Imperial Pumpkin Ale - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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Imperial Pumpkin Ale
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BA SCORE
87
very good

2,501 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,501
Reviews: 987
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 132
Gots: 312 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,501 | Reviews: 987
Photo of crwills
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sample glass from tasting with northyorksammy, grub, and biegaman. Glad to have tried this alongside the Smuttynose Pumpkin, to have something to compare it to. This one was much better, although I don't think this is a style I will be getting into.

Aroma is much stronger than the Smutty, very malty and sweet. Taste is pumpkin, or perhaps other Autumn squashes, and (thankfully) natural spices! Similar, but more restrained and fresh ginger and nutmeg. Mild vanilla. More pumpkin flavour throughout, and an odd perfumy element that I had trouble identifying. Aftertaste is malt and cloves.

Worth a try, but maybe not a rebuy.

Photo of NJpadreFan
2.95/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Weyerbacher- Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Appearance- Dark cloudy orange almost brown with a thick creamy head. Lacing down half the glass.
Smell- Strong ginger, cinnamon, clove, and pumpkin.
Taste- Like a ginger snap cookie. Ginger, clove, cinnamon, and pumpkin. The flavor seems so subdued!?
Mouthfeel- Has a chemical taste and feel to it all the way through. The flavor blossoms in the aftertaste?!

Overall- I was so excited to try this but it was a let down. $4.75 for a 22 oz bomber.

Photo of Sammy
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Off-the-chart tastes, thanks crwills. 2006 edition. Very orange, a little crowning head, and lace in the glass. All kinds of spice aroma. 8% alcohol. Significant malting but still on the spicey side with nutmeg, cardommon, cinammon, ginger. Altogether too much.I had it again a couple months later and it was OK.

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

tasting party sept 11/06 with northyorksammy, crwills, biegaman and me (grub). everyone threw in a few bottles and we had an interesting mix of beer and mead. not sure of exactly who contributed what, so i'll just thank everyone.

pours a nice light ruby colour with an off-white head.

aroma is nice. lots of cinnamon and nutmeg. bit of clove. hint of alcohol.

taste is great. rich malt and caramel. hint of nuttiness. spices are nice, but somewhat subtle, not overpowering. the cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove from the aroma are all present, but leaning more towards the cinnamon.

mouthfeel is good. moderate carbonation works well. slightly astringent. good body.

drinkability for this started off 'great', then i crossed that out and went to 'good', then crossed that out too. at first i was really into this one, but the longer it sat and the more i drank, the less i liked it. still one of the most interesting pumpkin beers i've tried.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'll try not to be biased here. I drank this while watching my Who-Dey Bengals win their opening game of the season.
That being said, it was solid all in it's own.
It poured a nice amber color with a reddish/orange hue to it. A very nice head, had to wait a minute or two to top off my glass.
Smell was nice, could pick up some spice and alcohol.
The taste is where this beer separates itself from the rest of the seasonal pumpkin beers. It is wonderfully spiced, and had a good texture. There was a stronger spice taste than there was a pumpkin taste. I'm still searching for a solid pumpkin bread/pie like seasonal.
This beer is very drinkable. Smooth and pretty well-done compared to its peers.

Photo of MaltyGoodness
2.95/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz. bottle

Pours a clear amber color with light crimson highlights. Has a small tan haead that disappears. No lacing on the glass.

Lots of pumpkin pie spices in the aroma with a mild caramel maltiness. It smells like ladies night at the bakery.

Too many spices - an all too familiar theme with pumpkin beers. There is a slight maltiness upfront which is quickly dominated by pumpkin pie spice. The spices leave a lingering aftertaste as it finishes quite dry.

Thin body, low carbonation.

Another over-spiced pumpkin brew. I keep trying them and they keep disappointing me....

Photo of Ieatlambfries
4.37/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pumpkin ale poured a beautiful clear dark reddish orange. It had a very nice 2 finger head of dense tan bubbles. Actually, the head even seemed to have a bit of an orange tinge to it.

The smell is like a slice of pumpkin pie. Cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg filled my nose. Slight whiff of alcohol in the background.

The taste was at first like a big spoonful of cinnamon. It actually made my throat constrict for a second. This is followed by real pumpkin, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom. The mix of flavors reminds me of Chai Tea. Behind it all is a very well made ale. Slightly bitter hops with some citrus rind flavors. This is well balanced by a malty backbone which is just sweet enough to compliment the pumpkin taste and give it that pumpkin pie effect. Certainly not overly sweet by any means. In fact I'd almost call it perfect. Lurking in the background is some alcohol flavor. Although I felt it was hidden well. You mostly taste it when you exhale and feel some of the heat.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and silky. Just enough carbonation to give it a bit of bite without sacrificing the smoothness.

