Retribution - Pumpkin
DuClaw Brewing Company

Retribution - PumpkinRetribution - Pumpkin
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Stout - American Imperial
Ranked #2,075
Ranked #11,654
3.98 | pDev: 10.8%
DuClaw Brewing Company
Maryland, United States
Retribution - PumpkinRetribution - Pumpkin
View: Beers
Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 100 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of q33jeff
q33jeff from New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Aged 2 years. 2013 bottle. Very Smokey. Not sure the pumpkin helps this great beer, or maybe 2 years was too long to age. Still very nice. Lots of whiskey, spice, malt. After taste is dry and bitter. Hurt my throat, but that’s probably my cold.

Sep 18, 2016
Photo of corby112
corby112 from Pennsylvania

4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black and opaque with a 1.5 finger frothy beige head that very slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Very good retention with large streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Very interesting aroma with a huge autumnal/pumpkin pie spice presence that's nicely integrated into the characteristics of a boozy bourbon barrel stout. Lots of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and clove. Maybe some peppermint as well. This is countered by boozy bourbon barrel/charred oak that has subtle toasted coconut and vanilla bean. Silky and roasted malts underneath with hints of coffee bean, burnt toast, burnt sugar and bitter dark cocoa. The roast is countered by silky dessert-like sweetness with fudge, molasses and toffee.

Really well balanced and complex. Prominent spice character with heavy cinnamon, allspice and clove flavor along with some vanilla and nutmeg. The spiciness adds dryness that's complimented by charred oak and boozy bourbon. Underneath the barrel there's a nice balance of sweet and roasted dark malt notes. Chocolate, coffee bean, toast and bitter cacao. Kind of like a pumpkin pie puréed into a bourbon barrel stout. The sweet pumpkin and zesty atumanl spices add a extra layer of complexity that improves the base beer.

Nov 20, 2015
Photo of tigg924
tigg924 from Massachusetts

4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bottle date is 2013. Pours opaque, black, with minimal head. Smell is bourbon. Taste is big bourbon, roasted malt, with oak, vanilla, and light pumpkin spice. Cinnamon and nutmeg linger at the end although the sugar and pumpkin spice surface more as the beer warms. Nice and thick bodied. Makes for an interesting take on an imperial stout. Not sure if I would get this again due to the price, but makes for a great beer. Certainly glad I tried this. This is at the top of the pumpkin stouts that I have had.

Sep 30, 2015
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie from California

4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle into snifter. Bottled 10/15/13. Thanks Josh!

A: Pours a thick very dark brown, near black, color with a finger of dense looking dark tan head that slowly faded into a wispy film and fuzzy collar. Spotty lace.
S: Vanilla, smashed pumpkin, rich chocolate, and a touch of barrel character. Good but not great.
T: Thick rich cocoa and chocolate hit first followed by mild pumpkin spice and a touch of black licorice. The finish has hints of toasted coconut, vanilla, and semisweet bourbon. There's a touch of caramel and mint in the aftertaste along with a lingering amount of peppery spice. Spicy and chocolatey overall, with a nice touch of bourbon and pumpkin.
M: Full body, slick yet chewy mouthfeel, softish carb, mild bitterness, solid spice.
O: Solid. A great base stout with a touch of pumpkin, but I think I like original better. Very smooth and delicious. Thanks again StormKing47.

Sep 29, 2015
Photo of Jeffreysan
Jeffreysan from Maryland

4.62/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

32 oz growler, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, pitch black color with thin wispy clouds of head that completely dissolved away to form a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Lots of roasted malt and whiskey, thanks to the aging in the bourbon barrels. Some notes of smoke, vanilla, caramel, but not much at all in the way of hops.

Taste: Boozy malt bomb up front, followed by some whiskey and then tons of caramel. Strong notes of roasted malt and a little smoke. Finally, there is no hops bitterness to speak of, which I overall prefer.

