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The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale | Flying Dog Brewery

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BA SCORE
83
good
145 Reviews
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:
582
Avg:
3.68
pDev:
27.17%
 
 
Wants:
47
Gots:
122
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 145 | Ratings: 582
Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.21/5  rDev -12.8%
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 +4.1%
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 +9.5%
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 +14.1%
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.

 1,069 characters

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.

 624 characters

Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: Pours a fudge color with a two finger tan head.

Aroma: Cinnamon raisin crumb cake, gingerbread, brown sugar, dried fruit and chocolate layer cake. Alcohol is noticeable on the nose. Smells like spiced rum.

Taste: Boozy... sugary upfront with flavors of chocolate and sweetened coffee with some fruity esters of figs, plums and raisins. Bitter, spicy hop resin and alcoholic heat takeover midpalate. Very subtle flavors of clove, cinnamon and gingerbread on the finish, but it's very faint. I wish this was more pumpkin and spice forward.

Feel: Approachable and sweet, but boozy. A one and done / desert beer. Dry, alcoholic and sugary. Mid Heavy feel with low carbonation.

Overall: Pretty interesting beer. This is like a brown ale/pumpkin ale hybrid. For those of you familiar with southern tier Warlock, this is similar. Decently malty, fruity and bitter with moderate notes of spice - but I need more pumpkin in my pumpkin ale.

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Photo of russpowell
3.52/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent chestnut with 2 fingers of tan head. Good lacing above average head retention

S: Squashy, a little all-spice

T: Follows the nose, a little woody char up front. Faint cinnamon & astringent woodyness as this warms, a little pumpkin & vanilla sneak in as well. Finishes with cinnamon, charred wood & a little sasspirilla

MF: Medium body, firm carbonation

An alright pumpkin ale, I could've passed on this one

 438 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

 918 characters

Photo of Guppy314
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
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 MrWonka
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

 899 characters

Photo of crisis1290
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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 !

 585 characters

Photo of Boto
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught @ Headkeeper: In a tulip glass. This one pours a dark, opaque reddish-brown. There was a thin tan head that left some lacing. Lots of malts to the nose, along with some pumpkin pie spices. The taste is very good. Lots of malts, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices. Some slickness in the mouthfeel.

 300 characters

Photo of jzlyo
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is pumpkin, spices and medium sweetness. The flavor is spices/cinnamon, malts, slight pumpkin, slight sweetness and a mix of sour and coarse heat in the finish.

 167 characters

Photo of 11-52_4hops
3.35/5  rDev -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 mfnmbvp
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, coded bottling information on the label. A new one to me from Flying Dog, this one their Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

Poured into a Southern Tier Warlock beer goblet.

A - Pours a dark mahogany - cola color in the glass. One finger of creamy khaki tan head. Minor thin spotty lacing. Looks good for what it is.

S - A cola forward aroma. Subtle indistinct spicing, notes of chocolate / barley malt, ginger, spice rack. No overt notes of pumpkin / gourd, pie crust, or buttery diacetyl.

T - Flavor has a prominent burnt barley roast character to it. An herbal, earthy, grassy flavor in there also, not exactly spice rack, but herbal. Burnt roast / chocolate malt, sweetened notes of caramel. Notes of earthy pumpkin / gourd are in there, but on the tame side. I might not know that this was a pumpkin ale just by tasting it blindly.

M - Feel is smooth, crisp, creamy. Medium-fullish body, with good carbonation. Easy-drinking stuff for the moderately high abv.

Overall, an alright stab at the style from Flying Dog.

Flying Dog The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale -----3.5/5

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Photo of cbutova
3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Clear and medium brown pour. Off white cap is foamy and half a finger and fair retention. Medium frothy ring and a few sheets of lace.

S- Spicier here than in the taste with plenty of ginger, nutmeg and allspice; the usual pumpkin spice blend. Deep caramelized sugars, nuttiness and a hint of roast as well as dark fruit fermentation tones.

T- Lots of squashy pumpkin and toasted caramelized veggie flesh. Slight roast barley cocoa and a medium level of the pie spice blend overall with ginger, nutmeg, allspice, clove and cinnamon. Vanilla sweetness really gives it that pie effect in the finish.

MF- Medium-heavy bodied overall thickness with a slick and creamy texture. Carbonation at a medium level and a hint of boozy warming in the finish.

Immediately struck me as on of the better pumpkin beers I have had in quite some time. The actual pumpkin flesh flavor and the use of some dark grains helps boost this effort above many of the straight spice bombs out there.

 978 characters

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a damn near black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of pumpkin, some spices. Taste is pumpkin, alcohol, subtle spice, malts. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall, a bit boozy for the style, but a solid beer.

 257 characters

Photo of beergoot
3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
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...

 646 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
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 Jason
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz brown bottle, sample from the brewery.

Lush looking two fingers of tan head, dark brown with garnet highlights. Big pumpkin pie aroma with a drizzle of brown sugar is what this beer smells like. It has somebody, girth, oomph. Great set up with its hearty malt back bone, reminds me of a strong winter warmer but with all of the pumpkin and spice. Nothing mind blowing but certainly much better than the usual pumpkin ales out there.

 439 characters

Photo of bman13
4.09/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

 442 characters

Photo of Marraybay
4.14/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Whoa: big beer here: Definitely not what I anticipated. Very "Belgianesque," from the moment the pour hits the glass; very dark chestnut brown color, with a rich 1.5" of opaque foam on top; (more could've been had with a harder pour.) Nose is pure belgian strong dark ale; sweetness comes thru with some spice. Truth be told, I don't know that "pumpkin" would ever come to mind in a blind sniff or taste test for that matter. Starts off with abundant sweetness and quickly transitions into some spice-burn and bitterness; Again, those "layers" being quite reminiscent of a good belgian. There's no "halloween mask" on the 9%. It's there pretty much from beginning to end, although I didn't feel overwhelmed by fogginess.

 727 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.86/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a perfect pint.

4.0 A: Clear deep amber color. Two fingers of foamy beige head. Retention is pretty good and a good finger of interrupted lacing is left.

4.25 S: Big potent pumpkin in this. Spices are just as strong with cinnamon and nutmeg leading the way and allspice and clove just underneath. Maybe a hint of ginger as well. Molasses and dark caramel. Toasted malts lead a sweet aroma. Very nicely done.

3.75 T: This is an in your face type of brew. The spice mixture is really potent, perhaps even a touch too much. The allspice flavor is the most aggressive and really hits you hard. Again, there's a strong pumpkin component. Toasted malts, molasses, and dark caramel malts make a formidable malt base. I'm not sure if it's the hops or the spices, but this has a bit too much bitterness in it. Still, it's pretty damn good.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Decently creamy with a tinge of booze on the finish.

3.75 D: Great nose and good otherwise. This is an aggressive pumpkin beer that does a lot of things right and does a few things a touch too strong.

 1,117 characters

Photo of RyanK252
3.89/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at BC's Pizza & Beer

A: Pours dark copper brown with a creamy khaki head that settles to a light layer and laces well.

S: Spice jumps out up front, toasty malt, toffee sweetness, mabye a hint of pumpkin.

T: Toasty bready malt, followed by plenty of spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, a bit peppery, light pine, some caramel toffee sweetness, and a touch of pumpkin.

M: Towards the heavier end of medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Surprisingly drinkable for how big a beer it is. Darn decent pumpkin ale.

 522 characters

Photo of hman43
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

 287 characters

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The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
3.68 out of 5 based on 582 ratings.
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