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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

2,489 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,489
Reviews: 986
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 130
Gots: 298 | 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: 2,489 | Reviews: 986 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Khazadum
3.57/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Courtesy of my good friend Will. He grabbed a bunch of stuff on his trip from Maryland to West Lafayette, IN. This was one of his gifts to me.

A- Hard pour generates a little bit less than a finger of cornbread yellow head. Body is decently carbonated. Average amount of singular bubbles rising upwards. Its coloration is amber with hints of red orange flesh.

S- Tons of spicy pumpkin here. Cinnamon and pumpkin squash all wrapped up in one neat package. Clove on the back end of the nose give it that spicy kick I love. It claims to have other spices, but I definitely don't detect them in any appreciable amount.

T- Metallic finish is instantly note-worthy. This beer is high up there on the ABV scale, and it should not be. Other than the stab of medicine and antiseptic qualities ( cardamom and ethanol components? ), the finish is relatively dry with pumpkin. Rubbing my tongue repeatedly over the roof of my mouth can generate some pumpkin memories, but not much.

The opening is definitely pumpkin, as expected, with that earthy, mushy, characteristic. The cinnamon is mingled in there, but the nutmeg is most assuredly too faint to really be a member. You have to dig deep to even find it. Middle of the inspection reveals some clove characeristics, but it slowly fades as the finish comes forward. Altogether, more spice than anything else, and not exactly what the label describes.

M- Good carbonation gives me a tingling sensation and supports everything else as I drink forward. If I'm not careful with my sipping intervals, that 8% turns out to taste like 20%. It is unfortunate it can not play nice, but I'm a unique beer drinker I suppose in how long 12 ounces takes to consume.

Full-to-moderate body, mild lingering presence, and minus the negatives a pleasant experience overall.

D- This is not a top tier pumpkin beer. It is enjoyable, but I find this to be more spicy than anything else. The alcohol presence does not belong, and they should have just made a pumpkin ale. It could have been so much better with just a label change and alcohol reduction. I probably won't ever search this one out again.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Have a few bottles of this in the cellar; hoping it ages nearly as well as Pumking does.

Pours a somewhat hazed orange color with a light head and a bit of lacing. The nose is fairly balanced between pumpkin sweetness and some fall spicing, although the sweetness tilts ahead in the end. The taste brings a lot more pumpkin sweetness with some cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove in the background. A bit faint. Mouthfeel is medium and a tad bit cloying. Drinks pretty well, although I hope it'll mellow a bit with some age.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a somewhat cloud, amber color with a one finger tan head that dissipated quickly. Decent lacing.

S: Not as strong as expected, slightly muted. Get some of the typical aromas, pumpkin, nutmeg, and some cloves, as well as a little malt near the end.

T: Hit with the spices up front, same as the aroma, and then a malty backbone.

M/D: Medium bodied, with decent carbonation. Left my mouth a little on the dry side. Had high hopes for this beer and it left me a bit dissapointed. Its ok, but nothing special, seemed a bit weak in flavors.

Photo of DaveBlack
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber color with somewhat over an inch of orangish tan head. The head sticks around for a fair amount of time, but doesn't leave a whole lot of lacing.

S: First and foremost: pumpkin. While the typical pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves) are there, they don't overwhelm the scent of the pumpkin, which is enough to put this pumpkin ale ahead of the vast majority of others that I've tried. There's not much beyond the sweet smells of pumpkin and spices

T: Once again, the spices are in the background and upfront is just malty pumpkin flavor taking center stage. The alcohol comes through, but only a little bit, and is pleasantly warming. Some slight hops work with the alcohol to balance the caramelly malty sweetness. Really good.

M: Medium body, enough to make it feel like you're actually consuming something. Slightly sticky, but with enough carbonation to keep it from being too overwhelming. The sweet sticky feel (along with the 8% ABV) makes it wonderful for a chilly evening.

