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The Fear - Flying Dog Brewery

Not Rated.
The FearThe Fear

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

113 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 113
Hads: 486
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 14.56%
Wants: 38
Gots: 79 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 113 | Hads: 486
Photo of thebrood1987
4.75/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nice pumpkin pie smell with some pie crust , cinnamon, dark malts and some fruity alcohol fumes. I get spices right up front with some cinnamon, ginger, a tad of nutmeg. Very complex beer. It ends with a hoppy earthy bite. I also taste some alcohol and the dark fruity ester come out.

Its very spicy and the pumpkin takes a bit of the backseat but coming through with a vegetable bite that mixes in with the hops. You get a lot of tastes in this one. I also get a burnt malt porter taste as well. Its almost like a porter mixed pumpkin ale. The dark malts and earthy bitterness of a porter but not uite stout with the pumpkin pie spices and slight pumpkin taste.

An amazing take on the style very unique in comparison to most. With that being said its not the best but very complex and still an amazing beer. (810 characters)

Photo of Chrisbaggz
4.73/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pumpkin beers are one of my very favorite styles, second only to a good west coast or Imperial IPA. There are so many great pumpkin beers out there; Some very mild and not really pumpkiny at all. Some are way overdone to the point where we must ask ourselves if they are beer at all or are they liquefied pumpkin pie? And then there is The Fear: A perfectly balanced pumpkin ale that is deceptively smooth and delightfully drinkable despite the 9% ABV. The traditional pumpkin and spices are definitely all there, but subtle enough to allow the taste of an American Strong ale to come through. Bravo to Flying Dog for making a truly fantastic fall seasonal! (660 characters)

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.28/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a tulip.

Appearance: Very dark brown, with light bubbles on the body and a off white head that's roughly a quarter inch off the body.

Smell: Freakig potent pumpkin scent heavy nutmeg. Comes and goes not heavy stickiness but very good to inhale.

Taste: can you say pie Ina glass because that's what it tastes like, slightly creamy and heavy pumpkins and cinnamon. It's sweet with malts and brown sugar how can you go wrong.

Mouth: Sticky and smooth.

Overall: incredible purchase and best one of the night here at TJ Finleys, thank you for offering this gem. Salud! (583 characters)

Photo of csrbv
4.27/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a Orval tulip glass.

A: Thin head; good carbonation; dark cola color; decent lacing
S: nutmeg, pumpkin, caramel; inviting; awesome!
T: very satisfying; alcohol and spices (nutmeg, allspice) prominent; hops are very strong, providing lots complexity

Some reviewers complain about the abundant hops, but I find that a huge asset in a pumpkin beer (a style I tend not to prefer). It's superior to Dog Fish Head's Pumpkin, which is overly spiced, way too sweet and tastes like a ginger snap cookie. (522 characters)

Photo of Chaney
4.26/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've always been indifferent to Flying Dog and am not a big fan of their standard line-up. However, I tried a single bottle of this the other day and was totally blown away. I'll love to see a local brewery shine like this!

I poured into a snifter.

"Whatever THE FEAR is that consumes you, embrace it, along with this Imperial Pumpkin Ale. Only then will the true artist in you rise up."

A: The darkest pumpkin ale I've ever seen. I mean really.... wow! It looked dark brown coming out of the bottle, but once collected in the glass, it's maybe a shade or so lighter than pitch black. The head is marshmallowy and clingy.

S: Big pumpkin spice bomb with cinnamon taking the lead. I friggin love cinnamon! Of course, nutmeg and allspice are in there also.... in a very fresh, intense way.

T: The pumpkin coated alcohol attacks you first... and that booze is coat doubly with cinnamon. I also go some of Flying Dog's signature, Wild Dog series, profile in there as well.

M: Like I said, the cinnamon burns the palate and the booze is present, but it is of the candy-coated, Three Floyds-esque variety. The carbonation is light and the lacing is ridiculous.

