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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

1,003 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,003
Hads: 2,675
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 21.85%
Wants: 155
Gots: 447 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States | website

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: 1,003 | Hads: 2,675
Photo of NinjaJesus
3.5/5  rDev -10%

I am not the biggest pumpkin beer fan so take my review with a grain of salt, but this brew is pretty delicious. I had the first right out of the bottle and it immediately tasted like I was drinking pumpkin pie. Sweet and cinnamon-y with a good amount of cardamon, this is a great choice if you love heavy pumpkin beers.

Drank out of a glass with a rim of butter and cinnamon and sugar, so delicious. Definitely the right way to enjoy this brew!

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Photo of predikit
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Fall is my favorite time of year, and what better way to kick off the encroaching change of seasons than with a few pumpkin ales.

Poured into a pint glass, rather deep auburn with an off-white head.

The nose is fairly subtle here, hints of nutmeg and pumpkin.

Pumpkin and spice up front, quickly receding with some noticeable malt in the back. First sip was a bit harsh, but subsequent tastings were much smoother. The alcohol is well hidden, but you can tell it's there.

Slight oily feel that dissipates quickly, nothing real unpleasant.

All in all, a decent pick.

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Photo of ThickNStout
2.75/5  rDev -29.3%

12oz bottle from Schoolhouse Beer (Marietta, GA). 3.29. Bottled 8/7/14. Served in a Microbrasserie Charlevoix goblet.

Pours burnt orange brown with one finger ecrue head. The bubbles settle to a thin ring that leaves almost no lace.

Smells of pie spices, light pumpkin and caramelly sweetness.

The spices dominate the taste and they aren't the ones I'd choose. Sharp, dry cloves, cardamon and allspice up front. Nutmeg, cinnamon, pulpy gourd, vague spiced bread, mild notes of burnt caramel and a dollop of booze. The spices kill any other flavor so by the end this almost seemed like work.

Fairly full, almost creamy feel with moderately sharp carbonation. Dry spice bomb aftertaste.

I finally decided to give Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin a try and I'm sure glad I bought a single instead of a four pack. All spices with no concession to the pumpkin or base beer. This was a one and done for me.

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Photo of logicalparadox
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Lots of pumpkin and a somewhat unique spice profile, with cardamom added to the usual mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. But, that's not enough to take this beer to the top. It's a big beer, but a bit too big for its britches. The alcohol is hard to miss in this brew, a shame since I've had a few "imperial" pumpkin ales that specialize in hiding the alcohol and accentuating the pumpkin or spice characteristics. Not a bad choice, and one I'd like to try again, but one that I don't think makes it to the top of my list of pumpkin brews.

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Photo of Forgottensaints
5/5  rDev +28.5%

I love this beer! I guess I am nostalgic about it. It taste exactly like my mothers pumpkin pie! It has just the right spice level its hardy, it's got a slightly thick mouth feel but not muddy more velvety. At 8.5 it's got a little heat to it as well. This beer is fall and will be my autumn go to ale for the season.

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Photo of CrazyLarry
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

I remember when this was an epic beer. Last year (2013) something happened. The beer just sucked. This year (2014) the beer is watery, but better than last years.

Here is what I remember 2012 and pre-2012.

Taste: A Liquid pumpkin pie. Spices, Sweetness, Pumpkin
Mouth feel: Thick, awesome
Smell: Spices a lot of spices
Appearance: Red Pumpkin, Clear
Overall: I looked forward to this beer and physically came to see my friend to have this, and a few other beers and attend an event every fall. The memories are what now make this beer.

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Photo of brother_rat
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Bottle, poured into a tulip glass.

A: Poured a very enticing caramel, with a big creamy head that maintained for a bit. Scattered lacing. Looks like autumn in a glass.

S: Dark, sticky nose--reminds me of a gingerbread cake, with a super-sweet molasses burst but not cloyingly sweet. Besides, you know, an earthy pumpkin smell. With all the spice you can taste in the beer, it's balanced well and those notes are more background on the nose. Very nice.

T: Well balanced mix of 'spice'--hints of cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, but none is overpowering--but mostly it's a hit of a creamy pumpkin, like a good dense custardy pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream. Caramel, molasses, but not overly sweet, and the aftertaste is unmistakably pumpkin with a touch of dry cinnamon.

