Summit Imperial Pumpkin Porter | Summit Brewing Company

very good
157 Ratings
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.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 157 |  Reviews: 123
Photo of tjsdomer2
2.9/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Thick black, like motor oil. Pretty impressive.

Smell: This is where this beer creates a problem for me. I smell some autumn spices and some brown sugar or molasses, but something went wrong. The whole smell seems sour and I'm not sure why. There's almost a vinegar quality to it. Maybe this batch went awry, but no matter what this didn't work.

Taste/Mouthfeel: An improvement over the smell. Pleasant pumpkin pie flavors with thick stout feel that one needs to stand up to the flavor.

Drinkability: A thick beer that misses a bit, especially the smell.

Overall: An ok beer with presentation problems.

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Photo of bespin15
3/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of homebrew311
3.09/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have been looking forward to this one. Served in a NB Globe.

A: appears deep black, opaque, nice cocoa colored head with spotty lacing, decent retention

S: spices up front with concentration on nutmeg and a hint of cinnamon, some vegetable quality in there as well, presumably from the is certainly getting in the way of the base beer. Not a whole lot of discernible porter characteristics in there, maybe a hint of chocolate..but this may be perceived from the appearance. The aroma is lacking balance, too many things going on with no unified aroma.

T: the pumpkin characteristic show up in the front with the nutmeg and allspice and the squash like character, the palate feature more chocolately notes than the nose with a bit of a roasted grain profile in there. The finish is very spicy, and again the spices are getting muddled. This beer sounds great on paper, but I'm afraid the execution just isn't quite what I was hoping for. Still interesting to sip and taste.

MF: a bit of a light body for an imperial porter, medium to high carbonation

D: well, as I mentioned before, this brew is interesting and worth a try, but the pumpkin character competes with the porter base and makes for a mediocre brew.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.1/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Received as an extra from BCGabbo and split with MasterSki.

A - Dark brown, opaque beer that had a light brown head on top.

S - For a pumpkin beer, this isn't blown up with nutmeg like the last pumpkin beer I had (Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #9, a massive FAIL). Pumpkin smell is pretty thick and authentic. The porter smell is present underneath all the pumpkin, and the entire package smells pretty good.

T - Taste does not live up to the smell. It tastes a bit thin, the pumpkin is there with a bit of spice, but it is just watered down. There is a little bit of chocolate in here, overal this is average at best.

M - Medium bodied ber, but the carbonation bites you and makes this fairly unpleasant to drink.

D - This isn't a great beer, the taste doesn't live up to the smell, which is not horrible. Mouthfeel really killed this one and made this small bottle a hard thing to finish for two people.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.11/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle graciously provided by JP. So glad you're back, but I'll certainly miss your Minnesotan provisions!

12 oz bottle poured leisurely into a snifter. Black with a cola colored spotted surface and some intermittent popping bubbles and adequate stickage.

Nutmeg, cinnamon, and canned pumpkin. The underlying scents are of roast and some dark chocolate. Both distinctive scents exist rather independently, like layers on top of each other rather than a cohesive mix. What's most perplexing is the distinctive whiffs of Bloody Mary that seems to waft off with a deep pull from the proboscis: tomato juice and celery salt. Strange.

The taste profiles the dirty porter more than the nose and the spices from the nose are more muted here. The base is almost too sweet though and the nutmeg and cinnamon don't hit hard enough to cut through. Maybe time has served to temper the spicing and while most times I would say this is a good thing, this beer could use some beneficial un-cloying agents.

Mouthfeel is medium and the carbonation is dialed up just a bit too much.

Overall, I'm curious how much this beer has changed over time. As is, I cannot imagine that she'll she improvement with more time.

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Photo of mnbrewery
3.16/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This Imperial Pumpkin Porter was enjoyed on tap and came pretty dark/black. The aroma was nicely roasted. The taste and mouthfeel revealed no "Imperial" at all, as well and virtually NO pumpkin at all. So the name states it's an Imperial Pumpkin Porter. Either this is a misnomer or not to style at all.
A decent drinker, but no pumpkin to be found....

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Photo of MasterSki
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Shared by Mike. Served in a Goose Island tulip.

