Imperial Pumpkin Ale - Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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Imperial Pumpkin Ale
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very good

971 Reviews
very good

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Reviews: 971
Hads: 2,502
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 132
Gots: 318 | 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.
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Reviews: 971 | Hads: 2,502
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)

Photo of BadBadger
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pumpkin ale pours a nice copper color. The head was descent but did not last very long. The smell was pleasant, very nicely spiced. The taste is intially enjoyable but the spices eventually become a bit oveverwhelming. This is a rather good pumkin ale worth giving a try. Enjoy! (283 characters)

Photo of deejaydan
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pumpkiny color, with a good head and decent head retention. Taste and aroma is up front spice in your face, with some pumpkin flavor there too. Nutmeggy and clovey. Alcohol is well hidden and the malt and hops play a background support to the spices. I like this beer, but I'm not sure if it's all that "imperial" of a pumpkin ale. Thanks to Pezoids for the chance top try this! (386 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber bottle, w/o freshness dating. Pours dark almond and medium hazy, typical tan head and average lacing. make sure to let this one warm up abit. the nose and fall/pumpkin flavors need some time to roll out. Medium spice in the nose and palate. I'd much rather smell and taste hops and malt in my brew, so this style ever has been one on my favorites, however, this one has some added alcohol punch and the flavors are fairly well rounded and meshed with the rest of the beer. Worth a try if youre looking for a fall themed brew. Might be decent with Thanksgiving dishes. (574 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer poured into the glass slightly hazy with an almost tan and frothy head which rose tall and fell very slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was cinnamon, clove and allspice. Mainly a collaboration of pumpkin pie spices. The clove and cinnamon spices were very high and could be sensed from across the room. The spices were so high in the beer that no pumpkin could be picked out.

The flavor was vegetal with a belgian yeast spiciness that was a bit unnerving. There was little in the way of flavor to accompany the aromatic punch. The flavor could have been any low alcohol belgian beer that contained a slight cinnamon and clove and no real interest or character. As the beer warmed the flavor became more sour and the clove flavor more intense.

The finish was dry with a lasting clove flavor too long into the aftertaste. The body was medium and the carbonation was on the low side. Not a great pumpkin ale, and an even less appealing imperial pumpkin ale. Good aroma, but lacking in every other aspect.

22 ounce bottle. $4.79 at OUAV. (1,055 characters)

Photo of RonfromJersey
3.06/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark orangey to light brown body, plenty of carbonation streams, topped by a third of a pint glass of dark beige foam, crackling with life. "It's Alive !" ...hey, it's Halloween. Decays into a lingering table top.

Heavy spiced nose, with an overpowering dose of nutmeg and cinnamon. So much spice, it's difficult to smell any "normal" beer scents. Not bad, definitely different.

Starts off with a swift malty sweetness, too sweet for me, and while it seems to have a rapidly rise hop presence to account for a sudden shift toward balance, the taste of the hops is engulfed by the spices. Does get a true pumpkin pie taste in the middle of all this. Finishes with a dry, powdery spice note. It's all somewhat a roller coaster ride, rather than smooth sequeways.

Ok mouthfeel. Ok drinkability - the spices aren't TOO dry.

While not as bad as some of my BA Buddies made out, it did not convince me that pumpkin ale is anything other than a Halloween night novelty. (973 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Candlelight bright, glowing, grinning jack o' lantern orange with butternut edges. The orangish beige cap is both dense and creamy, leading to a leisurely departure. I love the contrasting colors. The foam looks just tacky enough to lay down a respectable amount of lace, although the head hasn't fallen far enough for me to be certain. Quality all around.

The powerfully aromatic nose is heavy on pumpkin and is absolutely bursting with pungent spice. The label indicates that cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and cloves are present. The warm spiciness of cinnamon and the distinctiveness of cardamom are especially evident. You have to like the style in order to like the aroma on Imperial Pumpkin Ale. I do, on both counts.

It was bound to happen. Styles that no one had previously thought to imperialize are now starting to be imperialized (doubled, tripled... whatever). I've been waiting for a jacked-up pumpkin ale and Weyerbacher has kindly obliged. There are no surprises on the palate. It pretty much hits the mark, pretty much tastes like what one would expect from a full-throttle beer of this style. Oh yeah, it's good.

The sturdy malt backbone provides plenty of sweet, toasted caramel flavor. The star of the show, however, is oven-baked chunks of candied gourd rolled in a potpourri of pie spices and splashed with pumpkin-infused brandy. Thankfully, it works. I can imagine a better beer along these lines, but this one is pretty damn good. If you despise pumpkin ales and big beer for the sake of big beer, steer clear.

Warming brings out no real changes. At first I thought the spices were becoming more bold, but I think they're just building up on my tongue as I drink. The 8% ABV, while not completely camouflaged, is well-integrated and is easily managed. The mouthfeel is medium-full and is firm rather than lush or velvety. In other words, it fits the rest of the beer very well.

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale won't be everyone's cup of pumpkin juice, but it's mine. I applaud the willingness of the brewery to aim high and to give those of us interested in this style something to chew on. Pushing the envelope sometimes results in nothing more than paper cuts. In this case, it works. Thanks to BeerBeing for the bomber. Happy Halloween. (2,276 characters)

Photo of sinistrsam
3.46/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was a dark amber beer with little head and moderate lacing. The spiciness of the aroma immediately gotme;hints of clove, cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg. The mouthfeel was watery and bland. I have to be honest, the taste was disappointing; the flavor was mild at best; bitter hoppiness rounded out what started as pure spice. Maybe I need to sample more pumpkin ales, but I wouldn't recommend this to anyone wanting to try one for the first time. (447 characters)

Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 971 ratings.