Harpoon Imperial Pumpkin - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Imperial PumpkinHarpoon Imperial Pumpkin

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BA SCORE
84
good

46 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 46
Hads: 245
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 5.66%
Wants: 10
Gots: 39 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BEERMILER12 on 08-16-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 46 | Hads: 245
Photo of woodychandler
4.06/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The blessing & curse of The CANquest (tm) is that I am given access to bottled beers that I do not get to right away. This was one such, but given its relatively high ABV, I am hopeful, plus I am planning to share with others.

From the bottle: "An amalgamation of dark brown sugar, blackstrap molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, clove, and of course, fresh pumpkin, this is one big, flavorful spiced stout."; "Half imperial stout, half pumpkin ale, with aromas of of dried fruit, chocolate, and freshly baked pumpkin pie. Enjoy this black, full-bodied stout now or save it for a chilly fall evening."; "Last fall our brewers were improvising a new beer in our 10 barrel kettle; they threw in some fresh pumpkin puree, tossed in a bit of molasses, cinnamon and nutmeg, a touch of ginger, a dash of cloves, and some dark, toasty, roasty malts. It was excellent."; "This Imperial Pumpkin Stout is big, rich, and spicy. Enjoy!"

I was happy to Pop! the cap on a Bro. Woody's Pop-Up Puzzle Cafe at The Fridge this afternoon, especially with three people with whom to share it. I doled out equal shares and we stood by as the finger of thick, deep-tan/light-brown head settled back down. Nose was incredibly spicy! The cinnamon and nutmeg had really come forward in the interim, but the molasses had given it a medicinal quality. Color was Very Dark Brown to Black/Opaque (SRM = > 34, < 44) with modest light penetration at the edges. The taste was likewise spicy, with the cinnamon and nutmeg dominating the show. The finish was really dry, thanks to the spices, but the molasses gave it a medicinal aftertaste. The consensus was that its aging and subsequent lack of inherent sweetness and heat made it a much better beer than it might have been in its nascence. (1,770 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.64/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with an eighth of a finger of chocolate-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Very aromatic with lots of earthy, rich, bready, roasted malt, imparting notes of freshly toasted dark bread, as well as aromas of brown sugar, dark molasses, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spices such as nutmeg, ginger, all-spices, cinnamon and clove. Smells delicious!

Taste: As delicious as it smells, though less sweet. Lots of earthy, rich, bready, roasted malt up front, followed by some strong flavors of brown sugar and dark molasses-like sweetness, and pumpkin pie spices such as nutmeg, ginger, all-spices, cinnamon and clove. Finally, the beer finishes with a touch of sour pumpkin notes, to help keep the sweetness in check. Fantastic!

Mouthfeel: Slightly chewy and for a stout, nicely carbonated to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 10.5%, there is there’s very little alcohol on the palate, which surprises me! The alcohol is extremely well masked.

Overall: This is a fantastic pumpkin stout! Highly recommended! (1,200 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.59/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served at the brewery.

Near black color where no light shines through. Small, toward the rim, head. No lace.

Spicy aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg, yet it isn't quite "pumpkin". No stout smells.

The flavor draws out the pumpkin elements. Again, this is far less stout and far more pumpkin beer. There's a notable dark toast presence. The alcohol is quite strong and warming. Relatively neutral body with a low carbonation level. (431 characters)

Photo of founddrama
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A certain spiciness to it. But like pumpkin pie. A nice mouthfeel but almost no head or carbonation. Lovely dark color though--super brown. Boozy but only mildly (overwhelmed by the… cardamom?) Mostly meh. Pumpkin beers. (222 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

2/18...pours heavy black, thick off white foam. Pumpkin nose from afar. Up close shifts to a pie like aroma, with molasses and nutmeg. Taste is a lighter pumpkin, smooth, but sneaky hearty. True pumpkin taste in the background. Modest carbonation. It's good, bold, but not great,. (280 characters)

