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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

2,482 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,482
Reviews: 985
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 128
Gots: 294 | FT: 2
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: 2,482 | Reviews: 985 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mothman
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to fbm115 for this one. You da man Steve!

Poured into Sam Adams sensory glass.

Pours about a finger of light tan head. Head fades to a ring around the glass. No lace. Color is a hazy dark burnt caramel orange.

Aroma: A ton of spices going on here. Cinnamon, nutmeg are very dominate. The obvious pumpkin is present. Has some earthy hops hidden in the background.

Taste: Wow, this is one boozy pumpkin ale. It is imperial, I know, but I didn't expect this. This pumpkin is all up in your face! Big pumpkin flavor with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and other random spices thrown in. For how strong it is, it isn't too bad.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, smooth, and spicy. Medium bodied with a high amount of carbonation. This thing is quite filling. Ends with a spiced, fairly clean, a little dry aftertaste.

I think this is a one and done for me. It is big, that is for sure. I am not the biggest pumpkin fan, but I try them all and I can respect this one for being unique in its ways. Thanks Steve for the opportunity to try this one!

Photo of thain709
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a ruby orange body...a creamy tan head forms and stands about two fingers...it falls into a spotty cap...decent lacing

S - It's not in your face but a very pleasant aroma...lots of pumpkin pie spices...your typical cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove...almost a hint of graham cracker crust

T - Again not in your face or over the top...very well balanced...there is a subtle sweetness up front...I guess this could be from some caramel malts...they are sweet, not roasted...after the initial sweetness it's all pumpkin pie...the cinnamon stands out above the nutmeg and clove...the flavor of those spices linger for a while which is very nice

M - Medium bodied...you can really move this one around in your mouth but it's not cloying

D - As I said before this beer has a nice mellow pumpkin pie flavor...it's not in your face and it's not hidden either...the 8% is hardly there...a really good pumpkin ale brought to us by Weyerbacher

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

Poured from 12 ounce bottle into Unibroue tulip. Brassy color with off-white head that quickly fades and no lacing. Aroma is of candi sugar, dark molasses and pumpkin spice/pie. Alcohol is well hidden. Pumpkin taste is a touch bland and possibly some flavor was sacrificed for a higher alcohol content. Review is based on a fresh beer, perhaps I will need to revisit after a year or so of age, but overall a great beer, even fresh.

Photo of countrocula
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Weyerbacher... why do you do this to me? I love your Simcoe for its consistency... your Winter Ale grosses me out. Your IPAs across the board see me into colder months where other brewery's wares fall off by August... I LOVE your Pumpkin, yet it seems to alter every year... could this be possible?

For 2009:

Hazy orange... dense, 3 finger off-white head no matter how carefully I decant.

Nose is perfume. Sheer pumpkin perfume. This type of beer is what made me fall in LOVE with this variety as a celebration of my favorite season. Cinnamon, allspice, pumpkin and a trace of nutmeg. malty

Taste is subtly boozy... depending on how you swallow you COULD get a back throat burn. Smooth nonetheless. Homemade pumpkin pie all 'round.

Mouth is considerably improved if this is let to warm to around 60F. Not sticky by any means,but it makes it presence known.

I just downed 3 of these and a glass of Rombauer ZIN. My review may reflect my state of mind... that being said, this review is FROM THE HEART! This brew is fantastic, yet don't get hung up on a particular flavor from this over year to year. With DogFish, I see consistency... this bre is equal in quality over the years, yet subtle essences seem to change.

Photo of oceanman
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Orange color with a creamy white head.
Smells like pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream.
Taste builds on that pie with a touch of vanilla and added bready undertones.
Very very smooth and creamy mouthfeel, especially as the beer warms up just a touch.
A single bottle could go well as dessert, but that might be it.

A nice middle ground between the Dogfish and Southern Tier pumpkin ales.

Photo of apbarwood
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Warm copper color with a rocky, off-white head that falls away quickly leaving some lace clinging to the edges of the glass. Smell is faint compared to other pumpkins I've had lately and primarily spice with cinnamon and nutmeg taking the lead. Great flavor on this one with the spiciness being held in check by a creamy, sweetness almost like whipped cream on pumpkin pie. The fruit and sweetness come first with nutmeg and cinnamon following and leading into a light hop-derived drying finish. Feels a bit sticky in the mouth and a semi-low carbonation doesn't help issues but decent nonetheless. This is one of the more palatable pumpkins I've found and I'd recommend it for those who aren't crazy about the super spiciness of some other offerings. Very good beer in general, let alone a pumpkin beer.

