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 Kolsch
2.8/5  rDev -28%
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
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
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
4.65/5  rDev +19.5%
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
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
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
3.2/5  rDev -17.7%
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
3.18/5  rDev -18.3%
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
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of gopens44
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Very nice amber color. Hazy with no real head at all.

S - Of all the pumpkin beers I have had, this one smells more like pumpkin pie than all the others. Only thing missing is the whipped cream. Hmmm...

T - Much like the nose, this baby is liquid freaking pie! A touch boozy, a little bitter, but otherwise it is sweet with a wonderful balance of spice.

M - Well carbonated and dry.

This thing rocks. If you are looking for a pumpkin ale that is pretty interpretive of a pumpkin pie, you really can't miss with this!

Photo of scottbrew4u
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear amber color with a light tan head that settles quickly.

S: Aromas of caramel, vanilla, pumpkin, toffee, nutmeg, clove, and roasted malt. Hops not noticeable in aroma.

T: Clove and nutmeg on top of caramel roasted malts. Sweet blend of toffee, vanilla, and pumpkin. Flavors come together pretty well after the first few tastes. No hops detected in taste other than to balance with bitterness.

M: Medium body with crisp carbonation. Some alcohol warmth present.

D: It is a stronger version of a pumpkin ale but it has a seasonal appeal and I was in the mood for it so it went down well. That being said I could not session this beer though, it has too much clove, nutmeg and spice.

Photo of Mosley1212
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A -- Rust colored. Deep red, almost brown. Really gorgeous.

S -- Nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice in abundance. The smell takes you instantly to the fall and the warmness of the holidays. I feel warm just taking a whiff.

T -- Spot on with the smell. The only problem is that the tastes are a bit weaker than I expected.

M -- Like I said, it's a little watery, but the taste still can be powerful at times. The cinnamon and nutmeg are pleasant.

D -- Honestly, this is one of the best pumpkin ales I have had. The warm feeling it leaves you with makes you want to come back for more. I think you can sit back and drink several in a sitting. Awesome fall drink.

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

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a hazy dark orange with a medium light tan head that fades to a ring and leaves the smallest lacing on the glass.

S: As you take a whiff you are immediately greeted with a huge amount of pumpkin pie spices in the form of nutmeg and allspice with a good amount of pumpkin aroma in the background.

T: The taste is like the nose but the spices aren't as forward as you'd think they would be. Lots of pumpkin flavor along with nutmeg and allspice. Interesting that the taste and smell are opposites...first time I've had this happen.

M: The feel is medium bodied with the correct amount of carbonation.

D: This is pretty tasty and I'd definitely buy a few 4packs if it was available in my area. I'd keep it to 1 or 2 bottles a night due to the ABV though.

Recommended if you like Pumpkin Ales...

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours the expected orange color with a white head. The aroma is strong cinnamon with some pumpkin mixed in.

The flavor is heavy on the pumpkin, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

A very nice pumpkin ale. Well executed and easy to drink.

Photo of prdstmnky
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark copper color, with an inch of creamy tan head and light lacing. Great spicy aromas on this pumpkin ale - cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ofcourse pumpkin. This is my favorite tasting pumpkin ale on the market, follows right in line with the smell but to a greater extent. Its more of a "spicy" pumpkin, but I find the pumpkin flavor shows its face plenty in this ale. A nice, creamy mouthfeel and moderate carbonation makes this my favorite beer in the style. A big enough pumpkin ale, that I can really only enjoy 1 of these in a night, hence the lower drinkability score. Great seasonal offering from Weyerbacher - highly recommended.

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

pours a slightly hazy copper brown color with a quickly dissipating head that settles to a fresh tan collar.... smell is Vienna malts,spice,and pumpkin bread,and cinnamon stick ..taste is very spicy..meaning its lots of cinnamon and nutmeg more so than pumpkin but its present in a bread like manner malts hit the back of the mouth for a sweet finish..mouth feel is medium i dont detect 8% but i dont taste lots of pumpkin either..overall pretty tasty easy to drink and one ill have every fall but thats it..a tasty pumpkin ale from a great brewery

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

This review was made possibly by BogleHill...thanks again for the trade!

A - pours reddish orange, almost a burnt rust

S - smells of red hot candies, bubblegum, and tons of cinnamon...spices galore

T - This starts off really with tons of nutmeg that gives it a really spicy character. The bubblegum and cinnamon from the nose also show up on the palette; I also got some traces of clove. The taste is almost like a bubblegummy red hot, which doesn't sound appealing but it works well for some reason. If the spices wren't so one-dimensional, I would rate this higher.

M - medium body that is goes down smoothly

D - easily one of the better pumpkin beers I have had. Most pumpkin beers are spicy, but also a little watery. This one packs a nice nutmeg punch that is anything but subtle.

Photo of jbertsch
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Interesting pumpkin brew. Looks dark bronze. Fair-sized white head.

Aroma is favors the spicier side of pumpkin. Funny though - I also smell mint tea on there. It's pretty noticeable.

Taste matches the aroma. It's a sharper pumpkin flavor than others - spicier and brighter without being overly sweet. Cinnamon and cardomom are present. Malts provide a smooth caramel base. Don't notice the 8% ABV at all.

Mouthfeel is fairly crisp and lively.

Full-bodied. I exepcted it to be even more punchy as an "Imperial" Ale, but it's fairly calm for that label (not in bad way). Went well with a stew of keilbasa sweet potatoe, apples, and onion.

