1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Imperial Pumpkin Ale - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Pumpkin AleImperial Pumpkin Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,193 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,193
Reviews: 955
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 111
Gots: 203 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: cbl2 on 09-17-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Imperial Pumpkin Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,193 | Reviews: 955 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Reagan1984
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a 1 ½ finger head that was on the border between foamy and creamy. Orange/Amber in color with no visible carbonation and crystal clear. No lacing to speak of and the head settled rather quickly back into the beer.

Aroma was all spice and I don't mean allspice, I mean it focused almost solely on spices. Different than just the normal Cinnamon/nutmeg combo, I can really sense the cardamom. (I pretend not to sense the clove since I don't like that and want to like the beer)

Taste is also spice forward, spice middle and spice at the finish. Some sweetness and malt notes play in the background, but are not featured. I noticed that I liked this as it was a bit colder. As it warmed up the spices became even more dominant. You get a little warmth from the alcohol level, but still it's pretty well hidden for 8%.

Mouth feel is rather light vs. what I expected and this is very drinkable. As mentioned, I think it was more drinkable a bit colder.

This is a good fall beer but I will buy more Dogfish Head Punkin before this again.

Reagan1984, Sep 14, 2008
Photo of treyrab
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this one next do Punkin into a pint glass...

A: Pours a very nice deep dark orange. The orangest beer I have seen, very interesting indeed. A nice white head that dissipates to a quick ring and laces every so slightly.

S: Wow. Tons of spices here, I may need a few days to write out all the spices. Tons of cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, etc.

T: The taste is extremely spicy. The spiciest beer I have ever tasted! They threw the whole cupboard of spices into the wort of this one! As for the pumpkin, it is slightly noticed, but not as much as I would have thought.

Overall, this is a great Autumn beer, very spicy if you're into that.

treyrab, Sep 14, 2008
Photo of TheMistler
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

'Twas odd... the appearance of this brew continuously lightened as it settled and begged me to drink it. (Combined with the image of a pumpkin king devouring things, I knew I was in trouble.) Fairly dark bark brown the whole time through, it became something of a lit up dark orange as time progressed. Opaque depending on how thick the the glass is at your viewpoint. Dark orange-y brown. Not a huge amount of head, nor much lacing. But...

My goodness, it smells good. There is, surprisingly, a hop crispness that makes itself known. However, it is very much a malt brew, with roasted grains and pumpkin and cinnamon and nutmeg hitting throughout. There is no flavor that really differentiates itself as it goes through your mouth - all the flavors just kinda settle together into a nice desert. An indulgent, sweet n' spicy bread cannot be forgotten as a major component.

Upon tasting there can be a bit of an astringent quality. It lightens up and makes the ale much more drinkable as it warms. Nonetheless, lots o' spice. Man, lots of spice. It tastes great - the clove is certainly more noticeable in taste than aroma - but there simply might be too much. I could not drink more than one, despite the fact that it mouthfeel is actually fairly light. The taste is just so heavy.

EDIT: I tweaked my scoring (taste from a 3.0 to 4.0) to reflect a different bottle that I gave more time to settle and warm up. Obviously this is a beer to spend some time with, and I clearly did not give it enough the first time. Alcohol becomes less astringent and more a compliment of the flavor profile. Quite tasty. Smooth. Well rounded spices, but still quite a lot of them.

TheMistler, Sep 13, 2008
Photo of ColForbinBC
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint

Oddly enough, it pours a burnt pumpkin orange with a tight off-white head. No staying power and very little lacing.

Heavy nutmeg, cinnamon and clove aroma. Pumpkin is buried behind all of these spices. Also a roasted--almost burnt--malt background.

I remember this flavor being much better in the 22oz bombers last year. The spices seem a little mismatched. Nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon dominate with just a touch of pumpkin flavor. Some alcohol warming lingers.

A little thin. Medium-bodied, with a bit of a mild sweetness in the warming finish.

On the side of a sipper, but a pretty good offering on the style. I just remember it being much better.

ColForbinBC, Sep 11, 2008
Photo of Proteus93
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A deeper bronze-amber with a dishsoap foamy head. A little offwhite colouring to the head, and it pulls back at a reasonable speed - not too fast, and leaving little patches of lace.

S: Warm, toasty malts, and a wonderful blend of spices - none stand out too greatly. Cinnamon, clove, cardamom... they all complement the malt elements of the beer and the pumpkin aromas very nicely. Very pleasant.

T: A big spice sensation - almost on the verge of being an assault, though. The alcohol becomes a bit more apparent here, and offers a spiciness of its own. Hops make an appearance for good measure.

M: Crisp carbonation, though maybe a touch on the low side. Rounded body. No complaints here, really.