D: Really drinkable, really solid. I've always been interested in the idea of pumpkin ales, but I always find them too boring, or cloyingly sweet, or just plain bad, and this is the first pumpkin beer I've tried that has a good fall flavor and also stands up as a respectable beer in its own right.

I think this one is worth seeking out, especially if you don't usually like pumpkin beers that are too sweet or too chocked full of spices.

Photo of samie85
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a hazy, auburn color with a two finger, light khaki head that quickly dissipates.

S-Smells of vanilla, pumpkin, nutmeg, and allspice, a bit of cloves, and some caramel malt.

T-Hit of spice upfront, nutmeg, allspice, the cloves, with a little bit of a light malt backing.

M-All of the pumpkin beers I've had so far suffer from a lack of body, and the spices contributing a spicy coarse dryness to the feel. This is on the lighter end of medium bodied with medium to high carbonation.

D-Pretty high considering the ABV, but I feel let down by pumpkin beers in general, and this one falls into that category unfortunately.

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

Poured into a pint glass. Medium amber with a small white head and a hint of lace. Biggest plus is its apparent thickness for a light-colored ale, like a Trippel at least.

Big bold smell of pumpkin and spice. Very fresh, almost as much as the Southern Tier. Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and the usual friends are all here. All rounded out by a nice malty backbone.

Taste is more of the same. The spices recede somewhat, but that's kind of a good thing, leaving the malty pumpkin in the clear foreground. A little warmth makes its presence known...just enough for a fall seasonal. No off flavors in the aftertaste like many of its peers.

Good body for a caramel malt base at "just" 8%. Not super sticky but doesn't have to be.

Very drinkable. Doesn't go overboard in any direction, and the alky warmth is nothing close to oppressive. Easily the 2nd best pumpkin I've had to date, easily slotting ahead of Dogfish Head, but still a half notch behind the incredible Hoppin Frog version.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. Deep orange amber red with good clarity. There is an orange creamsicle colored head that sticks around for a few minutes, gives some ok lacing, not much though.

The smell is good. I'd say a full notch above your average pumpkin ale. Very complex, a combination of sweet caramelized malted barley and pumpkin pie spices. Starts sweet like cinnamon and finishes nutmeg.

Taste might be a slight step up. I big gripe I have with Pumpkin Ales is too many of them taste too much like a store bought pumpkin pie, this one not so much. There are certainly pumpkin pie flavors to it (again cinnamon and nutmeg), but it actually tastes like nice ale as well. Sweet caramelizes malts and a balance of hops complement all the pumpkin pie flavors. Complex, but as if Mom made it with some love.

Mouthfeel is certainly full bodied, no question about that. Strong with a good clean finish. Carbonated, but not bite. Alcohol warms nicely. The 8% ABV is well hidden on this brew, dangerously drinkable.

A very solid Pumpkin Ale

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: minimal head, dark orange-brown in color, hazy, moderate carbonation

Smell: cinnamon, nutmeg, alcohol, and pumpkin spice

Taste: cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, bready malt, alcohol at the end

Mouthfeel: sweet a with a slightly bitter backbone, low carbonation, light bodied, smooth

Drinkability: One of the better pumpkin beers I have had this year. This one is pumpkiny without being overly so. i can feel the alcohol. I would get this again. A nice surprise.

Photo of buschbeer
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured into a pint glass to an inch of light tan head. This beer is burnt orange in color. The aroma is definitely spicy. Nutmeg seems to lead the pack. The taste is some pumpkin up front and then the spices take over. As with the smell, the nutmeg seems dominant, although I can taste cinnamon, too. I also get whiffs of alcohol on the senses. It has a medium mouthfeel. It's a pretty good beer. I can think of two in this style that I like a lot better.

Photo of GallowsThief
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A - Looks like a reddish caramel color when poured. 1 inch head that did have some sticky lacing and lasted throughout.

S - Really excellent smell. Had all the pumpkin smells you would expect with some nutmeg coming through.

