Imperial Pumpkin Ale - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Pumpkin AleImperial Pumpkin Ale

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very good

2,466 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,466
Reviews: 978
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 126
Gots: 289 | 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:
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 added by: cbl2 on 09-17-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,466 | Reviews: 978 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Casey10
3.9/5  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
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
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
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
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
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
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
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Photo of PerzentRizen
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have been on a pumpkin beer kick and I have several people to thank for helping me acquire some great beers. Nesued is the great beer trader that sent me a four pack of this fine ale!

Poured into a brandy snifter this beer has virtually no head. A rough pour at 45 degrees gives you a few bubbles but those quickly dwindle to nothing. The beer is exceptionally clear, and has a ruby red to copper color.

The aromas comming off this beer are very pungent. I pick up medicinal alcohol smells, toasted brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, and maybe even a little fennel.

The first taste is sweet, nectary, spiced flavors, and a finish that is a little off. The finish is a lingering but the pleasant malty spiced flavors end abruptly. The drinker of this beer is left with a cooked vegetable flavor that is a bit off putting.

Mouthfeel is a touch thin for my taste. I would much rather have a thicker pumpkin ale but that's my take. Perhaps a little less attenuation and touch more fermentable sugar is in order. I wonder if anyone has ever added lactose to a pumpkin ale??? That would give a great texture for this style.

Drinkability is high as this beer is smooth, has great aromas and flavors and the alcohol bite is muted in the face of the other flavors. Overall a decent beer. I would rather have a DFH Punkin or a ST Pumking but this beer comes in at third hands down.

Photo of Traquairlover
3.1/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Great clarity, deep dark orange, small off white head that dissipated quickly.

S = This is pretty much nothing but a spice bomb. I like the spices in pumpkin beers, but this is too much. It really is too strong and is like breathing with your nose stuck down in a spices container.

T = Although I still think the spices are a little too strong, they are not as overwhelming in the taste as they were in the nose. Nutmeg is strongest, also present are cinnamon and allspice. There is also a good solid malt taste like ginger bread and carrot cake.

M = Medium body, decent mouthcoating, nice soft carbonation.

D = Although I find the smell a bit too strong, the mouthfeel really compensates in terms of overall experience and leads to a relatively enjoyable beer to drink.

Photo of bminor7
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from Oliver's Beverage in Albany NY.

Pours a deep amber/orange. Very little carbonation. 3/4" head dissipates within 5 minutes. No lacing.

Faint nose of pumpkin, cinnamon and malt. I am a spice freak so I was hoping for some fireworks here, especially with cardamom advertised on the bottle, but I was not able to detect it.

Taste is a bit sour with nutmeg predominant. Alcohol is there, but balanced. This, to me, tastes like a basic pumpkin ale with boosted ABV. There is not a lot of complexity that I would associate with Imperial, and the spice mixture doesn't really make up for it. Very reminiscent of Saranac's pumpkin beer. Not at all like the offering from Dogfish Head or Pumpking from Southern Tier. I might be expecting too much from pumpkin beers in general.

Mouthfeel is actually very nice. A little thin, but refreshing, which boosts the drinkability.

Photo of Nezzy
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark amber with lots of orange in it and was pretty transparent

Smell: Strong smell of spices and only a little bit of pumpkin

Taste: Has a good mix of hops but more then anything you can taste the spices. The pumpkin is present but not as strong as the spices.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with very little carbonation

Drinkability: Overall its a pretty good pumpkin ale that I would recommend. However not sure I could drink a good amount of it as the spices are very powerful and the pumpkin isn't always that strong.

Photo of kurp001
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle bought at Shawan Liquors

A fairly aggressive pour yields a thin off-white head that recedes relatively quickly. The body is a deep red-orange and is somewhat cloudy.

There are very prominent pumpkin notes in the nose, the spices take more of a backseat. Normally I'm not a fan of the nose on pumpkin ales at all, but I find this one to be very pleasant.

Taste consists of rich, sweet pumpkin upfront, with nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon hints as well. The bottle says cardamom, too; I get very little of this except for vague hints on the finish.