Photo of TheBrewo
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We crack a 2014 bomber, pouring into our Monk Beer Abbey snifters. It shows a black molasses coloring, with shimmering crimson highlights throughout. Its head stands a finger and a half tall, showing nice retention. Wet, cardboard colored bubbles cling in disarrayed aggregates about our glasses. No haze is noted, but a swirl of sediment is visible within the beer’s depths. Carbonation appears to be slow. The aroma, as advertised, is highly spicy. We are delivered notes of mineral-spiced pumpkin flesh, baked sunflower seeds, icy gingerbread cookies, spice of huge cinnamon, brown sugar, clove, nutmeg, and black pepper, sticky molasses twang, baked graham cracker crust, fresh ginger and mint, chemical phenol and ethanolic burn of brandy, roasty chocolate and black malt grit, smooth leather, and the cloying sugariness of apple pie. The first thing we get on the flavor is the thickest, most syrupy blend of black strap molasses, liquid caramel and fudge, rummy ethanol, and milk chocolate ice cream syrup. After this initial bolus, what buzzes past the buds is a blend of harsh coppery metallics, burnt chocolate malts, authentic fruity and earthy pumpkin flesh, raw ginger root, sweaty brown rice, soy sauce saltiness, miso paste, charred tannic caramel and English brown grain that comes across much like a wooden pencil, brown sugar cloy, dried herbal qualities of thyme and parsley, pumpkin pie spice, crispy wafer cone, buttery diacetyls, and baked apple juiciness. The body is delightfully full, and the carbonation is medium, but in large bubble format. Each sip gives deep slurp and smack, with more oiliness than cream or froth. The mouth is left wet, cooled, and heavily coated, with the mildest dryness of linger spice. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks back rather quickly for what it is.

Overall, we found this to be a nice and stouty pumpkin beer. They probably did the right, smart thing here by putting so much spice and sweetness into a base of a sweeter imperial stout, as this way, you aren’t so much shocked by the level of either of these components. If the grain bill were lighter or more pale and amber, it would be confusingly cloying, as again, the darkness wouldn’t be there to absorb any of that excess. We felt the nose to be this beer’s biggest selling point. There is so much cinnamon and pumpkin, that it seems almost like your traditional autumnal cider pot cook-off. Well, at least our cider cook-off anyway. The big metallics that accompany such spice, and particularly pumpkin flesh, were hard to avoid here, and they did cheapen up the flavor ever so slightly. We recommend you take a bomber of this and share it with some close friends around a fire; it will do the lot of you well. (2,765 characters)

Photo of scottbrew4u
2.62/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

This beer looked promising then I became disappointed with the smell. It smelled just like their UFO pumpkin which I do not like. The taste of this was thicker and more of a syrupy version of the UFO pumpkin. (208 characters)

Photo of TheDoctor92
4/5  rDev +7.8%

woah. alright just tired t literally a few seconds ago. very strong pumpkin taste. pretty smooth for a stout. (minutes later) okay ya i really cant get over this pumpkin taste. moreover, really impressed with how refreshing this. and for a 10.5%abv, it doesn't feel all that strong yet. (a few more minutes later) alright so final thoughts, good beer at a great price. really stands behind the "pumpkin" stout. overall, very impressed. get it. hell if you can, get a few to last you. (483 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
2.8/5  rDev -24.5%

Pours a two finger light tan head that fades quickly leaving no lace. Nearly black opaque color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Strong pumpkin pie nose and flavor is disappointing with a weird medicinal pumpkin and spicy. High ABV is hidden. Better pumpkins out there like Long Trail's. $5.99 for a 22oz bottle from Market Basket Concord, NH. (351 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.89/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a short tan head that quickly died down, leaving wispy lacing on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of pumpkins and pumpkin spices are present in the nose.
T: As in the smell, the taste has lots of flavors of pumpkins and pumpkin spices such as nutmeg along with slight hints of sweetness from the molasses. No alcohol is perceptible.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: If I was blindfolded, I never would have guessed that this beer was opaque black because it tasted like it was a pumpkin ale and not a hybrid between a pumpkin ale and a stout. I also would have never imagined that this beer was 10.5% abv because it manages to hide any traces of alcohol very well.

Serving type: bottle (857 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.1/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Shared 22 oz bottle.
Pours opaque black with ruby edges. Small head soon reduces to a thin ring.
Aroma: highly spiced and high ABV.
Flavor: over spiced and boozy. Starts sweet but finishes with an unpleasant bitterness.
Feel: good smooth full body by some alcohol harshness.

O: Disappointing. (299 characters)

Photo of tigg924
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Nice combination of cinnamon, clove, and pie crust with roasted malt. Very well balanced and never cloying. The alcohol is very well hidden. Might need to make this an annual pick up. (186 characters)

Photo of TeamMathis
4/5  rDev +7.8%

Appearance: Super dark brown. Dark tan head, very small, left quickly. Barely leaves lace.
Smell: Cinnamon, nutmeg, malt, pumpkin.
Taste: Lots of spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, malt, pumpkin, and alcohol.

