Pumpkin Imperial Spruce Stout | Rock Art Brewery

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Pumpkin Imperial Spruce StoutPumpkin Imperial Spruce Stout
201 Ratings
Pumpkin Imperial Spruce StoutPumpkin Imperial Spruce Stout

Brewed by:
Rock Art Brewery
Vermont, United States

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
"A big stout brewed in the colonial fashion with large amounts of pumpkins and spruce tips added to the kettle for flavor and bittering qualities. The pumpkins compliment the malt flavors, and were used to add sugars to the mash. What ever you do, do not think this is going to taste like pumpkin pie. 50 IBUs."

Added by Brad007 on 09-11-2009

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 201 |  Reviews: 89
Reviews by jmlschlee:
Photo of jmlschlee
3.89/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.2/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was an interesting beer.
In a snifter the beer was a the color of a black cherry. It had a medium-sized tan head that dissipated fairly quickly, leaving a little bit of lace.
Pine aroma primarily, some roasted malt.
Mostly a pine taste, but there was some espresso there, and I'm sure I detected some pumpkin spice, even though I wasn't supposed to.
This was a rich, filling stout, perfect for fall.

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Photo of Magister_Beav
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tigg924
3.45/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: high carbonation, 1/4 head, garnett brown, clear

Smell: toasted malt, nutmeg, little pumpkin

Taste: burnt malt, expresso, pine, and a bit of pumpkin towards the end.

Mouthfeel: medium high carbonation, medium heavy body, biting, and slightly bitter.

Drinkability: This works well if you are expecting an imperial stout in the Victory storm king vien. This does not work if you are expecting anything resembling pumpkin. The pumpkin is very muted. This is a sipper, but not a personal favorite of mine. I may have this again due to uniqueness, but one per sitting at most.

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Photo of standardcherry
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of jondeelee
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pumpkin Imperial Spruce Stout opens with a malty, slightly spicy aroma that has little, if any, pumpkin notes. Instead, the aromas begin with light stout notes, including chocolate malt, dark and milk chocolate, touches of coffee and cream, and add to that a light sprinkling of spruce (which comes across as a hoppy pine note), and even gentler touches of anise. Some brown sugars also rise to the surface. As a whole, the aromas are light, and tend to fade quickly, but are still enticing.

On the tongue, the beer begins with a huge dose of pine and spruce, making at least that part of the beer's name immediately apparent. The spruce adds a good hint of bitter resin and oil to the mixture, coming across much like what the aroma of a pine tree would taste like if distilled: heavy on sap, lemon, and anise. Beneath that is a decent stout, including coffee, chocolate malt, and ash. Hints of pumpkin add welcome sugary, earthy flavors to the palate, slightly tempering the bitter oils and coffees. Hops bring extra bitterness, as well as lemons and grapefruit zest. But the spruce tips definitely remain throughout the mouthful as the dominant flavor, and even dominate the aftertaste, which lingers in sprucy oils and fading hints of coffee and chocolate malt for quite some time. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is certainly interesting beer, though I'm not sure if I would have ever guessed that pumpkin had been added had it not been so noted on the label. Instead, the spruce dominates with its oily, anise-like presence, and while the flavor is intriguing and nicely nuanced, it does tend to overly color the flavor profile, and does not let the other flavors come through as much as they should. The beer is still worth drinking, but as the label notes, one should "not think this is going to taste like pumpkin pie," and should expect instead a more Christmas-y flavor than a Thanksgiving one.

