The Fear - Flying Dog Brewery

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The FearThe Fear

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BA SCORE
83
good

480 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 480
Reviews: 115
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 13.9%
Wants: 38
Gots: 72 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: taylor714914 on 09-25-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 480 | Reviews: 115
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Weavah
4/5  rDev +9%

First of all, let me just say that I can't stand Pumpkin beers. I typically find them to be over sweet, fake tasting, and otherwise vile.
However, Flying Dog has done a marvelous job here.

A: Dark copper brown. Great creamy head, with minimal lacing.
S: On the nose a big hit of nutmeg, and a faint bit of sweet potato .
T: Nut meg, and clove are the spices I'm picking up. The pumpkin here is faint. You get it right up front then it fades away. And it taste like raw pumpkin smells...more earthy then aggressively sweet. A lot of good malt and caramel on the finish, with a good hop bite.
M: Sticky, and smooth.
O: This is not just a good pumpkin beer, this is a great imperial. If you gave this to me with no pretext I would think it was just a really good imperial IPA.

Photo of gillagorilla
4/5  rDev +9%

12 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter

A: Deep, dark brown.

S: Lots of pumpkin spice, but of a darker earthy flavor. A bit musty with clover, cinnamon and nutmeg.

T: Mostly of spices and a strong brown ale. Warms up nicely, like a nice pumpkin pie, but a bit scarce on the pumpkin.

M: Smooth with just a nice bit of carbonation to move those spices around.

O: Good stuff. One of the better ones that I've had. My third of the year, but my first full bottle (the second was the Schlafly Pumpkin and the first was Pumking).

Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev +9%

A: deep dark brown body, less than opaque edges; fat foam head a couple of fingers high left some lace down the glass

S: dark brown chewy pumpkin bread, molasses and spice

T: rich brown malts and slightly vegetal but mostly sweet pumpkin; spicy edges and molasses sugars; hearty dark bread quality, fruitiness of candied fig and date

M: medium-weight, warming and smooth, slight prickle on the palate; roasty brown aftertaste

O: better than I expected - the brown ale was well-suited to the pumpkin bread flavors and spice; rich and warming seasonal treat

Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.14/5  rDev +12.8%

A: Darker than blood/rich mahogany. Light, creamy tan head, and consistent lacing. Very fearsome looking like blood dripping from a werewolf's canine. (4.75/5).

S: Toasted bread. Cinnamon, ginger, and allspice (4/5).

M: Slightly syrupy, full bodied. Low-moderate carbonation with a spicy finish, very well-attenuated finish (4.25/5).

T: Pumpkin puree with lots of warming cinnamon and ground clove. Dark espresso-extract like malt flavor. Lots of roasted chocolate malts as well. Slightly sweet ginger and pine hopping, resinous caramel. Walnut bitterness. Bitter and roast malt forward (4/5).

Photo of oberon
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The perfect beer for the day I guess.Poured roasted chesnut color with a tinge of amber,almost no head to speak of.Pumpkin pie spice and big sweet alcohol in the nose,a booze bomb.Spiced with an undelying sweet alcohol element that is omni present,the flavors are not bad with the spice being dominant,the alcohol gets even bigger as the beer warms.There are better imperial pumpkin ales out there that are not as hot,it's not awful though.

Photo of Billolick
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness info

Flying Dog's beers seem to get better and better with each new one I try, so I was happy to find this new seasonal at Yorktown, Beverage, in my home town of Yorktown, NY.

Pours dark mahogany, moderate height on the medium tan head, leaves a trail of fine lacing here and there.

On the nose I pick up some cinnamon, some vanilla and a hint of some dark bread.

On the palate it’s more of the same, again, cinnamon, again vanilla, darker malts, some of the 9% rearing its head, yeah a wee bit boozy, but I tend to like boozy, and hey it is 9%. Tastes sort of like Double Bastard, infused with a hint and a half of fall spices and with less hops and less body. Not really getting much actual pumpkin flavor or character.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 355ml bottle with no visible BB date. Picked up recently from Trembling Madness in York. Time to get into the spirit of Halloween/Autumn with a pumpkin ale. As always, Ralph Steadman's label art is great.

Poured into a Delirium chalice. A deep ruby-brown hue that appears almost black in the glass. Good carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy beige foam that lasts for a few minutes before subsiding to a patchy surface layer. Aroma of spices and malt with notes of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, fruity malt, pumpkin, mild roasted grain, yeast esters, herbs and stewed leaves. A subtle, warming whiff of booze in the background.

