Imperial Pumpkin Ale - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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Imperial Pumpkin Ale
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very good

971 Reviews
very good

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Reviews: 971
Hads: 2,503
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 133
Gots: 318 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: cbl2 on 09-17-2005

We set out to make a bold monument for The King of the Pumpkins!
This 8.0% ABV pumpkin ale is the mother of all pumpkin ales. It is heartier, spicier and more “caramelly” and “pumpkiny” than its faint brethren! We have added lots of pumpkin along with cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of cardamom and clove, giving this beer a spicy, full-bodied flavor.

This truly is an Imperial Pumpkin Ale. Perfect finisher on a cool autumn night or match it up with a slice of pumpkin pie and fresh whipped cream.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 971 | Hads: 2,503
Reviews by BuckSpin:
Photo of BuckSpin
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22oz bottle in a Duvel tulip glass

Poured steady, true, strong. Sharp, lively nose, warm with crisp cinnamon (think Red Hots candies), nutmeg, faint alcohol. Aspects of the nose remind me of the wooded quality of an Insanity I enjoyed, and that quality carries thru as it breathes. Malts are deep & thick, sweet and caramelized, hops have a candied orange bite to them...very nice. With some bloom clove emerges as well as some dried fruit. Head was a solid 2 fingers of tight, creamy ivory foam that slowly settled to a pencil's worth with sheet like lacing. Subsequent re-pours easily restored this pumpkin's creamy crown of foam to its 2 finger's splendor. Color is stunning - crystal clear, the most intense sunset cherry amber, radiant with brassy warmth, glowing, just beautiful. A slow parade of bubbles trick or treats thru it. So far a treat for eyes & nose.

Crisp, light, creamy, warm with spice & alcohol right up front. The cinnamon (along with other spices that are more subdued) comes thru nicely in taste, in bite as well as some warmth in mouth-feel. I can see where this would be a welcome feeling on a brisk Autumn eve. Malts are sweet with a strong dried stone fruit quality (currant, cherry) as well as some faint (and I'm trying to) pumpkin sweetness. But this is more about mouth-feel & spice than gourds.

Barely any dryness, what is there is distant and only appears on the far back of the palate as a damp, muted crunch. Hops are dully bitter & playing a supporting, secondary role that along with that Weyerbacher wood quality creates a nice floor for the spices to dance upon.

It disappears into the darkness that is the throat with a overripe fruit sweetness, the hops rising up more, the mouth-feel growing thicker, more syrupy, the alcohol (very nicely hidden and/or paralleled by the spices up to now) finally igniting, The combination of cinnamon spiced warmth & alcohol infused glow is most warming, a great mouth-feel for the genre. The aftertaste is warm, spiced, laced with cinnamon, a bit filmy but surprisingly clean.

A most enjoyable beer regardless of genre. It seems like a number of Pumpkin Ales actually have little to do with pumpkin and are more about warmth, spice vs sweet malts, and mouth-feel over taste. I'm not complaining, just something I've noticed. This was very nice and would be great with spicy fare, especially cuisine that embraces tradition holiday spices as everyday in their recipes, as well as with some really sharp, dry cheddar or go completely 180 degrees with some rich, soft, creamy Bleu. Definitely one of the best autumn beers I've tried. I'd love to enjoy this outside to see just how god those warming qualities are. Definitely recommended. (2,731 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Its getting to be that time of year again,I am not a fan of pumpkin pie but I enjoy the fall pumpkin brews.This poured a clear rich amber/copper with a tight formed slight off white 1/2 finger head that held some good retention,pumpkin pie spice mainly in the nose cardimom and mace with big nutmeg notes,that spice to me is just to big flavor wise the pumpkin flavors as light as they are are just overwhelmed by spices nutmeg and mace mainly with notes of cinnamon and clove as well.The point is the spice flavor are just a little to big for this beer everything else...the nose and appearance are top notch,damn its so close to being great. (643 characters)

Photo of aszatk01
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of OhioBobcat
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Tiernan
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Weyerbacher Iperial Pumkin Ale. 8% alcohol.

