Monday, May 30, 2011

Imperial Pumpkin Stout - A Bastard Style of Beer

Beer Style of the Week – The One of a Kind Beer (The Bastards) Imperial Pumpkin Stout - Part 2 of 4

Week 17

A few weeks ago I have was having a deep beer discussion with German Beer Historian and Writer, Horst Dornbusch (FYI- All beer discussions with Horst can become deep… as in, put-on-your-thinking-cap-deep). I wondered what “style” of beer Samuel Adams/Weihenstephaner collaboration, Infinium fell into. Is it a Biere De Champagne? Horst, catching me slightly off balance asked me a seemingly simple question in reply? He asked, “Is a Raspberry Vanilla Cream Wheat Double IPA a style?” Huh? I replied back. He clarified, “How many brewers need to brew the same type of beer, for it to be considered a real “style”. He added that for a beer to fall into a “style” category there must be at least some comparative analysis. In other words, several brewers need to create a beer using similar ingredients and similar brewing techniques and processes so that a “style” of beer can be compared to and matched to each other.

We didn't determine an exact quantity of brewers brewing a similar beer to qualify for a "Style" designation, but we did agree that at least, several brewers need to brew the same "type" of beer in order for it to fit into a "Style" range.

And that, my friends leads us to our second, One of a kind Bastard beer series;

The Imperial Pumpkin Stout.

Fisherman's Imperial Pumpkin Stout – Cape Ann Brewing – Gloucester, MA – 11% ABV

22 oz dark brown bottle. Freshness date not noticed.

Served in a Nonic tumbler.

It pours a ruby-hued dark chocolate color with fast-fading tannish head.

Big robust whiffs of pumpkin and roasted malt blast forward, followed by pumpkin pie nutmeg spices and a trailing resinous hop nose. A perfumy rum vapor rises through and lasts throughout. Interesting compound aromas...

The flavors are not shy! Tastes of dark rum, coffee, cocoa, pumpkin, spices and resiny hops pound away at all spaces and corners of the mouth. It's all quite good! I'm looking for some subtle tastes, and I guess a faint taste of limes and a little prune flavor may be present...though they tend to peak through, then shy away.

The body is rich and almost syrupy...nearly cloying, though maybe correct for what it is.

It's a bastard style, belonging to several mothers and fathers and maybe some distant relatives, but it will always be welcome to dwell in my cellar.

Let’s welcome the Bastards everywhere. They may not fit into any one style, but they do provide an enriching diversity upon the olfactory senses.

Cheers to the Bastards!

Quote: “Did you ever taste beer?” “I had a sip of it once,” said the small servant. “Here’s a state of things!” cried Mr. Swiveller…”She never tasted it-it can’t be tasted in a sip!” – Charles Dickens (1812-1870) from ‘Nicholas Nickleby’

Beer Picnic & Party at Ben Fuller's

Beer Picnic with Hennipen on Tap!!!! 2 Shots & a Beer Smoked Beans, Venison Carpaccio, Beer Bread and Chili, Beer Wings, even Beer Cupcakes!!!

Thanks Paula and Ben!

Beer Picnic & Party at Ben Fuller's

Hennipen on Tap!!! 2 Shots and a Beer Smoked Beans, Venison Carpaccio, Beer Bread, Chili 'n Beer, Beer Wings and even Beer Cupcakes!