Imperial Pumpkin Ale - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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Imperial Pumpkin Ale
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BA SCORE
87
very good

2,501 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,501
Reviews: 987
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 132
Gots: 312 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,501 | Reviews: 987
Photo of traillme
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this at Blind Tiger in NYC - its been awhile but extremeley memorable - truly was fantastic.

Appearance included a nice frothy head but really the smell seamed to jump from the glass. Taste and mouthfeel were perfect, exactly what you want from a Pumpkin in Fall flavorful but didn't linger for too long.

Photo of jcw122
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm rating this beer all 5s because I think it is absolutely excellent. LOTS of flavor, lots of alcohol, and probably one of my favorite pumpkin beers alongside Dog Fish Head's Punkin Ale with the exception that both are different and not totally comparable.

Photo of MamaTess
5/5  rDev +28.5%

I repeat rDev's review.. just loved this perfect pumpkin ale! The picture is wrong though.. that must be a prior season...

Photo of Forgottensaints
5/5  rDev +28.5%

I love this beer! I guess I am nostalgic about it. It taste exactly like my mothers pumpkin pie! It has just the right spice level its hardy, it's got a slightly thick mouth feel but not muddy more velvety. At 8.5 it's got a little heat to it as well. This beer is fall and will be my autumn go to ale for the season.

Photo of jonash2717
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Since moving from PA to CO, I cannot find a better pumpkin beer/ale than Imperial Pumpkin. In my years of BA readership, this is the only brew that I've felt compelled to review.

Even at the Great American Beer Fest, I couldn't find a better pumpkin brew. Easily the best beer in the pumpkin class. As well traveled as the Great British Beer Festival, I sure as shit didn't even see a pumpkin ale on that island.

The balance of alcohol content and spiced pumpkin flavor, which are both plentiful, is at perfect equilibrium.

Having tasted many rotating pumpkin brews at the glorious Hulmeville Inn, among other places, ale is the way to go - not malts, not lagers. Weyerbacher slaps an Imperial on that baby and booyah, BEST PUMPKIN BREW. [PERIOD].

Although the limited Woodchuck Private Reserve Pumpkin Cider sounds delighful.

Photo of FuzzyGuy84
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Deep red/amber color, but completely transparent. Nice, even carbonation and a dense, coffee ice cream head.

S - This is EXACTLY what I want a pumpkin beer to smell like. Tons of fall spices balanced with sweet malt and a bit of hops at the end.

T - An incredibly accurate representation of the smell. Balanced, complex - pumpkin-y and strong but not super sweet.

For me, this is the pumpkin beer that all others are measured against. A true feat.

Photo of rohrbachsfan
4.97/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Color was deep reddish amber. Creamy head that reduced quickly.

Smell: Spicy pumpkin, malt, and alcohol.

Taste: Malt and pumpkin pie spiced heavily spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.

Mouthfeel: Rich and creamy. Warming after it goes down.

Drinkability: Excellent. Will purchase again in fall of 2007.

Tried Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale for the first time during the fall of 2006 for my 2006 round of Pumpkin Ale tasting (Shipyard, Saranac, and Weyerbacher). While Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead Ale was the best of the fall 2005 round (when compared against Post Road’s, Blue Moon’s, and Smuttynose’s offerings), this year’s lot of Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead fell a bit short. Saranac’s Pumpkin Ale and Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale were similar in style (versus Shipyard’s which is lighter wheat ale), but the Weyerbacher’s was by far the BEST pumpkin ale I have ever tasted.

Photo of travisnd
4.97/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorate pumpkin beers if not my favorate of them all. This pumpkin ale has a great smell, color, and taste. Definitely can taste the pumpkin and spice and with this being an Imperial...it only takes a few to get into the fall spirit!

Photo of microbrewlover
4.97/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I simply love this ale; it is really that good. The first thing to take note of is the artwork on the label, look it up on Weyerbacher's site.
Okay, the beer pours orange then quickly turns a deep orange/red with a medium head which quickly disolves.
The smell of pumpkin is strong; which is good for a pumpkin ale. The spices in the ale are cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg and cloves. The smell of nutmeg and cardamon can be detected just underneath the smell of the pumpkin. I can not smell the cinnamon or the cloves.
This beer goes down very smoothly, kind of like drinking a good pumpkin pie. I realize that might sound gross but believe me this is the best ale I have ever tasted. There is no aftertaste; just the rich smell of pumpkin left in the glass after the ale is sending it's pumpkin flavored goodness through your veins.
If you are a fan of pumpkin ale you owe it to yourself to at least try this one.
The last time I reviewed this brew I mentioned the artwork on the label. Wyerbacher has upgraded the artwork, check it out the new label is even better.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.92/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - a good two fingers of flat tan head on top of a glassy burnt orange brew. Not much covering left after it settles but there is a thick solid ring of lace stuck around the edge.

