Wachusett Imperial Pumpkin Ale | Wachusett Brewing Company

89 Ratings
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Brewed by:
Wachusett Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by silentjay on 08-16-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 45 | Ratings: 89
Photo of uustal
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an orange/amber with a slight pearl white head. Aroma full of fall spices, led by cinnamon and nutmeg. The flavor follows. Somewhat harsh cinnamon and nutmeg spice to start. Hints of graham cracker and the slightest pumpkin puree flavor, but you really have to search for it. Not too pleasant alcohol shines through as it warms. This beer was overpowered by the spice in my opinion. Secondary flavors were better done, but too hidden.

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Photo of stickynotes
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
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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Photo of Burt
4/5  rDev +8.7%
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 tigg924
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
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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Photo of SirSketch
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Brilliant dark copper color with a tan, clumpy head.

S - A hearty, caramel malt aroma backs up the plethora of spices. Cinnamon and nutmeg are in the foreground, as well as the a distinct smell of pumpkin that normally isn't found in pumpkin beers, oddly enough. Fresh baked sugar cookies come to mind, too.

T - All of the typical thanksgiving spices are apparent, but the beer is in no way muddled. The aftertaste has a lot of esters that remind you it's still an ale at heart. Some bubblegum, too.

M - The pumpkin gives this beer a slick mouthfeel, and it could use a bit more carbonation, too.

O - A really great equilibrium between a malty ale and pumpkin pie. Not muddled like most pumpkin beers and not overwhelming.

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Photo of BennyL1
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a globe glass. Brand new beer for the fall from Wachusett, have some high hopes for this one.

Pours a nice dark amber with some orange hints. Good couple fingers worth of creamy head. Decent lacing.

Aromas of pumpkin, cinnamon, and some brown sugar. Some caramel malt as well. What you would want and expect from a pumpkin ale.

Some nice pumpkin in the taste. Nice hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Some toasted malt in there too. Little bit of warming booze on the end.

The brew is on the full bodied side with adequate carbonation. Feels good on a chilly night like tonight.

Good job from the brewers at Wachusett, very good pumpkin ale that can compete with most others in the style.

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Photo of zoolzoo
2.66/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours copper / amber, foamy white head dissipates into a wispy cap.

S: Fleshy pumpkin, sharp alcohol tinge, underlying spice, brown sugar.

T/M: Fleshy pumpkin from the nose, contrasted by a muted assortment of fall spices. Candi sugar does add sweetness, although this aspect seems to be apart from the rest of the beer. Not "creamy" enough in body or taste to support this level of sweetness. Maybe some more spice or something? Think sugar coated pumpkin flesh, vodka like alcohol finish with a lingering astringency. Not bad, not anywhere near the best.

O: A decent beer, but there are better pumpkin offerings on the shelves right now.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark orange with a cream colored foamy head. No real lacing.

Pumpkin flesh and some pie spice in the nose. A whiff of alcohol.

Surprised by this one, particularly how it is advertised on the bottle. Expected much sweeter and it is not. Some light caramel malt coupled with some pumpkin/gourd essence, light pie spice (nice), and all cleared out by some very apparent chemical alcohol. Light bitterness and caramel in the end. This one is done right. One of the better pumpkin brews, as they really tamed the sugar. Malt and fruit and spice have great balance. And the alcohol is needed.

Medium bodied, ok carbonation.

The bomber was enough for me; in fact, one was fine. I would find it hard to have another, but just because of the richness of this brew. Nice beer, and this is from a marginal fan of pumpkin beers. Very worth the try.

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Photo of qua17
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is an imperial pumpkin ale. Some imperials are way over the the top but I think this one has a nice balance of pumpkin, spices, and alcohol.

A: It's a nice orange and pours out of the bottle and into my pint glass with a pretty nice head that stuck around for awhile. There was minimal lacing.

S: It's what you would expect from an imperial Pumpkin - there is a good mix of spices and pumpkin - but its's not over the top like a shipyard.

T: I've come to appreciate imperials for what they are - big beers and this beer does not disappoint. There is pumpkin taste to be had - but it's balanced by the spices and the alcohol which comes out strong in the finish as you would expect.

Overall: Not too shabby. My favorite imperial in southern tiers Pumking but this might just be a close second. Would highly recommend to a friend.

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Photo of perrymarcus
3.47/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a coppery / medium amber tone while yeilding a short-lived finger of whitish lacing. not much lacing to speak of.

nose is good, a bit sweeter than most pumpkin ales out there, due in large part to the candied sugar. strong notes of spice and pumpkin presence too.

the taste brings all of the above to the table, but seems to lack something. either that or the flavor profile here just isn't working for me. as others have noted, i get stronger notes of actual pumpkin than many out there, as opposed to the heavily spiced, liquefied pumpkin pie offerings. only thing is, i happen to like those.

overall, a moderately enjoyable, slightly above average pumpkin ale. and while it's certainly passable, it's no pumking.

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Photo of mavbrew
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep brown color with amber/orange highlights coming through when held up to the light. The head is a finger thick and off-white in color.

S: Not as powerful of a scent as other pumpkin beers. However, this has an actual pumpkin scent (unlike some that are only spiced) and the spices come through following the pumpkin. Wish it had a bit of a stronger scent.

