Summit Imperial Pumpkin Porter - Summit Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Summit Imperial Pumpkin PorterSummit Imperial Pumpkin Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.

157 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 157
Reviews: 123
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 9.16%
Wants: 16
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jera1350 on 11-01-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 157 | Reviews: 123
Reviews by Sirwootalot:
Photo of Sirwootalot
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick and black with a nearly nonexistent orangish off-white head. The aroma is very rusty and mild - it reminds me of freshly raked leaves with a possible hint of cinnamon. The flavor develops as it goes down; it starts with strong and incredibly rich roasted barley (yum! i'm powerless against this in any beer) with strong hints of roasted pumpkin seed and a finish of chocolate, allspice, and slight pumpkin. Hops are pretty much nonexistent. The aftertaste is hard to describe - it's strangely metallic and burnt, but in a very pleasant way, and fairly similar to the smell of pumpkin "guts". The mouthfeel is excellent; the beer is strong, but nowhere near as thick or syrupy as other imperial porters/stouts.

Overall, I absolutely love it. It's got all the character and strength of more famous imperial brews with the drinkability and ease-of-access of summit's famous EPA. This may be a weakness for some (it could absolutely be more developed and you have to think hard to realize pumpkin is a part of it at all), but personally, it strikes all of the right chords.

More User Reviews:
Photo of PintPiner
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes, tasted at Bacio previous evening.

Aroma of chocolate and pumpkin.

Dark foamy head with good lacing.

Dark brown color.

Low carbonation.

Big, full body.

Chocolate and pumpkin with a hint of spice. Very nice dessert beer. Paired it with pumpkin cheesecake and chocolate decadence cake and it was awesome with both.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #47 (Dec 2010):

Their fifth go at this "Unchained Series"--keep them coming please. Pitch black with a quick cascading brown head. Very aromatic with cooked pumpkin, pie spices (with clove/ginger being more noticeable), molasses and charcoal. Silky, creamy, lush full body; nearly viscous. Thick pumpkin meat flavor with heavy-handed spice, which is needed for the size of this brew, and all of this wades on a pool of roasted grain. Dark brown sugar and mild espresso come to mind. Hops drop in quick to check on everything, leave some bitterness and watch the rest of the show in front-row seats. Oh mama, this beer is a beauty ... bring it back on a yearly basis, pretty please.

Photo of bsp77
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Very dark, near-black brown without much head or lacing.

Smell: Sweet chocolate and molasses, light soy sauce and coffee, and just a tinge of spices.

Taste: The sweet chocolate and molasses flavors are dominant, with some very light coffee and burnt roasted malt backing. Mainly tastes like a sweeter-than-typical Porter, although there are some pumpkin-like spices as well. Not sure I taste any actual pumpkin.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body but seems a little light for the word "Imperial". The finish is not as dry as desired from a Porter.

Drinkability: While an interesting and somewhat tasty beer, the mix of Porter, sweetness and light spice doesn't gel as well as it should and dampens drinkability. The closest beer to this would not be other Pumpkin beers, but Anchor Our Special Ale, as that is also Porter-like with spices. Unfortunately, this does not hold a candle to Anchor.

Once again, this is a good beer, but I would label it more of a "near miss" than a "hit" in terms of the Summit Unchained series. So far, 1, 2 and 3 were "hits" (especially the #3 India Rye Ale), while 4 (Belgian Golden) was a huge "miss" for me.

Photo of CBorg
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Really dark brown, almost black. No light getting through this puppy! Nice creamy off-white head with nice lacing as the glass starts to empty.

Aroma: Lots of spices! Nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, mace, maybe a couple others that I can't quite put my finger on. Also get some really intensely dark chocolate; not a lot of chocolate, but enough to know it's there. Coffee and roasty, toasty malts come through as well. One thing that is surprising though: almost no pumpkin. I might be getting a very, very faint whiff of pumpkin, but it is really subtle.

Taste: Nice. Round, rich, full and warming. Definitely lives up to the 'imperial' namesake. The dark/bittersweet chocolate, coffee and malts are coming through more now. The spices are still coming through strong, but are now softer and more restrained. Pumpkin is still very faint. It's there, but only enough to give a little bit of sweetness and earthiness to the beer.

I've had a lot of other pumpkin beers, and most of them come off as tasting like liquefied pumpkin pie. Not so with this one. There is just enough pumpkin here to impart its character to the beer without overwhelming it. This is a really tasty beer!

Photo of kingcrowing
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Thanks to Stizzy for this awesome extra!