Mouthfeel: Very chewy, with no carbonation whatsoever, but that could be because it was poured out of a growler. With an ABV of 11.5%, there is a significant alcohol presence on the palate, a very pleasant warming.

Overall: Jesus, this is another awesome imperial stout! I love how much caramel there is in the flavor, and how nicely it’s balanced with the roasted, smoky malt. Delicious!

Jan 15, 2015
Photo of beatenbyjacks
beatenbyjacks from Colorado

3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

for a beer this big is drank quite nice and there was just enough pumpkin for me to know it was a pumpkin beer. wish there was a little more pumpkin, but hard to complain about a double digit beer that is this easy to drink.

Dec 23, 2014
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek from New York

3.71/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle shared by Curran last night.

This one pours a fairly dark black, with a mocha-colored head of about one inch, and a good amount of lacing.

This smells chocolate, coffee, vanilla, a small amount of pumpkin, and a hint of bourbon.

The taste runs pretty similarly for me- not as much pumpkin as I'd expect, but a good amount of dark chocolate and dark roasted malt, and a bit of bourbon and oak. Doesn't honestly feel like the barrel aging did a whole lot here. When I see barrel-aged pumpkin stout, I expect those advertised flavors to be a bit more prominent. It's slightly disappointing that it's not.

This is fairly thick bodied, with a full and creamy mouthfeel, and a slightly higher than expected amount of carbonation, giving it a prickly finish.

This had some issues that I described above- it was a well-made stout, but didn't stand out in terms of the expected flavors I wanted to get.

Dec 14, 2014
Photo of EvoRich
EvoRich from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Saved this for today, Thanksgiving. Mine has a little over a year on it. Out of the barrel date was September 2013.

Look: Pours nearly pitch black with just a touch of brown, pours with a thin tan reddish head which fades very quickly to nothing more than a small ring.

Smell: Bourbon and chocolate. Not much pumpkin But it smells great regardless. Hoping pumpkin shows up a bit more in the flavor.

Taste: Well, sad to say, I don't get much pumpkin. I still get a lot of bourbon, wood, and burnt, dark chocolate flavors. Has a nice sweet, yet burn flavor. I'd say almost too much bourbon, too strong. If the bourbon wasn't so strong, I'd have rated it a bit higher.

Feel: Very full bodied and creamy. Has a nice slight bourbon burn to it.

Overall: It's hard to rate this, because as a beer, it's pretty good. But, the smell and taste don't really match the name. I get very little to no pumpkin aroma or flavors. Like I said, it's pretty good, but on the other hand a let down, because I was expecting a bourbon soaked, pumpkin flavor explosion. Instead, it's basically just very strong bourbon aged beer.

Nov 27, 2014
Photo of thedoubler55
thedoubler55 from New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

A: A very dark brown in color with a nice finger tan head at the top that left some nice lacing around the glass as you drank it.

S: Lots of bourbon up front, with hints of chocolate, caramel and some cinnamon as well, I thought the nose had barely any pumpkin.

T: Up front lots of chocolate and bourbon along with some caramel as well, the spices from the pumpkin are barely noticeable. I didnt get much of it when I drank this one.

M:Medium/heavy bodied, good amount of carbonation, a little spicy on the tail end.

O: Not a bad beer, was just expecting more from a beer that costs so much, I think I paid $27 for this brew, not a lot of pumpkin at all, lots of bourbon I expected more pumpkin from this one.

Nov 17, 2014
Photo of OpusMike
OpusMike from Delaware

3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Poured from a 22 oz bottle. Barrel aged from March to September 2013. Almost black with little head. Smelled and tasted of bourbon. No pumpkin and very little spice. An ok bourbon beer, but too expensive.

