Imperial Pumpkin Ale | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

very good
1,022 Reviews
Imperial Pumpkin AleImperial Pumpkin Ale

Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by cbl2 on 09-17-2005

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Reviews: 1,022 | Ratings: 2,723
Photo of jdklks
1.66/5  rDev -57.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

a thin haze running through a deep amber orange body with a small and very thin tan white head. smells of the most diverse spices. cloves are dominant, as they tend to be. cinnamon and nutmeg are present in their own capacity, but "where is the pumpkin?" i ask incredulously. there are possibly some fruity notes, or maybe the neurons in my brain curiously linked to my palate are wishfully thinking. we'll see.

Yikes! what is this filth? very spicy up front, with nothing but cloves through the middle and the flavor of san pellegrino (carbonated mineral water) with lemon that leaves your face puckered well into the aftertaste. drain pour, through and through.

mouthfeel is disgustingly carbonated and hot on the palate. the drinkability may soon breach absolute zero, which will be a breakthrough for science, but a catastrophe for the craft beer industry. with every sip this brew sets back the world of beer at least 10 years in its development. absolutely awful.

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Photo of bierguru
1.8/5  rDev -53.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

A -
deep dark mahogany color thick foamy head however it laces out fairly quick

S -
slight nutmeg and even more slightly is there a smell of pumpkin but there is a hugh all spice smell its really overpowering

T -
slight nutmeg hugh all spice taste very very slight pumpkin taste and its on the very back end you real really have to search for it

M -
feels like spicy water sry but its very light on the tongue and the allspice is ridculously overwhelming

D -
from my comments you can tell i wont get this beer again the allspice was to powerful if they toned that down flavors may pop more and then they may have a good beer

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Photo of Coach_Nitro
1.86/5  rDev -52.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Came into this with High expectation, but in the end was absolutely disappointed. Me and 2 other people all agreed; there is absolutely no hint of pumpkin taste. Not one bit. It is a good ale if you aren't getting a pumpkin flavor, but 15 dollars for a 22oz. I say pass.

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Photo of bkilpatr
1.93/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. 09/25/08.

Pours a clear orange amber color with a half finger of beige head. The head quickly disappeared to almost nothing. Aroma is a bit odd. On one whiff I'll get pumpkin, cinnamon, and clove. On another all I get is cherry cough syrup.

Taste is similar to the aroma. Sometimes I get light pumpkin, cinnamon, and other spices (lots of clove). But most of the time I get a gross medicinal cough syrup flavor mixed with band-aids. Not pleasant at all.

The feel is probably the only good part about this beer. It's well-carbonated and not too heavy. No lingering aftertaste, which is good considering the taste itself isn't good. Drinkability suffers for that reason. The alcohol isn't noticeable.

I really can't recommend this. Other reviews seem pretty favorable so maybe I got a bad bottle. But the rest of this one is going down the drain...

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Photo of dano
1.99/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This years Imperial Pumpkin tastes a little off to me. I don't know if it's the cardamom or cloves, but there is a strange almost "watery" taste on the tongue that was definitely different from last year. I've a few bottles of this year's already and I just had a leftover bottle from last year and last year's had a much stronger pumpkin flavor without the "watery" flavor I find this year. Does anyone else find a difference with this year's batch?

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Photo of Kooz
2.24/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Dark copper color with little head--slightly opaque. Looks enticing.

Smells overpoweringly of cinnamon and nutmeg. I don't get any pumpkin--or any other scent--from this. It's a bit unpleasant. It's like inhaling cinnamon/nutmeg powder. It lingers in the back of the throat.

Slightly bitter--not a hoppy bitter; something else. This beer is just too spiced. It's unpleasant. Everything about the beer is overpowered by the cinnamon/nutmeg spice. There's a third spice too that I can't place. It's not helping.

Mouthfeel is dry and powdery, with a slight bite. Not entirely good. Good body to it; somewhat creamy.

This was a fairly expensive beer ($12/4-pack), and unfortunately, is disappointing. I wouldn't buy this again. I will sit on a bit and see how it is in a month or two. If it's any better, I'll revise.

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Photo of smchenry75
2.3/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This is a very bad beer. I have always wanted to try this and now I can say I have. I don't review often but I just felt compelled to state what a bad beer this was. It poured a nice pumpkin color with a very nice white head. The smell was very nice. I thought I was about to get into something yummy... similar to schlafly's pumpkin.... that nice pumpkin pie, caramelly sweet and chewy goodness. Then the taste. Hmmmm... Defnite pumpkin pie spice - too much for sure. And the base beer... it was as if someone made a poor representation of an amber that was too weak and thin, decided to sour it, gave up after a week and then added pumpkin pie spice. There's also an underlying nasty bitterness that is not good but at least distracts from the rest of the nastiness. Drain pour and then to the Ten Fidy that's on deck.

