Who remembers watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown as a kid?
I sure do! Regardless of how many times I had watched it before, when it came on TV I was on the floor watching it. Linus (poor guy) would patiently and reverently wait for the Great Pumpkin, only to be disappointed.
Well this guy was waiting patiently, hoping that a certain Great Pumpkin would make an appearance here in South Louisiana … and I’m happy to report that Saint Arnold didn’t let me down. I’m speaking, of course, about Saint Arnold’s Pumpkinator – an Imperial Pumpkin Stout which has been brewed (in limited qualities) every fall since 2009. Boasting a ABV (that’s Alcohol by Volume) of 10%, it’s not for the fainthearted – nor is it to be toyed with. While brewing a batch of Black IPA with my neighbor Jim, I decided it was time to give the old girl a try. I picked up a big bottle at Cannata’s in West Houma and we eagerly cracked it open.
The first thing anyone will notice about Pumpkinator is the smell, I don’t think any beer touts a more tantalizing smell than Pumpkinator. Really! It smells like pumpkin pie, spices and rich roasted malts. I poured it into my english pub glass, and was greeted with a deep brown/black color with red highlights wherever light could penetrate. A thick, mocha head formed which left minimal lacing. The flavor was not to be outdone by the nose – I detected cinnamon and nutmeg up front, dark chocolate, roasted coffee and of course, pumpkin pie. Jim and I agreed the spices balanced out the stout very nicely, and weren’t overdone. The mouthfeel was rich and creamy with not much carbonation (which I would guess is a product of the aging.)
Overall, Jim and I agreed this was the best Pumpkin brew we’ve had to date. The cinnamon and nutmeg brought about a very “Christmas-y” feel to this beer, which was perfect for the cold night spent in the kitchen brewing beer – like pumpkin pie with chocolate. The alcohol is an afterthought, it’s hidden quite well, which makes this strong brew dangerously drinkable. Tread lightly, my friends!