Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Imperial Pumpkin Smash | Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
67 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Imperial Pumpkin SmashImperial Pumpkin Smash

Brewed by:
Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co.
Missouri, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.60%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Beer4Baltimore on 08-16-2013

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 67 | Ratings: 422
Photo of StubbyMenstrual
4.96/5  rDev +23.1%
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.

 843 characters

Photo of Pontzie
4.82/5  rDev +19.6%
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!

 1,231 characters

Photo of spacecake9
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

Poured into my Pumking Goblet.

A - Very dark almost black with a 1/2" head that shrinks down to a ring with lacing on the side of the glass. Looks delicious.

S - Not a strong aroma but you get vanilla and pumpkin.

T - Wonderfully balanced flavors of coffee, chocolate and pumpkin with just a hint of alcohol. And very drinkable - I find myself reaching for my next sip before the flavor from the last sip is gone.

M - Medium mouth feel and medium carbonation. Flavor sticks in your mouth for awhile.

O - This is a fantastic pumpkin beer. Great marriage of stout and pumpkins. For me the key is everything is so well-balanced, just can't say enough about this beer.

 673 characters

Photo of HuskerTornado
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into Pumking Goblet. Pours a rich ebony color with a good sized beige head that slowly dissipates leaving a decent amount of lacing.

Smell is of sweet toffee, chocolate, pumpkin, and a hint of alcohol. Kind of like Halloween in a glass. Really nice.

The taste is a great combination of the smells, with great dark chocolate profile up front with strong pumpkin pie notes, a bit of smokyness, and also some hoppy pine notes. A lot going on here, but all works well together and balanced. Mouthfeel is dense, smooth, and the alcohol is well disguised.

Overall, a great imperial stout first and foremost, and absolutely one of the best pumpkin beers out there.

I picked up an extra couple of six packs to age and drink at different periods. Look forward to comparing 2014's batch to 2013's.

 813 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
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

 1,207 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch light brown head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- This is the most enjoyable aroma I've ever gotten from a pumpkin beer. All the usual suspects are there: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, brown sugar, vanilla, caramel, graham cracker as well as some new ones that are just lovely: cake batter, cotton candy, banana, fruitcake, chai tea. All these layered components have the dark roast intertwined with them to provide just the right amount of roasty quality.

T- Flavor is mostly comprised of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Not as intense and complex as the nose but still delicious. The dark roast brings a balance to all the spice keeping it from going overboard. Sweetened coffee aftertaste. Just saw that this is 10.6% ABV and I never would have guessed it was anywhere over 8.

M- Somewhat creamy and has a moderate thickness for a stout. Medium carbonation and a full body.

O- Easily the most complex and utterly tasty pumpkin beer I've ever had. Beats the shit out of Pumking, Warlock, Smashed Pumpkin, etc. The only pumpkin beer that can hold a candle to it is Schlafly's but this is still better.

 1,351 characters

Photo of Zimmerman
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

 435 characters

Photo of serotoninronin
4.56/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a regular ole pint glass.

A: Color is archetypical stout. Pure black; no compromise. Tilted, the color holds nearly entirely through the edge, which puts me on alert for some serious thickness. Very short and thin head, light cinnamon in color, with little retention.

S: Lots of pumpkin and attendant spices (clove and nutmeg, most dominantly) that dash away into the shadows of some bold, sweet espresso and bitter chocolate, almost baker's chocolate. Sweet potato pie with a dollop of home-made whipped cream. Definitely some glimmers of booziness, but nothing offputting.

T: Taste follows the smell really nicely. A bit more pumpkin flavor than on the nose which lingers a bit longer as well, and is aided by some nice roasted malt anchorage. The sweetness peeks over the edge of cloying before tastefully pulling itself back into the aforementioned coffee, dark chocolate bitterness. Really deep notes of a nutty toffee at the end. No booze at all in the flavor. I would have absolutely no reason to think this is as high ABV as it is. Really beautifully constructed.

M: Coats my entire palate perfectly. Very light carbonation, but not so light as to result in any syrupiness, which is a common pitfall for these big imperal pumpkins. Definitely chunky, but does nothing but push the flavors forward in the proper proportions. It's not out to overpower me or weigh me down.

O: Astonishing, really. I'm something of a pumpkin junky, and this is easily in the top 2 or 3 all-time for me. There have been some really strong efforts recently (Warlock, He Said, etc.) , but this came out of nowhere and really set itself apart. That rare sweet stout that could serve as both dessert and breakfast. Really makes me sad that pumpkin season is nearing a close. Hopefully they bring it back next year.