Drinkability is very good for an Imperial/Double type brew. I felt the fact that it wasn't overly sweet played a big part in this as it really allowed the other flavors to shine through. Mix that with the great mouthfeel and you have a winner considering the higher abv.

I thoroughly enjoyed this pumpkin ale. I'm usually not a big pumpkin ale fan, but this one seemed a curiosity being that it was an Imperial. I'm really glad I gave it a go. This will certainly become a fall staple and something to look forward to when the leaves start changing.

Photo of SteveO1231
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. brown bomber, pours a murky brown with maroon highlights. Huge foamy off-white head with chunky lacing plastered to the sides of my glass. Nose is full of spice, predominately ginger, clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon a small hint of citrus peal in the mix. Some alcoholic esters behind all of the spiciness. Really smells like pumpkin pie. Full bodied, smooth texture. Caramel/brown sugar sweetness up front, soon to be overwhelmed by the spiciness. Ginger and nutmeg really stick out, cinnamon brings up the back end. Alcoholic esters pierce the palate just before the finish. The finish is spicy and drying but enjoyable. ABV is not printed anywhere on the bottle but I'm guessing it's up there, halfway through I get a little warm. This is one of the best pumpkin beers I have ever had.

Cheers!

Photo of mcallister
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great looking beere. Polished amber/orange. An off white thick, creamy head resides on top and hold itself for an eternity. Well for a while any way; what it leaves behind is thick sticky glass coating lace.

Big, robust, masculine aromas. Somewhat like waiting in line at a bakery the day before thanksgiving. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and all spice explode from the glass. Sweet malt, and some floral hop also entice the aroma. And of course there is that lovely bitter smell of pureed pumpkin.

Well compared to the bottle I reviewed a few weeks ago which I had aged in my cellar since '05; this years version definitely is showing it's youth. Bright and lively, perfume type flavors. Overwhelming nutmeg and all spice. Pumpkin and cinnamon even things out a bit but I think this years could have benefited from more malt backbone. Especially the mouthfeel. There is so much going on in this it's absurd. Extremely complex and will be great cellared a year when everthing comes together a little better. Otherwise this is a damn tasty beer.

Photo of TrickKnee
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A--A nice dark red color with a nice head. Poured a little atoo much ehad but it could have just been me
S--Beautiful smell of nutmeg and cloves, kind of hid the smell of the cinammon and pumpkin but still wonderfull
T-- if there was any beer that i have ever had that tasted like fall this would be the one. Tasted like a pumpkin mixed with apple pie, amazing taste
M--Decent mouthfeel lingers a bit in there though
D--This has become a new staple in the fall for me, I am going to go buy a bunch if they have hit, what a great beer!!!

Photo of quasimoto
3.23/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - it is a nice deep copper color. It also has a nice tan head that leaves a nice trail of lace.

S - Strong spices start off this brew, but are followed by quite a bit of alcohol and some weird phenols. Almost like a cleanser.

T - Spices are definitly big on this side. But there is that chemically banana flavor in their as well which brings up the rear. Slightly fruity as well.

M - There is aonly a little bit of carbination in there to start with. But then it turns rather smooth. Doesnt dry out in the end though. Kind of viscous.

D - This beer is drinkable, but with the slightr little chemical bits in there, it leaves me a little let down.

Photo of jmz62565
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was too weird not to pick up.
This beer pours a clear dark rddish mahogny with a giant tan foamy head. A very impressive looking beer. The smell is very pungent with cinnamon,nutmeg,and "real" pumpkin. The taste is creamy and like the smell has cinnamon,nutmeg, and real pumpkin,not the artifiacial flavoring. I hate pumpkin beers,but this is pretty good. The m/f is light and well balanced making this, along with football, something to look forward to every fall.

Photo of NEhophead
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 pt., 6 fl. oz. brown bottle.

Pours a bright auburn/reddish-brown with a hue of mahogany. Dense, inch-high, light brown head with very good retention. Thin and spotted lacing with good strength.

Sweet caramel with a burnt, toasted malt character. True pumpkin aroma with spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. Faint underlying mustiness.

Semi-sweet caramel, light cream wtih a touch of vanilla. Pumpkin puree that lasts throughout the aftertaste: a little thick and syrup-like. Lots of spice: clove, cinnamon, and brown sugar that makes for a powdery mustiness. Burnt, toasted malts, cinnamon, and pumpkin puree fill the aftertaste.

Medium in body; powdery, and a bit filmy on the palate.

