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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

1,983 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,983
Reviews: 937
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 78
Gots: 114 | 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: 1,983 | Reviews: 937 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jredner


4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is huge. Nutmeg and Cloves dominates, but the other spices are there in the background. Reddish/orange with a huge fluffy white head. Wow this really does have some body to it. I always thought the problem with pumpkin ales is that it makes you think of pumpkin pie, which is creamy and thick, and all the beers are not. This does indeed taste like slice of pumpkin pie...complete with whip cream and you even get some bready pie crust in the finish.

I think this could even be creamier and still be very appealing to non-pumpkin beer drinkers, but stillt his is far and away the best pumpkin beer I have ever had and also the most "PUMPKIN" tasting.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2006 16:01:57 | More by Jredner
Photo of bultrey

New York

3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

OK, I actually like this beer. I didn't think I did the firs time I had it, but it's grown on me. Cloudy copper brown, good inital head that recedes quickly. Smells very sweet, like honeyed, spiced, pumkpin pie, or maybe even a little artificial like one of those holiday candles. Not awful though. Bam -- the spices really hit you hard up front, with the pungecny of the clove and nutmeg packing the biggest wallop. You don't get a while lot of earthiness from pumpkin, but you do get alot of sugar and therefore alcohol and sweetness. Really velvety smooth mouthfeel. It's an after-dinner beer, make no mistake, big and malty, and heavily spiced. I wouldn't want more than the 22 oz. bottle I had in a sitting, and probably would prefer about 10 oz. But it was good. If you like spiced beers.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2006 21:13:01 | More by bultrey
Photo of AlexJ

North Carolina

4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like liquid pumpkin, amber orange with a thin, but dense tan head that leaves very little lace.

Aroma is an explosion of fresh pumpkin pie notes, warm spices, vanilla, scorched caramel malts, brown sugar, and pumpkin.

Flavor has a great caramel and toffee malt character pumped up with perfectly subtle cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, and vanilla notes. The pumpkin flavor really stands out which really makes this one feel authentic.

Body is above medium, with coarse carbonation and a creamy. rich texture. Definately one of the best pumpkin ales out there.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2005 18:34:50 | More by AlexJ
Photo of nortmand


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

Pours brilliant amber with a small white head.

Smell is total ginger. Also some nutmeg and cinnamon notes.

Huge ginger flavor up front. Ends very bitter. Hops or spice resins? Very nice huge fall flavor either way. Leaves a slightly sour aftertaste typical of spiced beers.

Medium bodied and well carbonated, a good beer, but more of a nightcap than a "drinking beer."

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2005 02:15:59 | More by nortmand
Photo of malty


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

Pours a dark bronze, fire thorn orange in color with a healthy & sturdy 1 1/2" dense head that remains all the way down.

Scents are full of fresh cinnamon, clove (pumpkin of course) & nutmeg. There's faint warmth in the nose from the ethanol, but only to the 'trained' nose, that is.

Flavors are scrumptiously full of the aforementioned scents with a hearty malty backbone. The scents and flavors of this ale are definitely over-the-top, but yummy none-the-less. The alcohol (8.5%) is hidden quite nicely.

Mouthfeel is very velvety smooth. Full bodied with a long lasting spicy, but malty sweet finish.

Drinkability is good given the girth of this arsenal seasonal ale. I couldn't put more than one of these bombers away in one sitting though.

Overall a fantastic pumpkin ale to share amongst good friends sitting next to the fireplace. Segues perfectly with the winter/X-Mas seasonals also. A cheek warmer for sure. Very, very nice.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2005 04:52:23 | More by malty
Photo of BadBadger

New York

3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pumpkin ale pours a nice copper color. The head was descent but did not last very long. The smell was pleasant, very nicely spiced. The taste is intially enjoyable but the spices eventually become a bit oveverwhelming. This is a rather good pumkin ale worth giving a try. Enjoy!

