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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

2,340 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,340
Reviews: 968
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 125
Gots: 258 | 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: 2,340 | Reviews: 968 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of srandycarter
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pretty murky amber, not much head but lots of webby lacing.

S - Pumpkin, of course, but second to the SPICES. I am talking some warm muddled mid christmas drink type smell, along with small malt.

T - Malt is instantly deferred to the pumpkin and spices. Good, but strange.

M - Medium body and carb, good overall feel.

D - Unless halloween, not much there.

srandycarter, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of htomsirveaux
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 6 Mar 2009. Courtesy of R&S, thanks again for the great gifts!

Poured in Abita pint glass. Medium sized thick peachy tan head. Well carbonated. Slightly cloudy rusty brown color. Very strong smell of cardamom; nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves noticeable but all are a distant second, faint pumpkin. Starts very spicy with all four spices showing, cardamom again dominant but not to the extent in the aroma. Slight bit of ginger. Spicy throughout, some malty sweetness for balance. Finish is spicy with a slight ethanol burn, aftertaste becomes sweeter and more pumpkiny. Medium body, silky mouthfeel. Ethanol noticeable but overpowered by the spiciness.

Not a huge fan of pumpkin beers but this is one of the best we've tried. Highly recommended if you need a cardamom fix.

htomsirveaux, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of djeucalyptus
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a complex orange-amber-apple-cider hue in the glass with a bit of sedimentary haze floating about. a thin one-finger cream colored head fizzles away fairly quickly, leaving minimal lacing.

aroma is pumpkin (yes, squashy pumpkin) and pie spices. cardamom, clove, cinnamon, and maybe a hint of ginger? a touch of citrus comes across as well.

taste is fairly complex... not just pie spices. some rich caramel malt, a bit of bready yeastiness. squash and pumpkin, with just a hint of veggie bitterness. Then the pie spices rush in, with cardamom leading the charge, followed by, cinnamon, clove, ginger and brown sugar. Not overly spiced... fairly nice on the whole, with a nice level of complexity. still a pumpkin beer. but this one works.

mouthfeel is a bit thick, a bit syrupy, but fairly well rounded. the carbonation works enough to keep it alive, and a clean finish almost hints at refreshing. nothing amazing, but not bad. and the alcohol seems pretty well hidden.

I like pumpkin ales when they're done right. I like imperial stuff in general. this one hits both notes with great resonance... smooth and drinkable, this one is definitely a winner. It's still a pumpkin ale... if you hate pumpkin beer, this one still isn't for you. If you're on the fence, this just may be the one to tip you.

djeucalyptus, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of BigIrishman
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Pint glass

Appearance: Amber red with a creamy off white head, decent retention.

Smell: A whole bunch of that great pumpkin/all spice, and still malty.

Taste: That great pumpkin flavor hits and stays, then it finishes very smooth and malty.

Mouthfeel: A bit lighter than I had wanted, when I drink pumpkin pie I want it just a bit thicker.

Drinkability: A crisp pumpkin ale, maybe a little too overpowering to have more than a couple though.

Notes: Very pumpkiny, enjoyable and a great october brew.

BigIrishman, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of albern
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a beer that insinuates itself in your palate and good graces. It started way over the top with the pumpkin and spices, but mellowed nicely, or at least my sensibilities softened, to really appreciate this beer. It pours a slightly cloudy amber with a touch of orange. The nose is pure pumpkin and what I call a medley of holiday spices. There is a touch of ABV in the nose as well. The beer is fairly medium bodied, slight carbonation, but not much. It begins with a huge blast of pumpkin and this then segues into the spicy notes. Lots of nutmeg, cardoman, cinnamon, some clove. There are some biting hints in the finish, perhaps from some hop, which isn't really a factor. The bite may come from the cinnamon more than any of the other holiday like spices. The beer has some warming booziness, but this is just a robust pumpkin ale if there ever was one.

albern, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of tai4ji2x
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. no date. poured into tulip.

brownish amber color, almost clear. some head, but soon fades to thin wisps and ring. lacing a bit sparse.

aroma has caramel and gentle spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and cardamom, as stated on the label). fruity esters with melon and pumpkin hint. finishes with faint alcohol and phenols.

flavor of meaty and savory pumpkin, backed up by spice profile which melds with the gentle-to-moderate hopping, peaking towards the end. phenols also meet with spices and alcohol in the back. underlying maltiness throughout, and along with the spices, brings a nice mild sweetness to the overall profile.

