Imperial Pumpkin Smash - Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Pumpkin SmashImperial Pumpkin Smash

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

368 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 368
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 13.35%
Wants: 32
Gots: 82 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co. visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  10.60% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Beer4Baltimore on 08-16-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 368 | Reviews: 62
Reviews by Franziskaner:
Photo of Franziskaner
3.31/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Absolutely jet black in color. No chance of any light getting through this one. A wisp of white foam rests on top. Complex aroma of pumpkin, raisins, fig, and molasses. Sweet smelling for certain. Thick and sticky. Plums, raisins, and dates mixed with pumpkin in the taste. Like a lactose stout in terms of sweetness. Reminiscent of Red Dragon Stout, but with more alcohol, pumpkin and not as well executed. This is a bit too sweet, but is pretty unique.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%

Pours a deep mahogany with a billowing creamy light tannish colored head atop.Aromas vanilla and warm cinnamon,some light roast is there as well.Rich in the feel and pretty creamy wich I would like to see more pumpkin beers like.Rich and warming on the palate with vanilla and graham cracker notes to go along with chocolate mild roast,the spiced notes lend another flavor hand,wow this kicks ass!One of the best pumpkin beers I have had whether a "standard" pumpkin ale ore a stout,I think I like this more than Warlock and that's saying something for me.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%

Who said that pumpkin ale has to mimic pumpkin pie? Certainly not the brewers of Crown Valley! Veering from the amber or pale supporting taste and opting for something stouter, the taste of roast, toast and cocoa also make a perfect companion for the spices and fruit that makes autumn so charming. And this stout proves it!

And pouring a dark and decadent as any stout would, its pitch black austere gives little insight to the spicy sweetness inside. But on graze of the nose and utter decadence ensues- smoldering just beneath the cinnamon, nutmeg and clove lies the aroma and initial taste of molasses and brown sugar that's laced with french-press coffee and dark chocolate.

With all that malty richness coating the palate, its deep and saturating sweetness highlights those robust and beautifully scorched sugars, bringing out a taste of brownie batter, bittersweet chocolate and candied praline. Walnut and spruce pull forth as the sweetness begins to fade and pave the way for that allspice medley to offer an arid and exotic taste that evokes memories of grandma's pumpkin pie... and mocha latte.

Yet as the spices grow in finish, their spicy bite is anticipated, but what's delivered instead is the unexpected hop influence of pine resin. As the hops offer their own sticky dryness to assist the pie spices, the beer achieves a semblance of balance that's great for those seeking a more beery experience. But I find it somewhat conflicting with the decadence of the pie and chocolate dialogue.

Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is nearly jet black in color. It poured with a quarter finger high tan head that quickly died down, leaving a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of vanilla and pumpkins are present in the nose along with some notes of coconuts.
T: The taste has flavors of coconut, pumpkin and vanilla along with hints of chocolate and a light amount of sweetness. Bits of pumpkin spices are also perceptible.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer does a very good job of hiding its alcohol that helps its drinkability. However, the complexity of the flavors really lends this to being a nice beer that you can sip and enjoy with dessert or as a standalone after dinner drink.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of dbrauneis
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%

A: Pours an opaque yet still clear jet black in color with light amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and some faint dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a four finger tall foamy mocha head that slowly reduces to extremely thick layer covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toffee and chocolate malts underneath moderate to strong aromas of pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and ginger) and vanilla. Moderate aromas of roasted pumpkin.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of caramel and chocolate + dark malts with a lighter flavor of toffee sweetness. That is followed by a moderate flavor of roasted pumpkin and a slightly stronger flavor of pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger) and vanilla. Just a hint of roasted malts in the finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with a light hint of spice dryness in the finish.

O: This is a pretty big pumpkin beer but is a pretty enjoyable one - nice aspects from the underlying stout and good pumpkin + pumpkin pie spices. Definitely worth grabbing and can easily be enjoyed throughout the fall season (would probably pair well with Thanksgiving dessert).

