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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 jwc215
2.96/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours deep amber with a thin, slightly off-white head that almost immediately disappears to oblivion. Okay color, disappointing head, even for the abv. (which, though not listing, I assume to be above average considering how the alcohol was so prominent).

The smell is just as the front of the bottle lists - cinnamon, nutmeg, cardemom and cloves over pumpkin. The aroma is pretty strong, helped by the spices and alcohol.

The taste has the same characteristics as the smell, but the pumpkin is almost lost among the spices and alcohol. The little bit of pumpkin is true, not the fake pumpkin flavor that some use, but it's a shame that it is so overpowered. It's not as good as the smell had me believe. It's imbalance becomes more apparent as the drink progresses. On top of that, a slight chemical-like taste enters in as the beer warms. The spices aren't bad, but they mask much of the pumpkin taste.

This beer loses it's potential as it progresses. It's a bit more watery than I expected. The aftertaste is not so pleasant - Where did the pumpkin go? Only a fleeting memory remains, as it becomes lost in the shuffle.

It's not an easy one to drink. I thought of dumping it several times, but decided to be a trooper...
Better pumpkin ales out there...

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Photo of techdiver
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy deep amber, a very modest head which dissipates quickly. Some spice smell that leads to surprise as the taste is much more intense than one would expect. Not overpowering, but full of flavor. Not much carbonation, but more drinkable than other Pumpkin Ales.

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

A: Dark mahagoney amber with just a touch of haze. A nice solid, oatmeal colored head towers above the body of the beer. As it falls, swiss cheese like lace is left behind around the sides of the glass.

S: Lots of seasoning in this one. Obvious cardomon with cinnamon and nutmeg in the secondary. Touch of soapiness and pumpkin trail off.

T: Begins with spices on the tip of the tongue. Thank god this beer isn't overspiced, its balanced and fairly delicate. Pumpkin is quite pronounced at this point, fresh and fulfilling. Finishes with some apple cider, yellow pear and honey. Aftertaste is almost all apple with a touch of hoppiness.

M: Medium body. Carbonation is neither distracting or necessarily appealing.

D: They did a good job making this beer balanced. It could have easily been overspiced or too cloying. Flavor still leaves a tad to be desired.

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Photo of EStreet20
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bomber, 20 ounce nonin

A - A nice translucent red color with a two finger off white head

S - A lot of spice on top of a malty brew

T - A nice sweet pumpkin ale with definite hints of cinnamon and nutmeg as the bottle states. Some alcohol flavor blended in nicely. A great vanilla character as well

M - Medium bodied and some lively carbonation

D - Not my favorite style but this one drinks nicely.

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Photo of maek228
2.52/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: amber colored ale with a decent looking head...some cling...but not much

Smell: smells of fall spices....kinda bready smell

Taste: starts off good...it tastes like a heart old school ale with pumpkins spice but let me tell you - the aftertaste is brutal. the aftertaste is that of a steel reserve 40. it leaves you with a skunked and sour taste in your mouth. awful

Mouthfeel: just doesnt feel right

Drinkability: ehhh no this is not easy to drink. that aftertaste is a mother. avoid this one

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

Thanks to EPseja for sending me this beer. Hope to trade again soon!

This pours a very pretty golden brown amber color into my pint glass. Much more brown than golden. The head slowly builds.as if it's a stout. I end up with an inch+ thick head, that slowly recedes to a layer of foam. Not much lacing, rather the head leaves bits of foam attached to the glass as I swirl it. Very nice looking beer.

A very sweet spicy aroma of cardomom prevails, with hints of allspice in the background. Not much on cinnamon or nutmeg aromas.

The taste has a spicy bite to it, along with a definite alcohol flavor. It is definitely an "in your face" beer. Nohting subtle about it. Don't taste a lot of pumpkin. More of a spicy pale ale flavor. Definite alcohol bitterness.

Mouthfeel is quite carbonated. Moderately thick, and it leaves a spicy aftertaste with a strong alcohol warming

Overall, a decent brew. It's not my favorite Pumpkin Ale, (Cottonwood still reigns supreme in my book) but it is an interesting take on the style. A good choice for someone looking more for spice than pumpkin flavor.

