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Wachusett Imperial Pumpkin Ale - Wachusett Brewing Company

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Wachusett Imperial Pumpkin Ale
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BA SCORE
83
good

87 Ratings
THE BROS
80
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 87
Reviews: 45
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.09%
Wants: 5
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Wachusett Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: silentjay on 08-16-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 87 | Reviews: 45
Photo of JAFoley
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%

A - Clear rich amber body with off-white head. Ok retention and some lacing.

S - All the spices you'd expect for a pumpkin ale. Smells like nostalgia!

T - Dry start, floral. Cherries and caramel then tons of cinnamon and spices rush in. Aftertaste is molasses with slight medicine flavor.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Sticky syrupy

O - Yeah, I'm not a big fan of the pumpkin beers. I'd much prefer a pumpkin ale that's more subtle, and this definitely isn't. This is quite heavy on the flavorings but that's the point I guess.
I did enjoy this, if only for one pint. Definitely a better alternative to Shipyard Pumpkinhead which seems to be a standard around here. I'd certainly recommend this to those who enjoy the pumpkin beers. Personally, not for me.

Photo of SawDog505
4.04/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass. Pours and attractive orange with a one inch white head, that leaves nice webs if lace. Smell is standard pumpkin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and some vanilla. Exactly what you would expect from the nose, maybe a little more vanilla than you expect. Body is medium large, plenty of life, not dry, and hides its heft very well. This a nice pumpkin beer.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.99/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a tulip glass the beer was a copper color with a small tan head. There was no lace.

Aroma of pumpkin and candy. A hint of spice.

The taste followed form. Mostly pumpkin, some cotton candy. Minimal spice, nutmeg and cinnamon.

A nice change of pace for a pumpkin beer. Usually these are more spice forward, and I appreciate the mostly pumpkin flavor. Sweet and pumpkin, not too spicy. I liked it.

Photo of far333
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Copper caramel colored with a beige head that sizzles down quickly. Low aroma of cinnamon. Flavors of toasted malt, cinnamon, some vegetal squashy notes, subtle nutmeg (thankfully). Also notes of brown sugar and toffee, some banana. Finishes with a peppery bite, tinged by alcohol warmth and vapors and stinging in the back of the throat. Mouthfeel is full, yet a bit slick. Could use more pumpkin and a hair more cinnamon or caramel, and the alcohol detracts a bit.

Photo of puboflyons
3.74/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle. 2013 batch. Sampled on September 20, 2013.

It has a deep amber-orange color pour with a short-lived off-white head. It fizzles quickly. Great clarity.

The aroma definitely boasts an array of pumpkin and herbs with a moderate maltiness too. But while I can tell it is all there, it tends to be rather subtle in the end.

The body is medium with some acidity.

The taste has more of a sweeter malty character than pumpkin. But I'm not saying I can't find pumpkin spice because I can. It just doesn't seem to overwhelm as I might have expected from an Imperial. easy enough to drink hut some standard pumpkins are superior.

Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper in the glass, topped with 1 ½ fingers of rich and creamy off-white head. This maintains some frothy edges, which leave back robust sudsy lacing that dots the sides of the glass. The aroma initially smells sweet with sticky sugar but then eventually gives way to some festive spices and green pumpkin character along the back. Alcohol adds some extra sweet warmth here to the nose.

The taste has sticky candied feel to it, with a bit of a toasted graininess coming out as this warms and then some green pumpkin flavor emerging around the middle part. Spices are scattered throughout the profile, especially lingering in the finish along with a touch of dry bitterness. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a tight feel on the tongue but then more of a firm creaminess as this spreads out. This does have a bit of a warm and sweet booziness to it from the ABV but this smoothes out a bit as this sits.

This wasn’t too bad. The sweetness and alcohol took a bit to get used to but once the palate acclimates and things start to balance and smooth out, this turned into a decent sipper after all. Not sure I was really down for the full bottle though. This would be a good one to split.

