The Fear
Flying Dog Brewery

The FearThe Fear
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Pumpkin Beer
Ranked #214
Ranked #33,650
3.72 | pDev: 13.17%
Flying Dog Brewery
Maryland, United States
The FearThe Fear
Notes: Why is there only one time of the year - as goblins, ghouls and ghosts frolic on front lawns - when we embrace THE FEAR? At all other times, THE FEAR dominates us, controls us and prevents us from greatness. What is there to THE FEAR? Disagreement? Criticism? Humiliation? Whatever THE FEAR is that consumes you, embrace it. Only then will the true artist in you rise up.

Malts: Carabrown, Midnight Wheat, Chocolate, Vienna
Hops: Warrior, Willamette
Yeast: American Ale
IBU: 45
Special: 300 pounds of pumpkin added per 50 barrels
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Reviews: 166 | Ratings: 638
Photo of akaizer
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pour left a surprisingly nice off-white foam head of a little under a 1/2 inch that slowly faded down to leave a bit of lacy foam. Color was deep, dark brown with a great ruby-red reflection visible where light refracted. Scent is spiced with what comes across as cinnamon and cocoa along with a pumpkin secondary. Perhaps even a bit boozy in the scent. Taste is a bit more boozy than it smells, with a bit more cocoa bitterness evident along with the robust cinnamon flavors coming across. Pumpkin is less obvious, but still comes out at times. Feel is somewhere just shy of full bodied. Would recommend as a less sweet pumpkin beer.

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Photo of MikeWard
4.02/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass. 2019 fall release.

Looks like a Stout with a small tan head leaving nice lacing. When held up to the light, it's a clear deep burgundy color.

Aroma is a nice light pumpkin spice mix, favoring cinnamon.

Upon tasting, the spice mix is a little bitter, but not overly so. The abv is well nigh invisible. Rolls nicely around the tongue. Later in the drink, there are some coffee notes. No actual pumpkin taste.

Mouth between medium and full. Finish a light spice burn with a hint of coffee.

Overall, I usually prefer actual pumpkin rather than pumpkin spice, but this one is pretty good. thanks FD.

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Photo of teromous
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From the side of the bottle: "ENJOY BY: VINTAGE 19B"

Appearance: The beer is a very dark brown with some highlights of deep red. The head is short and pale manila. Good retention.

Aroma: There is a light aroma of toasted nuts and a touch of clove.

Taste: The beer slams the palate with coffee, alcohol spirit, rich burnt toffee, a bit of clove, and finishes with a subtle cinnamon flavor. It has very impressive malt character.

Mouthfeel: The star of the show here is the mouthfeel. It's smooth and full bodied with just a touch of heat from the alcohol. It drinks like a dream.

Overall: It's an awesome beer because of the rich and powerful flavors that bombard the palate. It is very luxurious to drink when it comes to the texture and overall feel on the palate. This isn't your standard Pumpkin Beer so I would only recommend it to those who want something much stronger and richer in malt character where the spice complements the beer rather than being in the forefront. I would drink it again.

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Photo of Radsonnn
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L. Very dark, almost stout like with hints of dark orange all around the glass. Very light colored head, great retention. Nice lacing.

S. Very sweet, cinnamon hits me very strong. Smells very boozy on the deeper notes, but all together. Reminds me of a nice fall night.

T. First I want to say, given the ABV and the strong boozy scent. This is much smoother than anticipated. A nice pale chocolate flavor with hints of something a bit sweeter. Toffee like. I am getting some "pumpkin" spice, but not much on the actual pumpkin flavor. You could say its all spice, no pumpkin but it works! Very Tasty.

F. Bigger body given its not a stout or porter. Very Full given its an american ale. But for comparison, I would considered it pretty light to a stout or porter.

O. Right off the bat. The only take away I have is, where the pumpkin? Maybe its just me, but I get no actual pumpkin type flavor. NOW other than that. This is a fantastic fall beer. Nice and strong, hearty compared to other ales. But smooth, and relaxing to drink. Amazing fall beer, but not much of a pumpkin beer. Though the spices GREAT.