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Photo of martymc
2.32/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Dark pumpkin color. Looks heavy. Thin head and lacing.
S: Malts with a hint of pumpkin. Pretty boring.
T: Allspice dominates what is a true muddling of spices. Gritty pumpkin notes. Too heavy on the cloves for me. Ever smoke a clove cigarette?
M: Thin and highly carbonated. Gone in a flash.
O: The only saving Grace for this beer is that it sports an ABV of 8.0%. I shouldn't have preceded this tasting with a Southern Tier Pumpking!:

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Photo of CupcakeNY
2.34/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Beer pours orange-red, with a one-finger cream colored head.

Nose is truly indistinguishable from cinnamon mouthwash. The main note is vietnamese cinnamon--just like little candy hearts--with the next strongest note being clove. That's it.

Taste is mostly clove and cinnamon, has a real dental-hygeine thing going for it. I detect no pumpkin per se. Some underlying malt flavors redeem it slightly. Mouth feel is kind of thin; bubbles are large, carbonation pretty strong. It is somewhat sweet, so it borders on tasting like cinnamon candy.

Thankfully, finish is pretty clean.

Overall, one of the more revolting beers I have had yet. The mouthwash nose is overpowering, the taste is neither subtle nor nuanced. I detect no pumpkin, only very loud cinnamon and clove with some underlying malts. I hope never to have it again.

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Photo of miclormic
2.4/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I could not disagree more with these ratings. I typically do not like pumpkin ales because they DON'T TASTE LIKE PUMPKIN! They all taste like a watery pumpkin pie,YUK.

I decided to try this one because it was an "IMPERIAL" .the only thing imperial about it is the price. PASS this one by, it fizzles.

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Photo of Dmorrison
2.47/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured 6oz into a tulip glass.

APPEARANCE: It's orange, like all straight pumpkin beers. Head was minimal and dissipated instantly.

SMELL: Very mild pumpkin, toast, and cinnamon aromas. Pumpkin aroma increases to mild as the glass warms.

MOUTHFEEL: Feels heavy and smooth at first, then a bit gritty as it moves across the tongue, followed by residual, alcohol thinness.

TASTE: Pumpkin up front, then caramel, toast, clove and cinnamon. Finishes with vegetal bitterness and spice bitterness. Aftertaste is cloying pumpkin, spice bitterness, spice heat and alcohol heat.

OVERALL: The flavors are dominated by clove, cinnamon, vegetal bitterness, and spice bitterness. Toast and caramel are quickly overpowered after a few sips. The lingering pumpkin taste is pleasant. The lingering vegetal bitterness, spice bitterness and alcohol are unpleasant. Each sip makes me less eager for another.

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Photo of Dithyramb
2.49/5  rDev -36%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

750 purchased from hampden
you'd think the imperial one would have enough power to subjugate the masses, but no
the imperial one is all style without much substance
an ale with spices added
pretty with light brown toasted pumpkin pie shade
enormous off white head with retention, lacing, and added carbonation
aromas of ale with spices
flavor the same. Mainly spice laden.
not bad overall, but a little tiring once it starts warming up. Light mouthfeel, with more spice than body.

Left a very dry, spice laden taste in the mouth, much like a saison. Not overly woth having a few.

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Photo of jlindros
2.49/5  rDev -36%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Just coming off the Autumnfest beer, I'm a little worried about this one, but here goes.

A: Clear dark brown copper colored with decent 1.5 finger head that slowly fades (similar to Autumnfest but a little darker)

N: Eh, lots of nutmeg, cinnamon, spice, a little pumpkin, and sugar, that's about it

T: Blech! Again, lots of nutmeg, cinnamon, some pumpkin, artificial flavor taste, extract taste, some malt background at least, a little watery again, however, the more I drink it the more it's becoming drinkable. It's still very spiced and watery.

M: Lots of carbonation and pretty light and watery

F: The strong spices linger for a while and just won't go away, I'm almost tempted to chug it so I will only have to taste it for a few seconds, slight bitterness, semi dry but still kinda sweet

Final thoughts: Another one of those wicked (yes I'm from MA) overspiced pumkin beers. It's pretty water, spicey, and extract tasting. Another beer from Weyerbacher I'm not very happy about. I should write them and complain! Better yet, I'll start a BA thread!

 1,061 characters

Photo of xxxcjbcxxx
2.5/5  rDev -35.7%

Not a fan. Way too sweet; way too much seasoning. I don't mind flavor in beer, such as spice, but this one was awash with sweetness, clove, cinnamon, and cardamon. The aroma alone rivals that of a pumpkin spice candle. If you really, really enjoy pumpkin ales, I would recommend this beer, because it has 3x the flavor of your average pumpkin ale.

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Photo of RevKev007
2.5/5  rDev -35.7%

Strong on the sweetness, not a balanced spice portfolio, excessive abv for a fruit ale. Thick after taste.
Needs more cinnamon and nutmeg at this sweetness which is excessive. The lack of complexity does not justify the high abv of this beer. Abv to attract customers, not a result of increasing beer flavor portfolio.