Pours a nice dark black color with a very small dark brown head. Nose is really nice, it's like a solid American porter with some light hints of pumpkin and spices but it's not over the top at all.

Mouthfeel is a tad light, but it's still quite creamy and very rich. Nice and roasty with a bit of burnt bitterness that is well balanced by the light sweetness of the pumpkins. I'm generally not a fan of these pumpkin ales, but this one, done as a Porter, is spot on!

Photo of MattyG85
4.48/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Dark black with a slight amber red at the bottom with light shining through. Big deep tan foam head with great retention and good lacing.

Smell: Strong dark roasted malts with dark chocolate followed by a spicy pumpkin aroma. A hint of cinnamon.

Taste: Roasted malts up front followed by chocolate and coffee. The pumpkin spices follow and finishes with a slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Very creamy.

Overall: A very good porter. The spice complements it well and is well balanced.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a dark silky black body with a creamy tan head that last for a good bit.

S- The rich aroma of pumpkin bread baking and banana esters note to follow finishes with a raw crushed dark malt and fresh wort sweetness.

T- The roasted malt blends with the pumpkin spice and a a slightly dry roasted flavor finishes the beer. There is a slightly sweet wort flavor that lingers a moment.

M- The medium mouthfeel is cut by a big fizz in the finish and no alcohol heat noticed.

D- This beer has a nice solid roasty porter base wtih a fresh ground pumpkin spice flavor to compliment and blend in. This is a very nice beer to sip a few glasses of.

Photo of cokes
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a mocha dome that sags towards the liquid in short order but leaves all types of lace in its wake.
Espresso-driven nose, dark roasted and smoky. It gains sweeter with fudge notes deeper in, swirled with caramel and vanilla, and, finally, a late notice from the spices, a little indistinct yet, but woody cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg show through.
It hits the tongue with coffee, but it's a milder roast than the nose, chocolately, earthy, a bit nutty. Chocolate carries the day, and gathers caramel nuance. I get no actual pumpkin fleshy gourd flavors (which is fine because I don't really fancy them much), the spices are intergrated, woody, earthy, downplayed. But cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and allspice show up. It concludes with a late belch of smoke, lingering dark chocolate, and a fade-out from the spices.
Sleek, glossy, full bodied. The carbonation is low, especially once it sits a while, but its always there with a trickling bead to keep it from getting too fat, sloppy, or sticky.
I'll be the first to admit that pumpkin beers ain't my thing. So I wasn't sure what to expect here, and really wasn't very excited. This interweaves pumpkin ale traits within a fantastically built big porter, and it results in what is likely my favorite Unchained beer to date.

Photo of tjsdomer2
2.9/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Thick black, like motor oil. Pretty impressive.

Smell: This is where this beer creates a problem for me. I smell some autumn spices and some brown sugar or molasses, but something went wrong. The whole smell seems sour and I'm not sure why. There's almost a vinegar quality to it. Maybe this batch went awry, but no matter what this didn't work.

Taste/Mouthfeel: An improvement over the smell. Pleasant pumpkin pie flavors with thick stout feel that one needs to stand up to the flavor.

Drinkability: A thick beer that misses a bit, especially the smell.

Overall: An ok beer with presentation problems.

4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pint glass: from notes.
A: Pours a thick black body, that shows really no light through. The head pours one finger in height and holds very well. A light tan head is nice buts seems a bit on the lighter side for how dark the body is.
S: A nice and deep aroma, showing the use of complex malts and a hint at the pumpkin used. The medium intensity aroma is a nice addition to this well balanced beer.
T/M: The first taste shows a rich complex of malts that intertwine the palate and show roasted and dried characteristics. The full mouthfeel has a higher viscosity than I would have guessed. Really rich and complex flavors, hops are almost non-existent. Notes of pumpkin are found in the middle of the body and at the very start of the lingering taste. The finish has a chocolate malt character and finishes up very well.
D: I am very impressed with this style, I thought that the pumpkin might get lost in the sea of ingredients, but it shines through and is used very well in this complex and balanced beer. The 7.5% ABV is nearly not found, but adds a nice warming agent to the drink. Great pumpkin brew, worthy of having in a all pumpkin tasting.

Photo of dirtylou
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on-tap at Dexter's, from notes

appearance: served in a unibroue glass - dark mahogany body, creamy tan head with good retention

smell: dry roast, bakers chocolate, some fall spices, no pumpkin

taste: I dont know - this just felt like false advertisement to me. Maybe I just wanted a bolder beer, but at the very least i wanted some PUMPKIN. I didnt get much of any in the draft version, but rather just a decent porter with no standout qualities. A dissapointment.

mouthfeel: medium body, smooth

drinkability: fine

Photo of tempest
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from Princeton's in Maple Grove. This turned out to be another great beer from the Unchained Series. This reminds me of the relation between Black IPAs and regular IPAs, this is the chocolate version of a pumpkin beer.