Mouthfeel is nothing to write home about really, I actually feel like this is a little too light-bodied for an "imperial" pumpkin ale. It's not unappealing, but it's not on a par with, for example, something like Pumking.

Drinkability is good, as far as pumpkin ales go. 12 oz goes down relatively easily, but I'm not dying to have another. Overall I'd say this is a solid pumpkin ale, but there are others that I'd probably prefer over this one.

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

A - Copper-brown with good clarity and a small, light brown head. Decent retention and lace.

S - Perfume like spices; coriander and ginger with some cinnamon. Caramel malt balances with notes of brown sugar.

T - Sweet malt with caramel and molasses. Pumpkin flavors mix with cinnamon and clove in the middle. Finishes with a slight hop flavor; spicy with moderate bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body with moderate carbonation and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Pretty nice; we tasted five different pumpkin beers this evening and this one was the best, and just about the only one that was any good at all. It is a solid, well balanced base beer with pleasant hoppiness. The spices add to the malt, but the beer doesn't depend on them and they aren't over the top. A better than average example of the style.

Photo of marvin213
2.7/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

With almost no head to speak of, this beverage is more mud-brown than pumpkin-orange. Hardly translucent, it's more like a real brown ale--does the darkness indicate imperialism? The relatively dark tinge on an 8% imperial makes me uneasy.

The most pronounced aroma is nutmeg. The cloves are there as well. Even the cardamom reveals its presence in the nose. Maybe it's the influx of these powerful spices that provoked such worry from the look. I'm not sure how this will manifest in taste, but the spice basket smells like, well, a spice basket.

Perhaps this one's imperialism relates more to its fancy assembly of spices than the ethanol it offers. It tastes strong as in spicy, and literally spicy as opposed to more commonly spicy hot. It's imperial because you can envision sailors commissioned by royalty traveling proudly to return the spices that compose this beer. It's incredibly unique, but it's the most uncomfortably close I've come to eating a potpourri bag. Now, as I smell before I taste, I'm almost fearful. The beer is thick and indeed powerful, but more like syrup than adult beverage. There's little balance to the spiciness that is this pumpkin beer.

The mouthfeel is like sensory overload. Trying to feel all that you smell is taxing. It leaves my cheeks worn out. Halfway through my 12oz pour, finishing seems a daunting task. Though "awful" would be an unfair label, this serving may prove too much.

Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale poured perfect dark brownish orangish reddish. The color was deep, beautiful, and autumnal; however, the two-finger head disappeared immediately, leaving very little on the glass.

The smell and taste were burnt dry spices with very little ale coming through. At first, it was pleasant; however, as I continued to drink, the spices became overpowering, seeming to gain strength as the ale warmed. By end of the glass, the aftertaste began to sting and the tongue felt dried out.

Four ounces of Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale with pecan pie would be a very nice autumn holiday dessert, but 12 ounces is a bit much.

Photo of pwoods
3.03/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to NJpadreFan for the bottle!

12oz. brown bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours an orange tinted ruby, nearly opaque. Decent sized head on a somewhat rough pour. Not a ton of retention or lacing.

S: Lots of cinnamon and tons of cardomum. Some of the clove and nutmeg in the back. Sweet and malty. Pumpkin is drowned out a bit by the spices.

T/M: Tasty spices with cinnamon and cardomum taking front stage again. Pumpkin is still drowned out. Nice sweet malt base that isn't overdone. Body is only about medium.. would like to see a bit more.

D: Drinks easy enough for 8% but the spices just over power the pumpkin.

Photo of drcarver
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - a deep copper colored body that starts a bit hazy but clears as teh beer settles. A 1 finger head sat on top for most of the beer with some lacing hangin on the edges of the glass.

S - the spices are assertive, but not offensive. Cinnamon and nutmeg are in the front with clove and cardamom bring up the rear. A bit of sweet malt, but not a lot

T - Wow! The pumpkin is all through this beer with its earth sweetness. Again the spices are assertive but not offensive. It finished fairly clean with a little spice hanging around. It is smooth on the palate and for an imperial it has little burn or heaviness.

D - I am not a fan of this style. I find too much spice overwhelming. Having said that this is a very nice brew. I may even be able to have two.

