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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.
very good

2,077 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,077
Reviews: 948
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 103
Gots: 151 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: cbl2 on 09-17-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,077 | Reviews: 948 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rainintheface


3.38/5  rDev -13.1%

22oz bomber poured into Sam Adams glass.
Heard a lot about this. Spotted for the first time today so i grabbed it.

A: Beautiful. dark copper with a two finger off white head (nice retention) minimal carbonation

S: very nice. strong spices, cinnamon, nutmeg. the pumpkin pie smell I expect but even more so

T: malty, caramel and above said spices. a little to heavy on the spices

M: medium mouthfeel, kind of creamy with fairly light carbonation

D:o.k. as far as drinkability. a little too much spice but the alcohol is well hidden

I won't rush back to this but neither will I shun it.

09-05-2007 23:59:29 | More by Rainintheface
Photo of lackenhauser


3.2/5  rDev -17.7%

Burnt copper color with an admirable head. Noticeable spicy aroma-cloves and cinnamon dominate. Spices dominate the flavor. Malty but there is an underlying alcohol flavor that mars the overall taste. Ok body-not overly "imperial". Rather dissappointing. As a homebrewer I know a little spice goes a long way. This is rather unbalanced and too spicy for my tastes. Too much booze flavor in there to boot. Nice to try but not again for me.

09-04-2007 22:57:32 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of microbrewlover


4.98/5  rDev +28%

I simply love this ale; it is really that good. The first thing to take note of is the artwork on the label, look it up on Weyerbacher's site.
Okay, the beer pours orange then quickly turns a deep orange/red with a medium head which quickly disolves.
The smell of pumpkin is strong; which is good for a pumpkin ale. The spices in the ale are cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg and cloves. The smell of nutmeg and cardamon can be detected just underneath the smell of the pumpkin. I can not smell the cinnamon or the cloves.
This beer goes down very smoothly, kind of like drinking a good pumpkin pie. I realize that might sound gross but believe me this is the best ale I have ever tasted. There is no aftertaste; just the rich smell of pumpkin left in the glass after the ale is sending it's pumpkin flavored goodness through your veins.
If you are a fan of pumpkin ale you owe it to yourself to at least try this one.
The last time I reviewed this brew I mentioned the artwork on the label. Wyerbacher has upgraded the artwork, check it out the new label is even better.

09-04-2007 02:22:08 | More by microbrewlover
Photo of joeskirkie

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +6.7%

So the angry pumpkin king on the bottle sits over the claim, "ALE brewed with pumpkin and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves.)"

I actually don't know what cardamom is. I looked that up:

"Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic fragrance. It is a common ingredient in Indian cooking, and is often used in baking in Nordic countries. One of the most expensive spices by weight, little is needed to impart the flavour."

So I'm impressed. In a nonic pint this beer is a rich ruby with a rich, thick head. Aint nothing bad to say about that.

Scent of cinnamon and pumpkin, not too far off from your typical pumpkin ale

Flavor is Dominated (note the capitol D) by cinnamon and pumpkin, the other claimed spice of nutmeg is also there, but not as strong. I'm very sure the cardamom is there too, because I detect a spice sensation similar to when I have Indian food.

Given the overall intensity of the flavor in comparison to other pumpkin ales, I'd say this one has earned the adjective, "Imperial." quite well.

I don't mean to break down the thickness scale a little bit: But it's leaning on the heavier side of medium bodied.

Like any good pumpkin pie, I really want to have another. I'm not sure if I'd be feeling so great after several of these, but I still want several.

09-03-2007 22:26:21 | More by joeskirkie
Photo of rodrot

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +4.9%

While at first I was skeptical of another style of beer being labeled as "Imperial", I figured I'd give this one a try in anticipation of the upcoming Fall season. The beer poured a clear, medium amber color with a smallish white head. Aroma reminded me of freshly baked pumpkin pie, lots of spices and pumpkin along with sweet malts. Taste was equally as nice, like liquid pumpkin pie, except with a kick. Mouthfeel was quite light, making this one way too easy to drink. The 22 oz bomber disappeared rather quickly. I find it hard to believe this beer is a strong as the label states. If you like flavored/spiced beers, this one's definitely recommended.

