Pumpkinator - Saint Arnold Brewing Company
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Ratings: 597 | Reviews: 113 | Display Reviews Only:
2.25/5 rDev -47.8%
I knew that a cask was being breached at a local restaurant at 7pm and went there early to secure a table as I expected there to be a crowd come 7pm. While waiting I had 2 pints of St. Arnold's "Endeavor" strong ale (aka Divine Reserve #13) before receiving my first glass of Pumpkinator. I immediately thought I had made a step backwards taste wise plus its claimed 10% abv is surely wrong, more like 6.5%. In the expectation of sampling a classic pumpkin ale I had also taken 64 ozs of empty Growler bottles to be filled with Pumpkinator, and whose contents I am now slowly sampling. I still feel that it is way over rated and not a beer that I will ever buy again. Its after taste reminds me of that after eating a Middle Eastern dessert cake. Yuk.
10-20-2013 00:39:05 | More by eharris
2.4/5 rDev -44.3%
Thanks to duff247. 2011 vintage. 22oz bottle poured into a snifter.
Pours a very deep, dark brown. It's nearly black but not quite. There is a bit of fizzy foam that develops but it disappears almost immediately. There isn't really any lacing to speak of either. The beer looks fairly thin, especially for a stout of this size.
The nose is full of spice, notably cinnamon and nutmeg. Both are dominant and make the other aroma really fight to get to the forefront. Some clove does make it's way to the surface as does a slight bit of roast. There is no hint of pumpkin here at all.
The taste seems to be even heavier on the cinnamon. There is a good deal of nutmeg too but the cinnamon is nearly overpowering. The finish saps the mouth of any moistness, almost as if you tried to swallow a mouthfull of actual, dry ground cinnamon. There isn't really much going on here aside from the big spice notes. Perhaps there is but it's drowned out by the strong cinnamon.
This feels a bit thin for a 10% ABV stout. The carbonation is not all that high but it is a bit high for the style. The body almost feels closer to a decent sized porter than to a big stout.
This beer missed the mark for me. There was no pumpkin that I could detect whatsoever and a huge cinnamon note took over in the taste and didn't let go. I'd like to think that maybe a fresh bottle had some pumpkin to stand up to and compliment the spice notes but I thiink the body would still be lacking for it to work.
05-26-2012 18:51:22 | More by ms11781
2.58/5 rDev -40.1%
Pretty much black, with a light tan finger of head. Holy effing pumpkin and gingerbread! Spice, nutmeg, gingerbread all through the taste. Not mostly pumpkin though. There’s no stout in the aroma to me. Deeper tastes let a more roasted, alcoholic side come through. I've had a pumpkin stout before and it was alright because the pumpkin'y parts were subtle and complimenting, but this is a pumpkin pie in a beer's body. No balance. For pumpkin lovers only.
01-27-2012 21:48:46 | More by EgadBananas
3.05/5 rDev -29.2%
A: A finger of dark tan head was created when poured into a small scale snifter glass and receded moderately slow. The beer is a very dark brown almost black if you don't backlight it and appears to have good clarity. Swirling the glass kicks up some streaking lacing.
S: Moderately strong aroma with pumpkin meat, nutmeg, all spice, cinnamon some clove and hint of fried apple. No malt or hop aroma comes through even after it warms up. Smells like pumpkin pie.
T: First sip is very similar to the aroma, I get the pumpkin pie spices more and not as much pumpkin flavor as I'd hoped for. Nutmeg, all spice, cinnamon and clove. The malt profile comes through faintly with some chocolate and toasty notes, but overall balance is sweet an mostly from the spices. No hop flavor I can detect. Bitterness is moderate and comes from both the hops and spices.
M: A bit thin tasting for a stout, medium bodied with higher carbonation. No astringency from the malts but there is some harshness from the spices, cinnamon in particular I belive.
O: I was hoping for more of a beery pumpkin beer with this one, but it fell short. The over powering spices always kill it for me but I was hoping the stout base beer would bring more to the table.
03-13-2014 02:34:26 | More by guityler83
3.15/5 rDev -26.9%
On tap at Ginger Man Houston
A- Dark stout like looking beer. Served in a half pint with little to no head. No complaints, pours like I expected.
