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 jlindros
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really interesting looking beer thanks to duff247.

Pours a creamy almost 1 finger head that fades semi slowly with a bit of lacing, over essentially pitch black beer. A small head covering that is left after a while literally never fades.

The nose is really nice, some light roast, creamy porter aromas, a bit of coffee, slight baker's chocolate, and a nice roasted pumpkin aroma, hints of spices with that, cinnamon, but both blended well and subtle. A bit of caramel and toffee, some light earthy bittering hops, as it warms a lot more chocolate comes out as well.

Taste brings more pumpkin and spice to the foreground, some pumpkin flavor but not over the top toasted pumpkin like most pumpkin beers, some light spices, cinnamon etc, all bring the pumpkin portion of the beer out. Some light roast, coffee, toffee, caramel, chocolate, and quite a bit of light earthy bittering hops with a slight spicy demeanor, which linger with a long semi bitter but earthy hop finish, some sweetness lingering as well, with some creamy porter and roast, a bit of caramel and pumpkin spice.

Mouth is a little heavier bodied with decent carbonation for the style.

Drink is decent, booze doesn't really hit, a bit of a sticky finish doesn't help, as well as long pumpkin spices flavors, but otherwise decent.

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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 BeardedBoffin
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours black--completely opaque. A nice mocha-like head floats above the brew giving it an attractive appearance. The lacing left behind by the creamy head are extensive. The aroma is a cocoa laden affair with notes of dark fruit and baking spices. The mouthfeel is medium and surprisingly nimble for such a dark beer. The flavor rides on a back bone of powdery cocoa. The pumpkin is barely noticeable as the beer briskly slides through the center. The spices whisk it all away.

This is a wonderfully satisfying beer, especially for a cold winter's eve.

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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 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 peabody
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a really dark black with only a whisp of off-white to tan suds. Lacing here.
Smell is rich coffee and cinnamon/pumpkin bread. Pumpkin spices galore. No alcohol present.
Taste is a bit bitter at first then sweet malty and spicy to finish it off. No alcohol here either.
Mouthfeel is a bit sticky but ends up fairly clean with some spices left over. Some alcohol is present well after the beer is out of the mouth.
Drinkability is pretty nice for the price. Good cheap fun here.

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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 FosterJM
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

202nd review on BA
bottle to snifter

Thanks to tmcelvain for the extra!

App- A very dark brown with with almost no head to it. The lacing sticks very well as it slides down the glass.

Smell- Of course pumpkin with nutmeg, cinnamon brown sugar and some malt.

Taste- A bit of a turkey day dessert early in the year. A nice bigger pumpkin beer with a lot going on. Nice flavors of spice and pumpkin with some roast and chocolate round out the back end.

Mouth- Medium bodied with a medium carb level. Nice feel of not being too over thick for a big porter and the booze is no where to be found.

Drink- 7.5% couldnt even tell. Nice smooth tasting porter. 1st beer from summit. May have to try some more.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes

Pours a near black with a finger of thick mocha head and spotty lacing. Aroma is pumpkin, toasted malt, clove, with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. The flavor is banana bread and pumpkin pie with light spices. Slightly roasty. I'm glad they didn't go too heavy on the spice here. The body is medium to full and very creamy. Overall, this beer tastes pretty good but where it really shines is the mouthfeel and drinkability. A winner from Summit.

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Photo of bnes09
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep black in color. Pours a thin, dark tan head with poor retention and some lacing.

Brilliant roasted coffee aroma as well as pumpkin and cinammon spices.

Plenty of roasted coffee and dark chocolate flavors. Pumpkin is well pronounced but not overpowering. Licorice and cinammon spices add an edge. Hops provide a mild bite and a bitter balance.

Medium bodied with a fairly low level of carbonation. Smooth and even mouthfeel.

Wow! This is some good stuff! I love it when brewers think outside the box and combine different flavors to existing styles. The pumpkin really adds to the experience over your standard porter. Excellent brew!

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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 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 stangski83
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I will preface this by saying that I'm not a huge pumpkin fan. That being said, here goes: Poured into a standard pint glass with virtually no head. Jet black and on the watery side. When held to florescent light, not a thing is shining through. Did not try with a regular light bulb, but still, this stuff is dark. Alcohol sneaks up to be sure, and does not have the same malty character of most porters that I'm used to.

I can respect this beer for what it is, but I have to be honest. I've been putting off drinking this one. And that is a rarity for me. I'm not sure why, exactly, but I have not been able to truly dig into this one. I think I would really appreciate it on a tasting tour, but I'm not sure that I need the full twelve ounces and the entire six pack. Maybe I'm just over Halloween and Thanksgiving. It's entirely possible given the January snow.

End result: very respectable brew. Just not my cup of brew-tea.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a New Belgium tulip.

A: Pours nearly black with a thick light-tan head that slowly settles. Lacing is sticky, and dries on the sides of the glass.

S: Roasty notes of coffee and chocolate, accompanied by a nice aroma of pumpkin pie straight from the oven.