09-03-2007 17:13:45 | More by rodrot
Photo of jamie2dope


4.38/5  rDev +12.6%

I will admit that I am not such a big fan of pumpkin flavored beers, but I had always been a little curious about this beer, so I decided it was worth a try. It poured a copper/ruby color, with a healthy white head. The spices are what hits the nose first with aroma. Lots of clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and perhaps some pepper. The pumpkin really comes through in the taste, along with the spices mentioned above. It is very similar to a piece of rich pumpkin pie. One thing I will definitely say is that the heightened alcohol does lend itself to the quality of this beer. It is not in your face, but is there enough to compliment the other tastes that are present. I would sip this brew all night long. This is by far the best pumpkin beer I have ever had the opportunity to taste. Maybe it will inspire me to sample others. Also, it is beers like this that make me look forward to the cooler weather of Fall.

08-30-2007 01:43:27 | More by jamie2dope
Photo of BBM

New York

3.85/5  rDev -1%

Weyerbacher is getting me in the mood for fall. This beer poured a bright, translucent pumpkin orange into a tulip glass with a thick, chunky white head. There was a distinct cinnamon and pumpkin aroma, along with a sweet toasted caramel.

Taste mirrors the aroma, with cinnamon and nutmeg as the dominant spices. There's also a sweet, burnt caramel malt profile to go along with it. Hints of pumpkin can be detected, but they're faint. The alcohol is masked exceedingly well, and was not noticeable at all. The spices began to become more pronounced as the beer warmed. Mouthfeel is a touch thin, but not bad overall.

I'm impressed with this beer, since it doesn't try to be a big beer just for the heck of it. It seems like there's a purpose for everything here, which makes it much more interesting. If you enjoy the pumpkin style and want a little extra kick, this is the perfect beer for you.

08-28-2007 15:16:57 | More by BBM
Photo of chimney


3.33/5  rDev -14.4%

22oz bomber

A: very dark amber, almost a brown. poured with a nice head.

S: right away a noticeable spice smell which slowly developed to pumpkin pie. other smells are along the lines of red ale or oktoberfest.

T: light taste of spice that lingers nicely to a long after taste. for as strong as it is the alcohol is well hidden when cold, but slowly becomes noticeable as the beer warms.

M: almost creamy and not overly rich. when warmer the alcohol combines with the spice to leave a nice light burn.

D: very easy to drink, enjoyable as a fall beer alternative to the regular oktoberfests and other red ales.

08-27-2007 02:21:18 | More by chimney
Photo of Slatetank


3.85/5  rDev -1%

picked up a bottle at First Capital Dispensing Co. in York
Poured cold into a goblet.
A - Burnished copper w/ good clarity and a tan head that becomes a ring of foam on the sides of the glass.

S - Pumpkin pie spices are the initial smell. It is hard to pick them out individually, but I would probably say ginger is a dominant one. Nutmeg and the fruitiness of ale yeast are other odors.

M - A gentle malt w/ abundant spice and a sweet finish w/ ample carbonation.

T - A vegetal taste is followed by a bevy of spice and a nuttiness. Caramel sweetness is up front w/ out much flavor of alcohol.

D - A tasty brew, but might be a bit cloying with the sweetness and spice if multiples are attempted. Very tasty spiced pumpkin flavor - Great choice of seasonal.

08-24-2007 15:09:21 | More by Slatetank
Photo of YonderWanderer


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

A: Pours a nice brownish-orange with a little bit of head. Not much retention.

S: Pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, nutmeg, and a hint of alcohol. Pretty inviting overall.

T: The taste matches the smell as all of those flavors converge on top of a nice malty backbone. Not much hops presence, but it's not really to be expected from this style. The pumpkin and spices really shine, and despite being 8% ABV, the alcohol is masked well.