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Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Varkias41
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of prdstmnky
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of brokentee
4/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of CraigMack61
3.76/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle to snifter.
The appearance was a dark brown close to black color with a finger's worth of eggshell white foamy head that sat atop for a good minute before gently dissipating. Moderate lace ran about.
The aroma started off with a nice dose of the roasted dark malts, somewhat dark chocolate-like with a little bit of coffee beans and a mild sweet sprucy needle freshness playing subtly with a little bit of pumpkin extract. Quaint amount of allspice ever so slightly at the end.
The flavor moderately blended the sweet fresh spuce to the roast and sweetness of those malts. Pumpkin was faint. Semi-smooth aftertaste of the roast, spruce and pumpkin.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sipping quality about it. Some smoothness along my tongue. Carbonation felt fine. ABV felt appropriate.
Overall, pretty nice imperial stout with the pumpkin qualities just faintly coming about. Nice Autumn evening sipper, if anything.

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Photo of Kmlund
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of alleykatking
4.42/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 22oz bottle. Many thanks go out to chefmonty for this bottle in the Halloween BIF this year.

A- Poured a black color which was deep in color even when held to the light. One and a half finger brown head has great retention. Nice thick streaky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- This has a intertesting smell. This of course is not a typical pumpkin beer. Chocoalte malts and light roasted malts come in from the start and stay till the end. The alcohol is very apparent from the middle onward. The spruce tips are very much there in the ending and that really threw me for a loop.

T- Bitter chocolate in the front of the beer. This really comes through the beer for the most part. A light spruce flavor in the middle gets covered up by a coffee ground ending before the spruce has a final bold burst at the tailend of the beer.

M- Medium heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the beer. Bitter chocolate and light spruce left on the palate. Spruce and light alcohol left in the aftertaste with a hint of pumpkin. Alcohol is lightly drying on the palate. The flavors are well balanced and very clean tasting. The flavors are bold and in your face at times.

D- The beer is great tasting. The drinkability on this might vary depending on if you like the spruce tips or not. I personally had no problem drinking my pint of this and wanted more but I split this bottle with a friend. The ABV I think is well hidden. A delight to drink overall interesting take on a pumpkin stout.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.53/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle that is stamped July 19. Not sure if that means expires in July 2019. Sampled on September 8, 2013.

The pour is black as night with a huge, lingering soft tan head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is dark malt and spruce grove forward with a much more muted pumpkin spice note. It's there but you have to seek it out. Some chocolate. No alcohol note. Very enticing aroma.

The body is bold and creamy.

The taste is mildly sweet up front with a piney dressing. Yet it is not overly hopped. Moderately bitter and dry finish. Pumpkins are in the background. Warming and smoother as it goes along.

I'm not sure why it gets low BA ratings. Probably because the pumpkin is not in your face. But this is still a topnotch beer.

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Photo of diamondlie
3.24/5  rDev -9%

Photo of philbe311
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - A finger and a half worth of tightly packed slightly creamy medium khaki colored head with a bit of a batter-like top... Modest retention gives ay to a full but slightly lopsided veil of lacing... The color is a deep dark brown... Only a couple of stray carbonation bubbles can be seen rising on the sides of the glass towards the top...

S - Fairly subdued... The spruce notes are rather muted... Some notes of molasses... Very lightly roasted malts... The pumpkin is quite subtle and buried beneath the surface... Very faint chocolate notes...

T - The spruce tips assert themselves on the palette and provide a surprising bitterness... Some lightly roasted malts... Very faint coffee notes...

M - Medium bodied... A bit thin... A light bit of sharp carbonation... A slightly awkward finish that tends to linger for a while...

D - While I didn't expect a blast of pumpkin, as many have said, it is almost completely absent... The spruce tips provide a unique flavor which prove to be a bit challenging... The mouthfeel really detracts from this one overall... Far from a drain pour, but not one I would neither recommend nor purchase again...

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Photo of Docer
3.86/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acquired in a trade from Ranbot... thanks man, this beer looks really good.

- Dark porter-like brown... semi-cloudy, big light mocha head down to a mess of lace-maker.

- Nice semi-sweet and bitter malt backbone.... certainly a bit of molassesness to it, some spice... light woodiness.... sweet perfume almost.... bitter hopping for sure. Not much pumpkin in smell at all.

