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Imperial Pumpkin Ale - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Pumpkin AleImperial Pumpkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

994 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 994
Hads: 2,604
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 21.59%
Wants: 151
Gots: 392 | FT: 2
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.
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Reviews: 994 | Hads: 2,604
Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a stem glass. Bottled on 7/8/15, best before 3/8/16.

The beer comes in a hazy reddish-brown with a thin finger of beige head. Some streaming bubbles are visible, as is some sediment.
Pumpkin spice galore greets the nostrils initially. Clove and nutmeg are most prominent, followed by cinnamon and allspice. But what makes the aroma different from many other pumpkin ales in this one is the creamy balanced sweetness, which is as equally prominent as the spices to me. It smells like a pumpkin candle. Butterscotch, caramel, vanilla, and raisin.
Again, nice balance of flavors in the taste, the sweet malts leading the way with the spices complimenting instead of vice versa. Butterscotch, toffee, caramel, toasted bread crust, and vanilla slide smoothly over the tongue, while clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg add a little bit of kick near the end. There's no real oomph to any of it, though, but it does drink easily. There's some very faint dark fruit notes near the finish as well. Perhaps cranberries, red cherries, and raisins.
The body on this beer is surprisingly light for 8% abv. It barely qualifies as medium. I think most pumpkin ales would benefit greatly with a thicker mouthfeel, more in line with an imperial stout. However, this is still better than some I've had. Carbonation is fairly light, but I honestly wouldn't want too much carbonation in a pumpkin ale.

Overall, I would say this is a decent beer. I could see myself enjoying it again. Hopefully I'll find something more outstanding in my quest to try more pumpkin ales.

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Photo of Marraybay
2.68/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had high hopes going in, but in the end, wasn't very enamoured. Nice glass presentation, in terms of color and head. (mahogany color, beige foam.) Semi-vinous like quality that comes off more like a mulled or spiced wine too me. Something--cardamom--very prominent, but too much so for my liking. Never got the pumpkin. It's a big beer at 8%, so there's always the idea of cellaring, but I don't think that would offer much in terms of transforming this one.

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle date 7/23/15, best before 3/23/16.

Deep orange color. Small creamy head with little retention or lacing. Some legs visible on the glass when swirled. The nose on this one is incredible. Like diving head first into a giant pumpkin pie. Flavor is very heavy on the spice, primarily nutmeg, with some cinnamon as well. Some caramel sweetness from the malt. Thin and a little watery on the palate. Some additional carbonation would probably help with that. Medium bodied. Overall, good aroma and flavor, but the body needs to be beefed up. It would probably be awesome paired with a fresh slice of pumpkin pie.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.19/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BOD 7/28/15. Pours a medium amber with a nice orange/red hue that is slightly hazy. Normal head volume and retention. Poor lacing.

World class nose of rich blended spice (nutmeg and cinnamon with hints of cardamom and clove) over a solid malt base of biscuit with strong caramel notes.

Solid heavy medium body with a semi-creamy texture that is quite smooth. A bit light on the carbonation with almost no effervescence in the middle and a fairly good burst in the finish.

The flavor profile is outstanding and could achieve world class status if the alcohol were completely hidden. Dial this back to around 6 - 7 % ABV, pump up the carbonation and it has a good shot at it. First to arrive is a rich blend of spice over an equally rich malt base. These flavors are there to the finish and slowly separate. Nutmeg and cinnamon take the lead and the middle delivers a solid pumpkin flavor. As the pumpkin arrives, cardamom takes over the spice leadership. Towards the finish, a light touch of phenolic clove appears and the malt base becomes more caramel influenced. Unfortunately, here is also where alcohol removes its mask. While not obscenely offensive, it is noticeable adding an astringency and grain alcohol flavor to this, otherwise, near world class beer. The finish is a slow smooth fade of all flavor components.

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Photo of PaulyB83
3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled 07/10/15

L- Reddish brown, some haziness, light khaki head.

S- Lots of spices, mostly clove and cardamom, a little caramel sweetness.

T- Very spice forward, the cardamom and clove really stick out then some cinnamon and nutmeg. Some caramel sweetness, it's got a bitterness at the end that seems more from the spices than any hops.

