Imperial Pumpkin | Dry Dock Brewing Co.

very good
20 Reviews
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Imperial PumpkinImperial Pumpkin

Brewed by:
Dry Dock Brewing Co.
Colorado, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerWizard on 08-22-2013

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Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 73
Photo of Vonerichs
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Dark orange. The carbonation is fizzy but the head is wispy and poor retention.

Pumpkin spice aroma, slightly sweet.

Lots of fusel spice, very boozy, almost like rubbing alcohol. The pumpkin flavor is overwhelmed by the booze.

Mouthfeel is thin with high carbonation and has a hard time supporting the big boozy flavor.

Too boozy and thin for my liking. The pumpkin spice is nice, but takes a back seat to the rubbing alcohol.

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Photo of akolb
3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taken from the fridge and allowed to warm for an hour before opening. Nose is a huge blase of spices. Cinnamon is very strong followed by ginger, allspice, and cloves. A little pumpkin hiding in the background. Smells like gingerbread or pumpkin pie. Taste is creamy. The spices are a bit more muted and harder to individually distinguish. As others have noted, it tastes more like pie than anything pumpkin-y, which to me isn't a bad thing at all (I wonder why we don't see more chai beers... a chai milk stout would be awesome!) Anyway, they're a bit of sweetness and a bit of bitterness but not too much of either. A warm aftertaste. This is one of the more enjoyable spiced beers I've had. The high ABV helps give the spices enough backdrop not to be overwhelming. The pumpkin flavors are very muted, which is a plus in my book.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.61/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. Bomber

Pours a very nice clean/clear golden amber color, very nice carbonation, with a nice small off-white head, which leaves some very nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, with some very nice pumpkin, spice, nutmeg notes. The taste is very nice, malty, spicy, very nice pumpkin/nutmeg notes. Medium body, ABV is basically non-existed, with a nice little bitter dry finish. Overall, this is one of the best I've ever had, definitely hitting the spot today.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.95/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Brief notes from a 2015 bottle:

A: Pours a healthy off-white head which is pretty standard for a pumpkin beer, replete with nice frothiness and foam. Recedes within ~5 minutes. Body is a vibrant copper with no visible yeast.

Appears well-carbonated. Not a unique or special appearance overall, but right on the money for the style. Neither hazy nor cloudy.

Sm: Pumpkin gourd and brown sugar are prominent, with more minor notes of clove and caramel in there too. Not the nutmeg/allspice/ginger spice-bomb many pumpkin beers are, which is a nice change of pace and helps emphasize what should count in a pumpkin beer...the pumpkin.

Aromatic intensity is above average. This suggests a straightforward ale with authentic pumpkin character.

T: The pumpkin isn't quite as genuine as the aroma suggested, suffering from a bit of an artificial extract-y feel. Spicing is minimal, but some clove does sneak in. The copper ale backbone is apt for a pumpkin ale, but in terms of complexity and nuance this leaves much to be desired. Still, I love that the pumpkin doesn't get drowned out by nutmeg or allspice.

Mf: What you'd expect. Smooth, wet, medium-bodied, maybe a bit overcarbonated, and of average heft and weight on the palate. Doesn't accentuate specific notes or elevate the beer as a whole, but it suits the flavour profile decently enough and it gets the job done, delivering the flavours without distracting.

O: Its higher ABV will please fans of the imperial trend, but it won't dazzle discerning pumpkin ale drinkers. I wouldn't pick this up again (especially at bomber prices), but it's decent work from a brewery that does much better beers. Seems like an obligatory seasonal for the market, not an inspired beer with passion behind it.

High C (2.95) / AVERAGE

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter from a 22oz bottle.

Smells of rich nad layered Thanksgiving/pumpkin pie spices. Some good pumpkin in there too. Really, one of the best smelling pumpkin beers out there. Awesome.

Not overly sweet, but just rich with pumpkin pie. The spices almost amount to a light bitterness, which is pleasant. The body might be a tad thin, but it is pretty creamy. The pumpkin adds a nice vegetable note but doesn't go too far (as so many seem to do when the pumpkin doesn't integrate right). Unusually pleasant aftertaste for a pumpkin beer. Nice all the way around in the flavor department.

The body is slightly fizzy, but maybe this is still too cold. I can't knock this much, but I want something smoother and softer. That is just nit picking though.

Conclusion: Great job Dry dock, as usual. The best pumpkin beer of the season so far (I am on a mission to find another pumpkin beer I like as much as Venetucci Pumpkin Ale from my local Bristol brewing company. This might be a contender! I still have a bit longer for VPA to be released, so I will get this again when the time comes and do a side by side.

