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The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale | Flying Dog Brewery

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141 Reviews
The Fear Imperial Pumpkin AleThe Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery
Maryland, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by taylor714914 on 09-25-2011

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 141 | Ratings: 574
Photo of mcallister
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A lovely shade of chestnut with a large tight wound tan head that holds long retention.

Aromas of basil, pumpkin pie, all spice, cinnamon, hints of corriander, black pepper, anise, earthy hops, nutmeg and maybe more. Very dry smelling.

Light in body and full of alcohol flavors. Very dry on the finish and earthy with that same anise that was in the aroma. Pumpkin, all spice, nutmeg, and some other herbal flavors. I like where they are trying to go but just too boozy. More viscosity could have helped.

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Photo of jayhawk73
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Churchkey:

Pours a dark brown color with a nice one finger head. Decent carbonation and lacing. Very dark for a Pumpkin ale. Nose is a lot of spice- pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice. Lacking in complexity and depth for me. Taste is the same- it's decent, just not great- too heavy on the spices, and a little dry and thin as well. There's way too much allspice in this for me- I just couldn't get past that. Feel was better- medium body, but a little too dry and earthy for me. Overall, this was decent, but I wasn't knocked out by it. Glad I got to try it though.

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Photo of hman43
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours dark brown with a brown head and plenty of lacing. It has aromas of pumpkin, allspice, spices, and hints of coffee and roasted malts. It has roasted malt and coffee flavors with pumpkin, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices. It has a moderately bitter coffee aftertaste.

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Photo of cps98
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was selling out so fast locally I was intrigued to buy a six pack and give it a go. Not normally a pumpkin beer lover so…

A – Darkest pumpkin beer I’ve ever seen. Beautiful creamy off-white head that had good retention.

S – Malty sweetness along with cinnamon, all-spice, nutmeg.

T – The spices (namely the all-spice) is in your face first. After that the sweet syrup from the malt starts to come through.

M – It was not overly smooth because of the spiciness but the carbonation was spot on.

O – A little too much up-front spice, not enough actual pumpkin flavor. Not a bad pumpkin beer.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

355ml Bottle from Good Spirits Co, Glasgow (£4.40):
Another fairly enjoyable Flying Dog effort that was by no means the brewery's best beer but a good one nonetheless, particularly because it was such a big, well flavoured beer that was very nice to sit and sip away at. Perhaps the alcohol content could have been better hidden but it didn't take much away from the taste and it was well worth trying without truly exciting.

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Photo of Roose13
3.61/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Was really shocked at how dark it was. A pretty deep brown.

S: Brown sugar, nutmeg, pumpkin spices.

T: A little bit roasted, almost like a burnt pumpkin pie. A little bitter and hoppy as well, a definite surprise.

M: Carbonated, medium body.

Overall: Great pumpkin beer! Was thoroughly surprised with this. Creative, bold and something I expected from Flying Dog.

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Photo of Guppy314
3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle, pours a dark clear brown with a tan thin head. Aroma of a sweet malt. Taste is mostly of spices within a malty slurry. So let's see, to me, cinnamon ginger and cloves are most pronounced, with a bit of nutmeg. Decent carbonation, moderate mouth-feel, and good flavor "sustain" all make this very satisfying.

But it's curious that this should be classified as a "Pumpkin Beer" when it has no actual pumpkin flavors. I'd have thought it would be an "Herbed / Spiced Beer".

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Photo of smakawhat
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Flying Dog goblet. Best before Jan 12th 2017.

Dark mahogany brown, nearly dark walnut in color with a bit of clarity from the edge of the head. Very light tan colored head only about a finger with a creamy collar.

Subtle sensing pumpkin and spices with limited mild sweetness. A good sensing dry pine bitterness it seems, slightly earthy too, but definitely pumpkin forward, and not sugary so.

Palate takes some surprising if odd turns. Tree bark and bitter mixing caramel sensations with some hot hop phenolic spices in the mid palate. Hot clove really gets amplified by the hop presence on the aftertaste with a near burning sensation. Wet bodied for an IPA quite a bit, light bodied sweetness of malts and a pumpkin flavor that washes away pretty quickly.

Not the biggest pumpkin fan, but even prefer slightly subtle flavors, but this sort of misses on each character for me.

