The Fear
Flying Dog Brewery

The FearThe Fear
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Style:
Pumpkin Beer
Ranked #214
ABV:
9%
Score:
84
Ranked #33,895
Avg:
3.72 | pDev: 13.17%
Reviews:
167
Ratings:
645
From:
Flying Dog Brewery
 
Maryland, United States
Avail:
Fall
Wants
  53
Gots
  132
SCORE
84
Good
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: 167 | Ratings: 645
Reviews by VABA:
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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More User Reviews:
Photo of MrWonka
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok, folks. let's get this straight right away, this is NOT your typical/average pumpkin ale. While yes, it clear-as-day says on the bottle "imperial pumpkin ale", but the title doesn't do it justice. This particular imperial pumpkin ale looks like a barley-wine/brown ale. It includes a chocolate/mocha-like note that most pumpkin ales do not. It figures, because again this particular beer is very dark for a pumpkin ale (and trust me, I have had so many different pumpkin ales I never want to think of how much $ I have spent on them). Is it unique? 100% And for that reason alone you should try it if you come across it. Make no mistake, this is not a "sessionable" pumpkin ale, in the sense that you can/are able to crush several and still be coherent. No, this is a sipping beer to be savored and experience the depth of the flavors. Would I recommend it, no doubt. Cheers everyone.

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Photo of gillagorilla
4/5  rDev +7.5%

12 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter

A: Deep, dark brown.

S: Lots of pumpkin spice, but of a darker earthy flavor. A bit musty with clover, cinnamon and nutmeg.

T: Mostly of spices and a strong brown ale. Warms up nicely, like a nice pumpkin pie, but a bit scarce on the pumpkin.

M: Smooth with just a nice bit of carbonation to move those spices around.

O: Good stuff. One of the better ones that I've had. My third of the year, but my first full bottle (the second was the Schlafly Pumpkin and the first was Pumking).

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Photo of Weavah
4/5  rDev +7.5%

First of all, let me just say that I can't stand Pumpkin beers. I typically find them to be over sweet, fake tasting, and otherwise vile.
However, Flying Dog has done a marvelous job here.

A: Dark copper brown. Great creamy head, with minimal lacing.
S: On the nose a big hit of nutmeg, and a faint bit of sweet potato .
T: Nut meg, and clove are the spices I'm picking up. The pumpkin here is faint. You get it right up front then it fades away. And it taste like raw pumpkin smells...more earthy then aggressively sweet. A lot of good malt and caramel on the finish, with a good hop bite.
M: Sticky, and smooth.
O: This is not just a good pumpkin beer, this is a great imperial. If you gave this to me with no pretext I would think it was just a really good imperial IPA.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev +7.5%

A: deep dark brown body, less than opaque edges; fat foam head a couple of fingers high left some lace down the glass

S: dark brown chewy pumpkin bread, molasses and spice

T: rich brown malts and slightly vegetal but mostly sweet pumpkin; spicy edges and molasses sugars; hearty dark bread quality, fruitiness of candied fig and date

M: medium-weight, warming and smooth, slight prickle on the palate; roasty brown aftertaste

O: better than I expected - the brown ale was well-suited to the pumpkin bread flavors and spice; rich and warming seasonal treat

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of bman13
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The best pumpkin beer I've ever Had. I'm not one to hop on the whole pumpkin beer bandwagon, but i do like flying dog and can appreciate what they did here. Very nice REAL flavors, not fake like every other one I've had. Flavor is full of fall (pumpkin, pie, nutmeg, allspice ect.) Yet everything is well ballanced, with nothing being too dominate over the others. I really do like this and would actually buy this again. Good job flying dog.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.14/5  rDev +11.3%

A: Darker than blood/rich mahogany. Light, creamy tan head, and consistent lacing. Very fearsome looking like blood dripping from a werewolf's canine. (4.75/5).

S: Toasted bread. Cinnamon, ginger, and allspice (4/5).

M: Slightly syrupy, full bodied. Low-moderate carbonation with a spicy finish, very well-attenuated finish (4.25/5).

T: Pumpkin puree with lots of warming cinnamon and ground clove. Dark espresso-extract like malt flavor. Lots of roasted chocolate malts as well. Slightly sweet ginger and pine hopping, resinous caramel. Walnut bitterness. Bitter and roast malt forward (4/5).

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Photo of mdagnew
4/5  rDev +7.5%

355ml bottle bought from Lighthouse Wines, Jordanstown

Poured a deep dark amber orange colour... Creamy head poured small but quite thick and foamy then faded to wispy covering... barely any carbonation... any lacing fades very quickly...

Aroma - Lots of pumpkin pie notes along with dark malt loaf, nutmeg and clove spiciness, spicy fruits (oranges, dates), lots of dark molasses sweetness, light pepperiness, allspice, some caramel...

Taste pretty much mirrors the aromas... again lots of rich pumpkin pie and malty bread notes mixed with nutmeg and allspice, cinnamon, some burnt toffee hints, honey notes, brown sugar, some faint peppery hop hints..

Feel - Quite sharp and dry at first then smooths out... medium bodied... pretty drinkable for a 9% beer as the alcohol is very well hidden but i wouldn't want to drink more than one bottle as it would become way too sickly...