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Photo of KLHBB
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Oh how yummy. Poured on tap at the Brewery. DArk amber color, minimum head. Smell of cinnamon, taste of cloves, nutmeg, molasses, caramel.... I never actually taste the "pumpkin", pumpkin doesn't have a lot of taste to me. But this has a dark sweetness and at 9% ABV, this did me for the afternoon. A dense mouthfeel and overall, delicious.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

wow, i did not expect to like this one so much. its a beautiful pumpkin beer, with a ton of real cinnamon flavor to go with the pumpkins, its beautiful. rich dark copper color with nice clarity for the style and an inch of white head on top. the nose is cinnamon first, but not totally at the expense of the pumpkin, and not muddled and confused by other spices, its just cinnamon i smell. the grain base is largely caramel, mid range crystal, medium bodied and only sweet enough to fit the style. i taste cinnamon and pumpkin together, like a pumpkin muffin, a small amount of roasted malt, even a touch of rye spice maybe to this, or something else in the spice mix contributing a similar character. a hint of honey and vanilla in the finish, but its not real sweet. it then dries up pretty good with only the cinnamon left at the end. the alcohol is warming in the belly but cannot be felt or tasted at all. i should not have overlooked this beer, its one of the better dry dock beers ive ever had really, perfect for late fall and thanksgiving time.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.

This brew pours a cloudy orange almost like a witbier. Carbonation is aggressive and leads to a fizziness on the head that forms a finger and a half thick pale, off-white head. When the head dissipates, a film forms over the body and remains. 4

Heavy doses of pumpkin and spice on the aroma. Nutmeg is the more prominent of the medley of spices. There's a biscuity quality that essentially reminds me of some pie crust. Not bad, not bad at all. 4

It's funny, this reminds me of a spiced chai drink almost more than a pumpkin beer or anything pumpkin. As I continue drinking, the pumpkin emerges more and there's a creamy vanilla flavor that I like quite a bit. Continued drinking and I start getting a lot of pumpkin pie. 4

Again, this beer is like a chai... a chai with milk. It's spicy, but a tasteful, unoffensive spice with a bit of a bite and has a good creamy quality. The body feels lighter initially but it's in fact quite big-bodied. 4

This is a unique brew. It could just as easily be a chai beer, but whatever you want to call it, it's a spiced beer done right. 4

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Photo of DenverHopHead
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pub glass.
Appearance - clear orange with lots of carbonation. Head is white and very thin. Lacing is poor.
Smell - pumpkin pie in a glass; though a bit more spice than pumpkin.
Taste - pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and booze; the higher ABV brings out the pumpkin flavors that are harder to detect in other pumpkin ales.
Feel - medium to light body; the 9% ABV adds complexity to the feel without negatively impacting drinkability.
Overall - possibly my favorite pumpkin ale (I have not had many) and possibly my favorite offering from Dry Dock.

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Photo of OsoRojo
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

fantastic pumpkin beer, but first and foremost its just a great beer. then the perfect blend of pumpkin squash and spices balance it out. best of the 2014 pumpkin releases I've had, and that's at about 13 now. worthy, another fine Dry Dock release!

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Photo of Gkemp94
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

I got a 22oz bomber straight from the brewery. I've tried a ton of different pumpkin ales. Blue Moon, Tommy Knocker etc. But this is by far the best. The spices are really prevalent, and the pumpkin flavor is the strongest I've tasted. Certainly the best pumpkin beer I've tasted.

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Photo of beergoot
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Crystal clear copper-orange body with an initially thick, creamy head that soon fades to a bubbly wisp of white. Big allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg spice scent riding above a nice pumpkin-scented base. The taste is spicy with a phenolic streak; somewhat boozy. Medium-heavy mouthfeel; slick; a bit of dryness with the spices and alcohol.

The initial anticipation, based on looks and aroma, were somewhat dashed, primarily due to harsh aftertastes due to the spices (and, perhaps, its ABV). This is still a decent beer for the style, but falls short of its promise.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.19/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Intense carbonation bubbles arise from within off of the pour, But the minimal head completely disappears within a few minutes. Dark orange with a bit of a reddish tint. The aroma is a sweet pumpkin smell with cinnamon,nutmeg,and what I would describe as maple syrup. The flavor is pumpkin and light malt and fades rather quickly. The mouthfeel is a bit warm from the alcohol,but is surprisingly smooth and dry considering the strength. I just want more out of the flavor.

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Photo of PaulyB83
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz. bomber into a Guinness glass. Got this in a trade.

A- Hazy deep amber. With an aggressive pour a small white head formed that quickly dissipated to nothing. Looks to be medium to heavy in viscosity.

S- Lots of allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg with a mellow caramel sweetness.

T- Similar to aroma, lots of allspice first, then mix of cinnamon and nutmeg. Nice level of malty sweetness helps to compete with the heavy spices. The mellow factor that pumpkin adds is there. The 9% is well hidden which I've found in many Imperial pumpkins due to the spices.

