Paranormal Imperial Pumpkin Ale
Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery

Paranormal Imperial Pumpkin AleParanormal Imperial Pumpkin Ale
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Pumpkin Beer
Ranked #40
Ranked #10,057
4.01 | pDev: 14.21%
Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery
Ontario, Canada
Very Good
Paranormal Imperial Pumpkin AleParanormal Imperial Pumpkin Ale
Reviews: 36 | Ratings: 91 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by LanceH:
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LanceH from Canada (ON)

3.66/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dec 23, 2015
More User Reviews:
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Jtee from Canada (ON)

4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 473ml can served slightly chilled at 12 degrees Celsius into a white wine glass. The packaging date is smudged but as far as I can tell it was on the 19th of some month this year.

Look: The beer pours a veiled copper with 2cm of moussy, deep tan head that dissipates into a partial film in 2+ minutes. Mediocre retention with good lacing.

Smell: Moderate strength and sweet. Pleasantly perfumy – making me think of a cologne – can I wear this? Pumpkin and strong spices (cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg) along with brown sugar and vanilla. Mild hops that don't clash with the spicy character with the malts creating a canvas for the seasonal ingredients to shine. I wish I could have a slice of pumpkin pie and whipped cream right now. Oooh, a paranormal imperial pumpkin float if you will!

Taste: Delicious. Medium-strong and balanced. The alcohol is impressively well-hidden; it only shows up a tad even as the beer warms. At 10% ABV it's quite the accomplishment. The flavour is also spice-driven with ginger and allspice as additional descriptors to the aroma. The finish is lengthy, intense, and leaning towards bitter.

Feel: Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Heavy and borderline chewy with smooth and notable alcohol warming.

Overall: Out of all the pumpkin ales I've had this season, this is one of the best ones. This is what I want to drink on a cold and windy Halloween evening/night. Even though it lacks some layers and interesting interplay between the ingredients, it has nothing off-putting about it. I'm through the can before I've finished the review which is always a good sign. Yes, it's on the sweeter side but definitely not cloying. Hopefully I can pick up a few more cans before they're all gone. Definitely give it a try if strong, seasonal ales strike a chord with you.

Oct 31, 2017
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BB1313 from Ohio

3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by 8/21/24. 16oz can poured into a tulip. Pours a glowing amber with a mild haze, but still has some clarity to it; big fluffy khaki head that falls slowly leaving great thick retention and sticky frothy lacing. The aromas have a nice amount of spices and veggie notes. Cinnamon, allspice and sweet potatoes coming through. Some nutmeg and ginger. Malts are there. The flavors follow the nose. More cinnamon and allspice. More sweet potatoes. The veggie notes blend well with the spices. Some graham cracker notes definitely coming through. It's not that bitter and it's not that sweet. Nice balance. Solid malt backbone. Alcohol is well hidden, especially considering it being a big beer. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's smooth and dangerously drinkable.

This is a nice pumpkin ale. It's a classic and traditional example of the style, more or less. It stands out though and isn't just a "run of the mill" pumpkin ale. It's bold, but balanced. Nice aromas and flavors. The craftsmanship is on point. Well done. I like it.

Oct 17, 2019
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On the fence with this one on one hand it wasn't very bitter, reasonably spiced, and kind of reminded me of pie. On the other the beer was hot, boozy, and some sips did had more cinnamon rather then sugars I wanted. Not a bad beer but still a pretty good high ABV attempt at the style

Nov 14, 2019
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Patches826 from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nov 01, 2020
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DaPan from Canada (ON)

4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nov 17, 2019
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Electros from Canada (ON)

4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sep 13, 2019
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taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

473 ml can served cold into a pint glass. Best before September 11, 2024. LCBO purchase for $5 CDN. Glad to get this one off my list as it's been something I've been looking forward to trying for a while now.

Appearance - Clear dark copper / auburn colored brew with a finger of light tan head on top. Pretty good head retention and some sticky lacing clings to the edges of the glass.

Smell - Pumpkin pie all the way with pumpkin, buttery crust, loads of nutmeg and cinnamon as well as more subtle elements of clove and brown sugar wonderfully integrated. Booze is well hidden on the nose. Can this be served with whipped cream? Delightful and different but comparable to Pumking, a leader in the style and a personal fave.

