Imperial Pumpkin Ale - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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Imperial Pumpkin Ale
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very good

971 Reviews
very good

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Reviews: 971
Hads: 2,502
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 132
Gots: 318 | FT: 3
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 971 | Hads: 2,502
Photo of BWED
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Fitzwater Station, Phoenixville, PA. Poured into a tulip.

A- Dark orange amber body. The light off white head doesn't retain.

S- Lots of spice. All spice and cardamom. A little bit of a pumpkin aroma.

T- Similar to smell, but lots of spice. Just a bit of pumpkin.

M- Fairly light for this style. I guess, medium/light. Spicy in the feel, along with the finish, along with everything about this beer.

O- Spicy, but decent. It's got some good flavors.The spice is just a little overwhelming. (505 characters)

Photo of Gary1
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my favorite pumpkin ale. It has a great spicy pumpkin taste with a scotch aftertaste.
When I can afford a great pumpkin ale, I buy this. Otherwise I buy Post Road, which is decent and about 20 dollars cheaper.

I also like Pump-kin, Long Trail, Saranac, UFO, Tommknocker, and Ichabod.

I really dislike Smuttynose which tastes like potpourri. I am not a fan of Blue Moon or Samuel Adams pumpkin either.

If you like hard ciders, try Woodchuck Pumpkin. It has a mild pumpkin flavor and is pleasantly smooth.

Maple Mistress is supposed to be an imperial pumpkin ale, but tastes like a maple ale. Don't know where the pumpkin is in it. (649 characters)

Photo of PA-hunter
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured a bottle into a glass.

Appearance- Deep dark orange-red with a thick foamy head. Great appearance.

Smell- Pumpkin aroma mixed with a heavy scent of cinnamon.

Taste- Still can taste a decent amount of pumpkin, the heaviness of the spice in the smell was not as apparent in the taste. Mildly bitter but not as bitter as an IPA. The alcohol content of this beer was quite apparent here, after the pumpkin taste.

Mouthfeel- Thin to moderate, alcoholy, yet still smooth.

Overall- A smooth drinking brew. The high abv sets this beer toward the top of the pumpkin ale list in that regard, and makes it an interesting pick. I think perhaps this could be improved however if it were brewed with a bit more pumpkin to cover up that fact of the high abv. When drinking it, you sure know it is 8%. I did enjoy it as my first Weyerbacher brew and would like to check out their other offerings. (894 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This has a deep sultry hue, rich and robust pumpkin brown. The head was thick, creamy, foamy and laced well.

The scent is rich with nutmeg and cinnamon, and the pumpkin is spicy. There is some strong candied sweetness in the pumpkin aroma and the scent is robust.

The flavor is pumpkin pie, sweet and full, nutmeg and cinnamon. Where this goes a touch awry is that is is quite boozy. The alcohol is strong at the front and even through the finish. That booziness tends to feel as there is an alcohol like metallic astringency.

This seemed to be a worthy rival to Schlafly but the boozy taste and feel ruined it. (614 characters)

Photo of taylor714914
3.13/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

There once was a time,
Where you did shine,
But know you've gone
No longer mine.

All that remains
Is cinnamon and clove
And we all wonder
Where the pumpkin goes?

Your body so thin
You've withered away
A shadow of your past
What more can I say?

Oh dear Weyerbacher
Do this for me
Bring back the old pumkin
How it used to be! (328 characters)

Photo of Meeg
3.36/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a Sam Adams glass.

Dark, almost opaque, red. No head, with mild carbonation.

Smells like pumpkin pie, with lots of nutmeg in the nose.

The tastes begins full and smooth, but thins out towards a hoppy aftertaste.

Medium-bodied, with light carbonation that matches the appearance.

I like it, but I wouldn't go out and buy another. I'm not dissatisfied, but it makes me wish for Pumking... (421 characters)

Photo of DrinkNewport
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Taking a whiff of this beer from the bottle gave me high hopes, but unfortunately, like so many other pumpkin beers, that was where the Imperial Pumpkin Ale peaked. It's just not that pumpkiny...or spicy, so it just falls a little flat.

It's not a bad beer. It's just a run-of-the-mill pumpkin beer that happens to be 8% ABV. (326 characters)

Photo of FutureBrewerNate
2.84/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

I bought a 4-pack of this expecting something completely different. To be completely honest, I wanted to like this beer (Since I paid $10 for 4), but each one I open, I become more and more disappointed with it.

The Pour and Appearance: Beer seemed flat right when opening the bottle. I figured it was just the first bottle, but each consecutive one has produced the same results. Any possible head on this beer dissipates within seconds after pouring. The beer has a nice color that I'd expect from a pumpkin beer, but seems to have a certain haze to it.

Smell: As stated from previous reviews, the beer smells like a cinnamon stick. Plain and simple. Maybe has a slight fruitiness smell to it, but it can't be placed and certainly doesn't smell pumpkin(y).