I really, really like this. Maybe this is in the top three for this year's pumpkins. It's syrupy and the alcohol seems just right (though it's certainly noticeable). The spices are great. It's all there! A little pricey for my taste for Harpoon, but very much worth it. I'll probably get it again next year. (507 characters)

Photo of CaptainHate
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

I've had this for the last three weekends because I really like it and it's relatively cheap. I'm very much enjoying the blend of spices and molasses that make it kind of like Pumking but something richer and maltier. And the alc isn't overpowering but still obviously present, although it doesn't truck me like some high alc brews have (thinking specifically of Stone's Old Guardian aka Cortex Wrecker).

I've been pretty leery of stouts because of a bad experience with Guinness, which was a long time ago and maybe unfair in retrospect particularly because my tastes have changed greatly over time. This beer has made me much more curious about exploring other Imperial Stouts. (683 characters)

Photo of wrightst
4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

Aroma is strong pumpkin in addition to the toasty malt aromas with spices and chocolate.
Color is deep brown, with a minimal tan head. No question it's a stout.

Flavor is much less in the pumpkin, though it's there. Great toast, and spice along with the pumpkin, which I found milder than the aroma suggested. Alcohol was present, but somewhat subdued. Some imperials really hit you over the head, others hide it entirely. This was in the middle of those extremes.

Mouthfeel was expected: full bodied and complex.

Overall, a 4.5. Perhaps a bit overdone in the spices - the label lists a a lot of them. Great sweetness, mild pumpkin, and body. I really liked it! (665 characters)

Photo of GeorgiaBeerGuy
4.18/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

48° into a snifter. Date code "2014."

A: Dark brown, not quite opaque. Aggressively poured to achieve 1" foam head that dissipated to a thin lacing rim.

S: Sweet, spicy cinnamon and nutmeg, with a hint of licorice (or cloves?) and vanilla. Complex, but sweet...

T: Follows the nose. First blast is of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves in the front, and an earthy pumpkin flavor in the middle and finish... lingering with a vanilla essence.

M: Thinker than expected, likely the result of the cloying effect of the sweetness. I don't recall having a Harpoon beer that was this "full." Quite nice.

O: Very well balanced. My first pumpkin beer of the Fall 2014 season, and a nice start. Hides the 10.5% very well. (706 characters)

Photo of dpgoblejr
4.75/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I poured the beer from a 22oz bottle into a snifter glass. There was light carbonation with a small head and only a slight retention, plus very little lacing. The color was a very black dark/brown with a vague amber/red hue when it was held up to direct light. I could smell hints of chocolate, clove, some ginger/allspice, and pumpkin too. This half stout was very smooth and creamy with smokey, toasted malts and it was quite sweet; which I think helped to hide the 10.5 ABV. The taste was quite interesting, which, after reading the label I'm pretty sure was the blackstrap molasses and brown sugar mix. The mouthfeel was pleasant, though heavy, with no bitterness or aftertaste. I am a big fan of the fall/pumpkin style and stouts are my go to beer, so this was a no brainer. I think Harpoon was able to capture a very quality beer with this effort and I could not be happier to recommend this beer to anyone... who of course enjoys sweet pumpkin stouts! (958 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
4.05/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter

A- Pours pitch black with nearly no light coming through, small and short-lasting dark tan head that disappears quickly leaving nothing at all behind

S- classic pumpkin aromas of nutmeg and cinnamon with a nice vanilla bean component, sweet creme brûlée, some roasted malt with milk chocolate and brown sugar, very inviting

T- upon first taste, its a bit sweeter than expected, the base stout is slightly roasty with some chocolate and a hint of coffee. The spices bring out some raw pumpkin gourd, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. The finish is sweet with a linger of pumpkin pie spices continuing

M- Medium body and carbonation, slick mouthfeel and finish, ABV is hidden very well

O- This one had some great pumpkin spice flavor, more complex than in most pumpkin flavored beers. The base stout was pretty simple and straight forward, but allowed the pumpkin and spices to be showcased. The vanilla component, along with a nice spice blend, made this a nice sipper. Reccomended for the pumpkin fans (1,028 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I don't like pumpkin ales. I don't like imperial pumpkin ales about twice as much as I dislike regular pumpkin ales. But about every September I have a hankerin' for a syrupy, artificial pie spice pumpkin bomb. It's a rite of the fall season.

A stout! Had I read the label I would have known that but for me Harpoon and pumpkin was enough to buy it. Pours dark brown, looks black in my festive, Thanksgiving mason jar. Foam didn't stay for very long. Not long at all.

Smells like ginger, nutmeg and hearty molasses. Tastes about the same. This beer really focuses on the spices and add ones and for a pumpkin stout there's neither much pumpkin nor stout. If I search I can find some vegetal gourd-iness though. Stout lacks any roast character but does a fine job as a base layer.

