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Imperial Pumpkin Ale - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Pumpkin AleImperial Pumpkin Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

2,459 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,459
Reviews: 977
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 127
Gots: 288 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: cbl2 on 09-17-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,459 | Reviews: 977 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Off-the-chart tastes, thanks crwills. 2006 edition. Very orange, a little crowning head, and lace in the glass. All kinds of spice aroma. 8% alcohol. Significant malting but still on the spicey side with nutmeg, cardommon, cinammon, ginger. Altogether too much.I had it again a couple months later and it was OK.

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle came from halfP1NT today. This review is based half on my personal taste and half on style guidelines.

Pours orange, very clear, decent head, decent retention, not a lot of lacing. No sludge at the bottom.

Smells of bubblegum, cinnamon, and cloves. Interesting but heavy on the bubblegum and no real pumpkin smell.

Tastes the same as it smells except that I might reoder those spices. Bubblegum is definitely prominent but the cinnamon is the most apparent. Again, no pumpkin flavor. No alcohol anywhere in the flavor or smell. The aftertaste was possibly the best part of this beer. The flavors that came out in the aftertaste were balanced a bit better than the initial taste and were cinnamon and possibly nutmeg and cloves.

Body is close to heavy. Ample CO2 and very drinkable. Enjoyed by most, appreciated by all, sneered at by only a few beer snobs.

As a pumpkin beer this would probably score a 3.5-3.7 but as something that I would like to drink I'm thinking 4.3ish. I enjoyed this one a lot.

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Have a few bottles of this in the cellar; hoping it ages nearly as well as Pumking does.

Pours a somewhat hazed orange color with a light head and a bit of lacing. The nose is fairly balanced between pumpkin sweetness and some fall spicing, although the sweetness tilts ahead in the end. The taste brings a lot more pumpkin sweetness with some cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove in the background. A bit faint. Mouthfeel is medium and a tad bit cloying. Drinks pretty well, although I hope it'll mellow a bit with some age.

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured clear amber in color and has lacy patterns of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of pumpkins and spices in the nose - cinnamon and nutmeg really stand out in particular.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell but is stronger and has lots of flavors of pumpkins and spices.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate. Not much carbonation is noticeable.
D: I would definitely try this beer again because it is easy to drink and has a good balance between the flavors.

Photo of kjkinsey
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a nice, frothy head that persists as a film and leaves some lacing around the pint glass

Smell: A bit of pumpkin, but mostly the pie spice, with nutmeg and cardomam being most prominent

Taste: The spices dominate from the outset, with cardomam and nutmeg being the most apparent; there is a little pumpkin flavor that appears by mid-palate; after the swallow, the bready, spicy flavors blend to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, but surprisingly aqueous for the ABV; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: An interesting concept, but I would like to see more pumpkin flavor to match the spices

Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'll start off by saying that this is the best pumpkin ale that I have ever had. There is enough real pumpkin fruit flavor and aroma to make me buy-in to the style. A pronounces spiciness (cinnamon, nutmeg) to stimulate the nose, and offers a snap and a bite to the flavor and feel. What makes this beer is a very solid 'beer' base. Malty enough to substantiate the dominant pumkin spice flavors and aromas. The beer remains full and rich throughout without watering or allowing the spices to bite. Finsihes with a clean and challenging spiciness with a hint of spruce hops. Very pleasant and easy-to-drink beer without sacrificing body or character.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a deep orangey/brown cloudy color ale with a nice foamy head with average retention and lacing. Aroma of cinnamon and cloves are dominant but some pumpkin is also noticeable. Taste is a well balance mix between cloves and cinnamon with some subtle pumpkin. Body is above average with adequate carbonation and some light warming alcohol. Very interesting take on the style and probably the best pumpkin beer I ever had.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Candlelight bright, glowing, grinning jack o' lantern orange with butternut edges. The orangish beige cap is both dense and creamy, leading to a leisurely departure. I love the contrasting colors. The foam looks just tacky enough to lay down a respectable amount of lace, although the head hasn't fallen far enough for me to be certain. Quality all around.

The powerfully aromatic nose is heavy on pumpkin and is absolutely bursting with pungent spice. The label indicates that cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and cloves are present. The warm spiciness of cinnamon and the distinctiveness of cardamom are especially evident. You have to like the style in order to like the aroma on Imperial Pumpkin Ale. I do, on both counts.

It was bound to happen. Styles that no one had previously thought to imperialize are now starting to be imperialized (doubled, tripled... whatever). I've been waiting for a jacked-up pumpkin ale and Weyerbacher has kindly obliged. There are no surprises on the palate. It pretty much hits the mark, pretty much tastes like what one would expect from a full-throttle beer of this style. Oh yeah, it's good.