Tastes of fruity malt, spice and pumpkin, with a dry, bitter finish. Notes of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, fruity malt, pumpkin, roasted grain, herbs, stewed leaves and subtle yeast esters. Slightly sweet, with a warming hint of alcohol in the background. A herbal bitterness upon swallowing; verging on harsh. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with pleasant carbonation and decent body. Could be a tad thicker/creamier for the strength. Rather astringent, followed by an aftertaste of bitter herbs, spices and fruity malt.

An interesting effort, though the spicing is a bit heavy-handed. Looks good, with a nicely rounded aroma of malt, pumpkin and spice. The flavour is OK but rather bitter, with a herbal quality making itself felt. Body is a little insubstantial for the ABV. This brew packs plenty of charisma but lacks balance. Worth trying, but probably not one that I'd grab again.

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

ST: 12oz poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark brown with a half-a-finger brown fluffy head.

S: Lots of pumpkin, allspice, and cinnamon. Overall, the squash dominates.

T: This beer is a spice keg. The spices start early and finish late. The earth pumpkin is almost lost in the background of strong cinnamon and allspice. Instead of hoppy flavors, there is spice that lingers on the tip and back of the tongue along with strong alcohol warmth.

M: Medium and dry.

O: The Fear is aptly named. Strong, dark, spicey, it chases you along the whole drink. The alcohol and pumpkin work well together on the finish.

Photo of Brenden
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Fear is darker than night, very close to black but allowing some red and brown to peek through at the edges. It develops a small tan head that has pretty good retention and leaves some craggy islands floating on top, which in turn leave firm patches of lacing in moderation.
I'm enjoying the pumpkin on the nose; it's sturdy and fleshy with a very good level of spicing, enough to add a nice aroma without overpowering the rest. There's also what I assume is an intentional buttery note that adds to the pleasantness.
The flavor differs just a little, but not in a bad way. The main difference is the stronger presence of herbal and floral hops bitterness. It does kind of come out over the pumpkin and spicing, though the spices make their way out a bit more than the pumpkin does. There's a peek of alcohol into a lingering finish.
The body is medium, and pretty full at that. Crispness is light and constant, balancing nicely with an equally constant smoothness. Dryness pulls into the finish.

Photo of Mrfabulous49
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

One of my bartender friends gave me a pint of this without telling me what it was. It tasted great and went down smooth as could be. A little bit of a burn in the mouth, but otherwise, a great drinking brew.

What I did notice halfway through my pint, was that I was starting to feel pretty fucked up. This was the giveaway that wasn't drinking a typical 'pumpkin spice' seasonal. I asked my friend what it was and told me it was The Fear, made by Flying Dog Brewery. So, I had another & it seriously kicked the shit out of me.

In summary, fantastic beer, but if you are driving, watch your intake because the ABV is twice your average seasonal. Or, have a designated driving and get ripped!

Photo of faulkster4
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

A nice slightly bitter "IPA" as in imperial pumpkin ale! Nice molasses color and similar smell and taste. No real hints of pumpkin to me but if i had to drink a beer, i would enjoy this one.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Lost Abbey teku. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 1 finger light brown cream colored head with average retention. Beer is clear dark brown. Lacing is stringy, spotty and sparse with decent cling. Solid.

Nose is very mellow. Nutty with a hint of pumpkin, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Average.

Opens pumpkin spice, chocolate, roasted malt, and cocoa. Some cinnamon and nutmeg along with loads of brown sugar sweetness and spice at the middle. End is more brown sugar and holiday spice sweetness with a nutty aftertaste. Pretty tasty.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth in the mouth and accented going down. Messy finish with a lingering, sticky aftertaste. Nice.

A solid beer overall. I tend to prefer the darker pumpkin beers and this one fits the bill pretty well. Worth trying.

Photo of Bierleichen
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heavy Cinnamon taste but a decent beer

Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.54/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap in a tulip- clear, dark ruby mahogany color with less than a finger of head that took a long time to form. Leaves stunning silky sheets of lacing.

Smell is unimpressive- boozy more than anything, also a little pumpkin and clove.

Taste is not particularly interesting- pumpkin, clove, nutmeg, booze. It's all right but nothing spectacular.

Mouthfeel is nice- velvety full bodied, light soft carbonation, a little chewy. Good but nothing amazing.

Photo of Kegatron
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a deep clear ruby (but you really have to hold it up to the light), topped with a finger of light tan head. This settles into a smooth ½ finger of creamy froth, leaving back a rich cascade that descends into thick swathes of lace. The pumpkin jumps right out in the aroma, with a ripe fresh fleshiness that mingles with the festive airiness of the spices. Vanilla flavor adds some sweetness to this, while a touch of roast adds a little darkness to the nose. The alcohol has some tight warmth across the back and offers up a bit of extra sweetness and spice to the proceedings.

