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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

2,492 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,492
Reviews: 986
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 129
Gots: 303 | 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: 2,492 | Reviews: 986
Photo of JRed
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours reddish-pale amber in body topped by creamy off-white head. Smells of spices, nutmeg, cinnamon, burnt pumpkin pie crust, and booze. Flavors of spice that leans towards cinnamon, burnt sugars, cloves, pumpkin, booze, mouthful of spice towards the end. Heavy in body with medium carbonation. An imperial pumpkin that is too big for its own good. Like a spoonful of cinnamon, this beer closes up the throat a bit. All frosting and no pie.

Photo of FuzzyGuy84
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Deep red/amber color, but completely transparent. Nice, even carbonation and a dense, coffee ice cream head.

S - This is EXACTLY what I want a pumpkin beer to smell like. Tons of fall spices balanced with sweet malt and a bit of hops at the end.

T - An incredibly accurate representation of the smell. Balanced, complex - pumpkin-y and strong but not super sweet.

For me, this is the pumpkin beer that all others are measured against. A true feat.

Photo of bronco94
3.37/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - dark amber/orange with an offwhite head that fades very quickly and leaves no lacing. I thought my pour style was the cause for lack of head, but after pouring again quite vigorously, it still didn't generate much head. Color/body - 4, head - 3, so A = 3.5

S - very malty and sweet combined with a fall/pumpkin spiciness, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin are present

T - in between sweet and spicy but with much less pumpkin flavor than I'd hoped.

M - good mouthfeel, slightly syrupy, moderate carbonation

D - once this 4pk is finished, I'll be done with this until next year if I decide to try it again. One bottle per sitting is enough for me. There isn't enough pumpkin to go with the spice, or there's too much spice to go with the hint of pumpkin. Worth a try, but this pumpkin ale didn't exactly blow me away.

Photo of Lolli1315
3.23/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Amber color with less than a finer of off white head. Head holds decently, but becomes a slight bit patchy. Lacing is decent as well.

S- A lot of sweet malt followed by the expected pumpkin pie spices. Spices are nice, but seem to cover up some of the base beer that isn't all that great. Caramel comes through along with some bready notes, but nothing great.

T- Disappointed with the taste as the pumpkin pie spices that comes through seem simply a cover up. The base beer lacks the complexity of a good amber as bready flavors come through, but the rest of the flavors seem halfheartedly expressed.

M- Smooth mouthfeel with a certain amount of crispness to it. Medium light body.

D- Not one that I kept reaching for, and by the time I was finished I can't say that I was sorry I did.

Notes: Had this on tap a couple of days earlier and it seemed much better then but unfortunately I didn't get a review down.

Photo of boomer31
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a very pretty golden transparent color with a thin white head.

S - Cinnamon, clove and nutmeg all the way thru. Unlike many pumpking ales, this is not over the top in the nose

T - The same flavors come thru in taste that were in the nose. A subdued pumpkin flavor in the back with a lingering clove presence. I like the taste as opposed to some of the other examples available as this is not as overwhelming in spice

M - a nice thin high carbed ale. The clove leaves a lingering spice that is quite nice

D - Not sure I could have more than one of these but it is much more palatable than other examples.

Overall a fun sipper on a cold 'fall' night...at least a night that feels like fall.

Photo of BB1313
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one a couple of weeks ago. 12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a nice burnt orange w/ lackluster head that rims around the glass; decent lacing. Smells great, cin., nutmeg, and other spices very present. The taste matches, but the spices are very abundant and linger. Full-bodied, but more on the thinner side; not shy on the carbonation. The heavy spices make it hard to drink more than one.

This one is a spice overload, which I didn't recall from the past. I also didn't pick up the strong vanilla flavors I've come to love in this beer. Nonetheless, still one of the best pumpkin ales out there.

Photo of jskoog
3.51/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Brownish amber
S: Smelled good. Cinnamon and Nutmeg.
T: I wasn't too impressed with the taste. Just wasn't a real pumpkin taste to me. Tasted of cloves, sugar and a tiny bit of black licorice like cough medicine.
M: Light and fizzy
D: No thanks. Just not for me. To each his own.

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

Pours from the 12 oz. bottle a bold copper color with a one finger, slightly off-white one finger head that quickly dissipates into a fairly thick collar. Carbonation is on the heavy side, with the head making a fizzy sound as it fades. Aroma is spicy! The cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves jump right out at you! First sip is a smooth blend of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves...basically a mirror image of the aroma. The combination of spice lingers after the swallow. Hops pretty much take a back seat here, this one's all pumpkin-y malt & spices, but done well...quite well, in fact!. Mouth feel is bold and spicy, with a nice sparkle on the tongue and the alcohol being totally hidden. This is a beer that is quite drinkable. Overall, if you like pumpkin beer (which I do), this one is quite the stellar example of the style. If you dropped a scoop if ice cream into it, you'd truly have pumpkin pie in a glass!

Photo of billab914
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
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
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
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
3.18/5  rDev -18.3%
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
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
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
4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
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
4.26/5  rDev +9.5%
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
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
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
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
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
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
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
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
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
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
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
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
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
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
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
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 2,492 ratings.