M: Warming, but really smooth. Mouth-watering and spicy yet finishes dry.

O: Exceptional. The pumpkin beer for people who hate pumpkin beers--meaning, the pumpkin beer for folks who usually find them too spiced, too sweet, etc. A study in balance, and the only pumpkin ale I can stomach to have more than one in a sitting (not an easy feet, and at 8%!).

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.5/5  rDev -10%

12 oz. bottle poured into a Flying Dog goblet

A: Nice ruby copper color that is a bit hazy. No head or lacing. Only a 1/2 finger head on a vigorous pour and it goes away very quickly.

S: Light scent that is mostly that of pumpkin spice but a bit sweet and a little odd on the predominant spice that I can't quite place. It isn't of the usual pumpkin beer spices.

T: Easy drinking with smooth slightly sweet malt and light pumpkin spices. I wish the flavors here were a bit stronger. The weird spices blend into the sweet malt, getting covered up and a flat, one note beer.

M: Smooth with a little bit of felt particulates (like spice). Super small bit of carbonation.

O: Not bad, but not up there with other pumpkin beers I've had even so far this year.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%

Had on draft at Lures Bar and Grill

A-Pours orange brown with a thin white head. Some lacing.

S-Aroma is light pumpkin with clover and cinnamon.

T-Taste is more than the aroma with cinnamon, clover, pie crust, and pumpkin.

M-Mouthfeel is well balanced and nice carbonation.

O-Overall I like this beer it prefect for your pumpkin ale fix if there is no pumking or schlafly.

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Photo of EvoRich
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Look: Poured into a snifter, poured a ruby reddish amber color. Almost reminds me of cider (real cider, not "hard" cider). Very little head, it's sizzles to nothing immediately.

Smell: Cinnamon is very powerful upfront, with the pumpkin pie scent in the background. Just a slight hint of alcohol.

Taste: Again, the cinnamon is the most dominant flavor. The spices and pumpkin flavors are very noticeable

Feel: medium-full bodied with medium carbonation. Leaves a faint spicy feel from the cinnamon.

Overall: Pretty good ale. I'd like the pumpkin flavor to be a bit more obvious, but otherwise is a great beer. The cinnamon is a bit TOO upfront and over powering the pumpkin.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.54/5  rDev -9%

Bottled 8/12/14, BB 4/12/15 at 45 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma of nutmeg and spice
Head average (3 cm), off white, frothy, diminishing to 2 mm ring and broken layer
Lacing – none
Body medium orange, clear
Flavor of pumpkin spice but not overwhelming, sweet; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, creamy, lively carbonation

Appearance 3.25, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 3.5, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.5. Final weighted score: 3.535
A little on the sweet side, but overall a passable pumpkin ale.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.89/5  rDev 0%

Very nice pumpkin ale. The appearance is a dark mahogany color with a khaki tan head that traces the glass. The smell is full of pumpkin and spice like nutmeg and cinnamon. The taste is straightforward with pumpkin and almost a sour taste that compliments the sweetness of all the pie spices. Very nice. The mouthfeel also had good consistency and I would definitely pick this one up again.

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Photo of utopiajane
4/5  rDev +2.8%

New York, USA - AUG 20, 2014
Pours orange and a,most opaque except for a haze that let light in and made this beer a bit of pastel. Nose is ginger, bright ginger and nutmeg. Not too much cinnamon and thank goodness for that. bit of allspice and clove and lastly cinnamon. This beer has the bitter scent of the actual pumpkin on it via touch of grass from hops. Lovely. Weyerbacher has deliiverd quite the abv in this beer. 8% to warm a bit as it finishes. But first. A bold pumpkin flavor with a bit of sourness or of twang if you will . Like the pumpkin and like the pumpkin pie. It has a dry crust for malt. Dry, floury and not too sweet. So a biscuit malt. Lightly over the top is a touch of bright honey to go with he bright ginger and now I am really excited. No diacetyl except in the mouthfeel. A bit of buttery sensation adds to this creamy beer with a decent bitterdespite it’s abv. A touch of hop grass and bitter finish this one like a surprise and WOW a great Imperial pumpkin ale from wyerbacher that tastes like an ale and has a great abv to kick it home.

