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

Poured a translucent reddish color with a thick tan head, with much lacing. Smell is of pumpkin and spices. The taste is very rich with pumpkin and pie-like spices, a near perfect balance between the two. No alcohol presence was detected, despite the 8% ABV. This is one of the fullest and tastiest Pumpkin Ales I've had. Mouthfeel was good, very lively and refreshing. Drinkability was OK, but lots of alcohol and real rich taste for me makes this a one at a time beer to sip and savor. For Pumpkin, it doesn't really get any better than this.

Photo of weller1js
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

appearance: pours a clear, bold reddish-amber; light carbonation with off-white foam, leaving little slight lacing.

smell: evenly balanced scent of pumpkin and spices, light hop undertone with sweet maple notes.

taste: the prounounced flavor of the malts is infused just right with the seasonal flavor, the pumpkin and spice flavor are balanced from the start; the hops convey a lightly syrupy flavor than enhances the essence of the spices throughout, excellent from start to finish.

drinkability: this one has everything a pumpkin ale should have without overdoing it in any particular aspect, the abv is up there, but still very drinkable.

Photo of telecomz
2.93/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Beautiful amber. Little head, little lacing.

S: It smells wonderful. The aromas are more complex than the flavor.

T: Malt is nice. I don't get clove or cinnamon. Ginger is dominant and mixes with the malt. Nice but not great.

M: Medium body.

D: Easy drinker; no cloying spice or sweetness. I prefer Punkin, Pumpking or Bruery Autumn Maple to this brew.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.15/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured in to tulip glass.

A - Dark amber colour, transluscent, with half a finger of cream coloured head.

S - Heavy nose of spices. There is nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and some pumpkin. Not much comes through on the nose aside from the heavy spice scent, which is warm and inviting.

T - Follows the nose. A very prominent mix of spices that includes nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. A nice pumpkin flaour is present as well although the spices definitely dominate the palate. The further I get in to this bottle the more the spices start to become too strong for me. 8% ABV is very well hidden.

M - Light body, lightly carbonated.

D - A good pumpkin beer but a little heavy on the spices.

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

This beer looks like fall! Body has the colors of orange and some slight brownish hues. A nice clarity makes the orange appear to glow in some positions. Head fades quickly into crisp cuts of foam on top.
Smell of cloves are right up front followed closely by a sweet bread note from the malt.
Spice tastes are not very strong on the tongue. A heavy malt back is what seems to anchor this brew. Some of the pumpkin flavors peek out at first but quickly vanish. A subtle sweetness does follow allow the way through.

Nice dryness to the finish with characteristics of brown sugar. Mouth feel is surprisingly thin. Somewhere the 8 percent ABV is hiding in here, but I am not sure behind what.

Photo of jts2003
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had this beer both on tap and in the bottle. NOTHING makes the bottled beer compare to a fresh pour from the tap.

A - Smooth dark amber color, generally pours with little head

S - The aroma is the best part of the beer in my opinion. A hint of pumpkin makes it feel as though you are about to have a piece of pie

T - The taste is one of the best for a pumpkin beer. Not too sharp, and a mild aftertaste.

D - One is great, 2 is good, 3 too many

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

A - The brew pours a copper-umber hue with decent white froth and some spotty lacing.

S - Huge pumpkin pie aroma, dominating any and all else. Quite nice, providing that you like that flavor, which I do. Loads of nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and clove accompany the gregarious gourd aroma.

T - My first impression of the taste is one of ambivalence; the flavor profile is substantially in sync with the aromatic, but it does not neccesarily translate into a successful or tremendously pleasurable taste experience. Which is not to say it is bad, because it is not, but it is a bit of a letdown from the nose. Very well-hidden abv, no doubt. As the glass empties, I become increasingly enamored with the flavor; by the end I am an outright fan.

M - Medium-bodied and well-carbonated. Nice.

D - This is a good offering amongst pumpkin brews, but not quite a standout.

Photo of jampics2
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Copper colored with some red and brown highlights. The tan head sticks around for a while before receding to just a film and leaves decent lace. There's some nice active carbonation.

Smells like Thanksgiving dessert! Allspice, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and clove. There's a touch of notable sweet caramel malt underneath and, while there is no pumpkin smell in lieu of spices, the boquet is wonderful and makes this a really nice spiced ale.

