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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

60 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 60
Hads: 391
Avg: 4.02
pDev: 36.32%
Wants: 39
Gots: 94 | 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: 60 | Hads: 391
Photo of Rukasu
1.75/5  rDev -56.5%

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.

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Photo of cackalacky
1/5  rDev -75.1%

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.

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Photo of Gerberr
4.3/5  rDev +7%

Got it as a toss in durning a trade for some Prairie stuff. Shocked how good this was, especially since I don't think I've ever really enjoyed a pumpkin beer, and it actually outshined some of the beers I traded for. Quite possibly one of the most aromatic beers I've ever had, like sniffing a pumpkin pie. And the taste was spot on to the aforementioned pumpkin pie.

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Photo of Tone
3.94/5  rDev -2%

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 Roxie_B
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Looks: Pitch black with chestnut highlights. Opaque. Big fluffy tan head of various sized bubble. Good head retention.
Smell: Cinamon, cloves, molasses and graham crackers. A big waft of cola.
Taste: Nutmeg, allspice, dark chocolate and sassafras and a tiny amount of pumpkin. Finishes with a medicinal clove character.
Mouthfeel: Dry and sharp.

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Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +7%

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 BMMillsy
2.35/5  rDev -41.5%

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 BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%

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 russpowell
3.9/5  rDev -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)

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Photo of JefferyLaGrow
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%

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.

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Photo of GallowsThief
2/5  rDev -50.2%

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.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%

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 brstls4drmrs
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

A-pours a thick, dark, brown liquid with a nice cake head. Lacing is good here.

S-heavy toffee caresses your nose with hints of pumkin, butter, cocoa and slight spice.

T-pumpkin and the spice are both more evident with some hints of toffee and pie crust. Very nice. No boozy tones at all.

M-medium to heavy carbonation and more of a dry, malty body like in a solid porter. Good stuff.

O-if you're a pumpkinhead, get yourself a bottle.

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Photo of tbryan5
4.48/5  rDev +11.4%
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 Bosoxfan20
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%

A- Pours a near black with a khaki 1.5 finger cake of a head. Looks full and viscous. Solid lacing. 4.5

S- Earthy notes initially- toffee, bakers chocolate, cake batter. All of this rides on a fresh pumpkin patch backbone. 4

T- Follows the nose to a t, but with some added spice, nuts, and alcohol esters. Some bitterness from the roasted malt kicks in late. Everything just taken up a notch. Very smooth. 4.25

M- Creamy, buttery, and quite full. The smoothness just allows this one to go down so easy. 4.5

O- Just a damn good pumpkin stout. So flavorful and nothing artificial about it. Right there with Schlafely as my fav pumpkin ale. I will most certainly be picking up another pack to put away for the holidays. 4.5

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Photo of KingTide
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

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.

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Photo of HuskerTornado
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into Pumking Goblet. Pours a rich ebony color with a good sized beige head that slowly dissipates leaving a decent amount of lacing.

Smell is of sweet toffee, chocolate, pumpkin, and a hint of alcohol. Kind of like Halloween in a glass. Really nice.

The taste is a great combination of the smells, with great dark chocolate profile up front with strong pumpkin pie notes, a bit of smokyness, and also some hoppy pine notes. A lot going on here, but all works well together and balanced. Mouthfeel is dense, smooth, and the alcohol is well disguised.

Overall, a great imperial stout first and foremost, and absolutely one of the best pumpkin beers out there.

I picked up an extra couple of six packs to age and drink at different periods. Look forward to comparing 2014's batch to 2013's.

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Photo of Jared14
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%

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.

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

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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

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.72/5  rDev -7.5%
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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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark opaque body, comes up with a light orange-cream colored head that fades a little too quickly for me. Not much carbonation to be seen. Bottle art is simple but neat and assertive, definitely spooky.

S: Wow, surprising depth for this style! Strong pumpkin, baking spices, dark malt. Great roundedness.

T: Again, very impressive! Pumpkin and spice forward, with dark malts adding some smoke and toffee/nuttiness for a more mature character than most other pumpkin beers. Sweetness and bitterness balanced beautifully. Awesome depth, balance, clear and yet varied flavors. Finish is medium-long, with flavors this great I wouldn't mind a bit more.

M: Creamy, full-bodied. A bit mouth-drying.

O: This will make pumpkin-beer bashers drink their words. This is a very well-crafted beer, providing distinct pumpkin flavor while also being a respectable beer in its own right. Deep in flavors, precise in balance, and high in alcohol, this is a beer I will seek out next fall/winter.

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Photo of bmwats
3.76/5  rDev -6.5%
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 RonaldTheriot
4.49/5  rDev +11.7%
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 serotoninronin
4.56/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a regular ole pint glass.

A: Color is archetypical stout. Pure black; no compromise. Tilted, the color holds nearly entirely through the edge, which puts me on alert for some serious thickness. Very short and thin head, light cinnamon in color, with little retention.

S: Lots of pumpkin and attendant spices (clove and nutmeg, most dominantly) that dash away into the shadows of some bold, sweet espresso and bitter chocolate, almost baker's chocolate. Sweet potato pie with a dollop of home-made whipped cream. Definitely some glimmers of booziness, but nothing offputting.

T: Taste follows the smell really nicely. A bit more pumpkin flavor than on the nose which lingers a bit longer as well, and is aided by some nice roasted malt anchorage. The sweetness peeks over the edge of cloying before tastefully pulling itself back into the aforementioned coffee, dark chocolate bitterness. Really deep notes of a nutty toffee at the end. No booze at all in the flavor. I would have absolutely no reason to think this is as high ABV as it is. Really beautifully constructed.

M: Coats my entire palate perfectly. Very light carbonation, but not so light as to result in any syrupiness, which is a common pitfall for these big imperal pumpkins. Definitely chunky, but does nothing but push the flavors forward in the proper proportions. It's not out to overpower me or weigh me down.

O: Astonishing, really. I'm something of a pumpkin junky, and this is easily in the top 2 or 3 all-time for me. There have been some really strong efforts recently (Warlock, He Said, etc.) , but this came out of nowhere and really set itself apart. That rare sweet stout that could serve as both dessert and breakfast. Really makes me sad that pumpkin season is nearing a close. Hopefully they bring it back next year.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.3/5  rDev +7%
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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Imperial Pumpkin Smash from Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co.
89 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.