1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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.
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: 289 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Imperial Pumpkin Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,459 | Reviews: 977 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of billab914
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Southern Tier pint glass. It poured a dark amber, slightly red color with a thin frothy white head covering the top.

The aroma shows a cinnamon, nutmeg and clove spice mixture to it. The spices seem to dominate the aroma, it's tough to pick out anything else in it.

The taste also shows a lot of the pumpkin pie spice mixture that was found in the aroma. A bit of pumpkin does come through towards the finish. A malty sweetness with some caramel come through as well. A bit of alcohol is present in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is a bit above medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Drinkability is pretty decent, it had some good flavors to it overall. It was definitely a spice forward beer, but they were pretty nicely done. Could have used some more pumpkin flavor and less spice to it though for my tastes.

Photo of goblue3509
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an orangish amber color with a one finger white head which gives way to some lacing. The aroma has a nice pumpkin smell with hints of nutmeg and cinnamon and a slight clove. The taste is of a bread malt backbone with a nice pumpkin flavor along with cinnamon and nutmeg. Not the best pumpkin beer taste but solid. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall its a solid beer and its very drinkable but its not the top pumpkin beer but close.

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

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint

A: Dark Brown with an orange hue in the glass. Inch and a half of head piled on top.

S: Pumpkin, molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lots of clove.

T: Bready malt with hints of pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg. Lots of clove and slight hint of barley on the finish.

M: Light to medium body. I categorize the body this way because I felt the beer had a full mouthfeel when I took a sip but then I felt that the beer thinned out as you held it in your mouth and swallowed. Lots of carbonation and slight touch of alcohol "heat" on the finish.

D: I felt this beer was okay but one was enough for me. I thought the beer smelled like pumpkin pie, but then something about the flavor was not right when I tasted it. I don't mean to say I think the beer was bad just that the clove was too much for me. On a final note abv. 8% but the taste of the alcohol is well hidden. If you like Pumpkin ales this one is worth a try.

Photo of mdfb79
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a somewhat transparent orange-amber color with two inches of off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of cinnamon, spices, pumpkin, graham crackers, fruit, and bready malts.

t - Tastes of pumpkin, bready malts, cinnamon, spices, some dark fruit, and a hint of alcohol.

m - Light to medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A pretty good pumpkin ale that is heavy on the spices. I enjoyed the cinnamon in the smell, but may have liked it a little better if the taste was more pumpkin, or sweeter, than spice. Still a good pumpkin ale I have had before and will have again.

Photo of cmac1705
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. No freshness date.

Vigorous pour builds a finger-thick foamy head that recedes into a nice lace, lasting till the end. An amber, redwood color reminds me of the slightly over-cooked part of the of pie. Powerful spice aroma hits the nose, peppery cinnamon and pie-crust are there with a background of that large orange fruit. Smells like autumn heaven. Fairly thin on the palate. Buttery with a slight pumpkin sweetness. Alcohol is warm, but not burning. Highly drinkable.

Bottom line: Imperial and pumpkin just seems right. This brew's bark may be bigger than its bite, but it will still gnaw your knuckles off.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally put the 3.50 down for a bottle

A - Pours a nice dark amber with an inch of tan head that forums a nice lace. Nice.

S - Well on the smell I can mostly smell all-spice and cinnamon with a very faint if any smell of nutmeg. Hope it doesn't taste hoppy...

T - Wow am I impressed! A very solid brew that starts with a cinnamon amber body and takes it to the next level with some sweet allspice body and finishes wet and crisp with no bitterness, all sweet. Loved it!

M - Medium bodied actually. Full yet ABV is well masked.

D - I may just pick up a four pack. It's quite good and a great representation of the style. AND IT'S NOT HOPPY! JOY!

Photo of bsp77
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Very cloudy lava-like reddish-orange with an internal glow. Thin head and light lacing lines.

Smell: Smells like sweet pumpkin pie with some drying spice aspects of cinnamon and nutmeg. Fantastic aroma.

Taste: Sweet malts reminiscent of an Old Ale (toffee, cherry, musty earthiness) with some rich pumpkin undertones. Spicy finish with cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and hops; still the sweetness carries through to the finish a little.

Feel: Low carbonation with a thick and chewy body. Warming and fairly smooth.

Drinkability: Overall, it seems like a nice Old Ale that has been enhanced and elevated by pumpkin and spices. The end result is a very strong Pumpkin Ale that simply entices me to drink more.

Photo of begforme4484
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear yet dark copper orange color. Light white head with minimal lacing.

Smells lightly of pumpkin pie. Cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.

Spiciness up front on the palate followed by mild pumpkin spice flavors.

Less flavor, but more drinkable than Pumking.

Still the lesser of the 2.

