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Samuel Adams Fat Jack Double Pumpkin Ale | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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BA SCORE
84
good
252 Reviews
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Samuel Adams Fat Jack Double Pumpkin AleSamuel Adams Fat Jack Double Pumpkin Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States | website

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TMoney2591 on 10-03-2011

BEER STATS
Reviews:
252
Ratings:
1,347
Avg:
3.71
pDev:
15.63%
 
 
Wants:
96
Gots:
284
For Trade:
3
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Reviews: 252 | Ratings: 1,347
Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

All of the beers of Samuel Adams 22 oz give the greater beer enthusiast just what they want: bolder flavor, keen balance, and a unique twist that we didn't see coming. Fat Jack does all that with the most popular of all seasonal varietals- the pumpkin ale!

With a color of oxidized bronze, the darker tawny hue hardly lets any light pass but because of its dark brownish red hue and not because of haze. The beer seems brilliantly clear. An off white foamy head releases from the beer and retains the session well with moderate lacing as the beer falls.

Balanced aromas share notions of graham cracker cookies, pumpkin pie, molasses, and a hint of pepper. A toasted malt character seem to be of bread crust, roasted nuts, and deeply caramelized sugars. Pumpkin-like character is tertiary to malt and spice heading into taste.

Likewise the flavors of spice carry the beer. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger all create a collage that both complicates the taste and balances it at the same time. What those spicy additions press against is a dry toast flavor that hinges on graham cracker, baguette crust, roasted pecan, and the slight scorching of brown sugar. Where there's just enough sweetness to give a rounded taste to pumpkin fruit, there's no real excessive sweetness- this keeps the beer very drinkable.

Malty-dry textures want to dictate the mouthfeel, but the starchy taste and texture of pumpkin flesh insists on a dextrin-rich body full of starch and heavy whipping cream. The back-and-forth between the toasty and pumpkiny textures give the beer a rich and complex body that's only interrupted in a spicy, peppery finish (presumably from ginger) with alcohol warmth.

I'm quite impressed with Fat Jack, however I feel guilty for dismissing the Boston Beer Company's ability for excellence. I've seen a lot of great breweries spew off lackluster or ill-balanced pumpkin ales routinely. But the palate is certainly rewarded with a glass of Fat Jack on the eve of Halloween!

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Photo of tigg924
4.3/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, dark brownish-orange in color, clear, high carbonation

Smell: caramel, big clove, and pumpkin spice

Taste: deep sweet caramel, clove, cinnamon, and rich pumpkin spice

Mouthfeel: sweet with slight bitterness, moderate carbonation, heavy bodied

Overall: This is what I expect from an imperial pumpkin. Nice bold and sweet flavors. This has elements of an English barleywine. I love the deep rich caramel and pumpkin. I will pick this up again next year.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
3.71/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a small snifter. Light beige, frothy head, high retention. Body is dark amber to light mahogany. Lacing is sudsy and sticky. Aroma includes caramel malts, some brown sugar, light beef jerky (no idea why), maybe some cinnamon. Not really any pumpkin flavors per se, maybe they are there and the beef jerky smell is throwing me off. Taste is also not pumkiney, just hints of pumpkin pie spices. Tickles the tongue and lips slightly. Pretty tasty beer just a little less pumpkin flavor than expected from a "double pumpkin" beer.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.23/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Outstanding orange red color, excellent clarity, topped by three fingers of bubbly off-white foam.

A spice rack of a nose: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove. Bit of pumpkin, too.

Taste follows that nose. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove, mixed with pumpkin. Undercurrent of caramel sweetness. Sense of bigness, but no alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, some real body to it.

Not something to throw down a sixer of at a Halloween party, but a nice sipper on a cool autumn night.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a balloon glass.

The beer is a dark ruby mahogany with an off white head that's slow to recede. Rings of wispy lacing coat the glass initially.

The beer smells more of pumpkin pie mix than spices overload, which is good. Some faint alcohol gets mixed in there as well.

The taste is again, not overspiced. It's a creamy, earthy pumpkin with some faint marshmallowy sweetness in the back end. Also, a slight tangy lime peel finish.