T - Nice subtle pumpkin taste. Not at all overwhelming like many pumpkins. Nice amount of spiciness.

M - Good carbonation. Has a nice light mouthfeel.

D - One of the better ones. You can taste the ABV which gives it a smooth kick.

Photo of scelesti
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first BA review... Why did it take me so long?

Brown bottle with the imperial pumpkin himself on the label. Nice. Pour from the bottle into a wine glass ('cause I'm classy like that).

A - A rich mahogany color, just like the leaves on the trees outside my door. Thin head, that dissipates quickly.

S - Hmm... Nice and malty, some sweetness from the pumpkin, and a blend of spices, smells like cloves and a bit of cinnamon. Licorice too, or anise.

T - Some nice maltiness up front, followed by a blend of spices: cinnamon, more cloves, a bit of nutmeg - almost peppery. There's some sweetness from the pumpkin, with a nice balance of hoppy bitterrness on the finish. Overall, a good blend of flavors, with the pumpkin as the star player. The pumpkin is coming to the forefront as it warms. At 8%, the alcohol is a bit noticeable.

M - Medium mouthfeel, not quite as heavy as I would expect for the ABV. Not really an overabundance of carbonation either.

D - Goes down very easily for 8% ABV. This one will sneak up on you! Thank you sir, may I have another?

Wow! It looks like fall, smells like fall, and tastes like everything I expect from a pumpkin ale. This beer is very well balanced between the malt, pumpkin, spices, and hops. Definitely in the top tier of the pumpkin ales I've tasted. Highly recommended!

Photo of bierguru
1.8/5  rDev -53.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A -
deep dark mahogany color thick foamy head however it laces out fairly quick

S -
slight nutmeg and even more slightly is there a smell of pumpkin but there is a hugh all spice smell its really overpowering

T -
slight nutmeg hugh all spice taste very very slight pumpkin taste and its on the very back end you real really have to search for it

M -
feels like spicy water sry but its very light on the tongue and the allspice is ridculously overwhelming

D -
from my comments you can tell i wont get this beer again the allspice was to powerful if they toned that down flavors may pop more and then they may have a good beer

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

1032.4, 1033.5

After having two solid beers tonight over the past couple hours, how could I not dip into a special pumpkin beer? Another big thanks to erikkoppin for this beer who, despite living in Michigan, obtained this beer from Pennsylvania that was on my "wants" list. Badass. Cheers friend!

Appearance - Pours a ruddy color into my SA Perfect Pint with about a finger of head. The tan head dissipates rather quickly, leaving minimal lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell - Heavy spices up front: nutmeg, cinnamon, and some allspice. I feel there is a hint of clove in there also? And honestly, maybe just a hint of peppermint...anyway you "smell" it, it has a great aroma. At the backend after sorting out the spices there is rich caramel and toffee.

Taste - Despite the nose being spice heavy, the initial flavor is sweet malts up front. This, however, almost immediately give way to rather intense nutmeg and cinnamon spices, with clove mixed in between. I like the clove in there - it breaks it up a bit. The spices fade to become toasty malts and slight caramel sweetness, just how it should be. [edit] There is also an almost smokey flavor to this beer also. Fantastic and fitting!

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, decent carbonation. Finishes a hint dry oddly.

Drinkability - For any pumpkin ale, it is a beer that you normally do no session. This is no exception. However, for such a high ABV, this beer disappeared rather quickly. I'm liking the heavy spices and really wish I had some pumpkin pie to eat with this because it sure feels like I'm drinking some! Pumped I was able to try this and scratch it off my wants list!

Photo of penguins87
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very good beer, just the right amount of pumpkin flavor and very smooth for being 8%ABV. I am trying to find many pumpkin beers to try, but I have a limited selection where I am. Weyerbacher is similar to "Pumpking" from Southern Tier. I like this style for the fall, can't drink these as a session beer.

Photo of Deus1138
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoy pumpkin ales. They're not my favorite style, but they're a fun novelty in the fall. Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin Ale is in a class all its own. It has set a new standard for the style, in my opinion.