Nov 04, 2014
Photo of pasjc2001
pasjc2001 from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

I had this beer at the World of Beer in Baltimore. I told the bartender I'm not a fan of pumpkin, and his response was "Don't worry, you won't taste it." And he was right. You don't really notice the pumpkin flavors. It's really the rest of the pumpkin pie flavors and additives. If you're looking for a pumpkin beer that doesn't have the pumpkin flavor, this is your beer right here.

Sep 20, 2014
Photo of Stevedore
Stevedore from Oregon

3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, bottling date 10/15/2013. Thanks Doug. Poured into an unlabeled snifter today, 1/20/2014.

Pour is dark brown, almost opaque. Not quite black. Comes with a thick, one finger brown, mocha head, great retention, keeps a nice top on the beer. No lacing.

Smell- sharp pumpkin, gourds, spices- some cinnamon, a bit of nutmeg- some chocolate and coffee, roast malts. A lot is going on here and the nose is strong.

Flavour- heavier on the roast malts, chocolate, coffee. Sweet but not cloying. A bit of oak comes out here as well. Gourds and spices are complementary here, as it should be.

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, decent carbonation that adds a creamy component, finish is of crisp spices mixed with oak. Some heat that makes it a bit of a chore to drink.

Overall- Very interesting flavour profile. Sweet, not cloying but certainly not crushable. Pumpkins are still very strong. If you like pumpkin beers for the taste of straight-up pumpkin, try something else like Good Gourd or Pumking. If you enjoy pumpkin beers that have the base beer being as robust as the pumpkin, this could very well be for you.

Jan 21, 2014
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81 from Florida

3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a blackish body with one finger tan head on top of an impressive aroma, at least in terms of quantity, in that a large chunk of roasted malts are present, little bits of biscuit, toffee, dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and some type of pepperiness which I am assuming would lend itself to the pumpkin aspects of this beer. Beer is fuller bodied and chewy, even bready, and goes down smooth thanks to the barrels. Roasted malts in the beer are in charge but balance comes from not only decent carbonation but some chocolate, toffee, and touches of pumpkin stuff (cinnamon and nutmeg, along with pepper is my guess), and there are also touches of vanilla and bourbonesque booze. A good beer but in my opinion the pumpkin is barely there and doesn't really change anything from the original. Also, one of the beers that price directly effected a rating b/c it's not worth the $20+ I paid.

Dec 08, 2013
Photo of RandomExile
RandomExile from Maryland

3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: black, opaque, just a faint rim of tan head, scattered lacing
S:bourbon, chocolate
T: powerful! More chocolate than pumpkin, really, with notable spice, absolutely delicious but maybe too much for a full glass
M: medium-to-full-bodied, edged fuller because of its rich, savory texture
O: Excellent flavors, but strong. If you don't want to over-sate yourself, I'd recommend serving this as an after-dinner dessert beer in a 5oz tasting glass at most, served wtih apple pie and ice cream.

Served in a snifter.

Nov 12, 2013
Photo of 57md
57md from Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours black in color with a finger of frothy tan head that retains rather well. The nose has the definite presence of bourbon but it also has caramel notes as well. The flavor profile includes dark fruits, bourbon and a trace of chocolate. The roast profile is not terribly bold. The finish was dry with a slight alcohol burn and a touch of sourness that could come from the pumpkins.

Not much pumpkin present in this offering. Not having had Retribution, it is hard for me to say how it differs from its parent beer.

Nov 03, 2013
Photo of philbe311
philbe311 from Pennsylvania

3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I was tempted to age this one a year or so, but couldn't resist...

A - Slightly less that a fingers worth of active dark menacing brown froth... Limited retention as this one quickly fizzes away... All that is left is the slightest of splotchy lacings and an uber thin collar... The color is a dark flat black with a dark raspberry red hue lingering beneath the surface... Completely still with no discernible carbonation...