T: Much like the smell. Dark fruit, bittersweet chocolate, and espresso at first. This is followed by a subtle character of cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin. The finish is dry, with some floral hop notes.

Notes: Summit has once again left me impressed with this Unchained release. Perfect for the season. It's a full bodied brew with lots of character. Flavors are intense, and one of these in a sitting will do just fine. A dessert all in its own. Nicely done!

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Photo of Chaz
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, brown in color --black to the eye-- and exhibits a deeper ruby-red when held up to direct light. Head starts out rocky but is fairly uniform in overall consistency, and exhibits average duration. Lacing is fairly good and sticky, and there are traces of ruby-red in the deep, dark, tan head. A better than average porter from the outset . . .

Nose is rich, malty, and herbal/spicy -- hops are here too, of course, but the hop presence on the nose is fairly-well buried by the vegetal/herbal nature of the beer. Notes of toffee and light espresso make for a nice interplay with the broader chocolate notes.

Rich, malty, and almost peaty-smokey on the first sip, followed closely by a sharp, acrid quality and a bittersweet character that lasts and lasts throughout the drink. The spices are by no means muted, but do not detract from the basic stylistic character ('American Porter') of the beer, which have been very broad in recent years. Imperial Porter? Stronger than a normal-strength porter, I guess, and this strength vs. style argument has all but raged since this beer was first released, but yeah, it's a stronger than average porter in the main . . . Bitterness is adequate overall, a solid backbone to the malt-driven character of this beer. I'm pleasantly reminded of certain, other renditions of smoked and "Scotch" porters (everything from McTarnahan's Blackwatch to Mad River), but if we were to consider this a 'flavored' or herbed/spiced beer it would strike me as being more convincing than a lot of the e.g. Coffee Porters and Coffee Stouts out there.

Good drinkability and mouthfeel altogether.

This is a decent beer, and in truth I expected no less than a sturdier successor (of sorts) to Great Northern Porter.

Recommended, and I'll be stocking up on this one.

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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 Thorpe429
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this bottle at Famous Liquors in Lombard, IL. Served in a snifter.

The pour is quite nice. Black body with a two-finger mocha-colored head to start out with. This doesn't last for too long, however, as it quickly fades into a very bubbly cap with a thick collar and a few dots of lacing. The nose is quite nice with a bit of pumpkin spice, some heavy chocolate, and some nice roasted malt.

The flavor really packs a lot in with the chocolate really coming out alongside the roast and pumpkin character. Some mild cinnamon and other spices in the background. A really nice touch to this. Feel is pretty thick and viscous, though the carbonation level is maybe a bit too high. Quite tasty. A solid hit from Summit and something I wish I had regular Fall-time access to.

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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 ballz50401
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint. Enjoy by 5/11/11 printed on bottle.

Appearance: Pours a dark black color with a thick dark tan head.

Smell: Dark roasted malts, burnt caramel with strong but not over powering notes of pumpkin spice, cinnamin, nutmeg.

Taste: A nice blend of roasted malts and pumpkin spices. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a crisp finish.

Drinkability: A nice flavorful treat that is easy to drink.

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz from chixdighops - into .3l tulip.

This pour deep brown, minimal head, about 1/3" dark tan almost hazlenut.

Very little aroma, malt, a little spice.

This really is a 'porter' first and a 'pumpkin' fourth or fifth. Excellent initial flavor, malt with a bit of pumpkin and 'pie' spices well underneath that really only come to the front with a bit of chewing or a short time on the palate.

Excellently weighted brew, it is heavy but doesn't have any of the stickness or residual sweetness that would make this unpleasant.
At 7.5% the alcohol is invisible, replaced by the pumpkin/spice undertone that pop up their head right at the death where I would typically look for that little bit of heat.

I'm not sure why, but the fact that the pumpkin is so well incorporated is currently a negative for this. Perhaps because I went in looking for it, and now it is mildly irritating that I can't find it. Something as simple as renaming this 'fall porter' and I think I might have been happily surprised to find faint pumpkin notes, but now I'm distracted by them when they do pop up.


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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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Photo of dudemuskie
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- The deepest brown you can imagine, practically opaque. Big dark tan head builds and falls leaving nice lacing.

Aroma- Toasty, roasty, fresh sweet honey-wheat bread, squashy pumpkin, and a host of subtle spices (I get clove, allspice, nutmeg).

Flavor- Starts with nice subtle spices and high notes of fresh pumpkin, then the complex malt flavors of roasty dark caramel balance everything out (and remind you its an imperial brew) and intensify through the middle and into the finish. Roasty, slight spiciness and subtle pumpkin linger in finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium-full bodied, slightly chewy, medium CO2, moderate residual sugars. Long lingering roasty finish. Slightly warming, just right for the snow storm we are getting!

Overall- Wow, great brew! Spice is there but in subtle layers and not smack in the face. Pumpkin is there but just enough to remind you its a pumpkin brew and add to the overall balance of the imperial porter. The base beer is delicious and the roasty/deep caramel flavors really work well with the pumpkin and soft spices. Well done and definitely worth the try! Wish I would have had this at Thanksgiving...

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