Retribution - Pumpkin
DuClaw Brewing Company

Retribution - PumpkinRetribution - Pumpkin
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Style:
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #1,803
ABV:
11.2%
Score:
90
Ranked #9,666
Avg:
3.98 | pDev: 10.8%
Reviews:
19
Ratings:
100
From:
DuClaw Brewing Company
 
Maryland, United States
Avail:
Fall
Wants
  6
Gots
  19
SCORE
90
Outstanding
Retribution - PumpkinRetribution - Pumpkin
Notes:
Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 100
Reviews by stakem:
Photo of stakem
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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of jzeilinger
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of makeitavintage
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of Chaney
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of bespin15
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of clayrock81
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.

 893 characters

Photo of huysmans
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of GreenMind
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Morey
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of philbe311
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...

 2,170 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of tigg924
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.

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Photo of Thesoundandthefury
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.

 329 characters

Photo of ckollias
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of reizorc
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of corby112
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.

 1,253 characters

Photo of 2dogbrew
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of KAP1356
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of wrightst
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of mikeincharleston
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of xnicknj
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of scottfrie
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.

 900 characters

Photo of Drknight
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

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