1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Imperial Pumpkin Ale - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Pumpkin AleImperial Pumpkin Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,980 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,980
Reviews: 937
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 78
Gots: 113 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: cbl2 on 09-17-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Imperial Pumpkin Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,980 | Reviews: 937 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bminor7
bminor7

New York

3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from Oliver's Beverage in Albany NY.

Pours a deep amber/orange. Very little carbonation. 3/4" head dissipates within 5 minutes. No lacing.

Faint nose of pumpkin, cinnamon and malt. I am a spice freak so I was hoping for some fireworks here, especially with cardamom advertised on the bottle, but I was not able to detect it.

Taste is a bit sour with nutmeg predominant. Alcohol is there, but balanced. This, to me, tastes like a basic pumpkin ale with boosted ABV. There is not a lot of complexity that I would associate with Imperial, and the spice mixture doesn't really make up for it. Very reminiscent of Saranac's pumpkin beer. Not at all like the offering from Dogfish Head or Pumpking from Southern Tier. I might be expecting too much from pumpkin beers in general.

Mouthfeel is actually very nice. A little thin, but refreshing, which boosts the drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2009 00:22:16 | More by bminor7
Photo of Nezzy
Nezzy

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark amber with lots of orange in it and was pretty transparent

Smell: Strong smell of spices and only a little bit of pumpkin

Taste: Has a good mix of hops but more then anything you can taste the spices. The pumpkin is present but not as strong as the spices.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with very little carbonation

Drinkability: Overall its a pretty good pumpkin ale that I would recommend. However not sure I could drink a good amount of it as the spices are very powerful and the pumpkin isn't always that strong.

Serving type: on-tap

09-28-2009 23:22:44 | More by Nezzy
Photo of kurp001
kurp001

Maryland

3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle bought at Shawan Liquors

A fairly aggressive pour yields a thin off-white head that recedes relatively quickly. The body is a deep red-orange and is somewhat cloudy.

There are very prominent pumpkin notes in the nose, the spices take more of a backseat. Normally I'm not a fan of the nose on pumpkin ales at all, but I find this one to be very pleasant.

Taste consists of rich, sweet pumpkin upfront, with nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon hints as well. The bottle says cardamom, too; I get very little of this except for vague hints on the finish.

Mouthfeel is nothing to write home about really, I actually feel like this is a little too light-bodied for an "imperial" pumpkin ale. It's not unappealing, but it's not on a par with, for example, something like Pumking.

Drinkability is good, as far as pumpkin ales go. 12 oz goes down relatively easily, but I'm not dying to have another. Overall I'd say this is a solid pumpkin ale, but there are others that I'd probably prefer over this one.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2009 14:33:22 | More by kurp001
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Copper-brown with good clarity and a small, light brown head. Decent retention and lace.

S - Perfume like spices; coriander and ginger with some cinnamon. Caramel malt balances with notes of brown sugar.

T - Sweet malt with caramel and molasses. Pumpkin flavors mix with cinnamon and clove in the middle. Finishes with a slight hop flavor; spicy with moderate bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body with moderate carbonation and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Pretty nice; we tasted five different pumpkin beers this evening and this one was the best, and just about the only one that was any good at all. It is a solid, well balanced base beer with pleasant hoppiness. The spices add to the malt, but the beer doesn't depend on them and they aren't over the top. A better than average example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2009 08:26:57 | More by nickfl
Photo of marvin213
marvin213

North Carolina

2.7/5  rDev -30.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2009 00:41:07 | More by marvin213
Photo of MetalHopHead6
MetalHopHead6

Virginia

3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale poured perfect dark brownish orangish reddish. The color was deep, beautiful, and autumnal; however, the two-finger head disappeared immediately, leaving very little on the glass.

The smell and taste were burnt dry spices with very little ale coming through. At first, it was pleasant; however, as I continued to drink, the spices became overpowering, seeming to gain strength as the ale warmed. By end of the glass, the aftertaste began to sting and the tongue felt dried out.

Four ounces of Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale with pecan pie would be a very nice autumn holiday dessert, but 12 ounces is a bit much.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2009 23:19:21 | More by MetalHopHead6
Photo of pwoods
pwoods

Ohio

3.03/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to NJpadreFan for the bottle!