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2005 02:55:04 | More by BadBadger
Photo of deejaydan


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

Pours a pumpkiny color, with a good head and decent head retention. Taste and aroma is up front spice in your face, with some pumpkin flavor there too. Nutmeggy and clovey. Alcohol is well hidden and the malt and hops play a background support to the spices. I like this beer, but I'm not sure if it's all that "imperial" of a pumpkin ale. Thanks to Pezoids for the chance top try this!

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2005 03:13:58 | More by deejaydan
Photo of Billolick

New York

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

Bomber bottle, w/o freshness dating. Pours dark almond and medium hazy, typical tan head and average lacing. make sure to let this one warm up abit. the nose and fall/pumpkin flavors need some time to roll out. Medium spice in the nose and palate. I'd much rather smell and taste hops and malt in my brew, so this style ever has been one on my favorites, however, this one has some added alcohol punch and the flavors are fairly well rounded and meshed with the rest of the beer. Worth a try if youre looking for a fall themed brew. Might be decent with Thanksgiving dishes.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2005 15:28:26 | More by Billolick
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer poured into the glass slightly hazy with an almost tan and frothy head which rose tall and fell very slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was cinnamon, clove and allspice. Mainly a collaboration of pumpkin pie spices. The clove and cinnamon spices were very high and could be sensed from across the room. The spices were so high in the beer that no pumpkin could be picked out.

The flavor was vegetal with a belgian yeast spiciness that was a bit unnerving. There was little in the way of flavor to accompany the aromatic punch. The flavor could have been any low alcohol belgian beer that contained a slight cinnamon and clove and no real interest or character. As the beer warmed the flavor became more sour and the clove flavor more intense.

The finish was dry with a lasting clove flavor too long into the aftertaste. The body was medium and the carbonation was on the low side. Not a great pumpkin ale, and an even less appealing imperial pumpkin ale. Good aroma, but lacking in every other aspect.

22 ounce bottle. $4.79 at OUAV.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2005 21:17:43 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

3.05/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark orangey to light brown body, plenty of carbonation streams, topped by a third of a pint glass of dark beige foam, crackling with life. "It's Alive !" ...hey, it's Halloween. Decays into a lingering table top.

Heavy spiced nose, with an overpowering dose of nutmeg and cinnamon. So much spice, it's difficult to smell any "normal" beer scents. Not bad, definitely different.

Starts off with a swift malty sweetness, too sweet for me, and while it seems to have a rapidly rise hop presence to account for a sudden shift toward balance, the taste of the hops is engulfed by the spices. Does get a true pumpkin pie taste in the middle of all this. Finishes with a dry, powdery spice note. It's all somewhat a roller coaster ride, rather than smooth sequeways.

Ok mouthfeel. Ok drinkability - the spices aren't TOO dry.

While not as bad as some of my BA Buddies made out, it did not convince me that pumpkin ale is anything other than a Halloween night novelty.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2005 03:34:59 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of BuckeyeNation


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

Candlelight bright, glowing, grinning jack o' lantern orange with butternut edges. The orangish beige cap is both dense and creamy, leading to a leisurely departure. I love the contrasting colors. The foam looks just tacky enough to lay down a respectable amount of lace, although the head hasn't fallen far enough for me to be certain. Quality all around.

The powerfully aromatic nose is heavy on pumpkin and is absolutely bursting with pungent spice. The label indicates that cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and cloves are present. The warm spiciness of cinnamon and the distinctiveness of cardamom are especially evident. You have to like the style in order to like the aroma on Imperial Pumpkin Ale. I do, on both counts.

It was bound to happen. Styles that no one had previously thought to imperialize are now starting to be imperialized (doubled, tripled... whatever). I've been waiting for a jacked-up pumpkin ale and Weyerbacher has kindly obliged. There are no surprises on the palate. It pretty much hits the mark, pretty much tastes like what one would expect from a full-throttle beer of this style. Oh yeah, it's good.

