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

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Samuel Adams Fat Jack Double Pumpkin AleSamuel Adams Fat Jack Double Pumpkin Ale

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

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

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Reviews: 256 | Ratings: 1,356
Photo of biboergosum
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle - we don't get a lot of BBC seasonals up here, so this is a nice surprise to see! Sufficiently putrid gourd appearing front and center on the label.

This beer pours a clear, bright medium bronzed amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and somewhat bubbly beige head, which leaves some bug-splattered windshield lace around the glass as things quickly fall away.

It smells of bready caramel malt, mildly musty pumpkin mash, some zingy nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and all-spice, erm, spice, a wee grainy nuttiness, and a testy and nosehair-taunting alcohol measure. The taste is semi-sweet, doughy caramel malt, a lesser vegetal pumpkin fleshiness, ginger, nutmeg, anise, clove, and cinnamon spice, further brown ale-esque nutty notes, and a growing metallic and somewhat intrusive booziness.

The bubbles are fairly obscure in their barely supportive frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, and pretty smooth, with a pleasant attendant creaminess. It finishes trending sweet, the malt and subtle pumpkin essence still hosting a range of seasonal dessert spices, as well as an alcohol heat that has tucked in and made itself at home.

Not a bad Imperial pumpkin ale, but two things could be improved: more (not a lot, but still) pumpkin character, and fewer overt boozy esters. That said, this is enjoyable enough for an unseasonably warm autumn supping experience - the elevated ABV just storing energy up for winter, I suppose!

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Photo of BeerWizard
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Love the graphic on the bottle, and the 1pt 6oz bomber was pretty reasonably priced for a pumpkin imperial at around $8. Marked an an 8.5%; pretty excited about the deal and a new "IPA" (Imperial Pumpkin Ale, ha ha) to try.

This pours a dark, red-tinged brown, with minimal head, and it manages to keep up a light sheen of foam across the top. Personal preference for the style here, but I like pumpkin ales to be lighter, so I scored it down a bit in the visual category. Aroma-wise there is no pumpkin to speak of. Definitely get the smoked malts that they use, and overall the nose is just a lot of malt and cola-aromas, but I wouldn't have ever guessed this is a pumpkin ale from the nose.

A couple of pulls and It's a nice, sweet, syrupy mouthful, with a lot of malt, but again, no pumpkin, and not much detectable spice either. The spice lineup is pretty passive and just squashed (no pun intended) by all of that malt. Really only cinnamon remains detectable, but even that needs some brightness. With a little more carbonation, it'd pretty much be an alcoholic Mexicola, but it's pretty flat, so all you've got is a nice malt character and some light spice. My wife said "This is the double-pumpkin? This just tastes like a brown ale," and I think she pretty much sums it up there.

I want to like it, but if you're going to do a pumpkin ale, don't hold back on making the pumpkin stand out and enhancing it with spices. If they relabeled it as a brown ale I would've given it a higher score!

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Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L- deep transparent cola brown, half centimeter head dies down to nothing. No lacing.
S- lots of cinnmon and nutmeg overwhelming pretty much everything else
T- I get no pumpkin out of this due to the heavy handed use of the spices.
F-Low level of carb, but still feels pretty thin. In this case it works. If it had been thicker I don't think I could have gotten through it with the heavy spice.
O- It's pretty drinkable for 8.5%, but it is a pumpkin ale in name only. If you want to call it a pumpkin beer you actually have to be able to taste pumpkin.

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Photo of 2ellas
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber
smells enjoyably of pumpkin and spice
tastes like it smells
feel is thick and almost syrupy
overall a good pumpkin beer that I would drink again

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up a while back, it's been cellaring until now, appropriate time for pumpkin. Let's give it a whirl. Popping the top on the bomber I get a a waft of pumpkin, spices, coriander. Pours into a dogfish pint with a big two finger light tan head and a robust deep brown. On the taste this brew is a wallop, lots of cloves, coriander and sweet malt. Just a tad bit of bitterness in the middle of the taste along with a hint of the ABV, then a zesty dry finish. If you want a tasty fall brew that is smooth as silk, this is your ticket.