Pretty good flavors, a bit powdery due to the heavy spice profile, with just a slight detection of the 8% abv. Unique, but nothing that draws me into having another glass.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First of all, I’d like to say that I loved the label on the bottle. Who is this pumpkin emperor and what is his jack-o-lantern army doing behind him? What are they up to? This can’t end well. Good label, Weyerbacher!

I poured this one into a snifter and there it sat a glowing cherry with a touch of brown. The head consists of a substantial collar of off white and some irregular swirls.

Smells of spicy nutmeg and a crisp zesty citrus. There’s also a nutty brown ale sweetness there with just a hint of red licorice.

Tastes of a smooth and creamy hazelnut and pumpkin base with a spicy blend of nutmeg and some other unidentifiable spices. This is blended into a cool but dry bitterness.

The mouth feel is light to medium bodied with a soft micro-carbonation. It was also exceptionally clean.

I really liked the electric sour tingle to this one. It really worked well with the spices and helped compliment the pumpkin.

Photo of phisig137
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from a bottle with an incredibly tacky, yet humerous label, a dark amber caramel color. Heavy 1" head pops up, and slowly falls leaving behind nice lacing.

Aroma is heavily spiced. Cloves and cardamom seem to predominate, with a hint of nutmeg in the back. Alcohol is fairly prevalent here.

The taste again is quite spicy, and the cardamom really pops, which is a nice change of pace from other spiced beers. Nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon are all in the background, along with just a hint of pumpkin flavor. I wouldn't call it "overly" spicy, but the spices do dominate the slightly sweet malty body of this beer. Mouthfeel is very creamy,and I don't detect much alcohol on the palate, so drinkability is fairly high.

Photo of EPseja
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fresh batch of the 2006 release!

Served from a 22oz. bomber at just below cellar temperature in a Duvel tulip.

A - Beautiful, crystal clear chestnut brown with scarlet highlights and a light cocoa colored head that rises to two inches. Head recedes to a thick mat after a few minutes, but has good staying power overall. Lacing is superb!

S - The mix of spices and traditional beer ingredients makes for a heady, almost perfumey nose. Big notes of cinnamon and clove, but countered and balanced by the unmistakable sweetness of cardamom that works with the well toasted malts. Also present is an organic squashlike essence, no doubt from the use of pumpkin. Only the slightest twinge of alcohol is present in the nose, but it hides behind the wall of spices. Assertive but pleasant. Very dessert-like.

T - Sweet cardamom and caramel malts dominate the beginning of the sip, mellowing out in the middle and back of the tongue where some distant hoppiness and pumpkiny/squashy yeastiness sneak in for a cameo. The other spices check in just before the swallow, and hang around after the beer has gone down and begins to warm your belly. Slightly bitter and drying hop profile, but what hops were used I can not distinguish. Alcohol is very well masked.

M - Thick and viscous on the way into the mouth, rising to a candied froth that swirls like a cloud of fog. Finish is substantial and throat-coating.

D - This beer resides on the fringes of the Pumpkin Ale category, largely due to its magnitude both in alcohol content and its flavor profile. With these points in mind, I find this beer to be a fantastic harbinger of the tastes and smells of autumn and early winter. Wonderful for a chilly evening as we count down the days to Halloween...

Photo of Fish113d
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I gotta thank my best buddy, Sulldaddy for getting me a bomber bottle of this one of a few of Weyerbacher's offerings.

Pours a dense, ruby color with a dense even, tan head on top that appears as though it'll sit for quite some time before dissipating. Nice cling on the glass.

Lots of cinnamon and nutmeg on my nose right away...reminds me of pumpkin pie! Very aromatic and clean smelling! Sweet on the nose, and the cloves come in underlying it all. Nice!

Mild flavor up front that quickly turns to spice! The nutmeg and cloves hit hard with an underlying pumpkin and cinnamon flavor. The swallow is sorta weak however in flavor, and it kinda just goes away; no alcohol bite or anything. I think it could be a bit better.

Smooth feel with a somewhat creamy feel. Finish is a little drying and a bit sour, which is a bit weird. Decent feel however.

Overall, I love Weyerbacher, so I'm a bit biased, but I could drink this all night I think; or at least til I fell over!

Photo of oberon
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Its getting to be that time of year again,I am not a fan of pumpkin pie but I enjoy the fall pumpkin brews.This poured a clear rich amber/copper with a tight formed slight off white 1/2 finger head that held some good retention,pumpkin pie spice mainly in the nose cardimom and mace with big nutmeg notes,that spice to me is just to big flavor wise the pumpkin flavors as light as they are are just overwhelmed by spices nutmeg and mace mainly with notes of cinnamon and clove as well.The point is the spice flavor are just a little to big for this beer everything else...the nose and appearance are top notch,damn its so close to being great.

