Thursday, April 14, 2011
Summit Unchained Series Batch 05 - Imperial Pumpkin Porter
Yep, I'm still playing the game of catch-up. My last 2 sessions were meant to get me back on track and up-to-date with the Schell's Stag Series. Now that those 2 have been taken care of, it's time for me to catch up on another limited local series. That would be the Summit Unchained Series.
Batch 05 (which is an Imperial Pumpkin Porter) is the subject of this session. Released in late fall last year, this brew was lovingly crafted by Summit brewer Nate Siats. He took a rich, strong porter recipe and added locally raised pumpkins to the mash. Then, various spices were added into the boil kettle, including: sweet China cinnamon, Jamaican allspice, powdered cassia buds, ground nutmeg, ginger powder, ground mace, and ground ceylon cloves. Sounds like a holiday dessert, doesn't it? It weighs in with 7.5% ABV and 40 IBUs.
I pour the thick, dark liquid from the 12 ounce bottle into my mug. The creamy tan head builds until it peaks at 2-fingers high. Then it dissipates to a thin, neat cap resting lightly on top. The body is blacker than black and allows no light to pass through the glass, even when held up to a light.
Smells good. It reminds me of a spiced latte I had during the holiday season. Roasted coffee beans and a hint of molasses mingle well with the heavy spice aroma. Ginger and allspice are the 2 that I can easily detect in the scent.
Time for my tongue to get a sample. Rich sweet malt and maybe just a hint of pumpkin transition into a momentary taste of coffee. Then the spice comes on bold and strong before the flavor moves to a deep espresso bitterness at the finish.
The mouthfeel is chewy and thick with some surprisingly prickly carbonation. A definite alcohol warmth builds with each swallow. There is some nice lacing left on the glass as the liquid level drops.
This is a great cold weather brew that would be well suited to serving with holiday desserts. In fact, its rich, sweet, chewy, roasty, and spicy characteristics would make it a great dessert all by itself! I must have suspected that in my second paragraph...