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured into an antique Czech tall stange glass.

Smells rather faint, but like a fall holiday. A touch of gingerbread and cinnamon. Like smelling a refirgerated pumpkin pie.

The flavor is not very pumpkin or spice focused, but instead is a big and rather sweet malt-bomb. Dark sugar, caramel, and sweetness encircle lightly roasty malt. No hop presence. I faintly taste pumpkin, and the spices that I smell are almost nowhere to be found.

Feel: Thick and heavy, I (for once) almost want a lighter body. Very mouthfilling- I just wish it was a mouthful of pumpkin pie flavor.

Conclusion: I really wanted to like this more. I have a lot of respect for Sam Adams, but this is far outclassed by an under-developed field of competition. It just doesn't have enough pumpkin pie beauty to compete. A big malty beer with a faint touch of pumpkin and spice. Not bad by any means, but far from great.

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Photo of ScaryEd
2.95/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a deep, clear amber color with a large tan head. Minimal lacing is left around the glass.

The aroma is very malty and boozy. There are notes of nutmeg and cinnamon, as well as the faintest hint of pumpkin pie spice.

The taste, much like the nose, is rather boozy with the sweet malt character dominating the flavor. I get some nutmeg, some ginger, a bit of cloves, a tiny bit of cinnamon, and unfortunately very little pumpkin.

The feel is medium-bodied with medium carbonation. Very sticky. Very bitter aftertaste. Not very pleasant.

Overall this was a major disappointment. I expected far more pumpkin flavor and it simply isn't there. The aroma is one of my favorite parts of a pumpkin ale and this disappointed on that end as well. Hopefully Sam Adams will re-think their recipe for this one and actually add some pumpkin flavor.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orangey ruby amber with a small head into the glass. A bit of orange and spices (possibly clove with a bit of nutmeg) in the nose. Lots of malt in the taste, along with pumpkin pie spice.

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Photo of EMV
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass

L: Pours a semi-opaque mahogany color. Two fingers of tannish head that leaves nice lacing on the glass. Very attractive presentation.

S: Malts and pumpkin pie spices. Ginger and nugmeg.

T/F: The taste... is a bit different than your typical pumpkin ale. The pumpkin is subdued behind a big malt backbone. Lots of spice... with Nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger warring on the palate... definitely tastes of autumn. The flavors come out more fully as the beer warms, and the mouthfeel is a bit sticky but dries towards the finish.

O: Not a bad beer.... and different enough from other pumpkin ales to be interesting. I still don't think it approaches the Dogfish Head Punkin or the Southern Tier efforts but worth trying at least once.

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Photo of 303beer
4.63/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep clear copper with an inch of head that leaves good lacing. Has pumkin and spice nose. Well balanced. Great pumpkin beer. Starts pumkin then the balance of spice finishes up with a light sweetness.

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Photo of EvoRich
4.37/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Very dark amber color, with two fingers of head. Head fades to about a 1mm layer.

Smell: Cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin spices with a malty base.

Taste: A deep, and bitter sweet pumpkin flavor. Cinnamon, and lots of it. Very malty.

Feel: Full bodied, and creamy

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Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy amber brown in color, with a small, dense tan head, which retains quite well. Belgian-style lacing adorns the glass walls.

Aroma: Prominent pumpkin pie spices, such as ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, as well as vanilla, sweet alcohol, and wood.

Taste: Opens with profound pumpkin pie spices, slightly sweet dark bread malts. Soon after, an undercurrent of sweet alcohol appears. As the taste progresses, prominent wood notes dominates the taste, and the vanilla notes persist. The taste finishes with a flourish of pumpkin pie spices and lingering alcohol.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, and full, with delicate carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: A simply excellent Pumpkin ale, well-worth seeking out.