F- Medium a bit lighter than most imperial pumpkin beers I've had.

O- Not a big fan of heavily spiced pumpkin beers and this one falls into that category for me.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Hazy amber pour with finger white head, quickly fades with no lace. Aroma is pleasant with some mild spice and pumpkin bread. Pumpkin beers are not my favorite style but this one is good, not overly sweet. Big bread flavor with spice on the edges. Some sweetness from the alcohol which comes out in the end. Dry finish with some lingering cinnamon.

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Photo of HoppyBastard
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Shaker pint glass, "bottle on" date 7-1-15, "best by" date 3-1-16.

APPEARANCE: pours a cloudy brown color with less than one-finger tan head that dissipated quickly until a ring of small bubbles remained around the rim of glass, lighter carbonation, there is a moderate amount of lacing on the glass.

SMELL: cinnamon, nutmeg and bread.

TASTE: the taste follows the nose, cinnamon is most prevalent then nutmeg and bread, there is a pleasant warming at the end, the 8% ABV is perceptible but fairly well disguised and was in no way off-putting to me.

PALATE: medium body, lighter carbonation.

OVERALL: this is a good pumpkin ale, I'm not a huge fan of the style but will enjoy some during the season, I was most impressed by the fact this brewer gives you both the "bottling date" and the "best by" date, Weyerbacher just set the standard for the whole industry, for this reason alone I will be trying more from this brewer in the future.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass. The color is a hazy orange-brown with a thin milk-white head and lacing. It looks like apple cider. The smell is predominantly yeast, malt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; not much pumpkin. The taste follows the nose with nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, bready malt, and pumpkin pulp. This is not a sweet ale; in fact, it finishes with some bitterness. This ale clearly features a more complex, spicy taste than "pumpkin pie." While medium-bodied, it is not overly carbonated and the 8.0 ABV is noticeable. Overall, it's a really good pumpkin ale from one of my favorite brewers. To me, this ale epitomizes late autumn, when the leaves are down and the chill has arrived for good, rather than the sweeter "September" pumpkin ales which are nice warm early autumn day. Enjoy it at a tailgate party or with a nice fire going in the den.

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Photo of amymo2125
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I absolutely love this beer. I've never been a fan of fall or pumpkin beers but that's because I'd never really tried a good one. I read reviews on this and asked the guy at my favorite shop too - everyone agreed that it's amazing and they were right. It tastes like fall and pumpkins without being too sweet or artificial tasting. It goes down easy and has a nice color too it as well. It's perfect.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 7/13/15. Best by 3/13/16.

Pours a murky dark orange-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of cinnamon gum, pumpkin pie spice, and slight pie crust aromas. Taste is much the same with cinnamon stick, cinnamon gum, and pumpkin pie spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is very cinnamon forward all around.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin Ale last week for $3.19 at The Lager Mill. Since it's that time of the year again I thought I would try and find some new Pumpkin beers a try, so lets see how this one goes. 2015 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label is nice, it's got a good design to it and it's eye catching. It poured a murky dark orange color that takes on more of a ruby orange color when held to the light with a little over a half fingers worth of bubbly off white head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it didn't leave any lacing behind. This is a nice looking beer, but I wish it had better head and lacing.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of sweetness with the spices being the first to show up and they impart a mixture of pumpkin spice aromas with the cinnamon seeming to stick out the most. Up next comes the sweet malts with just a hint of booze and it;s followed by a meaty pumpkin like aroma with just a little more booze showing up towards the end. The aroma is nice, but it's a little boozy for 8%.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a pretty high amount of medium sweetness with spices still being the first to show up and they are a little lighter this time, but it's still the cinnamon that sticks out the most. Up next comes the sweet malts with some doughy and slightly grainy flavors followed by a lighter boozy flavor. Towards the end comes that meaty pumpkin flavors with no bitterness and some sweetness and booze taking it's place with a pumpkin, spices and slightly boozy aftertaste. The taste is nice, but i wish the alcohol was better hidden.