- Light and sweet malt... wonderful perfume spruce... floral and fragrant.. plus a nice hop bite... bitterness and pine. Malt is light... caramel, sweet brown sugar sits in the back.... not so much pumpkin though... but that's ok... it is just fine the way it is...

- Great bitter hopping leaves the mouth a touch dry and chewy... light bodied brew with a bold flavor and bite.

*kind of noticed after the fact that this is a stout! Not really to me, more a strong ale... but that's ok!

- Overall this is a great and very unique brew... easy to drink, and leaves some fantastic aftertastes in the mouth.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.41/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. 8.0% ABV, 50 IBU, no date.

Thanks to Thorpe429 for another pumpkin beer!

A - Clear on the pour and totally black in the glass, this stout is topped by a bold, three-finger head. Fantastic retention and some thick lace make it a sexy looking stout.

S - It predominantly smells of roasted malts with subtleties of coffee and dark chocolate which makes this much more of a stout than anything else. Spruce is almost absent from the nose while pumpkin is missing all together. Aroma is a bit thin for a double.

T - Rich roasted malt mirrors the aroma with a hefty helping of dark chocolate and low coffee notes. The spruce is much stronger in the flavor but I still don't get any pumpkin in this.

M - Rich and full-bodied, it's a bit thicker than the aroma makes it out to be. It's very smooth but the light spruce seems to aid in bringing out this light solvent alcohol finish. There's a low bitterness that seems to be a roasted malt and hop combo.

D - Another pumpkin stout let-down to be brutally honest. I picked up no pumpkin in this at all. It should have been one or the other in the brew, not both additions. As a spruce stout it's good, but it's called Pumpkin Imperial Spruce Stout. Reasonably drinkable for a strong stout.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown with an amber glow.

S - Spruce, roasted malts and a touch of maple syrup. Not getting pumpkin at all but a nice nose.

T - Spruce, roasted malts and maple. Decent sweetness overall with some bitterness present as well to provide balance. No pumpkin comes through at all.

M - Medium body, light carbonation.

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Photo of BrewinHeadBanger
5/5  rDev +40.4%

Photo of BTVflatlander
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of jonB
4.05/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an opaque brown with a mocha head that dissipates somewhat quickly. The smell is sweet malts with hints of brown sugar and piney hops. The taste has plenty of malt, which gives it a full mouthfeel and finishes with subtle hoppiness. It finishes dry and even with no hint of alcohol. A very well balanced beer that is great to sip. Not at all what you would expect with pumpkin in the name, but a very nice surprise.

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Photo of u2carew
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber.
A) Pours with a nice, creamy, tan head. Slowly settles. Opaque but not entirely black. Great stickly lacing.
S) Bready. Hints of alcohol. Subtle piney and floral notes more from hops than the "spruce". Roasted coffee. Light chocolate notes.
T) Smokey. Chocolate. Quite bitter. Alcohol is masked well. The pumpkin is missing. The spruce is also lacking.
M) Full bodied. Dry. Chewy.
D) A nice stout. Well crafted. I'd have another. A bitter disappointed with the ill-represented label "pumpkin" and "spruce".

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Photo of Doshkin
2.98/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

a - very dark almost black amber. decent head that dissipated quickly

s - some spicy, hoppy smells. not too strong

t - fair amount of hops for what i expected. bitter. no pumpkin taste at all. this was kind of a weak, hoppy stout

m - bubbly, smooth, spiced

o - this is not very "extreme", as claimed very blatantly across the label. i guess the one good thing about it is that it masks the 8% pretty well. i didn't find this beer particularly impressive in any way. i won't buy it again. would not pick it as a beer to hang out and relax with, and i definitely not drink more than a bottle of it. too bad a got a big bottle to come to these realizations : P

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Pumpkin Imperial Spruce Stout from Rock Art Brewery
Beer rating: 3.56 out of 5 with 201 ratings