The sturdy malt backbone provides plenty of sweet, toasted caramel flavor. The star of the show, however, is oven-baked chunks of candied gourd rolled in a potpourri of pie spices and splashed with pumpkin-infused brandy. Thankfully, it works. I can imagine a better beer along these lines, but this one is pretty damn good. If you despise pumpkin ales and big beer for the sake of big beer, steer clear.

Warming brings out no real changes. At first I thought the spices were becoming more bold, but I think they're just building up on my tongue as I drink. The 8% ABV, while not completely camouflaged, is well-integrated and is easily managed. The mouthfeel is medium-full and is firm rather than lush or velvety. In other words, it fits the rest of the beer very well.

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale won't be everyone's cup of pumpkin juice, but it's mine. I applaud the willingness of the brewery to aim high and to give those of us interested in this style something to chew on. Pushing the envelope sometimes results in nothing more than paper cuts. In this case, it works. Thanks to BeerBeing for the bomber. Happy Halloween.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2005 16:29:56 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of sinistrsam


3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was a dark amber beer with little head and moderate lacing. The spiciness of the aroma immediately gotme;hints of clove, cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg. The mouthfeel was watery and bland. I have to be honest, the taste was disappointing; the flavor was mild at best; bitter hoppiness rounded out what started as pure spice. Maybe I need to sample more pumpkin ales, but I wouldn't recommend this to anyone wanting to try one for the first time.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2005 03:28:48 | More by sinistrsam
Photo of asabreed

New York

4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A bomber split between a buddy and myself.

Appearance: Slight hazy and light orange / brown. Decent head that fades slightly quickly.

Smell: Tons of good stuff: cloves, cinnamon, sweet malt, slight vanilla, a lot of nutmeg, some pepper. Where's the pumpkin? I guess it's more the notion of all the spices in pumpkin pie. Not overly spiced, but very balanced and awesomely aromatic.

Taste: At first the spiciness comes through, then it goes into some malt sweetness, and then it finishes slightly dry with some hop oil. Though it's heavily spiced, I dig that, so if you don't you may want to take note before you try it. Where's the alcohol? Beautifully hidden.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean, slightly creamy, medium carbonation, on the medium side with the body.

Drinkability: I really really dig this beer. The alchol is extremely well-hidden, especially for 8%. It makes no sense to me, but it's great nonetheless. Great for fall or winter, and I kind of want to get a case of this. Definitely pick up some if you see it to try, especially if you're a pumpkin ale fan.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2005 03:15:48 | More by asabreed
Photo of feloniousmonk


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

Very hazed, deep amber/ orange hue, excellent settlement of foam on top...nice looking...

Aroma is sweet and vegetal, spicy, with the usual suspects, cinnammon, cardamon, ginger, just a touch,..very nice, I like it...

Rich, full mouthfeel, abundant play on the palate, very hefty in the mouth...I like it...the alcoholic level makes it an "Imperial" Pumpkin Ale, but beyond that the flavor makes it ever-so drinkable....the various spices and the pumpkinny taste makes it ever-so worthwhile...

yumm...very good...

And, thanks to BlitheringIdiot, ...Beer is Good, Happy Pumpkin Spice Beering!!!

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2005 04:42:44 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of JasonStrauss


3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Brown bottle with no freshness date. The evil pumpkin on the label portends the moderately high 8% abv.

Appearance: Copper/orange and just bit cloudy/hazy. Good head upon pouring, but dissipated to a thin layer around the sides of the glass.

Smell: Cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and (per the label) cardamom, but I have no idea what that spice smells like. :) I got most of the aroma after pouring, before the head dissipated. Afterward, a more malty aroma pushed through, as there wasn't enough head retention to capture the various spices.