Aroma - intense pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Aroma stays intense, very good.

Taste - a rich flavor of cinnamon, pumpkin and clove. There is a background grainy element, and a good little hop bite on the swallow. Not much, but just enough to give more of a beer profile to what is typically a highly-spiced category. Even a little touch of alcohol warmth on the finish. Top notch.

Mouthfeel - full-bodied, not excessively heavy. Carbonation does not get in the way of the flavor, complements it quite well.

Drinkability - pricy but ghoulishly good, heh heh. The hands-down winner of this year's pumpkin/fall beer Halloween 'taste-off' and the newest 'must-buy' for my annual October fix.

Photo of dwren89
4.88/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: reddish amber brown with tan creamy head and great clarity

Aroma: string rich pumpkin and spice aroma with spices being nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves most noticeable. Some strong bready tones as well. Smells like fresh naked pumpkin bread!

Taste: my goodness this is a beer t be reckoned with. Tastes exactly like fresh pumpkin bread. Strong, malty, and rich with strong pumpkin spice flavor and a bready like consistency. The strong alcohol is noticeable but in a good way. Not fusel or hot notes

Mouthfeel: full, chewy, and thick but a soft thickness, similar to pumpkin bread. Medium-low carbonation

Overall: Definitely one of y favorite pumpkin ales. Like drinking pumpkin bread, with strong pumpkin and spice flavor and a balanced and thick mouthfeel. Absolutely stunning.

Photo of Mypintishalffull
4.87/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I love Pumpkin Ales and this is the best one I had yet. I even aged this beer for some time and now it seems to taste better than ever. Poured with an awesome head. Great aroma of spice and alcohol and warmth. Cinnamon. Herbs. Malt. Full bodied mouthfeel but cut by the hops and carbonation. Crazy drinkable even at the high abv. Best pumpkin I had.

LOVE WEYERBACHER PUMPKIN!

Photo of Dudeletter
4.85/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin is a pumped up version of what you may have been used to when enjoying pumpkin ales of years past. When you first take a sip you are graced with everything you could want in a pumpkin ale, there is a slightly creamy mouth feel followed up with a barrage of pumpkin pie character that leaves you feeling like you just dove into one of the best pumpkin pies you ever had. You really can pick out the cinnamon, and nutmeg as well as the fleshy pumpkin character all without overwhelming your palate. The best thing about this beer is that it is not an overloaded spice bomb that leaves you feeling like you just had a spoonful of raw pumpkin pie spice mix, it does a great job at keeping everything in balance (although at an elevated level) and is very enjoyable to drink.

http://www.dudeletter.com/?p=1683

Photo of ndekke39
4.8/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love Pumpkin Ales. There are good and bad ones out there, but when they're good, they're good. So I was excited to find an Imperial Pumpkin Ale. I've drank a couple bombers of this already, but haven't taken the time to review it. It pours a very appealing reddish-orange, in other words, a solid pumpkin color. Very rich. Tall white head with good retention. Leaves rings of lace all around the glass. Smells very strongly of warm, almost roasted pumpkin, plus some rich pie spices, such as the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves. You can smell the alcohol, too. Tastes are phenomenal; the best I've ever had in a pumpkin ale. This is what I've been looking for! Again with the roasted pumpkin and the spices. Little alcohol bite. A nice touch of bitterness on the back of the tongue, which balances out the sweetness. Overall wonderful flavors. Like seriously drinking a pie of liquid pumpkin pie. Nice, creamy mouthfeel: not as thick as a stout, but smooth like a Maibock. So smooth that I swear they used oats in the mash. This is a fantastic Pumpkin Ale, probably the best one I've ever come across. It's flavors and aromas are rich and bold, but not overpowering. Weyerbacher has really committed to the style, rather than just cramming spices in or using a pumpkin additive. I will definitely return to this one again and again. It's a new reason to look forward to fall!

Photo of ZAP
4.77/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a top notch pumpkin ale...

A-Deep orange (close to brown) colored.

S-The nose includes a great pumpkin pie smell (pumpkin plus the appropriate spicing) ...

T-Thankfully the taste is not as heavy on the spicing...tastes like pumpkin pie though....very enjoyable..

M-Body is medium to full....feels substantial while also not feeling like a snifter type sipper...

D-One of the top pumpkins I have had...still like Pumpking better but that is a whole different beast (with the incredible unique graham cracker elements)...for a straight pumpkin ale this is tough to beat.

I did a three-way blind pumpkin ale taste test yesterday with this, Dogfish Head and Smuttynose...this was clearly without question the best of the three....I have all three again today and completely agree with my blind taste test...Dogfish is solid but not close to this one...Smutty doesn't compare...

