Summit Imperial Pumpkin Porter | Summit Brewing Company

123 Reviews
Summit Imperial Pumpkin PorterSummit Imperial Pumpkin Porter

Brewed by:
Summit Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jera1350 on 11-01-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 123 | Ratings: 157
Photo of BobbyBeerman
4.85/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep dark brown that doesn't allow any light through. Has a dense tan head that reduces down to a persistent ring that leaves decent lacing.

S: Sweet roasted malts with chocolate/coffee tones. Pumpkin and spices come through balanced and not overpowering. A little alcohol comes through.

T: The maltiness is what leads the flavor with the pumpkin and spices coming more on the back end.

M: Heaver than I would expect from a porter. It's more stout like. Warming sensation due to the alcohol content. A little oily sensation that coats the tongue.

D: This one is a one per night beer. The flavor is wonderful - I feel that it's better than just the straight pumpkin ales. Maybe better as a non-imperial but this works.

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Photo of samie85
4.78/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Pours a midnight black with three fingers of cappuccino foam head.

S-Smells of pumpkin a little cinnamon and ginger with chocolate and a little bit of roast.

T-This is where most pumpkin beers disappoint me with spices overdone to the max; this beer goes the other direction with just a hint of pumpkin pie spices mingled in with a little pumpkin and loads of chocolate malt.

M-Medium bodied with medium to heavy carbonation and a dry, roasted finish.

D-This is hands-down the best pumpkin-esque beer I've had. I feel that a porter is a better base for a pumpkin beer than the usual amber we get.

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Photo of bwiechmann
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I believe this was between 8-9 dollars for a 6-pack of 12oz twist-offs. Poured from a bottle into a New Belgium Globe.

Pours nearly black with a small tan head that fades quickly.

Smells is of dark roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, hint of pumpkin flesh plays in the background.

Taste is complex and wonderful. Typical porter notes to start off and then the pumpkin kicks in in the end. Fresh, the pumpkin was barely noticeable but after a couple months, this beer has really come into its own. It's still not overpowering but slightly more assertive and it complements the porter base wonderfully.

Medium body and carbonation with high drinkability with no noticeable alcohol burn.

Overall this a top-notch beer and a world-class pumpkin beer. Not overdone with fake-tasting pumpkin pie spices. This beer has some finesse and uniqueness all its own.


Update- Drank one 8.26.11 and it was doubly delicious. I didn't know what time would do to this beer but it was kind indeed. This beer deserves world-class acolades. Over the last year, everything smoothed out and the pumpkin became slightly more pronounced as the heat settled down and everything mellowed. Awesome beer.

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4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pint glass: from notes.
A: Pours a thick black body, that shows really no light through. The head pours one finger in height and holds very well. A light tan head is nice buts seems a bit on the lighter side for how dark the body is.
S: A nice and deep aroma, showing the use of complex malts and a hint at the pumpkin used. The medium intensity aroma is a nice addition to this well balanced beer.
T/M: The first taste shows a rich complex of malts that intertwine the palate and show roasted and dried characteristics. The full mouthfeel has a higher viscosity than I would have guessed. Really rich and complex flavors, hops are almost non-existent. Notes of pumpkin are found in the middle of the body and at the very start of the lingering taste. The finish has a chocolate malt character and finishes up very well.
D: I am very impressed with this style, I thought that the pumpkin might get lost in the sea of ingredients, but it shines through and is used very well in this complex and balanced beer. The 7.5% ABV is nearly not found, but adds a nice warming agent to the drink. Great pumpkin brew, worthy of having in a all pumpkin tasting.

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Photo of Pegasus
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep mahogany brown in color, with a massive, persistent tan head, thick glass-coating lace. The head retains quite well.

Aroma: Sweet alcohol, lots of pumpkin spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, brown sugar, coffee. Sweet alcohol is also quite prominent.

Taste: Opens with dark malt, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and earth. As the taste progresses, warm, spicy alcohol notes appear. Finishes with earth, bitter cocoa, and pumpkin pie spices and a little spicy alcohol.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, and very pleasant.

Drinkability/notes; An excellent pumpkin porter, its a shame that this seems to have been a one-shot, as it really is superb.

Presentation: Packaged in a short, twelve-ounce brown glass bottle, served in a Sam Adam Boston lager glass.

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Almost a solid black color that shows dark red around the edges when tilted into the light. A fingers worth of head is shown with nice sticky lacing when glass is swirled

S- The scent is of bold roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, faint pumpkin with spice, as well as a faint alcohol scent

T- Taste is similar to the scent. The pumpkin is picked up initially followed by the robust malts mixed with the coffee and cocoa. It seems like this brew is pretty well balanced between ingredients.