 333 characters

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 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 CAP1868
2.54/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A-This brew poured an orgish/amber color with a small head with little to no lacing in the glass. The actual bottle itself has a cool design with the Pumpkin King leading a charge.

S- This brew smelled of nutmeg and cloves with little to no pumpkin flavors. This was the point where I knew I probably wasn't going to enjoy it.

T- The taste is overwhelmingly of cloves with a little nutmeg mixed in. It's very dry but refreshing if you love cloves.

M-The mouthfeel was rather light, but not watery, the brew gave you the feeling you were indeed drinking a well-crafted beer, I just wish the taste was more to be desired.

D- Light enough to drink quite a few, but I surely wouldn't want too. Awful expensive for such a sub-par brew, I would never purchase again.

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Photo of francisweizen
2.56/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This one kinda blows! A shame too as it sounded so good. I always give these new Weyerbacher brews a whirl, but they so often dissapoint me horribly. It's a shame too as this brewery really is hit or miss, and when they are on, they are on (like at the last open house!). Anyways, a dull glowing orange/amber with an off-white dirty dishwater head that dies quickly and leave minimalistic lacing. Aromas are like vegetable soup, DMS abounds, and some spices try to cover it up, but fail badly. Like DFH punkin' ale when it is a year old and has been bathing in the sun. Taste is not much better. Thin with an artificial sweetness and spiciness as well as those vegetal notes. Mouthfeel is thin and not too appealing. Drinkability is blah. I'll always try new Weyerbacher brews, as sometimes they really impress...However, sometimes, their new beers are nothing to speak of. This is one of the latter. Try it once to quench your curiosity...and than move on...move on...

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Photo of mjc410
2.65/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The pour into my Trois Pistoles glass raises a a thin layer of light tan foam that quickly bubbles away. The slight lace manages to stick a bit. The body is a hazy ruby-copper. The nose has a lot of the usual pumpkin pie spices floating around, and they're definitely leading the pumpkin aroma. The taste is highly spiced, with cinnamon and nutmeg being primary. Again, the pumpkin is mild. The mouth is too carbonated. I've really had much better pumpkin beers.

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Photo of hellbilly
2.65/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

tasting via supergrowlerdave70...

cooked pumpkin pie color... go figure!... with a minimal off white head.

VERY spicy aroma with cardamom coming to the front. cinnamon, nutmeg and grass are all noted as well. there is a vegetal earthy sweetness but not necessarily pumpkin in the background.

the flavor is overly spiced... malty caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove are all there but get swallowed up by the cardamom. it tastes medicine-y with spice. pumpkin is faint. the finish is dry and mildly bitter. body is medium to full and a touch sticky.

someone should have told these guys that a little cardamom goes a long way. who puts it in pumpkin pie anyway?

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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 Marraybay
2.68/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had high hopes going in, but in the end, wasn't very enamoured. Nice glass presentation, in terms of color and head. (mahogany color, beige foam.) Semi-vinous like quality that comes off more like a mulled or spiced wine too me. Something--cardamom--very prominent, but too much so for my liking. Never got the pumpkin. It's a big beer at 8%, so there's always the idea of cellaring, but I don't think that would offer much in terms of transforming this one.

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Photo of KenC
2.71/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Dark orange/brown, cloudy color. Aggressive pour to a pint glass revealed a half finger of tan head that disappeared immediately. Zero lacing as expected by style & ABV.

S- Cardamom. That’s it cardamom. Where is everything else?

T- Cardamom and pepper. There is just nothing else to say. From start to finish, one boring taste. All the spices that go into this style and nothing came through.

M- Feel is medium to heavy. It’s the one redeeming quality in this bottle. An imperial should have stand-up mouth feel and this has it. Right on target.

O- I hope that this batch or bottle was just no good. All the complexity I had hoped for was dashed. It was just this side of a drain pour. I’ll try another bottle, as Weyerbacher, in general, usually brews something I like.

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Photo of AndoBrew
2.72/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

*din NOT like would never buy*

app: dull copper color tarnished gold. no head sept suds

smell: normal spiced fall pumpknin beer smell, i smell spices.. where is the pumpkin??

taste: to many hops on the finish.. these over spiced pumpkin things really bother me.. i want pumpkin pie, not a haloween candle.

mf: fine.

drinkable?: nope, it is a candle, a smell to be put in the air in the fall. NOT A DRINK!

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Photo of aasher
2.74/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked this up in Ohio this past Monday.

This beer pours a medium bodied deep polished cherry wood, auburn in color with no head at all and moderate carbonation. The nose is super spicy and a cardamom bomb. There is also cinnamon and nutmeg but Wowzers is there too much cardamom. The flavors too are dominated by cardamom. It has the typical characteristics of cinnamon, pumpkin, and nutmeg but the spicing is pretty over the top. It definitely takes away from the overall product. I just can't get behind this one. It doesn't have the balance that a beer of this style needs.

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Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.89 out of 5 based on 2,723 ratings.
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