Photo of cackalacky
1/5  rDev -75.7%

A lot of people rate this beer highly, and I don't discount that. The only thing I can figure is I got hold of a bum batch....

I picked up a four pack of this with high hopes. I enjoy pumpkin brews, and Imperial Stout is perhaps my favorite style. After chilling a bottle (but not much), I poured it into a snifter. The color is a delightful, deep mahogany, almost black. The smell is full with spice and a touch of chocolate and respectable dose of pumpkin. It smells - and I mean this in a good way - like the Sir Walter Raleigh tobacco I remember my dad filling his pipe with when I was a kid.

But then I tasted it. There was nothing subtle here: overly sweet, harshly flavored, and a residue of artificial sweetener. I did my best, I really did. I thought, "Maybe it just needs to warm up more." That didn't help. "Maybe my palate just needs to adjust." It did not. In the end, it tasted like Sir Walter Raleigh, too, and I poured half of it down the drain.

Sometimes, though, I like a beer better on the second try. Perhaps I was having an off night. So, a few weeks later I gave it another shot. Same experience. Perhaps there are bottles floating around somewhere out there that are filled with delicious nectar, but I didn't happen upon them. This is awful.

Photo of Jared14
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%

2013- First year brewed. Idea from the new brewer who is doing good things since taking over from his lackluster predecessor.
Solid stout with good spice notes and chocolate stout flavors, but a tad boozy. Aged beautifully. Bottle.
4.25

2014- This year's version features more spices and blends very well with the stout base. This is a pumpkin beer. Draft.
4.4

Photo of gibgink
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

One of my favorite seasonal/pumpkin beers. Strong taste of the spices, not much on the pumpkin, which is what I enjoy.

Photo of wattoclone
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Sampled at Total Wine class where the brewery owner was present. According to the owner, Joe, the beer improves with age and is brewed with lactose making it a milk imperial pumpkin stout. Of the 13 beers sampled at the class I found this one the best.
Pours a deep black with tan head. Aroma of roasted malt, sweet figs vanilla and chocolate. Taste is dominated by sweet chocolate, pumpkin spices, coconut, vanilla and caramel. Hop finish is present but is balanced the the sweetness from the lactose and chocolate. I picked up two four packs and plan to cellar some for next year.

Photo of BrawnyBear
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great deep brown pour with a 1 inch head of light brown. Medium lacing. Flavors blend well with the toasted malt. The pumpkin spice is not overwhelming. Medium density mouth feel. The taste has hints of pumpkin, coffee, caramel and some light hops. I have had 3 and will order another one before it is out of season.

Photo of spacecake9
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Poured into my Pumking Goblet.

A - Very dark almost black with a 1/2" head that shrinks down to a ring with lacing on the side of the glass. Looks delicious.

S - Not a strong aroma but you get vanilla and pumpkin.

T - Wonderfully balanced flavors of coffee, chocolate and pumpkin with just a hint of alcohol. And very drinkable - I find myself reaching for my next sip before the flavor from the last sip is gone.

M - Medium mouth feel and medium carbonation. Flavor sticks in your mouth for awhile.

O - This is a fantastic pumpkin beer. Great marriage of stout and pumpkins. For me the key is everything is so well-balanced, just can't say enough about this beer.

Photo of russpowell
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%

Pours an effervescent mahogany with a thumb+ of mocha colored head. Great head retention & good lacing (4.5)

S: Squashyness & pumpkin pie spice (4.0)

T: Follows the nose, dryness, cinnamon, carob & a bit of charred grain & toffee up front. Dryness, toffee, carob & even a little cola to go with nutmeg& all spice & more charred grain as this warms. Finishes dry, spicy, & slightly sweet (4.0)

MF: Medium bodied, lively carbonation, the only real flaw in this beer, expected way more body (3.0)

Drinks good, a little more body would push towards must buy, but well worth a try. I would rather have ST Warlock any day. Works better as a pumpkin beer than a Imp Stout (3.5)

Photo of jamespub
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

served room temp in a chilled glass to try to get to the recommended 50-60* serving temp.