M- A good amount of carbonation is involved and the viscosity does a good job of covering the palate. A pretty full mouthfeel

D- This is a great brew that is unique in style due to the ingredients involved as well as the alcohol content. It is a great porter that should be made for future seasons ahead.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Dark black with a slight amber red at the bottom with light shining through. Big deep tan foam head with great retention and good lacing.

Smell: Strong dark roasted malts with dark chocolate followed by a spicy pumpkin aroma. A hint of cinnamon.

Taste: Roasted malts up front followed by chocolate and coffee. The pumpkin spices follow and finishes with a slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. Very creamy.

Overall: A very good porter. The spice complements it well and is well balanced.

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Photo of Spineypanda
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black with a nice caramel head.
Smells of pumpkin and malts. The spices are less obvious and the pumpkin more prominent.
Taste is actually way more exciting than I thought!
After the St. Arnolds Divine 9 I was afraid to try this but the pumpkin flavor is actually there, not just a ton of spices or Starbucks flavor additives.
The malts and smokiness really seem to work well with it.

A great beer.

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Photo of pBRale
4.46/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From tasting notes 10-19-11
Poured into a warbled mug

Appearance: Black pour, with a huge creamy cocoa head that settles slowly and has excellent head retention and a nice lacing pattern.

Smell: The smell is of roasted chocolate malts, some dark chocolate, and a bit of coffee. In the background, there are some very nice spices of nutmeg and allspice. The chocolate and coffee aromas are just nicely supported by the spices.

Taste: Deep roasted malts and lots of coffee initially, with a bit of chocolate and a bit of nutmeg, cinnamon, all spice, and pumpkin. The overall taste is outstanding, and my description can't do it justice.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-thick body with low to medium carbonation and a really smooth finish. Excellent!

Overall: This is a porter first and foremost, but the pumpkin spices are so well blended that it is an incredible experience. An awesome beer. Period.

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Photo of brewdub17
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Completely brown and opaque with a thin but dense tan head above.

Smell: Sweet, full cake-like notes are mixed with pumpkin spices and that slight warm smell of alcohol. The pumpkin character is great combination of hearty spiciness and sweet citrus smells.

Taste: Definitely roasted malts come first and mix with the spicy characteristics that are very fully flavored and are in the end shunned by the small alcohol flavor. nice complexity of flavors.

Mouthfeel: Feels very "heavy" and leave a curdling feel in the back of the mouth; isn't terrible but sorta unexpected.

Drinkability: Could imagine it to be great in complimenting certain foods and used in cooking (not to diminish the fact that it is wonderful brew). However, as something to have two after another, it would seem difficult.

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Photo of ZAP
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Great looker...almost black with a pefect creamy chocolate colored tan on top.

S-Very roasty wtih a light burnt maltiness as well. This is the eight bottle of this I have had over the past month and at different times I have gotten a decent pure pumpkin accent to the smell and at other times not as much. This time I am not getting as much...maybe as it ages it diminishes?

T-First off I think the base porter is very well done. This would match up with all the heavy hitters for just a plain porter. The pumpkin is definitely subtle but probably by design because it adds just a light unique touch to the flavor. Very tasty.

M-I've seen some complaints that this is thin but I don't feel it. In fact, this is pretty rich in body...creamy texture...not something you would session...a sipper for one or two..

D-Shoot for what this is supposed to be " AN IMPERIAL PUMPKIN PORTER" I think this is spot on..Sure perhaps some would want more pumpkin but I think it is about perfect. Well done. This is so rich I view it as a one a night type beer...maybe two but that is what I'd expect from AN IMPERIAL PUMPKIN PORTER"

My new Unchained Rankings:

1.Kolsch (Should be a summer seasonal)
3 (Tie) Golden Ale
3 (Tie) Imperial Pumpkin Porter
5.90 Scottish Style Ale

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours an opaque black color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes quickly into a thin cap of lacing. The aroma is of roasted malt, butn malt, pumpkin spices, and pumpkin, and pie crust. This is a very interesting aroma. The taste is spicier than the aroma, but there is still a solid porter background. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with light carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a very good beer that I will certainly be enjoying more of while it is around

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Photo of zeff80
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Stub & Herb's On New Year's Day. God Bless 'em for being open on that day!

A - Poured a jet-black color with a one-finger,light brown head of bubbly foam. It left some sudsy lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of coffee, smoke, roasted malt and some very faint floral notes.

T - One of the most unique tasting beers I've ever had. Coffee, chocolate, pumpkin and roasty malt. Bitter with sweetness to boot.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium bodied ale with a dry, refreshing finish.