Photo of Gyle41386
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a copper color. A vigorous pour produces a kind of smallish white head, which dissipates quickly and leaves behind little lacing.

Much spicier aroma than the past two pumpkin beers I've had (Ichabod/Smuttynose). The typical cinnamon and nutmeg, but the clove really stands out. I don't know what the hell cardamom is, so I don't know if I smell it or not, but it's on the label, so surely it's in there. I'm not really smelling a whole lot of pumpkin.

The flavor is a bit better than the nose promises, with more pumpkin coming out. It tastes much more like a pumpkin pie beer. No real traces of the 8% ABV, which is always a plus. Again, a nice balance between sweetness and spice. A faint pumpkin flavor lingers after the finish.

Bigger body than the other pumpkin beers I've had. The carbonation level is just as lively, without being disruptive. A pretty solid pumpkin ale, I'd place it between Ichabod and Smuttynose.

Photo of blackbearywheat
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a clear orange body with decent head that had a spicy, cinnamon and pumpkin smell along with some sweet malts. Taste the spice but has a great sweet balance of cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin that goes down easy. AS usuall weyerbacher brews a excellent pumpkin ale,this is my #2 Pumpkin ale everyone should try this

Photo of spokeydonkey
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Orange-red and clear in color. Slight white head that fades quickly.

S - Malt sweetness and spices dominate the aroma. Nutmeg is the dominant spice I pick out, and it smells like pumpkin pie mixed with beer--as it should.

T - Well-balanced between the spices and sweetness. Starts with a kick of malt sweetness, followed up by the pumpkin pie spices--definitely cinnamon and nutmeg. Finishes dry and a little astringent.

M - Medium bodied. A little syrupy up front, but finishes light and dry with a bit of astringency.

D - Very nicely balanced and drinkable. I love pumpkin ales and this is one of the few that is big on pumpkin pie taste, but also on balance. The 8% ABV is very well hidden as well. It's a big beer all around, so the pumpkin pie flavors could get overwhelming after a couple.

Photo of biegaman
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale is inked in a sort of pumpkiny, cinnamony, nutmegy blend of colours - how odd that it should take on the tones of its ingredients! Up against the light it heats and becomes red like a hot-lamp. The little particles spattered about make the otherwise clear beverage appear rather contaminated. A spongy, well-emphasized crowning lay atop.

This particular bottle is either one or two years old already but you wouldn't know it from smelling it - the nose is just as fragrant and spicy as ever. All four spices used (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and clove) are apparent to a more or less extent and all contribute to the bigger picture that is this zesty, piquant, highly ambrosial bouquet.

And if you sniff hard enough you can make out some of the nutty, grainy, honey-laced malts that underlie all the spices. If you're not great at smelling, no worries, this becomes more apparent in the taste. So, too, does the actual pumpkin. Between the fleshy, squash-like pumpkin and the flaky, crust-like malts this really does taste like pumpkin pie!

If you're not one for spicy, savory, heavily seasoned beers then stay the hell away from pumpkin ales - especially "imperial" pumpkin ales! This one, given just how much and how many spices were used, drinks uncannily like a spiced chai tea. So, to reiterate: if spiced chai teas are not your kind of thing there's a good shot pumpkin ales won't be either.

This is for people who love pumpkin pie and actually welcome the thought of being able to consume it in liquid form. Still, even in that case, a whole bomber of the stuff seems more than plenty to me. Although the alcohol doesn't factor in there is plenty else about this beer that might make sharing the bottle a wise idea. Not that you have to, mind you.

When you're working with a handful of highly seasoned spices, an extra few doses of alcohol and a not so overly appetizing squash as your flavour base, it's easy to screw things up. This beer could have turned out to be a giant disaster but it didn't. Much to the contrary, this is one of the finer pumpkin ales I've come across. Recommended.

Photo of donniecuffs
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy reddish-copper, with barely any head, and not much lacing. The smell was a surprisingly nice mix of caramel, maltiness, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. The flavor revealed all of these, dissolving to a spritzy alcohol-laced finish, followed by a warm spicy aftertaste. The mouthfeel was surprisingly spritzy, given the visual lack of carbonation. A nicely spiced fall seasonal.

Photo of kkipple
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ahh, Weyerbacher Pumpkin. I've had this a few times, enjoyed it mightily on draft last year, figured I'd review it now. This is a 2009 bottle, although there is NO date of any kind... seriously, it's a growing peeve of mine. Adding a bottled on date is easy...