A- pours a dark brown with lots of carbonation. a little more carb than I like to see in imperial stouts, and slightly thinner body, but the head lingers for a short bit and dissipates with some nice lacing. appears as a nice, medium bodied imperial stout.

S- pumpkin, spice, dark chocolate. smells very nice.

T- great pumpkin flavor, the spice is nowhere near overwhelming, accompanies the overall flavor well. dark chocolate lovers, seek out this beer. it has a dry, dark chocolate flavor that lingers. reminiscent of pumpkin bread with bittersweet chocolate chips. i am not a fan of dark chocolate, however I appreciate this complexity and balance. not overwhelming, but definitely stands up to be noticed.

M- dry throughout, it seems.

O- a very unique look on a pumpkin ale. I am enjoying it. schlafly is still the king in my book, but this one is worth getting.

Photo of jsausley
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%

Massive malt body with delicious and aromatic pumpkin overtones. Very palatable, thick, gorgeous dark color and strong alcohol content. A+++.

Photo of Treyliff
4.63/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a goblet

A- pours a pitch black color with a small creamy tan colored head that leaves a layer of film on top with some short lasting lace left behind

S- this beer smells like Halloween! Slightly smokey roasted malt gives aromas of chocolate and toffee candy, big whiff of sweet vanilla cream, pumpkin spicing kicks in near the end with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and toasted pie crust

T- deep roasted smoky malt flavor up front immediately gives lots of chocolate and caramel, followed by some charred wood. The caramel notes continue into the mid-palate before opening up to the pumpkin spicing; notes of cinnamon, nutmeg & vanilla cream, compliment a slightly piney hop presence. The finish provides more smoke and chocolate with more subtle spicing on the finish

M- thick and viscous body with medium carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel and a smooth velvety finish, ABV is hidden very well

O- I've drank a lot of pumpkin beers, and this is by far one of the best, certainly the best pumpkin stout. The spicing blends brilliantly with the smoky malt of the base beer, with notes of caramel and vanilla to compliment. I'm definitely looking for more of these next year

Photo of n2185
3.75/5  rDev -9%

A: Pours black with half a finger of light tan head that fades into a thin ring with little lacing.

S: Sweet chocolate and pumpkin pie spice aromas dominate--especially the latter. Smells like a pumpkin pie Yankee candle.

T: Sweet pumpkin pie flavors--more like pumpkin syrup than real pumpkin pie--dominate Roasted malts and sweet chocolate peek through as well with a finish that is oddly charred and bitter tasting. There is also a light alcohol burn.

M: Medium-thick body with lowish carbonation, this beer avoids being watery but could use a little creamier body or more carbonation to balance the sweetness.

O: This is a beer that I liked a lot initially but less and less as I progressed through the bottle and it warmed. It's a bit too sweet and the stout characteristics are hidden under a barrage of pumpkin syrup flavors and aromas. The finish is also bitter and has an odd aftertaste that just tastes fake. All of that said, it's still a solid beer and enjoyable.

Photo of Rukasu
1.75/5  rDev -57.5%

Ooof, this is a rough one, but I'm biased, I generally dislike pumpkin beers. Received in a beer of the month set.

A bit baffled by the high marks on this one. Great color and head, but the taste incredibly cloying. Strong taste of toasted coconut, toffee, with astringent alcohol on the back. Very bitter aftertaste that lasts. Someone else mentioned artificial sweetener and I have to second that. It's like the taste after drinking a diet soda. Could not finish a bottle, poured half down drain.

Do no drink with food, except maybe apple pie.

Photo of nbaradel443
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'm not a huge pumpkin fan let alone in my beer lol. But when my buddy said let's drink a pumpkin beer for the holidays I said ok and looked at the ones we had at work I saw the high apv and that's what made me pick it. But when I tried it later that night I was greatly surprised in the taste I actually bought more just to have when it went out of season I do recommend this to anyone who either likes pumpkin beer or doesn't not and in my opinion it beats pumpking

Photo of Immortale25
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch light brown head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- This is the most enjoyable aroma I've ever gotten from a pumpkin beer. All the usual suspects are there: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, graham cracker as well as some new ones that are just lovely: cake batter, cotton candy, banana, fruitcake, chai tea. All these layered components have the dark roast intertwined with them to provide just the right amount of roasty quality.