A - Dark brown body, with a half-finger of tan foam that settles to a ring and some wisps, leaving a few spots of lace.

S - Pumpkin heavy, with only medium levels of related spices. Chocolate cake malt character. The aroma is quite pleasant, with solid balance and integration.

T - This is much less pleasing. Burnt malts, dark chocolate, some dark multi-grain bread, and a very weird astringent and bitter finish.

M - Zesty and overcarbonated, body is a bit thin for 7.5%. Sticky texture with a sticky finish.

D - I suppose this blows the Saint Arnold Divine Reserve #9 out of the water, but that's a pretty dubious claim. A largely average pumpkin beer. I'd much rather have TREAT or Big Black Pumpkin.

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Photo of Buebie
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this ontap last week and liked it a bit more then from the bottle. I dont know why, but the bottle stuff doesnt taste as fresh and is a bit muted with mild cardboard flavors.

Color is black, no light penetration, forming just under an inch of dark brown head. Settling to leave a generous collar and thin spotty streaks of lace.
Aroma of bitter chocolate grain, pumpkin comes off in a gourd like oaty aroma, mild spice.
Tasste is fairly similar to te winter ale, except more chocolate grains, mild spice off the finish and distant gourd flavor. a bit smokey with burnt caramel and robust bittering grains.
Mouthfeel has some fuller feel at first but seems to really flaten out and be loaded down with carbonation. When I think of this beer in my mind I think rich thick and creamy with some sweetness. But thats not what I get.

Overal an interesting beer and well fit for the cold winter months. However its not somthing that I will return too or seek out. Especially for the very steep $9+ six pack price.

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Photo of matjack85
3.46/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I found this single 12oz brown bottle in the discontinued bin at the Binny's store in Schaumburg, IL. for $1.79. I was a little surprised to see a fall seasonal in the discontinued bin in the middle of October, but oh well, there it was, so I grabbed it. No freshness date, but it does say that this bottle is from Batch 5 of their "Unchained Series".

The beer poured a black as oil color and made a nice 4-finger tan head that lasted several minutes and left decent lacing.

The smell was interesting, but not much pumpkin to it. The spices were there - nutmeg and clove, but very little pumpkin. I did get some sweet brown sugar and a touch of molasses as well.

Where's the pumpkin? To me this actually tasted like a chocolate porter. Nice chocolate malt flavor with some spiciness and some good hop bitterness. What little pumpkin flavor there is seems to be just an afterthought. There is also a lingering bitter aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is fantastic. It's creamy, smooth, rich, and thick with rather low carbonation.

This is a good tasting beer, but not very pumpkiny. Hard to score it cause it tastes good, but it's not what it's supposed to be. If you're going to call it pumpkin ale, then make it taste like pumpkin. Just my opinion.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle of the first unchained series to make it to Tx. Hopefully we will get more on down the road. Pours a near-black color with a fluffy, dark brown head. Fades pretty quick and leaves a few traces of lace.

Nose has a nice combo of chocolate, roast and pie spices. Touch of fruit and really does not show alot of sweetness. Kind of reminds me of a caramel covered pumpkin pie that an alzheimer afflicted grandma forgot to add sugar to.

Not bad on the flavor, but a little bitter-spice finish and thin body detract from the beer significantly. Seems to have too much hops that dont quite blend with the spices well enough. Roast is big, bit the beer needs some sweetness and body to balance things out a bit. I dont think the base beer is that much different from the GN Porter they make, so the thin body is not all that unexpected. Not bad, easy to finish a sixer, but falls in the range of "not sure I'll buy another" category. If you are looking for a pumpkin stout/porter, I would seek out St. Arnold DR 9 before this one.

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Photo of FullObs
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of THECPJ
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown black with a 2 finger head

smell: pumpkin spices, roasted malts

taste: some spices but not nearly enough for me, with a bitter aftertaste

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium to full body

overall: a decent pumpkin porter but since this beer is in my homebrew repertoire I actually perfered mine in a blind side by side taste test.


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Photo of BeanBone
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: A deep brown, nearly black, body with spare brown highlights and a finger of tannish head that fades slowly and leaves patchy lacing.

