The Fear - Flying Dog Brewery

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The FearThe Fear

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BA SCORE
82
good

112 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 112
Hads: 481
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 7.14%
Wants: 37
Gots: 74 | 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

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 112 | Hads: 481
Photo of Joe_Mowery
2.95/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured a nice head with good lacing. The initial aroma was nice, mostly cinnamon and nutmeg with a hint of pumpkin.

The first thing you will notice after drinking this beer is the dry bitterness, unfortunately the bitterness overshadows all the spices and pumpkin flavors. After a few sips the caramel malts and smokey flavors tend to dominate this beer, as the dry bitterness lingers on your tongue. At this point it is hard to taste any pumpkin. Despite the strong bitterness I do not notice any hop arromas.

I have recently tasted about 12 different pumpkin beers, and this is definitely one of my least favorites, I would probably not buy this beer again, and would definitely not recommend it to my friends.

One positive note is the high alcohol content, I am presently surprised with the nice buzz after only drinking one bottle.

The main aspects of this beer that I taste in order of dominance are

1. Dry Bitterness
2. Caramel malts
3. Smokeyness
4. Cinnamon/clove
5. Nutmeg
6. Pumpkin

I have a nice buzz, so now I just need something else to rinse this taste out of my mouth (1,089 characters)

Photo of Mrfabulous49
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
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! (694 characters)

Photo of RandomExile
3.23/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: dark brown, opaque, thick fine tan head, sheets of lacing which disappear quickly
S: cocoa, malt, mint (!)
T: bitter, roasted coffee, malt, mint, woody toast finish
M: medium-full-bodied, alcohol well-blended and masked by carbonation
O: some odd disjointed notes, but drinkable, and excellent handling of such a high abv (324 characters)

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
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. (1,532 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (868 characters)

Photo of Fergyx825
3.33/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: a very dark amber beer, with a little bit of head on the edges of the glass and on the surface of the beer. This is way darker than most pumpkin ales.

Smell: A rich smell of pumpkin and spices. This smells great. I'm really looking forward to tasting this beer.

Taste: At first you can really taste the spices of this beer, then it settles into the alcohol of the beer. This beer doesn't taste as it smells, but you can taste the spices of the beer and not so much the pumpkin.

Mouthfeel: a low carbonated beer, with some body to it. I really enjoy the mouthfeel of this beer.

Overall: This is pretty standard run of the mill pumpkin ale. It has some flavor to it, but the alcohol is obvious. (709 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.44/5  rDev -5.5%
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. (817 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: dark brown, kind of clear (insofar as a dark beer isn't clear by nature). Sustaining head with real good lacing
S: notes of pumpkin spice (shocking) - nutmeg, allspice, but also a nuttiness
T: slightly bitter nut up front combined with a sweet ginger taste, which is probably a combo of the alcohol and spices. Alcohol makes a presence throughout, although its bite comes closer to end. Mellows a little in the middle as the sugars gain hold.
M: the end is a little alcohol and resin and is a little if a turn off from the rest of the taste
O: I think this would be better toned down a notch on the alcohol. There are good spice flavors on top of a brown ale back that I enjoy. The ending dropped the rating a notch. (720 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 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 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 dgherm
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Dark amber in color, small head. Head gone in flash. Small wisps of lace also gone in an instant. Traditional pumpkin spice in the bouquet, not too strong just right. Good spice level up front in the taste, alcohol on the back end going down. Too strong, kills the enjoyability, nice mouth feel though. Getting better taste as it warms up here. (344 characters)

Photo of fourstringer
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
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. (1,286 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 theBubba
2.86/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

First, let me say that I'm not a fan of IPAs. What does this have to do with The Fear? You'll see.

Poured darker than most pumpkin ales. I like that. A decent head that didn't last but left some lacing.

Smelled really nice...the typical pumpkin pie spices that all the brewers use, but the malt aroma prevailed so that was a good thing. Got my expectations up, cause as you all know there are some shitty "pumpkin" beers out there this time of the year. Personally I usually have better luck with the Oktoberfests.

Anyway, I've always been a fan of the stuff Flying Dog puts out. The discontinued Horn Dog was one of my very favorites. So I def looked forward to tasting The Fear. Ever drink Cynar or some of those other Italian aperitifs like Campari? Do you like bitter? Than you'll love The Fear. And by the way, the 9 ABV is never noticeable thanks to the sea of bitter.

Otherwise stay clear. There are more friendly pumpkin beers out there. (949 characters)

Photo of mntlover
3.82/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep tarnished penny color, almost brown head is a finger and a half off an aggressive pour. Head falls to cap some lace left behind. Seems a little dark for pumpkin must be the extra malt.

Aroma is malty only hints of pumpkin, some pumpkin spice and light alcohol esters. Seems kind of tame for a regular pumpkin might less an impy one. Nose isn't bad just figured it would be more powerful.

Taste is big on malt to start bready notes nice body then the pumpkin appears light in taste also, but liking the heavier malt as most pumpkins seem lighter then this. The spice kicks in with malt and lasts through out the finish. Light alcohol noted n the finish but does not distract. Taste much bigger then the nose and I am liking the heavier body on this one makes for a malty treat.

