Imperial Pumpkin Ale
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Imperial Pumpkin AleImperial Pumpkin Ale
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Pumpkin Beer
Ranked #38
Ranked #13,180
3.92 | pDev: 13.27%
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States
Very Good
Imperial Pumpkin AleImperial Pumpkin Ale
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 1,040 | Ratings: 2,781 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by JohnnyK:
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JohnnyK from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +2%

Aug 02, 2013
More User Reviews:
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StoutHunter from Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a bottle of Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin Ale last week for $3.19 at The Lager Mill. Since it's that time of the year again I thought I would try and find some new Pumpkin beers a try, so lets see how this one goes. 2015 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label is nice, it's got a good design to it and it's eye catching. It poured a murky dark orange color that takes on more of a ruby orange color when held to the light with a little over a half fingers worth of bubbly off white head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it didn't leave any lacing behind. This is a nice looking beer, but I wish it had better head and lacing.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of sweetness with the spices being the first to show up and they impart a mixture of pumpkin spice aromas with the cinnamon seeming to stick out the most. Up next comes the sweet malts with just a hint of booze and it;s followed by a meaty pumpkin like aroma with just a little more booze showing up towards the end. The aroma is nice, but it's a little boozy for 8%.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a pretty high amount of medium sweetness with spices still being the first to show up and they are a little lighter this time, but it's still the cinnamon that sticks out the most. Up next comes the sweet malts with some doughy and slightly grainy flavors followed by a lighter boozy flavor. Towards the end comes that meaty pumpkin flavors with no bitterness and some sweetness and booze taking it's place with a pumpkin, spices and slightly boozy aftertaste. The taste is nice, but i wish the alcohol was better hidden.

M- Not the smoothest, not crisp, a little flat, on the thicker side of being medium bodied with a lower amount carbonation. The mouthfeel is nice, but I wish it was smooth with more carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a nice beer and a nice example of the style, it had some nice balance, but when it came to the booze it just wasn't hidden that well, but a lot of the other aspects were pretty nice. This beer didn't have the best drinkability, one is enough for me, I have no urge to drink another one. What I like the most about this beer is the balance, it was pretty nice and the spice weren't too overpowering. What I like the least about this beer was the booze, I think it could have been hidden better. I wouldn't buy this beer again. it's nice to try, but there's other ones I would much rather have. I can't say I would recommend it, buy if may be worth a try if you want a Pumpkin Ale that's a little boozy. All in all I didn't mid this beer, but I felt like it could be better and it's just not as good as I thought it would be. It's not a favorite Weyerbacher beer and it's a pretty close to being average for the style. Nice job, but with a little more work on hiding the booze it could be a pretty good beer.

Sep 09, 2015
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Oct 31, 2005
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MacMalt from New Jersey

4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass. The color is a hazy orange-brown with a thin milk-white head and lacing. It looks like apple cider. The smell is predominantly yeast, malt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; not much pumpkin. The taste follows the nose with nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, bready malt, and pumpkin pulp. This is not a sweet ale; in fact, it finishes with some bitterness. This ale clearly features a more complex, spicy taste than "pumpkin pie." While medium-bodied, it is not overly carbonated and the 8.0 ABV is noticeable. Overall, it's a really good pumpkin ale from one of my favorite brewers. To me, this ale epitomizes late autumn, when the leaves are down and the chill has arrived for good, rather than the sweeter "September" pumpkin ales which are nice warm early autumn day. Enjoy it at a tailgate party or with a nice fire going in the den.

Sep 19, 2015
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chaz410 from North Carolina

4.67/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is hands down the BEST pumpkin ale in the world...or at least that I've had haha. This is a great beer, an amazingling good example of a great pumpkin ale. This beer is 8% alcohol and you seriously never realize it because the flavor and compelxity is overwhelming.
The nose on this puppy is evident right off the pour. You really smell the description right away. You smell the unique sweet pumpkin but pick up on the great spicy nutmeg and cinnamon. It is great to say the least and it is even evident if the beer is flat.
The taste is infinately more than other pumpkin ales. Unlike the usual pumpkin ale that smashes you with flavors of pumpkin, this beer does what every beer does, progress. It starts with pumpkin sweetness then finishes with all spice, much like the crust of a pumpkin pie. You hit all the greatness and staples of cinnomon, cardamon, nutmeg and clove and it really does satisfy the longing for robust flavors after the sweetness of the pumpkin.
The moutfell is nice, it's smooth and very satisfying.
This beer is AMAZING, it's worth spending 20+ dollars on a six pack for the limited releases of it. It is even good flat. You can't buy a better pumpkin beer seriously!

Oct 20, 2008
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bexley10 from North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Oct 04, 2013
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OWSLEY069 from Pennsylvania

3.27/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light copper color with an off white head. Aromas consisting of spices (nutmeg and cinnamon), and a nice presence of alcohol. In the taste, alcohol and nutmeg, cinnamon, with hints of pumpkin. A smooth/ spicy mouthfeel, with a clean pumpkin aftertaste, yet small. Nice spices, and not too overbarring.

