Maple Mistress Imperial Ale | Saucony Creek Brewing Company + Gastropub

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Maple Mistress Imperial AleMaple Mistress Imperial Ale
Very Good
Maple Mistress Imperial AleMaple Mistress Imperial Ale

Brewed by:
Saucony Creek Brewing Company + Gastropub
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Pumpkin Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
In the autumn of 1720, Captain Jack Rachman and his pirate-mates were celebrating their victories in typical hard-drinking tradition. Suddenly a British Navy sloop surprised them. The drunken pirates hid below deck, leaving Captain Jack’s mistresses Anne Bonney and Mary Read to defend the ship. The women shared a reputation as “fierce hell cats,” but the British Navy eventually overtook the pirate ship. Captain Jack and the pirates were sentenced to hang. Anne visited her lover in his cell before his execution, and instead of loving words her scathing comments live on throughout history, “Had you fought like a man, you need not have been hang’d like a dog.” Their legacy inspired us to brew an equally ferocious Imperial Pumpkin Ale brewed with pirate rum spices. We added a touch of autumn flavor with roasted butternut squash and natural maple syrup.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 88 | Ratings: 515
Photo of drtth
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The clear orange tinged amber colored beer pours out into a snifter glass with a 1/2” white head that recedes fairly soon to a small ring of lacing, a thin, irregular island of foam on the surface of the liquid and scattered small patches of lacing on the sides of the glass. Sipping creates scattered patches and small legs of lacing which mostly slide back down to the liquid.

The aromas are fairly gentle but do include some pumpkin and squash along with noticeable spices such as cinnamon, clove, and some vanilla. There’s also some maple syrup and just a bit of malt.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with the maple and spices up front but nicely blended with and not totally concealing some squash/pumpkin. The maple/malt sweetness has some cinnamon, clove, and vanilla. There’s also a bit of spicy bitterness showing. The spicy bitterness is fairly complex and seems to include a hint of black pepper and a light touch of ginger. The alcohol is well hidden here.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with the light, finely bubbled carbonation. The finish is fairly long and begins as the pumpkin/squash and maple/malt sweetness begin to fade into a long spicy, semi-dry ending.

Overall this strikes me as both a drinkable and an enjoyable one-a-night once-in-a-while beer made for the kind of slow sipping that happens after dinner with a digestif, or in front of a fireplace with a good book. The spices are both noticeable and well integrated as part of the aroma/flavor profile along with the maple/malt sweetness and the pumpkin/squash.

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Photo of Shade1951
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Not sure about this one.

Poured from bottle into glass. Murky, swampy medium brown. Little head. Smell is rather pleasant. I do detect syrup and spices. Flavor isn't bad. I think the problem for me is the spice that reminds me of what's used in pumpkin ale, which is not a favorite of mine. Fortunately, this tastes better than pumpkin beer.

Carbonation is fine, body is about medium. Alcohol doesn't overwhelm.

I wouldn't seek it out, but I wouldn't turn it down if offered.

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Photo of stevoj
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Beer Heaven. Murky dark Amber, small beige ring of head. Sweet aroma, gourds, spices. Taste brings the maple forward, a bit more sweetness, recalling some nice baked squash, with marshmallows. Definitely fall themed, but stands up all year long.

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
3.07/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

It pours brown with lots of floating material. The aroma is very spicy and boozy to the point of being overwhelming. The taste is not as sweet as the nose would suggest but still a bit too much in terms of overall flavor. Some late bitterness. Very little carbonation.

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Photo of Cunny123
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

9.5% abv, but it doesn't come through as harsh. Very smooth, however the maple faded after a couple sips. Nonetheless, the spices remained strong throughout.

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Photo of stakem
3.21/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a snifter appears copper in color with an off-white head thats quick to fade.

The aroma is of typical pumpkin spice beers - earthy nutmeg and cinnamon at the foreground with some starch pumpkin/yam character mingled with caramel/maple/toffee and fruitiness of alcohol. Some herbal hops bring up the backend.

The taste is a direct mimic of the nose with a stronger focus on the alcohol and vegetative yam/pumpkin notes and herbal hoppy bitterness.

This is medium in body with modest carbonation. Overall pretty average. Im glad i got to try it but would not purchase.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.56/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle

hazy light brown in color. aroma is herbal fall spices - nutmeg, clove. Taste is fairly sweet, with the same spices at a moderate level. Don't really pick up any maple or pumpkin. thin to medium bodied.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours cloudy brown color with decent off white head that lasts a good bit.