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Photo of EnderFett11
3.69/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep golden brown with a couple fingers of head. Smells a bit like pumpkin, but not a strong smell. Can definitely taste the alcohol, which isn't much of a surprise of given the 9% ABV. Not too strong a flavor of pumpkin, but definitely present. Not bad, but think I prefer the Twisted Gourd as far as imperial pumpkin ales go.

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Photo of Lucular
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big and boozy - exactly as expected from an imperial ale from Flying Dog - with some nice squash/pumpkin flavor and not too heavy on the spices. Not bad but not nearly good enough to justify the 9% abv.

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Photo of lastmango
4.17/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a birch beer brown with a frothy tan 3 inch head. Heavy lacing was present. Initial aroma of root beer and licorice. followed by nutmeg. Taste is not exactly like pumpkin pie. Malt, caramel, licorice, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Light medium body with low carbonation. Slightly watery but for some reason, it is ok with this brew. Alcohol is noticeable.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.66/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Sampled during a tasting on September 15, 2018.

Medium amber pour with a modest off-white head. It was darker than many pumpkins I have had.

This one had more of a squash-like, pumpkin-like character in the aroma with the typical nutmeg, cinnamon, and all spice characters typical for the style.

Medium body.

Roasted dark malt characters intermingles with the squashy-pumpkin spice characters. A little bolder than some. A little more character for a style that I am ambivalent about.

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Photo of Czequershuus
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a very dark brown with a minimal head. The aroma is predicatbly intense, with lots of cinnamon, allspice, clove, and nutmeg, with hints of banana bread, dates, and brown sugar. The flavor is dense but not very strong at first, with notes of dates and baked banana, then a strong wave of spice hits, with a huge wave of clove, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon, becoming more fragrant a it warms. The mouthfeel is fairly full with soft, minor carbonation. Overall this is a solid if not exceptional spiced beer - the spice is present and tasty, but not well integrated, and the beer good but not great,.

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Photo of Every1sgrudge
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darker brown color than most pumpkin ales, smells like your typical style, but drinks more like a brown ale with fall flavors, pumpkin spice, nutmeg, and other holiday warming ingredients. Doesn't really have that thin phony crap you'd get from Uinta or other weak pumpkin ales, and the people that are disappointed by this are the ones that prefer to drink the processed junk from macro brewed companies. One of the better pumpkin ales along with Dogfish Head and Weyerbacher.

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Photo of HoppingMadMonk
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark, almost solid brown / ruby. Just slightly thin body as well as just below average carbonation. The high abv is somewhat hidden but still shows up and affects the taste
Aroma isn't overpowering but the base beer smells great, some malt, a little cereal and grain. The pumpkin and spice show up as well. It almost smells like a pumpkin pie candle but it's actually pleasing and not artificial smelling .
Taste follows the nose, it has a small bit of sweetness but not much. The base beer is nice and the pumpkin pie taste definitely shows up .
I couldn't drink more than one but for a high abv fall , novelty beer it is worth a try

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Photo of Horation
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not for the meek of heart. My first pumpkin ale. I thought it would taste like pumpkin pie. It doesn't. Kind of strong. I think I like it. It tastes like a real ale with great body and taste, but it tastes a little like pumpkin. Surprise! I guess that's why they call it pumpkin ale. I would recommend this on a date, because you can barely taste the alcohol. Overall, an excellent beverage with strong body, smell, overtones, and hints of --- wait for it -- pumpkin.

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Photo of VABA
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a very dark brown color with a nice head and lacing
A-Aroma has pumpkin hints
T-The taste follows the nose with an overpowering pumpkin and alcohol taste
M-A medium bodied well carbonated beer
O-A very boozy pumpkin ale

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Photo of Oktoberfest
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not a huge fan of Flying Dog, but this one looked interesting and I'm glad I took the $3 plunge. Very dark for the style and very tasty too. The usual pumpkin and spice combination you'd expect and in a 9% brew. I'll get this one again.

