Harpoon Imperial Pumpkin - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Imperial PumpkinHarpoon Imperial Pumpkin

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BA SCORE
83
good

244 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 244
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 14.4%
Wants: 10
Gots: 38 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 244 | Reviews: 51
Reviews by neophilus:
Photo of neophilus
3.08/5  rDev -16.3%
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.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
2.97/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I have really liked the big pumpkin stouts I have had so far this season.Pours nearly jet black except for a tinge of brown when held to the light,a half finger beige head atop.Nutmeg and clove stand out most in the nose along light alcohol and molasses-like sweetness,downhill from here.Somewhat fizzy and much lighter than expected in the mouth with harsh over spiced flavors and some stinging alcohol in the finish.Wow I have to say I was expecting something much better here...might be a drain pour.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a pint glass the beer was black in color with a small tan head.

Aroma of pumpkin, spice, molasses, and a hint of chocolate.

Nice taste. Pumpkin first, then cinnamon and allspice, followed by molasses. I didn't get the chocolate that I thought I detected in the aroma.

Sweeter than I expected and very smooth. The alcohol was extremely well-hidden.

Photo of tigg924
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

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.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.44/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Dark black in color. Just a slight bit of light gets through this one. Not much foam on the top of this one. I do see carbonation bubbles, though. Cinnamon, pumpkin, and nutmeg are prevalent. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. The aroma seems to say pumpkin ale and the taste is pumpkin stout. I get licorice, the bitterness of the roasted malt, and some lingering sweetness of the molasses in the aftertaste. Interesting, but a bit off.

Photo of far333
3.21/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Dark chestnut colored with a thick beige head that rises up frothy and bubbly, then slowly settles out. Low aroma of vegetal notes and spice. Rich flavor upfront, malty with caramel notes, some toffee, then a sharp intrusion of nutmeg and clove. No cinnamon, no pumpkin. Good mouthfeel, rich and full, but it can't salvage this one for me. Way too spicy and a bit one-dimensional.

Photo of chinchill
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.64/5  rDev +26.1%
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!

Photo of Uzarnayme
4.6/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The only pumpkin beer I've ever liked. The high alcohol content helps the flavor pass. A good value also.

Photo of KTCamm
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
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,.

Photo of Treyliff
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
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

Photo of goochpunch
3.2/5  rDev -13%
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.

Photo of puboflyons
4.11/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on September 15, 2013.

The pour is a gorgeous dark brown to nearly black with a short lasting tan fizzy head. Some ruby red hues around the edges. I do wish the head was a little silkier.

The aroma has a low pumpkin note but a much more forward dark fruit feel, ginger, molasses, and nutmeg scent.

The body is medium but the texture dissolves into carbonation bubbles rather quickly. Slight disappointment there.

Unlike the aroma, the taste brings forward a pumpkin and squash taste along with fig, ginger, and roasted malts with a low bitterness. But it tended to be boozy although that may well have been the hops playing up. I am confident at giving this a very good grade.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a half inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both decent enough. The aroma is more pumpkin than stout, it smells mostly like pumpkin spices (nutmeg, ginger, cloves, cinnamon), along with some molasses, dark fruit and some chocolate. It tastes like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, peppery spice, dark fruit, molasses, pumpkin, bittersweet chocolate, cloves, and roasted malt. The spicy flavor lingers around long after taking a sip. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a bit creamy and has a good amount of carbonation. I liked this brew, I'll have to pick up some more at $5.99 a bottle.

Photo of metter98
3.89/5  rDev +5.7%
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

Photo of Jwaks
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

At first pour this beer states, "We're not fucking around." Harpoon has thrown down the gauntlet declaring war when it comes to imperial pumpkin ales. This shit pours a menacing opaque brown. Frightful and perfect for halloween. I love it!

Then, like a woman, my feelings changed on a dime. Love turned to like at first sniff with this beer's reticent nose with hints of baked pumpkin, caramel, toffee and light roasted notes. And first taste, well, it was not "noteworthy." Its densely packed with pumpkin, robust malt and dark smoke tinged caramel with a touch of baking spices. Mouthfeel? It's pretty impressive. That's what she said. Carbonation is just right to keep this beer lively and drinkable.

Overall. Awesome effort Harpoon! One outstanding quality of this beer is it's massive alcohol content, it's a Ron Jeremy sized 10.5% and it goes down like a 7% beer. There's just a hint of heat on the finish as a reminder of this beers brute strength.

Try it, you'll be glad you did rather than adding one more beer to the ever growing bin of regret just outside the skeleton filled closet.

Photo of mountdew1
3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into an oversize wine glass. A nice dark brown opaque with a hint of reddish color. A very thin head that had nice cling and a bit of dirty white color. Aroma was strongly of canned pumpkin puree. Tad of burnt molasses aroma as well. Flavor was sweet, almost too sweet. Bit of spice hiding under the sweet, and finished off with a bit of bitter. Over time it mellowed out and developed the pumpkin pie flavor Felt great in the mouth, coated as it should, just a bit of tingle on the tongue. Overall it was a good stout, with a decent pumpkin flavor.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle pours a surprisingly near black color with a small cap of tan head. Not much for retention or lace.

Nose is heavy on the spices with nutmeg and cinnamon leading the way. There is a certain apple fruitiness mixed with some autumnal leaves that is a bit different.

Taste shows the rich chocolate of a stout with plenty of pie spice and even a little kiss of grassy hops. Bold flavors with plenty of alcohol kick. Its interesting but I cant help comparing it to SA Pumpkinator, and its not quite as good. Though it is better than expected. Mouthfeel is just a bit thin and the alcohol flavors are a little too big. I think it is worth a try, and maybe even a repeat purchase or two.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter.

3.0 A: Black color. Did not get much of a head to form, but it was a light brown color.

3.5 S: Pumpkin spiciness - nutmeg, ginger, clove, cinnamon - are most prominent. Next is roastiness, molasses, caramel, and chocolate underneath. It's not bad, but the aromas don't have the right proportions. It's hard to explain.

3.5 T: Pumpkin spices mentioned above with cinnamon being the most prominent. Perhaps a bit too much roastiness and not quite enough sweetness. Molasses, caramel, and chocolate. Again the flavors seem out of proportion. I wish I could make this more clear, but it seems I can't. Boozy warming on finish.

3.25 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Definitely needs more creaminess, but not too detrimental.

3.5 D: It's okay, but has problems that I can't really explain. I love pumpkin beers, but I've only had a handful that are done really well.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.46/5  rDev -6%
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.

Photo of GeorgiaBeerGuy
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

Photo of BB1313
3.3/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with a small khaki head that fades very quickly and doesn't leave any lacing or retention at all, but it has nice color. The aromas are pretty subtle with hints of milk chocolate, anise, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Lots of cocoa malts. The flavors are rich and seem to be dominated by dark chocolates. This is has a nice roastiness to it. There's a subtle bitterness. I'm picking up the cinnamon and ginger in the finish for sure, but it's not an overload. Molasses is in the mix. It finishes kind of spicy. There's a subtle touch of alcohol warming, but it's barely noticeable and it's definitely not boozy. Mouthfeel is nice. It's full-bodied and fluffy; almost thin, but there's definitely body to it. It's a pretty easy drinking beer, but doesn't make a bad sipper.

This is a very solid beer. It has a nice blend of chocolates and spices. It's really nothing to write home about, but it's pretty enjoyable. This would hit the spot when it's cold outside.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Photo of scottbrew4u
2.62/5  rDev -28.8%
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.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Harpoon Imperial Pumpkin from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
83 out of 100 based on 244 ratings.