Mouthfeel is totally creamy and smooth.

Overall, not a bad effort, in fact it's a relief to not use the words "cinnamon and nutmeg" at all in this review. And that alone makes this worth sipping.

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Photo of Gavage
3.91/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a hazy mahogany reddish color with a big fluffy 2"+ head. Nice lace develops.

Smell: light spiciness and caramel come through to the nose.

Taste: caramel, toffee, nutmeg, cinnamon, a hint of allspice, and a bit of pumpkin sweetness. Bitterness is moderate and alcohol is slightly noticeable.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp at the start, smoother at the finish. Long lasting aftertaste.

Overall: this is a tasty and flavorful pumpkin ale. Slower sipping than some other pumpkin beers, this one is satisfying. Worth trying this one if you can find it.

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Photo of keithmurray
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - brownish red color with fluffy beige head

smell - nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger

taste - cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, pumkin as it warms, a little harsh/hot on the aftertaste

mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, slightly sweet upfront, spicy kick in the middle

overall - decent seasonal from Sam Adams, starts out well enough, but there is a weird effect with the mouthfeel that I can't quite put my finger on that makes this a step below enjoyable, not sure about a revisit, though

Price Point - $6.99/16.9 oz bottle

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Photo of wrb357
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz into pint glass.

A: Looks great. Honestly, this is what an autumn beer should look like. Nice lace of head, great amber color that looks brown/orange under no direct light. I know we don't talk about this much on here, but the labels for these Samuel Adams artisanal beers are great. This one isn't my favorite (Norse Legend wins that one) but the hand-drawn creepy pumpkin on the front? Awesome.

S: A nose-full of spices, right off the bat. Hits you nice and hard. Definitely intrigues you into drinking this bad boy.

T: Obviously, you gotta let this warm up. At first when it's cooler you're hit with a bunch of spices and they linger on your tongue. Definitely taste the nutmeg, cinnamon...can you taste the pumpkin though? Not really...until it warms up. Then there is definitely a pumpkin taste on the backbone of this beer. Interestingly, though not surprisingly, the spice flavors really pack a punch when it warms up, and my sips got smaller as time went on. And, almost sadly, it nearly overpowered. Like, the way to explain it is that it's most definitely a spiced beer, with hints of pumpkin; but this isn't something I would drink outside of small sips on a cold autumn day. I'm not bringing this to a party or to watch football. It's a solo beer (not Solo beer).

M: It really bubbles on the tip of the tongue, yet after you gulp it sits in your mouth and on the back of the tongue. The flavors linger awhile, but since they are so strongly spicy, I found myself having to take sips of water for fear of getting parched. I was a bit surprised by how much it kicked in the front. Can also taste the alcohol when it warms up a bit.

I haven't had many pumpkin beers outside of cheap macro versions, and this one didn't necessarily sell me on the whole idea of "pumpkin beer", yet I enjoyed its presentation and variety of spices. I don't think I'd get this again unless I was in a cabin and it was raining and I wanted something nice to sip by the fire. However, I'd probably take to a darker brown ale or a stout in that occasion.

Nevertheless, the long and short of it is: if you like spiced ales, or if you've never tried something like this, give it a shot. It's very surprising and interesting, though it won't be added to my list of favorite beers anytime soon. But at 8.5%? I'm a happy pumpkin, for sure.

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Photo of BrownNut
4.29/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served cool in a tulip. No idea what their bottle code means but it's late October - can't be too old.

A - 4.25 - Crystal clear red-brown, very pretty. Very nice light tan colored, multi-textured head that dissipates slowly.

S - 4.5 - Really wonderful smell. Definitely smells like pumpkin pie filling, which I love. Southern Tier Pumking shouts crust whereas this one is much more about the spiced filling, but not so heavy on the spices as to crowd out the actual pumpkin and sweetness. And there's still a hint of crust presence to round out the whole-pie experience.