 1,838 characters

Photo of wattoclone
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Sampled at Total Wine class where the brewery owner was present. According to the owner, Joe, the beer improves with age and is brewed with lactose making it a milk imperial pumpkin stout. Of the 13 beers sampled at the class I found this one the best.
Pours a deep black with tan head. Aroma of roasted malt, sweet figs vanilla and chocolate. Taste is dominated by sweet chocolate, pumpkin spices, coconut, vanilla and caramel. Hop finish is present but is balanced the the sweetness from the lactose and chocolate. I picked up two four packs and plan to cellar some for next year.

 585 characters

Photo of NCMatt
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
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!

 950 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.49/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crown Valley Imperial Pumpkin Smash has a medium-to-thick, creamy, beige head, a very dark brown, opaque appearance (with some reddish brown tint showing at the edges), and minimal lacing left behind. The aroma is bold- Spice City (vanilla & white pepper), some vegetative aroma, and even a chocolate & caramel aspect. Taste is of very rich, sweet coconut, white pepper, celery, Fall spices of all sorts, chocolate, nougat, and toffee, among a lot of other flavors I can not hope to pinpoint. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy, and Crown Valley Imperial Pumpkin Smash finishes rich, sweet, and delicious. It’s mostly wet, too. Overall, this is so wonderful and interesting. It’s delicious, y’all!


 703 characters

Photo of tbryan5
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours pitch black with almost no head and minimal lacing.

S- Sweet pumpkin cream and spiciness on the end of the nose.

T- Wow! More sweet, pumpkin cream spiciness, nutmeg on the end.

M- Perfect carbonation for me, not too high or too low.

D- Very rich but I still want another one. This is a great beer!

 310 characters

Photo of LambicPentameter
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Bier Station in Kansas City after missing out on it at the Kansas City Beer Fest this past weekend. Lucky me! Served out of a small Belgian tulip glass.

Appearance - Pretty standard for a stout. Jet black with mahogany undertones in the body. Little to no light is passing through, and even where the light does appear, it's again just a very dark, almost black, brown. Head is about a half finger and dissipates pretty quickly, leaving a ring of foam around the edge and minimal silky lacing the color of cocoa powder.

Smell - Pumpkin, yam, nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, molasses, bittersweet chocolate, espresso grounds and roasted malt are all present in some form or another here. The dominant aromas change with each subsequent inhale of the intoxicating aroma. Somehow manages to smell really sweet bordering on cloying, but still is pretty clean.

Taste - Great balance on this beer. The pumpkin--or more accurately, the pumpkin spices like nutmeg and clove--is very much present here, as well as sweet potatoes and cinnamon. The initially sweet taste gives way to more bitter components, like cacao and espresso. The two working together provides for a beer that is not overpowering with sweetness or with roasted characteristics. The high alcohol is amazingly well concealed in my opinion. This could be a dangerous beer to break out at the family Thanksgiving get together.

Mouthfeel - Thick and cloying, but not in an overpowering way, if that makes sense. The body has a good amount of heft to it, but astonishingly has a finish that mostly gets out of the way. Carbonation seems on the light side of moderate, but there's enough to give the thick body some punch.

Overall, this is a new favorite for me in the realm of pumpkin beers. I've not had much exposure to pumpkin stouts, but if they are anything like this one, I think I'm going to be buying a lot more of these every time fall comes around.

 1,936 characters

Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

12oz Brown bottle with pry-off cap and no bottling date. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy deep black with 1 finger of head

Smell: Pumpink, brown sugar, allspice, graham cracker

Taste: Very complex; the spices are up front with all the pumpkin pie characteristics working together, then hop bitterness comes in the middle and leads to a roasted malt finish

Mouthfeel: This might be my favorite part, full-bodied to really give a stout feel to it

Overall: This is impressive and really goes out of its way to show off the stout characteristics to give a balanced experience. The taste is richly complex hinting at the variety of spices used as well as hop bitterness and roasted flavors of a stout being present. This really needs to warmed up as you drink it for even more flavors to present themselves.

 835 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

 721 characters

Photo of Jared14
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%

2013- First year brewed. Idea from the new brewer who is doing good things since taking over from his lackluster predecessor.
Solid stout with good spice notes and chocolate stout flavors, but a tad boozy. Aged beautifully. Bottle.

2014- This year's version features more spices and blends very well with the stout base. This is a pumpkin beer. Draft.