12oz. brown bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours an orange tinted ruby, nearly opaque. Decent sized head on a somewhat rough pour. Not a ton of retention or lacing.

S: Lots of cinnamon and tons of cardomum. Some of the clove and nutmeg in the back. Sweet and malty. Pumpkin is drowned out a bit by the spices.

T/M: Tasty spices with cinnamon and cardomum taking front stage again. Pumpkin is still drowned out. Nice sweet malt base that isn't overdone. Body is only about medium.. would like to see a bit more.

D: Drinks easy enough for 8% but the spices just over power the pumpkin.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2009 03:00:57 | More by pwoods
Photo of drcarver
drcarver

Pennsylvania

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

A - a deep copper colored body that starts a bit hazy but clears as teh beer settles. A 1 finger head sat on top for most of the beer with some lacing hangin on the edges of the glass.

S - the spices are assertive, but not offensive. Cinnamon and nutmeg are in the front with clove and cardamom bring up the rear. A bit of sweet malt, but not a lot

T - Wow! The pumpkin is all through this beer with its earth sweetness. Again the spices are assertive but not offensive. It finished fairly clean with a little spice hanging around. It is smooth on the palate and for an imperial it has little burn or heaviness.

D - I am not a fan of this style. I find too much spice overwhelming. Having said that this is a very nice brew. I may even be able to have two.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2009 23:23:21 | More by drcarver
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from City Beverage in Winston-Salem. Great graphic on the bottle: a real imperial pumpkin. Awesome.

A - Pours orangish-brown with a nice white head.

S - Aroma is pumpkin pie, straight up, lots of spices. Cinnamon stands out.

T - Sweet caramel malt, serious pumpkin, clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Very tasty - my normally BMC-drinking friend declared this his favorite beer EVER. He later lost credibility though by declaring Buffalo Bills Pumpkin Ale "almost as good."

M - Palate smooth and medium-full with average carbonation.

D - This becomes a little much after awhile, but IMO, I sort of want that out of an imperial pumpkin ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2009 16:56:22 | More by nickd717
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fresh bottle into a pint glass.

A- Imperial pumpkin has a deep orange color, not exactly bright, seni-bronze. The head is white and seni thick leaving a cap ans loose spider web lacing.

S- This really smells like the real deal. So many attempts at the style and as many let downs. What im trying to say this smells like pumpkin pie with light spices and a small malt base. Inviting.

T- And the taste lives up to the hype. Big blast of pumpkin carvings, the flavor jumps out at you and holds for a few. The spices really are not a problem although some exist. Some sweet malt evening things a bit.

M- While some pumpkin ales sort of drown out the mouth with dryness from the spice, this one kind of coats sinilar to PumKING. The malts give off a slight creaminess. Well medium bodied and a good amount of carb.

D- Would for sure do two bottles of this no problem. Punkin ales are not my thing unless they are done right, besides the other two, weyerbacher is the other. The alc is a bit high hindering drinkability a bit, but you need a bit more abv in pumkin ales to get more flavor from more ingredients. This one is made with care.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2009 04:29:15 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of simmons
simmons

New Jersey

4.7/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apperance: pours a solid, but a bit hazy, deep orange with a tannish head that disapates quick leaving a thin lace.

Aroma: Very strong pumpkin aroma followed an amazing spice aroma. This is followed by a malty nose with not much, if any, hops present

Flavor: Very malty! This is followed by a solid pumpkin flavor with an nice bit of pumpkin spices to make this very tasty. I do not taste any hops over the pumpkin or spices. An alcohol & warming aftertaste lingers. The flavor is exactly what you would expect from the aroma

Mouthfeel: The body is very full and has a creaminess to it. carbonation is on the lower side but works very well for this beer. Balance id say is just about perfect. There is a lot of character to this beer.

Overall: This is a well done pumpkin beer. worth buying again? ABSOLUTELY!!! There are so many things that is great about this beer: malty, great pumpkin flavor, amazing usage of spices, great body, well balance, a smooth drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2009 14:46:46 | More by simmons
Photo of BigMike
BigMike

Pennsylvania

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

Pours a beautiful glowing orange apricot color. A thin white head disappeared quickly.

This has one of the better noses for a pumpkin. Lots of pumpkin and spice as one would expect. Nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon.