M- Not the smoothest, not crisp, a little flat, on the thicker side of being medium bodied with a lower amount carbonation. The mouthfeel is nice, but I wish it was smooth with more carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and a nice example of the style, it had some nice balance, but when it came to the booze it just wasn't hidden that well, but a lot of the other aspects were pretty nice. This beer didn't have the best drinkability, one is enough for me, I have no urge to drink another one. What I like the most about this beer is the balance, it was pretty nice and the spice weren't too overpowering. What I like the least about this beer was the booze, I think it could have been hidden better. I wouldn't buy this beer again. it's nice to try, but there's other ones I would much rather have. I can't say I would recommend it, buy if may be worth a try if you want a Pumpkin Ale that's a little boozy. All in all I didn't mid this beer, but I felt like it could be better and it's just not as good as I thought it would be. It's not a favorite Weyerbacher beer and it's a pretty close to being average for the style. Nice job, but with a little more work on hiding the booze it could be a pretty good beer.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - A burnt orange / brown color
Smell - Pumpkin, cinnamon, yams, root beer, spice, sweetness
Taste - Follows the nose and explodes with flavor
Overall - One of the better pumpkin beers on the shelves.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark pumpkin pie color with brown and orange. A light off-white head with minimal lacing. Smells like pumpkin pie and booze with yeasty crust smells and pie spices backed with a whiff of alcohol. Tastes like it smells with a pleasant sweetness to complete the pumpkin pie in a glass illusion. Very solid candidate for the pumpkin beer category.

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Photo of Houser
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

one of the better pumpkin beers out there. a little heavy on the spices, but i think it works with the strong pumpkin flavors and jacked up abv. im possibly a bit of a homer, but i will happily enjoy this one.

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Photo of EMV
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a clear dark reddish-orange/amber color. Mild tannish head.

S: Pumpkin pie... ginger and spices, cinnamon and nutmeg.

T/F: Malts and pumpkin pie spices at the outset. Spicy is a good adjective for this beer, and ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves dance across the palate which give way to a nice caramel malt flavor. Definitely some cooked pumpkin at the finish. Well carbonated, almost to the point of fizzy. A bit of a zesty mouthfeel. Gets better as it warms and almost boozy.

O: I'm not a big pumpkin beer guy but this is definitely one of the better ones. A little spicier than most and this doesn't fall into the 'sweet pumpkin soda' trap that has become all too familiar. This beer makes for a worthy addition to your autumn.

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Photo of dd43
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

By pumpkin ale standards this is one of the better ones I've had. You definitely get the pumpkin pie spice mixture in the nose. The flavors combine that with a pretty decent malt backbone which elevates this above a lot of the spicebomb beers that have no backbone and don't even feature real pumpkin. There's an earthy vegetal pumpkin flavor in this beer that is neither heavy handed nor unwelcome. I might not go grab a sixer of this, but if I'm choosing a pumpkin beer at a Halloween party this one is high on the list. As a plus: looks pretty awesome in the glass after a pour, with a two finger head and pretty decent lacing.

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Photo of KSOZE
4.26/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very good pumpkin beer. The aroma is a huge standout here for the style. Not as hit-you-in-the-face as some of the heavily spiced pumpkin beers (Pumking and Schlafly come to mind). The flavor takes a step back as the spices come through in aroma more in flavor. While not subtle, it's more subtle than the two aforementioned pumpkin brews.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin ale.

Third pumpkin beer so far of the season. Only other beer I've ha outta these guys was a disappointing malt bomb DIPA. Let's see if they got this one right.

Look - Pours a deep amber with just a shade of some slight copper edges along with a half finger of thick off white head that disappears very quickly. Carbonation appears to be medium with this one. No cloud formations and no lacing. 4.

Smell - Cinnamon and ginger spice are the dominates scents I am picking up. Allspice and a touch of brandy like alcohol at the end of the whiff. Pie crust is there though in small amounts. 4

Taste - Very fine Brandy note at first that lingers around in the mouth met in the middle by ginger spice and cinnamon. Alcohol is only slightly present at the 8.4% ABV. This is one easy drinker. 4.75.