 362 characters

Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%

A- Pours a near black with a khaki 1.5 finger cake of a head. Looks full and viscous. Solid lacing. 4.5

S- Earthy notes initially- toffee, bakers chocolate, cake batter. All of this rides on a fresh pumpkin patch backbone. 4

T- Follows the nose to a t, but with some added spice, nuts, and alcohol esters. Some bitterness from the roasted malt kicks in late. Everything just taken up a notch. Very smooth. 4.25

M- Creamy, buttery, and quite full. The smoothness just allows this one to go down so easy. 4.5

O- Just a damn good pumpkin stout. So flavorful and nothing artificial about it. Right there with Schlafely as my fav pumpkin ale. I will most certainly be picking up another pack to put away for the holidays. 4.5

 736 characters

Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.34/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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.

 242 characters

Photo of Goosehunter75
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours an almost pure black with half a finger dark tan head. Exellent retnention and lacing

S - Wonderful strong aroma. Lots of roasted malts with hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, toffee, pumpkin and coffee.

T - Wow...great tasting beer. Very complex. Much like th aroma lots of pumpkin, coffee, caramel, nuts, nutmeg, cinnamon....It all melds together just perfectly!

M - A medium to heavy body beer. Very smooth for a 10.6 abv beer. Dangerous! Nice cramy warm feel in the mouth

O - A definate keeper! Will pick it up as soon as I can find it again. Near perfect flavor. Doesnt get much better. My new fall favorite. Im ready for some firepit weather with this beer!

 669 characters

Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%

Pours a deep mahogany with a billowing creamy light tannish colored head atop.Aromas vanilla and warm cinnamon,some light roast is there as well.Rich in the feel and pretty creamy wich I would like to see more pumpkin beers like.Rich and warming on the palate with vanilla and graham cracker notes to go along with chocolate mild roast,the spiced notes lend another flavor hand,wow this kicks ass!One of the best pumpkin beers I have had whether a "standard" pumpkin ale ore a stout,I think I like this more than Warlock and that's saying something for me.

 556 characters

Photo of Trifecta1
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%

Solid beer and excellent pumpkin ale, but leave the piney hops out of it. Extremely distracting and contradictory to the sweet and savory chocolate, pumpkin and robust spices and smoke. Pine bitterness goes away as it warms up, but man...

If you're looking to expand your repertoire of fine pumpkin ales, this would be an excellent addition. Coupling a pumpkin-forward brew with sweet milk chocolate makes this a dangerous and heavy beer. Even Schalfly would be proud of this monster. Will buy again.

 501 characters

Photo of BeerLover99
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: onyx body, trace khaki head, splendid lacing

S: dark chocolate, sweet malt, big pumpkin spices

T: big pumpkin spice, dark choc, roasted coffee/nuts

M: med body, smooth creamy mouth

O: WOW! Never heard of this beer or brewery
and was rather surprised. Definitely a sipper
and to be shared with worthy friends. Wish
was a little bit heavier in body, but still amazing.


 405 characters

Photo of Gerberr
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%

Got it as a toss in durning a trade for some Prairie stuff. Shocked how good this was, especially since I don't think I've ever really enjoyed a pumpkin beer, and it actually outshined some of the beers I traded for. Quite possibly one of the most aromatic beers I've ever had, like sniffing a pumpkin pie. And the taste was spot on to the aforementioned pumpkin pie.

 367 characters

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured into a 22 ounce glass
A - deep dark chocolate nearly black with 2 fingers of head that recedes to a half finger that lingers throughout the drinking. Layer of precipitate in the bottle.
S - cloves and allspice dominate with a nice malty background.
T - spicy pumpkin richness, malty sweetness but not overpowering, Bitter tingles in the aftertaste from the hops. Just slightly detectable alcohol but pretty well hidden for 10.6%.
M - smooth, creamy with adequate carbonation. Could use a little more pumpkin pulp.
O - another very nice fall beer to round out the selection of pumpkin ales.

 596 characters

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark opaque body, comes up with a light orange-cream colored head that fades a little too quickly for me. Not much carbonation to be seen. Bottle art is simple but neat and assertive, definitely spooky.

S: Wow, surprising depth for this style! Strong pumpkin, baking spices, dark malt. Great roundedness.

T: Again, very impressive! Pumpkin and spice forward, with dark malts adding some smoke and toffee/nuttiness for a more mature character than most other pumpkin beers. Sweetness and bitterness balanced beautifully. Awesome depth, balance, clear and yet varied flavors. Finish is medium-long, with flavors this great I wouldn't mind a bit more.

M: Creamy, full-bodied. A bit mouth-drying.

O: This will make pumpkin-beer bashers drink their words. This is a very well-crafted beer, providing distinct pumpkin flavor while also being a respectable beer in its own right. Deep in flavors, precise in balance, and high in alcohol, this is a beer I will seek out next fall/winter.

 986 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Imperial Pumpkin Smash from Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Co.
4.03 out of 5 based on 422 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!