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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.
very good

62 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 62
Hads: 406
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 36.41%
Wants: 42
Gots: 96 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 62 | Hads: 406
Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev +3%
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

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Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours out an astonishingly dark color for a pumpkin; wisps of tawny color highlight the corners and the tan head leaves some dots around the glass

Smell: Chocolate, coffee and molasses, as well as pumpkin, vanilla and spice cake tones

Taste: The darker flavors of an imperial stout are prominent but, in the middle, the pumpkin, vanilla and coconut elements emerge; spice cake flavors develop, as well, with everything coming together in a complementary fashion in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I had never heard of this brewery before but they sure have done a nice job with this beer

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%

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.

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Photo of zeff80
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
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

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Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%

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.

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Photo of russpowell
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%

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)

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%

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).

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of Tone
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%

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.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
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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Photo of cpetrone84
2.9/5  rDev -27.7%

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.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.62/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a St Bernardus goblet.
A: Darkest brown. Opaque with a mere dusting of head.
S: Smells big and spicy with lots of vanilla and a hint of roast. I think there's some pumpkin flesh in the nose, but it's hard to detect under the eggnog-like nose.
T: This is an outrageous, unbelievable beer. As in, I don't believe this beer can/should exist. It's incredibly sweet, superlatively thick, and almost overwhelmingly flavorful. The maintaste is chewy and full of nutmeg, vanilla, and mild gourd. Also chocolate, cinnamon, and caramel. The endtaste has a smack of harsh booze or spice or artificiality.
M: I think the thickness/sweetness is actually a negative. Sticky aftertaste.
O: Let me tell you what I did. It was too much. I think I liked it, but I was physically unable to drink it. So I put some Club Soda into the beer, at ~1.5:1 beer:water ratio. YOU CAN'T TELL. This beer has so much body and flavor, that diluting it by 70% is unnoticeable. It's less cloying, and the stickiness is gone (exactly my goal!), but otherwise it seems untouched and totally drinkable. I like it better this way, and my final score reflects this bizarre outcome.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown color with tannish colored head. Pumpkin pie spices, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, chocolate and rounds out with some roasted malts; follows onto the palate. Very smooth, full bodied stout. Finishes with chocolate and pumpkin pie spice, nice combo.

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Photo of Suds
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rich black color with a dense and serious tan head. Great lace. The smell is amazing....pumpkin ice cream and pie filling. Wow. Booze,maple chocolate....sugar. The taste is sweet, but very bitter. Lots of pumpkin and spice. Intense is an understatement. Huge and lingering aftertaste. Incredibly thick and full mouthfeel. Hides its alcohol well.

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Photo of BMMillsy
2.35/5  rDev -41.4%

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.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
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

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.49/5  rDev +12%
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!


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Photo of tbryan5
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours pitch black with almost no head and minimal lacing.

S- Sweet pumpkin cream and spiciness on the end of the nose.

T- Wow! More sweet, pumpkin cream spiciness, nutmeg on the end.

M- Perfect carbonation for me, not too high or too low.

D- Very rich but I still want another one. This is a great beer!

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Photo of n2185
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

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.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: onyx body, trace khaki head, splendid lacing

S: dark chocolate, sweet malt, big pumpkin spices

T: big pumpkin spice, dark choc, roasted coffee/nuts

M: med body, smooth creamy mouth

O: WOW! Never heard of this beer or brewery
and was rather surprised. Definitely a sipper
and to be shared with worthy friends. Wish
was a little bit heavier in body, but still amazing.


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Photo of Treyliff
4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
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

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Photo of bmwats
3.76/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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Photo of Omnium
3.33/5  rDev -17%
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

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

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Imperial Pumpkin Smash from Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co.
89 out of 100 based on 62 ratings.