Aroma - Getting some gingerbread cookie, nutmeg, allspice, some caramel and maple syrup hints of pumpkin.

Taste - Taste is very similar to the aroma, pumpkin, nutmeg, maple syrup and brown sugar.

Feel - Medium bodied, creamy no sign of the alcohol very smooth.

Overall - A nice pumpkin ale smells wonderful tasty and the alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

-imperial ale with butternut and maple syrup.

A: Amber ice tea coloring, high density factor, good carbonation with a nice pie crust colored head. A thin, milky froth covering is fairly quick to dissipate.

S: An almost scotchy, smokey caramel scent, some barrel wood and burnt maple syrup. Spiciness of dried apple, fruit, flowery hops and dried orange with some dark fruit of figs provides a nice scent.

T: Flavor of sweet caramelized bread and brown sugar. Spicing of cinnamon, brown sugar, apple fruit with some sweet orange. Smoky maple syrup, figs and starfruit with toasted malt.

M: Thick and syrupy body, good carbonation texture.

O: Overall sweet malting and maple syrup meets a smoky backing, an almost scotch ale like feel. Dessert style like drink.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap 12/16/2016 at British Beer Company in Walpole, MA, served in a nonic pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains pumpkin, maple, spices, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out very sweet with strong flavors of maple, pumpkin, brown sugar, spices and fruit. Then a hearty malt character comes in. the hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for a stronger beer in the style.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.36/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 9.5% abv

Appearance- Dark red/brown, Medium head with course bubbles that recedes almost instantly. Semi clear.

Smell- Rich sugar maple syrup aroma. Molasses, caramel malt

Taste- Dry semi grainy, caramel malt. Increases in sweetness. The syrup flavor kicks in midway. Finishes dry, nutty, and with a phenolic, medicinal flavor.

Mouthfeel- Medium heavy in body with low carbonation.

Overall- A decent flavored brown ale. Evident maple flavor. Could use some flavor tweeks to make it much better.

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Photo of Marraybay
3/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Typical-obligatory pumpkin-esque flavors-spices apparent, but with a more overall vinous character, which drinkers and nondrinkers alike noted when sniffing. Found the last warming one-third of the pour to be perhaps the most drinkable, given that it exhibited more warmth and character after some of the opening spice and fruit notes had subsided. Dark amber, without much head, and a bit cloudy, alcohol present, but not overwhelming. Paired with Thanksgiving dinner.
Meh....interesting, but given that I'm not a great fan of the style in general, I wouldn't revisit.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

32 oz growler purchased at Trenton Road Take Out 11/26. Poured into Carton Dubviant Glass.

L: Dark orange-brown color, very hazy and opaque. Light tan/offwhite 1F+ head with little retention, but fair amount of lacing and cap and ring.

S: A good dose of cinnamon and nutmeg, along with maple and pumpkin/squash (butternut does a nice impression of pumpkin when roasted)

T: Pumpkin spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and light maple flavors. A little bit of alcohol heat on the very end.

F: Medium bodied, light carbonation. Pretty decently balanced and constructed, though a bit of heat leaks out on the end despite the ABV not being monstrous.

O: All in all, a decent pumpkin ale with good flavor, and very enjoyable.

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Photo of ordybill
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a very cloudy light brown with a medium sized off-white head. The aroma is oddly of strong banana. The taste matched the smell. An average beer.

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Photo of Irishman_Scott
4.8/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I enjoyed this one and will definitely give it a good rating. Cloudy appearance with very little head to it, but all in all didn't look too terrible. Smelled good and you could definitely smell spices. It was a bit fizzy, but not too bad. Tastes pretty good and I tasted a lot of pumpkin and spices, with maybe a bit of maple. All in all, a very good beer in my opinion. Pretty smooth for the ABV it has too.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz

Pours a clear amber orange, ring of off-white lacing for a head.

Smells of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices with some hints of nutmeg and brown sugar.

Flavor of squash, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple syrup over a dry bready malt.

Medium to full body with stinging carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

An odd one, this tends most closely towards a pumpkin ale. The mixing of butternut squash and spices is especially pumpkin-like in the aroma, although the flavor is noticeably distinct. The addition of maple makes this quite rich in flavor, but somehow it still manages to be a tad on the bland side. Otherwise quite good actually if you like pumpkin or spiced ales. Worth trying.

