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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

2,493 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 2,493
Reviews: 986
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 129
Gots: 304 | FT: 3
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: 2,493 | Reviews: 986
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.

Photo of dspoonrt
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This pumpkin ale is red amber or perhaps a dark orange pumpkin color. There is a good amount of head for a pumpkin ale; it dissipates quickly. The carbonation is visible and above average for a pumpkin ale. Clarity is somewhat sacrificed by streams of bubbles and a little haze.

Smell: At first whiff, I get some pumpkin and malt sweetness, followed by a wave of pumpkin pie spice. Weyerbacher uses cardamom in this beer, which is a pleasant surprise in a pumpkin ale.

Taste: Like the nose, there is some pumpkin flavor and a lot of sweetness from caramel and other malts. There is also a hint of alcohol, but it's not at all overpowering. Again, there is a lot of flavor from the spices and some hops that add a slight bitterness. By and large, this is one balanced and tasty pumpkin ale.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body, there is a building tingling feeling on my palate from the carbonation, spices, and bitterness. It's quite lovely. A slightly syrupy quality from the alcohol and sweetness adds to the complexity of the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: The imperial pumpkin drinks smoothly, considering the strength and amount of spice. It's very addictive - one of the best pumpkin ales out there.

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

Pours a clear, fire-ember red with a thick beige head that fades but leaves behind nice lacing.

Pumpkin, cinnamon sticks, nutmegs and hints of fresh pine hops on the nose. Taste follows with pumpkin meat (not sweet canned pumpkin taste), nutmeg, cinnamonm clove, white bread malts and fresh pine malts.

Mouthfeel is medium, slightly creamy with average carbonation. The ABV% is hidden very well, almost non detectable.

This is a nice pumpkin all, no single taste or aroma is overbearing and it's well balanced. Probably the best pumpkin ale i've had this season.

Photo of PremiumPete83
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a very dark amber reddish brown color with a nice head that disappears pretty quickly.

Smell - Pumpkin is pretty pronounced. Slight smell of nutmeg and cinnamon behind the pumpkin smell.

Taste - Dry hoppy taste up front turns into a dry doughy middle with slight carmel overtones. The end finishes with the taste of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg overshadowed by the taste of pumpkin.

Mouthfeel - Light body.

Drinkability - For an imperial pumpkin ale weighing in at 8%, it's pretty damn drinkable! The taste is OK, though. I'd drink this one again, but If I had a choice I'd have to pick other pumpkin offerings over this one.

Photo of scottyb88
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a dark orange-brown with off white head that fades fairly quick to a thin cap

S- a nice blend of spices with nothing obvious sticking out; faint pumpkin meat; caramel toasted flavors

T- really nice and flavorful; the spices aren't hiding and there isn't much bitterness at the end; the spices taste authentic and not overpowering and really well blended; pumpkin flavor is there at the end of the sip

M- slightly fuller than most pumpkin ales with a great aftertaste

D- a great pumpkin ale that may get to me after awhile; the style in general has medium drinkability for me; alcohol is really well hidden and for this pumpkin it's the opposite of most in the style...the taste is more pronounced and bolder than the smell

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

Review from notes taken 8/7/10

On tap at Als of Hampden. Pours a clear amber color with a finger of tan head that retains fairly decent and sticks in fine patches about the glass.

The aroma is full of a scent that is very autumn air freshener-like. Spices are evident like cinnamon, nutmeg and some light caramel maltiness.

The taste of this brew is drying with a spiced flavor that exaggerates the dryness that just clings to the tongue. Flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel malt that for a moment seems a bit sweet before turning dry into the finish.

This is a medium bodied brew that is moderately carbonated. This isn't my favorite style of beer but I still keep trying them since it's that time of the year.

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
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
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
3/5  rDev -22.9%
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
3.18/5  rDev -18.3%
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
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
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
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
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
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
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
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
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
3.42/5  rDev -12.1%
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
4.2/5  rDev +8%
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
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
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
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
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!!!

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Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 2,493 ratings.