Weyerbacher nailed a nice pumpkin pie taste on this beer. Its got a nice cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg kick that really hits the spot. There's some great caramel and toasted malt underneath the spices. No real pumpkin that I can sense, but this is pleasant and actually maintains its integrity as a beer unlike some beers that fall down the "overspiced" rabbit hole. The thing that hurts the taste is the noticeable alcohol that could have been covered better. But it comes together quite well with that one imperfection.

The carbonation is good but the body is just a touch watery for me. However, it's refreshing and finishes with lingering spice and sweet malt. I like this beer and would drink it again, but I'm not sure it'll be a yearly thing. This year I'm really steering clear of the pumpkin beers for the Oktoberfests, and, while this is well crafted, it's just nothing new.

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Dark orange/brown. No haze. Poured with a slightly brown head that quickly dissipates without any lacing.

S - Spices are in the forefront but there's something else in the background. I few more deep breathes reveals those other scents to be a combination of pumpkin, banana, and alcohol.

T - The spices are in the forefront as expected. After that you get a combination of pumpkin and banana. There's not as much pumpkin as I was hoping for. After swallowing there is a definitive taste of alcohol. Considering this is only 8%, I didn't expect the alcohol to be so pronounced.

M - Smooth. Medium to full bodied.

D - I like the beer but it doesn't taste as clean as I expected. The banana off flavors from the fermentation seem out of place in a pumpkin ale. I've had other 8% + beers that didn't have as much of an alcohol flavor. I probably couldn't have more than 2 in a session.

Good pumpkin ale to try but not one to invest in.

Photo of RoterTeufel
4.72/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So we get a low drinkability level due to its 8% ABV and that its at pumpkin beer. Actually, average is alright by me with that 8% ABV. I'll drink a 4-pk, but I won't be driving home. I'm not particularly fond of pumpkin beers... but this one deserves the prize. It smells like it should, tastes like it should, appearances is great, mouthfeel is right on for a 8% ale of this nature.

I buy this in season - even my girlfriend likes it. So that tells you something! Love this seasonal! I love Weyerbacher!

Photo of Chaney
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's pumpkin ale season on the east coast....so...I guess I'll pull out one of the big guns! At least....that's what everyone in my circle says anyway.

A: Pours a dark orange/red color with moderate carbonation. Hmmmm...It doesn't look that thick in texture. Actually, I can see right through it, and the head is but a mere froth.

S: Cinnamon overpowers everything by far! After a few seconds, the nutmeg blends in to form a nice duet. Where's the gourd?

T: I am now imagining the brewers making this concoction: A huge barrel full of standard, everyday ale. One says to the other: "You know what would be really cool? Add a shitload of cinnamon sticks and let it steep for a few days. Hahahaha. Also, some nutmeg might be awesome as well!" That's really all I can taste. I mean, this is not necessarily a pumpkin ale, but a spice/holiday brew.

M: As I stated before, the cinnamon tingles, almost to the point of burning.

D: If you like pumpkin, look elsewhere. But if you like spice beer (I happen to like cinnamon A LOT), this might be your bag. A pumpkin ale...it is not.

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

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale is highly regarded for a reason. Much more extreme compared to most out there. With such a strong spice profile, this one is a top contender.

A: Much darker than most Pumpkin Ales I have had. Very burnt amber. Head sticks around better than most as well. Looks like a pumpkin treat.

S/T: This is where it really gets rolling. The aroma is very spice forward. Very complex with layers of spice. Sweet malt and pumpkin also make up a large portion of the smell. Taste is very spicy. Complex spices abound. Tons of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. It does come off as a little peppery. Pumpkin is definetly there, but its more of an afterthought. There is a touch of malt sweetness in there as well. Very complex and very tasty. Easily one of the best Pumpkin Ales I have had.

M/D: Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a very peppery and prickly mouthfeel, obviously due to the spices. An excellent Pumpkin Ale to sip on. Nothing harsh of offputting about the beer at all.

This is top of the line in nearly every way. Possibly Weyerbacher's best beer, this really is a fall treat. Is it the best out there? No, but it is really close. Easily in the top 5 of the style.

