Imperial Pumpkin Smash
Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co.

Imperial Pumpkin SmashImperial Pumpkin Smash
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Style:
Pumpkin Beer
Ranked #11
ABV:
10.6%
Score:
91
Ranked #2,741
Avg:
4.15 | pDev: 13.98%
Reviews:
75
Ratings:
456
From:
Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co.
 
Missouri, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  47
Gots
  102
SCORE
91
Outstanding
Imperial Pumpkin SmashImperial Pumpkin Smash
Notes:
Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 456 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas from Louisiana

3.15/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

#11 in the top pumpkin beers list.

10.6% ABV. Pumpkin stout.

For me, the pumpkin collides with the stout...they don't harmonize.

C+ / ABOVE AVERAGE

Dec 08, 2019
Photo of chinchill
chinchill from South Carolina

4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a Belgian snifter.
Pours with a dark, nearly opaque, brown body topped with an off white head that soon reduces to a thin ring yet leaves some lacing.
The aroma is lightly spicy with a complex yet harmonious blend of pumpkin, dark dried fruits, toffee and spices.
The flavor is almost as good and has a near even balance of sweet and bitter. The high ABV is well hidden, especially in the flavor and feel. Very smooth, full body with light carbonation.

Sep 23, 2019
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brewerang from Florida

1.15/5  rDev -72.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Maybe I had an infected batch, but this was a drain pour. Tasted of cough syrup with a weird over the top vanilla/coconut flavor and hardly any pumpkin. I tried this before Thanksgiving when I was sick with a cold and thought that this may have affected my experience of the beer. I just pulled another one out four months later to give it a second chance and it was just as bad as I remembered it. This beer gets worse with each sip and has no redeeming qualities. I usually love pumpkin beers and suspect I may have had an infected batch, but I have to rate based on what I got, and this was nasty in every way.

Mar 25, 2019
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Lucular from Maryland

4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours close to black with an orangish hue. Smells and tastes like coffee, roasty stout, chocolate, and some pumpkin spices. You can tell it's a big beer but it's not overly boozy. Mouthfeel is not as smooth as, say, Warlock, but still a tasty rendition of a pumpkin stout.

Nov 05, 2018
Photo of daliandragon
daliandragon from Maryland

4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up not knowing much about it other than that it was a pumpkin I had not seen before and had a good rep. The look is near black with little head. Raisin, molasses, smoke, and wood coat the boozy nose.

Very dry and tight for the abv. Big dark fruit note throughout with grapeskin and dark chocolate dominating. Bits of tobacco or vegetal note but not a negative, more decorative after the smoke.

Definitely high octane and not a drinkable pumpkin, I can see it in limited use or as a nightcap. Lots to chew on here.

Oct 29, 2018
Photo of nick_perry
nick_perry from North Carolina

1.9/5  rDev -54.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

After thinking so highly of last year’s version, I was excited to get my hands on this year’s. Unfortunately, this batch I had was way off. Strong vegetal note, unripe fruits, and a burning alcohol sensation. I'm thinking acetaldehyde and an issue with fermentation. Really surprised they even tried to sell it given this glaring flaw.

Sep 09, 2018
Photo of TerryMills
TerryMills from Tennessee

3.4/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Smells like a nice sweet pumpkin pie or roasted sweet potatoes kinda but the flavor doesn't match the smell. Its a bit too roasted or something that makes it more bitter than sweet and spicy like it smells ..

Oct 25, 2017
Photo of SFC21
SFC21 from Florida

3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had high hopes for this one but unfortunately it didn't live up to expectations. I love the idea of pumpkin stouts, and enjoy creating my own blends. This one shows promise up front with a nice blend of chocolate malts and the right level of pumpkin spice, but the finish was far too astringent and roasty for my liking. The roast approached the level of burnt toast, which wipes out all of the pleasant flavors.

Oct 13, 2017
Photo of avalon07
avalon07 from South Carolina

4.41/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick consistency. There was an inch of foamy, off white, fairly long-lasting head. Pretty good lacing.