D - So good!! The beer highlight of my trip to MN (aside from finding Surly beers on tap everywhere!).

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

batch 05.

a - opened and filled my snifter. poured dark and viscous. there was a thin dark brown almost grey head. this beer is 8 ball black.

s - HOLY MOLY CHARLIE BROWN, it's the great pumpkin! very nice. spicy pumpkin with cinnamon and apple pie. some caramel coated roast.

t - well, that's unique. pot pour…tastes like pot pouri, the porter is in there as well, but it is rather spicy. almost like there is chili in there. chocolatey and burnt malt. really nice.

m - pretty full bodied for a porter. more stout like to me.

o - overall, this is a beer to be tried. it is extremely unique and rather tasty. really glad i got to try this one.

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Photo of aepb1
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- black body with a small airy brown head

S- chocolate, pumpkin and spices, very inviting

T- roasted chocolate and coffee malts up front, pumpkin in the middle, spices finish this up, mostly cinnamon

M- medium body, moderate carbonation and the finish is a bit watery

O- very good imp porter and even better with pumpkin!

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Photo of Tballz420
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Jet black body, no light goes through when held to the light. Small and short-lived khaki head. Scent is a massive amount of chocolate malt, a bit of roast. Taste is mainly chocolate malt with a very skillfully blended amount of pumpkin. Just a touch of roast, a bit of hop bitterness. Again, everything is proportioned very well. Alcohol is there, when you think about it, but also blended well. Thick and creamy mouth. Very nice offering from summit, wouldnt mind seeing this once in a while.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very black with a thin cocoa tan foam appearing after a brisk pour. Strange lacing in extremely strecthed out and long cob webbings.

Aroma is mild but forward with a nice spice ringing over the top of some deep roasty chocolate and very dark toffee. Spices are there, but not overly so, smallish all spice, cinnamon, and clove, more so fresh vanilla pods and a bit of molasses. Not much on any real pumpkin that I can get from it, yet is solid orf a porter.

Dryish, bold, dark tone in flavors with black malt, heavy dusted dark chocolate, chocolate chip cookie dough, slight coffee bite, but mostly on a slight oaty, tangy roasted edge then sweet. But does have a bit of figgyness and toffee to it pulling in from underneath. Quite complex and full of impessionable, subtle depth with notes to all sorts of fluffy ascents of spices; cinnamon, clove, and all spice. Ghosted by an after thought, or deeper impression of pumpkin shows very late among the finishing dark tangy leftovers.

Medium/fullish creamy, oily, slick, and creamy body with an entrapped sense of dark blackened dryness, tang, roast, and spice. Very well put together and complex with a fulfilling mouthfeel that coats the palate like a thick dessert of pie or cheesecake.

Its Great Northern Porter with a little boost of spice and some extra girth of roast and depth. Nice! Another solid brew in the unchained series that is finally showing a great side of craftability from Summit. Way over due. Looking forward to see what they brew next.

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Photo of CPeterson
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A -- A completely opaque brew that pours into a deep brown half finger head and settles into a thin skim leaving thin lacing.

S -- Definitely getting the pumpkin spices up front, followed by caramel malts and light hints of coffee and dark chocolate bitterness.

T -- Coffee and dark chocolate, burnt toffee, caramel, figs, raisins, dates, backed but not overpowered by pumpkin and spices. Sweetness followed by an even bitterness. Really well balanced.

M -- Full bodied, smooth and perfectly carbonated for the flavor profile. Lightly dry, not overboard.

D -- Excellent offering from Summit. Buy it if you can find it, and consider yourself lucky.

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Photo of PintPiner
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes, tasted at Bacio previous evening.

Aroma of chocolate and pumpkin.

Dark foamy head with good lacing.

Dark brown color.

Low carbonation.

Big, full body.

Chocolate and pumpkin with a hint of spice. Very nice dessert beer. Paired it with pumpkin cheesecake and chocolate decadence cake and it was awesome with both.

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Photo of alexgash
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle.

Very dark oily brown body. Solid finger of peanut butter brown head, with nice lacing down the sides of the over-sized snifter. The nose perfectly represents the name on the label. Definite notes of meaty roasted malts, dark fruits, and pumpkin pie spice. I also get some vanilla and milk chocolate.

Roasted malts and moderate coffee bitterness up front. Pumpkin pie spices (clove, nutmeg, and allspice), dark chocolate, and dark fruit settle in mid-palate. Slightly smoky, flinty flavors follow, before a long, bittersweet finish. Lingering malt sweetness, coffee bitterness, and spices. Very nice! Medium-full body, with a creamy feel. Delicious.