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Photo of AyeMito
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%

I really love the aroma of this beer. I was hit with cinnamon, spice, nutmeg and pumpkin pie all layered perfectly. In my opinion, the taste itself doesn't fully live up to it's aroma. It still is pleasant but is a little bit overpowered with spice and nutmeg. Also, I feel the beer isn't as focused on displaying pumpkin flavor. My first taste I got very strong notes of all its other elements, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.. It just took me a little while to pick out where I found the pumpkin flavor. Don't get me wrong, its a good beer, just not exactly what I prefer.

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Photo of wollefdoogylloj
3.22/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I just poured my first bottle of this and the smell was wonderful. My taste buds were looking forward to enjoying what my nose already had. Boy, something wrong here! It has a nice mouthfeel but that's about where things go south. Sour mash like taste with a cinnamon follow. Almost like this batch had too much nutmeg or the bottle was bad. Opened a second one with the same results. Really sour with an almost harsh nutmeg aftertaste. I really don't think I'll buy this one again after drinking so many other pumpkin beers this fall that have proved far more enjoyable than this.

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Photo of sagefool
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

There are three types of pumpkin beer: spice heavy, gourd heavy, and balanced.

This is definitely on the spice-heavy end of things.

Cinnamon first, followed by a hint of nutmeg and clove. You do get a hint of squash/gourd at the end.

I tend to to be more "punkin' " centric.

A good pumpkin beer, but still inferior to Southern Tier's sweeter Pumking.

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Photo of Cloaked_Phantom
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Appearance - One to one and a half finger off white to tan head. Dissipated quickly and seemed very carbonated. The beer is blood orange or dark amber in color. Very limited to no visibility through liquid, but very clean and no floaters noted. 4.25

Smell - Very strong spice followed by slight pumpkin. Lots of nutmeg, less clove and slight cinnamon. Sweet and pleasing. 3.5

Taste - Huge spice. Almost all spice. Again there is some slight pumpkin in the background, but we are really dealing with a spice beer. Pretty carbonated but not overly. 3

Mouthfeel - Big body with a medium to thick mouthfeel. Exactly what I like in a pumpkin beer. Could maybe be slightly thicker, but really the mouthfeel is great. 4

Overall - This beer could be perfect, but for me it is overly spiced. I love all the fall and pumpkin pie spices, but they need to be complimented by actual pumpkin flavors. Also would prefer slightly less carbonation. One of my better options for the season, but if I'm strictly basing my review on what I'd like in a perfect pumpkin beer...I need more pumpkin. 3.7

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Photo of JordonHoltzman
4.51/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A brown hazy body with no real head present.
But as soon as I pour it out of the bottle, it's like I took a pumpkin pie right out of the oven. Wow this smells good. Fresh pumpkin and autumn spice aroma pleasantly remind me of thanksgiving that I love so much. Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove. All individually pinpointed but together make this beer smell exactly as a beer with this name should.
And the taste matches the smell. Just as I would hope.
Mouthfeel is fantastic. Smooth with medium level carbonation, which leaves the beer feeling like it came straight from the bright tank.
Overall this is probably the best pumpkin ale I've ever had, and pumpkin ale is probably my beer style. I let this beer sit in my fridge for a two or so months, not in the mood to do a review. I look forward to next year, when I will by this beer by the case!

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Photo of miclormic
2.4/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I could not disagree more with these ratings. I typically do not like pumpkin ales because they DON'T TASTE LIKE PUMPKIN! They all taste like a watery pumpkin pie,YUK.

I decided to try this one because it was an "IMPERIAL" .the only thing imperial about it is the price. PASS this one by, it fizzles.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

not my favorite pumpkin beer, but maybe its past its prime not in february. dark rusted orange color without much head at all and some cloudiness. the nose is spice forward, with cardamom being the prime mover. i love cardamom, and its use here contributes a lot, but i dont get much of the pumpkin itself in either nose or taste. it comes across as a spiced strong ale, more of a winter warmer than a pumpkin because the vegetable just is so far back. not much sweetness, and not enough body either, but its interesting layers of flavor, clove and cinnamon too. had this been fuller bodied and more pumpkin heavy, i would have loved it, but the 8% abv seemed a little exposed given its thinness, and the spices, while done well, had nothing to hang on to. something was missing.