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Photo of Dinglehacker
4.19/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into dimpled seidel.

Appearance: Dark, ruby brown when held to light. Thin khaki head.

Nose: Sweet and creamy, like frosting.

Taste: Pumpkin is prominent at first, but the roasted malt and hops balance it. Nutmeg and clove prominent on the tail.

Smooth medium mouth, medium dry finish.

Unique take on pumpkin ale. A dark desert drink for the autumn.

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Photo of GeorgianBayPackr
2.87/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Very disappointed in this beer. Huge boosey quality and over-spiced character has destroyed yet another Imperial Pumpkin Ale by not letting the pumpkin note shine through as it should

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Photo of Lukass
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If I had to guess, I would say this was a pumpkin stout with spices. Very dark pour, with a quickly dissipating tan cola head. Smell is nice and warming, with clove and fall spices. A craft shop/candle shop seasonal kind of smell. There is a lot going on in the flavor - some harshness from the spices but it give it a nice bite against the malty sweetness and some roast. Maybe even a hint of coffee on the back end... roasted barley perhaps? That would explain the color. There is a lot of complexity in this beer, and I'm digging it. This is not just another pumpkin ale. I had the privilege of trying Good Gourd last week and I honestly think this beer beats it out. Now I may need to get a few more to enjoy on a crisp fall day because it's still friggin' 90 degrees out here!

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Photo of ocelot2500
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep cola color with a tight, white head that leaves little to no lacing.

Smells of pumpkin spice and some toasted malt.

Tastes of the pumpkin spice layered over a solid malt base. Spices lead off with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and clove. This gives way to pumpkin and toasted malt with notes of caramel and toffee. Earthy hops add towards the end along with some spicy bitterness. Finishes with some lingering spice.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is a nicely done pumpkin, but definitely on the heavy side.

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Photo of payhota
3.57/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown with amber and golden shimmers throughout. Not opaque near light. Nice head lasting for a few minutes and about two inches.
S: Fairly strong caramel aromas, with hints cinnamon and pumpkin spices. Can tell that the spices run strong in this ale.
T: Sweet taste and pretty spicy. Significant alcohol flavor but it is expected and not unwelcome. Pumpkin flavors are very faint, you might miss it if you aren't looking for it.
M: Smooth and spicy, leaving a hotness or dryness on your tongue, but it is enthralling and reminiscent of this ale's name.

I was a bit unimpressed with the taste overall. It was nice but not any different from other pumpkin ales. However, the aromas and mouthfeel really contribute to the taste and add a lot to the flavor for me. This beer leaves an exciting aftertaste and has a distinct mouthfeel from other ales in this category. This is a nice dessert ale and it has a pretty strong alcohol content. Overall this makes for a fun drink, despite a lackluster taste.

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Photo of muchos
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on 9/2/17, best by date of 1/28/18.
L. Very dark brown, mahogany around the edges, slightly off-white dense head stays for a few minutes.
S. Smells sweet and caramely, a bit chocolatey, with a nice big dose of classic fall spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, maybe some clove and ginger perhaps, sweet creamy toffee, a touch of coffee and grassy aromas. Really really good aroma.
T. Bitter hops and bitter spices right up front with a nice balance of sweet caramel and chocolate underneath which helps the caramely pumpkin shine through in the middle. Sweeter and more chocolaty as it came closer to room temp. Bitter, warm, toasty and spicy in the aftertaste.
F. Full side of a medium body, well carbonated, a bit dry in the end. Not boozy.
O. Just what I want in a pumpkin brew, plenty of spice, enough levels of sweetness and pumpkin. Curious levels of bitterness in the flavor of this one, but I enjoyed it. Because while it is a beer that reminds me of pumpkin pie, it is still a beer and not actually a slice of pumpkin pie. Right? I don't know. Anyway..... Well done Flying Dog. Cheers ! ! !