Photo of jdhilt
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a one finger cream head that fades quickly leaving traces of lace. Crystal clear orange/amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Light pumpkin and spicy nose and flavor is caramel malt sweetness spicy pumpkin. Higher ABV is hidden. $5.99 for a 22oz bottle from Glen Beverage Glen, NH.

Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.64/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bottle into Hill Farmstead tulip. Pours a clear amber orange with little head and body..doesnt look crazy good. Very boozey nose, cinnamon, spice, hops as well. Taste is very malty but spiced with the aromas...but a bit more buscuity. Its pretty mild, a bit sweet, but really easy to drink. I like that its not over spiced; usually the spice makes drinking pumpkins somewhat diffcult. But this one is good, not great.

Photo of Brad007
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another imperial pumpkin ale to sample. I could probably compare 3-4 of these at this point.

Pours a mild orange color with a thin head into my glass. It's brewed with pumpkin puree so that probably explains the appropriate color.

Pumpkin puree, spice and candi sugar are are accounted for in the nose. I detect a touch of pie crust too.

Overall flavor suffers from the high alcohol content. Acrid. Not very pleasant, even if the flavors are accounted for.

Ditto on mouthfeel. I feel betrayed.

Steer clear or at least let it get a bit of age before you sample it. Pumking and Smashed Pumpkin do it so much better.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a tumbler pint, the beer is a slightly hazed, orange-copper coloring that is bright and vibrant. A slight filmy ring on the surface of the brew is all there is to show for the head. Aromas of pumpkin and vanilla sweetness, with a solid dose of cinnamon and nutmeg spicing. Flavors are more rich in pumpkin, with a dark, sweet backbone that supports a cinnamon and nutmeg spicing, as well as some vanilla bean and boozey highlights. Rich, cloying sweet aftertaste with a touch of roasting. The body is light, and at times sharp due to the spicing and the carbonation levels. The finish is crisp and dry, with a touch of sugary sweetness lingering behind. This brew started off pretty good, but limped across the finish line.

Photo of Celtics76
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. Bomber poured into a Dogfish Head glass.

This one has the standard pumpkin ale orange-brown color. The head reduces quickly with mild lacing around the perimeter. Smells of sweet pumpkin spice.

Aroma carries over nicely to the taste - pumpkin spice but very little detected of the other ingredients listed. Perhaps a hint of cinnamon as it warms a bit. Very sweet along the lines of Pumking, but not as robust. Also not as heavy as other Imperials I've tried. This was welcomed as I was drinking this before making dinner. Most Imperial pumpkins are more appropriate as "dessert" beers. Also of note - this beer shows the 8% abv as there is a mild alcohol burn..this is fine as it doesn't overpower the overall flavor.

I like this one. For those of you that feel Pumking is a bit too heavy and sweet, this is a lighter alternative. Go Pats.

Photo of BostonHops
3.47/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a coppery / medium amber tone while yeilding a short-lived finger of whitish lacing. not much lacing to speak of. nose is good, a bit sweeter than most pumpkin ales out there, due in large part to the candied sugar. strong notes of spice and pumpkin presence too.

the taste brings all of the above to the table, but seems to lack something. either that or the flavor profile here just isn't working for me. as others have noted, i get stronger notes of actual pumpkin than many out there, as opposed to the heavily spiced, liquefied pumpkin pie offerings. only thing is, i happen to like those.

overall, a moderately enjoyable, slightly above average pumpkin ale. and while it's certainly passable, it's no pumking. still, with a little tweaking there is potential for future batches.

(originally reviewed: 09-07-2011)

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #58 (November 2011):

LOOK: Clear amber

SMELL: Pumpkin, cinnamon, esters, spice, tropical fruit, bread, cake batter

TASTE: Spice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, pumpkin, caramel, grainy, bread crust, alcohol, ripe fruit

We love the amped-up style here—a whole lot of flavor with each sip—however, a tad more malt to help balance out the heavy-handed spicing is in order. And with its big alcohol and flavor profile, it becomes more versatile when it comes to pairings; don't just save this one for dessert.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 4/14/2012 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, in Pawtucket, RI served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains pumpkin, spices, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of spices, caramel and pumpkin. Then a hearty malt character comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The pumpkin flavor isn’t too strong which for me makes this beer better than most pumpkin beers. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, for a pumpkin beer, it’s pretty solid.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

orange color coming forward right away. Decent amount of haziness could not hide the ample carbonation that was being exhibited throughout the glass. This all came to a head that was about two inches in height at first but settled down to just a light scattering across the top after a few minutes.

