These days, pumpkin beer tends to solicit as strong of a reaction as a certain caffeinated, chain-delivered counterpart. As someone who lives in a place where fall means 80-degree weather, October showing up in the calendar typically leads to German-style brews instead. But somehow Tupps Brewery, a young operation out in McKinney, Texas just a bit north of Dallas, has forced a bit of soul-searching. The brewery’s Full Grown Jack—an “imperial stout with pumpkin spices”—has become a must-find fall beer throughout Texas in just its second seasonal appearance.
Appearance and Aroma
The can says “Black Ale,” but the beer name opts for “Imperial Stout”. Whatever Full Grown Jack is, this beer is dark. Its aroma presents something much more colorful, though. Tupps may advertise “pumpkin spices”, but emphasis should lie on the spice, via an incredibly aromatic snickerdoodle scent. You can debate what specific cinnamon-forward baked good you’re smelling, but don’t expect the Starbucks PSL™ experience here.
Know that it comes in four-packs for a reason, but those one or two beers will warm even the biggest pumpkin skeptic’s heart.”
Despite being a heavy beer at 12.1% ABV, Full Grown Jack proves deceptively drinkable. Tupps’ cans feature a one to five dot scale for things like bitter and sweet flavors. This beer earns two for bitter and three for sweet, resulting in a balanced drinking experience. Similar to that first sense-driven impression, the beer doesn’t deliver a ton of pumpkin overall—maybe there’s slightly to taste versus the beer’s aroma. Instead, those fall spices pleasantly linger on the tongue after a delightfully warming, smooth sensation with each sip.
Austin and Houston have the higher profile beer scenes, but maybe it shouldn’t surprise anyone that moving even a little bit north can lead to perhaps the state’s best pumpkin brew. Know that it comes in four-packs for a reason, but those one or two beers will warm even the biggest pumpkin skeptic’s heart.