The Fear - Flying Dog Brewery

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The FearThe Fear

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BA SCORE
83
good

481 Ratings
THE BROS
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Ratings: 481
Reviews: 116
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: 481 | Reviews: 116
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 Thorpe429
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Rustico's OktoBEERfest 2011. Served in a plastic pint. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a fairly-dark brown color with a light tan head. Moderate lace. Nose brings forward some nice pumpkin spice and a bit of chocolate and roast. The flavor blends the pumpkin and porter characteristics quite well. A bit of booze, though not much. Medium body with good roast and spice. Well done; I like this pumpkin "sub-style."

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 oline73
2.9/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep mahogany color with two fingers of off white head. The head fades to just a trace.

Smell: Pretty darn good. Malt and some spice, mainly some nutmeg. There are some dark fruit notes in there as well.

Taste: I really wish it was as good as the smell. Way too bitter. There is a pleasant malt sweetness with some spice that is getting run the f over by bitterness. Strong alcohol notes as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: Not sure if this is a bad bottle or just doesn't taste good, but I'm not a fan.

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 oriolesfan4
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on cask at Max's in Baltimore. Love me some pumpkin beers.. but this one was just about average beer. I think the lack of carbonation kind of killed the overall appeal for me, I would be curious to try a non-cask version of this. Mouthfeel and body are a little off, the usual nutmeg and allspice and cinnamon tastes, but the alcohol is very prominent and just doesn't seem well balanced. Worthy of a try, but just average in my book when compared to the elites (Greater Pumpkin, Punkin, et al).

Photo of Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Actually got this right as it kicked, but the bottom of the barrel was still good. Poured a dark chestnut brown, hazy, with a large, rocky, tan head. Aroma of grains and pumpkin pie spice; quite earthy. Taste more of the spice than the pumpkin, with a good amount of cinnamon, nutmeg, and even a hint of basil, I thought. Thick with malts, and a bit earthy, with some bitterness in the finish. Medium mouthfeel; chewy. Not too bad overall.

Photo of mdfb79
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

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

Beer is black with a thin tan head of small bubbles, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is sweet with a mild roast and some pumpkin / spice to it.

Beer is medium in body and mildly bitter at the back but the pumpkin flavor comes through well and clear. I enjoy the beer overall and for a pumpkin porter or whatever this is it is quite good. I enjoyed it and would have it again if I were thirsty and the only thing on tap. I'd prefer this to water in a pinch is what I'm saying.

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +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!

Photo of dbrauneis
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear very dark amber to dark brown in color with some reddish highlights when held up to the light and light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall creamy light beige head that quickly reduces to a very thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Overall the smell is which more mild than other beers in this style with the pumpkin barely even noticeable. There are faint aromas of spices (nutmeg and allspice) along with some light hints of alcohol as well.

T: Upfront the beer has light flavors of pumpkin with stronger flavors of spices - nutmeg and allspice really stand out. Slight hints of nuts are also present. Moderate amounts of bitterness in the finish that fade after some time. There is a light amount of alcohol present in the taste as well.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly coats the inside of your mouth from the carbonation.

O: I really wish that there was just a hint more pumpkin flavor/aroma and that the alcohol was a little more well hidden - I like the fact that there is very little sweetness to this pumpkin. Not the easiest to drink and I will likely skip this one next year. I would describe this more as a fall/autumn beer than a pumpkin beer.

Photo of stakem
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Kegatron for gifting me with this after a recent discussion about pumpkin ales and how I wanted to try this one. Many thanks Heath!

Poured into a pub glass, this brew appears darker than anticipated reminiscent of a more fluid version of molasses. When held to the light, it displays perfect clarity and a deep ruby coloration. A finger of tan froth sits atop the brew and slowly recedes to a thin layering across the top. Fingers of lacing stretch up the sides of the glass.

The aroma of this brew includes pumpkin flesh initially that is sweet that gives way to the anticipated spiced quality. Cinnamon and nutmeg are present with an earthy and toasty quality of malt meets pumpkin flesh that displays a bit of greenness about it but doesn't get offensive or veggie like some takes on the style can. Maybe a light touch of clove or ginger brightens the spiced character up across the back. As the brew comes up to temperature, a scent somewhat like licorice is noted.