The color is a deep red, almost mahogany. The smell is of an abundance of spice. You can really pick up the nutmeg and cinnamon. The taste is fantastic. Alcohol is well masked. Smooth, caramel malts and a lot of pumpkin pie goodness.

Drinkability is excellent, but watch that 8%! It'll sneak up on you!

This is a must try for the fall!

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

Poured into my tulip. 2 fingers of head that slowly dissipate. No real lacing to speak of. Deep rich amber with an off white head.

Spicey, with a backbone of pumpkin. What you would expect from a solid Pumpkin brew. Very sweet on the nose. Nice bit of clove in the smell.

Spice hits you first, but mellows into a nice caramel/pumpkin flavor that just melds into a nice spice finish. Not extremely complex, but a good solid pumpkin beer. Nice balance between the spice and the pumpkin.

Bit carbonated. No alcohol noticeable. Very smooth and would make a good nice capper or dessert beer.

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

This is a really nice pumpkin ale, one of my favorites. Pours a nice copper orange color with moderate off-white head. Smell is deliciously spicey with cinnamon and nutmeg, followed up with some nice pumpkin aroma. Taste mirrors the nose, big spices, big pumpkin. Delicious stuff. Sometimes it comes across as a hair boozy. Moderate mouthfeel, coating. A good drink, definitely a seasonal specialty that hits the spot.

Photo of nhindian
4.19/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Taken from notes dated 9/15/2010.

A - Black bottle with a pretty awesome label. Excited to drink this one from the get-go as I've had great experiences with Weyerbacher previously. Pours a murky amber that more resembles apple cider than beer. Very little head that vanishes pretty rapidly. Small amounts of lacing.

S - Weyerbacher really did something special with the nose of this beer. Bouquet reminiscent of freshly-baked pumpkin pie with an abundance of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and earthly spices.

T - The initial taste of this beer is fantastic. As mentioned before, it's strongly similar to pumpkin pie and you can almost taste the crust. Would pair magnificently with dessert and whipped cream. The aftertaste is a bit lacking. Not so much alcohol as an off-tasting funk to it.

M - Little carbonation. Relatively light-bodied on the mouth.

D - Amazing! I'd be stopped more easily when the alcohol in this beer catches up with me than having to stop due to taste or being filled up. Goes down a bit too easily!

Another great brew by the people at Weyerbacher. I have a few more that I'll be holding on to throughout Fall and Winter to help warm up in the PA cold!

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

A: Pours a dark, semi murky orange, with a beige head on top, leaving behind some solid lacing.

S: A lot of sweet malt going on, slight graham note with the typical pumpkin spices, can notice the cinnamon a lot.

T: Has a brown ale flavor up front, followed by an earthy pumpkin taste, and subtle spices at the end. The aftertaste is of a blander pumpkin pie. The pumpkin doesn't dominate (this is probably not the freshest), but it's an interesting pumpkin beer.

M: Great carbonation leading to a silky smooth mouth feel, goes down easy, not much of an alcohol burn, until the very last couple of warm sips.

D: For an 8% ABV beer, it should be sipped, but very tasty and goes down smoothly.

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

12 oz bottle.

Appearance: Clear and very dark orange, almost reddish. Thin, short lived head and just a few spots of lacing.

Smell: Pumpkin pie spice and some actual real roasted pumpkin smell. Toasty and slightly metallic caramel malt aromas too.

Taste: Like the smell. Very spicy, so much that it somewhat drowns out any actual pumpkin flavor. A decent malt backbone and more hops than I expected, but in a good way. Very well concealed alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Much thinner than I expected for an "imperial." Its carbonated about right, but comes across as a little watery.

Drinkability: Its a good one, but not nearly as good as ST's Pumking which sets the bar high for imperial pumpkin beers.

