Big Black Pumpkin
Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery

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Pumpkin Beer
4.32 | pDev: 6.25%
Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery
Illinois, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Reviews: 18 | Ratings: 20 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of joe1510
4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

64oz Growler
Flossmoor Station

I've been dying to try Midnight Sun's Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter for 2 years now, the mix of pumpkin, chocolate and porter sound delicious to me. Now that I finally have a bottle on the way Flossmoor Station came out with Big Black Pumpkin, a big porter made with pumpkin, cocoa nibs and pumpkin pie spices (ginger, allspice, clove, nutmeg and cinnamon). I can't wait to dig into this.

The filled to the brim growler fills my snifter with a solid black beer that doesn't let a hint of light through, even when directly backlit. The head easily grows to a finger + of instantly creamy mocha brown. It slowly fades to a solid cap with a thick collar that leaves behind sheet lacing after each drink until the glass is empty and the walls are covered in foam.

The nose is full of rich pumpkin pie filling and dusty cocoa. I can't decide if the pumpkin or spices get the nose running, either way what's there is good. Pumpkin, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, mild cinnamon and mild clove jump from the glass all in that order. The cocoa nibs bring along the dusty cocoa character while the base porter brings along more of a dark chocolate quality. Each swirl of the glass really brings the ginger forward but as the head dies back down the other spices lead. Black licorice and moderately roasted malts find their way through the spicing with each deep pull. Sticky molasses and a faint spicy alcohol come along as this beer warms.

The nose was led by spiciness but the flavor is led by big rich porter and cocoa. Don't get me wrong, the spices play a major role but the roastiness and dark chocolate of the porter make their stand with an excellent spine of maltiness. The pumpkin and spices play off the cocoa nibs and dark chocolate to make for a semi bitter sweet flavor that works really well. The ginger stands out nicely in the spicing along with allspice, thankfully the clove is mild. The pumpkin pie goes great with the chocolate and it's just the combo I've been waiting for.

The body is on the heavier side of medium, bordering on heavy, with a smooth creaminess which is nice to come across in a growler. The spiciness fades from the tongue rather quickly while the cocoa nibs leave a chocolate residue and a slight bitterness.

For being a pumpkin beer with a big porter base this beer goes down incredibly easy. There isn't the faintest hint of alcohol and this bomber is disappearing like no one's business.

Big Black Pumpkin is the ultimate pumpkin beer, for me, up to this point. The spices fit in with the porter nicely instead of overtaking the beer like 90% of the pumpkins out there. I'll look forward to this every year from now on.

Reviewed: 11/15/08

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Photo of bluehulk
4.77/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off this is my first review after having come to the site for about 5 months. I have has this wonderful beer in mugs at the bar as well as via a growler. I somehow got Matt to give up a growler of this hidden keg. I actually wish there was away to age it.

A- Dark brown with a light head , probably more of a result of me possibly waiting too long to serve it. I was considering aging it.

S- Subtle pumpkin smell with cloves and cinnamon and some malty chocolateness.

T-OK, this is amazing. In the purpose of full disclosure I love strong porters and anything pumpkin. This has it all. This has a great subtle pumpkin, strong clove and cinnamon and maybe some ginger taste along with the nice roasted malt flavor of porter which dominates the taste and some dark bitter chocolate on the mouthfeel. Can anyone say heaven in a glass.

M- Smooth and nectar consistency which flows quickly if I didn't want to savor each sip

D- 8.0 % is hidden very well considering I am able to write this during my third . I have seen others devour this beer as well. You certainly have to be a pumpkin guy though as it does it you with pumpkin.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a footed pilsner glass)

A- This beer has a jet black body with a creamy tan head that sticks to the glass slowly sliding back down after each sip. It is a bit to dense to see any carbonation.

S- The creamy dark notes of malt have a faint roasted bitter hint but that blends with mysteriously soft spices and almost a hint of pumpkin.

T- There is a nice tangy note that comes along with the roasted black malt flavors at the beginning and although the malt flavor doesn't dissipate that tang does a bit as the beer warms. There is a nice brown sugar note and depth to the dark malt that has a faint smoke hint to it. There is a soft spice quality that is a bit to subtle to dissect apart. (which is the perfect amount of spice for me) There is a soft pumpkin note at the finish followed by a nice inky black malt bitterness to wrap of the flavor.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with an alcohol heat at all.