D: For the most half, one of the better pumpkin brews... maybe just a little TOO much flavour. I'd still have it again, though it would be an occasional thing as that alcohol keeps it from being at all sessionable.

Proteus93, Sep 11, 2008
Photo of brewmudgeon
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had a dfh 90 followed by this one tonight. not sure what i was talking about before regarding the unhidden alcohol. compared to the dfh it's a stealth bomber. upping drinkability to 4.5 (from 4).

this time i really appreciated the lack of sharp spicing that can offend the tongue (as with post road and depending on the night, even dfh). this beer is so smooth and easy going, yet flavorful, so what if it's root beer like? and tonight it didn't even seem so much like it.

brownish orange, slightly darker than the post road (drunk right before this one). head falls to a ring but does leave some lace.
smell is reminiscent of root beer of all things. sweet root beer/sasperilla, cardamom(?) and alcohol. pumpkin perhaps but only if i really concentrate. way too much unhidden alcohol in the aroma.
seems more basic (in the opposite of acidic sense) than most ales, and somewhat metallic. pumpkin pie is in the background. finish is surprisingly clean, with just a tiny bit of spice.
carbonation is ample, body is medium. should be fuller bodied?

brewmudgeon, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of cjgator3
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

A- Pours a dark brownish copper color with a light tan head.

S- Pretty solid aroma in terms of pumpkin beers. A lot of spices
particularly in the notes of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. You can also pick up on some of the alcohol in the aroma as well.

T- The taste is filled with spices but is not over done like some pumpkins can be. It is pretty well balanced as well.

M- A little on the thin and fizzy side, but not bad.

D- This is a good pumpkin beer to enjoy on some of the cooler autumn nights, but the high ABV limits the sessionability.

Overall, Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin is a solid fall seasonal that is worth a shot. I am not a huge fan of pumpkins, but this is something that I would pick up again.

cjgator3, Sep 08, 2008
Photo of Kadonny
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A: A burnt orange cloudy color with a minimal off white head after a fairly agressive pour. Nice glass lacing.

S: Spicy with hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, pumkin and sweet malty caramel. Hints of other dried fruits that I can't pick out.

T: A nicely balanced beer with the sweet pumkin pie flavors of nutmeg, cinnamon, spice and of course a nice dose of pumkin. There is a nice sweetness that has a malty caramel flavor with a nice subtle dose of hops. The finish the pumkin really came alive in my eyes. I think this has even more pumkin flavor than the DFH Punkin.

M: Medium as it coats the mouth nicely. Miminal carbonation and a lingering finish of pumkin.

D: Medium. I enjoyed the one and could have had another, but I'm not sure I could drink more than 2. Still, for a pumkin beer it sure was very drinkable.

Overall maybe the best pure pumkin beer I have had, with the most pure pumkin flavor. If you want to enjoy a true pumking tasting beer, grab this one. Good beer Dan, keep them coming. Also, love the label. Cheers.

Kadonny, Sep 08, 2008
Photo of CrellMoset
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Market Street Wine, downtown location, in Charlottesville, VA. Poured into a traditional American pint glass.

Appearance: A slightly hazy but largely transparent orange amber-bodied beer with no discernible carbonation and an initially bubbly creamy tan head that settles down into a nice one-finger white, meringue-like foam with average retention.

Aroma: Cinnamon and cloves are prominent here, and a sweet, concentrated pumpkin note. Very pie-like.

Taste: A sweet and spicy load of pumpkin. Nutmeg and cardamom are prominent, as are some sweet, roasted caramel notes, some dark fruit overtones, and what tastes more like pumpkin extract than real pumpkin. I don't get too much cinnamon, but that's ok. In fact, spices aren't great, but at least they're not overdone, which is always the biggest failing (in my opinion) of most pumpkin/spiced ales.

Mouthfeel: A little thick and sugary-feeling, low carbonation - a little too low - and a somewhat uneven and medium-body. Not too impressive, here.

Drinkability: Not a bad pumpkin ale by any stretch, though not my favorite (that honor belongs to the ST Pumking). The 8% is nowhere to be found, which is nice, and the spices are spot-on, in my opinion - not too prominent, not too weak, and balanced well. The pumpkin taste/aroma isn't fantastic though, and the mouthfeel's a little flat.

CrellMoset, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of gonzo46and2
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Tried this as a side by side comparison with the Dog Fish Head Punkin Ale.

Pours a dark ruby red with excellent clarity and beauty.

Aroma is full of pumpkin spice and malt. Hop profile is lower than the DFH which makes for a much tastier beer. It was fuller, a bit sweeter and all around much more balanced than the DFH beer.

Mouthfeel was fluffy and full. Very satisfying.

