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The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale - Flying Dog Brewery

Not Rated.
The Fear Imperial Pumpkin AleThe Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

130 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 130
Hads: 548
Avg: 3.66
pDev: 28.14%
Wants: 44
Gots: 103 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 130 | Hads: 548
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.55/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of begforme4484
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Tyler's Taproom in Apex, NC. Served in a Flying Dog pint glass.

The beer is a very dark mahogany brown with copper hues. About 1 finger's width of tan medium head that laced all the way down.

The smell is of many different spices. Notably what I believed to be coriander being the strongest scent. A nice doughy and bready malt leveled out the spice scents.

A plethora of spices take charge of this beer almost like a harvest ale. There is a slight hint of pumpkin that is really hidden behind the strong spices.

Mouthfeel was medium to heavy with good carbonation.

Overall I thought this beer was good. I think it could have used more pumpkin to be called a pumpkin ale, but it was tasty.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +9.3%
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!

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Photo of Brenden
3.77/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of Roose13
3.61/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Was really shocked at how dark it was. A pretty deep brown.

S: Brown sugar, nutmeg, pumpkin spices.

T: A little bit roasted, almost like a burnt pumpkin pie. A little bitter and hoppy as well, a definite surprise.

M: Carbonated, medium body.

Overall: Great pumpkin beer! Was thoroughly surprised with this. Creative, bold and something I expected from Flying Dog.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz.

Pours a deep mahogany brown, tannish head, fine, about an inch, slow dissipation.

Smells of sweet to tangy pumpkin, brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Tastes of mildly toasted pumpkin with some nutty hop bitterness. Brown sugar and nutmeg spice as well. Hint of smokiness.

Medium to full body with mild prickly carbonation on the tongue.

A different approach to a pumpkin ale, works pretty well. Sweet like some pumpkin ales, but the smokey and bitter notes take it somewhere else. I like this pretty good and would have it again.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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Photo of thebrood1987
4.75/5  rDev +29.8%
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.

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Photo of larryi86
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- Black with a two finger off-white head.

S- Brown sugar, pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg, lots of spices.

T- Pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, burnt sugar, alcohol, some bitter earthy hops in the finish.

M- Medium body, fairly smooth.

O- A tasty pumpkin beer but the burnt flavor brings it down some. Worth trying and I will pick this up again.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
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".

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Photo of justintcoons
3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

Deep Cola colored brown with red highlights. Has a half finger of head that dissipates quickly. Excellent clarity and low carbonation.

Light notes of pumpkin meat, Cola, caramel and candy sugar.

A tad bit boozey. Cola and burnt sugars. Nutmeg, allspice and clove. Light notes of pumpkin meat. Bitter, earthy finish.

Medium bodied, crisp and creamy.

An rather poor attempt at a Pumpkin Stout/Porter. The booze is pretty apparent. The dark qualities are not rich enough. Meh.

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Photo of metter98
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.41/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
3.54/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
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).

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Photo of jslice99
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

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Photo of ianjsullivan
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of MrOzNthePumpKings
3.9/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I wanted to give this one an overall of 3.8, but I rounded it up to 4.0 by default of the rating options. This one is real fun, I LOVE the description on the label about fear and Halloween, really makes for an exciting journey into my stomach. The main thing that stands out in, or maybe I should say Jumps out, of this Pumpkin Ale for me is the extreme spice received when washing it down. I personally enjoy it, and the slightly higher alcohol content helps make it something more special and provides a pre-winter warming bite to it. It has delightful mouth feel, very frothy and sort of thick, coats the inside of your mouth with all that autumn spice. I drank this with a Pumpkin whoopie Pie from Whole Foods and I tell you, the combination of the pumpkin dessert washed down by the Fear was so delightful I almost keeled over with joy! I think this is one of the BEST pumpkin beers to drink with pumpkin related desserts (cookies, pound cakes, pumpkin butter battered croissants)seriously, drink this one with your favorite pumpkin sweets!

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Photo of Billolick
3.8/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Brown cola colored body with a bone white head.

S- Spices and malt. Some pumpkin smell, but mostly spices.

T- Pumpkin spices come through with a good malt backbone.

M- Smooth feel with some carbonation. Very drinkable.

O- Not a normal time for a pumpkin ale, but really enjoyable and drinkable.

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Photo of DapperGrowler
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this beer on tap.

A: The beer was a dark amber color (not quite brown) with a good head and decent carbonation.

S: The beer had slight pumpkin smell with some spice (nutmeg, cinnamon)

M: Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, malt

O: This is one of my favorite pumpkin beers. It is a solid fall beer.

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Photo of DreamInOrange
4.24/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

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Photo of maxk
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An undated bottle from a limited Autumn release, a part of the Wild Dog Series. Poured into a contoured pint glass.

A rich looking brown liquid with a creamy, light tan colored head. A good amount of lacing to this one.

Smells heavily of pumpkin and spice. There is cinnamon, all spice and a little bit of nutmeg, fairly common pumpkin pie spices. There's a bit of vanilla and brown sugar tying everything together.

There are bits of pumpkin and spice initially. The pumpkin is both sweet, but also tastes fresh and vegatable-esque, with some interesting bitterness. There's also a brown sugar sweetness. Bourbon warmth and mouth feel cut through all of the flavors. The spices seem to add a tiny bit of astringency. The body isn't quite as big as it seems it should be, the beer feels a little watery as it goes down.

An interesting pumpkin beer, lots of spice and a multi-dimensional pumpkin flavor. The spices and sweetness are good. Not my favorite, not entirely suited to my tastes but I still appreciate some of the complexities here.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.1/5  rDev +12%
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.

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The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 130 ratings.