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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

2,482 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,482
Reviews: 985
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 128
Gots: 294 | 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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,482 | Reviews: 985 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drabmuh
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
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
4.24/5  rDev +9%
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
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
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
3.5/5  rDev -10%
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
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
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
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
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
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
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
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
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
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
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
3.93/5  rDev +1%
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
4.7/5  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 Arbitrator
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
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
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
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
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

3.49/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

Photo of Kolsch
2.88/5  rDev -26%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On tap at 3 rivers 6 pack and eatery.

Apperance: dark plum looking. No head to speak of and this was just tapped.

Smell: this is where this beer really shines in my opinion. Loads of spices that dominate the nose. Cinnamin, Nutmeg, Gloves, Ginger and oddly pepper.

Taste: here is where it fell apart for me. All of the above mentioned spices were all over the place. They just did not mesh very well. Every spice over dominated the other. Swallow was quite harsh to say the least. This is the first time I had this beer so was not sure what to expect. Highly disappointed on this one.

Overall: would not have again.

Photo of John_M
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a firkin at the drafting room the other day.

The beer pours a pumpkin orange color with good head retention and lacing (especially considering the cask conditioning). The nose is hugely spicey, dominated by a boatload of clove, but with considerable alspice, cinnamon, brown sugar and light vanilla. Thankfully, the clove comes across as toned down on the palate, though there is still plenty of pumpkin pie spice goodness in this moderately sweet ale. Mouthfeel is very soft and creamy, as one would expect from the cask conditioning. The finish is long, and I thought the alcohol impressively well disguised and integrated into the flavor profile. The spice tends to balance the sweetness in this beer rather well, which I thought further enhanced its drinkability.

Not generally a huge fan of pumpking beers, but this wasn't bad at all.

Photo of Krishob
4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle to pint glass and let sit to warm up.

Appearance - The beer pour out a nice, clear, orange (pumpkin orange to be exact). light head that fades at a moderate pace. just leaves a thin halo of head around edges of glass as I let the beer sit to warm up some. In the glass it is surprisingly darker then you'd expect based on the pour. It is very inviting looking with its cloudy appearance towards the head, but slightly clearer at the bottom.

Smell - First let me say that this has one of the best pumpkin pie smells that I have come across yet. The mix of the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves are center stage. The malts used also lend a nice sweet and biscuity. Hops used aid in the smell of the cloves to give them a nice spicy smell. You can close your eyes and take in the aroma deeply and hold it and it will be like the smell of the best pumpkin pie that you have ever smelled. My mouth started to salivate, good thing taste was next since I could not wait any longer.

Taste - WOW!! First the hops used are noticeable on the front & back end of the sip. You get a great hit of bitter as soon as it hits your mouth and then it changes, quickly but still very subtly, that you don't even realize it happens until you realize that there is this great pumpkin pie taste in your mouth. after you enjoy this it will give you back a nice bitter but at the end all you will take is the pumpkin pie. REALLY NICE!!!

Mouthfeel - It has a thin slightly watery feel. You might think that is flat, but you can definitely feel the carbonation on your tongue. Not what I would have expected, but I don't feel that it takes that much away from the beer and seems to be the style on pumpkin beers that I have had. The faint numbing feeling that it has more then makes up for this. Also nice and boozy, could feel the warm tingling all over.

Drinkability - This beer goes down easier then... (enter your own joke on this), but really it is very easy to drink. I could see sitting down and having quite a few of these with no problem or even getting tired of the taste. In fact once you have one you'll probably want another one.

special thanks to tubdog13 for the care package that had this in it.

Photo of terrapinfan88
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown with orange highlights, one finger foamy head that dissipates rather quickly.

Smell: Pumpkin, subtle cloves, allspice, carmel

Taste: Pumpkins, cloves, carmel, Sweet dark malts, not as imperial as pumpking not much hop comes through which is good and adds to its drinkability as much as I like hops I like this beer with them toned down.