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Photo of hopsaplenty
2.66/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

22oz. brown bottle, no date information, but it is the 2006 release.

Shimmering flamed amber. Towering, dense head of fine washed caramel colored bubbles. Settles slowly, leaving bands of thick lacing. Two lonely carbonation streams laze towards the surface. Ample aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves dominate, and there is a faint hint of some toasty malt. Hints of cinnamon and cardamom open things up before the alcohol arrives in a distinctly noticeable way. The alcohol is raw and adds an astringent aspect to the finish which also has some nutmeg and a bit of clove. The malt is barely noticeable. Nutmeg and cardamom flavors linger on the tongue, and in general the spices add a raw heat and do not seem to hang well together. Medium body with a thin mouthfeel, this beer does not strike me as “imperial” anything. There is nothing rich and full about the body and it is on the dry side overall. The spices were also kept on the minimal side which would have worked in a beer not labeled as “imperial”. Compared to this year’s special release of Schlafly’s Pumpkin Ale, this beer pales in comparison. The body is on the weak side and the alcohol lends a hot, astringent note. It was a struggle to make it through the entire bottle.

I don’t understand what all the hype is about with this beer. If you are looking for an Imperial Pumpkin, pick up some Schlafly.

Thanks to sacfly for the DFH bocce weekend trade.

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Photo of froggyfrog
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle served in a standard pint glass.

Pours a dark molasses-like orange color with an impressive frothy head with a half-life of several minutes.

Pumpkin pie spicy in the nose, with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. There is also a strong ginger-like component and, of course, pumpkin.

The taste continues the spice-filled pie-like flavor but adds dimensions of melted caramel, cinnamon toast, and green noble hops. Sugared pumpkin and cloves are the closers.

Mouthfeel seems slightly thin. I think maybe for the fullness of the flavor a fuller MF would be a better match. But then again it drinks very smoothly as is without being overly filling.

At 8% ABV we have left the realm of the session beer but nonetheless I could enjoy several of these fine brews in a row. In fact I might do just that tonight.

A final note: At first I was concerned when I caught wind of the spices used in this brew. For I feel that sometimes brewers of spiced ales (including our friends at Weyerbacher) get too heavy handed with the spice schedule and the quality and enjoyability of the beer suffers. This is not the case with Imp. Pumpkin, this is a very enjoyable beer even for someone who fears "over-spicing" like myself.

Also notable: I enjoyed this beer and an apple sconce in tandem and the flavor interactions were fantastic.

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Photo of johnniemarg
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Pours a red/amber with tiny suspended particles throughout. 3 finger offwhite head.

The smell is all spices that the beer is brewed with. I can definitely make out the cinnamon, nutmeg and the cloves. I don't recognize the cardamom. Some sweetness comes through, but the spices dominate.

The taste of this starts off with a sweet, syrupy pumpkin flavor that is quickly taken over by the cinnamon and nutmeg. There is a tartness in the finish that is hard to describe, but I guess I'd call it cider-y.

Mouthfeel is slick with light carbonation.

Highly drinkable pumkin ale. I love the fact that they're pushing the envelope with respect to abv compared to most pumkin ales. Though not listed on this site at the time I write this, the Weyerbacher site says it's 8%. Weyerbacher continues to come up with great unique beers.

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Photo of nvsblman
4.49/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brown with highlights of copper. A little more than a finger of off-white head. Smells like a spicy pumpkin pie. Loads of nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon... Also noticing a little black pepper it seems. Great pumpkin flavor! The spices are all working well together. Full and creamy mouthfeel. Almost seems like you should put some whipped cream on it and enjoy it for dessert! This is right up there with a local pumpkin porter (from Four Peaks) as my favorite pumpkin beer.