Taste - Some bitterness up front, trace elements of pumpkin pie then some more pumpkin with a huge dollop of nutmeg and cinnamon and cloves. Finishes quite bitter and somewhat spicy. Booze is still reasonably well hidden but some mouthfuls come out a bit hot, there's no denying the 20 proof monster within.

Mouthfeel - Medium-thick bodied, sticky and clinging for what is as close to a pumpkin pastry style beer as there will be. Some sharp booziness on the occasional sip and carbonation is quite low.

Overall - I love, love, love the concept of this brew and the nose starts everything off brilliantly. The taste is too much nutmeg, cinnamon and clove for my personal preference, but even still it's quite drinkable and very enjoyable. Glad I picked up a few of these, may have to buy a couple more for aging purposes, see if some of the abrasive nature of the spices mellows with some time.

Sep 24, 2019
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.78/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am CANtinuing my Hallowe'en theme with The CANQuest (tm) until the site's clock strikes November in about three hours since they go by Zulu time (+0 UTC), making 1900h. (Local, EDT) my cutoff.

From the CAN: "Special Edition"; "Paranormal Is Weird."; "Brewed with Pumpkin & Spices"; "It's Bee-eeer. Doused with exotic warm spices, this spirited Imperial Pumpkin Ale evokes the aromas of pumpkin pie,graham cracker crust, and the tasty aura of Autumn."; "Normal Is Weird."; "The Cult of the Pumpkin [-] Pouring with an otherworldly orange glimmer, Paranormal channels the subtle blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice in the spirited body of a 10% alc./vol. beer. Brewed with roasted pumpkin and spices, Paranormal’s rich mouthfeel and a slightly hazy body emerge from a realm where substance and shadow cross."; "Extra Strong Beer"; "Brewed with Pumpkin & Spices".

A pint (473 ml) of a 10% Imperial Pumpkin Ale in a CAN is JUST what I needed at this point! I Crack!ed open the vent & beCAN a slow, gentle Glug into the awaiting glass. It foamed mightily to form just under two fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, deep-tan/light-brown head with great retention. Color was Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled like liquefied pumpkin pie! 8=O Could this be CANother/the next Pumpking?!? 8=O That is one of the few that I still really like! Spicy, certainly, with a modicum of vegetal presence. Yum. Mouthfeel was bid, full & dense, like a dollop had been scooped into my mouth & onto my tongue! 8=O The taste was like liquefied pumpkin pie with whipped cream topping. 8=O I did not score any Pumking this year, but that is what this beer made me think of! This was just right in terms of its spice & sweet CANterbalance. Too spicy = no Bueno. Too sweet = 8=p Man, this was a dessert beer to be savored, especially when Trick or Treating has been postponed until tomorrow & I don't have to worry about falling off of my porch while distributing treats. Now, here is the ironic twist - for all of this, it finished dry as heck! That is what happens when you use spices as (an) adjunct(s). This was fantastiche! YMMV.

Oct 31, 2019
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1.24/5  rDev -69.1%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer made me sick, I had a feeling I wouldn't like it, and boy it did not disappoint, I thought it tasted like Jägermeister, not the right spices in my opinion. Too bad, love most of the other flying monkeys.

Sep 08, 2019
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oberon from North Carolina

4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Quite a crazy box this beer comes in.....Pours into a goblet a deep burnt orange with a creamy lighter beige colored head atop,nice color and creamy head.Cinnamon and nutmeg stand out most in the nose with a lighter roasted pumpkin note.A creamy feel is spot on for the style in my book,very nice.Generously spiced on the palate with cinnamon,clove,and nutmeg really coming out,a little boozy in the back end but that was to be expected.I'ts big spiced and sticky and I like it,the Canuck's can make a good imperial pumpkin ale.

Nov 06, 2016
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a clear bright amber color ale with a nice large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of cinnamon and cloves with a ton of nutmeg notes. Taste is dominated by loads of cinnamon notes with some cloves with and a shitload of nutmeg notes with light pumpkin flavors. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Quite intense but still retain enough drinkability to remain enjoyable. I thought this one tasted like pumpkin on steroid.

Jan 18, 2015
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TerryW from Canada (ON)

3.62/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well made with some beery goodness happening, but I'm not really a fan of the style, so ultimately my view is coloured.

