Bumblephuq | Al's of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing

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Brewed by:
Al's of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by orangesol on 04-15-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 4 | Ratings: 18
Reviews by StormKing47:
Photo of StormKing47
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of robieobie1. Bumblephuq is definitely a pretty ugly duckling, pouring a muddy and woody brown color, almost completely opaque, and nearly akin to swamp water. The gray-tinted head billows up in a volatile manner but then settles surprisingly quickly to a ring that outlines the glass. Moderate lacing - nothing much, but not bad for a 10%-er.

The aroma is pretty perfumey and fruity, and from the first whiff I can already tell that there's a lot going on in this one. Bubblegum, apple, banana, lots of sweet honey, cake-like yeast, and a mild meshing of spices, perhaps clove, coriander, and maybe even cinnamon. Definitely lots to take it all at once, and I'm sure I've made some incorrect identifications, but the things that stand out to me the most are the heavy honey and the seemingly Belgian-style yeast.

Pizza Boy's website lists Bumblephuq as a "super saison", however I'd have to agree with the cross-listing given on BeerAdvocate as a "Belgian Strong Dark Ale". Heavy esters infiltrate the palate with each sip; spicy and fruity all at once - bananas, pear, apple, cinnamon, mint, clove... I'd say there's a good balance between fruit and spice in that respect.. but yeah, this is definitely more like a Belgian Strong than a saison of any type.

Sweetness is pretty high and the honey from the aroma carries over to the taste buds admirably. Lots of sweet honey flavor, along with Candi sugar, graham cracker and some lightly toasted toffee. As it gets warmer, it gets sweeter and starts to err on the side of being "too sweet", but it never quite reaches off-putting territory. It's got a big ol' body, heavy and thick with a somewhat sticky mouth feel, medium carbonation.

Not a bad beer, but definitely more of a BSDA than a saison, or even a "super" saison as the official website lists. Lots of sweetness, and perhaps a bit too much, although the honey and graham cracker flavors were a nice touch. The yeast plays an integral role in this beer and it's balanced pretty well, so kudos to that. Drinkability was kind of low, only due to the sheer heaviness of the beer and the high sweetness, but it was still not a bad brew.

 2,156 characters

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of BeerLuvver
4.92/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This beer channels Trois Pistoles. A reddish brown appearance with thin lacing, and a welcoming aroma of sweet malt. Big taste, beautiful honey sweetness and subtle spicing. The alcohol sneaks up on you after a few minutes of blissful taste bud nirvana. As my beloved grandmother would say, "it tastes like more."

 313 characters

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of jagada
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of bvdubn
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of brez8791
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of orangesol
3.59/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

**Looks like we are calling this one a Strong Ale now, not a Saison. Going to have to retry it and give it another look.**

Served on-tap at Al's of Hampden.

A - Pours murky brown with a small film of white head, dissipating down to next to nothing, leaving no lace at all down the glass.

S - Smells of lightly funky saison yeast, granny smith apples, honey sweetness, fresh fruit and some light spice. Rather sweet for a saison, I was expecting more funk in the nose.

T - Starts off with plenty of honey sweetness mixed with granny smith apple skins. Hints of fruit, light spice and a bit of saison funk help round things out but this one is dominated by the sweetness. Finish is like the start, sweet apples, lingering on the palate for quite awhile after the finish.

M - Slick, sweet feel with moderate carbonation. The added sweetness really shows itself in this one, threatening to overpower the entire beer.

O - I was expecting more from this one. I don't get a ton of the typical funk from the yeast thanks to all that sweetness. If the sweetness could be toned down I think this one could be really nice. Either way it is worth a shot but nothing earth shattering here.

 1,182 characters

Photo of stakem
3.46/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft offering at the source. Described on the board as a "super saison." The brew appears a hazed golden color with a thin head that is quick to dissolve. A thin stringy lace sticks to the glass.

The aroma is sweet smelling primarily like honey. The faintest suggestion of clove and a mild sweet fresh grainy quality. A slight herbal hop feel evolves as it warms up with almost a zesty sort of orange marmalde character. Not bad but not quite what I was expecting for a saison. The honey aspect seemingly dominates the rest of the aromatics.

The taste is sweet like honey. A faint hint of clove, bubblegum and pear/apple skin fruited aspect across the middle. Some sips yield a hint of cider into the aftertaste coupled with some herbal hop flavor evolving as the brew warms up.

This is a medium to fuller bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. For 10% the alcohol is very well hidden but the sweetness is atypical of what you might expect in the style. If you enjoy honey or sweeter strong brews, you will want to seek this out.

 1,042 characters

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4.25/5  rDev +18.7%

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3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

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3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

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4/5  rDev +11.7%

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2.75/5  rDev -23.2%

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3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

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3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

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3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Bumblephuq from Al's of Hampden / Pizza Boy Brewing
3.58 out of 5 based on 18 ratings.
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