The aroma has a mix of cocoa, molasses, caramel and pumpkin pie. It's a smooth character and reminds me of dessert. The flavor is surprisingly bitter for a pumpkin beer, but I like it. There's more of the cocoa and pumpkin pie flavor and the taste closes out with a earthy, herbal bitterness.

I wish more pumpkin beers would break the mold like this one. Forget Pumking, I'll take a Summit.

Photo of kenito799
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, Porter tasting
Brown-black, opaque, orangey brown thin ring of foam.
Sweet roasted barley aroma, with a vegetable smell thatmust be raw pumpkin.

The pumpkin character is fresh and lively, not at all spiced pumpkin pie, it is roasted squash with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Charred bitterness in the long finish. Creamy and fizzy in the mouth. An excellent craft brew effort from a rather maistream brewery--vry very nice.

Photo of lawlerj
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass - got this in a mixed six pack from Beertopia in Omaha for $8.99 (for the whole sixer). What a steal!

A - pours deep, oily black w/ a nice big tannish brown head. Decent head retention, leaves speckled lacing on the glass as it goes down. Looks about right for the style. As a porter and stout lover, I like the looks of this guy.

S - roasted malt and spices, a bit of pumpkin. Honestly the pumpkin is not as prominent as I expected it would be. It seems like the malt and spices overpower the sweetness of the pumpkin, but it's definitely there. Not much hop character to speak of, but that's to be expected for the style I suppose.

T - smooth roasted coffee and dark chocolate mixed with the same spices noted above on the nose. Molasses and brown sugar perhaps? Very roast malt. The pumpkin seems to be an underlying note throughout but comes through nicely on the finish. Definitely more subtle than I was anticipating but still very tasty.

M - medium bodied. Goes down nice and smooth and the bold porter flavors are not too big for the body of this beer. Definitely more body than some other porters that I have had.

O - overall, a nice change of pace from the more traditional fall/Oktoberfest type beers. The pumpkin, as I said above, is subtle, but lends itself well and blends nicely with the other flavors going on.

M -

Photo of morimech
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Very dark, appearing black and dense in the glass. A small head forms and slowly settles to a thin film. A little spotty lacing is left on the glass. Smells like a straight up porter at first with hints of chocolate and dark malt. A subtle smokiness is also noticed. After awhile the pumpkin and spices become noticeable. I find pumpkin ales disgusting but this beer is palatable. A nice robust porter is at the base of this beer and I think that is why I find this particular beer enjoyable. Nice chocolate and roasted elements with a wee bit of smoke underly the subtle spicing and pumpkin. The pumpkin is noticeable but I feel it is not the featured attraction of this beer. But it still has that mealy texture that I find totally off-putting. The body does not feel as large as it should be. Feels a touch thin. A pretty good beer that happens to have some pumpkin in it. If you are a hater of pumpkin ales like I am, this beer is not something to completely disregard.

Photo of Janderson91
3.59/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Enjoy before 05/11/11 printed on bottle. Enjoyed on 02/28/11. Poured into a DFH signature glass.

A - Good looking beer. Pitch black, opaque, no light gets through. Tan one finger head, leaves good lacing.

S - I can smell the pumpkin as soon as I pop this one open. I just don't think it works all too well with the roasted aroma that's also present. There's a spiciness there also. Not a bad smelling beer but not my favorite.

T - Some roasted malts, slight chocolate and coffee, a nice light pumpkin flavor in the background. Finish is nice and spicy and surprisingly clean.

M/D - Mouthfeel is good for a porter. Pretty full bodied with medium carbonation. Drinkability is average, nothing special here.

A pretty good beer from Summit. Can't say I would seek it out again but I enjoyed it.

Photo of corcoranjc
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: black with tan head

Smell: sweet spices and burnt chocolate

Taste: spiced, sweet, burnt chocolate...more spice and a hint of pumpkin in the back. very nice.

Mouthfeel: full. not chewy.

Drinkability: high, especially for a spiced beer.

Overall: I really enjoy this beer...I think I like it even more on tap, but a 6 pack for $10 is hard to beat. Really good stuff.