Taste is not as intense as the nose but thats not necessarily a bad thing. I'm not a fan of overly sweet beers and this one is well balanced.

Great mouthfeel. Somewhat light but clean and smooth and finishes wonderfully. The 8% is nicely hidden and never really becomes noticeable.

I really like this Pumpkin beer from Weyerbacher. One of the better ones i've tried.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2009 01:27:53 | More by BigMike
Photo of peterittenhouse
peterittenhouse

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours deep amber. Super thin head.

S- Spicy, lots of cinnamon.

T-Solid pumpkin taste. Not overbearing as many pumpkin ales can be. Hops are just right.

M-Good mouthfeel. Smooth, perfect for the ABV

D-Good stuff. Big beer. One or two will suffice.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2009 03:25:35 | More by peterittenhouse
Photo of TequilaSauer
TequilaSauer

Florida

3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Deep amber color, thicker body than most Pumpkins I've had. Not surprising given the "Imperial" status.

Smells of VERY light pumpkin pie with a lot of spices (chicory and cinnamon). A little weak, to be honest.

Excellent flavor for a pumpkin. Starts modest on the attack with a little pumpkin and light vanilla that transitions into a heavy cinnamon flavor in the mouth, finishing with a little more pumpkin and some alcohol.

Not the most drinkable pumpkin in the world, but that doesn't matter much as I am not a person who can knock back several of those anyway. This beer is easily the best pumpkin ale I've had. Worth trying for any beer fan, even if the style is not to your usual fancy.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2009 03:09:21 | More by TequilaSauer
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
cindyjeffsmith

Georgia

4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale

appearance - hazy orange. Not much of a head. Some lacing.
smell - spices as advertised. Cinnamon, cardamom are evident.
taste - spicy and pumpkin well balanced. Great taste.
drinkability - surprisingly easy going down for a spicy 'Imperial'.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2009 00:12:12 | More by cindyjeffsmith
Photo of stoutfiend27
stoutfiend27

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 bottle poured into my other brooklyn tulip

a-coppery gold color..no head and little lacing

s-spice...cinnamon,nutmeg,smells like surprise...pumpkin pie

t-like liquid pumpkin pie from grandmas oven...cinnamon,nutmeg,allspice,clove and pumpkin...

m-a little thin to be called imperial..i think the abv makes the imperial part

d-one a night...a nice different brew to offset the stouts and porters and ipas..

overall the best pumpkin beer ive had to date...

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2009 02:48:55 | More by stoutfiend27
Photo of wesbrownyeah
wesbrownyeah

Florida

3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2009 01:59:25 | More by wesbrownyeah
Photo of BeerPhan86
BeerPhan86

New York

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

This seems to be the only other imperial pumpkin ale I can find. Got a case of Pumking in my basement to be spread out over the fall so it will be interesting to see how this one compares.

A - Light brown with a one finger tan head. The head quickly dissipates.

S - Smells more like pumpkin than most attempts at this style, and less like spices. Smells of vanilla, toasted malts, and spices as well.

T - Wow, I can taste the pumpkin right up front followed by a lovely bouquet of spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon, and cloves). Some hints of honey as well. Nice balance between spice and pumpkin taste, and it's really nice to actually taste PUMPKIN in a pumpkin ale! Does not taste of alcohol either which I thought it would.

M - This is creamy and silky smooth with just enough carbonation.

D - This is a sipper, and an expensive four pack. I am probably going to just have one a night, maybe do a side by side with Pumking tomorrow.

Overall, a very nice change of pace in a pumpkin ale that is not just a spicy brown ale. I really like this, it's right up there with DFH Punkin. Southern Tier Pumking is still my favorite and I have yet to taste anything remotely close to its infused, pie crusty flavor. Still, give this a shot it is very good.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2009 01:33:35 | More by BeerPhan86
Photo of alpinebryant
alpinebryant

Connecticut

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

A- Poured a clear orange amber color with a very thin head

S- Strong clove and pumpkin pie smell

T- This pumpkin brew really stood out to me with the Cardamom since I do not know any other pumpkin brew made with it. It also did not have any Allspice which I have completely killed for myself after making an uber strong homebrew with too much Allspice and Cinnamon in it. Not too bitter or too sweet, this beer teeters right on the edge with balance which made me enjoy it more than most other pumpkin brews I drink. Drank a Punkin from DFH directly after and for comparison sake enjoyed the Weyerbacher more.

