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….