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Photo of pagriley
2.88/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz into snifter

Pours slightly cloudy pale orange with 1 inch head
Sharp spices (nutmeg? Clove?). No maple I can find. Spices overpower.
More of the same on the palate - some of the pumpkin pokes through. Hot alcohol
Lighter bodied for the ABV, decent mouth feel

Overall this doesn't work for me. I am not a huge spiced beer fan to begin with, and in this one, the dominant spice combined with the hot ABV makes for a harsh experience

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

$ 2.29/12 oz ($ 0.190/oz) at State Line Liquors, Elkton, MD
Undated bottle at 42 degrees into hand washed and dried JK snifter, allowed to warm to 50 degrees
Aroma weak, somewhat spicy (Nutmeg?)
Head small (< two cm, aggressive pour), off white, frothy, rapidly diminishing to one to two mm irregular ring and thin partial layer
Lacing none
Body dark amber, cloudy (Sediment in bottle, NOT labeled as bottle conditioned), slight effervescence
Flavor slightly sweet and spicy, perhaps nutmeg and cinnamon; no hops, no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.75, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4.25, Overall 4

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Photo of crisis1290
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad beer. I was given a few bottles, from the initial run, to try from a friend. I am a fan of this brewery and their products. Not a lot of carbonation. This had a hints of cinnamon and vanilla and something, else, but I cant figure it out. Saucony Creek puts out quite a few beers with some serious ABV and this one does not disappoint. Used this beer to make a great spice cake !!!

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Photo of cplaya280
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of the top pumpkin tasting beers along with weyerbacher imperial pumpkin, and southern tier pumpking especially with this having a 9.5% abv

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Photo of ajilllau
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

I thought this beer looked like pond water and I was initially turned off by it. It had a unique smell to it, not necessarily pumpkin but it was hard to place. The taste was nice. It's not heavy and the 9.5%abv is definitely masked. It's lighter than most pumpkin ales I've had which is not a bad thing. Some I can only drink one because of the heaviness and spice. I could drink more than one of these. The squash is so unique and enjoyable. It's not a super memorable beer but I would drink again. I would not put it on draft at my bar because there are many other pumpkin options but it's still unique and enjoyable.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This delivers a nice pumpkin malt flavor. The maple then becomes evident with a moderate sweetness before the nutmeg and cinnamon glide in. It's nearly 10% but drinks very smooth and light.

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Photo of smcolw
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Moderate head which leaves some streaks on the glass. Dark amber color and nearly clear.

Smells like a mulled cider: clove, cinnamon and possibly lavender. It also smells sweet. (It took me awhile, but I finally identified the vanilla--the predominate smell and flavor,)

Starts with a neutral malt, but this quickly yields to the aforementioned spices. This makes the brew original. I note that I don't get any hop or maple. There is some strong vanilla that wasn,t expected. The body is rich with a low level of carbonation. I note strong alcohol in the swallow. Short aftertaste.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Having a pumpkin beer this late in the year sound crazy but its not pumpkin its SQUASH!

A - Has a 1/2 inch of head that fizzes out rather quickly. Beer color is a real hazy light amber brown so as expected for 2-3 months old this beer has collected some sediment.
S - Very nice rounded squash smell not vegital with balanced nutmeg and cinnamon spicing.
T - Not Bad! Its been my experience with pumpkin ales after a while the vegital taste gets strong as a beer aged but squash seems to age nicely. Can't complain about the spicing because AGAIN its aged so spices like coffee tends to fade in time but its still has enough snap to make it taste great. Maple with my experience is fermented out so the idea of maple is nice for sweetness but it leaves the finish dry but this is quite smooth and sweet. I love it!
M - Quite smooth a real wintertime treat so drinkable for 9%!

Overall I may go back for a couple more and WILL buy some fresh hopefully next year to compare and possibly up my score. As it stands now this beer taste exceptional and drinks FANTASTIC!

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.14/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

In many aspects, this smells like your run-of-the-mill pumpkin ale, as the fall spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice), but in many other ways, it most certainly isn't typical. For instance, there is a gentle butternut squash character which is ever-so-slightly more savory than pumpkin. The lack of a prominent maple character is disappointing, however. Its flavor profile is much the same way, with the squash adding more savory touches than pumpkin would have. The spicing appears around the mid-taste, and isn't overly intense. Where I'm let down, again, is in the lack of maple character. There is one thing that really impresses me, though - the drinkability. While its body is slightly thin for its ABV ("aided" by its healthy carbonation), I'm amazed how easily this goes down for 9.5%. Definitely not the greatest beer ever, but any 9.5% monster that can drink like it's 5% earns a little respect in my book - now, if only it had some sort of maple character...

3.14/5: If nothing else, she's dangerous

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Maple Mistress Imperial Ale from Saucony Creek Brewing Company + Gastropub
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 515 ratings