Sep 15, 2007
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TubaManJack from District of Columbia

4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is an incredible beer. It actually tasted like a delicious pumpkin pie and my favorite fall brew.

A-This color was a deep brown and dark brown when held to the light in its pint glass. It had a caramel head which dissipates slowly.

S- The cinnamon and nutmeg notes are quite strong. The pumpkin tones only emerge after a search. It is the closest experience of all the pumpkin ales to the smell of a real pie. I would not change the smell.

M/T- The taste is the same as smell. The favors continues to open up. There are notes of hops and malts in the backseat to the spice and pumpkin flavor. The 8% is covered and almost muted. The ale is smooth and a slightly thicker ale.

D- The beer is the very enjoyable similar to.. you guessed it pie. It was a lot of fun and a great experience for an "IPA." However I could only drink one in a sitting.

Sep 23, 2008
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calcnerd from Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Feb 04, 2013
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Russf3181 from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Feb 27, 2014
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balintkr from Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev +3.1%

Aug 29, 2014
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reitzbrewing from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Sep 22, 2013
SOITGOES from Pennsylvania

3.39/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is a solid example of a pumpkin ale. The flavors and spices are well balanced. It is very drinkable considering the ABV. I am left thinking this beer is missing something, but not sure what. Until I figure that out, I will enjoy this seasonal beauty. I recommend you do the same. Cheers.

Oct 06, 2013
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Daniel608 from Wisconsin

4.3/5  rDev +9.7%

Sep 09, 2014
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Trboley from Ohio

4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sep 01, 2017
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Metalmonk from North Carolina

3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The "imperial" thing is quite the big deal right now. I enjoy it, and I figured an imperial pumpkin ale by Weyerbacher had to be interesting, at worst.

Pours out a big, creamy, frothy head...certainly the most generous head I've seen on a pumpkin ale. Color is a ruby-infused dark copper, entrancingly beautiful.

Aroma-wise, I have to make a direct reference to Cottonwood Pumpkin Ale (Carolina Brewing Co.). It has a ring of authenticity (squash-wise), yet also is obviously, but lovingly, made with plenty of spices. I know that beer well, and if you do too, you'll recognize the nose on this immediately.

The flavor delivers a mighty wallop of spices, and though there seems to be some actual squash flavor coming through, as with so many in this style, it's dominated by the pie spices. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom are obvious, and there's a spike of ginger in there.

Mouthfeel leaves you feeling like you're drinking a mild ginger ale, both in terms of liveliness and aftertaste. The creaminess that tries to get through is nice, and if that had come out stronger and the soda-like energy was brought down a little, it would've really helped things out.

I liked this for its boldness and character, but there's not a ton of depth, and I don't think I'd want to drink much of it in any season. So the drinkability isn't what it could be, but I nevertheless give props to Weyerbacher for conjuring up this mean pumpkin (see label).

Oct 18, 2007
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BWMKappaSig from Connecticut

3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a tulip glass.

A: Pretty deep copper color with an off-white head that gently laces the glass as it goes down.

S: Rich spices, slightly flowery, with noticable clove, pumpkin spice, and cinammon. There's definite alchol presence in the smell, reminding me of a barleywine. In a strange, but not unpleasant way, the smell immediately made me think of Gucci: Evny cologne for men.

T: Remarkably mild taste compared to the smell. Malty and spicy flavors penetrate the mouth, with a breadiness that mixes with the clove flavors to create a sort of pumpkin spice cake flavor. The alcohol is quite warming.

M: Strangely high carbonation and thin-to-medium bodied mouthfeel, with a slightly astringent alcohol feel.

D: The 8% ABV is noticable and the alcohol heat might scare off some, as well as the very different taste and smell to this beer. Still, quite enjoyable.

Sep 07, 2009
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bigkahunas4 from Massachusetts

4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours cloudy auburn brown. I had very minimal head, but some nice lacing.

Smell: Nose isn't overpowering here, but there are the usual notes of pumpkin spices.

Taste: This is probably my favorite tasting pumpkins, as I've never seen the take of merging the Belgian style with pumpkin spices. Really nice yeast platform, with some not overly sweet pumpkin spices - really enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Some gentle carb on the top of the tongue, and smooth finish.

Drinkability: I really enjoy this - and it's the one I go for come pumpkin season - which I'm not the biggest fan of.

Nov 07, 2008
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mikepcarney from Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Nov 24, 2013
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Pensfan0782 from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -23.5%

Jan 06, 2013
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Schade from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -23.5%

Jan 13, 2012
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Stugotzo from Florida

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Jan 22, 2014
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Farinag16447 from Florida

4/5  rDev +2%

Oct 05, 2014
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mve102 from Pennsylvania

3.52/5  rDev -10.2%

Oct 15, 2014
Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 2781 ratings