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Photo of hardy008
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark black, with a 1 1/2 inch dark brown head with good retention. The aroma has cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cloves, and chocolate.

The beer tastes just like it smells. I am not picking up much pumpkin flavor, just a little. The spices are a little stronger than I expected them to be, but no problem. This is a nice beer which has some sweetness, balanced by bitter chocolate, and roasted malt bitterness.

Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink, but not quite creamy. If you like pumpkin beers, porters, or both, you should try this beer.

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Photo of BCGabbo
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams glass.

A: Dark black body w/ medium head.

S: Roasted malts with a subtle Pumpkin nosefeel. Spices of some nature are also present but I cant put my finger on exactly what they are.

T: Very good taste, but expected more of a pumpkin taste than I got. The pumpkin is significantly more subtle than expected (although the smell should have tipped me off). The subtlety of the pumpkin flavor makes way for the roasted malts and chocolate flavor.

M: As the beer warms up, the pumpkin flavors reveal themselves even more. The beer starts to come into itself a bit more and the balance between its porter characteristics and the pumpkin/spices is near perfect.

O: Despite my initial disappointment in the lack of pumpkin flavors, it actually proved to be a blessing in disguise. The beer is served much better with the hints of pumpkin in the background rather than an in your face flavor. Easily in my top 2 favorites from Summit's Unchained series. Recommended.

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Photo of brewdoc75
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let me start off by saying that I'm not a really big fan of spiced beers. In fact, I hate most of them. I had mixed feelings about this beer, but as Summit has produced some awesome beers in their Unchained series, I had to try it.

A: Muddy black with some brown hues. On the darker end for a porter. A nice, brownish-white head sits on top. Maybe a bit more head retention would have been nice, but pretty good for a beer with so many different spices and pumpkin added.

S: You can definitely tell that this beer has some stuff other than the 4 basic ingredients added. I get a lot of toasted spice aroma at first. Some allspice and cinnamon initially. Maybe a hint of ginger and clove too. This is quickly followed by strong robust porter aromas with dark chocolate, caramel and even a hint of coffee. There is a hint of toast/breadiness in the end. Smells pretty good, but at the same time a little muddled together.

T: Wow! What a flavorful beer. First you get a strong dark chocolate and dark roasted coffee flavor on the tongue. This rounds out to a pleasant, deep caramel flavor. In the end, the spices roll off the tongue. I get strong allspice and cinnamon flavors. A bit of cassia, nutmeg and clove too. Not too overpowering which is nice. The pumpkin however is pretty minimal. This beer would have been amazing with just a little more pumpkin character. The hops are just barely there, but provide a nice, earthy bitterness.

M: Medium-heavy bodied. Creamy and smooth. Moderately attenuated, which fits the style. Finishes sticky on the tongue.

D: Overall a much better beer than I was expecting. I had my reservations, but really ended up liking this beer. The spices may drag down the drinkability a little bit in my book, but still way better than any spiced beer I've had. It was definitely better for Summit to release this beer later on in the fall rather than earlier. It is definitely a cold weather beer. It fits amazingly well with the foods you eat this time of the year. I plan to have some with Thanksgiving dinner. I imaging it will pair remarkably well with just about everything served. I love the Unchained series.

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Photo of deadbody
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a New Glarus pint glass, Super dark, with a nice albeit small dark cream head. Some lacing as the head receded. Smell was a bit spicer than a normal porter, nice and strong though. Good taste, spicy with a hint of pumpkin and a good does of pumpkin pie spices. Great mouthfeel, thick and rich. Good drinkability, a bit too spiced for my taste, right now it seems like a jumble, going to age a couple bottles for like a year and see how it is then.

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Photo of champ103
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque black color. A two finger tan head rises with excellent retention. Rings of lace are left behind.
S: Toasted malt, chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. Crusty bread, and pumpkin pie lingers. Very nice.
T: This is awesome. Everything is so well rounded. Nothing sticks out, but it all works great together. Toasted malt, bread, chocolate up front. Finishes with the perfect balance of pumpkin pie, cinnamon, and gingerbread cookies. There is lots going on that is in perfect balance.
M/D: A big full body that is ultra smooth. This is like silk. Easy to drink. The alcohol shows up a bit more than I would like, but still a really nice beer to sip on.

This is excellent. I am not a huge pumpkin beer fan, but I am really liking the new trend for pumpkin stouts and porters. It just works better to me than a regular pumpkin beer. Everything works really well together, and something I would highly recommend.

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Summit Imperial Pumpkin Porter from Summit Brewing Company
4.03 out of 5 based on 157 ratings.
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