The taste is burnt sugars, green vegetal pumpkin, a flush of vanilla sweetness, and then some roast across the back, giving this a charred feel that hangs on the tongue. This is fairly spicy to start but things mellow a bit as this warms and the sweetness starts to rise some more. The finish is dry and warm with some lingering notes of roast and light spice. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with some sharpness up front that then expands out into the mouth with a firm palate filling creaminess. This is maybe feeling a little too carbonated in spots but does get softer underneath. This does have some beef to it and while it doesn’t completely handicap the feel, there is definitely some sharp warmth here that eventually emerges and is really felt in that already harsh finish.

This was a bit of a mixed bag. I liked the attempt at the complexity and size here but the more aggressive aspects of this (mainly the roast and alcohol) just got to be a bit wearing after a while. It’s not horrible by any means but definitely needs to be toned down a bit to ultimately be more enjoyable.

Photo of hophugger
3.14/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Never ever have I seen a pumpkin ale this dark, wow!, pours a dark color with a tinge of deep orange red trying to peek through. Aroma is of pumpkin pie and spices and some sweetness. The alcohol bites you at first and then a pumpkin spice flavor comes through. The alcohol continues to burn ever so slightly. The flavor is decent but the burn is amazing. Decent balance of flavors and overall(besides the alcohol) a pretty mild mannered beer

Photo of Mongrel
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a ruby-brown with little to no head or lace.

First major impression is the smell, which is like cough syrup or a strong herbal lozenge. Potent, bright and herbal, with just a little dark fruitiness coming through.

Taste is very similar to the nose - strong herbs and spices up front, anise and clove chief among them. This mellows in the middle to include a lot of malty sweetness, including vanilla, figs and prunes. There's a little hop coolness at the end. This beer is - like I remembered it - pretty in your face. I do not remember the herb/spice component being so forward - it sort of drowns out any real pumpkin flavor. Not a completely balanced beer, but still intriguing. Perhaps some time in the cellar would even it out a bit.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy, with a little tingle from the booze and hops. It seems a bit thin though.

Photo of jtierney89
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the darkest pumpkin beer i've seen that hasnt called itself a pumpkin stout. Deep 100 year old rusted brass hue with a big sticky off white head. Pumpkin, licorice, allspice,nutmeg, cinnamon an cocoa powder on the nose.

Surprisingly light for 9% abv but still on the heavy side of being medium bodied. Lots of spice with a big roasted malt profile and a nice pumpkin flavor to it. Unfortunately the spice really dominates this beer to the point of lingering in the mouth. The nice roastiness of the malt however compliments the pumpkin pretty well. A bit of a sloppy beer but a pretty good effort and i complement the brewery for using this years fresh pumpkins. Could use some work but drinkable and overall tasty enough.

Photo of Treyliff
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A- Pours a dark brown with a ruby hue, two-finger off-white foamy head retains long after the pour, leaving behind some nice lacing.

S- big malty aromas of sweet bread and some fig, some toasted notes in there as well that simulate an aroma of pie crust. Pumpkin spices are well balanced with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger

T- the big malty notes follow the aroma with lots of sweet bread and dark fruits, the sweetness continues and becomes a bit cloying, pumpkin spice notes are there, but overpowered by the sweetness

M- Heavy and thick body with low carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel and ends with a velvety finish, just a bit of alcohol warmth at the end

O- This one nearly hit on all cylinders, but the overpowering sweetness made this one difficult to finish. Other than that, everything else was on point

Photo of beerthulhu
3.44/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep garnet red almost no head formation upon the pour. Light to medium rise of visible carbonation, spacious, no window dressing on the vessel.

S: Sweet caramel syrup and cloves for aromatic. Molasses, cherry filling and figs, but more syrupy sweetness then anything. Not much natural pumpkin attributes, mostly clove spicing.

T: Warm spicy alcohol-cloves and caramel syrup for flavor. Sweet pumpkin inards, toasted seeds, sweet toasted grains, baked bread, with a warm caramel apple glaze. Spicing of cinnamon and nice spicy warmth as well.

M: Heavy bodied, syrupy consistency, spicy alcohol warmth.

O: Overall the alcohol contributes some spicenss and dry warmth, but also overshadows at times. Pumpkin quality could of been deeper. The alcohol soon settles and provides a sweet pumpkin pie spice warmth.

Photo of jfmorey
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Whole Foods in Vienna, VA

Very dark, almost opaque rudy-brown

Swell is all malt, black cherry

Taste is only fintly of pumpkin and spice; perhaps the reason for the generally low reviews? Just enough piney hops to balance the sweetness, with none of the metalic taste the is an issue for me in higher alcohol beers.

Photo of CraftBeerTastic
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ba Review #77
Served On: 10/13/2011
Glassware: Snifter
Labeled ABV: 9.0%
Date/ Code: 2011

I can’t believe I ran into some of this. Perks of working right down the road from Flying Dog’s brewery in Frederick – I guess.