Taste: Spicy, most notably from the cloves and nutmeg, but with a malty, cinnamon backbone. The finish is pleasantly smooth, with that malty, cinnamon flavor lingering. Not bad.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, and medium-bodied. The cloves and nutmeg, combined with sufficient carbonation add a little zing to the middle. Slightly dry finish.

Drinkability & Notes: This is a good pumpkin ale and compares favorably to Dogfish Punkin' Ale. I'd like to have these side-by-side for a real comparison, but I think I prefer the DFH just a bit more. Definitely a drinkable brew, though. I'd get this again.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2005 00:20:49 | More by JasonStrauss
Photo of BitterBrian


3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Burnt orange in color, poured with very little head that soon disappeared. Very tasty. The spices were evident (especially the cloves) and the pumpkin taste prevailed. Maybe I'm to familiar with the balance of the DFH Punkin Head because this was just a bit washed out. Still as stated below, it is very drinkable for such a high ABV pumpkin ale. This was probably my second favorite Pumpkin Ale this season.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2005 03:01:29 | More by BitterBrian
Photo of cubedbee


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

Pours a bright reddish orange with a thick creamy tan head and decent retention. Smell is very strong and very nice, with the nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger pumpkin spices all coming through nicely, with just a hint of pumpkin as well. Where the pumpkin is barely detectable in the nose, it really jumps out and asserts itself in the flavor, with a very spicey finish full of the aforementioned spices and white pepper. Medium bodied with a very smooth and dry mouthfeel. This is one of the best pumpkin ales I've had, a little spicey at times, but definitely one I'd have again.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2005 16:49:52 | More by cubedbee
Photo of Gueuzedude


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

Pours a brilliantly clear, deep amber color with a frothy pale tan colored head. The aroma is strongly of pumpkin spice, it jumps out of my glass as I pour this beer; a mix of nutmeg (which dominates), cinnamon, all spice, ginger and a bit of white pepper. The aroma is quite sweet as well. The taste is fairly sweet, yet still remains light on the palate, but finishes with a spicy dryness. The beer actually finishes with a bit of pumpkin meat flavor as well; a sort of vegetal note that also adds to the perceived dryness in the finish. The beer is definitely spicy with notes of nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon. There is a slight acidity here as well, which is interesting, sort of a mix between tart plum and squash character.

I definitely like this better than Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin beer, but it really does not seem like anything more than a supped up version of that beer, a tad more spice, more malt sweetness (which gives this a much better balance), and perhaps a bit of actual pumpkin character. All these go to making this a better beer than Buffalo Bill's, but I would like to see more focus on the actual pumpkin character.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2005 05:31:46 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of scooter231

New York

4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A lovely concoction lives within this very cool looking bottle. Picked it up, in fact, mostly because of the label- the pumpkin quite rocks. And the contents certainly didn't disappoint.

It's a lovely rusty color, slightly hazy, with a white poofy head and lacing. Smells spicy, citrusy, and, well, pumpkiny. Tastes good, too. Pumpkiny without being overly sweet. In fact, this reminds me quite a bit of a good winter warmer- with a touch of pumpkiny sweetness in the background. I'd prefer this over most winter warmers I've had- a tasty spicy blend.

Mouthfeel is awesome- chewy, full, bubbly- just really alive on the tongue. Highly drinkable- a bit sweet after a few, but the first couple are easy to get down- too easy.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2005 03:41:04 | More by scooter231
Photo of ommegangpbr

New York

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

Hurray Weyerbacher!
The Pumpkin King on the bottle is mad cool.
For an 8% brew (so the brewery's site says) the alcohol is well used.
Smells sweeter than it tastes. You can detect it but it serves to wake up the spice melange in here (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and clove).
I'm enjoying said spice blend... the nutmeg is well used and the clove makes for a pleasurable texture.
I don't see why the reviews of this haven't been more positive.
I'm going to give this a positive review!
All Hail the Imperial Pumpkin!
Go Hail.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2005 03:26:04 | More by ommegangpbr
Photo of whartontallboy

New York

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

I'm the first to admit I was really excited when I heard this was getting released. Another good local making a pumpkin ale? Fantastic! Beer was not really too far on either side of my expectations.

