Bourbon Imperial Screamin' Pumpkin
Griffin Claw Brewing Company

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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Pumpkin Beer
Ranked #17
ABV:
9%
Score:
90
Ranked #3,296
Avg:
4.17 | pDev: 13.67%
Reviews:
13
Ratings:
131
From:
Griffin Claw Brewing Company
 
Michigan, United States
Avail:
Fall
Wants
  22
Gots
  18
SCORE
90
Outstanding
Notes:
Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 131 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Drinkingalesonly
4.9/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I think Beer advocate is a very good site. But please get rid of the category "feel". No guy ever asked another guy, hey how does that beer feel in your mouth....... Just a useless category.

That being said, this was far and away the best pumpkin ale I've ever had by a longshot. Flavor profiles all over the place, the bourbon nuances, the smooth pumpkin flavor along with some earthy spices have made this one of my top 10 beers of all time. I went to the Griffin claw brewery in Rochester last night. I was fortunate enough to order this beauty as my first beer of the night. I'll make sure to come back in a few weeks just for this beer. Dont miss out if you stop in or see this beer for sale.

I forgot to ask the staff if they sell this at Meijer or any grocery stores, or if it's only offered at the Griffin claw brewery.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.75/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

8oz glass at Beer Revolution YEG Oliver Square - the leftovers from a tap takeover a few weeks ago that I ignored out of necessity. At any rate, I managed to miss out totally on pumpkin brews this year, so count this as my token effort.

This beer appears a clear, medium bronzed amber colour, with one finger of puffy, finely foamy, and somewhat bubbly beige head, which leaves a few instances of cannonball splash aftermath lace around the glass as things slowly sink away.

It smells of vegetal pumpkin puree, bready and doughy caramel malt, a faint Bourbon woodiness, and some muddled earthy spice. The taste is sugary rye and corn whiskey, grainy and bready caramel malt, biscuity toffee, a muted and generic gourd fleshiness, and some tame nutmeg and cinnamon spiciness.

The carbonation is adequate in its palate-supporting frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and generally smooth, with nothing really getting in the way of a swell time here. It finishes off-dry, the malt and faded pumpkin pie essences presiding.

Overall - this comes across as a pleasantly rendered version of the augmented style, with both the pumpkin and Bourbon barrel characters not overplaying their hands. If I had to try one of these overpriced import offerings, I suppose that I am glad that it was this one.

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Photo of Sparty1224
4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 1 Pt. 6 Fl. oz. bomber poured into a Founder's Backwood's Bastard snifter. 2017 edition.

A: Pours a pretty clear burnt orange color. Minimal off-white head.

S: Mostly bourbon up front. Fresh, wet barrels. Underneath is a lot of fresh pumpkin puree.

T: Up front hits the big bourbon character again. Quite boozy. Middle and finish come with more fresh pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon. On the sweeter side, but not overpowering.

M: Medium body. Not a ton of carbonation. Very, very boozy. Drinks way above the 9% ABV.

O: Not a ton of experience in this style, but I like this one a lot. It's a great base beer to begin with. I'd really only want to see this or Ichabod barrel-aged. My only gripe is that it's a bit too barrel-forward and quite boozy. But it drinks nice, the pumpkin is there, and it's a great sipper for this lovely Halloween weekend.

Recommendation: Probably THE pumpkin beer here in Michigan, this is a must try.

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Photo of Giggy
4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Screamin' pumpkin is a great beer but aging it in bourbon barrel is genius!
This is my rating 1000 in BA. I didn't want to waste it on an ok beer. I'm not disappointed, Good Job Griffin Claw!

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.31/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'd like to say a lot about this beer, but there's no need to if you've had Screamin' Pumpkin -- it has the same flavors. To me, Screamin' Pumpkin is one of the best pumpkin beers out there ... so that being put into bourbon barrels was only going to be a good thing, and it was... it made for my personal favorite pumpkin beer for my money. The bourbon isn't particularly strong, but that's a fine thing, because the oak and vanilla that combines with the pumpkin and spices makes for one hell of a tasty beer. The feel is smooth and medium bodied, and this doesn't drink too warm for a 9%er.

In sum, a must-try for any pumpkin beer fan.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a hazy dark amber with a thin off white head.

S - Aroma is pumokin, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, vanilla and bourbon.

T - The taste follows the aroma. Pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice upfront Midpalate through the finish is vanilla, caramel sweetness and bourbon.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Smooth creamy mouthfeel with a sticky finish.

O - This is a great barrel aged pumpkin beer. The bourbon adds a nice complimentary depth to the pumpkin pie flavors.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz wax top bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a deep auburn-brown color with a creamy off-white head that retains long after the pour.

S- vegetal pumpkin aroma with creamy nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, allspice, whipped cream, barrel is faint but adds a bit of bourbon aroma

T- creamy nutmeg centered up front, with vegetal notes of raw pumpkin. Mid-palate brings cinnamon & allspice, followed by light bourbon and barrel notes that bring spicy wood, vanilla & caramel. More bourbon on the linger with nutmeg and cinnamon

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that finished thick and creamy

O- an outstanding barrel aged pumpkin ale. The spices mixes brilliantly with the barrel, and it actually has some vegetal notes, which aren't common for the style

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Photo of smanson56
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Received this bottle in a BIF from @hardysf. Poured a darker orange brown color into my snifter glass.Lots of great aroma in the nose. Bourbon, cinnamon, nutmeg, a wonderful blend of them all. The taste followed the nose nicely lots of cinnamon, nutmeg and a good amount of bourbon. IMO a very well done beer.

