Pumpkin Imperial Spruce Stout | Rock Art Brewery

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82
good
202 Ratings
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Pumpkin Imperial Spruce StoutPumpkin Imperial Spruce Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Rock Art Brewery
Vermont, United States
rockartbrewery.com

Style: American Double / 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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
202
Reviews:
89
Avg:
3.63
pDev:
15.7%
 
 
Wants:
17
Gots:
16
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 202 |  Reviews: 89
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a pretty nice looking stout. The color was black and have a pretty good sized head on it. The lacing was minimal and the head faded after a little while. The smell of the beer was pretty decent, There was some light elements of spruce in there but mostly some aromas of pumpkin spice and roasted malts. The taste didn't have too much pumpkin flavor to it or spruce, it seems a little light on both of those qualities. However, the stout itself is pretty tasty, the dark malts and everything really taste good in this stout. The mouthfeel was nice, had some good body to it and a nice dry feel in the end. Overall this beer is good but I feel like it could have been way better.

 701 characters

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of oline73
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours almost black but it is a reddish brown when held up to the light. There is just under a finger of off white head that goes away completely.

Smell: Roasty with some pine and a hint of sweet, dark fruit.

Taste: I don't think all the flavors work together in this beer. There is a strong bitterness that comes from the roast and some pine as well. There is a slight hint of citrus peel in this one too. I'm missing the pumpkin. The finish is bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very mild carbonation and a finish that is a bit slick.

Overall: I wasn't in love with this beer. I don't think everything worked together and didn't really taste pumpkin.

 712 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a tiny tan head. Smell is near nonexistent. Minimal spruce and roast. Taste is stronger with more spruce and hints of pumpkin. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. Fairly drinkable; nothig is overdone. One of the better things i've had from Rock Art and fairly unique.

 298 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of jlindros
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm glad to see others bringing some pumpkin stouts to the table, rather than overspiced ales.

A creamy rich 1 finger head comes on strong, and fades somewhat slowly, leaving a thick lacing on the sides as it fades. The beer is just about pitch black, about as close as it can get without being so. Just the slights hits of light get through the bottom at the stem of the tulip glass.

The nose has some nice creamy stout aromas, more like a milk stout or possible irish stout than anything. A slight roasted malt, some very light chocolate and creamy milk chocolate. Some dark malt aromas, a little coffee and toffee. A very light boozy aroma, and some light bitterness both from some earthy spicy hops and little bit from the roast. Way in the background I get some vanilla, a slight cocoa nibs, and hints of pumpkin.

Taste starts a little chalky surprisingly. It comes on with a dry Irish stout demeanor, but gets a little too chalky tasting, weird. After that is has a slight creamy stout flavor, some light chocolate and vanilla, some light sweetness. Pretty malty though, plenty of dark malts, some roasted malt and coffee, some light chocolate malts, little caramel, etc. A very slight hint of booze too, but not much. It has some bitterness, but not as much as I expect, and hints of earthy hops. As the taste progresses this really different taste starts to come through, it's bitter and piny, and sprucey... oh wait, it's spruce! It doesn't come out at first, but as the taste goes on it comes on, and boy does it let itself be known. It's almost like pine sap in the background and adds a not so pleasant touch. I get just a hint of pumpkin flavor, but it's almost non-existent. It does get a slightly fluffy flavor too late. As it finishes the spruce continues to bomb my mouth. The piny sap like bitterness and dryness is just harsh. The dry finish also brings a strange feel to it that accentuates the spruce too.

The mouth is creamy and pretty rich, a little sticky, and decent carbonation.

It has a lower but tolerable drinkability, with some of that lingering spruce that bombards a little too much. Some stickiness on the finish as well. The bitterness is not typical either, with that spruce flavor, it's pretty beh. But, for the abv of 8% it does drink well which adds some drinkability.

 2,312 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear but opaque very dark brown bordering on black in color with very light amounts of gentle carbonation along the edges of the glass and some dark cola brown + reddish amber highlights. The beer has a half finger tall tan head that reduces to a medium sized patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of dark roasted malts with some light hints of chocolate. There are light to moderate aromas of spruce with just a hint of pumpkin.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of dark roasted malts along with some chocolate malts. There is a light to moderate flavor of dry cocoa powder and some hints of sweet milk chocolate as well. There are light flavors of pumpkin and spruce. Light amounts of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light hints of dryness and alcohol warming in the finish.

O: Interesting to see someone doing something other than an ale with pumpkin (and not something that tastes like pumpkin pie). I wish the spruce flavors and aromas were a little more prevalent and there was a little more earthiness from the pumpkin.

 1,188 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.86/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dense, beige head that leaves a solid ring of lace after each sip. Dark brown color with a the faintest of light coming through.

Dry cocoa aroma--Lightly chalky. I cannot detect any pumpkin or spruce to the nose. This simply smells like an appealing stout.

This is a very good, dry stout on its own. In fact, I don't pick up any pumpkin or spruce. As an "Imperial Stout", this one is pretty mild--I don't taste alcohol warmth or over-the-top burnt malts. The swallow and aftertaste has plenty of mocha and some peppery hop bitterness.