Photo of grizzly700
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a little darker than most pumpkin ales I have tasted.. Smells of cinnamon and nutmeg are present.. Smells just like pumpkin pie is being baked..Taste is more cinnamon and spices than it is off pumpkin..Can taste the cinnamon aftertaste but it is not terrible. Could probably drink a couple before getting filled up..A great beer may have to get a case of this next year if not better than the ST Pumking I am picking up Saturday..

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

Hazy amber with a slight orange glow, there's not much of a head to begin with and it disappears immediately. Lace? You need a head to leave lace, so why would you ask such a thing?

It smells of pumpkins, duh. But not overly so. There's a hint of the requisite pumpkin pie spices, but these aren't overdone either. But it does smell overly sweet and that's not from the malt.

It has everything in the taste as you get in the smell, but the sweetness is not nearly as bad. In fact it comes off as caramel. It's still sweet, but not cloying. The mouthfeel is medium, but a little oily, but definitely cleaner than any other syrupy pumpkin ales I've had.

The key to this successful pumpkin ale is that they don't overdo the pumpkin pie sensation others seem to like to produce..yeah I'm talking about you DFH. This still hasn't won me over to the style though.

Photo of milkbaby9
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into Samuel Adams sensory glass. 2 finger off white head reduces down to a light cap of small bubbles. Deep clear amber color which is a beauty!

Aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg, voila: pumpkin pie, cloves, and a beery-ness (the malt?) just pokes through. Tastes like pumpkin pie with all the spices and pumpkin coming through the flavor with the malt underlying it all like pie crust. Light bitterness expresses itself at the end to prove this is beer.

Medium carbonation is nice, and medium low body. 8% ABV booziness is hidden well. I pretty much don't care for many fruit beers, so I enjoyed this much more than I expected too. Probably wouldn't be too interested in having a second bottle in one sitting though, maybe unless it was Thanksgiving and this was the only beer sitting around. It paired really nicely with good sharp ginger snap cookies for an after-dinner desert.

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

In general, I have no use for pumpkin beers, but this is a lovely fall brew and I recommend - even if you don't think you do pumpkin beers.

Pours a rich, clear amber with a vast fluffy, flowery head. The aroma is sharp and warm and spicy, more like a mulled cider than anything else. There is cinnamon and clove and a high, crisp ginger aroma. The flavor is round and malty and spicy - clove, nutmeg, and ginger. There is a spicy cinnamon burn on the finish that coats the tongue. There is a little sourish edge that hurts the finish a bit, but still this feels like fall. The mouthfeel is surprisingly creamy.

Photo of zoolzoo
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On tap @ Prime 16, New Haven CT

A: Looks especially warm & inviting. Darker copper core, and mellows out into a beautiful orange hue around the edges of the glass. Plenty of head, good retention.

S: Fall spices galore....

T: Follows the nose. The impression of pumpkin is communicated primarily with the heavy use of fall spices. Nutmeg is most notable. Presence of alcohol is noticable and a bit off putting late sip.

M: Medium bodied, well carbonated.

D: I dont mind the onslaught of spice, but the boozy twang affects drinkability in regards to this particular style. There is plenty of flavor here to hide 8%, so Im a bit surprised.

Photo of puboflyons
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 edition. Sampled on September 7, 2010. The pour is a much darker than expected copper-amber tone with a thin but long lasting off-white head ring. The aroma is powerful with pumpkins and fall baking spices like nutmeg, coriander, and clove. The taste emphasizes the spices over the pumpkin but there is also a molasses-like dark sweetness going on. A very vibrant brew.

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

Beer appears almost garnet red with a nice, foamy head that dissipates a little quickly. A quick whiff gives up the spicy nutmeg and cloves but they're a little buried under a Worcestershire sauce hint.

Good mouthfeel, though a little foamy, the spices add a faint tingle.

Very tasty though, immediate spice followed by malt and pumpkin giving way to a strong ale bite at the end. Very pleasing aftertaste, heavy on the cinnamon and malt.

For sure it's a strong beer- 8.0 ABV- you'll know it. Not something I think I could drink a whole lot of but me enjoying a pint on the porch when the leaves start changing is almost a certainty.

Photo of Agold
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a deep ruby red with about a finger of just off white head. It recedes a little bit leaving a ring around the outside of the glass. It smells strongly of cloves, with some of the malt and pumpkin sweetness coming through. The other spices that are used (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.) don't seem to come through as much. The beer tastes like Halloween, a holiday mainly composed of cloves, nutmeg, and pumpkin with malt, and a hint of cinnamon. Unfortunately the mouthfeel comes up pretty thin for me. It has good drinkability, but would probably be better if I had had it in October or November instead of the beginning of September (I won't fault the beer because I did not have the good sense to wait to drink it).

Photo of steve8robin
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this prior and loved it. Let's do an official review. 12 oz bottle, 2010 brew...

A: Super deep golden copper with a thick 1 and a half inch tan head that fades at a decent pace. Very good.