S - A huge nose with lots going on... The bourbon barrel aging is at the forefront... It's a bit hot, but still rather pleasant and inviting... Next up are the traditional stout notes... Chocolate nibs and some light roasted malts... Not picking up anything in terms of pumpkin... I'm trying to trick myself into thinking there is a hint of spice, but I don't think it's there... Since this one is listed as an American Double / Imperial Stout, that's not a big deal in my book... Very nice aroma... Lots of depth and a good bit of complexity...

T - There's a lot going on in terms of flavor... The barrel aging is present but much more subdued... The stout components are dialed up a notch... The roasted malt is more prominent... The dark chocolate notes are subtle but present... The pumpkin becomes much more apparent and is what I think really smooths out what I expected to be a bit of a boozy mess... It's a mix of sweet pumpkin puree and subtle spiciness... While it's much better than expected there's a bit too much going on and I'm not sure all the diverse flavors compliment one another the way I would expect...

M - Full bodied... A bit chalky and a bit gritty... A limited bit of prickly carbonation...

D - I wasn't quite sure what expect... I figured this would either be a big hit or a big miss, but it reaches respectability somewhere in the middle... So so appearance, excellent aroma, interesting but slightly conflicted flavor and a somewhat sub par mouthfeel... Definitely much more a stout than a pumpkin beer... I'll have no problem putting down that rest of the bottle... Additionally, it should be noted my wife is surprisingly a big fan of this brew and she doesn't usually take kindly to barrel aged stouts...

Nov 03, 2013
Photo of gillagorilla
gillagorilla from Maryland

3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Max's during BBW 2013 (from notes, 10/27/13).

A: Pitch black with a bit of lacing.

S: Spicy. Cinnamon. Clove. Allspice.

T: Roasted malts. Pumpkin pie spice. Sweet malt. Smokey at the end with a malt and spice aftertaste.

M: Prickly and coarse.

O: I enjoyed it but it really is just Retribution with Pumpkin spices in it.

Oct 29, 2013
Photo of Thesoundandthefury
Thesoundandthefury from Washington

3.06/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Once again, Duclaw has proved they are big on hit or miss. A beautiful looking beer that falls short in all other categories. This basically tastes like whiskey and oak. Amazing that 6 months in the barrel can do that, but frankly this beer is way out of wack. Too much barrel, no pumpkin, no spice, and little stout. OK at best.

Oct 24, 2013
Photo of stakem
stakem from Pennsylvania

3.07/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Bomber into a matching retribution goblet. The pour is black in color with a dark brown finger of head that quickly and audibly cracks and fades to a thin film. This is a mean looking brew with a thin edging of brown around the edges when held to the light. Some strings of lace stick to the glassware.

The aroma opens with cinnamon and nutmeg, quite spicy with roasted grain imparting notes of coffee, chocolate and then some raw, harsh oak. There is an overall almost cola quality about this that isnt that appetizing mixed with anise. Burying my nose in the glass and with swirls, it smells of straight sulfur. Once it goes beyond ideal temperature some enjoyable barrel character like vanilla and caramel blends with the spices.

The taste is dry and roasty with a bitterness like strong coffee coupled with solvent alcohol and herbal hops. Mid palate the neutral spirit seems like cheap vodka rather than bourbon. Somewhat earthy and ashy with a mild note of cinnamon and nutmeg. The barrel aging seemingly makes the brew even more harsh and tannic instead of mellowing it out and giving it the expected vanilla and caramel flavors indicative of other barrel aged beers.

This is a medium to heavier bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. On paper, it sounds awesome...however, in your glass its an utter failure. The barrel aging is all harsh and not nuanced. The spicing is muddled and disjointed. The sulfur and mineral quality is off-putting. However, some sips are enjoyable while others are bad. Such a strange, polarizing beer that seemingly changes my opinion with every sip. I cant believe I was dumb enough to pay an extra $10 for them to just throw pumpkin spices into retribution. Not recommended...especially at the $20+ price point.

Oct 19, 2013
Retribution - Pumpkin from DuClaw Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 100 ratings