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Harpoon Imperial Pumpkin - Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall

Not Rated.
Harpoon Imperial PumpkinHarpoon Imperial Pumpkin

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

47 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 47
Hads: 248
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 13.17%
Wants: 10
Gots: 43 | 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: 47 | Hads: 248
Photo of DrDemento456
3.46/5  rDev -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)

Photo of Gavage
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a dark black color with a 1/4" head that falls to some big surface bubbles.

Smell: roasted malts, dark fruit sweetness, and a bit of spice comes through to the nose.

Taste: roasted malt, dark chocolates, raisins, some cinammon, and a hint of pumpkin is with a bit of alcohol warming.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth from start to finish. Long lasting aftertaste.

Overall: this beer is a slow sipper and is really just a big flavored stout with some pumpkin pie spice wrapped around it. Worth a try. (529 characters)

Photo of oberon
2.97/5  rDev -20.2%
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. (503 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.52/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Acquired at Whole Foods HQ. 22 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing simple label art and branded pry-off pressure cap served into a pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are high. 10.5% ABV.

Served cold - straight from me fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a half finger wide head of nice rich khaki colour; not as tan or rich as it could be, but it has a soft shiny complexion. Thickness and creaminess are a bit underplayed, but generally pretty good. Retention is poor - maybe 40 seconds at best. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a predictable opaque dark black; not quite a solid or jet black - the edges have a cola colour in the glass. Nontransparent/nontranslucent. No yeast particles are visible. I've seen more vibrant imperial stouts, but this one is generally appealing for the style.

Not unique or special, but there are no obvious flaws.

Sm: Pumpkin - mostly a puree, but there's a bit of gourd there. Doesn't come off as artificial as most pumpkin puree beers do. Still, real pumpkin would be preferable. Chocolate malt. Dark malts. Brown sugar. Molasses - I could do without that note. Plenty of evocative yet balanced spices: nutmeg, clove, allspice, cinnamon. I don't find any ginger. I do get some vague almond extract. Not as roasty as I'd like; it has very little roasted barley character at all. Unfortunately, I get a buried nebulous hint of anise/licorice (which I can't stand in a beer, especially when combined with molasses notes).

No hop/yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

Overall, it's an interesting aroma of moderate strength, and suggests that the flavour profile will live up to the pumpkin/imperial stout hybrid premise. I'm looking forward to trying it.

T: Hmph. Right off the first sip I can tell the spices and pumpkin clash somewhat with the dark malt/chocolate malt body. The finish (and most of the third act) is/are entirely too bitter, with troublesome anise/licorice mixing with the bitterness of the dying spices. Molasses lends an unnatural sweetness to the second act. Caramel. All the spices are packed in on the climax and in the third act, making it structurally imbalanced. I get allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Too much nutmeg. The cinnamon also seems a bit strange, and distracts from the malts. Out-of-place green apple makes an appearance; that was a poor choice. There's an unwelcome baked brown sugar character throughout the beer which I'm none too keen on. The pumpkin itself has less presence than the spices, and isn't evocative; there's no true pumpkin or pumpkin gourd, just a vague puree/extract note that rings artificial (contrary to what the aroma suggested).

It does come off on the sweeter side, definitely. No hop character or yeast character comes through. I do notice an evident alcohol presence, which reduces the drinkability.

Depth of flavour is on the low side of average for the style, as is duration of flavour. Intensity of flavour is average for the style.

The harsh spice presence needs some real toning down. It definitely needs more pumpkin - and real pumpkin. Too sweet as well. It's an interesting stab at a pumpkin beer, but ultimately it's quite a mess. Imbalanced, with little cohesion; certainly not gestalt. Lacks any subtlety whatsoever, but it does attempt to bring the complexity - it just falls short on the execution. I wouldn't call it uninspired, it's just a failed experiment. I wouldn't say I like it per se.

Mf: Smooth and wet - too much so on both counts. Sticky. Overcarbonated. Lightly syrupy. Too thick/viscous. Has an unjustifiably overbearing presence on the palate for its lack of flavour and balance. It crosses the barrier from 'pleasant alcohol warmth' to 'unpleasant heat.' Doesn't suit the flavour profile well. It ought to be more dry and coarse, as well as a bit less thick and more approachable. Unrefreshing. Flawed execution.

Dr: While I'll finish the bottle alone, it's not the most drinkable beer - both due to its relative lack of quality and its troublesome mouthfeel. It's a deeply flawed beer, but I applaud the attempt to merge the concept of a pumpkin beer with the imperial stout style. Unfortunately, Harpoon fell well short of its aims, and we're left with a spice-dominant pumpkin-minimal beer that has none of the best attributes of its two constituent styles and many of the worst. I wouldn't get it again, nor would I recommend it to friends.

If you're going to brew a pumpkin beer, commit. Brew with real pumpkin, put in the time and effort, clean your messy tanks, and deliver. At the end of the day this beer seems like more an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of the pumpkin seasonal than a sincere attempt to satisfy drinkers.

High D+ (4,957 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.99/5  rDev +7.3%
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. (353 characters)

Photo of Brad007
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Just in time for the fall season!

Pours a pitch black with a one-finger brown head into my glass. I suppose it could be a dark brownish tint as well.

Creamy with a good touch of nutmeg in the nose. Pumpkin pie stout is more like it. I'm not complaining.

Creamy and dry with hints of cocoa, nutmeg and perhaps vanilla(?) Warms the throat as it goes down.

Lingering cocoa and nutmeg. It's kind of harsh though with carbonation a little too high for my liking.

