Fermentation Without Representation - Epic Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Fermentation Without RepresentationFermentation Without Representation

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BA SCORE
86
very good

473 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 473
Reviews: 139
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 20
Gots: 53 | 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:
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 added by: JohnGalt1 on 11-06-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 473 | Reviews: 139 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bwarren82
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of CTJman
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of NYR_Rob
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of JoelClark
3/5  rDev -21.3%

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.03/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fermentation Without Representation has a mahogany colored body with a thin tan head that disappears almost immediately.

There are a lot of spices in the nose, with some sweet malt hiding underneath.

Spices come through up front, with what I think is a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. A light touch of bitterness with some citrus from the hops is next. The malt has caramel and toasted flavors with a little bit of powdery chocolate flavor. Pretty short finish.

The body is a little bit light, with the carbonation being a little bit higher than I would expect.

This beer isn't bad, but it is fairly uninspiring and lacking any depth of flavor. As my buddy said, “if you're going to call a beer an imperial pumpkin porter, it better have pumpkin. Or at least taste like an imperial porter.”

Photo of bcostner1
3.03/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle Release #5

A: Pretty typical porter. Dark brown with some dark ruby red highlights. Nice khaki head that lingers for a while.

S: Underwhelming. Heavy on the clove. Some faint chocolate in there. Really no other spices detectable other than the clove.

T: Again, very heavy on the clove in the taste...too heavy. Minimal cinnamon present. Some definite chocolate and fleshy pumpkin present. Personally, I was hoping for a more well balanced/well represented array of spices (some cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice for example). Way too clove heavy for me. Sweetness/bitterness balance isn't bad overall though. Chocolate becomes more pronounced as it warms up a bit but still not nearly enough.

M: Pretty easy drinker. Not boozy at all. Decent body; not thin. Satisfying.

Overall, I would say that this is a very average (at best) pumpkin porter. I am not a huge fan of "clove forward" pumpkin ales and this one is definitely clove dominated. Wish there were a better representation of other spices and a heavier chocolate element personally. I actually ended up drinking about 2/3 of the bomber and pouring the rest of it out. Something about it just got very off-putting to me after a while. Too bad...I was looking forward to this one.

Photo of rand
3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From 22oz bottle to pint glass

The bottle notes this was Epic's first collaborative brew, with DC Brau, which typically means they're 'special'. These pumpkin porters seem to be more popular than pumpkin beers themselves - perhaps because they're less labor-intensive - but they're not as exciting. Most of them, including this one, is basically an average porter with a hint of pumpkin spice.

The nose is roasty and oaky, but subdued - barely a hint of the pumpkin aspect here. A little more layered on the palate, with coffee and oak, and a touch of clove and nutmeg. Mouthfeel is a little thin as well, which doesn't help the relatively flat flavor profile.

Drinkable but uninspired, disappointing for a collab.

Photo of justintcoons
3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Release #7, 7.7%
Poured into a pilsner glass. Why? because it was clean.

Appearance
Extremely dark brown with some red highlights. 1 finger of tan head that dissipates quickly. Looks pretty yeasty but it's hard to tell with the color. Weak lacing.

Nose
Roasted barley, pumpkin meat, chocolate and cinnamon.

Taste
Sweet pumpkin meatiness as well as a good dose of roasted barley. Coffee grounds and chocolate milk. A touch of cinnamon spice, nutmeg and earthy char on the end.

Mouthfeel
Medium-full bodied, smooth and creamy.

Overall
A decent beer in its own right, but Pumpkin Ales with Porter/Stout bases have never really done it for me. Pretty easy drinking at 7.7%. The alcohol is well hidden.

Photo of Beerlover
3.1/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

taste like all the other pumpkin ales I've had...at least the ones I didn't drain pour....
has the same aroma and taste as your typical pumpkin beer, nothing different or special. I'm starting to think these for the most part all taste the same with the exception of the really gross ones which I pour.

a: perfect, dark brown, cant see threw unless held to the light. has an excellent light khaki brown foamy head
s: burnt malts or barley and some typical nutmeggy/cinnamoness.not getting the vanilla or marshmellowness...? smells the same as a half dozen others I've had except a little more burnt.
taste: meh. same boring pumpkin ale.
o.a. nothing special.

Photo of frenchblood21
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance- As brown as a beer can get without being black. Great lacing throughout.

Smell- This is the weak link in the beer. coffee and butterscotch, which is to be expected from a porter. None of the pumpkin or spice comes out.

Taste- The smallest amount of fall spices, but if you didn't know it was a pumpkin porter, you would never tell. Mostly stout-like tastes.

Mouthfeel- Great mouthfeel! A thick and creamy beer that stays on the tongue for about 15 seconds.

Overall- A great tasting beer, but a big let down for being an imperial pumpkin porter. Its worth trying, but don't rush for this one.

Photo of Gavage
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a 3" head that slowly falls to a thick surface foam. Thick lace paints the glass.

Smell: roasted malts and vanilla really come through to the nose.

Taste: roasted malts, vanilla, molasses, and a hint of chocolate arrives late. Bitterness is mild at best, and there is a hint of allspice. A bit sweet overall.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp throughout. Long lasting aftertaste as the flavors stick to the tongue.

Overall: a bit dissappointed with this as the vanilla beans really show through here without the woody tones a bourbon barrel beer may have. I really didn't taste any pumkin here as to me this was more of a vanilla porter.