M- Smooth and thin

D- I could probably drink two of these and then want to move to something a little less spicy as is usually the case with most pumpkin ales I drink.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2009 14:28:40 | More by alpinebryant
Photo of wangbruins
wangbruins

Florida

3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Rusty deep orange with a one finger head that broke down to a thin line that stayed around

S- Could smell the pumpkin as I poured it...very strong

T- Pumpkin and gingerbread with small hints of cinnamon that shot in at the end. It was not as bold as it smelled.

M- Thin but smooth, with a slight spicy aftertaste

D- The thinness makes this easy but the spice makes it more of a sipping or dessert beer for me

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2009 23:45:55 | More by wangbruins
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Taco Mac in Decatur.

Pours a hazy orange-red color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of vanilla, spices, pumpkin, and lightly toasted malts.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Mild toasted malt flavors are quickly overtaken by spices reminiscent of pumpkin pie that carry through to a crisp ending with a hint of vanilla. As it warms the alcohol becomes more noticeable.

Mouthfeel is very good. It has a great thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing the glass and could have another.

Overall this remains a very good pumpkin ale, although in a perfect world I'd like it a bit closer to 6% as I don't think it would lose much flavor. Either way, it's worth a shot.

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2009 02:59:43 | More by glid02
Photo of GbVDave
GbVDave

Illinois

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into two small snifters. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist! From our Destin, FL beer haul!

A: Pours a very hazy/cloudy apple cider color. Tiny light-orange head leaves no lace.

S: Pumpkin pie spice, fresh pumpkin, cardamom, and a touch of alcohol.

T: Tastes as it smells with a little bit of fresh honey and, oddly enough, dark fruit.

M: Dry and earthy that gives a tangy and spicy smack to the tongue.

D: Pretty darn good. An exceedingly decent pumpkin beer that is sadly not available anywhere near Chicago.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2009 00:53:31 | More by GbVDave
Photo of bornholtz
bornholtz

Virginia

4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Not quite as strong of a pumpkin flavor as I'd like but the blend of spices is very nice. Very drinkable beer.

Appearance: Nice color, head dissipates quickly.

Smell: Nice nutmeg smell as a pumpkin ale should have.

Mouthfeel: Very nice mouthfeel, good carbonation.

Drinkability: The pumpkin comes through in subtle aftertones. The spice blend is mostly nutmeg and allspice with a hint of ginger.

Service type: tap

Serving type: on-tap

09-15-2009 02:34:26 | More by bornholtz
Photo of krisandajt
krisandajt

Pennsylvania

3.1/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured a clear, vibrant orange-amber color with a small amount of head that fades pretty quickly leaving behind no lacing.

Smell: Pumpkin and spice. Hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, and a bit of brown sugar.

Taste: More spice (cinnamon and nutmeg) than pumpkin, which is disappointing.

Mouthfeel: Nice body and good carbonation. Next to the overall appearance, probably the best part of this beer.

Drinkability: Normally I love pumpkin beer, but this beer was rather disappointing. Lots of spice, but not a lot of pumpkin. I have read previous reviews on this beer, and it has been said that a bit of aging may tone down the spice and make the beer a bit more balanced. I have a couple of bottles of this, so I hope this is the case. I will be revisiting this beer to see how age affects it, but I don't see myself ordering this one on tap in the future.

Serving type: on-tap

09-13-2009 13:58:59 | More by krisandajt
Photo of thequeen711
thequeen711

Pennsylvania

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

This year's pumpkin ale is absolutely wonderful! Nose of pumpkin spice, mouthfeel of light quenchable, flavourful pumpkin and spices added to the already brewed ale. Even the aftertaste is warming! Yes, the cinamon, nutmeg, cardamon and cloves are gently incorporated into the ale, giving the brew a gentle spice, I enjoy the pumpkins beers most when the spices aren't overwhelming. Also the 8% ABV is a welcoming factor. Wish I had an 08' version to compare side by side!

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2009 03:08:20 | More by thequeen711
Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,980 ratings.