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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

2,488 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,488
Reviews: 986
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 130
Gots: 298 | 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:
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: 2,488 | Reviews: 986 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CheckMate
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle obtained at Tully's in Wells, ME. pours a semi clear dark amber with an inch of off-white to beige head that dissipated with in a minute. scents of cinnamon and nutmeg fills the nose with a hint of pumpkin. tastes of cinnamon and nutmeg play on the tongue with hints of pumpkin and other spices. low carbonation. the first sip invites another. a very yummy beer all together (IMO).


Photo of MrIncognito
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark clear amber body with a good amount of carbonation rushing to he top. Off-white to beige head that sits about 2 fingers on top of the beer but fades pretty quickly to a whispy cap. Nice lacing.

S - Just as you would expect. Big pumpkin pie spices. Lots of nutmeg and a touch of cinnamon dominates. For 8% the alcohol does not come through as strongly as expected. Just a trace of it with a deep breath through the nose. Nice peppery spice to the nose.

T&M - Very carbonated which I think adds to the spiciness of this beer. Canned pumpkin pie filling is all I can think of as I sip this. Lots of nutmeg and cinnamon and a nice malty backbone. I think the malts play a nice role in the flavor and add to the drinkability. Makes it seem less like you're drinking pumpkin pie filling. The alcohol adds a very nice spiciness but is not in your face at all. Almost hard to notice but is warming as you drink.

D - A very good pumpkin beer but not sure I'd session this. It is very drinkable considering the flavors are balanced and still maintains a great beer flavor with the roasted maltiness.

Photo of aquatonex
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Found this at Big Z for the season!

Pours a deep orange translucent, very little carbonation, no head. If a pumpkin schnapps existed, this is what it would smell like, pumpkin and liquor. Taste is toasted maltiness mixed with a cinnamon sweetness turning quickly to pumpkins and alcohols. Weyerbacher's got some high octane beers, but sometimes they really taste like it also. That is definitely the case with this one. Finish is a bit rough and thin.

Photo of jiggahertz
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Orange amber beer that is mostly translucent and clear with a nice billowy two finger tan head. Dissipates slowly and provides nice lacing.

S: Some cinnamon up front, smells sweet with a nice pumpkin aroma.

T: Roasted malts up front, the cinnamon spice and pumpkin is definitely there but it's dominated by the malts. The finish is sweet with a slight alcohol bite.

M: Full bodied and low carbonation.

D: A little on the sweet side for a pumpkin ale, but at 8% ABV not unexpected.

Photo of KenC411
3.1/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Translucent cloudy orange beer topped with a thin head that quickly fades.

Smell: Banana esters, cinnamon, alcohol.

Taste: Initially, smooth malty flavor followed by fall spices, finishing with some hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy

Drinkability: Something about this beer does not do it for me. The packaging is attractive, a cool pumpkin king charging ahead, but the beer itself is kind of bland.

Photo of Onenote81
3.47/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After a night of pumpkin-carving and eating pumpkin pie, I figured it was time to open this one.

Poured into my pint glass. Pours a clear pale orange with a thin ivory head on top. No retention, little lace. Smells of pumpkin bread, cinnamon, flowers, and a bit of ginger.

The mouth is crisp yet a tad wet. Flavor is of cheap pumpkin, nutmeg, and has a mineral finish that fades out quickly. Not bad here. The alcohol presence is hidden pretty well. I got through this one easily enough. Recommend.

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.

Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 2,488 ratings.