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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

979 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 979
Hads: 2,530
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.86%
Wants: 144
Gots: 339 | 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: 979 | Hads: 2,530
Photo of rangerred
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a clear, deep ruby with a tiny white head that is quick to disappear. Just a tiny bit of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Lots of spices in the nose; cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. Almost a little too heavy on the spice as it overwhelms any other characteristic of the beer.

Huge rush of pumpkin pie spice on the taste and it is quite heavy on the cinnamon. There is almost an apple character that is probably due to the cinnamon. Alcohol is very noticeable although this fades as the beer warms. There is some vanilla and toast in the background with a very light bitterness. The mouhtfeel is quite watery, though, and doesn't really hold up to the strength of the beer.

Overall, I was a little disappointed. The mouthfeel is quite weak and I feel the beer lacks complexity. There are many better pumpkin beers out there. (860 characters)

Photo of Siegenthaler
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed: Dec 1, 2013

This is my first beer review on Beeradvocate.com. The occasion for my joining the ranks of online beer reviewers is a holiday beer exchange. I have a case of 25 assorted beers and plan on drinking 1 per day, following a prescribed order, celebrating BEER ADVENT (probably the first of many).

Nice bottle artwork with a smug looking, candle breathing pumpking monarch. I like the new Weyerbacher caps, I haven't had one of their brews in a while but I think this must be relatively new. I poured the beer into a standard pint glass and watched the crisp bubbles rise to top and form an unfoamy head which dissipated over the next few minutes before completely disappearing. Beautiful amber-red copper color and diamond clear appearance.

Malty nose with hints of cloves in the background getting much stronger as the beer warmed up. Holiday spice, berries, and orange come to mind after the first few cold sips. Flat mouthfeel with a pleasant lingering taste. The 8% ABV is very well concealed. Banana, nutmeg, cloves and rich pumpkin pie (with no whipped cream) on the finish... definitely a beer I enjoyed more as it warmed up and I got closer to the bottom of the glass. I am a sucker for anything with cloves.

To be honest, I'm usually not a fan of anything pumpkin... bread, pie, and especially beer. However, this was a pleasant 12 oz experience that I would like to repeat. It was a tasty transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas. This reminds me a lot of a delicious holiday homebrew a friend of mine made a few years back. (1,555 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%

Bottle dated July 24, 2014:
Pours an orange-tinged iced-tea-like brown, with a decent foamy head that fades to the edges in time. The beer is fairly clear through the darker color. The nose has a decent amount of pumpkin spice smell early. That smell seems to fade, and a raisin-bread scent is more noticeable. I also get a whiff of the alcohol in the beer.

The taste starts a little fruity - raisin or plum, but that is quickly replaced by a pumpkin bread flavor, decently spiced and perhaps soaked in bourbon or sme alcohol. The end taste comes back to the raisin flavors as the spice slowly fades. The feel is a bit alcohol-astringent, with decent carbonation.

I had rated this previously a 4, but downgrading it slightly on precise. I still like the beer, but have had better since my original review. (814 characters)

Photo of JayQue
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A good strong pumpkin ale. Pours a dark hazy orange color with a medium size, very bubbly off white head. The head fades fast, little lacing on the glass.

The aroma is strong and pleasant. You can smell the pumpkin spices and pumpkin as soon as the cap comes off and the bottle is set on the counter.

Good pumpkin ale flavor. The cinnamon and nutmeg are very prominent with some fresh pumpkin flavor as well.

Mouthfeel is crisp but a bit light. There is some alcohol presence. Could be a bit maltier and richer.

On the whole, a solid Pumpkin Ale. If I get another one I will age it for a while. (598 characters)

Photo of smchenry75
2.3/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This is a very bad beer. I have always wanted to try this and now I can say I have. I don't review often but I just felt compelled to state what a bad beer this was. It poured a nice pumpkin color with a very nice white head. The smell was very nice. I thought I was about to get into something yummy... similar to schlafly's pumpkin.... that nice pumpkin pie, caramelly sweet and chewy goodness. Then the taste. Hmmmm... Defnite pumpkin pie spice - too much for sure. And the base beer... it was as if someone made a poor representation of an amber that was too weak and thin, decided to sour it, gave up after a week and then added pumpkin pie spice. There's also an underlying nasty bitterness that is not good but at least distracts from the rest of the nastiness. Drain pour and then to the Ten Fidy that's on deck. (820 characters)

Photo of Omnium
3.61/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours a semi hazy amber orange color half a finger of fizzy off white head, no lacing
S - Aroma is odd, a bounty of spices, roasted pumpkin, some tart pumpkin, and some weird fatty smoked meat kinda aroma.
T - Well it doesnt taste like bacon, but this is really sour. You get some of the spice, and the better part of the pumpkin comes out later.
M - Somewhat creamy, a little chewy.
O - Good but there's odd traits here that I dont remember from other years, perhaps I had an infected bottle, but in any sense, I dont think I'll be comin back.

UPDATE: While its not sour'ed out like that last one I had, but Its kinda fallen off for me in the past few years. Mild alcohol burn, plenty of spice, more on the dry side too. (747 characters)

Photo of emyers
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter. No bottle date that I can see.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy orange-brown color with a one finger creamy off-white head.

Smell: As far as pure pumpkin pie spice goes, this really brings the heat. Tons of cinnamon, clove, allspice. The downside is that I really don't smell pumpkin, just the spice. A little bit of caramel and biscuity malt sneak in, but this is essentially all spice.

Taste: I have the same complaint here that I do with the aroma - all pumpkin pie spice, no actual pumpkin flavor. In fact the issue is compounded because the spice doesn't carry quite as much strength in the favor as it did in the aroma. There's a bit of caramel malt, some biscuit notes again, and some hop bitterness on the finish, but I feel like everything gets lost in the spice.

Mouthfeel: Quite a bit lighter in body than I was expecting from an 8% abv beer. Medium carbonation level.

Overall: I had pretty high expectations for this beer, and I have to say I feel pretty let down. In my opinion a pumpkin beer needs pumpkin flavor, not just spice, and this just doesn't have it. Tastes more like an amber ale with a boatload of pumpkin pie spice. (1,187 characters)

Photo of itsscience
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. in a snifter

Dark brown in appearance and turns red when held up to the light. It smells great -- like a classic pumpkin pie with ginger and clove. The beer doesn't live up to the smell, though. It has a thin, watery mouthfeel and a big spicy profile of clove, nutmeg, and ginger that overpowers the pumpkin flavor. (323 characters)

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)

Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 979 ratings.