D- This is a good solid beer that is enhanced by the hint of spices and pumpkin not dominated by it. This makes for a very interesting beer and a nice sipper. If it didn't have pumpkin in the title I probably would have missed it all together.

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Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
4.51/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lucky for me they found another keg, and I now have a chance to try this fun product. Poured into the "small" serving glass @ the Brewpub.

A - Not much head from the pour, one finger with tan head. Dark brown body.

S - Usual spices, lots of nutmeg, maybe some oragano, with an asertive roasted malt bitterness right up front. Added sweetness seems to come from chocolate malts and pumpkin paste. Balenced and what one would expect.

T - Spice kicks this off, backed by mild pale malt sweetness. Spices add sweetness throughout, and at midpalate are balanced out by mild roasted bitterness. Hops lend some citrus and pine, but never really overwhelm the flavors that are the focus of the drink. Swallow does bring warming alcohol notes. Finishes with lots of the pumpkin pie spice, with a bit of pumpkin sweetness, balanced by assertive hop bitterness.

M - Full and silky, carbonation seems good for style.

D - This is a very balanced, excelent twist on pumpkin beers. The dryness from the roasted malts seem to balance out the sweetness from the spices and pumpkin in a much more interesting way than your usual hop balance. Makes me wonder why there aren't more like this. Seek out.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this growler a couple weeks ago from joe1510 in this years Secret Santa, thank you kind sir!!

64 oz. growler poured into a pint glass, shared with my buddy Kaleb.

For being a few weeks old, this baby produced three fingers of brown head on top of a super black beer that died down to a thin layer which lasted throughout. Not a whole lot of lacing on the sides, but a few spots here and there. Smell is a nice blend of sweet and smokey with roasted malts, cinnamon, and toasted pumpkin seeds. Some earthy hops and dark chocolate in the nose as well. Not an overpowering pumpkin aroma, but that's a good thing IMO. Taste begins with pumpkin bread, toasted oats, and some spice. Midway some more smokey flavors, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Aftertaste is pretty dry with more cinnamon and cocoa powder. Big and full body with a strong tingle on the tongue. I really have no idea where the 8% comes from and it's a bit scary how easy this one goes down but I can't complain ;) Definitely one of the best(if not THE best) pumpkin beers I've ever had. Thanks again Joe for this once in a lifetime brew!!

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Photo of Floydster
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at the 2008 Strong Ale Festival, consumed 12/5/08, reviewed from notes, color was near black but had some light surfacing around the edges, 3/4 inch somewhat foamy light tan head, some decent retention, leaves a pillow floating in the glass, smell was full of pumpkin but not pie spices like you would expect from beers of the style in the past, cocoa nibs, ginger, cloves, cinnamon rolls, this thing was packed with sweet luring aromas, taste reminded me a lot of Midnight Sun's similar brew but with less roast and more sweetness, does have a lot of spicy components once it warms though, first time I could taste pumpkin seeds in beer which was cool, mouthfeel was sweet, spicy, and slightly roasted, medium bodied, moderate level of carbonation, lingering taste, pretty light for what it is, not much alcohol in the flavor, ABV is not huge either, could drink a few pints of this during the holidays, just when I was about to try trading for a growler of this, this happens to make it down to Southern California for the event somehow, stoked to try this and it was not a letdown, both of the beers I have had from this brewery are the real deal, recommended

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Photo of hopdog
4.07/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this one on tap.

Poured a dark black color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of pumpkins, pumpkin seeds, and lots of spices. Tastes of spices -stronger in the tastes vs. the aromas-., pumpkins and some chocolate.

I like my pumpkin beers a little less spicier (especially in the tastes).

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours black with a decent size ruddy and cola brown head that fades to a ring. Aroma is a fantastic mixture of pumkin pie spices and a cola-y sweet porter. Chocolate comes thru nicely as well, adding a great segue between the pumpkin pie and porter aromas. Taste follows the aroma with more of the chocolate coming thru, a nice lactose and cola porter sweetness, blending with the pumkin pie spices. Some good nutmeg in the finish blends well with the lactose and chocolate sweetness, a bit of roast hints at the back of the throat. Mouthfeel is medium in body, carbonation is on the light side of medium and blends well with the body size, a bit of dryness in the finish. Light, but yet so rich. An outstanding beer, the flavors and aromas meld so well together, it was definitely a treat. Best pumpkin beer I've had to date. Major thanks to Joe for the great opportunity.