O: If you ask me, this is of the best pumpkin ales on the market. No joke! (1,236 characters)

Photo of taylor714914
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quite excited to see this right next to secret stash!
Great appearance with a dark ruby brown color. A thin head sits on top of this gorgeous beer. It smells of sweet malts, pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The first sip blows me away. It reminds me of pumking with less sweetness and more rich maltiness. As I work my way through the glass, the beer warms showing more pumpkin flavor along with the subtle spices. Nice balance between the pumpkin, malts, and light spice. Overall I found this to be an excellent beer, like a darker pumking perfect for enjoying on a cool fall evening outside around the campfire. (613 characters)

Photo of Saisons-of-the-Abyss
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%

Very tasty and satisfying beer! Like many other high abv offerings from Flying Dog, you can really taste and feel the alcohol on this one. While the finish can be a bit harsh, it's still very drinkable. The pumpkin is just right, not cloying or artificial tasting. (265 characters)

Photo of DreamInOrange
4.24/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark brown nearly opaque but not quite as dark as a stout. Very little visible carbonation but can be seem bubbling at the top. Small off-white head with decent clinging. Smells strongly of nutmeg, spice, and caramel, not overly noticeable pumpkin smell. This is more of a fall spice beer than typical pumpkin ales. Definitely a warming spiced flavor that reminds me of a spiced pumpkin coffee drink more than pie. Strong but not overly boozy alcohol. This is a nice alternative to other pumpkin beers. I would go back to this next fall. (551 characters)

Photo of Rob3408
4.24/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is the best pumpkin/fall seasonal beer that I have had! From the first sip to the last sip it was filled with flavor: sweet pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, ginger), and malty goodness.

Appearance: Dark brown with a hint of amber, off-white foam (hard to tell though with dim lights).

Smell: Grandma's pumpkin pie.

Taste: Big spiciness accentuated by the high abv with a complementing sweetness from the pumpkin to mellow it out through the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a syrupy feel in your mouth. Goes well with some time between your sips making it perfect for an evening in. Alcohol is certainly present (although that's something I enjoy about big beers.

Overall: Like I said this is my favorite pumpkin beer. If you don't like big flavors this may not be your beer but it is now my go to fall beer.

Serving Type: Keg line (in Scotland if that makes a difference). (918 characters)

Photo of CraftBeerTastic
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
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. (2,656 characters)

Photo of endincolorado
4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
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. (654 characters)

Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.14/5  rDev +13.7%

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). (596 characters)

Photo of Arithmeticus
4.14/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured chilled in flared glass

A: Thin head; good carbonation; dark cola color; not much lacing
S: nutmeg, pumpkin, caramel; inviting
T: very satisfying; alcohol and spices (nutmeg, allspice) prominent; hops are very strong, providing complexity

Some reviewers complain about the abundant hops, but I find that an asset in a pumpkin beer (a style I tend not to prefer). It's superior to Dog Fish Head's pumpkin, which is overly spiced. (437 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a deep dark reddish brown with a tan light brown head.

The aroma is of sweet pumpkin and some brown sugar along with cinnamon, but tons of nutmeg and other spices. A good amount of sweetness and caramel malt in the back.

The flavor hits in front with wonderful melt of sweet juicy pumpkin, brown sugar, caramel, and cinnamon and spice. It hits in front and then to a bit of the middle. It then punches with a rolling bitterness of woodiness, roots, or herbal tea. This combines with the spices and then counteracts the sweetness and pumpkin well.

The hoppiness and bitterness really separates this beers from other pumpkin ales. This is really bitter and for serious beer lovers that can take the bitterness in this. (738 characters)

Photo of HoppyRedskin
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased a single bottle at Rodman's DC today. Pours dark brown, with a nice foamy white head. It has a fabulous aroma of pumpkin pie. It has a silky mouth feel, with a nice after taste. Not as good as the DFH Pumpkin, but a great substitute. I would recommend this beer, and would love to try it on tap. (307 characters)

Photo of jslice99
4.12/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Very dark brown with about a half finger of white head.

S- Excellent smell. Smells strongly of pumpkin. I also pick up some cinnamon and nutmeg spices.

T- Cinnamon and nutmeg are the dominent flavors but i do get a taste of pumpkin towards the end.

M- Light to medium with some carbonation.

O- Overall this is a solid pumpkin ale, one of the best i've had. I would highly reccomend this. (428 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 11/22/11 notes. Had on tap at FireWorks in Arlington, VA. Served in a 4 oz. taster glass.

a - Pours a dark brown mahogany color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of pumpkin, spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, bready malts.

t - Tastes of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, spices, bready malts, light wheat. A lot more cinnamon than the nose, which I like a lot. A step up from the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall I thought this was a really good pumpkin ale, and was really easy to drink for 9% ABV. Loads of cinnamon in the taste, would definitely order it again sometime. (655 characters)

Photo of chodinheaven
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opaquely very dark brown, almost black in color, with ruby-brown highlights. Silky aged ivory head on top with amazing retention and rings of lacing. Pumpkin pie and cinnamon come to mind when smelling, as well as other aromas of nutmeg, allspice and other sweet spices. Pleasant.

