Imperial Pumpkin Ale - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Pumpkin AleImperial Pumpkin Ale

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very good

2,465 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,465
Reviews: 978
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 126
Gots: 289 | 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:
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: 2,465 | Reviews: 978 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Arknot
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty sure this is the first of 2011 weyerbacher imperial pumpkin this year.

Appearance is great, its a very pretty red/almond color. However... I had almost no head or lacing. A head on my beer would have given this a 5.

Smell is alcohol, barley, cinnamon, other spices, and very slightly caramel. I can’t convince myself I smell pumpkin

Taste is fall/autumn spices, with hint of pumpkin. I’m not big on spices so I can’t pick them out, but iI’d rather have pumpkin, and less incense. Hop character is very small, but leaves a dry finish with a hint of boozey twang.

Overall, I’m pretty sad. Though I may have gotten a bad bottle considering so many people talk about the great foamy head on this beer. I’m on my last 8oz now and while I’m not really enjoying it all that much, and I’m surely not feeling pumpkin pie (which is what I want to feel). I can say this beer does have a fall feel to it. If anything else it reminds me of autumn and the turn of the seasons. PROST!

Photo of Mypintishalffull
4.88/5  rDev +25.4%
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.


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

Amber in color with appropriate carbonation. A nice dense white head forms upon pour.

Lovely big spice nose. Cinnamon, clove some and nutmeg. Natural "pumpkin" aroma, doesn't smell faked or overdone. Cardamon is a good accent to the smell and the nutmeg isn't overdone which is key in my opinion. I prefer the bottled versions aroma much more.

Amazing warming spice presence. The malt comes shining through right away and gives a superb body and backbone to this brew. The finish has a spice bite, not a hop bite (not even sure there are finishing hops, probably only a few bittering). No sign of the alcohol at all.

Complex yet not thick or cloying at all. Nicely balanced, nicely spiced. You can really appreciate this beer more and more with each sip. Adequate carbonation adds to this beer's already amazing drinkability.

Perfect dessert substitution for Thanksgiving or after any fall meal in my opinion. This is in the top 2 Pumpkin beer category if you ask me. Ranks above even Elysian Night Owl as THE BEST quality beer/pumpkin creations available.

Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark amber, almost mahogany body. Very little head, not long lasting, no lacing.

S: Strong pumpkin spice aroma: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove.

T: A nice pumpkin beer although I'm getting more pumpkin spices then pumpkin. Slightly sweet with caramel malts and brown sugars, and finishes slightly boozy.

M: Medium body, light carbonation, very smooth texture.

O: A nice pumpkin ale and will probably have it again next season. Not the best one out there, but it's worth trying.

Photo of Kingmarshall56
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This pours with very little head and no lacings. upon first smell i was quite excited at the variety of aroma:pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves) The taste is good with lots of sharp spice on the tongue but the flaors compete too much for me to really enjoy each

Photo of UMNbeerhunter
3.15/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured fro a 12oz bottle into a darkness tulip 2/27/11.

Pours with little head and almost no lacing. Color is Dark amber brown.

Smell of.. You guessed it pumpkin and spices as the bottle says. I am not sure wether I like it or not. There are some pleasant aromas(Cinnimon, Cloves) but I don't think they mix as well as I had hoped.

Taste is lots of spices and they are a little tough to pull apart. The malt profile is totally lost unless your looking for it because of all the spices. Lots of what I think is cloves comes through. I don't really care for the taste of this beer but its a nice twist on the pumpkin style.

Mouthfeel is light. A little tingle on the front of the tongue and very little resin feel all the way down.

Drinkability is moderate. The beer is good but only as compared to the others in the style. I would have one or two during the fall nights around Halloween when my palate is transitioning to IS/RIS brewed in the fall and winter but I don't think I can handle this at any other time. I would like to revisit this in the future but not a standout by any measure.
Rating: 4/3/3/4/3

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

the imperial pumpkin ale from weyerbacher is very complex and delicious. i have had an affection for all things pumpkin for quite sometime. its not necessarily the pumpkin as much as it is all that comes with that. the pumkin spice, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and other spices make for a great paring with the beer flavoring. i do a bit of home brewing and i try and make a batch of pumkin ale every fall- though i don't always landed a knockout blow on taste the smell is always amazing. i have a bit of practiceing to do. (anyways back to the weyerbacher). the pumpkin ale by weyrbacher is a great one- the flavor is very spicy and complex. the smell is of delicious spices. the only complaint i have is there is a pretty powerful alcohol taste mixed in, which isn't surprising due to its 8.0% alcohol content. that being said, its still one of the best pumpkin ales out there.

Photo of drabmuh
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle given to me by Amyliz4, thanks Amy. I appreciate it. Beer is dark amber and really hazy with a thin off white head of small bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate and made up of large bubbles. Most recent vintage served in a DFH signature glass.

Sweet aroma with some mild spiciness to it. Mostly allspice in the nose.