The aroma was full of cinnamon and pumpkin spice as you might have imagined. Not as heavy and sweet as some of the others I have had this fall, this was rather a lighter, with a little more emphases on the spices that lie underneath and a decent touch of a grassy hops that was laying around as well. The flavor followed suit rather nicely. Light spiciness with a hint at some soft grain and light bready malts lying under that. Not much in the way of a hop profile here, and the body was light and airy.

Photo of Flounder57
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle was poured into a Stella glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a finger and a half head that has reduced to a thin layer. A nice hazy orange mohogany color with slight signs of carbonation coming up the middle of the glass.

Smell: Very starchy and edible too. Pumpkin spices like the label says, sweetness from the malts and candi sugar, hop profile is very light and not noticeable.

Taste: Same as above. A nice blend of the spiciness and breadiness produced from the puree and spices incorporated into the beer.

Mouthfeel: smooth, full bodied, low to medium carbonation, slightly chewy from the breadiness. Very easy to drink and the booze is hidden very well for 8%.

Overall: Not a shabby Imperial Pumpkin. Will keep this in mind next fall. Will be retiring pumpkin beers very soon and moving on to more seasonal beer suitable for the winter and snow. Still very nice and would recommmend to anyone.

Photo of mountdew1
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a nice pumpkiny orange with numerous streams of bubbles rising from the bottom. Head was a thin dirty white, that left a bit of lacing and didn't cling much at all. Aroma was a pleasant pumpkin pie, a bit of spices. Perhaps reminded me a bit more of pumpkin ice cream than pie. Flavor was pretty much what it smelled like. Ended up being a bit mellow tasting than it smelled. Felt a tad starchy in the mouth. but coated well and was nicely carbonated. Overall a pretty decent pumpkin. One that definitely tastes and smells like pumpkin instead of just incorporating or using the spices.

Photo of danmcg62
3.69/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cracking this open on my birthday for my 70th review!

A-Pours a clear amber color with a finger width head that stays around only for a moment leaving a thin lace around the glass. Looks good, but looks like your typical pumpkin ale.

S-I'm getting major spice and pumpkin right off the bat. There's a real thick, almost bready smell in there as well. A bit boozy as well. Very interesting.

T-Real thick spicy, pumpkiny, bready taste. Taste like pumpkin spice bread in a glass. Mild hop spice in the rear as well.

M-Much thicker than any other pumpkin ale I've had. Sort of boozy, can definitely feel the 8% were with others (i.e. DFH Punkin Ale) it doesn't come through as much.

O-Overall this an above average to good pumpkin ale. It's a very interesting take on the style, just not my favorite.

Photo of WanderingFool
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wachusett Imperial Pumpkin Ale pours a clear, copper color with a two finger creamy off white head on top. The foam dissolves quickly leaving only a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is spicy with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. Hints of squash are also present.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft on the palate, with a firm carbonated fizz. The flavor is sweet with pumpkin spices and pumpkin flavor. It begins with sweet caramel malt notes, followed by cinnamon and nutmeg. It finishes with earthy pumpkin notes and a touch of alcohol. It finishes dry with lingering spice and pumpkin flavor.

This pumpkin beer isn't as heavily spiced as others and has actual pumpkin flavor. Some alcohol notes are present, so I wonder if this is a pumpkin beer you could age for a while to mellow out the flavor?

