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Imperial Pumpkin Smash - Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Pumpkin SmashImperial Pumpkin Smash

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

57 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 57
Hads: 378
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 7.14%
Wants: 35
Gots: 88 | FT: 5
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 57 | Hads: 378
Photo of cackalacky
1/5  rDev -74.5%

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. (1,268 characters)

Photo of Rukasu
1.75/5  rDev -55.4%

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. (547 characters)

Photo of GallowsThief
2/5  rDev -49%

Out of a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

A – Dark, root beer brown on pour with a healthy tan head that stuck around and left small rings in the glass.

S – Allspice, pumpkin, vanilla. Not overwhelming smell but very pleasant.

T – Hmm. Astringent and bitter. Do not taste the spice in this one. Not good. Bad bottle? Drain poured.

M – See taste. Tough one.

O – Not sure here. It looks and smells good but the taste is tough. Overwhelmingly bitter and has a funky astringent taste. I love all things pumpkin be it pie, cake, seeds, beer whatever. It is one of my absolutely favorite things and I tend to like any pumpkin beers (even ones others hate) but something is up here. Weird. (698 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
2.35/5  rDev -40.1%

Random bottle from World of Beer. Never heard of these guys but this sounded interesting. Pours black with a khaki to mocha head. Aroma of sweet pumpkins, some cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg spice, sweet cream and sugar. Flavor is cloying chocolate pumpkin spice with an artificial sweetener finish, and maybe a hint of roast. Thin, medium carb, blegh. This is pretty much undrinkable. (382 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
2.9/5  rDev -26%

Pour is black with lots of mocha colored head. Nose is heavy dry milk chocolate, a bit vegetal, light chalky notes. Moderate pumpkin, faint cinnamon. Taste is similar, light roast, chalky chocolate, faint pumpkin and cinnamon. Less vegetal, still a touch green, moderate carb, creamy finish. (294 characters)

Photo of jucifer1818
3/5  rDev -23.5%

I found this beer to be rather weak.

Harsh to drink with no real chocolate notes or festive pumpkin spice notes.

It both fails as a stout and fails as a pumpkin beer, really leaving nothing satisfied or good
It does not have any real flavor faults, and no booz can be detected, but I really feel that this is a very weak beer that is not worth its price for a 4 pack.

Far better options are available
Id Give this beer a pass, but it is probably worth it to try if you can get it on sale or free from a friend. (513 characters)

Photo of MisterE
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

One of the strangest beers I've ever tasted ~ still not sure what to think about it. Maybe it's trying to do too much, but I have to admire the effort the brewers put in. (170 characters)

Photo of Franziskaner
3.31/5  rDev -15.6%
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. (454 characters)

Photo of Omnium
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is spot on, rich creamy brown black two finger head
Aroma is nice. Vanilla and rich roasted chocolate malt, roasted pumpkin and some cinnamon.
Taste goes awry horribly. It's incredibly bitter and soapy. Burnt flavor, really weird almost chemical trait. Pumpkin is buried. Awful
Feel is bitter and lingering.
Overall I don't know how some of you like this so much. I don't know what happened but I poured out half (423 characters)

Photo of BrownAleBollocks
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with a one finger mocha head. Aroma is pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices, and molasses with a toffee hint. Taste is pumpkin, chocolate, toffee, and very light roasted smokiness. Mouthfeel is thin for a stout, but actually works here as a pumpkin/stout hybrid. Overall, an interesting beer that could do with some age and will taste pretty nice on a cool fall night. (385 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
3.72/5  rDev -5.1%
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. (913 characters)

Photo of n2185
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

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. (991 characters)

Photo of KingTide
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Poured the 2014 version from a 12oz bottle into a goblet. Pours rich, almost black like a thick cola. It's funny, when held up to the light, it looks almost like a dark violet color. Nice beige head that laced my glass most of the way down.

The smell is nearly identical to the taste in my opinion. I get very strong toffee notes and a very sweet smelling chocolate with some pine nut.

At 10.6% ABV, I would expect the alcohol in this beer to be much more obvious, and it might be for the first few sips. After a few more, I really start to dig in to this beer. Like I said, it tastes very close to what you smell. There is chocolate, a very nutty flavor that to me can only be compared to pine nuts, some nutmegish pumpkin flavors, and the taste of toffee could not be mistaken for anything else.

