Wachusett Imperial Pumpkin Ale
Wachusett Brewing Company

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Style:
Pumpkin Beer
ABV:
8%
Score:
83
Avg:
3.67 | pDev: 11.99%
Reviews:
45
Ratings:
89
From:
Wachusett Brewing Company
 
Massachusetts, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  5
Gots
  8
SCORE
83
Good
Notes:
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Reviews: 45 | Ratings: 89
Reviews by stickynotes:
Photo of stickynotes
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pleasing, slightly hazy auburn, a mostly white head reduces soon into a film. Nose is sweet malt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and some ginger, pumpkiny backbone. Taste starts some sweet malt, bready, pumpkin in the middle, spiced with nutmeg, some clove. Ends with a yeasty spice bite. Mouthfeel is slick, some carbonation off the back of the tongue. Overall this is a good offering. Pretty coherent, flavors work well together and make a pleasing-to-drink imperial pumpkin.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #58 (November 2011):

LOOK: Clear amber

SMELL: Pumpkin, cinnamon, esters, spice, tropical fruit, bread, cake batter

TASTE: Spice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, pumpkin, caramel, grainy, bread crust, alcohol, ripe fruit

We love the amped-up style here—a whole lot of flavor with each sip—however, a tad more malt to help balance out the heavy-handed spicing is in order. And with its big alcohol and flavor profile, it becomes more versatile when it comes to pairings; don't just save this one for dessert.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a one finger cream head that fades quickly leaving traces of lace. Crystal clear orange/amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Light pumpkin and spicy nose and flavor is caramel malt sweetness spicy pumpkin. Higher ABV is hidden. $5.99 for a 22oz bottle from Glen Beverage Glen, NH.

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Photo of WanderingFool
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wachusett Imperial Pumpkin Ale pours a clear, copper color with a two finger creamy off white head on top. The foam dissolves quickly leaving only a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is spicy with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. Hints of squash are also present.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is soft on the palate, with a firm carbonated fizz. The flavor is sweet with pumpkin spices and pumpkin flavor. It begins with sweet caramel malt notes, followed by cinnamon and nutmeg. It finishes with earthy pumpkin notes and a touch of alcohol. It finishes dry with lingering spice and pumpkin flavor.

This pumpkin beer isn't as heavily spiced as others and has actual pumpkin flavor. Some alcohol notes are present, so I wonder if this is a pumpkin beer you could age for a while to mellow out the flavor?

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz brown bottle. Freshness date stamped on label.
It pours a deep orange-hued amber with an instantly fading off-white head. Too bad about that!
Smells of dried malt, pumpkin spices, vanilla and citrusy hops vie for attention. A light whiff of white rummy perfume slides in and remains.
The flavors reflect the aromas, although in a mixed order. Rum and citrusy hops roll in a lightly sweet caramel maltiness. A little maple syrup sweetness is noticed. The pumpkin pie flavor is a bit muted beneath the citrusy bite. A person with Tourette’s might blurt out, "Rummy Prunes!" A faint taste of limes is in the finish. The velvety body is full and nearly oily. Slick stuff!
Good to see more New England brewers embracing this old and noble brewing ingredient.

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Photo of far333
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Copper caramel colored with a beige head that sizzles down quickly. Low aroma of cinnamon. Flavors of toasted malt, cinnamon, some vegetal squashy notes, subtle nutmeg (thankfully). Also notes of brown sugar and toffee, some banana. Finishes with a peppery bite, tinged by alcohol warmth and vapors and stinging in the back of the throat. Mouthfeel is full, yet a bit slick. Could use more pumpkin and a hair more cinnamon or caramel, and the alcohol detracts a bit.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 4/14/2012 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, in Pawtucket, RI served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a bright reddish amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains pumpkin, spices, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of spices, caramel and pumpkin. Then a hearty malt character comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The pumpkin flavor isn’t too strong which for me makes this beer better than most pumpkin beers. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, for a pumpkin beer, it’s pretty solid.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a tulip glass the beer was a copper color with a small tan head. There was no lace.

Aroma of pumpkin and candy. A hint of spice.

