Wachusett Imperial Pumpkin Ale - Wachusett Brewing Company

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Wachusett Imperial Pumpkin Ale
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45 Reviews

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Reviews: 45
Hads: 89
Avg: 3.68
pDev: 11.96%
Wants: 6
Gots: 8 | 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

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 45 | Hads: 89
Photo of ken2cart1
5/5  rDev +35.9%
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!!!

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Photo of tigg924
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, orange-brown in color, clear, low carbonation

Smell: cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, toasted malt, alcohol, and clove

Taste: bread, Belgian spices, Spices are cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, cardamom, and clove

Mouthfeel: sweet a with a bitterness in the middle, moderate to high carbonation, medium bodied

Drinkability: An interesting an unique take on the style. After a couple moments it hit me, this is a Dubbel meeting a pumpkin ale. I would look for this again if not just due to its uniqueness. A solid fall treat that now becomes the fall seasonal I look forward to the second most.

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Photo of Daktyls
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a healthy amber color with a nice two finger head that dissipates to a nice layer of foam on the top of the beer which hangs around for a while leaving lacing on the side of the glass. Plenty of carbonation bubbles can be seen bubbling up from the bottom.

S: The pumpkin puree is present in the nose along with some pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, brown sugar) along with a hint of earthiness and roasted malts.

T: A nice strong pumpkin flavor (not overwhelming, but certainly not light) followed by a nice spiciness from the pumpkin pie spices a bit of malts on the back end.

M: Medium bodied brew with a medium amount of carbonation that works well with the flavor.

O: Overall this beer is quite tasty, definitely one of the better pumpkin ales that I've had and it's a nice local beer too!

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Photo of qua17
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is an imperial pumpkin ale. Some imperials are way over the the top but I think this one has a nice balance of pumpkin, spices, and alcohol.

A: It's a nice orange and pours out of the bottle and into my pint glass with a pretty nice head that stuck around for awhile. There was minimal lacing.

S: It's what you would expect from an imperial Pumpkin - there is a good mix of spices and pumpkin - but its's not over the top like a shipyard.

T: I've come to appreciate imperials for what they are - big beers and this beer does not disappoint. There is pumpkin taste to be had - but it's balanced by the spices and the alcohol which comes out strong in the finish as you would expect.

Overall: Not too shabby. My favorite imperial in southern tiers Pumking but this might just be a close second. Would highly recommend to a friend.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.04/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.02/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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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Photo of Burt
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass.

Dark amber orange that is hazy, thick off white head that dispersed slowly and left a little clumpy lace.

Light pumpkin pie spice, bubble gum some alcohol.

Sweet caramel up front, get a little pumpkin pie in the middle, some crust as well, bubble gum at the end. Mouth feel is slick and coating.

Nice beer, enjoyed this one. It was not like the rest of the pumpkin beers that I have had. This was well made.

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Photo of Celtics76
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.99/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of beer2day
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark orange with a cream colored foamy head. No real lacing.

Pumpkin flesh and some pie spice in the nose. A whiff of alcohol.

Surprised by this one, particularly how it is advertised on the bottle. Expected much sweeter and it is not. Some light caramel malt coupled with some pumpkin/gourd essence, light pie spice (nice), and all cleared out by some very apparent chemical alcohol. Light bitterness and caramel in the end. This one is done right. One of the better pumpkin brews, as they really tamed the sugar. Malt and fruit and spice have great balance. And the alcohol is needed.

Medium bodied, ok carbonation.

The bomber was enough for me; in fact, one was fine. I would find it hard to have another, but just because of the richness of this brew. Nice beer, and this is from a marginal fan of pumpkin beers. Very worth the try.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of silentjay
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

purplish mahogany hued beer with a smallish light tan head made of big bubbles that pop quickly, yet leaves some decent lacing behind.

definite pumpkin pie spices, as well as caramel, vanilla, and candy.

actually has some real pumpkin flavors mixed in with the spices, which I am pleasantly surprised about. a sticky sweetness and alcohol heat remind me that this is "Imperial". vanilla and caramel come through after the swallow, and the spices stick nicely in background support.

sticky medium bodied with subtle carbonation and an alcohol warmth that is harsh at times.

actually pretty impressive. I was a bit skeptical, but pleasantly surprised that the initial flavor is actual pumpkin and not just pumpkin pie spice like so many others of the style. the stickiness and alcohol heat could be tamed up a bit, but overall pretty good!

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Photo of SirSketch
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Brilliant dark copper color with a tan, clumpy head.

S - A hearty, caramel malt aroma backs up the plethora of spices. Cinnamon and nutmeg are in the foreground, as well as the a distinct smell of pumpkin that normally isn't found in pumpkin beers, oddly enough. Fresh baked sugar cookies come to mind, too.

T - All of the typical thanksgiving spices are apparent, but the beer is in no way muddled. The aftertaste has a lot of esters that remind you it's still an ale at heart. Some bubblegum, too.

M - The pumpkin gives this beer a slick mouthfeel, and it could use a bit more carbonation, too.

O - A really great equilibrium between a malty ale and pumpkin pie. Not muddled like most pumpkin beers and not overwhelming.

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Photo of HosP
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of skibumma70
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is of sweet pumpkin, with hints of caramel and pumpking spices. The appearance is a amber / orangy/brown with head that fizzles fairly quickly. You can taste the combination of the belgian candy sugar, nutmeg and spices. It is fairly sweet, but smooth, and an easy drink. At 8%, it is fairly strong, but not overpowering. It’s a little early to be in the mood for fall beers, but on a chilly new england night as like tonight, it feels like fall, and this Imperial Pumpkin is putting me in the mood for fall beers. It’s a good effort by Wachusett, and a pretty darn good beer. I’m glad to see Wachusett expanding their horizons! It is sold in 22 oz bombers only right now.

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Photo of danmcg62
3.69/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
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?

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Wachusett Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Wachusett Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.