S: A big, powerful aroma of pumpkin, lots of different spices, chocolate, and malt.

T: Tasted of a whole lot of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves), some dark chocolate, light malt notes, pumpkin (not as much as you might think), a little smokiness, vanilla, and a nice hoppiness. An incredibly complex flavor that's very easy to drink. Slightly boozy, but this is a minor issue. Very tasty.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a lively finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Imperial Pumpkin Smash is a well made, drinkable beer. Extremely flavorful and likable.

Oct 03, 2016
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StubbyMenstrual from Florida

4.96/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

L: Poured into a pint glass. Pours opaque black with a tan head. Nice lacing on the glass.

S: Biggest nose of any beer I have tasted. Smells like a Yankee Candle. A veritable potpourri of aromas. Vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, coffee and chocolate and some I haven't identified. How'd they cram all of those smells into one beer?

T: Big and bold. Tastes just like it smells. So many flavors, my mouth is overwhelmed. Starts up front with all of the spices and ends with a wonderful hop bitterness and booziness that lingers on the tongue forever.

F: Smooth and rich with an astringent quality.

O: My favorite pumpkin ale. If there is a better pumpkin ale out there I haven't tried it yet. Very hard to find in my town for some reason. None of the beer vendors seem to buy a lot of it, and it sells out very quickly.

Oct 02, 2016
Photo of Zimmerman
Zimmerman from Louisiana

4.62/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Eyes and Nose: Pours near-pitch black with a thick, tan head that dissipates slowly. Rich chocolate, cinnamon bread, and spice on the nose.

Mouth: Buttery and creamy mouthfeel. Flavor is distinctly yeasty with rich chocolate, coffee, and a bitter dark maltiness. A strong hoppiness brings out meaty and smokey notes, with a distinct baked-good aftertaste. The high abv wraps everything up nicely with a warming sensation in the tummy.

Sep 15, 2016
Photo of Pontzie
Pontzie from Florida

4.82/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Drank in combination with a Rhetoric Bourbon. The combo was mind blowing. This beer is HEAVILY spiced. It is best on a cool fall evening and mixed with good fall foods.

L: Opaque and minimal head. A good look for an imperial stout. Can see the cinnamon and spices mixed into the dark beer,
S: Cinnamon, Cloves, Vanilla, Nutmeg, and some pumpkin/gourd like hints. Amazing to just get a few good wafts of fall flavor off of it.
T: A punch of all these wonderful flavors mixed into a glass of beer. It is really really powerful. Sweet, but isn't that the point???? This beer is able to overpower and not for the faint of heart. Really really well done though.
F: CHEWY. The spices are so thick that you feel like this beer is a thanksgiving meal in a bottle. Bite through the nutmeg and cloves and cinnamon and you land on a fantastic balance of alcohol offset by some mild pumpkin flavoring.
O: A fun beer. One that you can hand to any friend and surprise them with how much they will enjoy it despite how much it appears that it should be overpowering and cloying on the palate. It is not in any way. If anyone doesn't like this beer, I can understand that point of view but I don't want them as my friend!

Aug 21, 2016
Photo of barczar
barczar from Kentucky

3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is lightly sweet, with notes of pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, and ginger adding complexity to toffee malt. Roast is fairly subtle.

Flavor is fairly spice laden, but pumpkin and very sweet vanilla and toffee malt detract enough to keep my interest, leading to a roasty, hoppy bitter finish.

Dec 13, 2015
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky from New York

3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a St Bernardus goblet.
4/4/4/3/4.25
A: Darkest brown. Opaque with a mere dusting of head.
S: Smells big and spicy with lots of vanilla and a hint of roast. I think there's some pumpkin flesh in the nose, but it's hard to detect under the eggnog-like nose.
T: This is an outrageous, unbelievable beer. As in, I don't believe this beer can/should exist. It's incredibly sweet, superlatively thick, and almost overwhelmingly flavorful. The maintaste is chewy and full of nutmeg, vanilla, and mild gourd. Also chocolate, cinnamon, and caramel. The endtaste has a smack of harsh booze or spice or artificiality.
M: I think the thickness/sweetness is actually a negative. Sticky aftertaste.
O: Let me tell you what I did. It was too much. I think I liked it, but I was physically unable to drink it. So I put some Club Soda into the beer, at ~1.5:1 beer:water ratio. YOU CAN'T TELL. This beer has so much body and flavor, that diluting it by 70% is unnoticeable. It's less cloying, and the stickiness is gone (exactly my goal!), but otherwise it seems untouched and totally drinkable. I like it better this way, and my final score reflects this bizarre outcome.