Presentation: Packaged in a custom 22 ounce brown glass bomber, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

In Memoriam: Pumpkin (April 1998 - November 22, 2014) - the best cat ever. We will always miss you.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very spicy, but without a single over-dominant spice that's likely to throw you off, a nice (if strong) blend of flavors. Body is pretty thick and adds a nice touch. It's on the side of the more "festive" pumpkin ales.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.94/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, deep, dark mahogany color with a full finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that covered the entire top of the beer.

Aroma: Malty and bready up front with strong notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, brown sugar, all-spice and ginger. Not much in the hops department though.

Taste: Very malty and bready, like freshly baked gingerbread, followed by pumpkin, spices of cinnamon, all-spice, nutmeg, ginger, brown sugar. There is practically no hops bitterness to speak of, which I overall prefer. This beer tastes essentially like an English brown ale with pumpkins and spices added to it. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy. Hardly any carbonation to speak of. With an ABV of 8.5%, there is some alcohol presence on the palate.

Overall: I really, really like this beer! As stated above, it’s basically an English brown ale flavored with pumpkins and spices, and I find it very delicious. I’m definitely getting a bottle or two of this next year!

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Photo of smakawhat
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass. Sure why not, go big or go home.

Real nice creamed thick yellow and orange to tan head, real creamy appearance with two finger tall height and soupy retention. Body color seems to go for more of brown on the spectrum, with a chestnut orange rather than a red or so. Quite good clarity and some scattered real leggy and whispy thin lacing, quite a nice looking beer actually.

As far as pumpkin ales go, pretty solid and unexpected. Clove notes, slight squash and good amounts of nutmeg as well. Seems to hint more to hotter spices almost kind ok a sensing mule wine coming off of this actually, as opposed to a big sugar rush or something. Very solid.

Palate actually delivers interestingly. Very toned down sweetness and a surprising angle. Has more of a fruity cherry and spiced winter warmer character than hinting at pumpkin. Clove and mid palate, and a good spiced cinnamon finish. Hints of mild cherry and soft fruit, but no bread crust or pumpkin pie to be had here.

Overall this is actually a decent brew, and the aroma seems to indicate a true pumpkin brew, but this really doesn't taste like one. For that it's more appealing to me, but this really tastes like a winter warmer, or perhaps a pumpkin aroma version of Old Fezziwig? Hard to score this one, decent, but to style not really? So I'll be on the fence.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%

A-Clear amber in the glass, some carbonation and a one finger head that leaves lacing.

S-Pumpkin, not that much in the way of spices, like a brown ale base.

T-Moderate pumpkin, needs more spices though, too much of the base beer comes through.

M-Medium bodied and some carbonation.

O-Too much a brown ale and not enough of a pumpkin beer.

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Photo of stannard2
1/5  rDev -73%

Judging by the label of this beer "Over 28lbs of pumpkin per barrel" you would think this brew would be screaming with pumpkin and spice flavor. The only thing I could taste was the malt. I don't know what has happened with the Boston Beer company as of late but it seems they are just brewing beer to say they brew beer. The best pumpkin beer that I have had is Southern Tier's Warlock.

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Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

If you're new to Pumpkin Ales, Fat Jack is clearly not your reference point. Its deep, dark, almost terracotta-red tone is not at all typical for the style (which usually emulates the colour of a pumpkin). But its clarity, sharpness, and head all show excellent poise and form. It may not look conventional but, boy, this sure does look like it was well-crafted.

At first glance, seeing it on paper, Fat Jack seems a perfectly crafted pumpkin ale: real pumpkin enhanced with the usual cast of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice, complimented by earthy, leafy East Kent Goldings and Fuggles, and some Special B and smoked malt added for sweetness and depth. Couldn't have drawn it up any better myself (duh, I'm not a commercial brewer).