Photo of nickd717
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from City Beverage in Winston-Salem. Great graphic on the bottle: a real imperial pumpkin. Awesome.

A - Pours orangish-brown with a nice white head.

S - Aroma is pumpkin pie, straight up, lots of spices. Cinnamon stands out.

T - Sweet caramel malt, serious pumpkin, clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Very tasty - my normally BMC-drinking friend declared this his favorite beer EVER. He later lost credibility though by declaring Buffalo Bills Pumpkin Ale "almost as good."

M - Palate smooth and medium-full with average carbonation.

D - This becomes a little much after awhile, but IMO, I sort of want that out of an imperial pumpkin ale.

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

Fresh bottle into a pint glass.

A- Imperial pumpkin has a deep orange color, not exactly bright, seni-bronze. The head is white and seni thick leaving a cap ans loose spider web lacing.

S- This really smells like the real deal. So many attempts at the style and as many let downs. What im trying to say this smells like pumpkin pie with light spices and a small malt base. Inviting.

T- And the taste lives up to the hype. Big blast of pumpkin carvings, the flavor jumps out at you and holds for a few. The spices really are not a problem although some exist. Some sweet malt evening things a bit.

M- While some pumpkin ales sort of drown out the mouth with dryness from the spice, this one kind of coats sinilar to PumKING. The malts give off a slight creaminess. Well medium bodied and a good amount of carb.

D- Would for sure do two bottles of this no problem. Punkin ales are not my thing unless they are done right, besides the other two, weyerbacher is the other. The alc is a bit high hindering drinkability a bit, but you need a bit more abv in pumkin ales to get more flavor from more ingredients. This one is made with care.

Photo of simmons
4.7/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apperance: pours a solid, but a bit hazy, deep orange with a tannish head that disapates quick leaving a thin lace.

Aroma: Very strong pumpkin aroma followed an amazing spice aroma. This is followed by a malty nose with not much, if any, hops present

Flavor: Very malty! This is followed by a solid pumpkin flavor with an nice bit of pumpkin spices to make this very tasty. I do not taste any hops over the pumpkin or spices. An alcohol & warming aftertaste lingers. The flavor is exactly what you would expect from the aroma

Mouthfeel: The body is very full and has a creaminess to it. carbonation is on the lower side but works very well for this beer. Balance id say is just about perfect. There is a lot of character to this beer.

Overall: This is a well done pumpkin beer. worth buying again? ABSOLUTELY!!! There are so many things that is great about this beer: malty, great pumpkin flavor, amazing usage of spices, great body, well balance, a smooth drinking beer.

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

Pours a beautiful glowing orange apricot color. A thin white head disappeared quickly.

This has one of the better noses for a pumpkin. Lots of pumpkin and spice as one would expect. Nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon.

Taste is not as intense as the nose but thats not necessarily a bad thing. I'm not a fan of overly sweet beers and this one is well balanced.

Great mouthfeel. Somewhat light but clean and smooth and finishes wonderfully. The 8% is nicely hidden and never really becomes noticeable.

I really like this Pumpkin beer from Weyerbacher. One of the better ones i've tried.

Photo of peterittenhouse
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours deep amber. Super thin head.

S- Spicy, lots of cinnamon.

T-Solid pumpkin taste. Not overbearing as many pumpkin ales can be. Hops are just right.

M-Good mouthfeel. Smooth, perfect for the ABV

D-Good stuff. Big beer. One or two will suffice.

Photo of TequilaSauer
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Deep amber color, thicker body than most Pumpkins I've had. Not surprising given the "Imperial" status.

Smells of VERY light pumpkin pie with a lot of spices (chicory and cinnamon). A little weak, to be honest.

Excellent flavor for a pumpkin. Starts modest on the attack with a little pumpkin and light vanilla that transitions into a heavy cinnamon flavor in the mouth, finishing with a little more pumpkin and some alcohol.

Not the most drinkable pumpkin in the world, but that doesn't matter much as I am not a person who can knock back several of those anyway. This beer is easily the best pumpkin ale I've had. Worth trying for any beer fan, even if the style is not to your usual fancy.

Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 2,466 ratings.