Okay, it isn't what I was expecting, but it is still a very solid stout.

 615 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Al's of Hampden -served chilled in a pint

A - A deep brown that almost looks black but under the light is just a shade lighter.The tan head settles to a ring and clarity is translucent

S - The smell has a nice spruce element with light roasted grain and mild hop notes w/ a gentle coffee aroma and slight caramel malt odor

M - The feel is roasty, dry and bitter w/ a clean finish

T - The flavor does not give much pumpkin, but the spruce is picked up with a slight resinous tinge and dry bitter flavor. The stout has a nice roasted base and the finish keeps the dry woody lingering

D - A drinkable stout, pumpkin is slightly gimmicky without much presence in the flavor. I would drink it again as it is a pretty nice beer for the style if you like spruce in your beer

 794 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A –Nice ruby brown body. Light tan head is creamy with great retention and ok lace.

S – Brown sugar, chocolate malt, fruit cake, woody bitters and a hint of light coffee.

T – Roasted malt with just a touch of smoke. Tree bark, molasses, and a kiss of fresh pumpkin through the center. Char and pine on the backend.

M – Light body for the style, but not unpleasant. More porter than stout.

O – Light on the pumpkin, but over the profile is fresh and piney with a well integrated profile. Tastes almost like a wet-hop stout.

 537 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 8/27/10 notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a dark black color with a few inches of brown head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, alcohol, and vanilla. No pumpkin at all.

t - Taste is very similiar to the nose. Mostly chocolate and roasted malts, with hints of alcohol, vanilla, and dark fruits. Again, no pumpkin here.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, I thought it was pretty smooth and creamy, and very easy to drink.

d - A pretty nice stout from Rock Art that was very easy to drink, but it really doesn't have any pumpkin in the smell or taste at all. Would try again but if you're looking for a pumpkin beer, go with something else.

 710 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Bruce for the opportunity to try this one.
Pours a solid dark brown/black color with a smallish off white head that quickly dissipates to a cap. Smells of roast caramel and ash with a spicy earthy menthol aroma that I assume is spruce. This beer smells a bit oxidized or maybe that's a mix of spruce and pumpkin. The flavor is a bit spicy and roasty. Herbal spicy menthol hits up front followed by a roasty caramel and toffee. This finishes with a long lingering bitterness that seems more intense than just hops. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a roasty bitter mouthfeel. This one is certainly out of the box, but it really didn't work all that well for me. The pumpkin is almost non existent and the spruce adds a harsh bitterness that I really couldn't get into.

 796 characters

Photo of BMart
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of stakem
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes taken on 9/26/10.

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass and shared with a friend who was insistent I pick this one up to try. It appears a dark brown color with lighter brown around the edges. A finger of tan head appears and retains fairly well. Spotty lace clings to the glass.

Aroma is dark sweet malts almost like molasses mixed with a bit of citrus and some other spices. Some fresh grainy character mixed with alcohol is noticed in the background.

The taste of this brew is bitter upfront from a combination of dark grains and the flavor of the spruce. The overall grainy, dark roasted flavor is quite bitter but a bit watery in the feel. The bitterness lasts long into the aftertaste. Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation.

Overall not bad but honestly not pickin up on any of the pumpkin contribution, not even the typical pumpkin pie spices. If you buy this brew expecting an imperial stout you will be let down. I believe the only "imperial" aspect of this brew is the amount of spruce used. Not quite a stout, not quite a pumpkin ale.

 1,082 characters

Photo of chippo33
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of smakawhat
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at Rock Art Brewery into a taster shaker pint glass.

A dark brownish red body, pretty dark, presented with a faint tan collar. Looks inviting.

Nose is quite diverse. Cola soda. Beech nut and nutmeg. THere's a little bit of faint spicy toffee in the background. This smells very strange, and nothing like a pumpkin beer.

Taste seems to match the nose quite correctly. No sense of dense pumpkin body, lots of burnt charcoal without any sweet grainy tastes. Finishes with hop pine and a twiggy woody character no doubt because of spruce tips added I am guessing. Finish is wet and also a little burning.

Interesting beer, probably like it because it doesn't taste like a regular pumpkin beer, but not really drawn to wanting this again.

 751 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is jet black, with some dark mahogany highlights around the edges, and a thick, dense, creamy head that is light tan, and slowly settles into a filmy coating. Aromas of roast, bitter coffee, hints of pumpkin sweetness, spruce highlights, bittersweet chocolate, and earthy tones. Flavors are roast and sweet initially, with highlights of pumpkin, a solid dose of bittersweet baker's chocolate, woody notes, and hints of pumpkin. Creamy overtones help round some edges and keep an overall balance. The body is robust, creamy, and smooth throughout. The aftertaste is smoked, roasted, and bitter, with a chocolate and subtle pumpkin linger. Bitter, slightly dry finish, with a roasted linger. Good, solid, tasty brew.

 764 characters

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Pumpkin Imperial Spruce Stout from Rock Art Brewery
3.63 out of 5 based on 202 ratings.
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