Photo of MrDanno96
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours deep brown with ruby hues when held to light. A thin off-white head sticks around for the majority of the drink. Some spotty lacing slowly slides down the sides of the glass.

S: Really well done in this respect. Cinnamon and nutmeg are prominent, with some milder caramel slipping into the background. Just like pumpkin pie!

T: The taste diverges a little from the nose. The pumpkin pie spice is definitely still present up front, but the caramel plays a large role than I expected. The finish is earthy and smokey, more like a brown ale than a pumpkin ale.

M: Medium in body with a subtle carbonation. The abv is well hidden, but it begins to come through as the quaff warms.

D: I solid beer and I probably liked it a little more than my final score reflects. IMO the flavor is not quite what I'm looking for in a pumpkin ale. A good brew nonetheless.

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

A- Brown with some shades of red. Creamy off-white head with good retention, cloud and ring stay behind. Lace hard to come by.

S- Spice up front, nutmeg and cinnamon are strong. Caramel malt and pumpkin notes equal in the background.

T- Follows up on the aroma. Big spice nutmeg and cinnamon, with some alcohol, certainly feels strong. Pumpkin and malt in the background.

MF- Oily light body with moderate carbonation. Fairly warm from the ABV. Some bitterness, from spice?

DB- Nice flavor, for some reason the alcohol makes me care about the strong spice less. Still wish these pumpkin beers would taste more like fresh pumpkin. The flavor gets tiring, decent fall beer.

Photo of zoso1967
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep orange amber with a tightly packed ecru head. The head has nice staying power, melting into a thin sheet and leaving nice lacing as I enjoy this beverage.

The aroma is full on pumpkin pie spice at the start. Nutmeg, cardamom and Cinnamon are main players, but there is also some clove and ginger. Sweet caramel malt lingers in the background and adds to the pumpkin pie like aroma.

I personally enjoy the flavor of this beer more than the aroma. The spices are still prominent, but they seem to fade in near the end of each sip. As I take a sip I first get a nice caramely, slightly pumpkin tinged malt flavor that sets the stage. Cinnamon and nutmeg come in later, as well as clove and some earthy flavors. Very flavorful, yet not over the top.

The mouthfeel is medium and fairly smooth with subdued carbonation. The finish is pretty well balanced, but slightly sticky with plenty of lingering spice.

This is a sipper of a pumpkin ale, and while I have far from tried them all, this remains my favorite. Recommended.

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

This ale pours a dark copper, with nice lacing and a good thick head.

It's very smooth and creamy almost like a pumpkin filling rather than a pumpkin ale.

I like that this particular pumpkin tastes like pumpkin, not just like pumpkin pie spice as so many do.

The cinnamon and nutmeg hints are there but it tastes like pumpkin first with spice to follow.

The high ABV gives it a finish almost like a shot - warm an fuzzy.

This would be Ideal with a cold turkey sandwich on Friday afternoon post Thanksgiving!!!

Grab one and enjoy!!!

Photo of korguy123
4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz into DFH Signature Glass.
Thanks to mdaschaf for both!
Bottle date: 06/22/10 Best Before Date: 02/22/11

A- Murky brown/amber color like apple cider. Aggressive pour blessed me with a finger eggshell hued head that lasted for several minutes. Ruby red tones when held to light.

S- Wow this thing smells amazing! Cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla, all spice, cloves, nutmeg and the ever important pumpkin, and LOADS of it!

T- The spices really carry over well, but the pumpkin is a little pushed out of the limelight. Still very tasty.

M- Little on the thin side but carbonation is remarkably smooth.

D- 8.00% is invisible in this. Very easy drinking. Spices are there but nowhere near overpowering. My second ever pumpkin beer and my new favorite!

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

Pours reddish-pale amber in body topped by creamy off-white head. Smells of spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, burnt pumpkin pie crust, and booze. Flavors of spice that leans towards cinnamon, burnt sugars, cloves, pumpkin, booze, mouthful of spice towards the end. Heavy in body with medium carbonation. An imperial pumpkin that is too big for its own good. Like a spoonful of cinnamon, this beer closes up the throat a bit. All frosting and no pie.

Photo of FuzzyGuy84
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Deep red/amber color, but completely transparent. Nice, even carbonation and a dense, coffee ice cream head.