Overall - A pretty good pumpkin beer and much better than i expected... recommended

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Photo of Saisons-of-the-Abyss
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%

Very tasty and satisfying beer! Like many other high abv offerings from Flying Dog, you can really taste and feel the alcohol on this one. While the finish can be a bit harsh, it's still very drinkable. The pumpkin is just right, not cloying or artificial tasting.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle it pours a brown/mahogany color, moderate head, and light foam cap and collar.
Aroma of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, light cranberry sauce and toasted dark bread crusts.
Initially the sweetness from the pumpkin and cranberry hits the tongue. However, the spices and hops soon take over. There is also some significant alcohol warming and light alcohol flavor. The hops also leave a moderately bitter and lingering aftertaste that is somewhat astringent. The body is medium.
I feel that this one had potential, however, the hops bitterness was a bit off and there was not enough pumpkin sweetness for my liking.

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Photo of MarvinSnyder
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of skaboom420
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of 11-52_4hops
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fairly dark brown -- in the glass looks more like a weak stout; small head that lingers. Almost no smell (which is one of my favorite parts of pumpkin brews). Taste is caramel, slight pumpkin and spice, and in true Flying Dog-style, a hops punch in the mouth to finish. Overall, not bad, however I prefer more balance or even a lean toward the pumpkin flavors. Was given this bottle last week, so can't rule out that being late in the pumpkin season, perhaps this lost some of its kung-fu.

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Photo of lpotter
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Roland45s
3/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of crisis1290
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm am not one who looks forward to pumpkin beer. There are a couple reasons why and most important , it marks the end of summer. The second reason is that the market is loaded with garbage pumpkin beers , but this gem , does not disappoint. On the other hand , when the pumpkin beer rolls in , it marks the start to the college and NFL season!! This beer is a winner ! Lots of pumpkin pie spices , malty goodness. A nice creamy mouthfeel. A dark pour for sure ! Super easy drinking for a beer that is 9%. Over all , nice job by Flying Dog. Would love to taste this on draft or Nitro !

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Photo of Brickwall316
4.5/5  rDev +21%

Photo of jjd315
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of bobert84
4.01/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of stakem
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Kegatron for gifting me with this after a recent discussion about pumpkin ales and how I wanted to try this one. Many thanks Heath!

Poured into a pub glass, this brew appears darker than anticipated reminiscent of a more fluid version of molasses. When held to the light, it displays perfect clarity and a deep ruby coloration. A finger of tan froth sits atop the brew and slowly recedes to a thin layering across the top. Fingers of lacing stretch up the sides of the glass.

The aroma of this brew includes pumpkin flesh initially that is sweet that gives way to the anticipated spiced quality. Cinnamon and nutmeg are present with an earthy and toasty quality of malt meets pumpkin flesh that displays a bit of greenness about it but doesn't get offensive or veggie like some takes on the style can. Maybe a light touch of clove or ginger brightens the spiced character up across the back. As the brew comes up to temperature, a scent somewhat like licorice is noted.

The taste includes toasty pumpkin flavor mixed with some malt flavoring that is a bit like toffee however it never really gets a chance to get sweet as it is immediately contrasted with a modest amount of herbal hoppy bitterness. A bold amount of spices like cinnamon and earthy nutmeg are at the forefront that persist through the profile and into the finish. Just like the aroma indicated, there is a depth to the spice that goes off in different direction almost like clove and ginger. This brew is bold not only with the spices but also the alcohol inclusion which quickly warms up the throat.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. Overall a very big and bold take on the style. It flirts with disaster as far as being too spiced for my liking but it overall ends up being enjoyable because it is balanced. The aggressive spicing was needed to keep the bold character of this brew in check. While I really appreciate the opportunity to give this one a try, it wasn't easy to finish the full 12oz. It is something that you should try if you get the chance but I think it would be much more enjoyable if it was toned down just a bit.

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Photo of dsshuck
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

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 Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Actually got this right as it kicked, but the bottom of the barrel was still good. Poured a dark chestnut brown, hazy, with a large, rocky, tan head. Aroma of grains and pumpkin pie spice; quite earthy. Taste more of the spice than the pumpkin, with a good amount of cinnamon, nutmeg, and even a hint of basil, I thought. Thick with malts, and a bit earthy, with some bitterness in the finish. Medium mouthfeel; chewy. Not too bad overall.

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Photo of MrOzNthePumpKings
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I wanted to give this one an overall of 3.8, but I rounded it up to 4.0 by default of the rating options. This one is real fun, I LOVE the description on the label about fear and Halloween, really makes for an exciting journey into my stomach. The main thing that stands out in, or maybe I should say Jumps out, of this Pumpkin Ale for me is the extreme spice received when washing it down. I personally enjoy it, and the slightly higher alcohol content helps make it something more special and provides a pre-winter warming bite to it. It has delightful mouth feel, very frothy and sort of thick, coats the inside of your mouth with all that autumn spice. I drank this with a Pumpkin whoopie Pie from Whole Foods and I tell you, the combination of the pumpkin dessert washed down by the Fear was so delightful I almost keeled over with joy! I think this is one of the BEST pumpkin beers to drink with pumpkin related desserts (cookies, pound cakes, pumpkin butter battered croissants)seriously, drink this one with your favorite pumpkin sweets!

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The Fear from Flying Dog Brewery
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 645 ratings