A decent stab at the holiday grab. Flavors could use some work (less carbonation, a more balanced touch of cocoa and nutmeg) but it fits the theme regardless. (622 characters)

Photo of Franziskaner
3.44/5  rDev -7.5%
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. (432 characters)

Photo of Jwaks
3.26/5  rDev -12.4%
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. (1,097 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (695 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
4.11/5  rDev +10.5%
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. (716 characters)

Photo of Danno48
4.14/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Pumpkin ales.... They are everywhere now. How do we tell which ones are good?... Well it's easy to spot the good ones. And this is a good one. First of all I have waited forever for a pumpkin stout and now that it is here I am more than pleased. Great flavor. Very sweet and choc full of punkin and a touch of chocolate from the chocolate malt. Hops to take a backseat to the insane amount of sweetness and malt. But great beer. (428 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 7/18/2013. Pours pitch black color with a 1 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, pumpkin, cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg, toast, molasses, brown bread, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roasted/dark malt, pumpkin, and spice notes; with good strength. Taste of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, pumpkin, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, molasses, toast, ginger, brown bread, and toasted earthiness. Lingering notes of chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, pumpkin, cinnamon, toast, clove, nutmeg, brown sugar, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of roasted malt, pumpkin, and spice flavors; with great robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy and moderately slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent imperial pumpkin stout. All around great balance and complexity of stout and pumpkin ale flavors; and very smooth to sip on for 10.5%. A very enjoyable offering. (1,307 characters)

Photo of mountdew1
3.74/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (556 characters)

Photo of BB1313
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
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. (1,000 characters)

Photo of far333
3.21/5  rDev -13.7%
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. (380 characters)

Photo of SawDog505
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into my Flying Dog tulip. Pours a really dark brown, with a two inch dark tan head, that settles rather quickly, leaving minimal lace. Smell is pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and some light chocolate notes. Taste is massive, loads of pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon up front, with molasses, dark chocolate, almond, and a hint of alcohol in the finish. Body a touch thin for me, plenty of life, not dry, and goes down very easy for its abv and I am sure it being medium thin in body helps that. I look at this like a blend of a style I love Imperial stouts and a style I don't love, pumpkin beers. Wish it was a more hearty imperial stout with some pumpkin pie flavors, not the case, huge pumpkin flavors, with the stout color. Still a solid beer at a reasonable price, and it leaves its mark. Unforgettable! (815 characters)

Photo of palma
4.19/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oooh a nice imperial pumpkin black and tan.

This beer is very good all around with the highlight in the nose. Aroma of nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, cocoa. Excellent roasted stout flavor with pumpkin pie notes.

A beer that hits the spot perfectly when you are looking for something like this.

Harpoon with an excellent vision with this beer. Not many beers like this. A successful one-off. Hope they decide to continue to brew this annually. (441 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
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. (908 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.99/5  rDev +7.3%
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. (669 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle - $5.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, near black body with a medium-tall, albeit deflating light tan-colored head. Though the head may be gone, a lasting ring of suds take its place.

Smell: Firm roastiness cut with a thin glaze of chocolate ganache and liberally dosed with gingerbread-type spices. Subdued pumpkin character, with some additional dark fruitiness.

Taste: Roasty with a growing, deep chocolate flavor as dark caramel, molasses, and cooked sugars come into play. Subtle pumpkin flavor underneath the richer maltiness, leaving it the mildest taste in the pack. The sweetness is tampered by the snap of spices featuring the usual spicespects. Roasty, spicy on the back end with the sweetness now at bay but there's a definite, accumulating alcohol warmth, with a future nap on the horizon.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: I'd lean back on the spices and push up the pumpkin, next time. I've said it before. There's nothing wrong with trying to mix-it-up when it comes to the prototypical pumpkin ale format. Nothing wrong with that at all. (1,148 characters)

Photo of StArnoldFan
4.11/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a DC Brau tulip.

A - Pours a solid black oil color with a thin line of mocha head that dissipates quick. Little to no lacing as the glass goes down.

S - This is the best part of the beer to me, heavy pumpkin pie scent. Some spice creeps thru but mostly just sweet pumpkin pie, well done.

T - Not as much pumpkin on the taste as the nose would lead you to think. Mild spice, with some toasted malts. It gets better as it warms. Alcohol is well hidden on this one.

M - it's a little thin for my liking. A little thicker and a little more carb could have helped this one.

O - Overall I like this beer, it reminds me of Sain Arnold Pumpkinator only it's cheaper and easier to get. I can see myself having a few of these over the holidays when it starts to cool off outside. (803 characters)

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a near pitch black with ruby edges. About a fingers worth of tan head fizzles out within 30 seconds

S: Quite a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon to go along with some roasted malts, dark chocolate, and molasses. Some dark fruits and maybe a hint of pumpkin in the back

T: Starts off with the roasted malts and pumpkin spices up front followed by some dark chocolate, molasses, and dark fruit notes. Tastes quite a bit like a lightly burnt gingerbread cookie. Alcohol very well hidden. Finishes with some light charred roastiness and a hint of the spices

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Creamy

O: A nice 50/50 stout/pumpkin ale with plenty of pumpkin pie spices and roastiness. This would be great to have as a dessert beer on Halloween or a chilly Fall night. Would go great with some vanilla ice cream as well. Can't beat the price at under $6 for a bomber, either. Solid new seasonal brew from Harpoon (934 characters)

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Harpoon Imperial Pumpkin from Harpoon Brewery & Beer Hall
84 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.