T - 4.25 - Very nice, mild, round, full, slightly buttery, with just a touch of sting at the end and some nice faint fumes of booze and spice wafting up the throat. Actually pumpkiny, with some of that caramel-esque liquid you'd get in a can of candied yams. I don't know if there's a diacetyl thing happening here, but I'm a fan of that from my Samuel Smith's days and I feel there must be something of that nature deliberately going on here. That richness and fullness. Feels great, tastes great, makes me feel great. The aftertaste has something just approaching bitterness but not quite getting there. It stimulates the salivary glands.

M - 4.0 - Medium bodied, with other characteristics described above, with an ending that is slightly dry and sticky at the same time, drier in the front of the tongue and stickier in the back.

O - 4.25 - This is a solid winner. When you've given up on Samuel Adams' main line of beers as too tame, don't sleep on their special lines. There is quality stuff to be had. What I like about this one is the fullness of it. You're not left wanting. The spices are deftly handled and just a pleasure to smell, without being attacky and overdone on the palate. You can taste real pumpkin flavor and dream of mom's pumpkin pie to come in November. I can't wait. I'm basically a fan of anything double/imperial and this takes pumpkin ale where I want it to go.

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Photo of Smurfsuit
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Dark amber, decent mild yellow lacing

Smell- More spicy than "pumpkiny".

Taste- Flat and uninteresting on the tip of the tongue but quickly perks up on the back end with explosion of "said" spices. Not getting a whole lotta real pumpkin taste here. Is it just me?

Mouthfeel- Velvety feel and texture, good carbonation, The high ABV is definitely disguised. Watch out.

Overall- Definitely worth a shot for pumpkin fans, but for the amount of pumpkin that is claimed to be used, I was hoping for more pumpkin and less spice.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of jslice99
4.08/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Dark red/orange color with a tan head that leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smell- More on the spice side, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. You do pick up a slight pumpkin scent.

Taste- The taste is same as the smell. Sort of heavy on the spices with a sweet pumpkin taste towards the finish that hides the abv well.

Mouthfeel- The mouthfeel is well balanced. medium to full body with slight carbonation.

Overall- This is a great seasonal offering from Sam Adams. Perfect for a cool autumn night. It's way better than their harvest pumpkin ale that they offer in their harvest mix pack. Try it if you can find it!

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Photo of Zorro
3.3/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear reddish brown colored beer with a small yellowish tan colored head.

Smell is pumpkin and spice with lots of ginger. Pretty much smells like pumpkin pie without the crust.

Starts out sweet with a good amount of spice and caramel. Strange flavor to the malt here something like soy sauce and tobacco leaf at the same time. Ginger and clove dominate the taste as expected. All in all it is OK.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall, OK I tasted it and now back to something better.

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Photo of bsp77
3.74/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Fairly dark reddish-orange with large, bubbly tan head that leaves some sticky lacing.

Smell: Cherry and some floral, spicy notes. That's about it, with only a titch of the pumpkin spices.

Taste: Cherry stands out here as well, but there are also major nutty and roasted notes. Autumn spices add to the profile.

Feel: Fairly smooth, medium-full body but there is a strange off-dry chalky finish that detracts slightly.

Overall: Despite some issues with the aroma and mouthfeel, this is still a tasty brew. And that is certainly most important.

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Photo of budgood1
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours out of the 22 ounce bottle a very dark crimson/garnet colour with a light tan head...thin in nature with some decent retention after an aggressive pour. bits of lace. the smoked malts and yeasty notes in the nose are welcome. this gives it a bit of character to go along with the usual pumpkin base malts and spices. the flavour profile is basically a doubled up version of the harvest pumpkin ale...and welcome at that with the smoked malts really adding a nice nuance. it seems extra spicy but i'm assuming the thinly diguised boozy alcohol punch is accentuating the rest of the flavour profile. it definitely has a gourdy, fleshy, squashy undertone that gives it an authencity of a pumpkin ale. this characteristic carries over to the body, which seems rich and full with a mouthfeel that is sleek and smooth sans the boozy overtones. fat jack is not overly drinkable...but could be a nice attitude adjuster on a blustery, cool autumn evening.

overall i have mixed feelings about this concoction. without any other amped up pumpkin beers to compare this to, methinks this is a pretty good ale. but the overly boozy aspect distracts a bit too much, crippling the overall enjoyment. find a way to incorporate the high ABV a bit better into the taste profile and this would be a fantastic fall seasonal.