S: Sweet pumpkin upfront blended with some nice cinnamon and some creaminess in the mix. Almost vague hints of some brown sugar. Decent.

T: Awesomely smooth pumpkin blended with some creamy almost eggnog type flavors. Some cinnamon bite on the backend. Also in the mix comes some nice spices and a slight hint of pineyness. Good.

M: Great carbonation feel with a nice medium body. Amazing here. Perfect!

D: This one goes down very, very easy. Awesome.

All in all, I like this brew. One of the best pumpkin beers I have had to date. I'd say if you want a good pumpkin beer, then definitely grab one of this and give it a try.

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

A: A nice cooper/autumn color with a finger thick off-white head with some lacing down the glass.

S: A pumpkin scent with some hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and lots of other spicy characteristics. Also slight hints of alcohol hang around the pumpkin scent.

T: Very spicy up front taste with some nice pumpkin flavor. Hints of cinnamon and nutmeg are present throughout, also some alcohol in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D: A nice smooth Imperial Pumpkin, easy to drink but I wouldn't have more than a couple. A solid pumpkin ale.

Photo of aepb1
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Copper with a small white head and decent retention

S- Pumpkin! Spices in there too after you get by all that pumpkin

T- Ale maltiness... spices come through too here

M- Nothiner special, medium bodied and ok carbonation

D- Nose with the style are great combinations!!

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

Although I would never refuse this beer if offered one, it is disappointing. It has lots of pumpkin ale goodness - spices and things, and they all come out nicely in the aroma and taste. But since the ale part is pretty strong it could have used more pumpkin and spice taste - they get overpowered by the booziness.

This is not a beer you will want to drink a bunch of. One is enough (then on to something else). It definitely grows on you but I will seek a lighter pumpkin ale (in my quest for the best pumpkin brew).

Ammendment - my quest never seems to find a better pumpkin ale. This is the one for me!

Photo of jera1350
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, is a deep ruby color with a thick creamy tan head. A trace of lace.

The nose smells very much like sweet and sugary bubble gum with some pumpkin pie spice coming in at the end. Can't wait to give it a whirl.

I have some mixed feelings on the taste. It starts out with lots of spice. Picking up a lot of nutmeg and cinnamon. As it develops, more of the pumpkin is evident, but then at the end is a bit of a musty, stale pumpkin flavor and a pretty strong spice taste. I will say, it does taste very much like a pumpkin muffin. Not real sweet though, just moderately.

A bit of rough carbonation, but nothing horrible. Medium bodied.

An enjoyable and well done take on a pumpkin beer. This is probably the spiciest pumpkin beer out there and I would put this in my top two to date. Really well hidden eight percent abv.

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

Nice head retention, foaming to an inch of white, lasting quite a while. Burnt reddish copper, a bit hazy.
Aromas are fabulous, great mix of spice and malt. Nutmeg and cloves with a touch of Cinnamon and baked pumpkin gourd.
Through the spice some caramel malt sweetening, but hard to grab that with the spices, not overdone by any means.

Malty and sweet upfront with spices of clove and burnt Cinnamon through the middle. Nutmeg finishes up and lingers with more baked pumpkin, touch of woody Cinnamon stick and mild hop bitters.
Feeling a slick and mildly carbbed.

Not too much spice, it is a sharper, less sweet version though with more robust flavors then somthing like pumpking. Drinkability is very high and abv is nearly undetectable.

Photo of Vaison
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured chilled from a 12oz. bottle into a goblet.

Pours an amber color producing about a half inch of head before quickly dissipating. The smell is what makes this beer. I don't quite sense the cinnamon nearly as much as I smell the nutmeg and cloves. It immediately reminds me of Autumn and the smells of the upcoming holidays. It tastes like...well, pumpkin pie in a glass. It is loaded with spices and it has a huge cinnamon, nutmeg and clove taste and is fairly well carbonated. It is very light and goes down very easily. I couldn't drink this all year but it certainly fits into the Autumn season.

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

Continuing my pumpkin onslaught. I love this season

A- pours an orange copper body with a nice head of foam that quickly disappears. Really screams pumpkin

S- a fantastic combination of spices, nutmeg, brown sugar, and a real strong presense of pumpkin. There is some alcohol scent at the end. the consistancy of a pumpkin brew is completely satisfactory for me!

T- just as delicious! The pumpkin and spices are fantastic!

M- carbonated and creamy

D- this is a very good pumpkin ale that is well balanced and delicious

Photo of blivingston1985
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As far as pumpkin beers go Weyerbacher, in usual fashion, make this one big. Dark amber. Good retention. Nice cream lace that looks to last. Nutmeg, cinnamon and a touch of alcohol in the nose. Taste is good. Pretty standard, but the cardoman adds a little something different to this one. Kind of unique. Alcochol is also present on the tongue. Pretty well blends with the malt and spices. Very drinkable. Bubbly tingle on the mouthfeel. Finishes a little dry. Nice.

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