Photo of beerbully
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Dark copper with 1 inch head which was a dark pumpkin color

S-Spices cloves, nutmeg, pumpkin pie

T-taste like drinking pumpkin pie but not as sweet and more spice

M-easy on the palate mild carbonation maybe a bit thin

D-I could drink 2 or 3 which is more than I can say for other pumpkin beers that are either too sweet or lack flavor

Photo of geryeb624
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into my DFH Signature Glass.

A- Dark amber in color with a nice 2 finger off-white head. Decent lacing and retention.

S- Very nice blend of pumpkin and spice aroma with some maltiness. Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove all present.

T- Very nicely balanced. Nice pumpkin and spice flavor, but also a fairly prominent maltiness. A but of warming alcohol in the finish as well.

M/D- Smooth, creamy mouthfeel with good carbonation. Very easy-drinking for the ABV.

A very well-balanced, well-executed pumpkin ale. Pumpkin and spice contribute, but don't dominate, which is a nice change of pace. Very nice.

Photo of alleykatking
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Many thanks go out to chefmonty aka Steve for the bottle in the Secret Halloween BIF.

A- Pours a darker orange with a light brown hue color. One and a half finger light beige head shows light retention. The head falls to a cap on the top of the beer. Light streaky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- This has a caramel malt toasted backbone in the aroma. Spices come through with a lot of nutmeg then cinnamon ending with some allspice and oddly enough a clove like aroma. Faint actual pumpkin aroma itself....more spice forward overall.

T- Light malts upfront on the beer get bombarded with nutmeg and cinnamon spices. Allspice and that clove flavor comes into play in the middle. Some faint pumpkin flavor toward the end with the toasted caramel malts. The ending is sweet
but then turns dry with alcohol becoming more present.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Lots of spicing left on the palate. The aftertaste has hints of allspice, clover, and alcohol. Drying on the palate from the alcohol is light. This pumpkin beer is more spice forward and is balanced in that matter. No off flavors at all with this beer being mostly clean in nature.

D- This pumpkin ale is good. The flavors are crisp and clean with this not being overly sweet like some pumpkin ales I have had. The ABV is higer but well hidden which means you can get into trouble with this one. Was glad to have gotten two of these bad boys in my package!

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a smaller pint glass. Pours a deep rich amber color (like maple syrup) with a brilliant white head on top of it. Light cascading effect as head starts to form.

The clove and nutmeg are definitely on showcase with the first smell, with pumpkin and cinnamon being light influences.

Interesting taste; the finish is almost like some kind of liqueur with spices like Southern Comfort. It's almost like a light carbonated fall punch with whiskey and brandy. I taste virtually no pumpkin here.

Maybe I picked up some bad stuff but this kind of doesn't taste like beer. It looked and smelled awesome and then turned into something else. I think I'd take a Pumpking or even a Post Road Pumpkin over this

Photo of TheycallmeTim
2.77/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle into an Ommegang chalice. No freshness date listed.

A--Orange-ruby body, surprisingly red-toned, with no head. Like, nothing. But that's not totally out of character for higher ABV, low-hopped beers.

S--Lots of cinnamon and clove. As it warms some nutmeg pulls through, which is my favorite pumpkin pie spice. It also smells, oddly, like Coke. Seriously. Coca-cola.

T--Um, ok. Spice bomb up front, with the aforementioned cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg, which is fine (especially if you like, as I do, DFH Punkin). But then you are drinking Cherry Coke. It's a dead ringer. (another sip) That's deeply unsettling. No hops, really, and no vegetal pumpkin taste, either. In a word, no pumpkin, and no beer. I don't know what happened but I don't want to drink spicy soda. This tastes like a disaster. People like this?

M&D--Mouthfeel's fine. Carbonation is medium and it's thin per the style. Drinkability? Yeah right. You get a headache after drinking what tastes like a soft drink, and not from sugar withdrawal.

I call shenanigans on this beer. Shenanigans! I have one bottle left and it's getting poured over a ham. Better than down my throat.

Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 2,489 ratings.