Friday, November 19, 2010

Cape Ann Fisherman's Imperial Pumpkin Stout

Fisherman's Imperial Pumpkin Stout
Brewed by:
Cape Ann Brewing Company
Gloucester, Massachusetts, USA

Pumpkin Ale

11.00% ABV

General Pricing:
12oz bottle, ~$7.00 each, ~$72.00 case

Last year I had the regular Fisherman's Pumpkin Stout and really liked it. This Year when I saw that they had an Imperial version I just had to pick it up to review. I must say however that it has been sitting in the fridge for about two months waiting for me to get to it. So let’s see what this imperial version is all about.

The beer pours a dark brown completely opaque with no light showing through the glass. This beer also produced a fairly rich tan to chocolate milk colored head.

The nose is rich with dark roasted malt aromas, a unique sweet fruit aroma that I can only assume is from the pumpkin and sweet alcohol. There are also notes of chocolate on the nose.

Oh My! This is good, Very good.

The experience starts out with sweet dark roasted malts upfront followed by a smooth rich and creamy mouthfeel in the middle of the sip. The back end is very easy drinking for an imperial stout. There is also a slight release of carbonation during the swallow. This also masks some the flavors a little. The finish is where it all comes together. The flavors on the finish are impressive, rich dark roasted malts, pumpkin, and notes of chocolate, coffee and dark fruit. There is also a nice sweet drying effect from the alcohol on the finish. This is not boozy but there is a sweet alcohol finish to it. The most impressive thing about the finish is the pumpkin flavors. It is a really nice natural pumpkin flavor that is just amazing. The final aftertaste is also impressive with the classic lingering malt flavors of a stout but also that delicious pumpkin.

All and all this is a very impressive pumpkin stout and the imperial aspect of it just sends this over the top. I can’t wait to see what happens as it warms and opens up a little.

We are now at 61 degrees.

The nose has more robust aromas as it warms. I can really pick up the roasted malt, chocolate and even more of the pumpkin aromas at this temperature.

This is really opening up nicely. All of the flavors are more enhanced now at this warmer temperature. It is also much smoother now. The carbonation release during the swallow in no longer there so these flavors are no longer masked on the back-end. There is a robust malt flavor and malt bitterness that now starts to build though the swallow. The finish is now outstanding with rich flavors. The rich dark roasted malts are more robust, the pumpkin is richer and even the alcohol is more noticeable at this temperature.

The end of this second snifter is now at 66 degrees and this beer is amazing. It is interesting how; on one hand it is more robust but on the other hand it is richer and smoother. At any rate it’s just getting better and better as it warms.

Well I’m down to the last few ounces in the bottle. I have been nursing this for about two hours and I am still starting to feel the effect of the alcohol.

Ok, all good things must come to an end and so must this beer. I’ve nursed this one long enough.

This has been at room temperature for quite some time now and it is smoother than ever. Even at room temperature this never picked up any off flavors; smooth rich and delicious to the last warm drop.

This is a solid A. I am very impressed with this unique imperial pumpkin ale. All the rich malt flavors of a high quality stout with very natural pumpkin flavor and imperial aspect at 11 % ABV makes this one impressive beer.  

I highly recommend this beer to anyone that likes Pumpkin Ales and Stouts. This was a very nice enhancement over last years Pumpkin Stout. It is a big beer at 11% but it is not boozy at all; the alcohol is masked nicely.  

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