The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale | Flying Dog Brewery

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The Fear Imperial Pumpkin AleThe Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale
BA SCORE
3.7/5
Good
628 Ratings
The Fear Imperial Pumpkin AleThe Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Flying Dog Brewery
Maryland, United States
flyingdogbrewery.com

Style: Pumpkin Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Thesoundandthefury on 09-25-2011

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#28,697
Reviews:
161
Ratings:
628
pDev:
13.24%
 
 
Wants:
54
Gots:
130
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 628 |  Reviews: 161
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

 684 characters

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of djrn2
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of metter98
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark brownish amber in color but is so dark that you need to hold this up to a bright light to see some color near the edges of the glass. It poured with a half finger high dense beige head that died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles in the center of the glass and a thick collar around the edge.
S: There are aromas of pumpkin and pumpkin spices in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has a bit of sweetness—flavors of nutmeg seem to stand out in particular among the spices. There are lingering notes of alcohol through the finish.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied and rather smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This could have been a good pumpkin ale if it wasn't hindered by flavors of alcohol in the taste.

 789 characters

Photo of Taphouse_Traveler
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on cask at Max's in Baltimore. Love me some pumpkin beers.. but this one was just about average beer. I think the lack of carbonation kind of killed the overall appeal for me, I would be curious to try a non-cask version of this. Mouthfeel and body are a little off, the usual nutmeg and allspice and cinnamon tastes, but the alcohol is very prominent and just doesn't seem well balanced. Worthy of a try, but just average in my book when compared to the elites (Greater Pumpkin, Punkin, et al).

 499 characters

Photo of oline73
2.9/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep mahogany color with two fingers of off white head. The head fades to just a trace.

Smell: Pretty darn good. Malt and some spice, mainly some nutmeg. There are some dark fruit notes in there as well.

Taste: I really wish it was as good as the smell. Way too bitter. There is a pleasant malt sweetness with some spice that is getting run the f over by bitterness. Strong alcohol notes as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: Not sure if this is a bad bottle or just doesn't taste good, but I'm not a fan.

 624 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

 1,213 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of superspak
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

 1,718 characters

Photo of Boone757
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear very dark amber to dark brown in color with some reddish highlights when held up to the light and light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall creamy light beige head that quickly reduces to a very thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Overall the smell is which more mild than other beers in this style with the pumpkin barely even noticeable. There are faint aromas of spices (nutmeg and allspice) along with some light hints of alcohol as well.

T: Upfront the beer has light flavors of pumpkin with stronger flavors of spices - nutmeg and allspice really stand out. Slight hints of nuts are also present. Moderate amounts of bitterness in the finish that fade after some time. There is a light amount of alcohol present in the taste as well.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly coats the inside of your mouth from the carbonation.

O: I really wish that there was just a hint more pumpkin flavor/aroma and that the alcohol was a little more well hidden - I like the fact that there is very little sweetness to this pumpkin. Not the easiest to drink and I will likely skip this one next year. I would describe this more as a fall/autumn beer than a pumpkin beer.

 1,337 characters

Photo of PhineasMcClintock
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of paulish
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Flying Dog Brewery, "The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, coded but not freshness dated (note: newer bottles are now labeled "FOR OPTIMAL FRESHNESS ENJOY BY:")
$2.49 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

I hate to say it but it's getting to the point that I dread "pumpkin season" (which is now what... early July through the first week of September before everything is sold out?) as there are just so many bad or mediocre ones out there. I tell myself I'll stick with the tried and true, but I can't help sampling new ones. Fortunately I have tried them, because this is not one of the bad ones!

Firstly, it's darker than most. It's a very deep mahogany brown that looks almost black in the full glass, and the head is a rocky khaki.

There's a fruity and almost cola-like aroma and flavor to it that's unique. Then the usual pumpkin spice kicks in, but I'm quite pleased to say that it's not overdone. It's there, it's certainly there - there's enough spice that it actually leaves a bitterness at the back of the throat - but it's not screaming "PUMPKIN!" with cinnamon, or ginger, or whatever spice the brewer has overdone leading the way. The fruitiness is like apple and softly sweet red berries, and it has a roast edge to it, and an almost piney note, which I'll assume might be coming from hops, but maybe not, and which in combination with some clove probably leads to what I'd initially found as "cola"... and it's also slightly minty in that way.

And let's not forget the malt. There's more malt here, and that's probably helping to dampen and round the spices (although I have had other Imperial pumpkins that were harshly over-spiced). It's also dark, gently roasty, and caramelish, which would be the other side of what that makes up a cola - and yet it's not a "cola" beer, it's simply not a completely pumpkin-spiced beer. The alcohol generally remains cloaked although there is a light flicker at the end, and the spice adds to the dry finish as well so not a lot of bitterness is needed. It lingers with a bit of golden honey, some mint, and a dusting of clove, cinnamon, and dull anise.

In conclusion, although "The Fear" is a "pumpkin" beer it appears to me more as simply a malty-strong spiced ale. I could easily see finding its spice profile in a Christmas beer and not questioning it. If they'd used a Belgian yeast it would have become simply a spiced Belgian-style ale. It's nicely done all-around, and this is definitely one that goes on my "pumpkin" list, but I also intend to grab a case to throw in the cellar and enjoy through the winter until the snow clears. Unique!

 2,630 characters

Photo of Gkruszewski
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of smithj4
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of vfgccp
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of REVZEB
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of oberon
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The perfect beer for the day I guess.Poured roasted chesnut color with a tinge of amber,almost no head to speak of.Pumpkin pie spice and big sweet alcohol in the nose,a booze bomb.Spiced with an undelying sweet alcohol element that is omni present,the flavors are not bad with the spice being dominant,the alcohol gets even bigger as the beer warms.There are better imperial pumpkin ales out there that are not as hot,it's not awful though.

 440 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

 484 characters

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The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 628 ratings