Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale | Flying Dog Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
83
good
134 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
134
Ratings:
555
Avg:
3.67
pDev:
27.52%
 
 
Wants:
44
Gots:
110
For Trade:
1
The Fear Imperial Pumpkin AleThe Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery
Maryland, United States | website

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by taylor714914 on 09-25-2011

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 134 | Ratings: 555
Photo of Boto
3.94/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught @ Headkeeper: In a tulip glass. This one pours a dark, opaque reddish-brown. There was a thin tan head that left some lacing. Lots of malts to the nose, along with some pumpkin pie spices. The taste is very good. Lots of malts, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices. Some slickness in the mouthfeel.

 300 characters

Photo of jzlyo
3.57/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is pumpkin, spices and medium sweetness. The flavor is spices/cinnamon, malts, slight pumpkin, slight sweetness and a mix of sour and coarse heat in the finish.

 167 characters

Photo of 11-52_4hops
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fairly dark brown -- in the glass looks more like a weak stout; small head that lingers. Almost no smell (which is one of my favorite parts of pumpkin brews). Taste is caramel, slight pumpkin and spice, and in true Flying Dog-style, a hops punch in the mouth to finish. Overall, not bad, however I prefer more balance or even a lean toward the pumpkin flavors. Was given this bottle last week, so can't rule out that being late in the pumpkin season, perhaps this lost some of its kung-fu.

 491 characters

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

12 oz. bottle, coded bottling information on the label. A new one to me from Flying Dog, this one their Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

Poured into a Southern Tier Warlock beer goblet.

A - Pours a dark mahogany - cola color in the glass. One finger of creamy khaki tan head. Minor thin spotty lacing. Looks good for what it is.

S - A cola forward aroma. Subtle indistinct spicing, notes of chocolate / barley malt, ginger, spice rack. No overt notes of pumpkin / gourd, pie crust, or buttery diacetyl.

T - Flavor has a prominent burnt barley roast character to it. An herbal, earthy, grassy flavor in there also, not exactly spice rack, but herbal. Burnt roast / chocolate malt, sweetened notes of caramel. Notes of earthy pumpkin / gourd are in there, but on the tame side. I might not know that this was a pumpkin ale just by tasting it blindly.

M - Feel is smooth, crisp, creamy. Medium-fullish body, with good carbonation. Easy-drinking stuff for the moderately high abv.

Overall, an alright stab at the style from Flying Dog.

Flying Dog The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale -----3.5/5

 1,086 characters

Photo of cbutova
3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear and medium brown pour. Off white cap is foamy and half a finger and fair retention. Medium frothy ring and a few sheets of lace.

S- Spicier here than in the taste with plenty of ginger, nutmeg and allspice; the usual pumpkin spice blend. Deep caramelized sugars, nuttiness and a hint of roast as well as dark fruit fermentation tones.

T- Lots of squashy pumpkin and toasted caramelized veggie flesh. Slight roast barley cocoa and a medium level of the pie spice blend overall with ginger, nutmeg, allspice, clove and cinnamon. Vanilla sweetness really gives it that pie effect in the finish.

MF- Medium-heavy bodied overall thickness with a slick and creamy texture. Carbonation at a medium level and a hint of boozy warming in the finish.

Immediately struck me as on of the better pumpkin beers I have had in quite some time. The actual pumpkin flesh flavor and the use of some dark grains helps boost this effort above many of the straight spice bombs out there.

 978 characters

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a damn near black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of pumpkin, some spices. Taste is pumpkin, alcohol, subtle spice, malts. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall, a bit boozy for the style, but a solid beer.

 257 characters

Photo of beergoot
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark, mahogany colored body; thick, dense, rocky head. Aroma exudes pumpkin pie notes; pumpkin; cinnamon; allspice; cola and root beer. Dark malt flavors with a pronounced alcohol presence; chicory; spicy, anise-like taste; phenolic aftertaste. Rich and warm mouthfeel; fairly heavy in body.

