Pumpkinator - Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 599 | Reviews: 114 | Display Reviews Only:
4.18/5 rDev -3%
Looking for that perfect post-Thanksgiving beer to appease your non-beer loving family? This is it and this is why...
It pours like a stout, but its near-black body highlights tawny redish-brown edges. Where an initial loosely-knit head forms on the beer, its beige balloons of foam pop in a somewhat fizzy fashion and prefer a still appearance. An aggressive swirl regenerates its head but for only a brief moment until the carbonation is all gone. But at 10%, its glossy coat on the glass gives it more of a cognac appearance than that of beer.
Overwhelming spices evade the nose with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and clove. But a substantial backing of brown sugar, burnt pie crust, chocolate, gingersnaps, graham crackers and walnuts offer up a resounding counterpart to the pumpkin pie spice. Alcohol spicy-sweetness acts like rum on the olfactory senses heading into that first sip.
Its taste offers much more as the burnt sweetness of graham crackers, over-toasted gingerbread, pie crust, brown sugar, charred breads and over-cooked molasses all hit just before the spices arrive at middle palate. That's when the cinnamon & co. take charge and dominate the taste thereafter. Its drier-than-expected finish leaves the spices in control and invite an acrid, nearly-campfire smoke quality in the end.
Full bodied, but with a little uncertainty- the beer's dryish and spicy finish provides a powerfully heated, spiced astringency and desert-like dryness that's totally unexpected from its robust upstart sweetness. The ale simply makes up a lot of ground in short succession. Its rummy warmth concludes with more bitterness that for it'll likely receive credit.
Ok, so it doesn't win over the family. But now its a 10% abv, 22oz beer that none of them are likely to enjoy. But with that entire bomber all to yourself, they are so much more tolerable!, or enjoyable!, or entertaining!
10-31-2013 05:18:09 | More by BEERchitect
4.85/5 rDev +12.5%
Aroma: Lots of holiday spices... Mostly cinnamon and nutmeg with a little bit of meaty pumpkin, chocolate malt and more roasty malts on the back end
Appearance: Very dark brown almost black, 1" to 1 1/2" khaki tan head with decent lacing that fades slowly and lingered through the session
Taste: Flavor follows the nose pretty closely with a lot of Cinnamon and nutmeg upfront, dark chocolate and a little dark roasted coffee come from the base stout to balance out all of the spices... alcohol is an afterthought and it is dangerously drinkable for the advertised 10%
Mouthfeel: Thin to medium mouthfeel... would be better with a fuller body but doesn't detract from the enjoyment of the beer, makes it a little more drinkable
Overall: Easily one of the best pumpkin/holiday beers I have had to date. I always associate cinnamon with the fall/holiday season which is one reason why I didn't want to stop drinking this... if it got cold in south Texas this would be absolutely perfect on a cold clear night sitting out on the back porch
12-12-2011 04:29:29 | More by Texasfan549
4/5 rDev -7.2%
Served in an Ohio State shaker pint glass.
Thanks to twiggamortis420 for this bottle!
I imagine a crossover flick, in the style of Freddy Vs Jason, between Pumpkinhead and the Terminator. God, would it probably suck... Anyway, this stuff pours a dark black-brown topped by a finger of sandy tan foam. The nose comprises mild roasted malts, very light cola, brown sugar, very light molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. The taste brings in more of the same, with an avalanche of the aforementioned spices and a hint of ginger tossed in for good measure. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, a delightful pumpkin stout (wow, did I really just say "delightful"...?), one that pleasantly balances the roasted elements with a healthy spicing. Good times.
12-27-2012 14:53:40 | More by TMoney2591
4.29/5 rDev -0.5%
Well now that Spring is over, it's 1 week, and winter gave summer and fall a miss, with the ice storm and inch of snow yesterday, I think it's time for another big stout. Also a really long and difficult frustrating day, so this should help. Thanks to HanksBeard (reddit) for this. Started not liking this brewery, only their Divine Reserve series was good, but lately I've found more beers from them that I liked. This even has the bottling info printing, bottle 297/300, bottled on 9/24/13, at 20:08.
Cap says "Porter one too", ok... anyways pours a nice mocha colored but smaller fizzy slight creamy head covering that fades at a fair rate, not that all bad for a 10% beer, leaves a little lacing, but huge legs, over a super pitch black beer.
Nose... whoa pumpkin, I was not expecting that much pumpkin, holy batman pumpkin!. Nice fruity like gourd note, cross vegetable fruity like aroma, with mild baking spices, a little sweet caramel note, with hints of a candy biscuity crust, almost a cinnamon crumble on the sides of a pie, hint of a nutty note, with more candy sweetness, toffee, even a hint of butterscotch, also some black malts, very slight roasty note, and faint cocoa.