This is the best pumpkin beer i've had yet which isn't that many but is over a half dozen.

gonzo46and2, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of marcpal
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On a hot humid day, still wanted to break this open. In the cold A/C, not a problem. 12oz bottle from pumpkin sampler poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark, thick pumpkin-meat colored orange. Some lively carbonation and a filmy off white head that stayed tough.

N: Nutmeg and cloves. Pumpkin pie spices more than the pumpkin vegetable. Also a match of burnt malts here which is nice. Like a wick that had just been blown out.

T: A burnt malt flavor, warming. This is an interesting brew that I didn't like a ton last year but having some sub-par offerings, this one holds its own. The nutmeg and cloves and flavor of pumpkin pie here are rounded out with bready malts that play the part of a good crust. Don't catch much cinnamon which would be welcome, more ginger plays a role as it warmed. Tasty.

M: Thick and an aftertaste of firework residue- odd but yes. Back to the burnt candle wick thing I guess. Sweetness is abundant and a nice flicker of alcohol warms the throat. Rich and creamy.

D: Really good, second to pumpking in my opinion but nothing to be ashamed of. A sipper for a pumpkin but delicious. Could still drink these all night. Only eating with pretzels now but this would be awesome with meats and smoked food.

A very unique pumpkin, great job weyerbacher.

marcpal, Sep 05, 2008
Photo of Drew966
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Imperial Pumpkin Ale pours orange with a white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. Weyerbacher definitely got the nose right, this smells like pumpkin. The flavor is also right on the nose, pumpkin with alcohol lurking in the background. Not my favorite style, but well done, a bit too much alcohol to get a higher drinkability rating.

Drew966, Sep 04, 2008
Photo of beernut
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 4pk not too long ago. Pours a deep reddish/orange color. The head doesn't last very long long but lingers a bit. Smells like pumpkin pie sprinkled with cinnamon followed by a sticky sweet malty aroma. Taste is not really like a pumpkin pie more of the sweet malt with hints of spices. Good carbonation, a VERY good beer from Weyerbacher. This one is up there along side DFH Punkin Ale. Will drink plenty of these this fall.

beernut, Sep 03, 2008
Photo of gford217
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, clear reddish amber with a short-lived cream-colored head which recedes to a tiny ring with only a trace of lacing. It actually smells a good bit like pumpkin pie with a big dose of spices thrown in, mainly cinnamon, with sweet malt in the background. The taste is not quite as reminiscent of pumpkin pie to me with a hit of sugar and cinnamon up front before giving way to the malt background and pumpkin before finishing with a spicy kick that lingered for a while. The mouthfeel is good with lots of carbonation and a bit dry. I've only had a couple other pumpkin ales, but this one is the best. Very drinkable and another good offering from Weyerbacher.

gford217, Sep 02, 2008
Photo of MiScusi
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- reddish-brown, fairly dark, weak beige head.

S- The spices were of course strong. This smelled like potpourri or a candle. It's got the mix of spices all in there combining for the aroma... it's hard for me to pick out any specific one but it does seem like the clove always comes out a little more than the others.

T- I thought I was licking a candle the entire time. The base is there and it's got a richer malt base than the brooklyn post road. A somewhat sweet backbone.

M- They did a great job on the body of this. It's not thin, it's not too thick but it's got some slickness to it, no doubt the 8% alcohol helps that out.

D- It might just be that I could never drink a lot of a pumpkin ale. I don't know. I think that's what I'm starting to find out, but the flavors are not something I want a ton of, but are nice to try at least.

MiScusi, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of currysage1
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle minus label got on a discount from the Spirit Haus in Amherst, MA.

Beautiful maple syrup colored beer topped with a generous 2 finger light orange head that quickly fizzes down to a spotty coating.

Smell is very strong, I can smell it without even being near it. Has a sweet not spicy ginger beer smell to it. Nutmeg, dark sweet malt and black pepper.

Taste is more of cinnamon and nutmeg than of pumpkin but it is there though, has a nice sweet pumpkin light aftertaste. Not overwhelming at all. This is a great fall beer! Too bad its not more of a sessionable beer.

currysage1, Aug 30, 2008
Photo of Pencible
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured a clear ruby color with a little tan head. It smelled like bitter pumpkin and rusty copper hops with red barley malt, sour apple, and a bit of sweet yeast. It tasted like pumpkin and red malt, mixed with sour apple and sour cherry hops and earthy copper hops. As it warmed, the pumpkin flavor became sweeter and more dominant, which mellowed out the overall flavor. Overall this was a clean and complex beer that had a strange mix of sweet, sour, and bitter. Perfectly haunting for Halloween, but not quite my taste.