Mouthfeel is big medium defiantly bigger then most pumpkins and I and enjoying that tonight on a crisp fall night. Carbonation is about average and does not distract at all.

Overall after smelling this one thought eh average but after sipping on it found myself enjoying the fullness of it. Not sure why the nose is not bigger might pick more of these up for a heavier pumpkin brew. (1,176 characters)

Photo of mvanaskie13
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tall pilsner glass, color is amber to dark brown, head is light tan and presented 1/2 inch thick then dissipates to a ring with some lacing.

Smell is some light roast, caramel and hints of spices, some nutmeg, clove and cinnamon are most obvious.

Taste is an malt upfront, caramel and light roast, quickly followed by strong spice character, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon (though light). some of the flavoring is a bit harsh, not sure if this is the heavy handed spice profile. alcohol strength is hidden very well.

Mouthfeel is a bit strong on the tongue, spices lingering, could use some sweeter or maltier balance.

Overall, a bit harsh in the flavors and mouthfeel but the smell is pleasant, especially as it warms. Strength of the brew is hidden well, though (772 characters)

Photo of DeFaz
2.63/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

It's rare that I'm really disappointed with a pumpkin ale, but this one just doesn't work. The only thing going for it is its unusual appearance--a dark brown color with a beautiful red thrown in there too and a head that displays fairly poor retention. From there, things go down hill. The smell consists of roasted malt and pumpkin, with the malt distracting rather than complimenting the pumpkin. In the taste, the roasted malt, pumpkin, alcohol, and spices just don't work and leave a bittersweet mess. A cross between a porter and a pumpkin ale may have sounded good on paper, but I found this disappointing and one of the worst tasting pumpkin ales I've had despite the nice appearance and mouthfeel. (706 characters)

Photo of Suds
3.81/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An imperial pumpkin...these are becoming popular. The beer is a rich brown with a thin tan head...soapy. Clear. The smell is of pie spice and booze. Malt comes out in a big way...slightly roasted, and a little breads. No pumpkin in the smell. In the taste, however, there are pumpkin favors, nestled within a serious alcohol warming, big spice bite, and malty sweetness. Full and thick in body, huge booziness. Long and spicy finish. Great pumpkin beer. (453 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.7/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark brown color. Not quite stout-y looking, but darker than a lot of pumpkin ales I've encountered. The head is a creamy mocha shade, about one finger high. It's both soft-looking and well retaining, all while leaving a nice ring of lacing down the side of the glass.

S: The spice levels here are strong; lots of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove here. There's something vaguely medicinal here that I'm not sure of, though. Otherwise, touches of pumpkin, brown sugar, and caramel round out the decent aroma.

T: For about a second, it's opens up with a pleasant layer of spices. After that second, problems ensue: the flavors become quite minty to the point of being medicinal. Luckily, the aftertaste is pleasantly roasty. The combination of the minty middle and the alcohol presence sends this one spiraling down into mediocrity - and straight into the realm of crappiness.

M: The smooth body is a welcoming respite...until it dries up on the swallow, exposing some of the harsher flavors. Somewhat boozy, and also slightly overcarbonated.

O: This reminds me that while there are a few rock-solid beers from this brewery (like Raging Bitch), some of their other stuff is painfully mediocre. Like this - actually, no, it kind of sucks. Will not be buying again. (1,312 characters)

Photo of ksimons
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-a very dark brown with two fingers worth of light tan head

S-pumpkin spices and a bit of roast

T-more roasted malt in the taste with pumpkin spices and a bit of chocolate sweetness in the finish

M-medium body, creamy, moderate carbonation, roasted finish

Overall a nice variation of the typical pumpkin beers with the roasted malt (336 characters)

Photo of sleazo
3.57/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into snifter

A_Pours a deep brown with a one finger creamy head. Retention is low and lacing is minimal.

S_Roasted pumpkin, brown sugar and cinammon dominate the aroma. As it warms clove and bit of ginger come through.

T_Caramel sweetness with a bit of the aforementioned spices hit first. The sweetness lingers mixed with a nice bitterness comes through next which nicely balances it out The alcohol comes through in the aftertaste as its' astringency dries out the mouth.

M_A bit sticky but with enough carbonation to push through it. Medium bodied for the style

O_A good but not great pumpkin beer. Still can't be the king. (651 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 Mongrel
3.75/5  rDev +3%
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. (852 characters)

Photo of GlenRockJohnZ
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bought 6 pack @ Rite Aid Liquors Westminster MD. Sorry to say that I've missed this one before. Poured into Blue Moon glass. (I know, sorry-first thing I found) Shows small head on top deep amber black pour. Lace follows glass down; smell is least pleasant part of beer; swamp water with spice! However, things get better as beer has warm spicy mouthfeel, but individual spices don't stand out and overwhelm...I think cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg? Has an almost gummy consistency as you drink it down. Hides the high ABV well; you know something is there, but the monster doesn't exactly jump out of the bushes, you know what I mean? Tastes better as you go-although there's a bit of an acidic aftertaste. All in all, very good as a onesie; don't know about multiples. (767 characters)

The Fear from Flying Dog Brewery
82 out of 100 based on 112 ratings.