Looks great. Smells delicious. Sweet, malty. Big pumpkin spice. But unusual for a pumpkin brew for just how much of the hops come through in a dry finish. Boozy too.

Good as a dessert beer, but pretty pushy. Well crafted nonetheless.

Mar 04, 2015
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Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Nov 06, 2014
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janubio from Spain

4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served in a tumbler glass, 75 cl. bottle. Hazy amber colour that to brown after a while.Medium off white head that fades soon. Normal lace.
Aroma of pumpkin, ginger, nutmeg,cloves, cinnamon, brown sugar.
Medium body, roguh palate, falt carbonation. Spicy ( a lot) finish.
Taste is similar to the aroma, but much more spicy. Pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg,cloves, fruits.
Complex and absolutely great.

Oct 11, 2018
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bluejacket74 from Ohio

4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle, 2015 vintage. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a hazy orange/copper color with about an inch and a half frothy tan head that stuck around for a long time. There's a good amount of lacing. Lots of pumpkin spices in the aroma, the brew smells like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, and graham crackers. Very, very sweet smelling. The taste is sweet and spicy, too. The flavor is pretty much the same as the aroma, although I think it smells slightly better than it tastes. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and has a moderate amount of carbonation. I thought this was a pretty good pumpkin ale, just like the other Flying Monkeys brews I've tried they certainly aren't subtle. If you like heavier spiced pumpkin beers, give this one a try!

Dec 27, 2015
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biegaman from Canada (ON)

4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Flying Monkeys describes Paranormal's appearance as having an "otherworldly orange glow" - I call it butt-ugly. Spoiler alert: I love this beer, but it's not a looker. Not by any stretch. Its turbid complexion is thick like sludge and has not a flicker of highlighting. The glass looks full of wet sand.

To riff on that classic Christmas tune, "it's the most wonderful smell of the year". A lot of Pumpkin Ales are strongly perfumed, but Paranormal is notably so; this bouquet is reminiscent not just of pumpkin pie and vanilla ice cream, but also a well frosted carrot cake. There's astonishing, delectable notes of walnut, cream, golden raisin, and butterscotch pudding.

Ding, ding, ding! Tastebuds have hit the jackpot. This flavour profile is something akin to a gingerbread liqueur and has notes, as in the aroma, of heavy icing and a generously spiced carrot cake. (Nevermind the pumpkin pie, there's a different dessert in town!) Caribbean ginger beer and root beer factor in too, as does a nutty maltiness, bits of dried fruit and plain ol' booze.

Indeed, the beer lose some of its luster with warmth; the rather formidable 10% alcohol eventually finds its feet and really starts to come on strong. As result, the beer begins to resemble a watered-down glass of dark rum, cut perhaps with some ginger ale. This is an "Imperial" that doesn't hold back - it's full throttle all the way, not for the weak at heart.

The one truly "otherworldly" attribute of Flying Monkeys' Paranormal is the sheer amount of delight it brings. How much joy I derived from this pumpkin ale is indeed beyond the scope of scientific understanding. This is, hands down, one of the most impressive, layered, and rich examples of the style I've yet to come across. Intoxicatingly strong, a little rough even, but truly phenomenal stuff.

Nov 27, 2014
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thehyperduck from Canada (ON)

4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

750 mL bottle picked up at the LCBO; bottled Aug 20 2014 and served slightly chilled.

Pours a cloudy orange-red amber colour, generating two fingers of fluffy, light beige-coloured head that steadily wilts over the next five minutes or so. A dense, creamy cap and thick collar remain behind, along with some scattered lace. The aroma on this one is absolutely heavenly - cinnamon bun, ginger bread and pumpkin pie filling all come to mind immediately, with graham cracker, pie crust and accents of allspice. It literally smells like a dessert.

Actually, that description is similarly applicable to the flavour profile - this is a big, bold spiced ale that provides almost everything I want from a dessert beer. Brown sugar, fresh gingerbread, graham cracker and pie crust flavours sum up the malt bill, with a delicious, gourdy, roasted pumpkin flesh flavour mid-sip. The spices show up in force toward the tail end of the profile - cinnamon is the most dominant, with lesser contributions from the nutmeg, allspice and ginger. Sweet finish, like a pastry crust, with lots of lingering spice. The alcohol is noticeable, but the spices and big malt flavours distract your palate from the heat. On the thicker side of medium-bodied, with low carbonation levels and a smooth, satisfying feel in the mouth.