Taste: Has a strong alcohol taste to it at first, and then the spiciness and pumpkin flavors start to come through. Even as the pumpkin comes through, the alcohol nature of it lingers. I started to wonder if this beer was brewed strictly with pumpkins without any malt at all. I has virtually no malt backbone to speak of. It honestly tastes like I would expect a pumpkin cider to taste.

Mouthfeel: Thin. This beer felt flat with each one I had (It could've just been a bad 4-pack) I believe that if you're going to make a beer called a pumpkin ale (not just a pumpkin spice ale or porter etc.) the ale should remind you of everything else that is pumpkin-deliciousness. It should be full bodied, creamy like a pie or at least buttery smooth. This beer is lacking in any kind of body.
Now, I know that this beer is supposed to be an "imperial" pumpkin ale, and with higher alcohol content, you are going to lose some body. From my personal experience (and my first try) at brewing a pumpkin ale last fall, I discovered that my pumpkin ale at 8.9% ABV (almost 1% higher than this) still retained its creamy, full-bodied feel and smelled just like a piece of grandma's pumpkin pie.

Conclusion: Luckily, the high alcohol content of this beer made me forget what I disliked about it until I opened another later. It does have a decent pumpkin taste when you get past the strong, fruity and spiciness of it, it simply lacks in every aspect but the fact that it'll knock you on your ass. (2,247 characters)

Photo of DmanGTR
4.41/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this tonight while carving pumpkins!

Poured a nice seared pumpkin color, brilliant clearness in the light, with a white head that quickly diminishes to trails of white. The nose is heavy on the cinnamon, but clove and nutmeg is also found in the bouquet. More of a nuttiness than caramel or sugar here, although a nice sweet gingerbread undertone comes out as it warms. Very smooth, although I wouldn't mind a touch more body. Overall, a very well made beer. (463 characters)

Photo of CupcakeNY
2.34/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Beer pours orange-red, with a one-finger cream colored head.

Nose is truly indistinguishable from cinnamon mouthwash. The main note is vietnamese cinnamon--just like little candy hearts--with the next strongest note being clove. That's it.

Taste is mostly clove and cinnamon, has a real dental-hygeine thing going for it. I detect no pumpkin per se. Some underlying malt flavors redeem it slightly. Mouth feel is kind of thin; bubbles are large, carbonation pretty strong. It is somewhat sweet, so it borders on tasting like cinnamon candy.

Thankfully, finish is pretty clean.

Overall, one of the more revolting beers I have had yet. The mouthwash nose is overpowering, the taste is neither subtle nor nuanced. I detect no pumpkin, only very loud cinnamon and clove with some underlying malts. I hope never to have it again. (829 characters)

Photo of mitch3114
4.59/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into snifter glass

A- A nice dark brownish orange body with a nice off white head that comes down rather quick into a nice lacey ring around the outside of the glass. The body looks to be somewhat thick and has some legs.

S- This is an excellent smelling pumpkin beer. I can tell there is a lot of depth in this complex beer. There is some pumpkin on the nose, but the blend of spices is very pleasant. All spice, cinnamon, clove, ginger, etc.

T- The taste is very similar to the smell, but there is a slight hop presence that adds a bitter touch to help balance out all the sweetness and spices. Very tasty. The alcohol is hidden very well and like the smell, the spices aren't too overpowering. An excellent, well balanced brew!

M- Medium bodied, this beer has some substance to it which adds to the complexity. Light tart carbonation gently pricks as it goes down.

O- This is in my top five list of pumpkin ales. The Weyerbacker Imperial Pumpkin surely lives up to the credit it's been given. If I were to drink only one pumpkin beer, I just might choose this one. It has a nice aroma, it's very drinkable, complex and tasty. Grab a four pack of this while you still can! (1,187 characters)

Photo of tigerbeer90
3.61/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: nice copper gold and an inch of white head
S: very heavy on the spice. I almost get an apple pie/pumpkin pie smell

T: Started out very sweet, but enjoyable. About 1/4 into the pint I got used to the sweetness and it became just a very enjoyable experience. Lots of cinnamon, some vanilla, and a hint of pumpkin. Very little alcohol presence for an 8 percent ABV

M: Good for the style.

