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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 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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Claude-Irishman
3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Wasn't exactly sure what i was buying at the time. I really like Pumpkin section, yes they actually have a "pumpkin section" I was floored. I purchased a case of Wolaver's organic pumpkin, about a litre of pumpkin porter,and the very popular with pumpkin heads, the might Pumking! (which is actually my least flavorite)If this shit gets warm it tastes rancid!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Jackofallbrews
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Milk chocolate, nutmeg and cinnamon aromas. Some sweet malty notes. I get a subtle roastiness to the aroma as it warms, followed by some vanilla.

Appearance: Deep black in color with ruby highlights when held up to light. Dark tan head with fine and persistent bubbles.

Flavor: Initially this tastes a bit firm and astringent, but then it fades off to a sweeter coffee and cream later in the taste. The nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla arrive as an afterthought on the back of the tongue. The body is medium, but actually feels lighter than expected with the high alcohol. A somewhat bitter and off-dry finish.

Overall: Not a bad beer. This had better balance than many of the pumpkin beers I've had so far. I think the darker malts add complexity, and play well with the spices. Not a lot of actual pumpkin character comes through though. Just like most of the prior examples this has an astringent note--I'm starting to wonder if that is from the spices or from pumpkin itself...

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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.

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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.

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Photo of BeerWizard
3.49/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Busy looking orange label that I probably wouldn't have realized was a pumpkin ale had I not read the fine print. Says it is a pumpkin porter, though, which sounded intriguing. Pours basically black with a thin off white head. Looks good! Cinnamon, nutmeg, and chocolaty notes on the nose, maybe a hint of vanilla, which comes through more in the flavor. Didn't get a lot of pumpkin flavor from this though. Certainly get chocolate, vanilla and spice. I think it would be more accurately described as a "spiced vanilla porter with hints of pumpkin", but I didn't think this was an "epic" pumpkin ale or anything, actually kind of suprised by the higher ratings. But what do I know? Anyway, recommend for someone who likes vanilla porters. Not for me.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Clashing of the heads between DC Brau and Epic brewing companies results in a bold-bodied Porter with threads of pumpkin pie, chocolate and spice running through.

Fermentation Without Representation pours with a hazy bronzen-brown hue that glows lightly at its edges with a tawny gold glow. As a fast rise of ivory foam builds, its staying power is limited as the froth folds back into the beer midway through the session, trickling with sparse lace intermittently.

Its porter-esque aromas are toasty, nutty and delicately of chocolate. Notions of coffee waft about as the spiciness take the stage- cinnamon, nutmeg and clove weave together with an allspice-type medley. Its light pumpkin and brownie aroma is well intact, except for the lacking pumpkin scent.

As the toast, coffee and chocolate character introduces to the palate, supportive caramel and toffee is semi-sweet earl but trails dry and toasty. Meanwhile, its middle is spicy with pie spices, coffee ground, pepper and toasted pecan. Glimpses of gourd give a creamy pie flavor, but also with squash and melon.

Semi-dry in mouthfeel, the imperial beer trends toasty, spicy, dry and lightened- somewhat off of the more decadent pie filling texture that's not only expected but is what's preferred. Somewhat acrid and astringent with the spices, the finish is warm and cola-like.

The beer purists that want ales to lead with more Porter character will enjoy the subtlties of the pumpkin influence found here. But the true pie flavors won't command the taste in the way that most modern pumpkin ales do.

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