S- Complex. Roasted malts, dark fruits, pumpkin spice. Not as chocolatey as I was expecting but still nice aroma.
T- A bit of a miss for me. Lots of dark fruits, roasted malts up front. Bittering hops help take the edge off the sweetness. The pumpkin like spices were a mess. I tasted some strange amaretto like flavor that turned me off.
M- A bit too carbonated for style, possibly improper serving pressure though.
O- I was hoping for a mellowed out version of DR9. I'll report back and edit this post when I try the bottled version.
Edit: Update after having bottles from both 11' & 12'. I took some points off from the overall and mouthfeel. St Arnold makes a good effort on this one but misses the mark. The spices are not as balanced as some of the top tier pumpkin beers. The mouthfeel on 12' was lacking.
10-17-2012 21:20:44 | More by kungpao
3.15/5 rDev -26.9%
Poured at 45 degrees into a Snifter
Pretty gentle pour yielded a 2 finger brown head. Body is a pretty dark black. Lacing was slim and head retention is what you'd expect from a 10% beer.
Smell-Cinnamon, booze. Dark Chocolate and Sweet malts. It's a little bit cinnamon dominant and the booze is very apparent.
Taste-Upfront it's a sweet milk chocolately bite that is nice, a little bit thin. Then a barage of cinnamon really comes through, a lot of it. The finish is what really killed this beer, it's just lots of booze. It's not that pleasant booze you get out of an Imperial Stout on the backend but a cheap vodka flavored booze that burns the inside of the lips and the tongue...and it lingers...
Mouthfeel-A little thin, really coats the mouth but like what I said it's way too much booze. Carbonation may be a little bit low for what it is to kind of mask the booze and cinnamon.
Overall-I was excited to get this beer and I'm still very happy I got this. It's really nice to see St Arnolds produce a bomber of a nice big winter beer, product of DR9. I never had a DR9 fresh so really can't compare but It was a much mellower beer when I had the DR9 a few months ago. I will definitely be aging the rest of my bottles. As of now, this beer is a big let down, and I really hate giving St. Arnolds a negative review, but I know this beer will get better.
10-20-2011 02:11:07 | More by SWMeyer4141
3.38/5 rDev -21.6%
22 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing label art and branded pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local bottle shop and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are high seeing as it's currently #9 in the top 50 Southwest. Reviewed as an imperial pumpkin stout because the label identifies it as such on its label. No ABV is listed on the label.
2013 vintage. Many bottles in this vintage were low fills, but this isn't one of them.
Served cold - straight from me fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. I initially side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues were expected, but as I poured it became obvious no head was forming so I upped the vigor considerably.
A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.
In spite of the vigorous pour, no real head forms - just a sad-looking light khaki coloured floater ring. Tilting the glass doesn't yield any lacing formation.
Body colour is a predictable dark solid black. Opaque and dull. Not a jet black. No floating yeast particles are visible.
Overall, it's within style conventions (for an imperial stout) but falls short of the appearance of great beers in the style. The lack of a head suggests severe undercarbonation. I'm a bit concerned going into this based on the subpar appearance, but it's egregious. Far from unique or special. I'm optimistic.
Sm: Bread crust, pie crust, dark malts, pumpkin gourd, nutmeg, allspice, graham cracker, toasted malts, brown sugar, clove, cinnamon, pecan, and light rum-soaked stonefruit. The spices seem to actually overwhelm the pumpkin notes, stealing the limelight. I'd like more pumpkin and more diversity of pumpkin flavour - skin, flesh, and seed would be nice in addition to gourd. Dark malts. Chocolate malts.
I'm not picking up any roasted barley, to its detriment. No overt hop character is detectable, nor is any yeast character or alcohol. I don't find any coffee, char, or burnt qualities.
Overall, it's a pleasant appealing aroma of moderate strength which delivers on the beer's premise.
T: What I notice initially and what I love are the strong pie crust/bread crust notes on the climax, which are complemented very nicely by the spices: cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and clove (in order of prevalance). There's plenty of brown sugar and graham cracker notes throughout. I think the graham cracker is a highlight of the beer. The dark malts and chocolate malts of the foundation get lost in the seamless cohesion of the flavour profile.
