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
617 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 Thesoundandthefury on 09-25-2011

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#31,844
Reviews:
153
Ratings:
617
pDev:
13.24%
Bros Score:
3.83
 
 
Wants:
51
Gots:
129
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 617 |  Reviews: 153
Photo of Arenbeer
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle thanks to Finewinemike!

A- Pours a deep dark blood reddish brown with 1 finger of off white head. Splotchy lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Tons of fresh pumpkin, bready notes like pie crust, spices such as allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and a slight bit of alcohol in the finish.

T- Very bready and malty up front that brings out the sweet pumpkin and pie crust. As it finish's and goes down the throat you get lots of spices and a bit of alcohol.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a nice slight bitter coating finish.

SkÅL!

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Photo of IronLover
3.96/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nearly black in color with brownish hues on the edge of the glass. Poured with a short beige foam that quickly reduced to a soapy cap that drapes sheets of wet lacings on the glass. Thick, creamy, smooth feel. Sweet pumpkin aroma with a lightly roasted malt aroma beneath. Sweet pumpkin flavor up front and into the middle with a floral hop bitterness in tow that continues to grow to the finish. Hop bitterness gives way to a brief pumpkin sweetness at the finish that leaves a lingering hop bitterness. The imperial nature of this beer is very apparent from the middle to the end. This was damn good. A truly unique spin on pumpkin ale.

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Photo of cps98
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
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 thain709
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
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 John_M
3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I can't say I was hugely impressed with this beer on tap when I had it at Frisco's, but when I saw it on cask at Max's, I just couldn't resist.

The beer pours a brownish amber color with minimal head retention and very little lacing. The nose is spice filled, with considerable clove, allspice and nutmeg. The flavor profile replicaates the nose in this fairly sweet beer, and once again I'm impressed by the amount of spice in the beer. The cask condition tones it down somewhat, but this is still a clove and vanilla driven seasonal from FD. Mouthfeel is fairly soft with the low carbonation, and the alcohol seems a bit more noticeable as well. Nevertheless, this is an spice infused, interesting interpretation of a pumpkin ale, though a little bit goes a long way. I'm thinking one and done with this one.

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Photo of billab914
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
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 russwbeck
2.56/5  rDev -30.8%
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 kevinv
3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my New Belgium globe.

A: Pours a nearly opaque black with some brown/red-ish hues when held to the light. Only a slight head which quickly dissipated. Seems to be fairly common with most of the heavier Flying Dog stuff that I've tried.

S: I had the beer a little too cold when I first poured it - this one becomes much better as it warms. Lots of spice in the smell, mainly nutmeg and cinnamon. That distinct pumpkin smell comes through nicely as well. No presence of alcohol which is pretty surprising given it's 9.0% ABV.

T: The taste is largely spices with a light presence of booze coming through. The pumpkin seems to come through on the finish and lingers in the aftertaste. Mildly bitter and not overly sweet. Actually tastes/smells like a real pumpkin pie and doesn't seem artificial at all. The taste is quite big here.

M: Medium mouthfeel with a mild carbonation. I would have like it to be a little heavier.

O: Overall, this really is one of the better pumpkin ales that I've had. Pumpkin ales aren't among my favorite styles, but I will definitely buy some more of these if I come across them.

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Photo of jayhawk73
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
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 mastodonj
2.7/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A 16-oz draft at Adega in Silver Spring.

If you look at my reviews, I tend to be much higher than the
mean (i.e., a large positive rdev).
Normally, I probably would not take the time to write a review
for a beer that I had a mediocre experience with.
However, this beer, as a "special seasonal" ale, should get
some extra attention.

You can read below, but the bottom line is that this is a mediocre ale, at best. There is nothing at all exceptional here.

A - Dark reddish brown with a small head and a good lacing.
S - Slight cinnamon, gingerbread smell
T - The slight spiciness comes through on the back of the
tongue with a good bitterness. But really, there is no
complexity in the taste here.
M - Mouthfeel is unnoticeable.

Really, for a seasonal ale, the reviewer's bar should be
fairly high. This just has nothing worth talking about.

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Photo of Chaney
4.26/5  rDev +15.1%
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 Hopfenpeter
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am excited to have found this one. The beer poured a deep clear chestnut, mahogany color and builds about a finger high, tan head which has good retention and leaves lacing on the glass.
The smell reveals lots of spice, nutmeg, coriander and malt.
Tasting the beer the front is certainly marked by all the spices. In the middle actually a little pumpkin flavor works its way through along with caramel and brown sugar. At the end the alcohol is certainly making its mark, along with some flavors almost expected from whisky barrels.
A really great fall beer with a lot of character. I am glad I had a chance to taste it!

