November 3, 2012

Samuel Adams Fat Jack

Samuel Adams Fat Jack Double Pumpkin - Ale brewed with Pumpkin and Spices (2012)
1'st Batch Special Edition - Seasonal (Limited Release)
22 fl. oz. / $6.99 USD / 8.5% ABV

About: "Pleasantly plump and satisfied. This rich and luscious brew indulges in flavor with over 28 lbs. of pumpkin per barrel, for a full bodied sweetness and deep russet color. Classic pumpkin pie spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice ignite a warmth and spark that’s deepened by an undercurrent of toasty smoked malts. The result is a delectable brew full of enveloping layers of flavor and spice. Malts: Samuel Adams two-row pale malt blend, Rye, Special B, and Smoked Malt / Hops: East Kent Goldings and Fuggles / Yeast: Samuel Adams ale yeast / Special Ingredients: Real pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice."

Thoughts: Poured a dark ruby red color with a thick and frothy slightly yellow colored head.

Smells like sugar pumpkin cookies. Damn good! The scent is fairly strong, and gets stronger the longer you breathe in. It's got a real down to earth homemade pumpkin pie type scent. It doesn't smell incredibly sweet, but it's nothing mild either... it's like a classic and familiar pumpkin, and the spices aren't overwhelming to the point where you can't get the pumpkin. I really like how this one smells. There also seems to be a low lingering booze heat around the back. Let's see how it tastes:

First thing I got was a mix of that cinnamon and sugar, followed by an extremely malty tone and then after the swallow that nutmeg and allspice shot off like fireworks. There is quite a boozy taste to this one too which is a really fucking tart, and that ginger really gives it a hazy feel once you breathe in after each gulp. There's a decent bitterness to this, but it maintains a sound balance with the semi-sweetness. It's not syrupy or overly sweet and the spices aren't overpowering either, but don't let those words fool you into thinking this one has a weak taste, as it does not! After drinking half the bottle the cinnamon coats the tongue for a while, and the spice really starts to emerge strong. It does get a little smokey. Overall I'd say that this is a very good representation of the style. It's very middle ground in pretty much all categories, but it's damn tasty and the high ABV is always more than welcome.

Mouthfeel is a medium, but man it is Frothy! It explodes like foam in the mouth when you hold it in.

I just looked back on my Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale review, and found that it's very similar to this one. Everything from the color to the scent and even the taste... only this time things are a lot stronger. While the color and look is exactly the same, the smell is something that this time around really comes out at you. You don't have to try for it, because it's right there bursting and popping. The taste also comes out like a squishy pumpkin slammed over the dome! It's a lot heavier and that booze kick doesn't let up one bit. I like my beers boozy, with a strong taste (and as you may have noticed, I'm not really a fan of subtlety). There's a good chance I'll buy this one again if I can find it, perhaps for a mixer review.


Anthony1138 said...

Found Fat Jack on tap a couple of months ago, when pumpkin beers were first being released. I agree with your comparison to the Sam Harvest Pumpkin, but it was far from my favorite Imperial pumpkin ale.

J.M. said...

Tried this one a few weeks ago while still on my quest to find a decent pumpkin beer. I liked it quite a bit out of the bunch I tried I thought it was the best. However, I never did get around to trying the Pumpking you mentioned to me. I wanted to, of course, but the night of my Halloween party the local booze shop was cruelly all sold out and has been since. Tears.

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