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Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2015 vintage released recently. Pours lightly hazy deep orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of huge caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, biscuit, bourbon, toasted oak, and herbal/spice earthiness. Fantastic aromas with awesome complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, pumpkin/spices, and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of huge caramel, brown sugar, pumpkin, toffee, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, biscuit, bourbon, toasted oak, and herbal/spice earthiness. Light-moderate herbal bitterness and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, biscuit, bourbon, toasted oak, and herbal/spice earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, pumpkin/spices, and bourbon barrel flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a smooth, fairly creamy/slick, and slightly sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is an incredible barrel aged pumpkin ale. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, pumpkin/spices, and bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of GRPunk
4.36/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Griffin Claw Bourbon Imperial Screamin' Pumpkin

9% ABV, 13 IBU

2015, 22oz. Waxed bottle from Copper Vine ($15.99) poured into a Stone IRS snifter.

A- Sweet label. Lots of metallic, comic-like fun. Happy there was a tab to release the cap from the wax. Those waxed caps can be a real pain. A careful pour creates a thin, tan head that drops to the lightest of foam at the edges. Moderate carbonation comes to the surface, doing its best to keep up the light, foamy lace. The body is a hazy, amber-orange-red, somewhat appropriate for a pumpkin. Very light stick on the sides that falls back into the body, almost more of wine-like legs, than lacing. A second, aggressive pour made for a 1-finger head that drops to more of a lacy surface and more pronounced stick.

S- Much like their traditional Screamin' Pumpkin. Lots of pie spice, a combination of ginger, clove, and cinnamon. There's a sweet, vegetal/pumpkin quality as well. A little warmth and I pick up some caramel and a little woody aroma. Some vanilla later still.

T- Now here's the big difference from its lower ABV counterpart. There's a really hefty, sweet, malt quality here. Some caramel at first. The vanilla from the bourbon really makes a statement as well. That said, the pumpkin pie flavors are on display as well, lots of cinnamon and clove. The alcohol is noticeable, but warm and smooth rather than harsh.

M- Very full bodied. The carbonation is moderate, but seems a little lessened by the viscosity. A little tingle from the spice. Warmth and a little added tingle from the higher alcohol content.

O- That's a really nice sipper. With the hefty price tag, more of a treat on my income. Very happy that I splurged. I'd put it up there with the Pumpkings and Punkins of the world. The 22oz. bottle is definitely a shared serving on an empty stomach. Going to finish it off with a warm bowl of homemade potato soup.

My third incarnation of this beer (the one by MBC, the regular Griffin Claw, now this)

A- 4 S- 4.25 T- 4.5 M- 4.5 O- 4.25

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Photo of Kevinpitts
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this is a great beer. Better than Good Gourd IMO. Light barrel aged flavor with pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. YUMMY!

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This brew was served from the tap at the Griffin Claw Brewing Company taproom in Birmingham, Michigan. It arrived in a house goblet, glowing a deep blood orange coloring. It held a one finger head of eggnog colored foam, highlighting a quick retention. Splotchy lacing was left in its wake. No haze or sediment was noted, and carbonation appeared to be mild. The aroma awoke the senses with obvious pumpkin flesh and spice that reminds you of frozen pumpkin pie, green olives, candied almonds, toffee cashew turtles, chlorine, salt lick, toasty amber and caramel grain, tannic lemon tea, raw clove and cinnamon sticks, and distant menthol mintiness. At a full room temperature notes of eucalyptus, spicy rum and bourbon booze, and vanilla bean seep out more fully. Following across the buds is a happy and spicy blend of intense buttery diacetyls, fresh oak, pumpkin pie and apple crisp, warming bourbon booziness, vegetal squash skin, green grassy resins, sweet Graham cracker crust, thorough pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon-sugar spice, fresh cotton, cloying honeys, and toasted marshmallows. The body was thick and full, while carbonation remained soft. The latter beautifully brushed the palate with a caressing foaminess on the swirl around the mouth. Thus, cream and froth were wonderful, but off the top of the sip slurp and smack were thinned. The abv was appropriate, and the beer disappeared quickly.

Overall, the flavor behind this beer was excellent. It is everything you would hope for from the name and description. We’ve heard a lot about this beer from friends in the local scene, and as we haven’t been over here in a while, we had to go for this one. The brew is very sweet, but oh so authentically pumpkin. To push things over the top they age it over bourbon wood, which functions to add spice, vanilla, and butter over your crockpot of simmering gourds. The blend is wonderful. This is a warming and very “autumn” beer, but despite its seasonal application, it does well on this cold winter’s day. This is what pumpkin beers should be all about, and it effectively takes them to another realm for us. Griffin Claw’s best beer.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Short Review. This was a very nice beer, I've been wanting to try it ever since I heard about it last year and I was happy to see it on tap when i was at Griffin Claw. I thought it lived up to my expectations and I thought it had great balance with neither the Pumpkin Ale base or the Bourbon barrels being too overpowering. I'll for sure be trying to get a bottle this fall.

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Bourbon Imperial Screamin' Pumpkin from Griffin Claw Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 131 ratings