Pencible, Aug 29, 2008
Photo of awall422
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a dark orange with a finger oh head that faded faily quickly. smell is strong spicy pumpkin pie, as advertised. taste is a little sweet, kind of brown sugary with a strong palate of pumpkin pie spices. mouthfeel is creamy and rich. crazy drinkable for an 8%abv beer. one of my annual autumn favorites!

awall422, Aug 29, 2008
Photo of erosier
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a dark orange/amber color with a nice thick and tall white head that takes a long time to settle before fading to a ring around the beer. Laces nicely down the glass.
S: Smells of very sweet malts, some pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a touch of vanilla - my friend that I drank it with said it best, it smells like potpourri.
T: Very well balanced flavors. Nice rich sweet malty/pumpkin base followed by sweet nutmeg, cinnnamon, and a hint of vanilla. Very clean aftertaste.
M: Very warming and relaxing mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable beer as all of the flavors are well balanced and the aftertaste balanced as well with a decent amount of alcohol to boot for a nice warming fall beer.

erosier, Aug 26, 2008
Photo of jdubjacket
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber, orange color with a strong head that starts up and goes away really quickly. Good amount of lacing for a pumpkin ale. A lot of spice, clove and a hint of pumpkin in the nose. Taste is outstanding. Nice balance of pumpkin, spice, clove, and did I mention spice? It started off as slightly metallic, but as the beer went on, the pumpkin and spice become more pronounced. This brew has much more carbonation that most pumpkin ales I've had in the past. It is definitely a nice change of pace. Overall, this is an outstanding pumpkin ale, and I'm absolutely psyched that this is now available in Atlanta.

jdubjacket, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of showbob
4.65/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Nice amber appearance

S: The first smell is of spice,pumpkin and spices.

T: The taste is pumpkiny(Is that a word)? Many pumpkin beers you can not really taste pumpkin. this is a one that you can really get a good taste of pumpkin and spice

Excellant pumpkin beer, so far my favorite and I have tasted many. It has a higher alcohol content but you can taste it. Love this one!

Serving type: bottle

showbob, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of shroompod
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy orange with a small head. No Lacing.

Aroma has the typical pumpkin pie spices. Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg.

Tasting this beer is like the aroma , with a slight medicinal bittering with the spices.

Mouthfeel is medium a little under carbonated.

Overall a nice treat.

shroompod, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of cvstrickland
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22-ounce bomber with a nasty-looking emperor pumpkin on the label, waving his scepter about, poured into a tulip glass yields a clear red-amber body capped with a finger of soft ecru foam. The head retains at a ring and leaves only the barest scraps of lacing on the glass.

The smell of the drink is fruity-sweet and pumpkin-pie spicy with the requisite cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom.

The taste of the drink is spicy with plenty of sweet, mellow, earthy pumpkin. Aromatic cinnamon and cloves tingle in the finish and the aftertaste. As the drink warms, the spices rise to a pointed crescendo that blots out pretty much all else, but the sweet, mellow pumpkin remains in the background, soaking up the spice, working hard to reassert itself, with some success.

Despite all the spice and the pumpkiny goodness, or perhaps because of the novelty of this beer on my palate, or maybe it's just because I love me some 'punkin pie', but I found this medium-bodied jewel especially tasty and very drinkable.

cvstrickland, Aug 21, 2008
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Weyerbacher 2007 Vinatage Bottle (in the fridge for a year)

A. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. FIzzy head appears and disappears quickly. Signs of active carbonation apparant.

S. Whew! Smells like potpourri. Just a blast of spices. Pumpkin Pie scent is also there.

T. A very unique spicy brew here. The cardamom starts things off with a clove kick soonn after. Lingering on the palate is the nutmeg. The cinnamon is there all the way through. In the background lies the pumpkin taste, well complimented by the spices. Some caramel malt hangs in the balance. No noticeable alcohal except for a slight warming sensation.

M. Spicy and well carbonated. Not overly viscious. Standard.

D. Well first off, this is my first Pumpkin Ale. I enjoy it, and the spiciness to it would pair well with many types of dishes and even desserts. Furthermore, this beer has kept well, and I would like to have a bottle age away for a while to see what happens. Could session this stuff, once you get used to it, its actually a very good style of beer. Weyerbacher really doesn't make bad beer either.

Stinkypuss, Aug 19, 2008
Photo of timtim
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

coppery orangish with a slightly pinkish head. nose is pumpkin of course and spice of course. wierd bitterness that went away as it warmed up, so i don't reccommend this one too cold. i think some extra caramel malt and a touch of brown sugar would have smoothed this one out, but it still is a fantastic pumpkin beer. great brewery, great beer.

timtim, Aug 08, 2008
Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 2,193 ratings.