Fisherman’s Imperial Pumpkin Stout

As a sidebar before I begin my review of Fisherman’s Imperial Pumpkin Stout, a word about label design and information:  I’ve talked about this before on this blog, but brewers, please take heed:  your label is an opportunity to tell the story of your beer, and too many of you are leaving that soil untilled.

This beer is a perfect example:  big bomber bottle, plenty of real estate, but Cape Ann Brewing opts not to provide anything beyond name, rank and serial number; no information on the beer, no back story, nothing.  A wasted opportunity in my view.

The label itself doesn’t really call your name on the shelf either (or even really announce itself as a pumpkin beer), but I wanted to review a pumpkin beer tonight, and this one’s local, so here we are.

Smells pretty boozy as soon as it hits the glass; not necessarily the best first impression [just looked at the label…11%, whoa!].  It’s actually got a pretty smooth mouthfeel, which belies the ABV though you definitely get the warming effect as it goes down.

It’s surprisingly easy-drinking for such a big beer, but for an imperial stout (of any variety, really), I expected more flavor which this beer doesn’t really deliver.  For an imperial stout, it’s a little bland, especially in the pumpkin department.  Maybe that’s what they’re going for here, but I found this beer to be something of a disappointment as it ticks neither the pumpkin nor the big imperial stout flavor boxes. Plus, at 11% it’s really too big for one person in one sitting, but there are so many other beers I’d rather share with a friend.

[UPDATE]:  As I put the glass down to write my post over the course of 15 minutes or so, this beer changed quite a bit.  More subtle flavors of pumpkin pie and mellow spices emerged by the time I finished writing this entry.  It’s much more enjoyable now.  I might even get it again now that I know.  It’s the sort of pro tip the brewer’s might’ve wanted me to know.  If only there was some way they could communicate with me, the consumer.  Someplace to include such a helpful tip where I might see it.  Hmmm….

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