M: Smooth, velvety, good carbonation.

D: This is the first time I've had this, and it's jumped to the top 3 of my favorite pumpkin ales. Really well done.

08-19-2007 13:47:15 | More by YonderWanderer
Photo of Wasatch


4/5  rDev +2.8%

Thanks to MuenchenerKindl for the brew.

Pours a nice clean/clear dark golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice two-finger plus off-white head, nice sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is malty, spicy, and some caramel. The taste is awesome, malty, some nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and some caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, a really tasty Pumpkin Ale, recommended.

07-27-2007 22:02:31 | More by Wasatch
Photo of DavidSeanNJ

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

After browsing my local beer store, I found a couple of these still sitting on the shelf (it's July!) Figured, eh, what the hell. I have had this many times in the fall, both on tap and bottle.

I love this lable. Great cartoonish "king" pumpkin holding court.

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a pint glass.

A- A mildly brown color- think a dark iced tea color with a thin tan head. No lacing on this one and head diminishes with the first few sips.

S- Smell might have been the best part of the beer. Fall flavors and spices- think pumpkin pie, cinnamon, cream, sugar, cloves.

T- Yum. Tastes exactly like it smells! The alcohol is masked beautifully by the strong vanilla and pumpkin flavor. After sitting a while, it wasn't as potent as I remember, but still wonderful nonetheless.

This is probably my favorite pumpkin ale and the best that I have ever had. It takes me back and reminds me of my favorite season of the year. I can't wait till the fall for another batch to come around.


07-13-2007 01:37:36 | More by DavidSeanNJ
Photo of hunteraw


3.55/5  rDev -8.7%

Appearance: Deep orange/garnet in color, good clarity, big head with good retention. Lots of lacing. Really very nice looking.

Smell: Lots of big pumpkin flavor, with spices in the background - ginger being a standout. Hint of brown sugar.

Taste: Acidic pumpkin, toast, caramel. Spice - ginger finish. Aftertaste is interesting - caramel/pumpkin. 8% abv is well-concealed.

Mouthfeel: Medium-body, smooth, carbonation seemed a little light.

Drinkability: You can only really drink one pumpkin beer at a time, but this one isn't a bad one.

03-26-2007 22:59:19 | More by hunteraw
Photo of ClockworkOrange


3.93/5  rDev +1%

Poured from a 22oz. brown bomber bottle into my Dogfish Head shaker "pint" glass. Appears a clear deep amber color with about a finger of off-white foam. Smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and caramel malt. Tastes as good as it smells. The sweet baking spices in the nose are also very dominant in the taste. I know it's been said to death but this is liquid pumpkin pie. Period. Medium in both body and carbonation. Rich and satisfying, I'm content after just one bomber. If you like pumpkin beer, this is one of the best.

03-20-2007 16:32:01 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of flexabull


3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Beer pours a slighty cloudy dark amber color with a small head.

Aromas are quite spicy. A lot of nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon spells coming from this one.

Flavors are dominated by the spices. But there are not many "beer" flavors coming from this one. There is a slight roasted sweet and creamy maltiness on the front, then the flavors settle into the pumpkin flavors of nutmeg and cinnamon. There is a slightly tart dry quality on the finish.

Mouthfell is pretty good. It is a thick and well rounded beer.

Drinkability is pretty good. These pumpkin beers usually seem to just "miss" to me. This is a good beer, but nothing special. Worth a try though.

Thanks for the extra bottle mymrnngjckt.

03-19-2007 03:19:05 | More by flexabull
Photo of mjc410


2.6/5  rDev -33.2%

The pour into my Trois Pistoles glass raises a a thin layer of light tan foam that quickly bubbles away. The slight lace manages to stick a bit. The body is a hazy ruby-copper. The nose has a lot of the usual pumpkin pie spices floating around, and they're definitely leading the pumpkin aroma. The taste is highly spiced, with cinnamon and nutmeg being primary. Again, the pumpkin is mild. The mouth is too carbonated. I've really had much better pumpkin beers.