M- Medium to heavy body from the spices and alcohol. Not a whole lot of carbonation.

O- A pretty good Imperial pumpkin. The spice profile is a bit heavy for me and more allspice forward than I would like but still it was a good malt backbone to match. Could use some more carbonation though.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.34/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber served chilled into a goblet on Halloween.

Dry Dock's Imperial Pumpkin is a suitably orange amber with a slight haze. It has thin short-lived head and minimal lacing.

Aroma is sweet and spicy like pumpkin pie.

Flavor then comes as a total shock and elicits a four letter word. This is an amazing pumpkin beer. If you like this style leaning towards the spice, this is the one. That said there is a lot to love if you just like the pumpkin. It's a crazy intense pumpkin beer with over-the-top flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and perfectly carbonated. Great balance of pumpkin and spice with tons of both.

Overall an amazing pumpkin beer. Easily one of the best.

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Photo of DanJan
3.36/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A - Man what a gorgeous beer! As far as pumpkin beers go this is exactly what I'm looking for. Nice carbonation. Amber orange color with an off white head that fades pretty quickly. Great start.

S - Smells faintly of pumpkin but mostly of pumpkin pie. Lots of spices, maybe a bit too much. Smells a little bit sweet. Cloves. Allspice. Nutmeg. Bit of cinnamon.

T - Taste follows the smell except for the hidden booze in the taste. Definitely boozier than I expected at 9%. Thought the other flavors would mask it more than they would but the spiciness of those flavors actually enhance the booze. Not bad, just different.

M - Flavors don't last too long which is actually kind of nice with this kind of beer. You get a wave of flavors all at once and only after a few seconds can you differentiate them. Still too boozy for me.

O - I really like pumpkin beers in general and while this is a decent example it's definitely not my favorite. Really good if you like the pumpkin pie spices with a touch of alcohol. If you're looking for a more "traditional" pumpkin flavor I'd go elsewhere.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dry Dock Pumpkin
A nice color beer, it pours a ruby/orange/chestnut color. Thin head settles to a slightly soaping collar

Pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, caramel and biscuit malt in the aroma. Some hints of snappy grass and cinnamon.
Flavor follows the nose, perhaps a bit more spice and booze, but not much. The nutmeg and cinnamon complement the pumpkin and malt bill. Sweet caramel is subtle yet strong. This is one of those tween pumpkin beers: between pumpkin/vegetal and pumpkin pie spiciness. Easy drinking, booze well hidden

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Photo of Dmart1223
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Holy hot damn. There's a lot going on with this pumpkin beer.

It starts with a dark, clear amber pour with a handful of bubbles, topped by a decent finger of head and circled with some sticky lacing.

The smell is on par with everything from Dry Dock: incredibly strong and full of character. Off the top of my head, I could smell nutmeg, cinnamon, some cloves and something spicy. You don't even have to search for it, but it's a little sweet.

The first thing that hits with a swig is the alcohol, which comes in the front and dries it out in the back. In the middle is a silky, warm mouthfeel accompanied by a bouquet of pumpkin pie spices, funk and cleansing clove and mace.

It's incredibly flavorful, but not overpowering -- more like a punch than a Trappist ale, but that's what I'd want from a beer that's strong and pumpkin-themed. I wish I'd gotten a little more malt, nonetheless, but this beer certainly has enough there to make it a Halloween treat.

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Photo of Beaver13
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pours copper amber with a smallish white head that quickly goes to a thin film that laces the glass.

The aroma is lots of pumpkin pie spices - lots of cinnamon, ginger, allspice and clove.

The flavor is sweet malts and pumpkin with a lot of spice in the finish - lots of cinnamon with some ginger and allspice and some floral notes. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, a solid pumpkin beer. It a little heavy on the spice, especially cinnamon, but I dig it.

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Photo of BeerWizard
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a bomber of this from Applejack for about $10. Label depicts a black-bearded skeletal pirate admiring a sinister-looking jack-o-lantern while some apparent silhouetted skullduggery goes on in the background. Nice graphic.

Pours clear reddish amber, really nice color, short fleeting head that dissipates into nothingness. Really nice color. Nose is very cinnamon, a little alcohol, almost get like a cola aroma. Label boasts two types of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves; mainly just getting the cinnamon, though.

Flavor is just overpowered by spice - don't get much pumpkin here at all - and that cola element. I like the flavor, but I think it could be more balanced. Have to say it goes flat relatively quickly, but it didn't start out with a whole lot of carbonation to begin with. Otherwise, slick mouthfeel, very sweet, and definitely get some alcohol there.

Overall this was good and fun to try, but I don't think I would get it again. Not for ten bucks, anyway.

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Imperial Pumpkin from Dry Dock Brewing Co.
3.86 out of 5 based on 73 ratings.
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