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Photo of thain709
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Served with a dark amber colored body and an off white head...the head stood about one finger tall and was very bubbly...it retained nicely and left some decent lacing

S - Your typical pumpkin pie spices are apparent (clove, nutmeg, all spice)...there is a dash of vanilla throw in to sweeten it up...there is a trace of alcohol

T - The flavors actually started off with a lot of malt...this one was malt driven until the middle where it sweetened up again from caramel and vanilla...towards the end there is a huge spice presence...all the pumpkin pie spices are there and they are in full force...again a trace of alcohol is lingering

M - Medium bodied...smooth from the cask pour...lingering spice

O - This was a decent pumpkin ale...I'm glad to see Flying Dog branching out with a few new beers...the spices may have been too big and I could taste more alcohol than I'd like

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Photo of JayQue
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A strong Pumpkin Ale. More alcohol presence than I like, but not bad either. Pours a dark brown color into a pint glass with plenty of ruby highlights coming through when held to a light. Fairly big light cream color head and thick bands of lacing on the glass. Aroma is ok, not much pumpkin, just a malty beer with pumpkin spices.

Taste is fairly good. A rich malty beer with the pumpkin spices not overdone. There is a good deal of alcohol in the taste though.

Mouthfeel is somewhat rich but there is a significant alcohol "burn". Enjoyable on a cold night, but the alcohol could be more toned down.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look - An awesome dark brown / black color. A finger of head that dissipated fairly quickly.
Smell - Roasted malts, spice, cloves, yams
Taste - An abundance of spice, tons of roasted notes, cloves, spice, sweet maple, has a smokiness to it, pumpkin, slight booziness

A nice beer to sip on, sitting by the fireplace on a cold night.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.71/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, amber highlights when held to the light. Just a bit of head, no real lacing. Light to medium nose of pumpkin spice, cloves, caramel malt. Toffee on the front of the tongue. Cloves and spice, like the nose. Dirty hop bitterness in the background. A touch of alcohol, but fairly well masked. Body is actually fairly thing, especially for the high ABV and busy, high carbonation, some warmth from the alcohol. Drinkable, but not really up to some of FD's other "big" offerings.

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Photo of billab914
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into my Stone nonic pint glass. It poured dark brown in color with a thick and foamy off-white head to it. Good head retention to it.

The aroma shows a pumpkin pie spice to it with some notes of nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon all coming out. I get a little canned pumpkin to it as well. It's pretty smooth, and the spices integrate into it pretty well. Pretty appealing aroma for the style.

The taste shows a lot of the spices throughout the beer. Nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon all come out in it. Towards the finish I get just a little of a roasty, bitter flavor to it.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall it was a good beer of the style, but it didn't really bring anything new or outstanding to the table. The spices seemed to dominate a little too much for me as well. A good beer, but not an outstanding one.

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Photo of beergoot
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark, mahogany colored body; thick, dense, rocky head. Aroma exudes pumpkin pie notes; pumpkin; cinnamon; allspice; cola and root beer. Dark malt flavors with a pronounced alcohol presence; chicory; spicy, anise-like taste; phenolic aftertaste. Rich and warm mouthfeel; fairly heavy in body.

A pretty decent and relatively unique pumpkin ale. The pumpkin presence only revealed itself in the aroma while the flavor didn't really deliver much pumpkin flavor but did offer a rather rich and unique dark grain and unknown spice character to the palate. A little boozy, rich and malty flavors with an interesting spicy twist on things. Good stuff...

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Photo of faulkster4
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

A nice slightly bitter "IPA" as in imperial pumpkin ale! Nice molasses color and similar smell and taste. No real hints of pumpkin to me but if i had to drink a beer, i would enjoy this one.

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Photo of Mongrel
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a ruby-brown with little to no head or lace.

First major impression is the smell, which is like cough syrup or a strong herbal lozenge. Potent, bright and herbal, with just a little dark fruitiness coming through.

Taste is very similar to the nose - strong herbs and spices up front, anise and clove chief among them. This mellows in the middle to include a lot of malty sweetness, including vanilla, figs and prunes. There's a little hop coolness at the end. This beer is - like I remembered it - pretty in your face. I do not remember the herb/spice component being so forward - it sort of drowns out any real pumpkin flavor. Not a completely balanced beer, but still intriguing. Perhaps some time in the cellar would even it out a bit.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy, with a little tingle from the booze and hops. It seems a bit thin though.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
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 chefhatt
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When I poured this beer into a pint glass, it has a very dark brown color body with a tan head that disappears quickly. The smell is all about the spices, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and brown sugar. The taste is up front strong of spices with a smokeyness to it. It has a little bit of pumpkin flavor, but finishes with a hop bitterness.
The mouth feel is kinda heavy but well carbonated and overall i would put this in the top 10 of pumpkin beers.