S - This is EXACTLY what I want a pumpkin beer to smell like. Tons of fall spices balanced with sweet malt and a bit of hops at the end.

T - An incredibly accurate representation of the smell. Balanced, complex - pumpkin-y and strong but not super sweet.

For me, this is the pumpkin beer that all others are measured against. A true feat.

Photo of bronco94
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - dark amber/orange with an offwhite head that fades very quickly and leaves no lacing. I thought my pour style was the cause for lack of head, but after pouring again quite vigorously, it still didn't generate much head. Color/body - 4, head - 3, so A = 3.5

S - very malty and sweet combined with a fall/pumpkin spiciness, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin are present

T - in between sweet and spicy but with much less pumpkin flavor than I'd hoped.

M - good mouthfeel, slightly syrupy, moderate carbonation

D - once this 4pk is finished, I'll be done with this until next year if I decide to try it again. One bottle per sitting is enough for me. There isn't enough pumpkin to go with the spice, or there's too much spice to go with the hint of pumpkin. Worth a try, but this pumpkin ale didn't exactly blow me away.

Photo of Lolli1315
3.2/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Amber color with less than a finer of off white head. Head holds decently, but becomes a slight bit patchy. Lacing is decent as well.

S- A lot of sweet malt followed by the expected pumpkin pie spices. Spices are nice, but seem to cover up some of the base beer that isn't all that great. Caramel comes through along with some bready notes, but nothing great.

T- Disappointed with the taste as the pumpkin pie spices that comes through seem simply a cover up. The base beer lacks the complexity of a good amber as bready flavors come through, but the rest of the flavors seem halfheartedly expressed.

M- Smooth mouthfeel with a certain amount of crispness to it. Medium light body.

D- Not one that I kept reaching for, and by the time I was finished I can't say that I was sorry I did.

Notes: Had this on tap a couple of days earlier and it seemed much better then but unfortunately I didn't get a review down.

Photo of boomer31
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a very pretty golden transparent color with a thin white head.

S - Cinnamon, clove and nutmeg all the way thru. Unlike many pumpking ales, this is not over the top in the nose

T - The same flavors come thru in taste that were in the nose. A subdued pumpkin flavor in the back with a lingering clove presence. I like the taste as opposed to some of the other examples available as this is not as overwhelming in spice

M - a nice thin high carbed ale. The clove leaves a lingering spice that is quite nice

D - Not sure I could have more than one of these but it is much more palatable than other examples.

Overall a fun sipper on a cold 'fall' night...at least a night that feels like fall.

Photo of BB1313
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one a couple of weeks ago. 12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a nice burnt orange w/ lackluster head that rims around the glass; decent lacing. Smells great, cin., nutmeg, and other spices very present. The taste matches, but the spices are very abundant and linger. Full-bodied, but more on the thinner side; not shy on the carbonation. The heavy spices make it hard to drink more than one.

This one is a spice overload, which I didn't recall from the past. I also didn't pick up the strong vanilla flavors I've come to love in this beer. Nonetheless, still one of the best pumpkin ales out there.

Photo of jskoog
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Brownish amber
S: Smelled good. Cinnamon and Nutmeg.
T: I wasn't too impressed with the taste. Just wasn't a real pumpkin taste to me. Tasted of cloves, sugar and a tiny bit of black licorice like cough medicine.
M: Light and fizzy
D: No thanks. Just not for me. To each his own.

Photo of CJfromPhilly
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the 12 oz. bottle a bold copper color with a one finger, slightly off-white one finger head that quickly dissipates into a fairly thick collar. Carbonation is on the heavy side, with the head making a fizzy sound as it fades. Aroma is spicy! The cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves jump right out at you! First sip is a smooth blend of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves...basically a mirror image of the aroma. The combination of spice lingers after the swallow. Hops pretty much take a back seat here, this one's all pumpkin-y malt & spices, but done well...quite well, in fact!. Mouth feel is bold and spicy, with a nice sparkle on the tongue and the alcohol being totally hidden. This is a beer that is quite drinkable. Overall, if you like pumpkin beer (which I do), this one is quite the stellar example of the style. If you dropped a scoop if ice cream into it, you'd truly have pumpkin pie in a glass!

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