Photo of adam42381
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber color with ruby highlights and tons of carbonation bubbles. Features a 1 finger off-white head which dissipates very quickly. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Fall spices, pumpkin, clove and a faint hint of apple.

Taste: Spicy throughout. Nutmeg and clove are the most obvious spices. Nice fall flavor with just a hint of hoppy bitterness toward the finish. Alcohol is masked pretty well but it does peak through just a bit near the end. Aftertaste is dry and spicy. The overall flavor is good but I didn't really detect any true pumpkin flavor. I think the spices just overpowered it a little bit.

Mouthfeel: Light-to-medium-bodied with a high amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: High drinkability. The alcohol is masked well enough that this seems like it has an ABV in the 5% range instead of 8%.

Overall: Good beer overall. Not my favorite pumpkin ale but you could do much worse. I wouldn't mind having a few more this autumn.

Photo of ccahoon22
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a thick, lightly colored head. Amber in color

S - Definite cinnamon and spices along with a heavier pumpkin smell than most pumpkin ales

T - First thing is spices and pumpkin with a slight bitterness. There is very little carbonation. I definitely get a sweet taste also.

Really good pumpkin ale, among the best I've had.

Photo of Phelps
3.03/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed from a bottle received in the 2010 Halloween BIF from callmemickey. Love the label art on this. He's an angry pumpkin king!

A: pours a cloudy mahogany, deep, dark and lovely. A one-finger head of sticky light khaki that quickly recedes to a rather thick top layer that hangs out all night and grips the glass with all its might. Jagged scars of lace grip the sides as I make my way through.

S: lots and lots of cinnamon and brown sugar invade the nose at first, followed by pumpkin, red apples and bubble gum.

T: the flavor is disappointing following the nose. More spicy than pumpkiny. There might be some subtle, sweet pumpkin puree in there, with light cinnamon spice and cloves in the background; then again, there might not be. The flavor is so light and ephemeral, it's actually hard to tell. What sweetness and spices are there are only present for a second before being blasted away at the finish.

M: moderately carbonated with fuzzy bubbles amidst a medium-light body. The finish is fairly dry and the 8 percent ABV is fairly well-hidden, to the beer's credit.

D: I hate the feeling of having my hopes dashed. I expected great things after taking a whiff, but the flavor didn't follow through. I'm not mad, Weyerbacher. I'm just disappointed.

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

A - Deep reddish brown with good head and lacing. Seems to be filtered and no visible carbonation.

S - Lots of pumpkin aroma in this one and lighter on accompanying spices. Makes for a nice sweet malt/pumpkin smell.

T - Great balance of pumpkin and spices IMO. Spices tip the scale towards the sweet side (clove, brown sugar) while the pumpkin pulls on the bitter end. Finishes with a brown sugar aftertaste.

M/D - Medium body with a big mouthfeel (good carb, noticeable ABV). Finishes quite neutral with some sweetness and some bittering. Great flavor profile makes it easy to drink.

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hey, this is what I'm talking about. Studiously-realized pumpkin ale here. Flavors (spices, malts) are quite well-balanced and the extra kick lends nicely to the overall experience. Pumpkin ales seem tough to ace, but they've done well.

Rustic, earthy, deep brown color with a voluminous, red-tinged sand-shaded head. Makes me think a little of a cappuccino maybe. One of the few Pumpkin Ales that I feel nails the "pumpkin pie" profile - not that that's what I expect or feel is the "correct" interpretation of this style and its main ingredients. But they got it. The nutmeg is in check, cinnamon and clove in good ratio. I even find an egg/custard quality in the nose and the taste. The malt presence gives off a slightly over-baked, homemade crust element. Just lovely. While the spices, I feel, control the aroma, the taste and feel are malt forward - not so much sweet, perhaps caramelly, medium-thick body, and rich. Generous dose of carbonation, but it doesn't detract from the flavors or aroma. The malt muscle carries through the finish. Fresh-pressed apple cider chewiness at times. The alcohol is present, mostly in the finish, but thankfully it avoids being excessive. The spices nip at the end.

I've noticed the quality varies here and there - depending on the batch, I suppose. It can be a wide spread, too, because I've had this end up being revelatory one time and out-of-whack another. When it's good, though, it's real good.

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

WOW. At 8%, this beer tastes more like 4-5%. I don't taste the alcohol at all.

Definitely taste the pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg. Nice pleasant beer.

Not too much body, I would say medium. It is very drinkable considering Not too much carbonation either.

This was a pretty good surprise.

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

2x 12oz bottles with no freshness date poured into a large tulip glass.

Pours a dark reddish amber with a strong white head - looks pure blood red under any light less than the sun, in which is looks like a dark crimson malt color.. Aroma of tons of spices, then pumpkin, then some malt, and then some more spices and pumpkin.

Taste has spices and pumpkin up front and some creamy, fruity malt to back it up. Finish of the taste is creamy yeast and creamy malt, with the spices in the background.

Feel is creamy, but overly spiced. Great taste, but a bit bitter and overly spiced to be highly drinkable.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle pours a crystal clear, copper color with a large-bubbled off-white head that fades very quickly. I believe this is 2009 vintage as a buddy of mine picked it up in early August.

Smells good, lots of nutmeg, cloves are there for sure along with the requisite cinnamon aspect. Spice-oriented on the nose.

Taste has lots of toasted caramel with the sweetness and spicing playing nicely off each other. Has more oomph than a regular pumpkin brew, but not over the top as say, a Pumking. Nice gourdy flavors shows through on this one and the ABV is very well hidden. It is a tasty brew, I'd probably put this in my top 5 pumpkin beers, well done Weyerbacher.

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