The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale | Flying Dog Brewery

BA SCORE
83
good
583 Ratings
The Fear Imperial Pumpkin AleThe Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
145
Ratings:
583
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
13.59%
 
 
Wants:
48
Gots:
123
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 145 | Ratings: 583
Photo of JayQue
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
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 jazzyjeff13
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
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 SpeedwayJim
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Lost Abbey teku. Shared with schen9303.

Pours a 1 finger light brown cream colored head with average retention. Beer is clear dark brown. Lacing is stringy, spotty and sparse with decent cling. Solid.

Nose is very mellow. Nutty with a hint of pumpkin, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Average.

Opens pumpkin spice, chocolate, roasted malt, and cocoa. Some cinnamon and nutmeg along with loads of brown sugar sweetness and spice at the middle. End is more brown sugar and holiday spice sweetness with a nutty aftertaste. Pretty tasty.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth in the mouth and accented going down. Messy finish with a lingering, sticky aftertaste. Nice.

A solid beer overall. I tend to prefer the darker pumpkin beers and this one fits the bill pretty well. Worth trying.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
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 Ozzylizard
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Undated bottle at 40 degrees into nonic
Aroma of pumpkin spice, but not overwhelming as most
Head large (5.5 cm), light brown, creamy, diminishing to 3 mm ring and layer
Lacing good - complete rings with stalactites and tiny bubbles
Body dark amber, clear
Flavor begins lightly sweet and spicy with some hints of malt; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, slightly syurpy, lively carbonation

Appearance 4.25, Aroma 4, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 4

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Photo of Chaney
4.26/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've always been indifferent to Flying Dog and am not a big fan of their standard line-up. However, I tried a single bottle of this the other day and was totally blown away. I'll love to see a local brewery shine like this!

I poured into a snifter.

"Whatever THE FEAR is that consumes you, embrace it, along with this Imperial Pumpkin Ale. Only then will the true artist in you rise up."

A: The darkest pumpkin ale I've ever seen. I mean really.... wow! It looked dark brown coming out of the bottle, but once collected in the glass, it's maybe a shade or so lighter than pitch black. The head is marshmallowy and clingy.

S: Big pumpkin spice bomb with cinnamon taking the lead. I friggin love cinnamon! Of course, nutmeg and allspice are in there also.... in a very fresh, intense way.

T: The pumpkin coated alcohol attacks you first... and that booze is coat doubly with cinnamon. I also go some of Flying Dog's signature, Wild Dog series, profile in there as well.

M: Like I said, the cinnamon burns the palate and the booze is present, but it is of the candy-coated, Three Floyds-esque variety. The carbonation is light and the lacing is ridiculous.

O: If you ask me, this is of the best pumpkin ales on the market. No joke!

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Photo of schoolboy
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I'm not sure when this one came out, but I missed it, so this week I picked one up for tasting.

It is a lot darker that one would expect - like a deep dark reddish, almost opaque. The aroma is a bit weak for such a big beer, with spice (cloves?) overpowering hops and malt.

I was not in the mood for a really sweet drink and this was just barely OK. It is a little bitter, with some hoppiness and loads of spice, but better balanced than many. Underneath all this is a very big, strong beer, and the booze is totally covered by all the taste.

The aftertaste is bitter with spices. Overall these tastes seem to have settled into this beer nicely, and I think waiting a few months since it was brewed (I can't make out what any codes printed on it mean but I have to assume it was brewed in early fall or before) has probably improved it.

I would not go out of my way to buy this again at $2.50 bottle, but I also would not refuse one if offered.

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Photo of BB1313
2.98/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. This is a darker pumpkin ale. Pours a dark brown with some light brown hues. There's a huge fluffy dark off-white head which sticks around and leaves sticky lacing. Nice looking beer. The aromas are somewhat faint, but still enjoyable and basically what you would expect from the style. Lots of caramel malts blended with some cinnamon spices. The flavors are very bitter. The hop bitterness is very noticeable. The flavors are very spicy. Lots of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Once again, very bitter and not sweet at all. Mouthfeel is slick and syrupy. The carbonation is there, making it a smooth drink. The alcohol isn't really noticeable and there's no booziness, just a harsh bitterness.