Oct 29, 2015
Photo of HopsAreDaMan
HopsAreDaMan from Missouri

4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

BEGIN UPDATE

It does seem to benefit from a year of aging. It is a great beer; the only downside is an awkward finish--it's as if some flavors are not quite melded. Perhaps after another year they will be. I previously considered this a stout (as it is mentioned on the label), but it is clearly not a stout--it is much more translucent--esp. around the edges--than a stout.

END UPDATE

12 oz, (no date, I am assuming it is fresh). Pours more-or-less like any stout, but a little lighter in color, and with a beige-colored head, that lasts; nice effects and lacing when swirled. The aroma is complex with pumpkin up front, followed by dark fruits, and finally a hint of booze. Taste is of pumpkin and dark roasted malts, with a nice hoppy (edit: and somewhat bitter) finish. It has a heavy mouth-feel: just what I like, and expect, from an imperial stout.

I didn't exactly know what to expect out of a 'pumpkin stout', so this one surprised me. Although, I'm not certain the tastes marry perfectly, there is interesting synergy going on with the combination of flavors. I am looking forward to drinking my next one.

Edit: I am really enjoying the second go-around with this beer, so I am upping the overall to 4.25. 12-7-2016 (from memory this fall): The flavors may have melded a bit better when aged, but it was still not quite a smooth 'marriage' between the stout and the pumpkin flavor; still, overall a great beer.

Oct 24, 2015
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TX-Badger from Texas

4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown color with tannish colored head. Pumpkin pie spices, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, chocolate and rounds out with some roasted malts; follows onto the palate. Very smooth, full bodied stout. Finishes with chocolate and pumpkin pie spice, nice combo.

Sep 16, 2015
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NellysBandaid from Missouri

4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Like a pumpkin ale/imperial stout hybrid. Different and very tasty. On the pumpkin ale side the cinnamon and nutmeg are more forward than the pumpkin itself. Some nice roasty malt flavors too. Slightly warming alcohol. Perfect for sipping around a bonfire.

Sep 16, 2015
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BrownAleBollocks from Kansas

3.52/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black with a one finger mocha head. Aroma is pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices, and molasses with a toffee hint. Taste is pumpkin, chocolate, toffee, and very light roasted smokiness. Mouthfeel is thin for a stout, but actually works here as a pumpkin/stout hybrid. Overall, an interesting beer that could do with some age and will taste pretty nice on a cool fall night.

Aug 30, 2015
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ThisWangsChung from Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to joshstl for this puppy! I know Crown Valley (nominally) distributes to Maryland, but I've never seen this in the state before, so whatever. I'm happy. And it looks like a big-ass imperial stout should. Yet the smell is pure pumpkin ale - I'm getting a huge amount of cinnamon and nutmeg in particular. The big-ass imperial stout is almost overwhelmed here...almost. Notes of chocolate, smoke, dark fruit, and roast are subtle yet not nonexistent. As it opens up, the dark malts come out nicely. Pumpkin ale notes hit like a truck initially, bringing huge amounts of cinnamon and nutmeg, with even a touch of gourd character appearing. And yet, beneath it all, is a roasty, chocolaty imperial stout - my favorite kind of stout. It finishes with some vanilla and dark fruit notes augmenting the spice character. Complexity is impressive throughout. Having said that, the flavors seem a bit mish-mash (keeping it out of 4 territory). It's a soft, creamy-feeling stout, albeit a touch thin for 10.6%. The slenderness allows some of the alcohol to appear, but it nuances the flavor instead of ruin it. For something so massive, it drinks quite easily. This manages to mesh the massive imperial stout with the semi-dreaded pumpkin ale quite well. Not perfect, but very enjoyable - which is more than I can say about several others in the style.