I loved it. A very successful pumpkin stout despite neither really succeeding in either of those departments. The unique spice and molasses mix brought a colonial feel which I found alluring in a Thanksgiving beer. I guess they wouldn't sell as much if they called it "Colonial feel molasses gourd spice beer." Very surprised and impressed with this one. (1,139 characters)

Photo of thehooksman
3.24/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Holding this up to the light, you CAN see through it. It isn't a usual stout black, but a beautiful dark red-brown. Would be a great appearance, but there was no head whatsoever.

The aroma is excellent, boasting big spice notes and dark fruit. It definitely smells like pumpkin pie baking in the oven. No real hop profile here.

The flavor is where I lose this one. It doesn't back up the aromas very well and is way too sweet. A lot of alcohol in the flavor. Take this brew in small amounts from a glass for strong ales. Don't make my mistake and pour yourself a pint.

The mouthfeel is nice: very rich and smooth, rather full body, and nice heat from the alcohol, but not over powering.

This isn't bad and I'd have it again. But I'll have it in small amounts for sipping. Otherwise it's just way too sweet. (810 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.81/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear dark reddish brown in color with light amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass/surface of the beer and some cola brown highlights. The beer has a half finger tall sudsy foamy tan head that reduces to a couple of small to medium patches of thick film surrounded by a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of pumpkin pie spices - specifically cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger. That is followed by lighter aromas of roasted pumpkin and roasted malts. Very light notes of dark fruits (plum + fig) as well as hints of chocolate.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of roasted malts and roasted pumpkin with a light amount of dark fruit (plum + fig). There are moderate flavors of pumpkin pie spices - nutmeg, clover, cinnamon, and ginger. There are light notes of bittersweet chocolate. Light amounts of bitterness lingers through the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to significant amounts of carbonation. Slightly fizzier than expected for the style with some light hints of alcohol warming in the finish as well.

O: I really enjoyed the fact that this has a lot of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice flavors without being overly sweet - there is a nice flavor profile and a pleasant roastiness to it overall. I like the fact that they chose a porter/stout base for the beer. Pretty easy to drink and overall the alcohol is well hidden considering the strength. I'd get this one again. (1,584 characters)

Photo of neophilus
3.08/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours black with a brown head. Some roasted grain, spices dominated by ginger, some cinammon and nutmeg in there as well. Flavor is a bit heavy on the ginger as well.

Ok I have to be honest, I just don't like pumpkin stouts. I've tried several of them and find the roasted grain clashes with the pie spicing. I think a maltier brown base goes better with that type of flavor and the acrid taste of roasted grain doesn't compliment it as well. This also is too heavy on the ginger which I don't appreciate either. Each to their own though.

In the end I think the ginger sinks this one. It's too tangy of a flavor against the bitter roasted grain. It's a good attempt, I detect no off flavors and I can't say anything is out of balance. It's a well made beer. Pumpkin stout is a style I really want to like, pairing a dark roasty beer with the autumn flavors of pie spicing seems like a fusion begging to happen, but so far I have not found the one that works for me. (968 characters)

Photo of dheacck11
3.96/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is pitch black. No real head. Almost oily.

Nose is rummy and sweet. Little hint of spice. Something a little funky though.

Taste is fascinating. Lots of sweet molasses. Nice hints of ginger. Little bit of booziness

Feel is pretty thick and full

Neat beer. A little on the sweet side and perhaps a bit unbalanced with the booze and sweet. But great on a cold fall night. (384 characters)

Photo of goochpunch
3.2/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Pours out black. Brown on the edges when placed in the light. Smells like the full (sweet) spice rack. Roasted malts and fruity, estery yeast. Spices aren't as up front as I would have hoped. A good deal of burnt grain bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel could be fuller and thicker for my tastes. This isn't bad, but I've had better pumpkin stout. Underwhelming. (363 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.46/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Even though its a high octane stout I expected more than a 1/4 inch of head that fizzes out quickly to nothing. Beer is spot on pitch black very deep hue.
S - An impressive array of spices with cinnamon and strong Nutmeg, some vegital notes but little to no roast.
T - Somewhat harsh biting alcohol on this one. Somewhat vegital biting with mostly nutmeg. Not very much sweet balancing malts or stout qualities of chocolate or roast. Disappointing.
M - Quite thin with a medium body wish the stout quality was greater to hide this massive ABV,

Overall I guess I burned almost 7 bucks on this one. A pretty terrible stout and an even worse pumpkin ale. Pass on it if you can even for 5 bucks not worth it. (709 characters)

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Harpoon Imperial Pumpkin from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
84 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.