03-13-2007 02:10:37 | More by mjc410
Photo of bluejacket74


3.95/5  rDev +1.5%

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours an orange/red/copper color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are OK. It smells very spicy, like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and pumpkin. Taste is pretty much the same way it smells, but that's not a bad thing. Mouthfeel is medium, with a good amount of carbonation (not too much) but still going down smooth. Drinkability is good too, it's pretty easy to drink. The alcohol is well hidden. Overall, I think this is a pretty decent pumpkin ale. I'd definitely buy it again.

03-10-2007 00:23:28 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of jameaterblues

New York

4.35/5  rDev +11.8%

From Notes...one of the best labels I have ever seen!

So this is what I think of when I think of pumpkin ale....a pumpkin pie in a glass!
A- Dark red orange amber color with a brown sugar like head...bubbly and translucent.
S-Big Pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice(all spice, nutmeg, cinnamon), even a bready pie crust like aroma...all backed by a nice sweet roasted malt base.
T-Sweet malty body, with light bops that make it surprisingly drinkable....very pumpkin pie....all the you smell can be tasted in this beer from the pumpkin to the the crust...wonderful, and followed by a smooth silky pumpkin finish with long lingering cinnamon....may be a little sweet for some, but I love it.
M/D- Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, and the alcohol is entirely hidden. I look forward to next year!

03-07-2007 20:52:05 | More by jameaterblues
Photo of rohrbachsfan

New York

4.97/5  rDev +27.8%

Appearance: Color was deep reddish amber. Creamy head that reduced quickly.

Smell: Spicy pumpkin, malt, and alcohol.

Taste: Malt and pumpkin pie spiced heavily spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.

Mouthfeel: Rich and creamy. Warming after it goes down.

Drinkability: Excellent. Will purchase again in fall of 2007.

Tried Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale for the first time during the fall of 2006 for my 2006 round of Pumpkin Ale tasting (Shipyard, Saranac, and Weyerbacher). While Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead Ale was the best of the fall 2005 round (when compared against Post Road’s, Blue Moon’s, and Smuttynose’s offerings), this year’s lot of Shipyard’s Pumpkinhead fell a bit short. Saranac’s Pumpkin Ale and Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale were similar in style (versus Shipyard’s which is lighter wheat ale), but the Weyerbacher’s was by far the BEST pumpkin ale I have ever tasted.

02-26-2007 17:15:35 | More by rohrbachsfan
Photo of kpantz


4.7/5  rDev +20.8%

Executive Summary: My hometown brewery, Weyerbacher is one I can always count on to have something interesting in the portfolio. This is the second iteration of the Imperial Pumpkin, and this time we find it older, wiser and even tastier than its predecessor (which was pretty damn good itself). With the 2006 revision, Weyerbacher, in my honest opinion, has justified the image on its label - they are the king of pumpkin ales, hands down. My only request now is that they work on the head retention - but don't mess with the flavor!

Here's last year's review for reference:

Interestingly enough, it's nearly a year to the date I reviewed it the last time around. My only regret is not reviewing it at a time when most are drinking or considering purchasing this beer.

Appearance: Reddish amber pour from the bomber into my Weyerbacher pint glass. Moderate lacing. Head is off-white and creamy to start, but reduces to nothing. Would like at least a lacing to hang around.

Smell: It's coming at me before I even get my nose over the edge of the glass. Nutmeg and clove, with a bready malt aroma just lightly painted with pumpkin. Like last year, it's the spices, not the pumpkin that defines this one.

Taste: Malt-heavy at first, with the nutmeg, cinnamon (didn't capture this flavor last year) and cloves quickly joining the dance. This is, in my honest opinion, the best tasting pumpkin ale available. I don't see any room for improvement here.

Mouthfeel: They did it! The one thing with which I was disappointed last year was the hypercarbonation. Made the thing seem more like an alcoholic pumpkin soda, if you know what I mean. This time, they boldly beat back the brazen bubbles and have a tremendous result on the tongue.