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Photo of roadhouse
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap tonight at 11/29/08 at Flossmoor in a pint glass.

Appearance was black or near black with a one inch tan colored head. It sank down fairly quickly and eventually into nothing and left no lace.

Aroma was quie chocolatey with heavy notes of nutmeg, clove, and ginger. Cinnamon and allspice were also there but not quite as prominent. The pumpkin also comes through as well but it a subtle way.

The taste started out with the chocolate and subtle pumpkin flavors but right at the beginning of the swallow an onslaught of spices comes in as well. It was hard to distinguish which one really came out the most but the result was a wonderful blend. Towards the finish there was some roasty bitterness alongside the lingering spices that seemed to be overrun by the cinnamon.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied, quite soft on the palate and was easy to drink despite the massive spices.

This was easily the best tasting and probably most interesting pumpkin beer I've had to date. Very good stuff and I recommend getting some before it's done.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass at Flossmoor Station 11/25/08. Thanks to my dad for the assist!

A: Served a pure, pitch-black color with some slight lightening at the edges. Capping this is an incredibly creamy, dark-tan head. The head retains for a good while but when it disappears it does so with almost no trace. No skim or lace, just a tiny ring.

S: Aromas of roasted malt, toasted pumpkin flesh, and spices such as nutmeg and cardamom. Just when you think it can't get any better, then you start to notice the aroma of semi-sweet chocolate.

T: This is filled with the finely balanced flavors of roasted barley, toasted pumkpin seeds, pumpkin pie spices, dark chocolate, and a helping of dark fruit.

M: Very smooth and creamy with a welcome bitter edge and a touch of dry spiciness in the finish. You gotta love a creamy porter!

D: Unbelievable! I liked it so much I decided to bring a growler of it to Thanksgiving dinner where Heather & I and Heidi & Tom Morris just plain inhaled it.

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Photo of wkcyr4
4.45/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a pint glass at Flossmoor Station:

A: Dark almost black with one finger of nice caramel colored head. No lacing to speak of.

S: Cinnammon, cloves, nutmeg and chocolate dominate the nose. Pumpkin is very subtle, IMO.

T: Taste is pretty amazing combination of chocolate and all of those spices blending together to form a wonderful, very balanced beer.

M: Very full but not filling. A little dryness upon finish, cocoa really comes through at the end.

D: Extremely drinkable, hides the 8% very well. Pairs well with a caramel,nut brownie or vanilla ice cream with butterscotch topping!

This is probably my favorite beer this year from Flossmoor. Great job with this one. People who haven't gotten the opportunity to try their beers should definitely seek them out. They are greatly underrated and need to be noticed more. This an outstanding adition to the pumpkin beer world. Too bad it is only available at the brewery, though.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a growler that I split with fellow BA HopDerek and our ladies. Big, BIG thanks to joe1510 for hooking me up with this in a trade. Way to spread the Flossmoor love buddy! Poured into an oversized tulip.

Pours a dense looking pitch black with a ¾ finger of creamy, burnt mocha colored head. This fizzles out pretty quickly, retaining by bunching up around the edges with some very thin wisps in the center. Swirling puts a big cascade of streaky lacing and brown oily residues. The aroma is very rich with roasted malts, chocolate sweetness, and spice that dominate the nose with notes of cinnamon, clove, and allspice. I'm also picking up what appears to be yeasty banana esters and bready malts, giving off the sense of banana bread. Nice! As it warms, a soft waft of heat joins the fray, adding some warmth to what is already a pretty festive and fall like aroma.

Much like the aroma, the taste is a rich tasting mix of roasted chocolate malts with a touch of pumpkin meat and a tingling array of pumpkin pie spices that combine with the sweetness in this to just stick to the tongue well into the backend of the profile. The finish is just sticky with spices and tang and makes me greedily anticipate the next sip of this. The mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied with a nice creamy carbonation that spreads out well in the mouth. The ABV of this is hidden very well and unlike the small bit that I sniffed in the aroma, neither the body nor taste gives any sign of it.