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Photo of Josh
2.1/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A – I poured the beer into a Sam Adams pint glass. It was amber in color and got darker at the wider portions of the glass. There were three fingers of head, which subsided within two minutes. A very thin layer of carbonation bubbles stayed on top of the beer.
S – The beer smelled like cheap watered down light or even diet beer, but it also reminds of the smell of some of my favorite amber beers. Not sure why, but amber beers always smell like watered down cheap beer to me.
T – This beer starts out with a deep roasted taste and quickly fades to a bitter alcohol taste. Several seconds after my swallow I taste pumpkin. Not the pumpkin I expected though. Not the sweet kind like in pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread, but bland as if you reached into a pumpkin and put its slimy contents directly into your mouth.
M – Strong carbonation and thin.

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Photo of Chickenhawk9932
3.78/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber leaning towards brown with a creamy tan head. Good retention and leaves some lacing.

Smells of pumpkin, caramel, roasted malt, and yeasty earthiness.

Big pumpkin up front with a nice spice bitter punch - definitely get cinnamon, ginger, and clove, but they are subtle and balanced - not obnoxious as many pumpkin ales can be. Has real creamy smooth mouth feel with caramel and roasted malt coming through. Alcohol is well hidden and it is very drinkable. I don't think I could love any pumpkin beer, but this is one of the best I've had, and it surprised me - I was expecting to not like it.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.27/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Samuel Adams Fat Jack Double Pumpkin Ale has a medium-to-thick creamy, cream-colored head, and a dark, yet clear, rust color, with thick, splotchy lacing down the glass. The aroma is of strong all-spice, cinnamon, and pumpkin, with some underlying sweet smell. The flavor is of all-spice (Jamaica pepper), cinnamon, lots of pumpkin pulp, pie crust, alcohol, and a back bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium to thick, and Samuel Adams Fat Jack finished semi-dry, sweet, cloying, ragged, and almost too rich and sugary to stomach. Overall, this beer is poorly balanced and an obvious gimmick, of which the Samuel Adams line is becoming notorious. This beer might work for those who do not care for beer that tastes like beer. Overall, it’s a bit of a mess. You might want to try it, but I know I’ll never buy it again.

RJT

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Photo of TheRealBigC
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a solid brew from Sam Adams. This new line of beers has proven to be quite inspired and at the very least respectable from a brewer that has come dangerously close to being macro. Fat Jack pours a deep red color with notes of cinnamon and big time nutmeg. Taste follows suit, but stronger and much more robust than their Harvest Pumpkin Ale. I wish it were creamier like an iced pumpkin or chai latte, but still it ranks highly in its field. Pumpkin ale fans should check it out!

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Photo of BDIMike
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a great looking pumpkin beer. A dark red, mahogany colored beer that turns more orange when held to the light. A medium sized tan head is created that laces throughout the drink.
Smell is dominated by some really strong pumpkin. Great spice smells of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Some nice roasted malts, too.
Taste has a lot going on. The pumpkin is very strong. The roasted malts take the driver's seat and have a very smokey taste to them. I am not a big smoke fan, so it kind of overpowers the sip to me.
Mouthfeel has a silky smoothness to it that goes down easy.
Drinkability is okay. A lot of good sights and smell on this beer, but the taste is overpowered by some very smokey malts. I would give this a try, some would like it better than me.

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Photo of JRed
3.88/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruby hue that shines when brought to the light. Its creamy off-white head dissipates to a thin mist in the glass. Aroma of apple skins up front, light booze, caramel, black cherry, mild pumpkin spice, and honeyed cereal grains. Tastes of caramel-dipped apples, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, undertones of pumpkin vegetal flavor, faint wood and a tingling boozy aftertaste reminiscent of a red wine or a liqueur. Medium bodied with light carbonation that leaves some slickness on the tongue. A sweet, slow sipper that showcases the vegetable nature of the pumpkin behind a sweetened exterior.