Drinkability: Over and over and over. Not too heavy, and doesn't trapse into "novelty" territory like some other seasonal beers.

02-18-2007 02:12:49 | More by kpantz
Photo of BEERchitect


4.1/5  rDev +5.4%

I'll start off by saying that this is the best pumpkin ale that I have ever had. There is enough real pumpkin fruit flavor and aroma to make me buy-in to the style. A pronounces spiciness (cinnamon, nutmeg) to stimulate the nose, and offers a snap and a bite to the flavor and feel. What makes this beer is a very solid 'beer' base. Malty enough to substantiate the dominant pumkin spice flavors and aromas. The beer remains full and rich throughout without watering or allowing the spices to bite. Finsihes with a clean and challenging spiciness with a hint of spruce hops. Very pleasant and easy-to-drink beer without sacrificing body or character.

01-25-2007 16:39:02 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of rayjay


4.1/5  rDev +5.4%

Just got this in the mail today; much thanks mymrnngjckt! 12 oz bottle with no date, but i know it's from this past fall. Great looking ale; deep reddish brown, with a creamy, fluffy, off-white head. Big nose with pumpkin pie spices and carmelized malts. Creamy texture. Loaded with pumpkins. Spicy with the likes of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, maple sugar, vanilla. Full sized ale body. IBUs maybe in the low 20s, so hops don't play much of a part here. Pumpkin sweetness is dominant in the aftertaste. Man I love the beer and pumpkin combo, a match made in heaven. Great for anyone regardless of beer drinking experience. Cheers!

01-25-2007 00:24:11 | More by rayjay
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4/5  rDev +2.8%

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a deep orangey/brown cloudy color ale with a nice foamy head with average retention and lacing. Aroma of cinnamon and cloves are dominant but some pumpkin is also noticeable. Taste is a well balance mix between cloves and cinnamon with some subtle pumpkin. Body is above average with adequate carbonation and some light warming alcohol. Very interesting take on the style and probably the best pumpkin beer I ever had.

01-22-2007 17:06:43 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of jjayjaye

New York

3.43/5  rDev -11.8%

S - Aroma comes first in this experience. Aggressive pumpkin and spicy cloves.

A - Pours a true medium-dark amber with a light tan colored head that fades to a thin surface layer. Small infrequent bubbles through tiny bits (?) suspended from top to bottom. Not a lot of lacing.

T - This is my second attempt with this one and I'm trying to keep and open mind. The smell and appearance and 'imperial' nature appealed to me, but the taste didn't match-up to what my other senses were telling me.

The taste is not timid. I can't put my finger on the 'big flavor" that i first get, but it quickly moves on to a spicy-clove and that lingers a bit. There is a distinct hop tingle in the mouth when "that flavor" hits. I can only associate it with those little black licorice candies from the sixties that always hit me like "soap".

D - This one's hard for me. I favor something more like Dogfish Head "Punkin' Ale" in this style. I won't be buying it again, but i seriously celebrate the Easton PA creativity on this one. If your attempting to dignify your pumpkin experience then you can't stop 'till you've done this one. Cheers!

01-20-2007 01:44:56 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of OStrungT


3.9/5  rDev +0.3%

This beer pours a slightly clourd orangish brown color, with a thin off white head. The head fades quickly, leaving few laces.

This beer smells mostly of spices. Some cinnamon, and nutmeg. Some cloves are also present. Behind that, I smell some pumpkin aromas.

This beer tastes spicy. The pumpkin, although present, is quite a bit more mild than I would have expected. I mostly taste cloves. Some cinnimon is also present.

This beer goes down smooth, leaving a clovey aftertaste. It is carbonated well for the style.

This beer might not be the best session beer. It is a little overspiced I think.

Overall: Thanks ggaughan for giving me the chance to try this beer.

01-06-2007 01:58:39 | More by OStrungT
Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 2,077 ratings.