I've had a good bit of rare and special pumpkin inspired beers this fall and this one right up there at the top. Rich, roasty, spicy, and extremely quaffable the four of us killed this growler in no time flat! Thanks for the opportunity Joe!

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Photo of HopDerek
3.92/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Kegatron for sharing this growler with me.

Poured an opaque black color with 2 fingers of foamy burnt tan head. Quickly fading retention left a little bit of lacing behind. Smells of banana bread, roasted pumpkin seeds, allspice, roasted malt, and a touch of coffee. Tastes of overripe bananas up front, then roasted pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice with some hints of caramel and roasted malt. Finishes with some chocolate syrup and coffee grounds. Medium in body with low carbonation. Creamy with nice roasty and bitter notes. A really different but good porter, but the pumpkin notes were a little subdued by everything else going on.

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Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Map Room.

Black chocolatey liquid in a fluted tulip, mocha latte skim of foam. Roast malt dominates the nose, with a little roast pumpkin and vague underlying nutmeg or cinnamon.

Lightly bitter roasty notes, with a smooth chocolate feel. Long finish of nutmeg, and allspice, and toasted cacao nibs. Pumpkin is understated and integrates with the imperial porter well. Not vegetal, it has a mild spice and full texture. Carbonation seems fairly low and adds to the silky texture. Overall worth a try, and a good one to share. A really creative idea that ended up a success.

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Photo of botham
3.73/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at the brewpub in Flossmoor. pours an opaque black color with a single finger of tan dense head that leaves no lacings and has mild retention.

aroma is a mix between a subtle herbal quality and a base of dark, roasted malts. the herbal quality is most likely from the pumpkins added, and mixes nicely with the chocolate and black malts.

taste is of smooth and warming malts, with a medicinal quality that is a resultant of the mixing between alcohol and herbal notes. very unique on the palate. the medicinal quality can almost be equated to couch drops, in a more subtle fashion. the roasted notes are present, along with the subtle chocolate and a touch of caramel so often found in porters, but they are discounted by the herbal quality of the overall profile.

mouthfeel is nicely proportioned and full bodied, with a nicely roasted character and a smooth and warming finish. interesting to say the least. no carbonation to speak of.

drinkability is good. this is a porter more than a pumpkin ale, and the pumpkin flavors are not present, if at all in a distant note of spice. for a pumpkin ale, this is a unique mix of roasted malt and herbal spices. worth a try for any BA in the mood for something different. cheers!

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Photo of milwaukeeclassic
4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is easily the best pumpkin beer I've ever had that I can recall.

A - Jet black with a nice brown head

S - Smells like pumpkin pie. Nutmeg comes to mind immediately and some cinnamon too

T - A nice mix of pumpkin and bitter chocolate tastes. Not the slightest hint of alcohol

M - Very smooth, just like a porter should be

D - I could drink a lot of this. I had no idea that this was 8% abv when I was drinking it.

This is a pumpkin beer at it's finest. Another quality offering from Flossmoor.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brow color with almost not head, but good lacing.

Tons of pumpkin and chocolate with some great spices and coffee. An intense and wonderful aroma, great stuff.

Taste of roasted malts, chocolate, cinnamon and some more spices. Damn good flavor, one of the best Pumpkin flavored beers I have come across.

Mouthfeel is extremely smooth, but a bit of carbonation makes it great.

Flossmoor Station has crafted an awesome Pumpkin beer, one I would be proud to serve at Halloween or Thanksgiving. Truly great beer, kudos to the Flossmoor team.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black with ruby highlights and 2 fingers of brown head.

S - Nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, maybe allspice, slight hint of bakers chocolate but a nice balance of pumpkin spice aroma dominates.

T - Fresh baked pumpkin pie, nutmeg, clove, allspice followed by roasted malt and a rich chocolate finish that lingers on the tongue for a while.

M - Smooth and creamy, medium body.

D - I was intrigued by this one not thinking that pumpkin, chocolate and porter would blend that well but this one is delicious. I was suprised I could not detect and alcohol in this one being 8% ABV.

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Big Black Pumpkin from Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 20 ratings