3.75/5: More pumpkin ales should taste like this

Aug 29, 2015
Photo of NCMatt
NCMatt from North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I hate giving beers straight scores across the board, but this one really deserves it. Poured from bottle to snifter, it's almost pitch black with a very small head that quickly dissolves to a ring that stays until the end. Smell is mostly the pie spices with a little roasted malt and sweetness with a tiny bit of pumpkin. The best way to describe taste is the following: Pumpkin pie topped with dark chocolate crumbles! Not heavy on the pumpkin or really any one flavor. Everything blends extremely well and creates a very well rounded brew with only minor bitterness. No alcohol in the taste, even when the beer warms. There's a moderate amount of carbonation but not excessive. Bordering such, but not quite excessive. It's also decently thick without being too much.

This is a pumpkin beer even those who don't enjoy pumpkin beers might love! One of the best pumpkin beers that doesn't overpower the pumpkin flavor. Really reminiscent of fall!

Aug 11, 2015
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yesterdayfaraway from Missouri

4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Black with tan head
S: Sweet pumpkin bread
T: Again, sweet pumpkin bread. Very delicious. No alcohol burn, big pumpkin flavor. I'm ready for fall!
F: Thick and coating but drinkable.
O: This has a few months age on it and it's very good.

Jul 23, 2015
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours out an astonishingly dark color for a pumpkin; wisps of tawny color highlight the corners and the tan head leaves some dots around the glass

Smell: Chocolate, coffee and molasses, as well as pumpkin, vanilla and spice cake tones

Taste: The darker flavors of an imperial stout are prominent but, in the middle, the pumpkin, vanilla and coconut elements emerge; spice cake flavors develop, as well, with everything coming together in a complementary fashion in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: I had never heard of this brewery before but they sure have done a nice job with this beer

Mar 08, 2015
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a goblet

A- pours a pitch black color with a small creamy tan colored head that leaves a layer of film on top with some short lasting lace left behind

S- this beer smells like Halloween! Slightly smokey roasted malt gives aromas of chocolate and toffee candy, big whiff of sweet vanilla cream, pumpkin spicing kicks in near the end with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and toasted pie crust

T- deep roasted smoky malt flavor up front immediately gives lots of chocolate and caramel, followed by some charred wood. The caramel notes continue into the mid-palate before opening up to the pumpkin spicing; notes of cinnamon, nutmeg & vanilla cream, compliment a slightly piney hop presence. The finish provides more smoke and chocolate with more subtle spicing on the finish

M- thick and viscous body with medium carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel and a smooth velvety finish, ABV is hidden very well

O- I've drank a lot of pumpkin beers, and this is by far one of the best, certainly the best pumpkin stout. The spicing blends brilliantly with the smoky malt of the base beer, with notes of caramel and vanilla to compliment. I'm definitely looking for more of these next year

Jan 31, 2015
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Suds from Missouri

4.21/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rich black color with a dense and serious tan head. Great lace. The smell is amazing....pumpkin ice cream and pie filling. Wow. Booze,maple chocolate....sugar. The taste is sweet, but very bitter. Lots of pumpkin and spice. Intense is an understatement. Huge and lingering aftertaste. Incredibly thick and full mouthfeel. Hides its alcohol well.

Jan 24, 2015
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Omnium from Pennsylvania

3.33/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is spot on, rich creamy brown black two finger head
Aroma is nice. Vanilla and rich roasted chocolate malt, roasted pumpkin and some cinnamon.
Taste goes awry horribly. It's incredibly bitter and soapy. Burnt flavor, really weird almost chemical trait. Pumpkin is buried. Awful
Feel is bitter and lingering.
Overall I don't know how some of you like this so much. I don't know what happened but I poured out half

Jan 23, 2015
Imperial Pumpkin Smash from Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 456 ratings