A- Pours a bright amber orange color with lightly active off white head that falls to absoluly nothing. Leaves no lacing that I can see.

S- Very rubust smells of cinnamon and cloves dominate the nose. Small hints of nutmeg and cardamom are there as well. Smells like fresh pumpkin pie.

T-M- Taste is sweet with heavy doses of fresh pumpkin peels. Nutmeg and clove spices are the second to notice. Flavorfull with complexities that fuse to make a very enjoyable beer. Ale is in the backbone with malty mouthfeel. Smooth and dry on the tongue.

D- Drinkable but not to much at one time. Leaves a pleasent taste in the mouth. (669 characters)

Photo of SkiBum22
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of ROBORB
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorite pumpkin beers. It pours amber with a very thin head. There is little to no lacing. It smells of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. The is easy on the palate and masks the alcohol very well. I feel that it is much better on draught but is still solid from the bottle. I would recommend this to anyone that wants to try a pumpkin beer. (354 characters)

Photo of PremiumPete83
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a very dark amber reddish brown color with a nice head that disappears pretty quickly.

Smell - Pumpkin is pretty pronounced. Slight smell of nutmeg and cinnamon behind the pumpkin smell.

Taste - Dry hoppy taste up front turns into a dry doughy middle with slight carmel overtones. The end finishes with the taste of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg overshadowed by the taste of pumpkin.

Mouthfeel - Light body.

Drinkability - For an imperial pumpkin ale weighing in at 8%, it's pretty damn drinkable! The taste is OK, though. I'd drink this one again, but If I had a choice I'd have to pick other pumpkin offerings over this one. (647 characters)

3.39/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is a solid example of a pumpkin ale. The flavors and spices are well balanced. It is very drinkable considering the ABV. I am left thinking this beer is missing something, but not sure what. Until I figure that out, I will enjoy this seasonal beauty. I recommend you do the same. Cheers. (292 characters)

Photo of BigMarty1980
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber poured into a SA pint glass. Nice looking beer: dark amber, thick tan head. The aroma was all spice: cinnamon, nutmeg, maybe a little clove. I think the spice dominated the taste, and really couldn't tell there was pumpkin in it. It felt warm in my mouth, and for this style of beer was pretty good. (311 characters)

Photo of DaftPatrick
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of heddar33
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of BK2084
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of Afroman
3/5  rDev -22.7%

Photo of Belgiant
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of marvin213
2.78/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

With almost no head to speak of, this beverage is more mud-brown than pumpkin-orange. Hardly translucent, it's more like a real brown ale--does the darkness indicate imperialism? The relatively dark tinge on an 8% imperial makes me uneasy.

The most pronounced aroma is nutmeg. The cloves are there as well. Even the cardamom reveals its presence in the nose. Maybe it's the influx of these powerful spices that provoked such worry from the look. I'm not sure how this will manifest in taste, but the spice basket smells like, well, a spice basket.

Perhaps this one's imperialism relates more to its fancy assembly of spices than the ethanol it offers. It tastes strong as in spicy, and literally spicy as opposed to more commonly spicy hot. It's imperial because you can envision sailors commissioned by royalty traveling proudly to return the spices that compose this beer. It's incredibly unique, but it's the most uncomfortably close I've come to eating a potpourri bag. Now, as I smell before I taste, I'm almost fearful. The beer is thick and indeed powerful, but more like syrup than adult beverage. There's little balance to the spiciness that is this pumpkin beer.

The mouthfeel is like sensory overload. Trying to feel all that you smell is taxing. It leaves my cheeks worn out. Halfway through my 12oz pour, finishing seems a daunting task. Though "awful" would be an unfair label, this serving may prove too much. (1,430 characters)

Photo of TTripp725
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of medic361
4.62/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This nice pumpkin ale poured reddish amber with a nice head. The lacing was adequate and had a pleasant malty taste. The spices were spot on and a hint of pumpkin and vanilla topped it off. It was like drinking a pumpkin pie without the overly sweet flavor! (257 characters)

Photo of bigdipip
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of bellce0
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of shatnerosmotic
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of JoeD15
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

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Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 971 ratings.