Photo of ken2cart1
5/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

a- dark orange, light brown

s- pumpkin, unlike the other this actually smells like pumpkin and not just nutmeg and cinamim

t-wow unreal, best pumpkin ale i have tried, sweet pumpkin extract with a nice bittering balance of cinamin and nutmeg..lots of body to this beer, nice caramel backing

m- creamy very velvety, slides down tongue and throat, leaves mouth dry and parched wanting some more

0 - 5! best pumpkin!!!

Photo of beer2day
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pumpkin gold (ok, orange really) pour with 1 finger of medium bodied straight cream head. Decent retention. Very little to no lace.

Nose is more spice than pumpkin. Pumpkin is there, but pie spice is the number 1 trait.

Light pumpkin flavor, in the vein of a pumpkin muffin. Medium spice without being too artificial. Really, really just pumpkin.

Feel is lighter than the flavors demand. Could use more malt to back up those spice flavors.

Nice representation of style. ABV is muted for an impy.

Photo of jondeelee
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Wachusett's Imperial Pumpkin Ale begins with, naturally, a strong pumpkin aroma. But this is not the pumpkin aroma that often spills from Imperial Pumpkin ales, coming across as deliciously baked and bespiced pumpkin pies. No, in this case the aroma smells distinctly of raw pumpkin, as if one had been cut open and you were smelling the fresh interior. There are distinct spices blended with this raw pumpkin aroma, including nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, and allspice. Mixed in with these, as if a somewhat weak Imperial Stout had been poured into this raw pumpkin, are light coffees, molasses, and brown sugar. The result is compelling, though in my opinion tending slightly too much toward pumpkin and spice.

On the tongue, the first flavors are of spiced pumpkin pie, the spices coming across more weakly on the tongue than they did on the nose, but nutmeg and clove still distinct. A lingering raw pumpkin flavor does somewhat mar this, giving the beer a stale and too-earthy quality. In subsequent sips the Imperial part is more noticeable, bringing in creamed coffees, brown sugars, hints of anise, and some darker fruit esters, such as fig. However, the raw pumpkin bite overpowers many of these more subtle flavors, making me wish that the pumpkin:beer ratio had been skewed more heavily in favor of the latter. Mouthfeel is a viscous medium, seeming to cling to the tongue like pumpkin gut, and carbonation is medium-high.

Overall, while there are good flavors in here, the wrong ones take center stage, and at least one of them--the raw pumpkin--should be cut back greatly. The overall sensation is that of a medium-quality Imperial ale that had been doused with artificial flavors in an attempt to make it appear of higher quality.

Photo of MoreThanWine
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 2 1/2" orangy froth head, which is pretty big for anything Imperial. Body is a dark but clear Mars orange. Smells like pumpkin pie. Taste is too but a little less sweet, like they left half the usual sugar out of the pie, but still dessert like and still tasty. The higher alcohol and richness of an Imperial beer is apparent. All in all a respectable pumpkin beer.

Photo of HosP
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

First pumpkin beer of the fall! Poured 22oz bottle into snifter.

A- Pours dark orange, amber in color. Very hazy, with light coming around the edges. Thin white head on top, clings to edges and stays there.

S- Smells like a pumpkin pie. Get a real pumpkin aroma, no real spices in the nose. Reminds me of good pumpkin pie filling!

T- Taste is very similar to the nose. Smooth pumpkin flavors. Very little spice like most pumpkin beers. Some sweet candy sugar taste at the end. Still a very good pumpkin taste.

M- Medium body. A little much on the carbonation.

O- Good pumpkin beer here. I think I prefer more spices with my pumpkin flavor, but this is still solid.

Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at American Craft

A: The beer pours a dark amber, almost copper, color with a finger of khaki head.

S: Tons and tons of pie spices here. Heavy on the nutmeg, cinnamon, all spice, and vanilla. There is quite a bit of toasted malt and caramel to it as well. As is often the case, not much pumpkin.

T: Very heavy pie spice character on the palate as well. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and all spice are all there. Nice vanilla sweetness to go along with the caramel and toffee flavors.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: Thought this was a very solid pumpkin beer. It did become a touch boozy as the glass warmed up, but it didn't really bother me.

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Wachusett Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Wachusett Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.