The sturdy malt backbone provides plenty of sweet, toasted caramel flavor. The star of the show, however, is oven-baked chunks of candied gourd rolled in a potpourri of pie spices and splashed with pumpkin-infused brandy. Thankfully, it works. I can imagine a better beer along these lines, but this one is pretty damn good. If you despise pumpkin ales and big beer for the sake of big beer, steer clear.

Warming brings out no real changes. At first I thought the spices were becoming more bold, but I think they're just building up on my tongue as I drink. The 8% ABV, while not completely camouflaged, is well-integrated and is easily managed. The mouthfeel is medium-full and is firm rather than lush or velvety. In other words, it fits the rest of the beer very well.

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale won't be everyone's cup of pumpkin juice, but it's mine. I applaud the willingness of the brewery to aim high and to give those of us interested in this style something to chew on. Pushing the envelope sometimes results in nothing more than paper cuts. In this case, it works. Thanks to BeerBeing for the bomber. Happy Halloween.

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: quarter finger head, murky amber color with a little lacing.

S: musty hops and pumpkin spices.

T: Nice pumpkin flavor. Not too bad on the alcohol being overwhelming with this one. the pungent hop flavor lingers in the aftertaste.

M: Semi-dry in the finish. moderate carbonation and medium body.

Overall: This was my first imperial pumpkin ale. I was expecting an overwhelming alcohol flavor as I thought the pumpkin wouldnt quite over-ride it but it covered it well.

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Now this is what IU am talking about. I had waited forever as I missed out on this one last year, but this year I was not going to be denied! Picked one up in Asheville on my last trip through town and picked last night to give it a try. Poured a nice medium hazy amber with a definite reddish tint to it. Lots of visible carbonation was apparent, as was a nice three finger head of foamy white lace, which receded very slowly and left concentric rings of lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma was enchanting, full of pumpkin spice and cinnamon, it was very full with no sense of the alcohol. The flavor was great, a very full balanced attack of spice, with a decidedly malty grain back bone, that was just strong enough to peak its head through and let you know it was there. Great smooth finish left you thirsting for another sip. The feel was a nice creamy medium body that had ample carbonation. Overall this was wonderful and was every bit as good as I thought it would be. A full frontal assault of spices, cinnamon and nutmeg galore e with a great balanced feel and a well hidden alcohol. This was defiantly a good one and something I will look forward to picking up next year for sure.

Photo of womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Picco

A: The beer pours a clear dark amber color with a kinger of khaki head.

S: Smells of pie spices. Lots of nutmeg and cinnamon, with, strangely, a touch of anise. There is a bit of pumpkin as well as some of the usual bread and caramel, maybe a touch of toast.

T: Starts off with sweet caramel and toffee with a fair bit of spice. As with the aroma, plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg and that same little bit of anise. An almost powdery spice flavor. Tons of bread, too.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: Despite the little bit of anise (which I'm not the hugest fan of), this was still pretty solid.

Photo of Knapp85
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I look forward to having at least one bottle of this every year. This brew pours out as a really deep amber color with a tan head that sorta fades away quickly. The aroma on this beer is super spicy, lots of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg in here mixed with a booze like aroma too. The taste is near perfect the whole flavor comes together with the mixture of pumpkin and spice. The mouthfeel is a little heavier than medium. Overall this is probably a top 5 on the pumpkin beer chart for me.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So, I got to sample various pumpkin ales last night. Right now, let's just focus on Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

Appearance: Pours a deep, vibrant amberish orange with a biege-colored head.

Smell: The aroma here is generous, and very enjoyable, leaving the beer a perfect candidate to just be slathered the hell over anything you can think of - it smells that nice. Malty, with plenty of pumpkin, and a significant amount of cinnamon spiciness.

Taste: The flavor is a blend of spices (cinnamon foremost), with caramel malt, pumpkin, vanilla, and a light hoppiness. The initial taste is deep with cinnamon, with the fresh pumpkin and spicy tang adding several other dimensions, leaving not a tastebud without something to do and enjoy.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, with a slick mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A more delicious pumpkin ale, I am having a hard time thinking of.

Photo of oberon
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

Photo of emerge077
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a rinsed snifter glass. Color is dull copper. Scant foam, a little ridge line of lacing at the edge. Nutmeg, clove, and a faint pumpkin aroma.

Slightly bitter flavor, dry like a stick of gum from a pack of baseball cards. Sort of astringent even, not really holding my attention. Earthy vegetal pumpkin note, however the drying finish isn't very pleasant. No malt sweetness, more straight up squashiness. It's ok, not one i'd return to. Pumpking is still the reigning champion.

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Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 2,459 ratings.