T: The taste is not as pumpkin like as I would've expected. It has a sweet (almost sugary) taste up front which leads to a slight pumpkin flavor with hints of vanilla and finishes with the spices, that remain for a while after.

M: Light to medium bodied with lots of tingly carbonation. The feel is sweetly spiced and tingly.

D: I wanted to like this more, I've searched for it since I saw it was released. It's good, but for some reason I had high hopes for it, but to me it's just slightly better than average. On to the next one.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer one of last night's Imperial Pumpkin Off between Wachusett Imperial Pumpkin, Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin, and ST Pumking.

Dark orange color like a glass of sweet 'taters. Orange hued head the color of Circus Peanuts. No lace or retention left by mid snifter.

Aroma has some real, actual, vegetal pumpkin aroma in addition to pumpkin spice. Nutmeg comes to the fore 1st but I can also pick up some very mild ginger spice.

Taste is, again, actual pumpkin. The candi sugar sweetness balances the earthy, vegetal pumpkin well. Nutmeg and cinnamon.

While WIP started out magnificently it became muddled and monotone quickly after warming (I had this problem recently with another Wachusett beer - White). If the beer consistently stayed as clear and purposeful as it started this could be one of the imperial pumpkin greats.

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Photo of Daktyls
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a healthy amber color with a nice two finger head that dissipates to a nice layer of foam on the top of the beer which hangs around for a while leaving lacing on the side of the glass. Plenty of carbonation bubbles can be seen bubbling up from the bottom.

S: The pumpkin puree is present in the nose along with some pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, brown sugar) along with a hint of earthiness and roasted malts.

T: A nice strong pumpkin flavor (not overwhelming, but certainly not light) followed by a nice spiciness from the pumpkin pie spices a bit of malts on the back end.

M: Medium bodied brew with a medium amount of carbonation that works well with the flavor.

O: Overall this beer is quite tasty, definitely one of the better pumpkin ales that I've had and it's a nice local beer too!

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Photo of cbeer88
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
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 rudzud
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle of this at Julio's. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a crystal clear ruddy amber hue with a fizzy two finger head that fades to leave nice haloing.

S - Nice fresh roasted pumpkin notes upon pour! light sweetness and pumpkin pie spices.

T - What a let down! Average pumpkin notes (canned) but WAY too boozey. I know this is an 8% but cmon, stuff is way too hot.

M - The heat is in the mouthfeel too, but the heavier carbonation lifts something that would normally be heavy up off the tongue. Ehh.

O - Overall, disappointed. Stuff had such promise but just fell flat for me. Huge let down.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
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 jlindros
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
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 cbutova
3.46/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured right after a Pumking, let's see how it compares.

A- Dark orange-red hue into a goblet. A creamy off-white head forms to a nice size and retains fairly well. Small cloud and ring stick around leaving a few spots of lace.

S- It opens up with a bit of warmth bringing noticeable caramel malt, fruit, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Just a bit of pumpkin. Still not very strong aroma overall, kind of have to try hard.

T- Drastically different from the Pumking. It has a nice brown sugar feel atop the pumpkin ale profile, a bit fruitier as well (dark, apple). I get nice levels of nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, grains, dark fruit, pumpkin and hay/straw. Some alcohol in the finish.

MF- Creamy feel to a moderately thick body. Carbonation is nice and silky at a high-end level. Some bitterness and a good warmth.

A good fall beer but it doesn't remind me of pumpkin or pumpkin desserts as much as I would expect. It feels like an Imperial "autumn" flavor profile. Would probably go great with a Thanksgiving meal.

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Photo of skibumma70
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is of sweet pumpkin, with hints of caramel and pumpking spices. The appearance is a amber / orangy/brown with head that fizzles fairly quickly. You can taste the combination of the belgian candy sugar, nutmeg and spices. It is fairly sweet, but smooth, and an easy drink. At 8%, it is fairly strong, but not overpowering. It’s a little early to be in the mood for fall beers, but on a chilly new england night as like tonight, it feels like fall, and this Imperial Pumpkin is putting me in the mood for fall beers. It’s a good effort by Wachusett, and a pretty darn good beer. I’m glad to see Wachusett expanding their horizons! It is sold in 22 oz bombers only right now.

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Photo of silentjay
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

purplish mahogany hued beer with a smallish light tan head made of big bubbles that pop quickly, yet leaves some decent lacing behind.

definite pumpkin pie spices, as well as caramel, vanilla, and candy.

actually has some real pumpkin flavors mixed in with the spices, which I am pleasantly surprised about. a sticky sweetness and alcohol heat remind me that this is "Imperial". vanilla and caramel come through after the swallow, and the spices stick nicely in background support.

sticky medium bodied with subtle carbonation and an alcohol warmth that is harsh at times.

actually pretty impressive. I was a bit skeptical, but pleasantly surprised that the initial flavor is actual pumpkin and not just pumpkin pie spice like so many others of the style. the stickiness and alcohol heat could be tamed up a bit, but overall pretty good!

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Wachusett Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Wachusett Brewing Company
3.68 out of 5 based on 89 ratings.
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