Final Grade: 4.38, an excellent A grade. Paranormal Imperial Pumpkin Ale is a serious crowd-pleaser, and probably the first domestically-brewed example of the style that I feel can really compete with the big boys in the States. Fans of Pumking and similar beers will absolutely want to grab a bottle of this while it's still available, as this is a fabulous dessert beer that will certainly scratch your pumpkin ale itch. It's a little overspiced for my tastes (particularly the cinnamon), but that is only a minor complaint - in the end this is still one of the best pumpkin beers I've ever had, and possibly my favourite Flying Monkeys beer to date. Bravo!

Oct 25, 2014
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MasterSki from Canada (ON)

3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from the LCBO. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

A - Pours with a finger of dirty blonde foam that settles to a thin cap, thick collar, and sheets of lacing. Dark amber-brown body with a bit of ruby translucency to it. Surprised by Jan's description, as my bottle wasn't turbid at all.

S - Smells like pumpkin pie. Like, if you blindfolded me I could not be confident whether this was a beer or a dessert. There's a vague carrot cake note too; similar spices I guess? No real alcohol. Just the expected nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, etc. and a sugary malt backdrop.

T - Sadly, the flavor is nowhere near as compelling as the aroma. The spices are present in spades, as they overwhelm the malt backbone, and there's a strange bitterness to the finish of the pepper and anise variety. Underneath that, there's a nice carrot cake icing flavor from the malt, but I found myself hoping for more of it; it's very rare that I don't think a beer is sweet enough, but this is an outlier I guess. Alcohol is here too, although I probably would have guessed 8%.

M - Medium-full body that is chewy and viscous, with tannic, starchy, pumpkin drying out the finish. There's a hint of warming that reveals the high ABV, but it's not offensive. Lower-medium carbonation. Light lingering stickiness, but less than you'd expect.

D - Started off really promising, but the flavor is unbalanced in the spice direction. I was actually kind of surprised by how drinkable this was, as the attenuated flavor makes it fairly quaffable. Still, I'd much rather smell than taste this beer.

Jan 10, 2015
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paulish from New York

4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Oct 05, 2020
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biboergosum from Canada (AB)

4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle, with the usual preponderance of weird-ass shit strewn about the shiny label.

This beer pours a mostly clear, dark orange-brick amber hue, with two fatty fingers of puffy, rocky, and densely bubbly beige head, which leaves some decent spooky tree branch lace around the glass as things slowly recede.

It smells of thick, gooey gingerbread - heady caramel/toffee malt, graham cracker crust (thanks again, label!), clove, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice, with a touch of dark fruit, let's just say raisins, thrown in, like mom or grandma might be prone to do - all soaked in a shot or two of pumpkin vodka (is that a thing?), or maybe rum. The taste is more of the same - a big gingerbread house goodness, with a focus on the grainy, brown-sugar resplendent caramel malt, the alcohol starting to even overshadow the plucky seasonal spices - nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, yadda yadda, you know the drill - a somewhat sidetracked pumpkin fleshiness, and a very subtle, minding its own business dry hoppiness.

The carbonation is generally on the low-fi side of things, barely a whisper of frothiness can be heard over the aforementioned din, the body a sturdy medium-heavy weight, and still kind of smooth, as only the alcohol has much power here, and that power is certainly much. It finishes off-dry, the sweetness of the forward malt, pie-like spices, and booze surely tempered, but with a lingering, burbling sense of chaos right under the floorboards.

Ok, we get it - take a well-made, rounded, and flavourful pumpkin ale, spices and all, and imperialize it, with success falling somewhere between amped-up English IPAs, and Imperial Lagers, from low to high. Yeah, just a bit too boozy, even though all other metrics are pretty much nailed - and I've just come from doing inadvisable rounds of Rumpkin (look it up).

Oct 17, 2014
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korguy123 from Canada (ON)

4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Oct 12, 2014
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RedAleMan from Canada (ON)

4/5  rDev -0.2%

Oct 28, 2014
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liamt07 from Canada (ON)

4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Oct 11, 2014
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Long813 from Canada (ON)

4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jan 17, 2016
Paranormal Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 91 ratings