Look: Poured a rather dark color for a pumpkin ale. An almost porter brown consistency with a thick 1 finger tan head. Carbonation seemed rather good, but bubbles were hard to detect through the murky appearance of the brew.

Smell: The aroma made me feel like I was actually smelling pumpkin pie. No real artificial notes or extreme spices like some pumpkin ales I’ve had. Granted - spice and pumpkin meat were apparent, just not way overpowering or fake. I also got some hops and a somewhat earthy potpourri that promised some balanced sweetness. Not much booze in the nose.

Taste: First on the palate were soft notes of pumpkin meat with some typical pumpkin pie spices - like allspice and nutmeg. The middle offered more spice with pleasant alcohol warmth that confirmed the 9% ABV. Finish had an unusual bitterness mixed with lingering spices. I would have to guess the unexpected bitterness was from the Warrior and Willamette hops making up the 45 IBU’s. This beer certainly had the imperial qualities I was hoping for. What a treat!

I’m hoping I can pick up more of this. My bottle shop said distribution is extremely limited and they were only able to get in a couple cases.

___

Vintage Tasting Notes:

Ba Review #77.5
Served On: 10/17/2012
Glassware: Duvel Glass
Date/ Code: 2011

This bottle had been in my cellar since last year around this time.

Look: Poured the same very black color. Think pumpkin porter. Sandy head reduced down to a clump that floated around. Head lacing almost looked like flames rising up from the dank scary liquid. Alcohol legs everywhere along the sides of the Duvel glass.

Smell: It seemed as though the spice intensity was turned down a bit and replaced with some dark chocolate notes. The aroma could have reminded me of a Stout. Some of the pumpkin meat character was still vaguely noticeable.

Taste: First off was a creamy dark chocolate note that was followed by a bitterness found in the fresh version. I have to say that most of the pumpkin and spice qualities went away over the past year and left my palate with very basic stout or porter notes with minimal spice. Also the bitterness level seemed more intense. A slight hit of cinnamon or nutmeg did hit right before the finish. The aftertaste was just more bitterness.

I can't say that I'll ever cellar a pumpkin beer again. I've heard where spices seem to subside, and I can see first-hand that is true.

Photo of fourstringer
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 12 oz Brewer's Art goblet with a moderate hand. Admittedly, not my favorite style, but I do dig on Flying Dog in general.

A: Very nice. Rather dark amber, almost black when viewed straight on. Off-white head approximately 1 finger width. Minimal lacing.

S: Smells is good. Dark. Some indistinct pie spice and notable sweetness. Mild vanilla. Smells like a pumpkin beer. Better than most, but I would hope for a little extra oomph given it's "imperial" classification.

T: Sweet up front with a rapid transition to a hop bitterness which lingers. More hop than the average pumpkin beer for sure, but that's not an inherently bad thing. The expected pumpkin spice is certainly there, but a bit indistinct. Maybe I'm imagining it, but I swear I'm picking up some Old Bay in there. The first few sips were even a bit salty. It's unique, but I don't think it's really working for me. Tastes like 9% ABV.

M: Low to moderate carbonation. I think a few more bubbles would help this one out. A bit syrupy. Probably the low point.

O: Interesting take on an often underperforming style IMO. Spice profile is a bit off the beaten track and the hop factor is ramped up a bit. Not up there with the best I've had, but not bad. Worth a try, especially if you're a fan of the style.

Photo of metter98
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark brownish amber in color but is so dark that you need to hold this up to a bright light to see some color near the edges of the glass. It poured with a half finger high dense beige head that died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles in the center of the glass and a thick collar around the edge.
S: There are aromas of pumpkin and pumpkin spices in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has a bit of sweetness—flavors of nutmeg seem to stand out in particular among the spices. There are lingering notes of alcohol through the finish.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied and rather smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This could have been a good pumpkin ale if it wasn't hindered by flavors of alcohol in the taste.

Photo of endincolorado
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Deep brown with ruby highlights and a nice pale-tan head that settles slowly and leaves behind a satisfying lace. Uniquely dark for the style.

S- Aromas of nutmeg, cinnamon, a little allspice coupled with a nice, bready malt.

T- Nice and toasty for the style, with spices complementing, but not overwhelming the flavor.

M- Mouthfeel is nice and creamy; also refreshingly satisfying. Carbonation is just right.

Overall, I'm glad to have picked up a six-pack of this stuff. I wasn't even aware of this beer until tonight, and though I turned down a few other pumpkin ales (there are a lot nowadays) in favor of this label, I'm glad I chose this one.

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The Fear from Flying Dog Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 480 ratings.