smooth, not too thin. crisp finish plus moderate, prickly carb.

it would seem i prefer my pumpkin ales this way: sweeter and spicier. just like the pumpkin bread i ate along with it...

tai4ji2x, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of drtth
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First tasted and reviewed in Aug 08 shortly after it was available from the Brewer. The repeatedly tasted over a 5-6 month period. Poured fresh from the fridge into a standard Shaker glass and allowed to warm some over the course of the tasting. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: Poured clear with an amber/dark orange color. (Note: later bottles consumed into late Dec showed some cloudiness from sediment that had formed over time. The more bottle age this beer has the more it develops the sediment which seems to be the spices settling out rather than yeast.) The pour formed a reasonable head which gradually disappeared leaving behind a nice ring of foam and some attractive lacing.

Smell: The smell is that of delicious pumpkin spices with detectable cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and cardamom. No detectable hop smell.

Taste: The flavor of pumpkin is in the back ground and taste is dominated by the spice mix. Some malt flavor, caramel in particular, is in the background or blended in.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel was medium bodied to a bit thin with light carbonation that persisted.

Drinkability: A sipping beer given the spice flavors. Probably good for one a night but it was easy to have another the next night. This is an occasional beer that is easy to consume if you like pumpkin pie. But if you don't care a lot for pumpkin pie give this one a pass.

drtth, Jan 28, 2009
Photo of halfP1NT
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I reviewed this beer in September '08.

This beer pours a murky, dark amber with a decent-sized, off-white head. A thin ring of lacing is left behind.

I could smell this beer as I was pouring it. Nice light spice; cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and pumpkin, lightly malty.

Taste is smooth malts and spices. Cinnamon seems to dominate, but not overwhelming. There's a hint of warming alcohol. There's some hops presence to balance it out.

This beer is much easier to drink than a lot of other pumpkin ales that are way too spiced. The slight alcohol presence is nice, and there's enough carbonation to keep it from getting syrupy. Very drinkable for the style and the ABV.

halfP1NT, Jan 28, 2009
Photo of beveritt
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass. Label depicts a large pumpkin, wearing a mantle and crown and wielding a scepter rather menacingly. No clear freshness date, but I could hazard a guess at when this one was brewed.

Appearance: Pours with just over 1 finger of light tan head. This settles quickly, leaving just the barest of coating of foam and no lacing. The beer itself is orange and very hazy, nearly opaque. No sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Sweet pumpkin with spicy cloves.

Taste: The sweet pumpkin taste from the smell upfront, with strong cinnamon spice. Finishes with a caramelized pumpkin flavor.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Mouthfeel is okay.

Drinkability: Well, I think it is time I admit that I am not a huge fan of pumpkin ales. Always having been a follower of beer seasons, I tend to grab pumpkin ales when I see them, but I think I need to stop that. This is a complex and well done beer, but not for me.

beveritt, Jan 14, 2009
Photo of thekevlarkid
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Out of a bottle his beer was a perfectly clear, cherry wood color. The head was two fingers of tan foam that displayed nice retention as a collar and left solid lacing. The aroma was delicious, strong pumpkins, allspice, nutmeg, some caramel malt and hints of hop bitterness. The flavors were a complex rush like a good NFL defense, first a flash of sweetness quickly followed by a punch of alcohol heat. This then became pumpkin pulp, wood, hints of nuts, nutmeg, cloves and hints of cinnamon all built on a caramel malt backbone. The finish was balanced with enough hops and the overall effect was impressive but not overwhelming. The body was medium, the mouthfeel smooth and the mouthfeel perfect. Once again, a stunning offering from this top-notch operation.

thekevlarkid, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of cleeze
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pumpkin pie in a bottle... Another solid brew from weyerbacher.

Appearance is a dark amber, almost brown with a nice frothy head.

Smells like pumpkin, pie. Pumpkin, cinamon, and clove all stand out. Smells yummy.

Taste is exactly like the smell. Pumpkin pie exploads. I wanna throw some cool whip up on it!

cleeze, Jan 05, 2009
Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a nice, frothy head that persists as a film and leaves some lacing around the pint glass

Smell: A bit of pumpkin, but mostly the pie spice, with nutmeg and cardomam being most prominent

Taste: The spices dominate from the outset, with cardomam and nutmeg being the most apparent; there is a little pumpkin flavor that appears by mid-palate; after the swallow, the bready, spicy flavors blend to the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, but surprisingly aqueous for the ABV; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: An interesting concept, but I would like to see more pumpkin flavor to match the spices

brentk56, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of hellbilly
2.58/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

tasting via supergrowlerdave70...

cooked pumpkin pie color... go figure!... with a minimal off white head.