I like the beer. I bought it because I love imperial stouts, not because I love pumpkin beer, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well balanced this was. Beware though, if you do not want a RICH almost desert beer, this is not for you. After one, you might be stuffed. It is an imperial stout afterall. Perhaps I poured it too cold, because I was not incredibly fond of the first few sips as I said, but I will be drinking this at around room temperature from now on. Crown Valley is a dependable brewer, and I will try just about anything they put out from now on. (1,370 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to joshstl for this puppy! I know Crown Valley (nominally) distributes to Maryland, but I've never seen this in the state before, so whatever. I'm happy. And it looks like a big-ass imperial stout should. Yet the smell is pure pumpkin ale - I'm getting a huge amount of cinnamon and nutmeg in particular. The big-ass imperial stout is almost overwhelmed here...almost. Notes of chocolate, smoke, dark fruit, and roast are subtle yet not nonexistent. As it opens up, the dark malts come out nicely. Pumpkin ale notes hit like a truck initially, bringing huge amounts of cinnamon and nutmeg, with even a touch of gourd character appearing. And yet, beneath it all, is a roasty, chocolaty imperial stout - my favorite kind of stout. It finishes with some vanilla and dark fruit notes augmenting the spice character. Complexity is impressive throughout. Having said that, the flavors seem a bit mish-mash (keeping it out of 4 territory). It's a soft, creamy-feeling stout, albeit a touch thin for 10.6%. The slenderness allows some of the alcohol to appear, but it nuances the flavor instead of ruin it. For something so massive, it drinks quite easily. This manages to mesh the massive imperial stout with the semi-dreaded pumpkin ale quite well. Not perfect, but very enjoyable - which is more than I can say about several others in the style.

3.75/5: More pumpkin ales should taste like this (1,399 characters)

Photo of bmwats
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A: Black. Pours a slight, foamy, brown head. Settles quickly. Spotty, persistent lacing.

S: Pumpkin, nutmeg, and black licorice.

T: Pumpkin is prominent. Lots of licorice, too. Accentuated with some fall spice, and maybe a little clove.

M: Thick and heavy, with a slightly bitter finish that lingers on the palate.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is pretty good. Dark hue, fair head, and some persistent lacing. Nose is pumpkiny and fall spicy with a hefty dose of licorice. Pumpkin and black licorice accentuated with nutmeg and clove. Overall, this is a good quaff. (613 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (567 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%

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) (684 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%

Pours a black color. One inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and decent lacing. Smells of sweet malt, alcohol, strong spices, pumpkin, vanilla, and a hint of oatmeal. Fits the style of a Pumpkin Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, pumpkin, strong spice, sugar, alcohol, and strong vanilla. Overall, a very strong body, good appearance, aroma, blend, and feel. (430 characters)

Photo of scratch69
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Dark brown color with a fingers worth of light brown colored head. Nice amount of lacing.

Smell- Dark chocolate, pumpkin, and a little spice.

Taste- Pumpkin and dark chocolate flavors with some spiciness at the finish. Alcohol is detected after the swallow.

Mouthfeel- On the high end of medium bodied, smooth, and creamy. Above average amount of carbonation for the style.

Overall- Either as a stout or a pumpkin ale, this is a very good beer however you approach it. (522 characters)

Photo of jamespub
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
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. (962 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a small, tan head of foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of pumpkin, lots of spices - like nutmeg and cinnamon.

T - Strong maltiness and chocolate. Very spicy with nutmeg and cinnamon.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale.

O - This is a big pumpkin beer. You could buy it now and enjoy it all throughout the holiday season.

Serving type: bottle (453 characters)

Photo of SHODriver
4/5  rDev +2%

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. (739 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is jet black, with ruby highlights, and a sparse surface coat of tan head. Aromas of pumpkin spices and bread, including cinnamon and nutmeg, subtle milk chocolate notes, and hints of roasted coffee bitterness. Flavors are rich and sweet pumpkin bread forward, with a blast of bitter roasted coffee and booze underneath. Some vanilla and tangy caramel notes in there, too. Slick, robust, oily body, with a roasted, spiced, pumpkin rich linger. The finish is slick, smooth, and bitter. Solid brew. (546 characters)

Photo of JefferyLaGrow
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%

Appearance: Dark, but not viscous. Medium to light amount of head, with soft foam.

Smell: Pumpkin, a light smoke, gingerbread, milk, chocolate, and spice.

Taste: The initial play between pumpkin spice and chocolate is very nice. As the favor fades, there are secondary notes of smoke, and burnt sugar. The aftertaste leaves a slight bitter taste on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, and creamy. Not overly chewy for an imperial.

Overall: Really good pumpkin beer. The bitter aftertaste was a little off putting, but otherwise this might be my new favorite pumpkin beer. Very nice. (600 characters)

Photo of Mikecap
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

To start I'm not huge on pumpkin beers, but I love me a nice stout.

Appearance; Pours a jet black with a thin khaki head that fades slowly, nice chunky lacing remains on the sides of my snifter.

Smell: Huge pumpkin up front, reminiscent of pumpkin pie. Followed by some lactose, brown sugar and a ton of sweetness, some cinnamon and allspice - inviting.

Taste: Less pumpkin than the nose, and I get chocolate, some coffee, and hints of cinnamon spice. Abundance of roasted malts and more pumpkin on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with low creaminess and a nice silky texture. Alcohol is extremely well hidden but this is for sure a sipper.

Overall: My second beer from this brewery and I'm again impressed. I'm liking the pumpkin in the stout setting and this is a solid offering. (800 characters)

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Imperial Pumpkin Smash from Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co.
87 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.