Mouthfeel: nice and creamy, medium bodied, a little heat as the beer warms up

Drinkability: Pretty poundable as far as flavor and mouthfeel but they would probably catch up to me on bottle number four or five ABV wise.

Photo of fo5s
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Continuing with the imperial pumpkin beer theme of the week, 12oz of this bad boy hit the dogfish tumbler.

Pour is dark. Very deep ruby / bordering on a brown ale. Creamy, 2-finger head.

I set this down after pouring, and the smell is wafting across the table at me. From here it's more of an imperial oktoberfest - clean, toasted malts. Hint of pumpkin spice.

Sweet on the palate. Full malt bill, but struggling to pick out the hops. A touch of cinnamon breadiness in the tail end - I'm wondering if this is an old bottle. I don't remember this being a spice bomb, but I recall it had more than this.

Solid on the palate - full bodied. Creamy.

Quite drinkable all things considered. Goes down smooth with an aftertaste of pumpkin / complementing spices, but doesn't overstay its welcome.

Overall a pleasant beer. Not on the same level as a Southern Tier Pumpking or Hoppin Frog, but I'm honestly thinking this bottle may be a year old and has lost a lot of the pumpkin character as a result. That said, this is still a great brew in its own right. Hats off to weyerbacher - well done.

Photo of WildRage
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is one of those beers that I was very excited about when I first had it on tap, and absolutely hated every subsequent one that I've had.

Excellent looking color, great smells, and initially lots of nice notes of spice and a little pumpkin. I typically like my pumpkin beers on the malty/spicy side. My problem with the brew is that it isn't very drinkable - especially for the style. The alcohol isn't masked very well and I've had 10-11abvs that were a lot smoother than this one.

It's definitely not a bad brew - many of my friends swear by it - I just think that there are better choices out there.

Photo of bigeyedfish
3.22/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle-no brewed date-poured into a Hennepin flute.

A finger of foamy head slowly forms on top of a chestnut-colored body, only to quickly recede. The beer comes to rest with a thin layer of head in some places, lacking in other places, with a thin ring around the glass. The beer is the color of acorns, with not much in the way of translucence or carbonation coming off the bottom

Fantastic nose. Pumpkin and Cinnamon are the most prominent on the nose, with a nice hint of cloves balancing them out and being almost banana-y. At first the beer has an almost-cherry hint to it, but it's soon realized to be just a wonderful blend of pumpkin and cinnamon. A really nice smelling beer.

The body, unfortunately, does not match up to the nose. The Pumpkin/Cinnamon that was on the nose is gone, leaving in its place a medicinal taste with a hint of pumpkin. It finishes better, with more pumpkin the dominant taste and cinnamon, a secondary flavor. The finish is again a alcohol/medicinal tinge with some pumpkin. Really inconsistent flavor profile.

Not a whole lot in terms of mouthfeel. On the mid-palate there is some pronounced cloves that border on almost-mint like. Other than that, not a whole lot re chewiness. The finish is pretty average, not so intense that it overwhelms, but not weak enough that you forget there is one. A pretty average mouthfeel.

At 8%, this, first-and-foremost, is not a beer you can spend a full night drinking and feel good the next morning. Secondly, with its spiciness-on both its aroma and its taste- it's a beer that's tough to imagine drinking several of. Although, I will say, since it's warmed up, the medicinal edge has worn off, at least making it easier to drink. With that all said, again, it's hard to imagine drinking this beer all night. A well made beer? Sure. Flavorful? Definitely. But one that I'd want to drink all night? Not really. Best that it's like the Pie of it's chief ingredient; enjoyed seasonally and sparingly.

Photo of jmdrpi
3.67/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

appears a dark amber color with thin white head. aroma is very spicy. the label lists clove, cardomom, nutmeg and cinnamon - and I can detect them all. cardomom is the most pungent.

not much actual pumpkin in the taste, just all the strong spice flavors. a nice combination though.

medium body, higher carbonation. one of the better pumpkin beers, but the heavy spices limit the drinkability. good fall or even christmas beer. don't notice the 8%abv.

Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 2,482 ratings.