VERY spicy aroma with cardamom coming to the front. cinnamon, nutmeg and grass are all noted as well. there is a vegetal earthy sweetness but not necessarily pumpkin in the background.

the flavor is overly spiced... malty caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove are all there but get swallowed up by the cardamom. it tastes medicine-y with spice. pumpkin is faint. the finish is dry and mildly bitter. body is medium to full and a touch sticky.

someone should have told these guys that a little cardamom goes a long way. who puts it in pumpkin pie anyway?

hellbilly, Dec 24, 2008
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 7/29/08. Fresh 2008 bottle. Wow. Pours a dark amber/brown with thick light tan head that leaves nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of sweet, sweet pumpkin, nutmeg, and slight cinnamon. Flavor of initial sharp spices (nutmeg), with a sweet, spicy, pumpkiny finish. I also get lots of vegetable (squash, zucchini, carrot) and a luscious pumpkin pie finish. Very sweet and tasty with a nice spice bouquet. A little heavy but not overbearing. Wow, one of my favorite pumpkin ales. Fresh, this baby is killer.
8/4/8/4/14 (3.8/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of PrAndo
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My experience is pumpkin ale is relatively new, but I have to comment that I believe this is the best I've yet had. I'd put it head to head with Dogfish Head's punkin' ale and I would place it ahead of that really, based on the body of the beer. I found it to be *slightly* less heavy than Dogfish's brew.

At any rate, the flavor was delicious, not too overbearing on the spice notes, but they were still forward enough to continue noting them over the course of the pint.

PrAndo, Dec 12, 2008
Photo of Pauly2X
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Hazy deep amber, ona and a half finger head.

S- Sweet caramel malts with pumpkin spices in the background.

T- Slightly grainy and rich malt sweetness starts things off. The pumpkin pie spices pick up at mid point then lend an intriging dryness to the finish.

M- Medium- full bodied, great smooth carbonation.

D- This is one pumpkin ale that went down without a fight.

A very worthy pumpkin ale. Even if you don't like the style, check it out as the spices are balanced and mild.

Pauly2X, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of yossarian14
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Lots of reds and oranges dance in the light. It looks like an Oaked Arrogant Bastard...and that's where the similarities end. This was a tasty treat actually, and I don't usually want to have more than a sample taste of a pumpkin beer. The aroma is heavy with spice, too much so, but I chose to drink this Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin because I wanted something a little over-the-top. Well, It delivered, right up my nose. Very spicy on the palate as well. Tongue tingling alcohol mixed with an overspiced pumpkin pie. Lots of nutmeg and cinnamon. Maybe pumpkin pie filling straight from the can. After what seems like a lot of complaining, I actually like this concoction. Not for everyday consumption, but a much better example than most of the easily found Pumpkins on the market. I'd have another next fall.

yossarian14, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of beerceller99
2.8/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Sharp cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin aroma. Sharp spicy flavors mirrors aroma, with a mild canned pumpkin taste on a weak malt base. More spice than pumpkin flavors here, too bad. Hazy copper color with a tan head. Light to medium body with a watery texture.

beerceller99, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice one finger head with decent retention and a nice orange color.

Pumkin and pumpkin spice on the nose. Nutmeg dominates with a lot of allspice and some cinnamon.

Taste is heavily pumpkin spiced. Nutmeg and allspice are in your face with a bit of cinammon and maybe a little bit of vanilla. However, the alcohol is a bit astringent and boozy.

Overall this beer could be a litte bit less boozy and use some more body. However, it's decent enough for such a big pumpkin beer.

jasonjlewis, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of Douglas88
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle. I love this label, that pumpkin seems really pissed, and yet ready to party big time. Pours out a bright amber, almost orange color with a initially large foamy head, that goes down pretty quickly. The aroma is loads of spices, definitely a lot of pumpkins in the nose also. A smooth and warm taste, sweet pumpkin and loads of spices, the nutmeg really stood out. A smooth and medium to thin body. Very enjoyable.

Douglas88, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of ZAP
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a top notch pumpkin ale...

A-Deep orange (close to brown) colored.