The taste includes toasty pumpkin flavor mixed with some malt flavoring that is a bit like toffee however it never really gets a chance to get sweet as it is immediately contrasted with a modest amount of herbal hoppy bitterness. A bold amount of spices like cinnamon and earthy nutmeg are at the forefront that persist through the profile and into the finish. Just like the aroma indicated, there is a depth to the spice that goes off in different direction almost like clove and ginger. This brew is bold not only with the spices but also the alcohol inclusion which quickly warms up the throat.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. Overall a very big and bold take on the style. It flirts with disaster as far as being too spiced for my liking but it overall ends up being enjoyable because it is balanced. The aggressive spicing was needed to keep the bold character of this brew in check. While I really appreciate the opportunity to give this one a try, it wasn't easy to finish the full 12oz. It is something that you should try if you get the chance but I think it would be much more enjoyable if it was toned down just a bit.

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 Stinkypuss
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Flying Dog
The Fear

Appears very dark brown with ruby highlights . Aroma of cinnamon, allspice, brown sugar, bourbon and a bit sweet on the nose. Faint pumpkin and dry dusty pie spices round out the bouquet.

In the taste, caramelized brown sugar and rather malty. A good dose of nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice complimenting the pumpkin flavors. Alcohol is well defined but does not interfere withe the pumpkin, spice, and slight roasted qualities of the malt. A bit of muted ale yeast fruitiness is also on the palate. This drinks like an old ale or American strong ale with a pumpkin theme.

Full bodied feel, spot on carbonation at a medium level. Slightly drying with spice and malt notes lingering into the finish. Overall, this is a nice take on a dark pumpkin ale. Big and tasty, worthy of provoking the fear.

Photo of billab914
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into my Stone nonic pint glass. It poured dark brown in color with a thick and foamy off-white head to it. Good head retention to it.

The aroma shows a pumpkin pie spice to it with some notes of nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon all coming out. I get a little canned pumpkin to it as well. It's pretty smooth, and the spices integrate into it pretty well. Pretty appealing aroma for the style.

The taste shows a lot of the spices throughout the beer. Nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon all come out in it. Towards the finish I get just a little of a roasty, bitter flavor to it.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall it was a good beer of the style, but it didn't really bring anything new or outstanding to the table. The spices seemed to dominate a little too much for me as well. A good beer, but not an outstanding one.

Photo of corby112
3.32/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper color that's almost brown with dark burnt orange edges and a one finger light beige head that slowly settles into a thin ring. Sporadic streaks of lace left behind.

Sweet, yet spicy pumpkin pie aroma with a nice balance of caramel malt, autumnal spices and pumpkin puree. Some caramel malt and toffee followed by allspice, clove, ginger and cinnamon. The peppery spices are countered by pumpkin pie sweetness, vanilla and nutmeg. A bit more roast than expected for the style but still smells dessert like.

Medium bodied with more roast and hop bitterness than the atom suggests. Roasted malt presence Long with dry, earthy hops and toasted pumpkin seed. This dry roasted character takes away from the better qualities of the beer in my opinion. There is still a stron zesty autumnal spice profile but most of the pumpkin pie sweetness found in the aroma is overpowered. Some caramel malt sweetness along with cinnamon, brown sugar and clove with some nutmeg and pumpkin puree buried underneath. The high ABV is very well masked but I wish it was better balanced.

Photo of John_M
3.89/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I can't say I was hugely impressed with this beer on tap when I had it at Frisco's, but when I saw it on cask at Max's, I just couldn't resist.

The beer pours a brownish amber color with minimal head retention and very little lacing. The nose is spice filled, with considerable clove, allspice and nutmeg. The flavor profile replicaates the nose in this fairly sweet beer, and once again I'm impressed by the amount of spice in the beer. The cask condition tones it down somewhat, but this is still a clove and vanilla driven seasonal from FD. Mouthfeel is fairly soft with the low carbonation, and the alcohol seems a bit more noticeable as well. Nevertheless, this is an spice infused, interesting interpretation of a pumpkin ale, though a little bit goes a long way. I'm thinking one and done with this one.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark, vibrant, crystal clear, toffee-brown coloring with a thin, sparse, very light tan surface coat of head. Great looking brew. Aromas of pumpkin, candied sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, bubblegum, and toasted grains. Very rich, but avoids any heaviness in the nose. Flavors are roast forward, with a rich, tangy caramel and toffee blend leading a roast pumpkin character and a healthy kick of booze. Very rich throughout, and there are hints of chocolate throughout the palate, as well. The spices fall a bit out of focus, allowing the rich, sweet, and heavy characteristics to run rampant on the tongue. Heavy, on a smooth, mid-body, with a tangy sweet and rich aftertaste. This one stays strong throughout, even into the slightly cloying, slightly boozy finish. Slight warming as you drink. Solid flavors, big beer.