Beer is thinner than expected although now that I know it's 8% my respect for it goes up a little, very little. Beer is mildly sweet with a slight lingering aftertaste but that is most likely due to how damn dry the finish is. I can actually taste a little pumpkin in here, that's very cool. For a pumpkin ale, it's OK. Pretty good in fact. I'm not a huge style but I give them a go every year. This is one of the better ones in my opinioin. I would cautiously have this again.

Photo of Aiptasia
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another nice treat from Weyerbacher. This is a nice autumnal beer with plenty of hints of pumpkin pie spice, cloves and nutmeg. Not overly hopped, a nicely balanced beer with plenty of veggie pumpkin frontend with a dry spiced backend. Pairs well with turkey, honeybaked ham and other holiday treats.

A: Deep red hues with fine microbubbling. Head is fast bubbling and racing to dissipation within 15 seconds.

S: PUMPKIN PIE BABY!!! Seriously, smells of a fall harvest. Very nice.

T: Pumpkin spice, clove, nutmeg and caramel from the malts. The spices linger on the tongue making the aftertaste and breathing quite enjoyable. Little if no bitter from the hops.

M: Light carbonation, medium-rich, dry with spice finish.

D: Dangerous, because it's delicious. Not a heady brew, so beware if you drink more than one. Pairs well with a lot of fall foods. Pork, chicken, desserts, etc.

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

Poured from 12 oz bottle into dimpled glass. Pours a minimal tan head over an amber body with orange hues. Good, coating lace. Nose is wheat, clove, subtle spice. Same flavors with very mild notes of pumpkin and cinnamon. Mild/medium carbonation and medium body. This is a decent beer and the spices are down-played, which is a hindrance from the flavor in itself. One of my top pumpkin beers.

Photo of angrybabboon
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review adapted from notes taken in August, 2009

Poured into a snifter

Appearance: Dark orange, nice head

Smell: Good, but maybe a bit over the top - lots of spices and pumpkin smells - cinnamon, cloves, cardamom

Taste: Sadly not as good as the smell - malts feel like they need to be heavier to combat the massive amount of pumpkin rind taste - certainly not bad, but the balance is not ideal - overly spiced, but not dramatically so - the alcohol is very obvious despite the spices and pumpkin flavors

Mouthfeel: On the thin side, considering it is "imperial" - definitely could be smoother

Overall: Not extreme, but the spices have the potential to become tiresome

An interesting pumpkin beer; I have had better and I have also had far worse. This is a bit too spicy for me, but I would not label it as a "spice bomb."

Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 09/18/2010:

12 oz bottle at 42 degrees into a pint glass.

A: It pours a murky burnt orange color with no head (just like DFH but much cloudier).

S: Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and some cidery alcohol.

T: Pumpkin pie, cinnamon, dates, brown sugar, nutmeg, and allspice; nice.

M: It has a medium body that is a bit oily, finishing smooth and clean.

D: This isn't incredibly balanced but is definitely one of the better pumpkin ales.

Photo of trappistlover
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours dark copper/mahogany with thin off-white head. Some sediment in the suspension. I can smell the spice from the glass: cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. Taste is sweet with a maltiness that is reminiscent of pie crust (slightly over-baked). A little bitterness as well. Not cloying whatsoever. Medium bodied with a sticky texture and fizzy. Overall, this is a nice pumpkin ale.

Photo of Tballz420
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thick and murky brown colored brew, small tan head proves to be fleeting. Scent is a major pumpkin smell, along with some spicy cinnamon. Light buscuity malt front is pretty much controlled by the overriding pumpkin. A couple different christmas spices. Alcohol is blended but present. Medium bodied, fairly wet, a bit sharp. One of the better pumpkins i've had.

Photo of sholland119
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a clear pure amber with a quickly dissipating off white head and no real lacing.

S-Nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar. Nice pumpkin pie notes in a nice balance.

T-Lots of malt to back this one up and that's a nice thing. The additional malt really keeps the flavors working together. A lot of cinnamon here with good nutmeg spice as well.

M-Medium bodied with good crisp carbonation.

D-As good as it gets for me in this style. Good flavor, spice is not overdone.


Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 11-05-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A - Pour two fingers of foam, decent lacing ring, cloudy dark bronze color, carbonation is present

S - Pumpkin spices, nutmeg, cinnamon brown sugar and dark roasted malts

T/M - Medium bodied, gritty mouth feel with the taste of a lot of spices

D - Good tasting pumpkin gritty at first but smoothed a brew that I would have again. I recommend this brew

Photo of JayS2629
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tried a lot of pumpkin ales this season and Dogfish Head beats this one out and puts it at the number two spot.

A- Dark amber with a nice fluffy white head and sea foam lacing.

S- Pumpkin spice, sweet malts. Cloves and spice.

T- Cinnamon, clove, allspice, and pumpkin. Sweet malts and a slight booze cut. Watery compared to other pumpkin ales.

M- Spicy and booze bite. Medium body.