Photo of aepb1
4.37/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- black body with a small airy brown head

S- chocolate, pumpkin and spices, very inviting

T- roasted chocolate and coffee malts up front, pumpkin in the middle, spices finish this up, mostly cinnamon

M- medium body, moderate carbonation and the finish is a bit watery

O- very good imp porter and even better with pumpkin!

Photo of deadbody
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a New Glarus pint glass, Super dark, with a nice albeit small dark cream head. Some lacing as the head receded. Smell was a bit spicer than a normal porter, nice and strong though. Good taste, spicy with a hint of pumpkin and a good does of pumpkin pie spices. Great mouthfeel, thick and rich. Good drinkability, a bit too spiced for my taste, right now it seems like a jumble, going to age a couple bottles for like a year and see how it is then.

Photo of CooperEllis
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz from chixdighops - into .3l tulip.

This pour deep brown, minimal head, about 1/3" dark tan almost hazlenut.

Very little aroma, malt, a little spice.

This really is a 'porter' first and a 'pumpkin' fourth or fifth. Excellent initial flavor, malt with a bit of pumpkin and 'pie' spices well underneath that really only come to the front with a bit of chewing or a short time on the palate.

Excellently weighted brew, it is heavy but doesn't have any of the stickness or residual sweetness that would make this unpleasant.
At 7.5% the alcohol is invisible, replaced by the pumpkin/spice undertone that pop up their head right at the death where I would typically look for that little bit of heat.

I'm not sure why, but the fact that the pumpkin is so well incorporated is currently a negative for this. Perhaps because I went in looking for it, and now it is mildly irritating that I can't find it. Something as simple as renaming this 'fall porter' and I think I might have been happily surprised to find faint pumpkin notes, but now I'm distracted by them when they do pop up.


Photo of djsmith1174
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark brown with a decent head.

S - Rich chocolate, coffee, pumpkin, spices, and slight hop notes.

T - Starts bitter with the roasted malt and hops with an excellent transition to spiced pumpkin to complement the chocolate malt. The middle of the flavor profile is very well proportioned. I was quite impressed.

M - Medium body with a fairly dry finish. Creamy going down though.

O - Another great offering from Summit's Unchained series. Hasn't been one that I didn't thoroughly enjoy yet.

Photo of pBRale
4.46/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From tasting notes 10-19-11
Poured into a warbled mug

Appearance: Black pour, with a huge creamy cocoa head that settles slowly and has excellent head retention and a nice lacing pattern.

Smell: The smell is of roasted chocolate malts, some dark chocolate, and a bit of coffee. In the background, there are some very nice spices of nutmeg and allspice. The chocolate and coffee aromas are just nicely supported by the spices.

Taste: Deep roasted malts and lots of coffee initially, with a bit of chocolate and a bit of nutmeg, cinnamon, all spice, and pumpkin. The overall taste is outstanding, and my description can't do it justice.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-thick body with low to medium carbonation and a really smooth finish. Excellent!

Overall: This is a porter first and foremost, but the pumpkin spices are so well blended that it is an incredible experience. An awesome beer. Period.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Batch #5, no date or info.

A - From the bottle, this porter pours fourth a clear deep brown. In the glass it's as black as night. A tall pour creates a fairly frothy dark tan head with moderate retention and nice spotty lace.

S - Summit has created the year's first pumpkin beer that smells more of real pumpkin than spice that's reminiscent of a pumpkin pie. The freshly carved pumpkin aroma blends with roasted chocolate malts very nicely. Cocoa and bittersweet chocolate finish out with a spice nose. Ginger and allspice mostly. A little cinnamon dashed in as well.

T - Much more porter-like, this Unchained is heavy on the roasted chocolate malts with a smooth coffee and chocolate finish. A touch of pumpkin flavor pokes out but the spices seem to be lost in the roast character, only showing presence after the swallow.

M - Super dry across the board, the roasted malt leaves this beer with an acrid bitterness to the finish. Medium-full in body and smooth going down though. Nice spice on the finish.

D - A little alcohol warming arrives about half way through this beer. It'll be good to have with Thanksgiving dinner but it's a sipper that I wish had a touch more caramel sweetness and larger pumpkin spice to offset the roasted malt in the flavor. Good brew.

Photo of badboyrsl84
3.67/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cola color dark brown with a sutle mocha head.

Smell- coffee, roasted malt, burnt sugars and yes pumpkin spices

Taste- follows the nose really well. Coffe and roasted/burnt malts. Pumpkin is present but I would have like a little more of its presence in this beer.

Overall- its a good little change up to a porter and would have liked a little more pumpkin in this one.

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Summit Imperial Pumpkin Porter from Summit Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.