This isn't really the best Imperial Pumpkin Ale I've come across. Too bitter for the style, in my opinion. I was hoping for more, considering Flying Dog really excels with their bigger beers.

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Photo of mcallister
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
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 Cylinsier
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz.

Pours a deep mahogany brown, tannish head, fine, about an inch, slow dissipation.

Smells of sweet to tangy pumpkin, brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Tastes of mildly toasted pumpkin with some nutty hop bitterness. Brown sugar and nutmeg spice as well. Hint of smokiness.

Medium to full body with mild prickly carbonation on the tongue.

A different approach to a pumpkin ale, works pretty well. Sweet like some pumpkin ales, but the smokey and bitter notes take it somewhere else. I like this pretty good and would have it again.

 543 characters

Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber vs. porter, mellow pumpkin vs. assertive American hops, rich and boozy vs. light and drinkable - a beer that effectively bridges any of those gaps could be called a hybrid. Here, FD takes on all three. The result? My favorite fall beer in a long time.

Pours muddy brown with a beige microfoam head that quickly deflates. Aroma is sweet and nutty, with notes of almond, nutmeg, and cinnamon. A bit of warm pumpkin puree in the backdrop gives it a hint fresh-baked pie, but it's only barely there (honestly, if I didn't know this was a pumpkin beer, I might not have even picked it up). Taste is all malt at the start, an interesting (and surprisingly satisfying) combination of pie crust, maple sugar, toasted wheat cereal, mocha, and toffee flavors. Think brown ale with a shot of imperial stout dropped in the glass. As soon as the grain bill piques your interest, though, the palate tightens to a bitter, spice-and-hop finish: crisp, hoppy pine tastes rise quick, but they're soon overtaken by the more traditional cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Pumpkin is, once again, in the background, but there's much more of it in the palate compared to the nose - the fleshy, nutty flavor of roasted pulp is ever-present, and especially apparent under the bitter hop character. Carbonation is velvety-smooth, propping up a body that's just a hair on the light side. Overall, this is a wonderfully easy drinker.

It's been a while since I've had a FD brew, but they certainly have my attention again now. What a way to start the pumpkin beer season.

 1,547 characters

Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev +8.7%

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 larryi86
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- Black with a two finger off-white head.

S- Brown sugar, pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg, lots of spices.

T- Pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, burnt sugar, alcohol, some bitter earthy hops in the finish.

M- Medium body, fairly smooth.

O- A tasty pumpkin beer but the burnt flavor brings it down some. Worth trying and I will pick this up again.

 379 characters

Photo of TheBrewo
3.16/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This beer was served from the tap at Rattle N’ Hum in New York, NY. It arrived in a generic goblet showing a deepened, rusty amber coloring. It held a one finger head of cakey tan foam, showing nice retention, and leaving splotchy lacing down the walls of the glass. There was a chill haze, with no sediment noted. Carbonation appeared robust. The aroma gave big metallic malts, roasty caramels, baker’s yeast, and strong phenolic spice of clove and black pepper. Booze came with warmth, as did a light nutty moss and herbal hop bitterness. Our first impression was that the spice and chemically backbone really drowned out a lot of the other flavoring. As we sipped, aromatic metallics, toasted pale malts, brown sugar caramel roast, and saltiness started things off. These were all decimated through the center of the sip by chemical and clove of phenol, black pepper spice, and fusel booziness. These persisted through the finish, where they were added to by a bittering herbal hop quality, raw licorice, nutmeg, and powdered pumpkin spice. The aftertaste breathed of that phenolic fire, booze, nutmeg, clove, pumpkin spice, and herbal cone hops. The body was medium, and the carbonation was medium. There was nice and soft slurp, smack, cream, and froth to the sip, with thick coating left all around the mouth. There was a slight pucker, with little dryness or astringent to be had. The abv was fine, and the beer drank okay.