Aroma: Lots of rich pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice over a sweet and dark, chocolaty malt body.

Flavor: The pumpkin ducks out for the most part in the flavor, leaving the nutmeg and allspice riding over a chocolaty and coffee-like malt backbone. Overall, it's balanced well and rather bittersweet. Lots of spice, dark malt, and subtle hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel: A silky smooth, slightly chalky medium body with medium carbonation and a neutral finish.

Drinkability: Easily quaffable, especially given the medium-high alcohol content.

Verdict: Summit's Imperial Pumpkin Porter is a solid, thought generally unexciting beer. It delivers on the premise, but lacks the character of other pumpkin-themed dark beers such as Saint Arnold's Divine Reserve 9.

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Photo of mothman
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Stellas in uptown

Served with a finger of light khaki head. Color is nearing black. Decent head retention with some nice lace.

Aroma: Chocolate, caramel, some roasted malts, and spice. Pumpkin and nutmeg show, but it doesn't overpower the beer.

Taste: Much similar to the aroma. I enjoy this pumpkin beer because the pumpkin and spice flavors are complements to the porter and not something that take over the chocolate, caramel, and roasted malt flavors. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and pumpkin show.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and roasted. Medium bodied (I expected a bigger body) with a good amount of carbonation. Ends a little dry.

Overall, not a bad offering from summit. It was somewhat drinkable as well. I doubt I will buy it again, but it was a decent beer to try once.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I allowed this one to mellow for a year before consumption. The rest of the pack was sampled last year, but my notes are largely the same. Poured into a pub glass, the dark black porter gave way to about a 1/4 inch head. Cinnamon and nutmeg are apparent in the aroma, but the pumpkin scents are lack. Initial taste gives sweet chocolate which fades to a bitter dark chocolate in the after taste. Along the way, cinnamon and nutmeg emerge from hiding at times with little obvious hint of the pumpkin. The bitter aftertaste can make one forget this is a pumpkin ale. It may take a few tries to appreciate the effort on this one. It is a good porter, but the pumpkin is lacking.

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Photo of Janderson91
3.59/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Enjoy before 05/11/11 printed on bottle. Enjoyed on 02/28/11. Poured into a DFH signature glass.

A - Good looking beer. Pitch black, opaque, no light gets through. Tan one finger head, leaves good lacing.

S - I can smell the pumpkin as soon as I pop this one open. I just don't think it works all too well with the roasted aroma that's also present. There's a spiciness there also. Not a bad smelling beer but not my favorite.

T - Some roasted malts, slight chocolate and coffee, a nice light pumpkin flavor in the background. Finish is nice and spicy and surprisingly clean.

M/D - Mouthfeel is good for a porter. Pretty full bodied with medium carbonation. Drinkability is average, nothing special here.

A pretty good beer from Summit. Can't say I would seek it out again but I enjoyed it.

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Photo of EwaldEichstaett
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the new release from the Summit unchained series:

Pours pitch black with a thin chocolate colored head.

The smell is a light mixture of dark roasted malts and pumpkin pie spices.

The beer tastes like a porter with a bit of spice added. Instead of being straight up roasted chocolate malts there is a bit of earthy spice in the mix. This plays well with the darker flavours of the beer.

The feel of the beer is a bit watery, it floats on your tongue at first and then slowly coats it. The aftertaste of the beer is a bit more pumpkin tasting than the actual drink. Overall, there is not much pumpkin there.

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Photo of Vdubb86
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass

Thanks to Lenny1203 for this one

This beer pours a wonderful darkness with a generous finger of tan foam on the surface. The smell is rather concentrated. It actually smells better to me at a farther distance than normal. The aromas from distance are chocolate and the usual pumpkin spices, along with there being some actually pumpkin in the smell as well. The close up aroma smells like near burnt kettlecorn, I didn't like that too much. The taste is rather pumpkin spiced, there is a distinct roast and coffee flavor. The mouthfeel is a bit bitter from the coffee flavor but it's still pretty good. This is a fairly good drinking beer.