O: I am not crazy about pumpkin beers in general so this should be taken into account. However, I did enjoy this beer as i drank it. Lots of spice and sweet like a pumpkin pie. I may try this again before the season is over, but if I don't it wouldn't make me sad (656 characters)

Photo of MistahBeah
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brownish amber. An aggressive pour yields two fingers of cream colored froth. Pretty good retention. No visible carbonation

Aroma is heavy on the spice. Lots of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Some notes of vanilla and caramel, maybe even a little honey

Taste starts off with big caramel malts. Alcohol warmth and spicy bitterness follow. Cinnamon and nutmeg are standouts. Lots of clove. Earthy vegetal pumpkin add to the bitterness. Finish of vanilla, brown sugar, and honeyed graham crackers with a faint woodiness

Feels a little thin despite big flavors. Spicy and even a little hot from the alcohol. Off dry

Overall lots of nice flavors. Starts off sweet, gets a little bitter, gets a little sweet, and finishes dry. Pretty complex despite the watery body. Among the better pumpkin beers I've tried (818 characters)

3.39/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is a solid example of a pumpkin ale. The flavors and spices are well balanced. It is very drinkable considering the ABV. I am left thinking this beer is missing something, but not sure what. Until I figure that out, I will enjoy this seasonal beauty. I recommend you do the same. Cheers. (292 characters)

Photo of Dmorrison
2.47/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured 6oz into a tulip glass.

APPEARANCE: It's orange, like all straight pumpkin beers. Head was minimal and dissipated instantly.

SMELL: Very mild pumpkin, toast, and cinnamon aromas. Pumpkin aroma increases to mild as the glass warms.

MOUTHFEEL: Feels heavy and smooth at first, then a bit gritty as it moves across the tongue, followed by residual, alcohol thinness.

TASTE: Pumpkin up front, then caramel, toast, clove and cinnamon. Finishes with vegetal bitterness and spice bitterness. Aftertaste is cloying pumpkin, spice bitterness, spice heat and alcohol heat.

OVERALL: The flavors are dominated by clove, cinnamon, vegetal bitterness, and spice bitterness. Toast and caramel are quickly overpowered after a few sips. The lingering pumpkin taste is pleasant. The lingering vegetal bitterness, spice bitterness and alcohol are unpleasant. Each sip makes me less eager for another. (893 characters)

Photo of Act25
3.46/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

my first bottle was flat and busted. However 2nd and 3rd reviews were still sub-par.

Appearance: It's a cloudy amber color with a simple fast fade 1 finger frothy head that flattens to nada and leaves no lacing - not a good sign in a pumpkin ale, which should be sticky. Great examples are Elysian and SmuttyNose. Too flat.

Smell: The best part, a pumpkin pie bakery, with spice dominant cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, followed by pumpkin fruit, wrapped in malty, bready pie dough and flour. And dust of powdered sugar. But... too sweet, too much like pie. (Hey's it's beer!)

Taste: follows the smell, but not as refreshing or fruity as the beers mentioned above. The cardamom/cinnamon spice dominates from start, pumpkin appears by mid taste; then the finish is bready, with layers of spicy flavors, like a cinnamon roll. (A little too spicy, a little too sweet and cloying)

Mouthfeel: Too thin, too flat, too alcoholic, not a great finish, not drying enough. Don't like the sweet/spice/cinnamon nature of the feel.

Drinkability: I gave this second chance in a few days and a year later. I like the brewer, they make a great imperial stout. They are hit or miss. This is a bit like a liquor or an after dinner beer / drink. It's the kind of beer in a craft pack that I try to give away. (1,296 characters)

Photo of dwren89
4.88/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: reddish amber brown with tan creamy head and great clarity

Aroma: string rich pumpkin and spice aroma with spices being nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves most noticeable. Some strong bready tones as well. Smells like fresh naked pumpkin bread!

Taste: my goodness this is a beer t be reckoned with. Tastes exactly like fresh pumpkin bread. Strong, malty, and rich with strong pumpkin spice flavor and a bready like consistency. The strong alcohol is noticeable but in a good way. Not fusel or hot notes

Mouthfeel: full, chewy, and thick but a soft thickness, similar to pumpkin bread. Medium-low carbonation

Overall: Definitely one of y favorite pumpkin ales. Like drinking pumpkin bread, with strong pumpkin and spice flavor and a balanced and thick mouthfeel. Absolutely stunning. (792 characters)

Photo of teromous
3.14/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Slightly hazy reddish brown colored body. There isn't really a head, just a ring of white around the rim.

S: Pumpkin spice, as expected. I can definitely smell the clove and cinnamon, but the scent is more of a coalescence of all spices at the same time. It reminds me of a holiday candle. I don't get any scent from the base beer itself. As soon as I poured the beer, I got the scent of alcohol but it went away.

T: I taste mostly the clove in this beer, so be aware if that's not a flavor you like. The cinnamon comes in after a bit. It's alright but there isn't much more flavor in the actual beer. It feels over-spiced, but it is a pretty good tasting beer.

M: The mouthfeel is too watery and thin, lacks body, and lacks carbonation. The feeling of the beer just doesn't do it justice.