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Photo of rundocrun
3.32/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Body is deep orange-brown and crystal clear. A 1/2 finger of coarse off-white foam forms, but fades to nothing quickly.

S - I am getting over the last dregs of a cold so my sense of smell isn't too sharp, but I can definitely get a good whiff of allspice, clove, molasses, and a rich, sweet fruitiness.

T - Caramely sweet up front. Hints of roasted, biscuity malt. Hop bitterness comes in stronger than expected toward the middle and holds out through the finish. There is also some definite "pumpkiny" vegetal flavor mixed with spices.

M - Medium-to-thick body with balanced carbonation. Finish is sweet and sticky. More of a sipper this one.

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Photo of Suds
4.14/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Chasing that elusive perfect pumpkin ale...this one is a contender, but it still falls a bit short. It's a clear reddish-brown color. The head is off-white and slim. Great aroma...pumpkin, spice (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg). It's not a pumpkin pie smell, but is a rich, adult candy-pumpkin smell. Malt, a touch of smoke, maybe a fleeting caramel scent. The flavor is rich and intense, with a diminished pumpkin and some earthiness. Full body. Very nice beer, interesting and satisfying, but not quite exceptional.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass. Pours a dark reddish orange, with a half inch of white head that leaves some lacing. Smell is pumpkin, cinnamon, brown sugar, and nutmeg. Taste is what you would expect, very straight forward. Body is medium, enough carbonation, not dry, and drinkable. Now I don't love pumpkin beers, but find this to be exactly what I expect from the style. A easy drinking 8.5 in my opinion. Solid pumpkin brew.

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Photo of n2185
3.98/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear mahogany with three fingers of tan head that fades into a thin cap with a solid sheet of lacing. The best looking pumpkin ale I've seen.

S: subtle pumpkin spices up front with creamy vanilla and squashy pumpkin aromas. Smells quite nice.

T: pumpkin spices with caramel malts, wheat bread flavors, and notes of vanilla and pumpkin. Moderate alcohol presence on the finish.

M: medium-thick body with lowish carbonation, this beer is nice and creamy, though somewhat lessened by the alcohol burn.

O: a good pumpkin ale, overall. Smells great, though a little too boozy and lacking the complexity of the aroma.

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Photo of philbe311
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - An active cascading billowing pour yields close to three finger's worth of densely packed slightly creamy light khaki colored... Excellent retention ultimately gives way to a thick veil of lacing and moderate collar... The color is a darker than expected brown that shows a slight ruby hue when back lit... A limited bit of moderate paced carbonation can be seen streaking along the sides towards the very top of the glass... This one is also audibly fizzy... A very nice looking imperial pumpkin brew...

S - Excellent balance even if the slightest bit understated... Pumpkin pie crust... Nutmeg... Cinnamon... Pumpkin... Squash... Sweet Potatoes... Brown sugar... Nothing dominates and everything compliments one another perfectly... Very nice aroma for an imperial pumpkin brew...

T - A bit of boozy heat is first to great the tongue... Next is a wonderfully balanced mix of all things pumpkin pie... Slightly sweet pumpkin filling... A light graham cracker crust... A nice mix of autumnal spices... Hints of caramel and brown sugar... The booze lingers beneath the surface...

M -Medium to full bodied... A bit dense... Slightly sleek... Slightly sticky... Limited carbonation... Smooth... Even and consistent throughout...

D - Fat Jack is welcome in my beer fridge any time... This is a really really good imperial pumpkin ale that I had expected to be slightly disappointed in given the reviews I've seen, bit I walk away rather impressed... Definitely in the top quartile of pumpkin brews I've tried... If there's any room for complaint its in the "double pumpkin" labeling... Other than the slight heat on the palate, there is little or no indication that this is an imperial or double pumpkin ale... None the less, this is a highly recommended Pumpkin Ale and a damn fine job from Boston Beer Company...

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Samuel Adams Fat Jack Double Pumpkin Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 252 ratings.
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