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Photo of CraftBeerTastic
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ba Review #77
Served On: 10/13/2011
Glassware: Snifter
Labeled ABV: 9.0%
Date/ Code: 2011

I can’t believe I ran into some of this. Perks of working right down the road from Flying Dog’s brewery in Frederick – I guess.

Look: Poured a rather dark color for a pumpkin ale. An almost porter brown consistency with a thick 1 finger tan head. Carbonation seemed rather good, but bubbles were hard to detect through the murky appearance of the brew.

Smell: The aroma made me feel like I was actually smelling pumpkin pie. No real artificial notes or extreme spices like some pumpkin ales I’ve had. Granted - spice and pumpkin meat were apparent, just not way overpowering or fake. I also got some hops and a somewhat earthy potpourri that promised some balanced sweetness. Not much booze in the nose.

Taste: First on the palate were soft notes of pumpkin meat with some typical pumpkin pie spices - like allspice and nutmeg. The middle offered more spice with pleasant alcohol warmth that confirmed the 9% ABV. Finish had an unusual bitterness mixed with lingering spices. I would have to guess the unexpected bitterness was from the Warrior and Willamette hops making up the 45 IBU’s. This beer certainly had the imperial qualities I was hoping for. What a treat!

I’m hoping I can pick up more of this. My bottle shop said distribution is extremely limited and they were only able to get in a couple cases.

___

Vintage Tasting Notes:

Ba Review #77.5
Served On: 10/17/2012
Glassware: Duvel Glass
Date/ Code: 2011

This bottle had been in my cellar since last year around this time.

Look: Poured the same very black color. Think pumpkin porter. Sandy head reduced down to a clump that floated around. Head lacing almost looked like flames rising up from the dank scary liquid. Alcohol legs everywhere along the sides of the Duvel glass.

Smell: It seemed as though the spice intensity was turned down a bit and replaced with some dark chocolate notes. The aroma could have reminded me of a Stout. Some of the pumpkin meat character was still vaguely noticeable.

Taste: First off was a creamy dark chocolate note that was followed by a bitterness found in the fresh version. I have to say that most of the pumpkin and spice qualities went away over the past year and left my palate with very basic stout or porter notes with minimal spice. Also the bitterness level seemed more intense. A slight hit of cinnamon or nutmeg did hit right before the finish. The aftertaste was just more bitterness.

I can't say that I'll ever cellar a pumpkin beer again. I've heard where spices seem to subside, and I can see first-hand that is true.

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Photo of mcallister
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
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 HoppyRedskin
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased a single bottle at Rodman's DC today. Pours dark brown, with a nice foamy white head. It has a fabulous aroma of pumpkin pie. It has a silky mouth feel, with a nice after taste. Not as good as the DFH Pumpkin, but a great substitute. I would recommend this beer, and would love to try it on tap.

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Photo of Rschis16
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opaquely very dark brown, almost black in color, with ruby-brown highlights. Silky aged ivory head on top with amazing retention and rings of lacing. Pumpkin pie and cinnamon come to mind when smelling, as well as other aromas of nutmeg, allspice and other sweet spices. Pleasant.

Big and bold taste, the first thing that actually hits you is a bitterness remeniscent of a mixture of hops and coffee. After that come some pumpkin tastes that try to struggle through, but are overpowered by the alcohol and dark roasted malts. Alcohol is pretty well integrated into the beer, not being over boozy even at 9%, but it does seem to detract from some very pleasant pumpkin tastes. Spices like the cinnamon and allspice work their way through as well, but are muted compared to the pleasant aroma. Still obviously a pumpkin ale however, just an imperial one with very tasty competing flavors. Pumpkin and bitterness both linger in the aftertaste, after a creamy but prickly mouthfeel.

All that said, I still really enjoyed this beer. Its big and bold, and even though the pumpkin doesn't shine through, it does add a layer of complexity to an already complex beer. I would buy this again.

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Photo of Thesoundandthefury
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quite excited to see this right next to secret stash!
Great appearance with a dark ruby brown color. A thin head sits on top of this gorgeous beer. It smells of sweet malts, pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The first sip blows me away. It reminds me of pumking with less sweetness and more rich maltiness. As I work my way through the glass, the beer warms showing more pumpkin flavor along with the subtle spices. Nice balance between the pumpkin, malts, and light spice. Overall I found this to be an excellent beer, like a darker pumking perfect for enjoying on a cool fall evening outside around the campfire.

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The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Flying Dog Brewery
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 617 ratings