Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Imperial Pumpkin Ale - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Pumpkin AleImperial Pumpkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

978 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 978
Hads: 2,525
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.86%
Wants: 141
Gots: 331 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Imperial Pumpkin Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 978 | Hads: 2,525
Photo of TrickKnee
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
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!!! (540 characters)

Photo of quasimoto
3.23/5  rDev -16.8%
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. (663 characters)

Photo of jmz62565
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
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. (471 characters)

Photo of NEhophead
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
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. (868 characters)

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.23/5  rDev +9%
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. (939 characters)

Photo of phisig137
3.59/5  rDev -7.5%
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. (728 characters)

Photo of EPseja
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
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... (1,747 characters)

Photo of Fish113d
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
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! (985 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.53/5  rDev -9%
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. (643 characters)

Photo of TheBungyo
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
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. (542 characters)

Photo of ggaughan
4/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (577 characters)

Photo of blitheringidiot
4/5  rDev +3.1%
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! (676 characters)

Photo of Crosling
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (484 characters)

Photo of assurbanipaul
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (697 characters)

Photo of cheers2beers
4/5  rDev +3.1%
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 (869 characters)

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
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 (962 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark coppery browned color. One inch stack of firm, cigarette stained, foam. Fades slowly to a solid skim and thinning collar. Minimal lacing sticks in strings, otherwise mostly drippy and fast.

Aroma is mostly of mixed spices, clove dominates with a good portion of cinnamon drawing through along with some cardamon and highly ripe pumpkin rind.

Taste is quite nice. One of the better pumpkin brews I've had without a doubt. Fun flavors and spices mix well and boldly across a sweet candied malt backing. The pumpkim is there along with a good portion of balanced in spices bringing cinnamon, cardamon, and a nutmeg dryness. Finish has a light dryness with the spices and some yeastyness. Then it rides around going back and forth for a bit with the malty candyish backing.

Feel is fairly active and forthcoming with a steady medium body, seemingly light in areas but malty rich and thick in others. A fun and unique ride with this one. Smooth overall with fairly fine vibrant spicing and yeasty dryness.

A very solid pumpkin spice brew. A nice treat to be shared, if and whenever possible. Although I can see why some people don't like it. It can border on the love it or hate it line of character for some. To each their own. Mine is thimbs up; as is the Mrs. - who probably liked it alot more then I did. Good stuff. (1,332 characters)

Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.34/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Golden orange amber, high carbonation, clinging to the sides head is small.

S - Pumpkin, tomatoes (that is pretty odd, but it meshes well with the pumpkin), nutmeg and cloves. Cinnamon and cardamon do make a fainter appearance. I am impressed by this odor. Unlike most pumpkin ales it is extremely pronounced.

T - Pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and tomatoes. I like it, a strong pumpkin pie character (maybe served with a side of stewed tomatoes). This is an impressive beer.

M - Smooth, very creamy and refreshing.

D - I think this is my favorite Weyerbacher yet (although both Decadance and Insanity are definitely competition). The flavor is pronounced, yet not overbearing. It is too strong to session at 8.0% abv, but a bomber of this will treat you pretty well. Definitely a fabulous dessert beer or even a nice apperteif. Beers like this are why I love Weyerbacher. (892 characters)

Photo of beermanbrian
3.59/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this one sitting around for a while and just never had the urge to drink it. Figured I better get to it before it gets too old. Golden brown color with a very thin head that leaves no lacing. Smell of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and tons of other spices. Very nice smell, i was't thinking i would like this but it's not overpowering like i was anticipating. The spices fill your nose as you drink but the malt really dominates the tongue. Overall a nice beer. Much better than i was anticipating. Kind of a novelty beer that i wouldn't drink very often but surprisingly pleasant. (585 characters)

Photo of walleye
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

got this in a trade but I do not know who sent it lost my trading papers. but a big thanks goes to the person who sent this. when I popped the cap to this beer I got a big whiff of cloves. poured an nice honey with a light brown head that didn’t last and left no lacing. aroma pumpkin pie, and all the spices that go with it, cinnamon, nutmeg. flavor same as the aroma with malts as a topping and a hint of alcohol thrown in. nice and smooth. one of the better pumpkin beers I have had. (487 characters)

Photo of Jredner
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is huge. Nutmeg and Cloves dominates, but the other spices are there in the background. Reddish/orange with a huge fluffy white head. Wow this really does have some body to it. I always thought the problem with pumpkin ales is that it makes you think of pumpkin pie, which is creamy and thick, and all the beers are not. This does indeed taste like slice of pumpkin pie...complete with whip cream and you even get some bready pie crust in the finish.

I think this could even be creamier and still be very appealing to non-pumpkin beer drinkers, but stillt his is far and away the best pumpkin beer I have ever had and also the most "PUMPKIN" tasting. (659 characters)

Photo of bultrey
3.61/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

OK, I actually like this beer. I didn't think I did the firs time I had it, but it's grown on me. Cloudy copper brown, good inital head that recedes quickly. Smells very sweet, like honeyed, spiced, pumkpin pie, or maybe even a little artificial like one of those holiday candles. Not awful though. Bam -- the spices really hit you hard up front, with the pungecny of the clove and nutmeg packing the biggest wallop. You don't get a while lot of earthiness from pumpkin, but you do get alot of sugar and therefore alcohol and sweetness. Really velvety smooth mouthfeel. It's an after-dinner beer, make no mistake, big and malty, and heavily spiced. I wouldn't want more than the 22 oz. bottle I had in a sitting, and probably would prefer about 10 oz. But it was good. If you like spiced beers. (794 characters)

Photo of AlexJ
4.29/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like liquid pumpkin, amber orange with a thin, but dense tan head that leaves very little lace.

Aroma is an explosion of fresh pumpkin pie notes, warm spices, vanilla, scorched caramel malts, brown sugar, and pumpkin.

Flavor has a great caramel and toffee malt character pumped up with perfectly subtle cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, and vanilla notes. The pumpkin flavor really stands out which really makes this one feel authentic.

Body is above medium, with coarse carbonation and a creamy. rich texture. Definately one of the best pumpkin ales out there. (576 characters)

Photo of nortmand
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours brilliant amber with a small white head.

Smell is total ginger. Also some nutmeg and cinnamon notes.

Huge ginger flavor up front. Ends very bitter. Hops or spice resins? Very nice huge fall flavor either way. Leaves a slightly sour aftertaste typical of spiced beers.

Medium bodied and well carbonated, a good beer, but more of a nightcap than a "drinking beer." (377 characters)

Photo of malty
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark bronze, fire thorn orange in color with a healthy & sturdy 1 1/2" dense head that remains all the way down.

Scents are full of fresh cinnamon, clove (pumpkin of course) & nutmeg. There's faint warmth in the nose from the ethanol, but only to the 'trained' nose, that is.

Flavors are scrumptiously full of the aforementioned scents with a hearty malty backbone. The scents and flavors of this ale are definitely over-the-top, but yummy none-the-less. The alcohol (8.5%) is hidden quite nicely.

Mouthfeel is very velvety smooth. Full bodied with a long lasting spicy, but malty sweet finish.

Drinkability is good given the girth of this arsenal seasonal ale. I couldn't put more than one of these bombers away in one sitting though.

Overall a fantastic pumpkin ale to share amongst good friends sitting next to the fireplace. Segues perfectly with the winter/X-Mas seasonals also. A cheek warmer for sure. Very, very nice. (948 characters)

Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 978 ratings.