A. A very initially attractive super clear russet, sporting a fat off-white head, but it fades fast to quite low, maybe a centimeter. Just a bit o' lace around my glass.

S. Starchy, with a wallop of pumpkin spice - you know, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove. Some vanilla too, and a "canned" pumpkin smell. Pretty appealing, and there's an underlying malt sweetness that's a bit grainy and boozy to tie everything together. The hops, if any, play a minor supporting role, but are well nigh impossible to pick out from the strong spices.

T. Hmm, I remember this being better last year... this is a well-rounded beer that falls short of greatness, mainly because pumpkin and other beers of this ilk live and die on the strengths of the base beer. The spices are here, sure, in spades, but the malt flavor is a bit tame and underdeveloped, and seems to be more a canvas for the pumpkin-pie flavor rather than being an actual good beer. It's a bit sour and dry (and spicy) in the finish, and the 8% sticks out a bit more than it should...

M. Wet initially, medium-low carbonation, nutmeg and clove flavor batters you in the finish. Warming and a little sour-starchy too. Just okay.

D. Not especially, unless you really love pumpkin spice. One bottle was enough for me.

I guess I remembered this better than it was this go-around. An above-average pumpkin beer, but then, there are a lot of nasty ones. Worth a shot on a cold night.

Photo of magnj
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Amber orange color, some chill haze. Fluffy white head recedes quickly to a thin film.

S - Sweet pumpkin and vegetable aroma accented by gingerbread type spices. Inviting but doesn't blend perfectly, there are distinct smells that don't necessarily work together as one.

T - Nice taste with festive spices up front and then vegetable pumpkin and sweet potato towards the end. Lots of residual sweetness throughout. Alcohol can be harsh at times.

M/D - Good body matches the style. Easy to drink, better than some others in the style but I still haven't found an example I love. Note: This may be a 2008 batch, they offer no dating on their bottle and I got this from a friend in August 2009.

Photo of hops4me
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is easily in my top three of pumpkin beers. Amber in color with a nice head. Not too much lacing to speak of. Smells of pumpkin spice and sweet malt. Cinnamon and nutmeg dominate the aroma. Lots of spicy flavor. Tart aftertaste. Maybe alittle like cider. Mouthfeel is a bit bigger then most. Overall a great beer. I get it every year.

Photo of Nesued
4.52/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle.

Appearance - Amber in color, clear with ample carbonation. A nice dense head forms upon pour. Resolves into a light ring. Nice lacing retains on the glass. Very inviting.

Smell - Lovely big spice nose. Cinnamon and nutmeg also with some allspice as well. A very "natural" aroma, if you get what I mean. Doesn't smell faked or overdone to bring out an overly "pumpkin pie" presence. Nicely presented. Warming.

Taste - Opens with a nice warming spice presence. The malt comes shining through right away and gives excellent body and backbone to this brew. The finish has a spice bite, not a hop bite, (which are well-hidden). Eight percent ABV? Where? No sign of the alcohol at all.

Mouthfeel - Big and dense. You can really dig into this beer. Nice carbonation adds, not detracts, from the body of this beer.

Drinkability - I personally find this the best pumpkin ale. It's not overly sweet or generally overdone. Nicely balanced, nicely spiced. An overal well done fall offering.

Photo of scottyshades
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Completely different animal on tap! $4.25 at barley's Taproom and Pizzeria in Greenville, SC

A: Pours the deep, rich amber/orange/copper color that is transparent, but viscous. The head is short lived and off-white, retaining pretty well along the pint glass it was served in.

S: A plethora of spices; nutmeg, lots of cinnamon, corriander, allspice, pie crust, and pumpkin puree. Very well done, not too spicy and not too bland, just a nice middle ground.

T: Copy of the nose...spicy flavor profile, but manageable for those who don't like their pumpkin beers overdone. Slightly better on-tap than the bottled. Truly delicious and the alcohol is very very well hidden. CARDAMOM! I finally get it (after reading the description from Nero's review...it tastes like the Bottlecaps candy, which is cola)

MF/D: Very viscous body for the style (second to Southern Tier Pumpking), smooth/low carbonation that really compliments the spices, and a long cinnamon/pie crust finish.

This is one of the best beers for the style hands down.

Photo of Casey10
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was able to pick this one up at Florian's market in Auburn, ME hadn't seen it anywhere else so thought I would give it a try here is my review.

A - pours a light amber orange with a minimal head.

S - Mostly cinnamon, some nutmeg.

T - good again cinnamon light crisp. The alcohol at 8.0 is well hidden.

M - sticky leaveas a skight aftertaste.

