roast.

Velvety, medium body, silky. Spices seem to provide more bitterness than hops. Some peppery alcohol heat. Silky smooth. Very mild, tingly carbonation.

Not outstanding, but very smooth. Goes down easily for its strength, which is substantial. It's all about smoothness with this one. Flavors are well blended, body is gentle. (919 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear but very dark amber (near black) in color. It poured with a finger high tan head that died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of pumpkins in the nose.
T: The taste is much more complex than the smell, having flavors of chocolate and roasted malts along with pumpkins and notes of vanilla beans. This transitions to spicy flavors that linger through the finish—among these ginger stands out in particular.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is an interesting beer to have during the autumn. It's relatively easy to drink, except that I wasn't really a big fan of the ginger and think all of the flavors blended really well together except for it.

Note: Release #7 (823 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I liked the DC Brau version slightly better. Served in a DC Brau pint glass because I don't have an Epic beer glass, get off my back.

Beer is dark brown and clear with a tan head with low retention, no lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet and spicy with only a hint of pumpkin.

Beer is not as pumpkiny as one might like, medium bodied, interesting but boring at the same time, mostly allspice coming through, it was fine but the Brau version was better. (459 characters)

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.

Cheers (527 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. (1,145 characters)

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. (545 characters)

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. (2,096 characters)

Fermentation Without Representation from Epic Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 144 ratings.