Taste brings more pumpkin, but at least the dark malts are blended in nicely this time. More pumpkin out front, with lots of baking spices, cinnamon, allspice, clove, I think even a hint of cardamom, etc. A little biscuity crust again with a little cinnamon crumble, iwth a nice pumpkin pie filling. Malts bring nice dark malt profile, stouty bitterness but not a lot, hint of roast, touch of cocoa, and some dark caramel. Mild sweet characters with a touch of a dark corn syrup like flavor with the caramel and hint molasses like note, like sweeteners added to a pie. Also as it warms a hint of fluffy nougat and almost marshmallow note. Hops kick in a bit with an earthy spicy note, but not a lot, fair bitterness between the hops and dark malts, and even a little pumpkin flesh bitterness. Finish is quite sticky, syrupy feeling, semi sweet but drier, more bitterness too, with some baking spices lingering, a little pumpkin and black malts lingering too, finally a touch of warming booze but hidden nicely.
Mouth is fulled bod, touch syrupy and sticky, decent fluffy carb, hint of warming booze.
Overall quite nice, a lot more pumpkin than I though, and more spices, but a nice blend of them, and the malts have their way to shine as well for a nice overall balance, I was surprised how well it all balanced with the big dark malts and pumpkin notes. It was like pouring a great stout into a delicious pumpkin pie. Also the booze was hidden well, and hints of hops in there eventually.
04-18-2014 01:35:38 | More by jlindros
4.45/5 rDev +3.2%
just beautiful pumpkin beer, the best one ive had in a long time, and up there with the eddyline as my favorite of this year. its a big dark stout, but drinks a whole lot lighter than its listed 10% abv. dark chocolate color, milkshake thick head, and an unbelievable aroma. more pumpkins than spice, with a bready toast malt profile and not a ton of stout barley bitterness. i get some pie spice, but its subtle. i get vanilla too but not sweet vanilla. the aromas are strong, all of them, and its very appetizing. the flavor is true to the nose, and i love the way the spice and squash are integrated with the normal properties of a well made imperial stout. the creamy feel, the bitter roast, and the pumpkin flesh all really go well together. i have had some other dark pumpkin brews, but this one takes the cake for its unique use of spicing, and how big the beer is without forgoing drinkability. i mean, a glass of this went down real easy, like a 5% porter, the alcohol cannot be detected at all, and i was actually shocked to learn its as high as it is. a pumpkin beer with staying power too, this was nice in late december, and doesnt make me think autumn at all. a unique culinary brew too, i could do a lot with this. best beer ive had from saint arnold by far, this is the first one to really blow me away. loved it.
01-01-2014 22:46:45 | More by StonedTrippin
4.53/5 rDev +5.1%
Poured from a bottle into a Unibroue goblet.
Appearance: Pours almost black with just a little light coming through at the edges. There is a red/orange tint where the light comes through. Pours with a finger of fluffy tan head that fades slowly to a ring around the edge of the glass.
Smell: Sweet and full of pumpkin spices. Lots of cinnamon, but it's not too overpowering. There is some pumpkin and other spices along with a mild roast.
Taste: Extremely smooth and very good. Lots of pumpkin and spices, the star being cinnamon. Sweet roast mixes with the pumpkin and spice and there is a warm finish from the alcohol, but I never would have guessed this was 10%.
Mouthfeel: Just on the thick side of medium with tingly, smooth carbonation and a dry finish.
Taste: This is a fantastic pumpkin beer. I don't know that I have ever had a better pumpkin stout. If you think you have a better one, feel free to let me know and I'd love to trade for it. Amazing beer.
11-01-2011 00:08:01 | More by oline73
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
4.33/5 rDev +0.5%
22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled 9/6/2012. Pours dense pitch black color with a small fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace that lingers. Light soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big pumpkin, chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, dark bread, brown sugar, molasses, allspice, and light ginger. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of roasted notes with pumpkin and spices. Taste of big dark chocolate, pumpkin, cocoa, roasted malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, toast, dark bread, brown sugar, ginger, light clove, molasses, and light roasted earthiness. Lingering notes of dark chocolate, pumpkin, roasted malt, cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, dark bread, molasses, allspice, and light ginger on the finish for a while. Fantastic balance and complexity of roasted flavors with pumpkin and spice notes; with a great balance of spices that are not overdone at all; and zero cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish; very smooth to sip on. Overall this is a fantastic pumpkin spiced imperial stout! Great balance and complexity of roasted flavors with pumpkin and spices; and extremely smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.
03-14-2013 04:20:05 | More by superspak
Pumpkinator from Saint Arnold Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 599 ratings.