A pretty decent and relatively unique pumpkin ale. The pumpkin presence only revealed itself in the aroma while the flavor didn't really deliver much pumpkin flavor but did offer a rather rich and unique dark grain and unknown spice character to the palate. A little boozy, rich and malty flavors with an interesting spicy twist on things. Good stuff...

 646 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best by 11/27/15.

Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon gum, and toasted malt aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, molasses, and pumpkin pie spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty, but the pumpkin pie spice aspects are slightly better in the smell to me.

Serving type: bottle.

 684 characters

Photo of Jason
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz brown bottle, sample from the brewery.

Lush looking two fingers of tan head, dark brown with garnet highlights. Big pumpkin pie aroma with a drizzle of brown sugar is what this beer smells like. It has somebody, girth, oomph. Great set up with its hearty malt back bone, reminds me of a strong winter warmer but with all of the pumpkin and spice. Nothing mind blowing but certainly much better than the usual pumpkin ales out there.

 439 characters

Photo of bman13
4.09/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The best pumpkin beer I've ever Had. I'm not one to hop on the whole pumpkin beer bandwagon, but i do like flying dog and can appreciate what they did here. Very nice REAL flavors, not fake like every other one I've had. Flavor is full of fall (pumpkin, pie, nutmeg, allspice ect.) Yet everything is well ballanced, with nothing being too dominate over the others. I really do like this and would actually buy this again. Good job flying dog.

 442 characters

Photo of Marraybay
4.14/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Whoa: big beer here: Definitely not what I anticipated. Very "Belgianesque," from the moment the pour hits the glass; very dark chestnut brown color, with a rich 1.5" of opaque foam on top; (more could've been had with a harder pour.) Nose is pure belgian strong dark ale; sweetness comes thru with some spice. Truth be told, I don't know that "pumpkin" would ever come to mind in a blind sniff or taste test for that matter. Starts off with abundant sweetness and quickly transitions into some spice-burn and bitterness; Again, those "layers" being quite reminiscent of a good belgian. There's no "halloween mask" on the 9%. It's there pretty much from beginning to end, although I didn't feel overwhelmed by fogginess.

 727 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a perfect pint.

4.0 A: Clear deep amber color. Two fingers of foamy beige head. Retention is pretty good and a good finger of interrupted lacing is left.

4.25 S: Big potent pumpkin in this. Spices are just as strong with cinnamon and nutmeg leading the way and allspice and clove just underneath. Maybe a hint of ginger as well. Molasses and dark caramel. Toasted malts lead a sweet aroma. Very nicely done.

3.75 T: This is an in your face type of brew. The spice mixture is really potent, perhaps even a touch too much. The allspice flavor is the most aggressive and really hits you hard. Again, there's a strong pumpkin component. Toasted malts, molasses, and dark caramel malts make a formidable malt base. I'm not sure if it's the hops or the spices, but this has a bit too much bitterness in it. Still, it's pretty damn good.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Decently creamy with a tinge of booze on the finish.

3.75 D: Great nose and good otherwise. This is an aggressive pumpkin beer that does a lot of things right and does a few things a touch too strong.

 1,117 characters

Photo of RyanK252
3.89/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at BC's Pizza & Beer

A: Pours dark copper brown with a creamy khaki head that settles to a light layer and laces well.

S: Spice jumps out up front, toasty malt, toffee sweetness, mabye a hint of pumpkin.

T: Toasty bready malt, followed by plenty of spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, a bit peppery, light pine, some caramel toffee sweetness, and a touch of pumpkin.

M: Towards the heavier end of medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Surprisingly drinkable for how big a beer it is. Darn decent pumpkin ale.

 522 characters

Photo of hman43
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours dark brown with a brown head and plenty of lacing. It has aromas of pumpkin, allspice, spices, and hints of coffee and roasted malts. It has roasted malt and coffee flavors with pumpkin, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices. It has a moderately bitter coffee aftertaste.