D- Too sweet and spicy for me. Easy to drink one.

Photo of Rumplemintz
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

We have tried several of the pumkin brews this fall, and Weyerbacher is indeed the best of the best. Most of the pumkins we have tried this fall short on flavor, and are primarily focused on that sweet spicey kick. This Beer is a strong full flavored very dark brew, not too bitter with a clean finish.

Photo of BeerCon5
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark amber color with about 1 1/2 inch of slightly off-white fluffy head.

The scent was dominant of pumpkin spice and caramel malt.

The taste is again of dominant pumpkin spice and caramel malt, a little nutmeg and cinnamon, light presence of alcohol.

Medium bodied crisp and refreshing, high carbonation.

I'm not usually a big fan of the Pumpkin Ales but this was very tasty. The flavor was strong and it was very easy to drink.

Photo of chefhatt
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%
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 Arbitrator
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Shared by the late chswimmer, I believe, as part of a pumpkin beer tasting. From notes.

A: Pours a clear, medium-dark amber body. Its beige head deposits some lace down the glass, and leaves some curtains during sips.

S: Great aroma of spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice), graham cracker, and bread. It's like smelling a pie, actually. Very aromatic, with everything in the right proportions.

T: Toast, caramel, graham cracker. Again, a pie comparison is warranted. Spices are no slouch either; the emphasis on cinnamon and nutmeg is welcome to my palate. I also picked up allspice and clove. As it warms, the effect is of a candied pumpkin pie slice.

M: Medium-full bodied. The heavier malt presence is pretty obvious against some regular pumpkin beers I've had recently. Despite that, the finish falls off quickly and is almost watery. It's not overly sweet. There's a lingering spice presence in the aftertaste that I love.

D: This is very good. Not quite the best of the style, but it's up there.

Photo of scootny
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big pumpkin ale that is well crafted and delicious. Pours a very clear orangey brown with a long lasting khaki head that leaves a decent amount of lace on the sides of my glass. Smell is full of pumpkin and spices. There is a good amount of bready sweet malt as well. Balanced taste is the hallmark of this one. It starts with pumpkin pie and flows seamlessly into a firm herbal bitterness. A nice crystal malt center gives a bready roundness and full ale taste. Spices bracket the pumpkin a with the cinnamon in the front and the nutmeg giving a fullness to the flavor. A touch of alcohol shows itself and fades away. Finish is dry and clean with a lingering hop leafiness. Feel is crisp and well carbonated. Medium weight and quite supple. Very drinkable with a well integrated alcohol that never gets your attention so the next thing you know your smiling a whole lot. Good stuff

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

ST: 12oz bottle pured into a Duvel glass

A: A fingernail inch of yellow brown foam sits on top of a rich mahogany color that has orange, red hue when held to the light. Though cloudy, steady carbonation can be seen if the beer is held to the light. The beer leaves spotty lacing.

S: This beer has a great aroma. You can clearly smell cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves (and not just because the bottle says they are used when the beer is brewed). There is also a hint of doughy aroma.

T: The beer is dominated by the spices. Upfront you are hit with cinnamon, nutmeg, and a hint of cloves. However, the pumpkin, and a hint of dough, take over the profile at the finish. The finish is not strong (it is rather smooth), and though it lingers on the back of the tongue, it is not very spicy. Though the alcohol content is high (8 percent), it is difficult to tell because the beer is balanced. There is not a strong alcoholic taste.

M: Creamy, but not very heavy.

D: Surprisingly smooth for an imperial beer, it would be very easy to consume a few of these. In fact, this beer could be very dangerous.

Overall: This is a solid seasonal offering, and it is one of the best pumpkin beers. The flavor of pumpkin is restrained in this beer, the emphasis is placed on the spice. In other words, if you eat pumpkin pie for the taste of pumpkin, you may not like this beer. If, however, you enjoy spice and balance, this beer has those qualities in spades.

3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Bottle to wine glass. Bottled on 06/04/10 and sampled within a week. $11.25 per 4 pack.

A: A semi long lasting light-brown, foamy/frothy head of 2 1/2 fingers rests lightly above a dark rusty amber body. Crimson tints appear while the glass is in front of light. Hazy body with about 50% transparency.

S: Above average toasted malts of caramel, bread and grain. The hop bill produces aromas of pine, resin and grass. Lightly yeasty.

T: Very big flavor, even for an 8% beer. Enormously spiced with cardamom, clove and allspice plus the traditional flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg. Dried fig and banana bread find their way to the palate as well. Despite the intensity of flavors (which does seem to hollow out on the back end), the alcohol presence is too big to be concealed.

M: Medium body with a super slick alcoholic texture. Lively carbonation.

D: I need a cold night and a hot fire to enjoy this one. While the flavor is great initially, the spices (particularly the cardamom) become unmanageable, making the Imperial Pumpkin Ale a sipper. A very slow sipper. One glass is more than enough for me.

Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 2,465 ratings.