S-The nose includes a great pumpkin pie smell (pumpkin plus the appropriate spicing) ...

T-Thankfully the taste is not as heavy on the spicing...tastes like pumpkin pie though....very enjoyable..

M-Body is medium to full....feels substantial while also not feeling like a snifter type sipper...

D-One of the top pumpkins I have had...still like Pumpking better but that is a whole different beast (with the incredible unique graham cracker elements)...for a straight pumpkin ale this is tough to beat.

I did a three-way blind pumpkin ale taste test yesterday with this, Dogfish Head and Smuttynose...this was clearly without question the best of the three....I have all three again today and completely agree with my blind taste test...Dogfish is solid but not close to this one...Smutty doesn't compare...

ZAP, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of everetends
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on tap at Trapeze in Athens, GA. Served up in a DFH shaped pint. Lets get to it.

A: Pours a murky, rusty, orange color. Vibrant and shiny. Carbonation moves the haze about. Has a nice fluffy, white head. A good finger of head that has some staying power, lasting over half the glass. Lacing is thin and a bit weak but still leaves some traces on the glass. Looks good.

S: As soon as you are close enough to pick up the glass, you smell pumpkin. Big time pumpkin. I am trying to come around to pumpkin flavors and smells (since I have hated them in the past) but this was a bit overwhelming with a deep breath. Just so much pumpkin. There are also some heavy pumpkin spice notes coming out in the form of cinnamon and clove mostly. Smells like the holidays when you walk into a Yankee Candle store. You don't know if it is a good thing or a bad thing, but you still walk around for a while. High marks for the confusion.

T: Taste is actually not as dominated by pumpkin as it is in the nose. The clove and cinnamon flavors are more pronounced in the flavor. Don't get me wrong, pumpkin is there, but it isn't slapping you upside the head. The pumpkin is sweet and creamy, more like pumpkin pie. There is a nice sweetness coming from the malt that really mellows this beer out. Nice.

M: Medium bodied beer that is creamy in texture. Carbonation is up there, but helps this one go down a bit. ABV is not noticed to me. Aftertastes that linger on the palate are mostly the spices of clove and cinnamon.

D: For a pumpkin beer, its not bad. The smell is a bit knockout worthy IMO, but the taste is far more subtle. Helps the beer be bearable. I actually thought about having another after this one, so I guess that says something. Not bad and another solid brew from Weyerbacher. Great for the holiday season.

everetends, Nov 24, 2008
Photo of mikereaser
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into my east end brewing pint glass

A - pours a murky rust color with no foam to speak of

S - strong pumpkin spice aromas, nutmeg and cloves

T - nicely blended taste of pumpkin and spices. most go overboard one way or another, but not this one.

M/D - Very drinkable for a pumpkin beer. I want to be a fan of the style, but just can't bring myself to it. But this one is definitely one i will have year after year

mikereaser, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of damienblack
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Sebletitje for this bottle.

Pours a rich, hazy pinkish-copper with an initial rush of carbonation. Head is light orange, dissipates quickly. Smells like a boozey pumpkin pie, with an emphasis on the spices that really come out in the nose (esp. cinnamon).

This beer almost perfectly balances the interplay between the pumpkin and the spices. I sense almost no hop presence, no bitterness in the least. The focus is on the malt and pumpkin/spice balance. I've had some pumpkin beers where all you can taste is the spice, completely overwhelming the beer. Not here. The pumpkin taste comes out a little more in the lingering aftertaste, so I look forward to many a pumpkin burp. The high level of carbonation makes this pretty easy to drink. It is a little sticky in the throat, however, detracting a bit from the feel. Overall, one of the better pumpkin beers I've had. The smell is the best part, but the total package will not disappoint.

damienblack, Nov 18, 2008
Photo of ncstateplaya
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A dark copper ale with a cloudy complexion. Whened poured into the glass it quickly produces a creamy head about a finger thick. Head actually dies back to sparingly cover the top. A subtle lace traces down the glass from the mouth.

Smell: Spices, a strong aroma of nutmeg and cloves.

Taste: Pumpkin and clove, much like a pumpkin pie with a tart bite under the back of my tongue. A slight metallic tingling aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Full of carbonation with a mellowness that grows as the beers nears room temperature.

Drinkability: A filling beer that goes perfectly with the cold rainy fall nights. Only con, after drinking about two or three, I have had my feel of pumpkin and spices.

ncstateplaya, Nov 15, 2008
Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 2,340 ratings.