Wachusett Imperial Pumpkin Ale - Wachusett Brewing Company

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Wachusett Imperial Pumpkin Ale
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BA SCORE
84
good

45 Reviews
THE BROS
80
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 45
Hads: 88
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 6.72%
Wants: 5
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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 45 | Hads: 88
Photo of mikesgroove
4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
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. (804 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +7.5%
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. (656 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
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. (1,252 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (838 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice fluffy 1 finger head that fades semi slowly over mostly clear but dark amber reddish orange brown color

Nose has lots of toasty pumpkin, toasty bready malts, pumpkin pie filling, light sweet syrupy candy malts.

Taste starts with candy sweetness, light syrupy malts and candi sugar, brown sugar, a light bready toasty malt, then finally the pumpkin, pumpkin pie filing and sweet nutty hazelnut like pumpkin syrup, and a bit of bitterness, light yeasty taste as well, and warming booze on the finish, it gets a bit hot on the finish even for 8%, with a little stickiness and sweet candi and syrups lingering.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied with decent carb and plenty of warming booze.

Overall decent, one of the better pumpkin beers I've had but that's not saying a lot. Too sweet and boozy overall, nice pumpkin flavor though that doesn't overpower, and not over spiced either. (893 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.72/5  rDev 0%
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. (749 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
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. (298 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
3.74/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (650 characters)

Photo of Brad007
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
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. (619 characters)

Photo of rudzud
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle of this at Julio's. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a crystal clear ruddy amber hue with a fizzy two finger head that fades to leave nice haloing.

S - Nice fresh roasted pumpkin notes upon pour! light sweetness and pumpkin pie spices.

T - What a let down! Average pumpkin notes (canned) but WAY too boozey. I know this is an 8% but cmon, stuff is way too hot.

M - The heat is in the mouthfeel too, but the heavier carbonation lifts something that would normally be heavy up off the tongue. Ehh.

O - Overall, disappointed. Stuff had such promise but just fell flat for me. Huge let down. (615 characters)

Photo of tigg924
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
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. (615 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.99/5  rDev +7.3%
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. (400 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.46/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured right after a Pumking, let's see how it compares.

A- Dark orange-red hue into a goblet. A creamy off-white head forms to a nice size and retains fairly well. Small cloud and ring stick around leaving a few spots of lace.

S- It opens up with a bit of warmth bringing noticeable caramel malt, fruit, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Just a bit of pumpkin. Still not very strong aroma overall, kind of have to try hard.

T- Drastically different from the Pumking. It has a nice brown sugar feel atop the pumpkin ale profile, a bit fruitier as well (dark, apple). I get nice levels of nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, grains, dark fruit, pumpkin and hay/straw. Some alcohol in the finish.

MF- Creamy feel to a moderately thick body. Carbonation is nice and silky at a high-end level. Some bitterness and a good warmth.

A good fall beer but it doesn't remind me of pumpkin or pumpkin desserts as much as I would expect. It feels like an Imperial "autumn" flavor profile. Would probably go great with a Thanksgiving meal. (1,017 characters)

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
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. (542 characters)

Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.64/5  rDev -2.2%
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. (434 characters)

Photo of WanderingFool
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
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? (817 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer one of last night's Imperial Pumpkin Off between Wachusett Imperial Pumpkin, Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin, and ST Pumking.

Dark orange color like a glass of sweet 'taters. Orange hued head the color of Circus Peanuts. No lace or retention left by mid snifter.

Aroma has some real, actual, vegetal pumpkin aroma in addition to pumpkin spice. Nutmeg comes to the fore 1st but I can also pick up some very mild ginger spice.

Taste is, again, actual pumpkin. The candi sugar sweetness balances the earthy, vegetal pumpkin well. Nutmeg and cinnamon.

While WIP started out magnificently it became muddled and monotone quickly after warming (I had this problem recently with another Wachusett beer - White). If the beer consistently stayed as clear and purposeful as it started this could be one of the imperial pumpkin greats. (826 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
4.02/5  rDev +8.1%
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. (917 characters)

Photo of Burt
4/5  rDev +7.5%
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. (436 characters)

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
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. (846 characters)

Photo of far333
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
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. (466 characters)

Photo of beer2day
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
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. (501 characters)

Photo of BeerResearcher
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz brown bottle. Freshness date stamped on label.
It pours a deep orange-hued amber with an instantly fading off-white head. Too bad about that!
Smells of dried malt, pumpkin spices, vanilla and citrusy hops vie for attention. A light whiff of white rummy perfume slides in and remains.
The flavors reflect the aromas, although in a mixed order. Rum and citrusy hops roll in a lightly sweet caramel maltiness. A little maple syrup sweetness is noticed. The pumpkin pie flavor is a bit muted beneath the citrusy bite. A person with Tourette’s might blurt out, "Rummy Prunes!" A faint taste of limes is in the finish. The velvety body is full and nearly oily. Slick stuff!
Good to see more New England brewers embracing this old and noble brewing ingredient. (761 characters)

Photo of Celtics76
4/5  rDev +7.5%
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. (850 characters)

Photo of SawDog505
4.04/5  rDev +8.6%
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. (382 characters)

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