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.24/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was poured into a snifter due to the fact that this is imperialized. The appearance was a dark brown color with a creamy to off white foamy head that dissipated within about a slim half minute. Lacing runs light. The smell has a spectacular balance of the pumpkin, pumpkin spices and subtle sweet cocoa to blend together. The taste was mildly spicy over the sweetness making a great effort to bring back the sweetness of the cocoa malt in and all around. A light mainly sweet cocoa to somewhat pumpkin aftertaste runs into the finish. On the palate, this one sat about a medium on the body with a good sessionability about it. Carbonation runs somewhat light allowing the spices to run as the harshness to my tongue. Overall, imperialized pumpkin ale, and a damn good one on top of that!

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.21/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Milky cola-colored body, firm dense gray head, tons of striations of lace. Smells and tastes like the stem of a pumpkin- vegetal in the extreme with strong dirtiness and substantial astringency, with a minimal amount of toasted malt to back it up. Absolutely no sweetness, spice, or hop characteristics to offset this earthy component. Nose is tolerable, but once it's on my tongue I wish it wasn't. Full body, nearly chewy, with coarse but dulled carbonation.
Certainly a break from traditional pumpkin beers, but not necessarily for the better. Something about the nearly unabated root flavor has me hooked, yet at the same time the intense earthiness and drying quality repels me entirely. Worth trying for the novelty, if nothing else.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not for the faint of heart, Flying Dog's Halloween themed pumpkin ale isn't afraid of no spice. In fact, this imperial ale piles on a host of spiciness to balance the residual caramelized and toasty sweetness that the yeast leaves behind. The Fear only applies to those with an aversion to spice-heavy beer.

Dark amber with with a hazy crimson tone, even its rusty froth sells its ominous halloween presence well. Cinnamon, ginger and clove tingle the nose with its spicy spell. A sweeter tone strikes the tongue with a burst of succulent caramel, toffee, brown sugar and toasted spice cake.

And that spice cake taste rolls across the middle palate in a hearty and dessert-like fashion. As the sweeter and cakey tone seeps deeply into the tastebuds, its seared sugars and toasty edges apply a peppercorn spice to go along with the strong spice medley of the nose. Bitter and with a spicy tannic bite, the finish balances toward the spice.

Full, sweet and prickling on the throat, the ale simmers with a billowing heat- partly of rum-like alcohol, partly of cinnamon bite. Mild astringency provides a drying sensation to the after-palate while the ale trials with bullying spices broadly and long on the palate.

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Photo of superspak
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 1/8/2017. Pours crystal clear very dark brown color with a 2 finger dense and rocky khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a large cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted biscuit, light chocolate/vanilla, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of pumpkin/spices and dark/bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted biscuit, light chocolate/vanilla, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate pine/herbal/spice bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, caramel, brown sugar, toffee, toasted biscuit, light chocolate/vanilla, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of pumpkin/spices and dark/bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and zero astringent flavors after the finish. Light dryness from bitter/spiciness, lightly increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a very smooth, creamy/bready, and lightly sticky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a great imperial pumpkin ale! All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of pumpkin/spices and dark/bready malt flavors; very smooth and easy to drink for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours dark brown with hints of amber. Moderate amount of bubbles and about a finger of off white head which settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A spicy and sweet aroma with a scent of pumpkin spices and caramel malt. Upfront scent of pumpkin spices with some cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and allspice. Toasted malt with a scent of caramel, biscuit, grains, cracker, wheat, and chocolate along with yeast. Light hints of hops. A pretty solid aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a spicy and sweet taste with notes of pumpkin spices and caramel malt. Upfront presence of pumpkin spices with a scent of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and allspice. Toasted malt with notes of caramel, grains, cracker, biscuit, chocolate, and wheat with some yeast. Subtle hop bitterness. A solid taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and fairly smooth with minimal alcohol heat.

Overall: A pretty solid Imperial Pumpkin ale. Nice spice and caramel malt mix with a nice touch of chocolate.

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The Fear from Flying Dog Brewery
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 638 ratings