Overall, what we liked best about this beer was the robustness of flavoring. While that central bite was certainly overpowering at times, at no point was the drinker bored. At first, things did feel one-dimensional, but with time and warmth the ending of the swallow flourished with a mix of bitters and spices. This made for an ultimately interesting drink. This beer does not land well within the stylistic guidelines, as much of anything pumpkin is lost, but it is definitely one of the more forward beers for Flying Dog.

 1,960 characters

Photo of mntlover
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep tarnished penny color, almost brown head is a finger and a half off an aggressive pour. Head falls to cap some lace left behind. Seems a little dark for pumpkin must be the extra malt.

Aroma is malty only hints of pumpkin, some pumpkin spice and light alcohol esters. Seems kind of tame for a regular pumpkin might less an impy one. Nose isn't bad just figured it would be more powerful.

Taste is big on malt to start bready notes nice body then the pumpkin appears light in taste also, but liking the heavier malt as most pumpkins seem lighter then this. The spice kicks in with malt and lasts through out the finish. Light alcohol noted n the finish but does not distract. Taste much bigger then the nose and I am liking the heavier body on this one makes for a malty treat.

Mouthfeel is big medium defiantly bigger then most pumpkins and I and enjoying that tonight on a crisp fall night. Carbonation is about average and does not distract at all.

Overall after smelling this one thought eh average but after sipping on it found myself enjoying the fullness of it. Not sure why the nose is not bigger might pick more of these up for a heavier pumpkin brew.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tall pilsner glass, color is amber to dark brown, head is light tan and presented 1/2 inch thick then dissipates to a ring with some lacing.

Smell is some light roast, caramel and hints of spices, some nutmeg, clove and cinnamon are most obvious. 2016 Update: aroma seems to have tilted more towards roast and malt, good balance to the spices.

Taste is an malt upfront, caramel and light roast, quickly followed by strong spice character, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon (though light). some of the flavoring is a bit harsh, not sure if this is the heavy handed spice profile. alcohol strength is hidden very well. 2016 update: flavor follows the aroma with a touch more malt balance to the spices, better balance.

Mouthfeel is a bit strong on the tongue, spices lingering, could use some sweeter or maltier balance. Update in 2015: mouthfeel is not so cloying, lighter spice, better malt balance.

Overall, a bit harsh in the flavors and mouthfeel but the smell is pleasant, especially as it warms. Strength of the brew is hidden well, though

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a tulip.

Appearance: Very dark brown, with light bubbles on the body and a off white head that's roughly a quarter inch off the body.

Smell: Freakig potent pumpkin scent heavy nutmeg. Comes and goes not heavy stickiness but very good to inhale.

Taste: can you say pie Ina glass because that's what it tastes like, slightly creamy and heavy pumpkins and cinnamon. It's sweet with malts and brown sugar how can you go wrong.

Mouth: Sticky and smooth.

Overall: incredible purchase and best one of the night here at TJ Finleys, thank you for offering this gem. Salud!

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Photo of chefhatt
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
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 ksimons
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
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

 336 characters

Photo of gillagorilla
4/5  rDev +8.7%

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).

 543 characters

Photo of dgherm
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Dark amber in color, small head. Head gone in flash. Small wisps of lace also gone in an instant. Traditional pumpkin spice in the bouquet, not too strong just right. Good spice level up front in the taste, alcohol on the back end going down. Too strong, kills the enjoyability, nice mouth feel though. Getting better taste as it warms up here.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
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 thain709
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
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 russwbeck
2.56/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Orange brown pour with a white head. The lacing and retention is great. Pumpkin, vanilla, spices, some roasted malty aroma. Sort of a weird smell. The taste is malty, roasted, sort of boozy. Really no hint of pumpkin or spiciness. Disjointed and like the smell is weird tasting. Light, carbonated well, just not balanced at all. The strange smell and flavor makes this difficult to drink. Disappointed in this.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
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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The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
3.68 out of 5 based on 583 ratings.
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