Up now, guest reviewing favorite Tim’s take on Fat Head’s Brewery Spooky Tooth!
Pours a robust clearish copper. The nose is, expectedly, pretty boozey, with cinnamon and nutmeg along as sidekicks. The overt alcohol fortunately doesn’t carry over to the taste. Burnt caramel and hefty, but not overdone, spice and a bit of alcohol sweetness that melds into the pumpkin. There’s not a ton of pumpkin, but there’s so much going on here and it’s so evenly balanced that I don’t think that’s a knock on it. Though the spice is a bit more prominent than pumpkin, it ends up coming off as subtle rather than disappointing.
Rich, thick and creamy, this is exactly what I wanted in my mouth. “Imperial” and “pumpkin” are two terms that usually run away screaming from even the -direction- of being nuanced, but the big beer brains inside the eponymous Fat Head cracked the code. 89/100
And now, my take:
Over the past few seasons, my eyes have searched for pumpkin ales beyond the confines of Massachusetts state lines. Spooky Tooth was on the list from Season One, and, finally, is joining the prestigious line of pumpkin beers consumed by moi. Imperial Pumpkin Ales that come in small packaging should always be approached with a wary eye – that high ABV will sneak up on you before you realize that you’re done in halfway thru the beer you’ve innocently numbered #3. Pouring a bubbly, clear dark amber, Spooky Tooth has a mature aroma of smoky brown sugar and cinnamon, like pipe tobacco in thickness. Tasting incredibly smooth for a 9% imperial, this ale relies mainly on a dense malt that creates a pie crust-like effect with a moderate amount of pumpkin. The pumpkin is kept simple without any gaudy spicing – just a subtle amount of cinnamon and all-spice.