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Photo of yaegerje
3.62/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Super dark brown/red, lazy tan head
S - Bit of pumpkin, some bacon and...
T - Barely any pumpkin, I would have liked a little more, the grains came through a little strong on this one
M - Nice and solid, smooth, extremely smooth in fact
D - 7.5% but you can't tell, more pumpkin flavor would have been appreciated, but overall a very drinkable porter

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Photo of dirtylou
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on-tap at Dexter's, from notes

appearance: served in a unibroue glass - dark mahogany body, creamy tan head with good retention

smell: dry roast, bakers chocolate, some fall spices, no pumpkin

taste: I dont know - this just felt like false advertisement to me. Maybe I just wanted a bolder beer, but at the very least i wanted some PUMPKIN. I didnt get much of any in the draft version, but rather just a decent porter with no standout qualities. A dissapointment.

mouthfeel: medium body, smooth

drinkability: fine

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Photo of bsp77
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Very dark, near-black brown without much head or lacing.

Smell: Sweet chocolate and molasses, light soy sauce and coffee, and just a tinge of spices.

Taste: The sweet chocolate and molasses flavors are dominant, with some very light coffee and burnt roasted malt backing. Mainly tastes like a sweeter-than-typical Porter, although there are some pumpkin-like spices as well. Not sure I taste any actual pumpkin.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body but seems a little light for the word "Imperial". The finish is not as dry as desired from a Porter.

Drinkability: While an interesting and somewhat tasty beer, the mix of Porter, sweetness and light spice doesn't gel as well as it should and dampens drinkability. The closest beer to this would not be other Pumpkin beers, but Anchor Our Special Ale, as that is also Porter-like with spices. Unfortunately, this does not hold a candle to Anchor.

Once again, this is a good beer, but I would label it more of a "near miss" than a "hit" in terms of the Summit Unchained series. So far, 1, 2 and 3 were "hits" (especially the #3 India Rye Ale), while 4 (Belgian Golden) was a huge "miss" for me.

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Photo of LairdChisholm
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a jet black color that is completely opaque. A one finger, mocha colored head has supreme retention and some amazing lacing to go along with it. Very nice looking.

S - Some sweet pumpkin and malts dominate. There is also a hint of cinnamon.

T - Some roasted malts upfront followed by a layer of sweet pumpkin that I wish was a wee bit more pronounced. There is a slightly smokey, bitter chocolate aftertaste.

M - Too watery for this style and takes away some strength of the flavors.

D - A good after dinner drink. A sipper for sure, but outside of the appearance, nothing sticks out.

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Photo of badboyrsl84
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cola color dark brown with a sutle mocha head.

Smell- coffee, roasted malt, burnt sugars and yes pumpkin spices

Taste- follows the nose really well. Coffe and roasted/burnt malts. Pumpkin is present but I would have like a little more of its presence in this beer.

Overall- its a good little change up to a porter and would have liked a little more pumpkin in this one.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Surly shaker pint glass.

Thanks to VDubb86 for sharing this BIFed bottle!

Finally, I'll get to see what pumpkin does to a porter. It pours a straight onyx topped by over a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises heavy chocolate, heavy roasted malts, cinnamon, pumpkin pie (inclusively), graham crackers, and molasses. The taste holds notes of roasted malts, chocolate powder, gourd flesh, and light cinnamon and nutmeg. The body is a slightly hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a thickly watery feel. Overall, a decidedly interesting brew, one that is simultaneously tasty and off-putting. I have no other way to describe it, dear friends. I say grab one of your own and guzzle to whatever degree you see fit. Only then will you understand the Janus nature of this beer.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance -- Pours a deep brown with one finger of stiff dark khaki head. Wide bands of lace and an iota of chestnut highlights.

Smell -- Rich and robust: bakers chocolate, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, and pumpkin puree.

Taste -- Well-roasted malt, gentle woodsmoke, dark toast, pumpkin, cinnamon, dark chocolate, molasses. Hops are both leafy and medicinal. Lingering flavors of nutmeg and roast malt.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light in body with ample fluffy carbonation. Could use a bit more body, but otherwise good!

Drinkability -- Admittedly, I'm not a big fan of pumpkin anything, but I found this to be very pleasant. Great balance between the roasty porter base and the pumpkin and spice additions. Glad I pulled the trigger on this offering of a style I've yet to really take a shine to.

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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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