 287 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Flying Dog Brewery, "The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, coded but not freshness dated
$2.49 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

I hate to say it but it's getting to the point that I dread "pumpkin season" (which is now what... early July through the first week of September before everything is sold out?) as there are just so many bad or mediocre ones out there. I tell myself I'll stick with the tried and true, but I can't help sampling new ones. Fortunately I have tried them, because this is not one of the bad ones!

There's a fruity and almost cola-like aroma and flavor to it that's unique. Then the usual pumpkin spice kicks in, but I'm quite pleased to say that it's not overdone. It's there, it's certainly there - there's enough spice that it actually leaves a bitterness at the back of the throat - but it's not screaming "PUMPKIN!" with cinnamon, or ginger, or whatever spice the brewer has overdone leading the way. The fruitiness is like apple and softly sweet red berries, and it has a roast edge to it, and an almost piney note, which I'll assume might be coming from hops, but maybe not, and which in combination with some clove probably leads to what I'd initially found as "cola"... and it's also slightly minty in that way. And let's not forget the malt. There's more malt here, and that's probably helping to dampen and round the spices (although I have had other Imperial pumpkins that were harshly over-spiced). It's also dark, gently roast, and caramelish, which would be the other side of what that makes up a cola - and yet it's not a "cola" beer, it's simply not a completely pumpkin-spiced beer. The alcohol generally remains cloaked although there is a light flicker at the end, and the spice adds to the dry finish as well so not a lot of bitterness is needed. It lingers with a bit of golden honey, some mint, and a dusting of clove, cinnamon, and dull anise.

In conclusion, although "The Fear" is a "pumpkin" beer it appears to me more as simply a malty-strong spiced ale. I could easily see finding its spice profile in a Christmas beer and not questioning it. If they'd used a Belgian yeast it would have become simply a spiced Belgian-style ale. It's nicely done all-around, and this is definitely one that goes on my "pumpkin" list, but I also intend to grab a case to throw in the cellar and enjoy through the winter until the snow clears. Unique!

 2,415 characters

Photo of Beermeow
3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Really enjoyable while still being unique...what flying dog does really. I really like the color and nose. It looks like a stout and smells like pie. The taste though is truly what sets this beer apart. It is bitter while having a sweet overtone. Some compare pumpkins by saying that is like pumpkin pie in a bottle, well this is like burnt pumpkin pie in a bottle. And I burn a lot of pies so perhaps I'm partial.

 419 characters

Photo of Chicken_bear
3.26/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Good color, good body.
Taste is a little too raisin-y for me, although the taste is balanced nicely. Taste more of the spices than the pumpkin. Doesn't taste like a 9% beer.

 173 characters

Photo of Tonyjenlasc
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look - An awesome dark brown / black color. A finger of head that dissipated fairly quickly.
Smell - Roasted malts, spice, cloves, yams
Taste - An abundance of spice, tons of roasted notes, cloves, spice, sweet maple, has a smokiness to it, pumpkin, slight booziness

A nice beer to sip on, sitting by the fireplace on a cold night.

 334 characters

Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.04/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very dark pour with a frothy head. Smells of caramel and various fall related spices. Good pumpkin spice flavor with a lot of robust porter background. Finishes roasty. After a while the roast kind of takes over most of the other flavors that were previously detectable. (this may be the only downside to this beer) The 9% abv is hardly noticeable. This is a good and unique rendition of a pumpkin ale. Worth seeking out.

 423 characters

Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.16/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber vs. porter, mellow pumpkin vs. assertive American hops, rich and boozy vs. light and drinkable - a beer that effectively bridges any of those gaps could be called a hybrid. Here, FD takes on all three. The result? My favorite fall beer in a long time.