Feel - Body is well rounded and quite full with a moderate touch of carbonation and a bit of an alcoholic bite if you breath through the nose. 4.5

Overall - This was definitely my favorite pumpkin ale of the three I have had. It is about as perfectly balanced for the style as you are going to possibly get, and it doesn't have too much pumpkin/sweetness ( Pumking ) or too little ( Blue Moon, Ichabod). The brandy notes were a welcome change up for the style. And it is almost too easy to drink for the ABV, my glass was gone in about two minutes. For these things stated, this category shall reflect. 4.5.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: This pours a hazy amber with ¾ finger head that quickly dissipates without too much lacing. S: This one smells like a pumpkin pie – cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and coriander T: It is a pumpkin pie packed in a glass and is a little cloying. The alcohol is apparent and helps. F: Medium to medium full body and medium carbonation. O: It is an interesting beer but I find the pumpkin pie aspect of it a little off putting.

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Photo of dano
1.99/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This years Imperial Pumpkin tastes a little off to me. I don't know if it's the cardamom or cloves, but there is a strange almost "watery" taste on the tongue that was definitely different from last year. I've a few bottles of this year's already and I just had a leftover bottle from last year and last year's had a much stronger pumpkin flavor without the "watery" flavor I find this year. Does anyone else find a difference with this year's batch?

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Photo of whitetale
4.57/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours orange/gold into a nonic glass with a white head. Aroma is light pumpkin spices. Flavor and mouthfeel are great. I like the touch of clove (always my favorite in pumpkin pie). As the beer warms, a molasses to an almost brandy flavor comes through - smooth and mildly sweet. This is one beer that deserves to be consumed warmer - the flavors are all there. This is definitely a beer I will buy for the cooler weather coming up.

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Photo of mscottjohnston
4.26/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Weyerbacher imperial pumpkin 2014

Kicking off the season with one I've saved since last year.

Cellared at 54F since November 2014. Poured into a snifter.

A - identical to current vintage. Burnt umber color. 2 inch head upon the initial pour recedes to 1/2 inch. Continual carbonation rising throughout.

S - maple, cooked sugar, cloves, pumpkin pie

T - liquor presence up front, brandy flavor. This moves smoothly to fall spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger. Pumpkin follows and it finishes with more of the brandy and alcohol.

M - syrupy, long long lingering. Makes me want to sip, not chug. Perfect for the style

O - brandy was a surprising flavor to emerge. Alcohol seems to have intensified, rather than mellowed with age.

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Photo of StartedwithSAM
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Nonic pint glass.

Appearance: Cloudy, amber in color when held to natural light. 1 index finger width of foamy, white head with no lacing observed.

Smell: The nose is a strong but a pleasant bouquet of clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon with a slight sweet, bready scent. The cinnamon and clove are instantly noted during the pour.

Taste: The taste is concurrent. Clove, nutmeg , pumpkin then cinnamon with a caramel, bready finish. The cinnamon lingers a bit with some warmth (in the chest).

Mouthfeel: An oily feel on the palate and tongue, reasonable carbonation.

Overall: I really enjoyed this years Imperial Pumpkin ale offering. The spices are well balanced and not as overpowering as the initial smell may suggest. I also noted that it is not as cloying which, to me, seems to be the downfall of many a pumpkin or christmas ales. I will definitely grab some again soon to save for colder weeks. Cheers.

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Photo of justinp444
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass this beer is a darker brown orange with a half inch head of white foam. Smell of pumpkin, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and caramel with just a bit of a biscuit-y malt background. Taste is light with a nice heavily spiced pumpkin pie flavor and a good amount of nutmeg and clove (the cinnamon adds a bit of dryness). The pumpkin flavor itself is not as prominent probably because the body is too light to carry it. This beer has a very bread-y flavor and actually tastes more like pumpkin bread than pumpkin pie. The mouth feel is crisp and moderate to full with a lingering dry spice.

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Photo of jzlyo
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is medium sweet pumpkins, cinnamon and a hint of brown sugar. The flavor is pumpkins, cinnamon, malts, mild heat, a hint of hops and a tangy/tart finish.

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Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 994 ratings.