D - Good if looking for a nice pumpkin beer would search this one out.

Photo of soupyman10
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like a pumpkin ale. Nose is fairly mild and expected. Flavor's a step up, though. Your standard . A slight alcohol heat in there, along with a niceish hop presence (not strong, but there). Then, of course, your more standard pumpkin spices and breadiness. Body is fine, good for the style. Overall, a nice beer - not the best I've had in the style (that still stands as the Southern Tier's Pumking), but definitely one of the "better" pumpkin ales out there, along with IMO DFH Punkin' and Smuttynose's offering.

Wine Specialist/$10/4-pack

Photo of jzeilinger
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I love the look of this beer in my glass - orange/red in color, very small lacing around the glass, virtually no carbonation bubbles. Taking a big wiff I'm definitely picking up the nutmeg, cinnamon aromas followed with a faint smell of pumpkin, spices definitely dominate the smell. My tongue is picking up everything I was smelling with the addition of carbonation on the front of the tongue. Immediately at the end there's a faint zing of hops followed by a slight boozy warmth (but not much) and the flavors dissipate quickly on the tongue - I would like a little more lingering on my palate. This is a good pumpkin ale and Weyerbacher has done a very good job with this year's batch. Overall, it's not as complex and bready as perhaps a few other pumpkin ales, but still pretty darn good. (The Weyerbacher Thirteen is insanely complex.) I would like a little more bready/chewiness as the mouthful feels a tad more thin than what I'd prefer for this style. Not overly bready or hoppy, it sits in between hoppiness and sweetness, definitely more towards the sweet side. I'm appreciating pumpkin ales more and this is one I could have a few of in one sitting, however, the alcohol will creep up on you quite quickly so beware. Sip and enjoy.

Photo of wampahoofus
3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance is a fairly dark amber to brown ale with some head.

The spices are very obvious in the aroma and are very pleasing.

There is way too much spice in the beer. Clove or a simular spice dominates the flavor. It you like spicy pumpkin ales, you will like this. I think that it is out of balance.

I am a fan of Weyerbacher but will stick with my many other favorites from this brewery. I have tasted a few other pumpkin ales and do not think this is the best example. However, if you like lots of spice, you may go for this one.

Photo of Tilley4
3.32/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy hazy deep amber with a very thin small head... Looks very autumn-like to me.. A deep fall color...

Huge aromas of spicy cinnamony pumpkin pie... Very sweet and flavorful..

Whew... This ones a bit boozy... Oh, I get the cinnamon and nutmeg and cloves and all the normal pumpkin beer flavors along with lots of booze... Overpowering..

I couldn't finish this one... Just way too boozy and alcoholic...a shame...

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a translucent coppery golden-red with a fairly thick yellowish tan head. Aroma is mainly of cinnamon with a hint of pumpkin. Spicy, malty flavor has strong overtone of cinnamon and undertone of pumpkin. Texture is ragged, fizzy and jazzy with a spicy finish.

Photo of mirish72
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Haven't tried too many pumpkin beers, but picked this up on whim the other night.

Pours a rubyish-orange into my trusty Chimay goblet. Had a one finger head with nice lacing.

The smell was as expected, sweet with a lot of cloves, cinammon and nutmeg. There is no hiding this is a pumpkin beer, reminds me of the first time I tried Harpoon Winter Warmer.

Complex taste. Overall it tates like a slice of pumpkin pie. A pretty dry aftertaste after a lot of flavor. Wasn't blown away by the booziness of this one, which was a bit surprising considering it is 8% ABV.

Overall, not a huge fan of the style, but a nice beer to try.

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

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. It pours a deep clear orange with a moderate white head. The smell is everything you expect from a pumpkin beer-cinamon, nutmeg and cloves. The beer is sweet just like liquid pumpkin pie spice. The brew, for me, is a full bodied sipper. A very sweet beer, IMO a decent dessert beer, but too sweet for me.

Photo of ToasterChef
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 13.25 oz tulip. It has a dark orange/ruby color when you hold it up to the light, but when my glass is resting on the dark table, it looks like a dark brown with an orange glow--very impressive. There is a thin tan head atop the beer. Appropriately, it has a strong pumpkin aroma, but there's also some spice in there, maybe cloves? The pumpkin flavor is impressive. It sneaks up on you, starting out slow, and finishing with a flavor that lingers after you swallow. The beer has an average body and carbonation; nothing exceptional but still of high quality. I find this to be a very drinkable pumpkin beer; the only strike against it is that it is on the strong side. A few too many of these could be dangerous.

Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 2,482 ratings.