Pours muddy brown with a beige microfoam head that quickly deflates. Aroma is sweet and nutty, with notes of almond, nutmeg, and cinnamon. A bit of warm pumpkin puree in the backdrop gives it a hint fresh-baked pie, but it's only barely there (honestly, if I didn't know this was a pumpkin beer, I might not have even picked it up). Taste is all malt at the start, an interesting (and surprisingly satisfying) combination of pie crust, maple sugar, toasted wheat cereal, mocha, and toffee flavors. Think brown ale with a shot of imperial stout dropped in the glass. As soon as the grain bill piques your interest, though, the palate tightens to a bitter, spice-and-hop finish: crisp, hoppy pine tastes rise quick, but they're soon overtaken by the more traditional cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Pumpkin is, once again, in the background, but there's much more of it in the palate compared to the nose - the fleshy, nutty flavor of roasted pulp is ever-present, and especially apparent under the bitter hop character. Carbonation is velvety-smooth, propping up a body that's just a hair on the light side. Overall, this is a wonderfully easy drinker.

It's been a while since I've had a FD brew, but they certainly have my attention again now. What a way to start the pumpkin beer season.

 1,547 characters

Photo of soupyman10
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, amber highlights when held to the light. Just a bit of head, no real lacing. Light to medium nose of pumpkin spice, cloves, caramel malt. Toffee on the front of the tongue. Cloves and spice, like the nose. Dirty hop bitterness in the background. A touch of alcohol, but fairly well masked. Body is actually fairly thing, especially for the high ABV and busy, high carbonation, some warmth from the alcohol. Drinkable, but not really up to some of FD's other "big" offerings.

 492 characters

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.61/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very dark, almost completely opaque, brown color, speckled with reddish highlights, and with a full finger of oatmeal-colored head that slowly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic. Strong notes of pumpkin, nutmeg, all-spice and ginger. Also strong notes of freshly baked dark bread, however, there is not much in the way of hops.

Taste: Delicious! Very spicy up front with strong notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, all-spice, and ginger, followed by strong notes of dark bread. The beer finishes with quite a strong sourness, at least to my palate, which I wasn’t expecting, but find quite pleasant. Finally, there is no hops bitterness to speak of, which I overall prefer.

Mouthfeel: Very chewy, and with a good amount of carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an AV of 9%, there is quite a good bit of alcohol on the palate which I find pleasant.

Overall: This is a very tasty beer! I really like the high amount of spices that this beer has. It’s quite delicious and it’s certainly going on my pumpkin beer rotation.

 1,164 characters

Photo of JayQue
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A strong Pumpkin Ale. More alcohol presence than I like, but not bad either. Pours a dark brown color into a pint glass with plenty of ruby highlights coming through when held to a light. Fairly big light cream color head and thick bands of lacing on the glass. Aroma is ok, not much pumpkin, just a malty beer with pumpkin spices.

Taste is fairly good. A rich malty beer with the pumpkin spices not overdone. There is a good deal of alcohol in the taste though.

Mouthfeel is somewhat rich but there is a significant alcohol "burn". Enjoyable on a cold night, but the alcohol could be more toned down.

 606 characters

Photo of Saisons-of-the-Abyss
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

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 mdagnew
4/5  rDev +9%

355ml bottle bought from Lighthouse Wines, Jordanstown

Poured a deep dark amber orange colour... Creamy head poured small but quite thick and foamy then faded to wispy covering... barely any carbonation... any lacing fades very quickly...

Aroma - Lots of pumpkin pie notes along with dark malt loaf, nutmeg and clove spiciness, spicy fruits (oranges, dates), lots of dark molasses sweetness, light pepperiness, allspice, some caramel...

Taste pretty much mirrors the aromas... again lots of rich pumpkin pie and malty bread notes mixed with nutmeg and allspice, cinnamon, some burnt toffee hints, honey notes, brown sugar, some faint peppery hop hints..

Feel - Quite sharp and dry at first then smooths out... medium bodied... pretty drinkable for a 9% beer as the alcohol is very well hidden but i wouldn't want to drink more than one bottle as it would become way too sickly...

Overall - A pretty good pumpkin beer and much better than i expected... recommended

 968 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.