But does it translate to the glass? Sure smells like it! The burnt sugar, raisin, and dark dried fruit notes of the Special B stand right out and provide a wonderful contrast to the spices. Those hungry for pie, however, will be disappointed - the palate is also solid, dark, dense, and serious. It showcases heavy caramel notes and only dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg flavours. Little, if any pumpkin.

As far as pumpkin ales go, I'm not sure there's many more hearty, hefty, and rich than this one. Its sticky-sweet maltiness, dried fruit notes and savory spices are reminiscent of a dark Belgian ale, or even a Doppelbock of sorts. (Of course, at 8.5% its alcohol content is on par with both of those.) Spices can be big show-offs but this example doesn't allow it at all. There's way more to it.

Have you tired of pumpkin ales? Come to think of them as redundant and predictable? Try Fat Jack! Love it or hate it - and, trust me, there's a far better chance of the former - you're sure to find it an interesting take on the style. It's impossible to walk away from without an opinion. Don't expect as much of the holiday spirit, but be ready for a ton of character beyond the standard spices.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Bottle: Poured a clear copper color ale with a nice off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of cinnamon and cloves with light cereal notes is OK but subtler then I was expecting. Taste is also dominated by cloves and cinnamon with almost no perceptible pumpkin notes. Body is lighter than expected with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. A lot more tame than I was expecting…

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Photo of jdhilt
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%

Pours a one finger off-white head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Clear amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Spicy nose and flavor is sweet spices with some pumpkin. Higher ABV is hidden $7.50 for a 22oz bottle from Chase Street Market Plymouth, NH

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Photo of TerryW
2.7/5  rDev -27%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

No. Looks awesome, but just too sweet and cloying to enjoy. Sticky sweet. Not distinct enough as a pumpkin brew to be worth the bother. Disappointing.

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Photo of JayQue
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Good solid pumpkin ale. Has all the ingredients: pumpkin spices and rich malty background including real pumpkin. Pours a mostly clear dark orange color into a pint glass. Small light tan head with average retention and streaks of lacing on the glass.

Aroma is pretty robust: Pumpkin spices and some pumpkin. Flavor is similar but the pumpkin and malt is more pronounced.

Mouthfeel is the best part, very rich, malty and smooth. The spicing is just right/ Good pumpkin ale.

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Photo of mikeg67
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle. Pours amber with long lasting off-white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of bready malt, grassy hops, pumpkin and spices. Body is full and crisp. Pumpkin, caramel, spices, herbal hops nicely balanced on the palate. Finish is long, semi-sweet and spicy. Delicious brew.

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Photo of spacecake9
2.75/5  rDev -25.7%

Poured into a Duvel tulip class.....

A - This is a great looking beer. Clear, dark brown with a tall head.
S - Aroma is more pumpkin than anything else.
T - Not a fan of the flavors. Tastes more medicinal than anything else. Needs more pumpkin or spices.
M - Medium thick, taste sticks around.
O - This is my second bottle of the season and I'd say it is disappointing. Won't be buying any Fat Jack next year.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
3.17/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

650 ml bottle served cold into a Murphy's pint glass. Purchased from LCBO in Hamilton for $7 CDN.

Appearance - Clear amber color, with few bubbles. There is a nice thick two fingers of dense white foam that rests on top and takes its time in relinquishing its grasp on the glass.

Smell - Sweet caramel, some element of corn, plenty of spice sand a bit of fruit like cherries. A bit minerally again before the pumpkin aromas finally hit my nostrils.

Taste - Sweet cough syrup like up front with the cherry flavor, before a plethora of spices come through. Pumpkin is there but more on the back burner. Very sweet before some bitterness comes through to tame it.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, but a bit syrupy. Low carbonation and heavier than average body.

Overall - It's not bad, but it's not quite got enough pumpkin for my liking as the spices and strangely the cherry cough syrup flavor get the top billing here. Not my cup of tea.

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Samuel Adams Fat Jack Double Pumpkin Ale from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.7 out of 5 based on 1,356 ratings.
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