Pours out a deep copper-orange clear color with a moderate white fizzy head. Didn't hold particularly well, and it looked somewhat still in the glass after a few minutes.

Smell is quite nice, with lots of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices. In particular the cinnamon and cloves came through pretty clearly. There was a tiny twinge of nutmeg in there, too.

Flavor slips up a tad. It's not cloyingly sweet, and I don't think it's over-spiced. It's just kind of boring. The spices don't read as clearly on the tongue as they do in the nose, so it just kind of comes off as a mess of nutmeg and cinnamon with a slight pumpkin flavor on the back end. Tiny bitterness in the finish, but not mouch. Thin and dry in the mouth.

Overall: Certainly in the upper half of the ten or so pumpkin ales I've had this year, and I appreciate the stab at something a little more muscular in the style. Could use a bit less spice and a bit more pumpkin, though.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2005 18:33:04 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of guinness33

New Jersey

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

Most people seem to be on the fence with this one, however, I quite enjoyed it, finding it to be one of the better, although not amongst the best, pumpkin ales that I have sampled.

It pours avery nice deep amber colour with an ample off-white head that leaves virtually no residue on the glass but lingers for a short while before dissolving away.

The smell is sweet and spicy. Cinnamon, some cloves and a decent amount of nutmeg are certainly present here. Pumpkin is noted, although it is masked somewhat by the spices. Regardless, the aroma is quite nice overall.

The flavor is almost a reverse of the aroma. While all that is noted above is present, the pumpkin flavour dominates here with the spices taking a bit of a back seat (although not by much as they are all quite prevalent still). There is a bit of tartness here as well and a nice alcohol warmth at the finish.

Overall, this was quite the enjoyable brew. Would I crack open more than one in a night? Maybe, but probably not (with that said, there's probably no pumpkin ale that I would often drink four 12 oz bottles of in one night...which is obviously just about the equivalent of two of these bombers). Would I go back to this one in the autumn months? You bet. Give it a try and enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2005 01:41:14 | More by guinness33
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear orange / copper color with a huge fluffy 3" head. Some spotty lacing develops through the drink. The aroma is over the top, as plenty of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves are easily detectable while your nose is not even near the glass. The flavor is a bit of a letdown, as the spices are way too dominating. Same spices listed in the aroma, and add a some raisins, pepper, and alcohol. Very mild bitterness, and the pumpkin flavor is weak in the big picture.

The mouthfeel is lightly crisp and smooth at the start and finish. The finish is long on the spice. The drinkability is down as the overwhelming spiciness tires your tastebuds. Looks great, smells great, but goes downhill from there.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2005 11:48:56 | More by Gavage
Photo of GeoffFromSJ

New Jersey

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

A decent pumpkin ale. Like pretty much every single pumpkin ale I've ever tasted, there isn't much underlying pumpkin taste. Pumpkin pie spices are used to give the illusion of a pumpkin taste. That's just the nature of the style.

A slight bitterness somewhere mixed in. Not sure if it is hops or some other taste. But whatever it is, it prevents this beer from being cloying, which happens a lot in this style.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2005 23:10:01 | More by GeoffFromSJ
Photo of weeare138


3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a copper color with a lush ivory head that slowly fades into a small film. Lots of streaky lacing to be seen. Tiny amounts of carbonation slowly rise to the top.
Smell is of a heavy dosage of spicey cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and scented pumpkin candles.
Taste is a bit overkill of spices with a tiny bit of pumpkin coming through. The spices are nice but way too much to handle.
Mouthfeel is very rich...very rich. Bready and very spicy. Spiciness lasts well after the swallow in this one...perhaps too long.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2005 14:41:26 | More by weeare138
Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,983 ratings.