Big and bold taste, the first thing that actually hits you is a bitterness remeniscent of a mixture of hops and coffee. After that come some pumpkin tastes that try to struggle through, but are overpowered by the alcohol and dark roasted malts. Alcohol is pretty well integrated into the beer, not being over boozy even at 9%, but it does seem to detract from some very pleasant pumpkin tastes. Spices like the cinnamon and allspice work their way through as well, but are muted compared to the pleasant aroma. Still obviously a pumpkin ale however, just an imperial one with very tasty competing flavors. Pumpkin and bitterness both linger in the aftertaste, after a creamy but prickly mouthfeel.

All that said, I still really enjoyed this beer. Its big and bold, and even though the pumpkin doesn't shine through, it does add a layer of complexity to an already complex beer. I would buy this again. (1,186 characters)

Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into goblet.

A - Pours a very dark brown, nearly black. About a finger of almond head tops it off. Shows good lacing.

S - Roasted malts, nutmeg, and some pumpkin. It has molasses and toasted characters similar to a big stout with additional pumpkin pie spices.

T - Starts sweet, but mellow. Some toasted malts follow with a big cinnamon spice finish. Char on the aftertaste adds an interesting dynamic. Very nice. A nice change of pace from all of the cloyingly sweet pumpkin ales out there.

M - Very smooth carbonation with a medium-thick body. No alcohol presence. Velvety feel.

O - This dark pumpkin is hard to compare to most others in the style. The roasty char character pairs wonderfully with the pumpkin and spices. This is a great imperial pumpkin I will seek out again. (806 characters)

Photo of schoolboy
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I'm not sure when this one came out, but I missed it, so this week I picked one up for tasting.

It is a lot darker that one would expect - like a deep dark reddish, almost opaque. The aroma is a bit weak for such a big beer, with spice (cloves?) overpowering hops and malt.

I was not in the mood for a really sweet drink and this was just barely OK. It is a little bitter, with some hoppiness and loads of spice, but better balanced than many. Underneath all this is a very big, strong beer, and the booze is totally covered by all the taste.

The aftertaste is bitter with spices. Overall these tastes seem to have settled into this beer nicely, and I think waiting a few months since it was brewed (I can't make out what any codes printed on it mean but I have to assume it was brewed in early fall or before) has probably improved it.

I would not go out of my way to buy this again at $2.50 bottle, but I also would not refuse one if offered. (949 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Undated bottle at 40 degrees into nonic
Aroma of pumpkin spice, but not overwhelming as most
Head large (5.5 cm), light brown, creamy, diminishing to 3 mm ring and layer
Lacing good - complete rings with stalactites and tiny bubbles
Body dark amber, clear
Flavor begins lightly sweet and spicy with some hints of malt; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, slightly syurpy, lively carbonation

Appearance 4.25, Aroma 4, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 4 (459 characters)

Photo of Weavah
4/5  rDev +9.9%

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. (776 characters)

Photo of gillagorilla
4/5  rDev +9.9%

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). (543 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev +9.9%

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 (559 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours brown, almost black, with deep, dark mahogany to dark garnet hues, with a thin, lasting creamy head. Trailing lacing sticks.

The smell is typical pumpkin spiciness - allspice, nutmeg, clove, etc. with some brown sugar. Pretty robust.

The taste is of pumpkin spicing with a touch of smoke. There is enough porter character so that it is not all just spicing. Alcohol comes through. There is a slight hop bitterness in the finish.

It has a firm, full body. Some alcohol warmth lingers.

This pumpkin ale has strong pumpkin spicing without leaving behind the beer aspect. It has a touch of smoke and a hop touch that add to the complexity. The alcohol is apparent, so be ready for the 9% abv, though it doesn't interfere in the beer's aspects. Not quite the pumpkin pie beer that others are, this one has the strong pumpkin spicing, but has a unique character to it, as well, that makes this one worth trying, and enjoyable. Well-done! (941 characters)

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The Fear from Flying Dog Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 113 ratings.