O: Sometimes beers give me this sense of a setting when I drink them. I know this is a pumpkin beer, but the heavy clove flavor gives me this feeling like I'm drinking some medieval beer in a castle. Overall I was on the fence with the beer. On the positive side, it smelled very good and had good spice flavor. On the negative, it felt very weak and seemed to have too much spice when compared to the weak body and lack of actual beer flavor. (1,240 characters)

Photo of nakhimov
4.11/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Bottle poured into a pint glass. A deep red/amber color with very little head. Virtually no lacing on the glass.

Smell: Strong notes of pumpkin and nutmeg. Traces of cinnamon and esters. Faint smell of cloves.

Taste: A bit bitter forwards, the cloves and cinnamon very notable in the beer. The flavor fades a bit to nutmeg and a hint of pumpkin. Would've liked a bit more of the pumpkin flavor, but it's noticeable enough to be pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Very clean and crisp, with a bit of lingering bitterness. Overall very pleasant.

Overall: Very enjoyable beer, perhaps a bit too focused on the secondary flavors. Definitely a good seasonal drink. Would consider purchasing again. (694 characters)

Photo of dheacck11
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pour is a super dark amber/copper. Lots of red. Really not much head.

Nose is sweet and caramelly, with notes of brown sugar, molasses, and nutmeg/pumpkin pie spice.

Taste has a gentle malt up front followed by a big burst of sweet sugary flavors mixed with some nutmeg and cloves. Almost tastes like raspberry towards the finish. really acidic.

Feel is pretty medium, but maybe on the thin side.

I remember loving this beer. This is not the beer I loved. Maybe I've changed. Maybe it changed. But it's just not gonna work out... :( bad batch??? Just doesn't really seem that pumpkiny at all. (596 characters)

Photo of rdilauro
3.18/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Always looking forward to the Pumpkin Beers. Did not pour this one , just drank from the bottle. So the nose was somewhat diminished. But still, there was no question about the amount of pumpkin spices in here. The taste followed the nose completely... Lots of fall spices, perhaps more than I like. This is what I have seen so far with most of the other pumpkin beers. This one did have the body to go along with the spices. It was not that carbonated and I was able to enjoy some real pumpkin. (495 characters)

Photo of getmeabeer
4.39/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is my favorite pumpkin beer. Autumn means Octoberfest and Pumpkin beers and I look forward to Weyerbacher's offerings. What makes this my favorite is the smooth and balanced pumpkin flavor throughout that doesn't overpower the entire experience.

Appearance - Dark golden brown with a 3-5 cm creamy smooth head.

Smell - Hints of cinnamon, all spice, cardamon, and nutmeg - What autumn should be.

Taste - Unmistakably pumpkin with the proper amount of spice, smooth and well balanced.

Mouthfeel - Slightly carbonated, crisp, clean, with well balanced pumpkin and autumnal spices.

Overall - This is a terrific pumpkin offering that has all the pumpkin flavor yet still tastes like a beer. (696 characters)

Photo of Private_Beer_Tongue
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Ok So this would be my first ever "Beerpinion" but certainly not my first brew.

I've had other Pumpkin beers before like DogFish Heads Punkin Ale (Which is great) but this one had some truly perceivable pumpkin taste which (For me) seem to come up after a chug then nice deep breath emanating from just under the tongue, this taste like I imagine a Pumpkin Beer would in my mind, its sweet and strong but no Alcohol taste whatsoever a little bitter at the end but that serves well to counteract the sweetness well. its relatively malty and moderately heavy, overall quite enjoyable, of course the spices are well represented cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, I drank this straight from the bottle with the updated label art bottled 09.18.13 enjoyed on 09.21.13, quite a festive craft brew! would definitely partake again. (817 characters)

Photo of tviz33
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle in to a tulip glass.

A- Pours a hazy medium brown with a lot of orange and red hues. A half inch tan head quickly recedes after a minute or so.

S- Subtle pumpkin, but big on sweetness and spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.

T- Very sweet, almost cloyingly so. Still quite good though. Follows the nose quite well, and even has a faint bitterness and sour flavor towards the finish.

M- Medium-light to medium bodied and quite carbonated.

O- This one gets the job done for me. Nothing extraordinary, but pretty darn good. (552 characters)

Photo of Hopswagger
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

P: Pours a rich dark amber color with khaki micro bubbles that form a thin cap. Slight lacing but nothing holding on too long.

S: A massive dose of roasted pumpkin, red hots, nutmeg, cardamom, spiced rum, pumpkin bread, clove and a dash of cream.

T/M: The spices are assertive and bring a bitterness to the sweet roast pumpkin. Bready malt, spiced rum, and like the aroma there is that touch of cream. Chewy mouthfeel with a sting of carbonation. Slightly metallic as it warms.

O: This is an adult pumpkin beverage for sure. I really like the roast and the elevated alcohol that swarms around the spiced pumpkin base. The bitterness in the finish is a little to much but overall a well crafted brew. This is one of my favorite pumpkin beers so far. (754 characters)

Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 971 ratings.