Edit: this is leagues better on tap, with many if the issues resolved. Maybe they changed the recipe this year? Much much improved

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Photo of thegodfather1076
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Presentation: Very cool looking label with nice eye-catching graphics and colors. Label gives a small description of the beer, a bit of brewery info, web info, and ABV info.

Appearance: An aggressive pour from its 12oz brown bottle into a 20oz imperial pint led to a 1 finger thin fizzy off white head atop a cloudy bright orange colored beer. Head retention was only 46sec before fading to nothing with almost no lacing produced.

Smell/Aroma: Smells heavy on nutmeg, vanilla, and clove with a nice fresh pumpkin aroma. A bit of cinnamon, caramel, and toasty biscuit can also be detected in the nose.

Flavor/Taste: Tastes is also heavy on the spices on the front end with nutmeg, clove, vanilla, and cinnamon, all being very prevalent along with a fresh pumpkin flavor. Mid point has a bit of toasted caramel and fresh pumpkin flavors detectable. Back end has a pumpkin pie flavor with pumpkin and biscuitty pie crust prevalent. Aftertaste is fresh pumpkin.

MouthFeel/Drinkability: Light bodied but still maintains a thicker creamy mouthfeel with a very slick fee the palette. Very drinkable.

Overall/Comments: A very tasty and flavor packed pumpkin ale that is a pleasure to drink. Very nicely done. Classified as a Pumpkin Ale @ 8% ABV. Consumed 11/8/2013.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.39/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. 12/27

Pours dark amber with orange/red tints. Light foaming. Thin ring. Pumpkin/nutmeg nose. Sweet smelling. But a sour taste, pumpkin back. Rich and chewy, but can't escape the sour. Did I get a bad bottle? If not, this is odd. Just Ok, I had hoped for better. Will give another try next season.

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Photo of Jackofallbrews
2.84/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Aroma: Rich nutmeg and cinnamon on first whiff. On deeper inhalation I get a lot of sweet sugar and some carmelized malt. Hint of fruity pear and apple as swirled. Slight earthy notes as it warms.

Appearance: Deep ruby in color. Very clear with no haze. Medium fine off-white head.

Flavor: Maltiness up front (unsurprisingly). A hit of nutmeg and cinnamon after the initial malt bomb. The finish fades to a strong cardamom flavor and astringency that stays with you. Because of this the beer ends very dry and almost puckering. There is some real pumpkin hiding in there. Also some of the fruity esters from the aroma come through as it warms up. Body is medium. Very slight alcohol warming present.

Overall: The first sip is appealing, but the finish is just so harsh that this is difficult to keep drinking. This is one that (to me) isn't worth the calories.

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Photo of potion
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

this is a bottle from 2011, so it's got all those great fonts/artwork of yesteryear. ahh comic sans..

A - beer pours a hazy copper color with a decent-sized head - very light and quickly faded, leaving very little lacing. probably waited a year too long on this one, gushed when opened.

S - the usual spices I expect from a pumpkin ale, but not too heavy on the nutmeg which is good. that usually turns me off with others. cardamom and cloves stand out the most along with a strong, spicy ginger smell

T - cardamom, cloves and nutmeg again though no ginger. spicy but the alcohol is well-hidden. bitter with sort of a metallic aftertaste at this age. not much depth in malts anymore.

M - good amount of carbonation that quickly dissipates leaving a thin beer. definitely has a spicy bite.

O - so this is two years old. I had some from the same batch last year and it was probably perfect at that age. two years is too much. back then this would've been my favorite pumpkin ale, but something has seemed to change with most of the 2013 weyerbacher releases. not as flavorful, overall drop in complexity. they tasted rushed this year.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.59/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one last year and last sampled on 11/29/13 with my friend. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and served in a pilsner glass.

Pours a hazy orange/amber in color with a 1/2-finger tan head that doesn't last long. Some spotting lacing is seen. The aroma is very pleasing and strong and is of pumpkin and spices. The taste is actually even better and is very tasty with LOTS of pumpkin and spice flavor. Perfect carbonation. No harsh or bad aftertaste either. This is one of my favorite pumpkin ales.

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Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,003 ratings.