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Photo of Brenden
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Fear is darker than night, very close to black but allowing some red and brown to peek through at the edges. It develops a small tan head that has pretty good retention and leaves some craggy islands floating on top, which in turn leave firm patches of lacing in moderation.
I'm enjoying the pumpkin on the nose; it's sturdy and fleshy with a very good level of spicing, enough to add a nice aroma without overpowering the rest. There's also what I assume is an intentional buttery note that adds to the pleasantness.
The flavor differs just a little, but not in a bad way. The main difference is the stronger presence of herbal and floral hops bitterness. It does kind of come out over the pumpkin and spicing, though the spices make their way out a bit more than the pumpkin does. There's a peek of alcohol into a lingering finish.
The body is medium, and pretty full at that. Crispness is light and constant, balancing nicely with an equally constant smoothness. Dryness pulls into the finish.

 1,000 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a dark, vibrant, crystal clear, toffee-brown coloring with a thin, sparse, very light tan surface coat of head. Great looking brew. Aromas of pumpkin, candied sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, bubblegum, and toasted grains. Very rich, but avoids any heaviness in the nose. Flavors are roast forward, with a rich, tangy caramel and toffee blend leading a roast pumpkin character and a healthy kick of booze. Very rich throughout, and there are hints of chocolate throughout the palate, as well. The spices fall a bit out of focus, allowing the rich, sweet, and heavy characteristics to run rampant on the tongue. Heavy, on a smooth, mid-body, with a tangy sweet and rich aftertaste. This one stays strong throughout, even into the slightly cloying, slightly boozy finish. Slight warming as you drink. Solid flavors, big beer.

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Photo of ksimons
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-a very dark brown with two fingers worth of light tan head

S-pumpkin spices and a bit of roast

T-more roasted malt in the taste with pumpkin spices and a bit of chocolate sweetness in the finish

M-medium body, creamy, moderate carbonation, roasted finish

Overall a nice variation of the typical pumpkin beers with the roasted malt

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Photo of Treyliff
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A- Pours a dark brown with a ruby hue, two-finger off-white foamy head retains long after the pour, leaving behind some nice lacing.

S- big malty aromas of sweet bread and some fig, some toasted notes in there as well that simulate an aroma of pie crust. Pumpkin spices are well balanced with cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger

T- the big malty notes follow the aroma with lots of sweet bread and dark fruits, the sweetness continues and becomes a bit cloying, pumpkin spice notes are there, but overpowered by the sweetness

M- Heavy and thick body with low carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel and ends with a velvety finish, just a bit of alcohol warmth at the end

O- This one nearly hit on all cylinders, but the overpowering sweetness made this one difficult to finish. Other than that, everything else was on point

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Photo of Billolick
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, w/o freshness info

Flying Dog's beers seem to get better and better with each new one I try, so I was happy to find this new seasonal at Yorktown, Beverage, in my home town of Yorktown, NY.

Pours dark mahogany, moderate height on the medium tan head, leaves a trail of fine lacing here and there.

On the nose I pick up some cinnamon, some vanilla and a hint of some dark bread.

On the palate it’s more of the same, again, cinnamon, again vanilla, darker malts, some of the 9% rearing its head, yeah a wee bit boozy, but I tend to like boozy, and hey it is 9%. Tastes sort of like Double Bastard, infused with a hint and a half of fall spices and with less hops and less body. Not really getting much actual pumpkin flavor or character.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.8/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best by 11/27/15.

Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon gum, and toasted malt aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, molasses, and pumpkin pie spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty, but the pumpkin pie spice aspects are slightly better in the smell to me.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of Suds
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An imperial pumpkin...these are becoming popular. The beer is a rich brown with a thin tan head...soapy. Clear. The smell is of pie spice and booze. Malt comes out in a big way...slightly roasted, and a little breads. No pumpkin in the smell. In the taste, however, there are pumpkin favors, nestled within a serious alcohol warming, big spice bite, and malty sweetness. Full and thick in body, huge booziness. Long and spicy finish. Great pumpkin beer.

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The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
3.67 out of 5 based on 574 ratings.
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