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

Thanks to Melbatoast for the trade.

The body reminds me of apple cider. It's very dark with an almost orange tinge. The head was around an inch thick. Nose is full of nutmeg, cinamon, but not really any pumpkin to speak of. When I taste, I taste pretty much those same spices .... but hardly any pumpkin. Don't get me wrong, it tastes GOOD but I feel like I'm watching Taxi Driver ... with no Deniro. Mouth is rich and creamy. I definitely like this beer and would love to try it again. I just wish it had more pumpkin flavor than it does.

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

I had reviewed this beer when it was first released and enjoyed it but was not overly impressed with it at the time. I just tapped a bottle today on my birthday and was a bit more impressed. The beer poured a hazy orange/red color with a thin off white head. The aroma still has a nice cinnamon and clove smell even after sitting in my fridge since Halloween. The taste is equally spicey. There are tones of cinnamon and clove and pumpkin but the pumpkin is not overwhelming. I have a few more of these so I will havve to sit on some of them and see how they develop over time.

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

12 oz'er holding its own from '05.

Pours a dark copper hue topped of with a tacky khaki dense cap. Eventually the head cap settles to a nill collar.

Deep scents of real pumpkin. Not just that "spiced" pumpkin-slash-brown ale that gets slapped together, but this smels like the real deal.

First swigs: Creamy smooth taxture and rich pulpy pumpkin pie. Plenty of spiced notes of cinnamon and clove. The 8% ABV is completely hidden.

Feel is surprising that there is a rich easy drinkabilty but yet never becomes cloying.

Last swigs: Temptation to drop a dollop of whipped cream into this glass of pie. Plenty of pumpkin.

Beer is good. Happy pumpkin bering!

Photo of Crosling
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle @ Spuyten Duyvil, Brooklyn. Light bronze color, with a full, white head. A bit darker in color that most pumpkin ales. Cinnamon and nutmeg stick out in the fairly aromatic nose, with hints of pumpkin and delicate hop. Really rich banana and clove flavors initially, which fades into hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Pumpkin dominates the 5 second finish, with hints of vanilla. Massive body of exploding flavors. A tasty, full bodied, unique, delicious treat. Great crafting here.

Photo of assurbanipaul
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber-orange with a solid quarter-inch head. Aroma is spicy and sweet with cinnamon, mandarin orange, pepper, some cloves. Quite aromatic.

Taste is pretty close to the aroma: Toasty malt with spices of cloves, cinnamon, light citrus and red hots. Pumpkin flavors, allspice, nutmeg, dried fruit, very faint hop bitterness. Balance is sweet, but not too sweet; finish is dry, but not too dry. No trace of alcohol elements (I assume it's high).

Mouthfeel is medium, very smooth and drinkable. Hedges more toward an O-fest than a pumpkin ale, but the pumpkin elements are quite solid. I think this stronger "Imperialized" version is works better than most conventional pumpkin ales.

Photo of cheers2beers
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This pumpkin ale pours a cloudy dark amber with a thin tan head.Very little laceing is found.

Smell: Pumpkin aromas are most certainly present,as expected.Spices such as nutmeg,cinnamon,cloves, and an all-spice are noted.Slightly doughy and toasted breads followed by the alcohol.

Taste: The flavors of pumpkin cannot be hidden.A nice sweeten malt and a hop profile helps balance the spices as described in the nose.A little herbal as well.And of course the alcohol is still present.If I had to guess I would say this was about 6.5%-7% ABV.

Mouthfeel: A good mouthfeel is for certain.Slick,oily, and a grainy liquid is a nice compliment to this ale.Alcohol and a small rush of tiny bubbles in the finish.

Drinkability: I could say this is one of the top pumpkin ales I have encountered so far.My props to Weyerbacher on this one.

Cheers2Beers

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

imperial pumpkin, as displayed in the retarded sixth-grade illustration on the front. see, he's the king (imperial) pumpkin! he appears to be eating his clothes.

pours a really deep, murky, thick brownish red. looks imperial if nothing else. head really doesn't hang around and leaves me with a slight ring around the edge. aroma certainly evokes other pumpkin beers, spicy.. clovey. sweet and malty as well providing a nice nasal balance. definite sweet pastry notes in the nose. drink it, and your mouth will be overcome with potpourri spice. this beer reminds me alot of a nice mulled cider, with a beery twist. a sipper, but flavorful and very thorough in its presentation.. everything from color to smell to taste to aftertaste to warmth screams autumn seasonal and weyerbacher has created one more success for us.

and you know weyerbacher.. either its good or it sucks hairy nuts. the graphic design though.. always sucks. hire me.

thanks blithev

Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 2,501 ratings.