T- Flavor is mostly comprised of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Not as intense and complex as the nose but still delicious. The dark roast brings a balance to all the spice keeping it from going overboard. Sweetened coffee aftertaste. Just saw that this is 10.6% ABV and I never would have guessed it was anywhere over 8.

M- Somewhat creamy and has a moderate thickness for a stout. Medium carbonation and a full body.

O- Easily the most complex and utterly tasty pumpkin beer I've ever had. Beats the shit out of Pumking, Warlock, Smashed Pumpkin, etc. The only pumpkin beer that can hold a candle to it is Schlafly's but this is still better.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crown Valley Imperial Pumpkin Smash has a medium-to-thick, creamy, beige head, a very dark brown, opaque appearance (with some reddish brown tint showing at the edges), and minimal lacing left behind. The aroma is bold- Spice City (vanilla & white pepper), some vegetative aroma, and even a chocolate & caramel aspect. Taste is of very rich, sweet coconut, white pepper, celery, Fall spices of all sorts, chocolate, nougat, and toffee, among a lot of other flavors I can not hope to pinpoint. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, and Crown Valley Imperial Pumpkin Smash finishes rich, sweet, and delicious. It’s mostly wet, too. Overall, this is so wonderful and interesting. It’s delicious, y’all!

RJT

Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev -2.9%

A: poured into a snifter to a black beer with a half inch of dense tan head that fades quickly to a collar around the edge of the glass and leaves no lacing
S: smells of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices with notes of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice
T: taste is ginger, pumpkin pie spices, and pumpkin with hints of roasted malt and caramel sweetness. swallow is more pumpkin pie spice with some chocolatey and roasty malt on the finish
M: fairly full and smooth in the mouth with soft carbonation and a neutral finish that's slightly refreshing
O: A pretty good pumpkin beer. I wish it was a little more stout forward but I can understand why this one scores so well. Glad I picked it up but not sure how I feel about having five more.

Photo of ThickNStout
3.72/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle that my brother gave me. Bottled 7/8/13 (3189). Served in a Pumpking goblet.

Pours cola black with a full finger of deep tan head. Maintains a nice pillow and laces pretty well.

Smells of sweet pumpkin, cream, nutmeg and a bit of dark roast coffee. Similar to pumpkin pie.

The stout and pumpkin flavors dance well together. Bitter dark chocolate, pimpkin pie, coffee, toffee, pie spice, mild pine, smoke and cinnamon. There's enough going on that the 10%+ abv goes virtually unnoticed. I'm not sure if it's smoked/burnt malts or bittering hops but there's a near-overbearing bitterness persistent throughout.

Full, creamy body with dull carbonation. Lingering bitterness in the finish but pumpkin pie, cocoa and coffee are also back there.

Solid, not stellar. Between this and Warlock, I've confirmed that I enjoy pumpkin imperial stouts. Maybe not worth hunting but definitely worth trying.

Photo of wworsham
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Excellent Autumn Pumpkin beer. A bit dark for my taste.

Photo of dutesanch
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as an extra in a trade. Smell and taste are strong Pumpkin pie flavors. A little heat at the end. Smooth balance of pumpkin pie spice and malty sweetness,

Photo of ppoitras
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle received from coworker Eric. Thanks for the brew!

Pours into an imperial pint glass, forming a 3/4" brown head over the almost opaque dark brown brew. Fluffy head lasts like a rock, with long-lasting etched-on lace. Aroma is pumpkin and spices.

Taste is sweet upfront, pumpkin pie in the middle, and spice-o-rama through the close. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth, but drinkability is hard. Not my favorite style, trying to work with it, but the intensity of the pumpkin and spicing is just throwing me off track. I'll stick to my more non-holiday brews.

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Imperial Pumpkin Smash from Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co.
92 out of 100 based on 368 ratings.