The taste followed form. Mostly pumpkin, some cotton candy. Minimal spice, nutmeg and cinnamon.

A nice change of pace for a pumpkin beer. Usually these are more spice forward, and I appreciate the mostly pumpkin flavor. Sweet and pumpkin, not too spicy. I liked it.

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

Served in a pint glass.

Dark amber orange that is hazy, thick off white head that dispersed slowly and left a little clumpy lace.

Light pumpkin pie spice, bubble gum some alcohol.

Sweet caramel up front, get a little pumpkin pie in the middle, some crust as well, bubble gum at the end. Mouth feel is slick and coating.

Nice beer, enjoyed this one. It was not like the rest of the pumpkin beers that I have had. This was well made.

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Photo of danmcg62
3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cracking this open on my birthday for my 70th review!

A-Pours a clear amber color with a finger width head that stays around only for a moment leaving a thin lace around the glass. Looks good, but looks like your typical pumpkin ale.

S-I'm getting major spice and pumpkin right off the bat. There's a real thick, almost bready smell in there as well. A bit boozy as well. Very interesting.

T-Real thick spicy, pumpkiny, bready taste. Taste like pumpkin spice bread in a glass. Mild hop spice in the rear as well.

M-Much thicker than any other pumpkin ale I've had. Sort of boozy, can definitely feel the 8% were with others (i.e. DFH Punkin Ale) it doesn't come through as much.

O-Overall this an above average to good pumpkin ale. It's a very interesting take on the style, just not my favorite.

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Photo of mountdew1
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a nice pumpkiny orange with numerous streams of bubbles rising from the bottom. Head was a thin dirty white, that left a bit of lacing and didn't cling much at all. Aroma was a pleasant pumpkin pie, a bit of spices. Perhaps reminded me a bit more of pumpkin ice cream than pie. Flavor was pretty much what it smelled like. Ended up being a bit mellow tasting than it smelled. Felt a tad starchy in the mouth. but coated well and was nicely carbonated. Overall a pretty decent pumpkin. One that definitely tastes and smells like pumpkin instead of just incorporating or using the spices.

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Photo of jilly425
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of dphillips
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

orange color coming forward right away. Decent amount of haziness could not hide the ample carbonation that was being exhibited throughout the glass. This all came to a head that was about two inches in height at first but settled down to just a light scattering across the top after a few minutes.

The aroma was full of cinnamon and pumpkin spice as you might have imagined. Not as heavy and sweet as some of the others I have had this fall, this was rather a lighter, with a little more emphases on the spices that lie underneath and a decent touch of a grassy hops that was laying around as well. The flavor followed suit rather nicely. Light spiciness with a hint at some soft grain and light bready malts lying under that. Not much in the way of a hop profile here, and the body was light and airy.

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

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper in the glass, topped with 1 ½ fingers of rich and creamy off-white head. This maintains some frothy edges, which leave back robust sudsy lacing that dots the sides of the glass. The aroma initially smells sweet with sticky sugar but then eventually gives way to some festive spices and green pumpkin character along the back. Alcohol adds some extra sweet warmth here to the nose.

The taste has sticky candied feel to it, with a bit of a toasted graininess coming out as this warms and then some green pumpkin flavor emerging around the middle part. Spices are scattered throughout the profile, especially lingering in the finish along with a touch of dry bitterness. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a tight feel on the tongue but then more of a firm creaminess as this spreads out. This does have a bit of a warm and sweet booziness to it from the ABV but this smoothes out a bit as this sits.

This wasn’t too bad. The sweetness and alcohol took a bit to get used to but once the palate acclimates and things start to balance and smooth out, this turned into a decent sipper after all. Not sure I was really down for the full bottle though. This would be a good one to split.

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Photo of Brad007
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another imperial pumpkin ale to sample. I could probably compare 3-4 of these at this point.

Pours a mild orange color with a thin head into my glass. It's brewed with pumpkin puree so that probably explains the appropriate color.

Pumpkin puree, spice and candi sugar are are accounted for in the nose. I detect a touch of pie crust too.

