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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

2,329 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,329
Reviews: 967
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 125
Gots: 255 | 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: 2,329 | Reviews: 967 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of irishman06
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle. Excellent artwork.

Good sized head, although it is a bit weak in volume. Very strong cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove aromas, which almost overpower the pumpkin flavor. I've toured the brewery and saw this being made. They use REAL pumpkin, so there is some serious flavor here. There is a delightful spice pervading the combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom. These added spices give a strong chai-like feel to the beer. Perfect with a dessert on a cold winter's night. Weyerbacher has done it again.

irishman06, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of gabrielsyme
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle in a pint glass.

Pours orange/amber, opaque, with little head.

Smell is of cinnamon/sugar.

Taste is lots of pumpkin, with some nutmeg and a little bitterness in the aftertaste.

The pumpkin taste is delicious, like pumpkin pie, but leaves the palette quickly and is replaced with a stale aftertaste.

gabrielsyme, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of DefenCorps
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into my snifter

A: Pours a garnet red with a thin brown head that recedes to a ring surprisingly quickly. Some carbonation is visible running up the side of the glass

S: Loaded with pumpkin spices, as noted on the label - nutmeg and clove dominate with cinnamon and cardamom rounding out the back end. Swirling the glass releases some of the pumpkin aroma. In the grand scheme of pumpkin beers, this one leans towards the spice-heavy end of the spectrum. Solid

T: Opens up with huge amounts of spices, the clove being noticed in the back of my palate and the nutmeg, up front. The classic cinnamon and cardamom aroma-heavy flavors are delicate and are in the back with the cardamom present in the perfect amount. The pumpkin flavors come through right after, with a dark candy sweetness from the malt, before the mildly sweet and spicy finish

M: Pretty solid carbonation and a wonder medium body and excellent finish.

D: This one is disappearing way too quickly. Excellent beer

DefenCorps, Nov 08, 2008
Photo of bigkahunas4
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours cloudy auburn brown. I had very minimal head, but some nice lacing.

Smell: Nose isn't overpowering here, but there are the usual notes of pumpkin spices.

Taste: This is probably my favorite tasting pumpkins, as I've never seen the take of merging the Belgian style with pumpkin spices. Really nice yeast platform, with some not overly sweet pumpkin spices - really enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Some gentle carb on the top of the tongue, and smooth finish.

Drinkability: I really enjoy this - and it's the one I go for come pumpkin season - which I'm not the biggest fan of.

bigkahunas4, Nov 07, 2008
Photo of BeerImmediately
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The annual tradition of starting October w/ one case of WB Imp Pumpkin Ale continues... My favorite of the many pumpkin ales, and this year's version did not disappoint.

Pours a slightly opaque copper color, with lot of effervescense and decent 2 finger head. Decent lacing.

Smell is fantastic - combining pumpkin pie, vanilla, cinnamon, clove and a little nutmeg. Alcohol is present as well.

Taste was very nice - some of the smells dropped off, and unripened banana comes in, but overall, was sweet and malty, with just a hint of alcohol as it warms. The cinnamon lingers on back of throat after swallow.

Mouthfeel was crisp up front, and mellow/smooth in the finish. Not quite creamy.

I guess I stray from the norm here, cause I really could hang out with a 6 pack of this throughout an evening.

BeerImmediately, Nov 06, 2008
Photo of Winter
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish copper with a thick tan head. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin all are present in the nose. The mouthfeel is medium to full-bodied. Spices are apparent in the forefront - cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamon. Pumpkin flavor comes through and combines with a nice malty backbone to create a satisfying fall pumpkin beer. At 8% the alcohol is noticeable a little in the finish, but not over-powering. A pretty decent pumpkin ale that balances the spice and pumpkin flavor nicely with a solid malt presence.

Winter, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of emerge077
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a rinsed snifter glass. Color is dull copper. Scant foam, a little ridge line of lacing at the edge. Nutmeg, clove, and a faint pumpkin aroma.

Slightly bitter flavor, dry like a stick of gum from a pack of baseball cards. Sort of astringent even, not really holding my attention. Earthy vegetal pumpkin note, however the drying finish isn't very pleasant. No malt sweetness, more straight up squashiness. It's ok, not one i'd return to. Pumpking is still the reigning champion.

emerge077, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of aforbes10
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from Capones in Norristown, PA, saved for Halloween. Pours a reddish brown with a short orange-white head. Laces weakly, but in a sticky way. Smells strongly of nutmeg and cloves, as well as a hint of alcohol. Definitely captures the pumpkin pie odor well. Taste is similarly heavy on the cloves and nutmeg, slightly dry, with a bit of a warming alcohol on the back end. Cloves are stronger than perhaps is warranted, but not overwhelming. Mouthfeel is medium-full, and a bit sticky. It does get kind of old as one gets to the end of the bottle. Better to share this one (I did, actually, but my wife didn't like it).

aforbes10, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of BlackBearForge
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pumpkiny offering pours into a pint glass a deep burnt orange with a creamy whitish head fading to a creamy lacing.

The smell is of rich pumpkin caramel malt and clean hops with the scent of allspice, cloves and cinnamon.

Taste is like a slice of pumpkin pie with a rich malt backbone, fruity esters and the expected spices. Sweet up front with a slightly bitter finish and a nice alcohol warmth that doesn't overpower the other aspects of this beer. Taste is perhaps not as good as the smell leads on to believe.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, medium in body and slightly chewy.

Drinkability is high though I wouldn't want to session this beer. It makes a great dessert beer, or as I'm doing a nice finish to a Halloween evening while I watch a Vincent Price movie!

BlackBearForge, Nov 01, 2008
Photo of wedge
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep coppery orange with a bubbly, creamy head. Heavy spices in the aroma...nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger over a faded sweet malt base. Fruity, sweet caramel flavor, the spices are much more mellow allowing some hops to come through. Very smooth. Some clove and pumpkin comes through in the finish. Slick creamy body with a bit of warmth. Good, nothing exciting though.

wedge, Oct 31, 2008
Photo of TrevorGW
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A really solid pumpkin beer offering.

It actually has some head retention, acting as the whip cream atop of this pumpkin pie. Great brown/orange color. Somewhat murky and hazy.

Taste is creamy, with the spices muted enough to highlight the malt and pumpkin. I am not a fan of thin pumpkin beers that give you allspice and nutmeg and nothing more.

Goes down nicely ... could drink this all night. If you like pumpkin beers, seek this one out!

TrevorGW, Oct 30, 2008
Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 2,329 ratings.