Photo of fo5s
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle served into portsmouth tulip. Split with Chris during the Patriots / Chiefs game. Release #1 clearly printed on the bottle - per the website brewed 10/2/11, bottled 10/17/11.

A- pours a very deep brown, with a small, light brown head. Minimal lacing.

S- smells of dry pumpkin over a hefty porter base. Hint of chocolate.

T- malt forward with a solid backbone of smooth pumpkin. Finish is bakers chocolate. I'm struggling to pick up the 5 spices supposedly in the recipe. Lacks the roasty malts I'd look for in a porter.

M- body is very thin for an imperial porter...seems closer to a big scotch.

O- overall a decent brew, but didn't meet my expectation for an imperial pumpkin porter. I was hoping for more body and more spices.

Photo of abraxel
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tasted blind as part of Blind BIF 6, courtesy of mdfb79. Poured into a snifter.

A - The stream looked like a light reddish brown, but is quite a bit darker in the glass. There's a little bit of off-white head, but it diminishes quickly (which helped it all fit into the snifter).

S - Christmas spicy, some cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. Slightly sweet malt in the background. Not bad, but not great.

T - My out-loud reaction to the first sip: "...hmmm..." This seems like a christmas ale, with those same spices I picked up in the aroma, but there's also an odd sweetness that I'm having trouble describing (it reminds me of fake orange flavor) and which isn't very appealing.

M - Medium body, not bad. A little prickle of carbonation, a touch of alcohol in the back of my throat.

Overall, I could take it or leave it. This was an interesting blind beer, but I can't say I'd seek out more.

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bomber into tulip glass. Pours deeply ruby brown beer with light thin off-white head. 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 dark chocolate bitter dryness. Medium to full bodied. Did not pick up very much pumpkin on this one though I did recognize some of Epic's and DC Brau's typical traits from their flagship brews. Quite disappointed with this interesting offering.

Photo of Rukasu
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The DC Brau edition is better. Period.

Tried the DC Brau version last week on tap, and really enjoyed it, so I stocked up on Epic's bottled version (Whole Foods Fair Lakes).

Epic's version has a great scent, faint spices, with a slight smokiness.

Appearance is on par with DC Brau's, but the taste is a little off.

It's definitely much more bitter, with an almost a lemon pucker factor. The alcohol content also seems to add a bit more 'warmth' than the DC Brau version, which isn't entirely a negative.

Otherwise it's fairly similar and am overall pleased with it, I just think DC Brau might have the edge here.

Photo of samie85
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a pitch black color with a few fingers of brown head.

S-Smells of cinnamon and other pumpkin pie spices with some slight vanilla and roasted notes.

T-Roasted malt notes with a myriad of spice notes and some vanilla.

M-Slick and mouth-coating with medium body with moderate carbonation.

D-I like this more than most pumpkin beers as I feel that a richer base beer really works in a spiced beer's favor. However, I think I prefer Summit's take on a Pumpkin Porter to this incarnation.

Photo of kojevergas
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I gained confidence in Epic after trying Big Bad Baptist, which really impressed me. So I picked this one up for $8.99 at a local shop. 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the style, hype, and brewery.

Exponential series. DC Brau collaboration. Release #8. 7.7% ABV according to my label.

Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger gorgeous frothy khaki colour head of very good cream and thickness, and good (~3 minute) retention for the high ABV. Body colour is a solid nontransparent opaque black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Par for the style, but with a nice appealing head. So far so good. There's nothing unique or special about it.

Sm: Pumpkin gourd and some spice: nutmeg, cinnamon, maybe rosemary. Dark malts, cream, a hint of coffee. Timid underlying caramelization. Maybe a fleeting tinge of vanilla. A well executed aroma for a pumpkin porter. Evocative and appealing. Moderate in strength. I'm excited to try it. Little hopping here. Good aromatics.

T: Pumpkin notes are delightful; it's not just the meaty gourd but also the fruit aspect (yes, pumpkin is a fruit). Light spicing; mainly nutmeg but also some rosemary. Dark malts fill out the foundation with little caramelization. Some light milky cream lends the body character. It's simply executed, but effectively so. There's not a great deal of subtlety to it, but it hits the right notes for the style. No yeast character comes through, nor does any alcohol. I don't get any roasted barley, which is a damn shame. Coffee is also missing. There's maybe some chocolate malt here, but no true chocolate. Well layered and definitely balanced, but it does leave something to be desired. This isn't unique or special.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Some creamy quality. Good carbonation, if a touch too high. Good palate presence. Too thin; it flirts with weakness. This is by far its main flaw. Suits the flavours generally.

Dr: I like it, but it doesn't bring anything truly remarkable to the table. It's decently priced for what it is, and it isn't as messy as many collaboration beers. Hides its ABV well. Quite drinkable. I might try it on-draught (I'm told the DC Brau variant was draught only) but I wouldn't get the bottled version again. A likable pumpkin porter that will meet your expectations but not surpass them.

High C+

Beers to compare with: Alpine Ichabod

A poor candidate for aging. Drink within 1-6 months.

Drank fine from a goblet. A snifter or teku is probably ideal.

Pair with chocolate or marmalade on bread.

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3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

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3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

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3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

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3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

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3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

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3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

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3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

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3.25/5  rDev -14.7%

Fermentation Without Representation from Epic Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 473 ratings.