Overall flavor suffers from the high alcohol content. Acrid. Not very pleasant, even if the flavors are accounted for.

Ditto on mouthfeel. I feel betrayed.

Steer clear or at least let it get a bit of age before you sample it. Pumking and Smashed Pumpkin do it so much better.

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Photo of cbeer88
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A new local pumpkin beer - yay! 22oz bomber poured into 20oz imperial nonic glass.

Appearance: Good pour into the glass provides a nice two to three fingers of head, but the head doesn't last long. A bit of lace. Dark amber/orange color - not bad - it looks like a pumpkin ale should.

Smell: Cinnamon, nutmeg, caramel malt, and a bit of a pumpkin-y odor - kind of like pumpkin seeds. Decent.

Taste: Very spicy flavor. Both spicy in that it tastes like cinnamon, nutmeg, etc, and spicy in that it has a bit of a sharp bite. Very boozy taste - I would have guessed this to be higher than 8%. Really sweet caramel malt blends with the spices, much like you'd expect from an imperial pumpkin.

Mouthfeel: Sweet and sticky mouthfeel on a heavy bodied beer. The carb level is good.

Drinkability: Fairly high. While this guy has a definite hot taste that I'm not fully digging, once the palette has adjusted to the alcohol kick he goes down smooth and easy.

Overall: I kept going back and forth as I drank the beer. Is this a 3? Or is it a 4? I'll settle at 3.5. Solid attempt at an imperial pumpkin, a style that was rare 2 years ago and now seems to be getting increasingly more popular. I'd like to try this on draft, but with so many pumpkin options nowadays I probably won't pick up another bottle this year. If they can tweak this guy to tone the heat down next year, I think they have a definite winner on their hands.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz bottle into Hill Farmstead tulip. Pours a clear amber orange with little head and body..doesnt look crazy good. Very boozey nose, cinnamon, spice, hops as well. Taste is very malty but spiced with the aromas...but a bit more buscuity. Its pretty mild, a bit sweet, but really easy to drink. I like that its not over spiced; usually the spice makes drinking pumpkins somewhat diffcult. But this one is good, not great.

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Photo of jlindros
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice fluffy 1 finger head that fades semi slowly over mostly clear but dark amber reddish orange brown color

Nose has lots of toasty pumpkin, toasty bready malts, pumpkin pie filling, light sweet syrupy candy malts.

Taste starts with candy sweetness, light syrupy malts and candi sugar, brown sugar, a light bready toasty malt, then finally the pumpkin, pumpkin pie filing and sweet nutty hazelnut like pumpkin syrup, and a bit of bitterness, light yeasty taste as well, and warming booze on the finish, it gets a bit hot on the finish even for 8%, with a little stickiness and sweet candi and syrups lingering.

Mouth is a bit heavier bodied with decent carb and plenty of warming booze.

Overall decent, one of the better pumpkin beers I've had but that's not saying a lot. Too sweet and boozy overall, nice pumpkin flavor though that doesn't overpower, and not over spiced either.

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

Photo of Lawnboy33
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of tpauer
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of beer2day
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pumpkin gold (ok, orange really) pour with 1 finger of medium bodied straight cream head. Decent retention. Very little to no lace.

Nose is more spice than pumpkin. Pumpkin is there, but pie spice is the number 1 trait.

Light pumpkin flavor, in the vein of a pumpkin muffin. Medium spice without being too artificial. Really, really just pumpkin.

Feel is lighter than the flavors demand. Could use more malt to back up those spice flavors.

Nice representation of style. ABV is muted for an impy.

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Photo of tigg924
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, orange-brown in color, clear, low carbonation

Smell: cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, toasted malt, alcohol, and clove

Taste: bread, Belgian spices, Spices are cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, cardamom, and clove

Mouthfeel: sweet a with a bitterness in the middle, moderate to high carbonation, medium bodied

Drinkability: An interesting an unique take on the style. After a couple moments it hit me, this is a Dubbel meeting a pumpkin ale. I would look for this again if not just due to its uniqueness. A solid fall treat that now becomes the fall seasonal I look forward to the second most.

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Wachusett Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Wachusett Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 89 ratings