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Photo of
3.01/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle. Brewed with pumkin and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon & cloves). A clear very dark copper/orange ale with a large light tan head. Aroma was all about the spice, mainly clove and nutmeg. The pumpkin was hiding quite effectively until almost the end of the beer. Hops were fairly strong, and the malt was barely noticeable with everything else going on. Finally, you got a definate whiff of alcohol. Taste moves away from the aroma, in that the malt was quite prevalent - a sweet dark bread type of flavor - this was easily the sweetest of the 4 pumpkin ales I tried in this session. The hops were secondary, but quite present at the finish. This, combined with the spices and a peppery aftertaste gave a pretty good bite at the end. Other tasting notes included alcohol/medicinal flavors, clove, and mint. To me, a pumpkin flavor was not really in the mix, but you picked it up a little in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel was medium in body, fairly light carbonation, and creamy. Alcohol made for a rather drying finish. Overall, I didn't care for the alcohol/medicinal notes and I think they tried to do a little too much with this one. Not sure we need an Imperial Pumkin Ale, but hats off to them for trying.

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Photo of delicious
4.67/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smelling the beer just out of the bottle, I'm getting a lot of spice. OK, now I'm excited.
Pours a dark amber body that has just a bit of haze and a thick cream colored head.
The nose has loads of nutmeg, cinnamon, and pumpkin allspice. I'm going to go ahead and mention cinnamon again.
Gingerbread men with buttons made of cloves and hop-flower hats are dancing in a shower of holiday spices before putting on a synchronized swimming spectacle in a pool of pumpkin pie filling. This is perfect. Wow, talk about nailing it. Is it November yet? All I can think about is which foods I want to pair with this beer, and a thanksgiving feast fits the bill. The mouthfeel bolsters the experience further as alcohol warms the inside cheeks and is even tingly at times. Goodness gracious me, why is this so drinkable? Even though my sips are moderate in size, they are frequent in occourence. Beers like this one make me feel great all over and really work out my smile muscles. If I had this with turkey I'd enter suspended animation and wake up with the black bears.

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Photo of bruachan
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

i believe i bought this at acme. fairly recently

the beer in my nonic is a nice dark copper. and the head above it looks like a NASA foam mattress that i sometimes see on TV. i bet if i jumped on one part of the beer the person sitting on the other part would be able to sleep soundly

smells strongly of pumpkin (what did i expect?), though it also smell similar to a beer i brewed with pumpkin pie spices (no pumpkin), so i suppose something like that could be a big contributor. nevertheless, it smells alot like pumpkin. noble hops, too (hallertau?), and spices

sweet and pumkiny with brown sugar and flowery hops. assertive, but reasonably balanced earthy bitterness. very spicy: cinnamon, allspice perhaps

as far as the mouthfeel goes, i didn't notice it for the most part, though it was slightly dry

damn. maybe i do like pumpkin beers

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Photo of kbnooshay
4.54/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured a hazy gorgeous orange red with a small foamy tan head. The aroma is sweet as hell. It is really cinnamony! Loads of pumpkin pie like flavor. The nutmeg is also strong. The taste is quite malty with lots of spice and a small amount of hop flavor to balance. The alcohol is simply not detectable with all the awesome autumness that is going on here. The mf is slick, kinda moderate. This is incredibly drinkable. I will have to stock up.

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Photo of auntfloyd
3.15/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass.

This beer pours a nice coppery red color, with a very small head that quickly departs.

The aroma is exactly as it should be: spicy cinnamon, ginger, and pumpkin.

The taste is more subdued than I had expected, and the ginger and malt notes are actually more pronounced than the pumpkin. Definitely less pumpkin pie than other ales of this type; in fact I would say it is almost more of a spiced ale than pumpkin.

The mouthfeel is a a bit thick, and drinkability is hurt by this. Luckily, this is forgivable due to the every-now-and-then nature of pumpkin ales.

All in all, I wouldn't pass it over if offered, but I would still buy a DFH Punkin Ale or a Smuttynose instead.

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

Nice dark orange brown beer crowned with a light brown head. Lots of fun spice and malt in the nise, great pumpkin notes, nutmeg, cinnamon, all the good stuff. You can tell there's alcohol from the warmth, but not the taste. A whole lot of pumpkin, spice, and malty sweetness get together and play nice. A real delight on tap. Like sucking down a fantastic pumpkin ice cream, lots of flavor, but not overpowering or cloying. Very creamy and smooth, again like the ice cream almost. Finishes remarkably clean for such a big beer with so much flavor. There's some hops too, but not apparent until you belch a little up. Yum, it's even good the second time around.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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....

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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.

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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.


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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.

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