Don't look for too much imperial stout style depth here: they don't distract from the pumpkin with notes like cream, coffee, burnt sugars, bourbon, etc. It's all about the pumpkin, as well it should be. But unfortunately, there's not an ideal diversity of pumpkin notes - just gourd and flesh. Luckily though, it feels like authentic pumpkin - not artificial flavouring - which is more than I can say about a lot of pumpkin beers.
Overall, it's a fairly balanced flavour profile, though not quite a gestalt one, and offers some interesting if limited complexity and subtlety. I like it. The lack of overt hop character leaves the beer feeling a bit too sweet, especially on the climax when the sugars really push through. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour.
Mf: It's a bit too heavy and thick on the palate. Overcarbonated. Too full-bodied. A lighter more accessible feel would really help. The flavour profile doesn't have the intense notes that require this heavy a texture (e.g. bourbon, coffee, vanilla). I like that it's smooth and wet. Unrefreshing. While the presence on the palate isn't ideal, the texture does suit the flavour profile well in a general sense, but doesn't feel custom-tailored to it.
There is some noticeable alcohol presence but it's not hot or boozy.
Not oily, astringent, harsh, rough, or gushed.
Dr: I'm not sure what they're gaining by using an imperial stout as the platform for the pumpkin notes here; the beer's heavy presence on the palate does hold it back, and it doesn't really delve too deep into the potential of an imperial stout. I'm confident there's a style that would better suit the intricate spicing and bready notes they're emphasizing. I do like the beer (especially the impressive graham cracker note), and I'd pick up another bottle to set aside for cellaring, but ultimately I don't know that it's one of the best pumpkin beers out there. Not a world-class beer, anyway. This is definitely a sipper, and could hide its ABV better.
I'm not sure if 2013 is just a weak year for this brew, but based on my experience I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to nab a bottle. A very respectable pumpkin stout, but by no means great.
11-24-2013 02:19:03 | More by kojevergas
3.43/5 rDev -20.4%
I have been debating on if I should review this or not. It is suppose to be the same as DR 9, and I have submitted an update to merge the two. Though this is really different than the DR version.
A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black color. A one finger tan head forms, but recedes in a second. Light lace is left behind.
S: A big cinnamon bomb. Light chocolate and some rum like alcohol. Like cinnamon sticks that is put in hot rum and cider drinks.
T: Again, huge on the cinnamon. Some light chocolate and bread crust.
M/D: A medium body that is really over carbonated. A bit thin and watery. Easy enough to drink. Even with the high alcohol. A slow sipper.
I do enjoy this as is. Though a bit one dimensional and some noticeable heat in the throat. On top of which, it is a shell of its former Divine Reserve self.
Original DR 9 review:
A: Pours a dark brown, nearly black color. A two finger light tan head forms, and recedes to a ring that sticks throughout. Some lace is left behind.
S: Wow, pumpkin pie and spice hits you right up front. Cinnamon and peppermint. As this warms up, lots of subtle aromas come out. Vanilla, chocolate, roasted malt. A light dark fruity flavor lingers. Really good.
T: Pumpkin pie and spice again. Roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon. Some hot alcohol as well. This is good.
M/D: A full body that is low on carbonation. Velvety smooth, decadent, and creamy. This is devilishly easy to drink. A bit of hot alcohol, but a great beer to sip on.
One of the better Divine Reserve's that I can remember. Some age should make this really interesting. Saint Arnold has made one hell of an ambitious and extreme beer. They said they wanted to make the best pumpkin beer ever. They might have done just that. Something I highly recommend
12-07-2011 03:11:15 | More by champ103
3.48/5 rDev -19.3%
22oz bottle split two ways
A: Pours a shade from black with a finger of head that quickly recedes to a ring around the beer.
S: Cinnamon, nutmeg, apple cobbler, and a hint of roast.
T: Strong cinnamon and nutmeg up front - I get more apple cobbler than I get pumpkin pie, but this is still very nice. I get strong dark chocolate and mild roast.
M: A bit above medium mouthfeel with adequate carbonation.
O: More of a pumpkin beer than a stout, but still decent. There is certainly a stout base underneath all these spices, but I'd like to taste a bit more of it.
07-11-2012 02:14:50 | More by coreyfmcdonald
Pumpkinator from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 597 ratings.