Photo of foci711
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

Very good spice and pumpkin flavors

Photo of JISurfer
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

OMFG! This is THE best Pumpkin beer I've had to date. That's a pretty heafty statement, considering the amount of Pumpkin beers I've had. I think the only one even close to it, is the Cottonwood Pumpkin. The smell is so damn close to a Pumpkin pie, you'd think someone shoved one into the bottle. The taste is far superior to the other Pumpkin beers, not only because the spices, malts, and hops are balanced out so damn well, but you'd never know that it was 8%. This makes it a dangerous beer though. Knock a few of these bad boys back and look out! On the other hand, it's good for keeping you warm during the cold October nights. Overall a damn fine beer. I just wish I could get it down in SC on a regular basis.

Photo of Alaska1
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

My Favorite pumpkin beer, hands down.

Photo of blackbearywheat
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a clear orange body with decent head that had a spicy, cinnamon and pumpkin smell along with some sweet malts. Taste the spice but has a great sweet balance of cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin that goes down easy. AS usuall weyerbacher brews a excellent pumpkin ale,this is my #2 Pumpkin ale everyone should try this

Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.72/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a very beautiful ruby with white head that fades completely over time.

The smell is Cinnamon and nutmeg. Lots and lots of fall type spices coming through but not over powering.

The taste is similar. It is slightly dry with a pumpkin pie taste on the back that lingers for about 30 seconds.

I am blown away by how good this beer blends all the ingredients together. Also being 8% you can't pick up on any alcohol.

Photo of RoterTeufel
4.72/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So we get a low drinkability level due to its 8% ABV and that its at pumpkin beer. Actually, average is alright by me with that 8% ABV. I'll drink a 4-pk, but I won't be driving home. I'm not particularly fond of pumpkin beers... but this one deserves the prize. It smells like it should, tastes like it should, appearances is great, mouthfeel is right on for a 8% ale of this nature.

I buy this in season - even my girlfriend likes it. So that tells you something! Love this seasonal! I love Weyerbacher!

Photo of JustinMann
4.72/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tried this at a Bocktown Beer and Grill. Its wonderful pumpkin pie flavor mixed nicely with the caramel, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I was pleasantly surprised that our server had dipped the rim of the pint glass in brown sugar. While I haven’t had many pumpkin ales to-date, it is my opinion that this ale ranks extremely high when compared with ANY type of beer. I was super impressed.

Photo of 00766
4.7/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Nice beer with subtle spicing. It is not too carbonated and there is no bitter after taste. much more body than shipyard pumpkin. After notes of sweetness like a Belgian. I like the color, not too clear and red tones make it look nice in the glass. Minimal head.

Photo of chefhatt
4.7/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When the beer was poured into a pint glass, i didn't have a lot of head to it, but a nice amber color body and a thin white lace around the edge of the body. The aroma of this beer of roasted pumpkin pie spices. The taste is unbelievable, the taste of the clove, allspice and nutmeg with a hint of cinnamon and the balance of the malts and pumpkin is very well done. It has a great mouth feel and is very smooth off the tongue and is very drinkable.

Photo of kpantz
4.67/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Executive Summary: My hometown brewery, Weyerbacher is one I can always count on to have something interesting in the portfolio. This is the second iteration of the Imperial Pumpkin, and this time we find it older, wiser and even tastier than its predecessor (which was pretty damn good itself). With the 2006 revision, Weyerbacher, in my honest opinion, has justified the image on its label - they are the king of pumpkin ales, hands down. My only request now is that they work on the head retention - but don't mess with the flavor!

Here's last year's review for reference:
http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/392/25880/?ba=kpantz

Interestingly enough, it's nearly a year to the date I reviewed it the last time around. My only regret is not reviewing it at a time when most are drinking or considering purchasing this beer.

Appearance: Reddish amber pour from the bomber into my Weyerbacher pint glass. Moderate lacing. Head is off-white and creamy to start, but reduces to nothing. Would like at least a lacing to hang around.

Smell: It's coming at me before I even get my nose over the edge of the glass. Nutmeg and clove, with a bready malt aroma just lightly painted with pumpkin. Like last year, it's the spices, not the pumpkin that defines this one.

Taste: Malt-heavy at first, with the nutmeg, cinnamon (didn't capture this flavor last year) and cloves quickly joining the dance. This is, in my honest opinion, the best tasting pumpkin ale available. I don't see any room for improvement here.

Mouthfeel: They did it! The one thing with which I was disappointed last year was the hypercarbonation. Made the thing seem more like an alcoholic pumpkin soda, if you know what I mean. This time, they boldly beat back the brazen bubbles and have a tremendous result on the tongue.

Drinkability: Over and over and over. Not too heavy, and doesn't trapse into "novelty" territory like some other seasonal beers.

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Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 2,501 ratings.