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 claspada
3.06/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown color with reddish highlights and a thin off-white tightly formed bubbly head (thanks to the hand-pull tap) that recedes to leave some spotty lacing.

The aromas begin with sweet bready maltiness, some fleshy pumpkin with the usual pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice). As it warms there is some caramel and some emerging woody/smokey notes which seem out of place.

The tastes follow the nose but are not quite as in balance as I would have liked. Pumpkin spices, specifically nutmeg stand out, with the toasted bready malts, caramel and earthy/woody bitterness to the finish. The woody/smokey flavors come out as well but the base beer is lacking a pop which makes the spices overwhelm the flavor profile.

The mouthfeel is medium to light bodied which is odd considering the ABV with medium to light carbonation.

Overall this was a pretty big miss for me. It was drinkable when it was on the colder side but as it warmed the flavor profile got spice heavy and earthy/woody/roasty for some reason. The base beer is caught between an amber and a porter which just doesn't work. I was actually expecting there would be more pumpkin than I tasted based on the nose. Pass for me.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Really excited to try this since I didn't catch it last year. Poured into a pub glass.

A - Kind of looks like a pumpkin porter just not as dark. Cola like in color with a mild red haze at the base. Head is an opaque color that seems to stick around for a bit with great lacing.

S - Well burnt sugars and alcohol heat are notable here. Not the best way to open up a brew but it does have mild spices and a sort of bittering vegital smell that is remnant of pumpkin.

T - Kind of all over the place I am getting burnt sugars, nutmeg and cinnamon, a decent hop bite and a sort of vegital taste that fades out sweet in the finish, which also houses some alcohol heat which is masked by mild hops. Not completely though but it's not terrible.

M - Well I have tasted beers with more heat around 9% so I gave it a bit of a break. After all it's called the fear and it's sort of a winter warmer so it supposed to have some burn.

Overall can't say it's the worst pumpkin beer I had but it kind of makes me regret buying two since I could have had another "Devious".

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 OWSLEY069
3.23/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clean deep amber to brown-ish in color with a light tan head. In the aroma, sweet pumpkin, cinnamon, allspice, brown sugar, and a small alcohol presence. In the taste, somewhat boozy, small spices, but mostly allspice. A spice like bite and a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a dry spice and lingering alcohol in the aftertaste. Somewhat boozy, big spices, and sweet to dry flavors.

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.96/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a snifter

Appearance- Served a deep orange-brown color with a thin cream colored head. The head fades very fast to leave a whole lot of nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell-The aroma is on the more roasted and dry side overall. It is heaviest of a roasted malt and light roasted pumpkin smell. The nose has notes of a nutty nature as well as some spices of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Taste – The taste follows the nose of the brew very well. It begins heavy with a roasted malt and roasted pumpkin flavor. There is a light only a light level of sweetness upfront, but as the taste advances some sweeter brown sugar and caramel flavors come to the tongue. Initially in the taste there are some light nutty flavors which dwindle as the sweet flavors come to the tongue. Spices come to the taste more at the end as well. Nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon mix with the sweeter flavors and the roasted malt and pumpkin well to produce a rather balanced pumpkin flavor on the tongue.

Mouthfeel –The body of the beer was on the slightly thicker side with a carbonation level that is rather average. The creaminess is quite nice for the pumpkin and roasted flavors of the beer while the carbonation suits the spice and sweeter tastes that come to the tongue at the end.

Overall – A rather nice roasty at first and sweeter and balanced pumpkin flavor in this one. A good example of an imperial pumpkin brew and one to try if you have the chance.

Photo of Pencible
3.3/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a nearly opaque garnet with some off white head.
S: It smelled like pumpkin and clove and cinnamon, with some copper and cranberry and pie crust.
T: It tasted like clove and cranberries and copper, with some pumpkin. It had a dirty and bitter aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with moderate carbonation. Decent body.
D: This was not one of the better pumpkin ales. The scent and body were ok, but the taste wasn't ok. The finish was rough too, so it was not easy to drink. Not recommended.

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The Fear from Flying Dog Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 481 ratings.