Imperial Pumpkin Ale | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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very good
1,016 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: 1,016 | Ratings: 2,705
Photo of seedyone
4.57/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From bottle at home, dated 7/20/16. Seems like a early bird looking to perch on the retail shelves before Labor Day.

First glass had a decent beige head that forgot to leave any lacing & the second glass had very little effervescence.

Cosmetics aside this is one tasty pumpkin ale. Forcing myself to ignore the substantial 8% ABV (a + in my book) reading that there was cardamom within was a surprise. Seems these guys were set on making something different in what has become a crowded & cliched genre.

Cutting to the chase: I like this one & I've had a few varieties.

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Photo of 98green
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap. Amber and clear. Lots of cinnamon and clove smell. Taste delivers more of the spice. Plenty of sweet malt body too. I like this quite s bit. I'd try this again

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Photo of kojevergas
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Nabbed this puppy in Brooklyn.

8% ABV. Brewed 07/20/16. Best before: 03/20/17. "Ale brewed with pumpkin and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves).

HEAD: Pale khaki. Poor (~30 second) retention. No lacing.

BODY: Clear deep amber of average vibrance. No yeast or particulate is visible.

AROMA: Pumpkin gourd. Clove, nutmeg, cinnamon. (I do have to draw the line at identifying cardamom).

Aromatic intensity is average.

TASTE: Has the usual pumpkin spice (nutmeg, clove, some cassia but not true cinnamon). Malty sweetness/amber malts. Shallow pumpkin gourd. It's decently balanced but lacks depth of flavour. I do like it and it hides its high ABV well, but it's wanting in terms of complexity, subtlety, and depth of flavour.

Sweetness is a bit high if we're nitpicking balance.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, light to medium-bodied, sticky. Well-carbonated.

OVERALL: Drinkable and approachable fare, especially for its high ABV. But it feels a bit flat in terms of both undercarbonation and depth of flavour, lacking the expressive evocative flavours that make one fall in love with a proper pumpkin ale. As much as I adore many a Weyerbacher brew, this isn't one of their stronger offerings and I don't know that I'd purchase it again. More than competent, but it can't quite compete with great style paragons like, say, Whole Hog.

B- (3.40) / WORTHY

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Photo of descobar
3.17/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

aged 3+ years... pours deep amber/copper with an initially off-white head that quickly disappears. there is visible sediment in the snifter. aromas are all the expected pumpkin and spices but pungent in a good way. flavor are all caramel and pumpkin with the spices not as prominent as in the aroma. body is med to full and the texture oily and rich. carbonation is minimal at this point and the remaining bitterness shows up in the finish with a bit of alcohol heat. -- shows very little if any oxydation from the ageing.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.54/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chocolate brown with faint amber highlights with a moderate haziness. There's a trace of tan head on top covering less than a quarter of the top. I smell pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and faint clove. I'm tasting strong nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon. The mouth is heavily spiced and a bit warm with alcohol.

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Photo of TH28
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. 7/14/16 bottle date. Appearance: Dark brown, hazy, with an off white foam head. Aroma: Smells like Big Red. Strong cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Like pumpkin pie. Cinnamon definitely stronger than most other pumpkin ales. Taste: Moderate malt sweetness, with some toasted and nutty notes, with light pumpkin pie spicing. Cinnamon and nutmeg are noticeable, but restrained. Pretty high bitterness for the style. Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, a little thin for a beer with this ABV. Alcohol warmth is quite strong. Low carbonation. Finish: Pumpkin spicing really lingers here, with a surprising amount of grassy bitterness. Overall: Pretty run of the mill pumpkin ale. Strong cinnamon and bitterness compared to others, with a disappointing under carbonation that leaves the beer flat. Body is thin for the high ABV, making the alcohol feel very warm. Could be better and more balance simply by increasing the body and carbonation.

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Photo of Whey2Hoppy
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very murky orange amber color. Almost no head or lacing.

Smell: Smells like a legit pumpkin pie in my glass. They NAILED the smell.

Taste: Holy shit, they nailed it again. It follows the nose in the huge upfront burst of all those pumpkin spices we know and love, with a bit of malts and booze on the back end of the sip. Maybe just a tad too boozy for my tastes, which is the only major negative here. Not cloyingly sweet either.

Feel: Oily, slick body with a fair amount of carbonation.

Overall: One of the most well known pumpkin beers for a reason. It basically tastes like a very boozy version of pumpkin pie that isn't sweet enough to give you diabetes.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brew has a warm, baked aroma, like pie crust and spices. Caramel malts. Taste is pumpkin pie spices, malt, dark bread and plums. Pours a tawny color with little foam, with no lacing or retention. If you really gotta have a pumpkin ale (not really my thing) this is a good way to go.

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Photo of Slack
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Deep amber in color with a small amount of head, minimal lacing.

Very spice forward on the nose – nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. Also getting some malt.

Taste follows the nose with strong spices most notably cinnamon and nutmeg. The malt comes through with a bit a bread. Booze on the back end.

Mouthful is medium and less smooth than could be expected. Carbonation is medium to low. Finish is subtly sweet and warming.

Balanced and spice forward with a minor drawback of mouthful which could be attributed to the booziness or lower carbonation. Nonetheless one of the better pumpkin ales that are available.

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Photo of zshaft
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours nice with decent head retention. dark almost brown and can't see through it. smell knocks you over with cinnamon and all spice. mild pumpkin. taste is overwhelming cinnamon and nutmeg. I almost taste the spice particles in my mouth. so much spice I feel like any beer or pumpkin is lost in the experience. overall a nice beer but way over done with the spices. would not seek out again.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the bottle, it pours a reddish (?) amber with a moderate head. Pumpkin spice in the nose. Enjoyable taste of pumpkin spice when consumed. Enjoyable.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass bottled on 8/4/15. Pours a very dark reddish orange with a 1 inch off white head that leaves some nice rings of lace.

Smell is nutmeg, pumpkin, cinnamon, vanilla, and toffee.

Taste follows with pumpkin and nutmeg jumping to the front of the line, with cinnamon, vanilla, and toffee subtly coming in at the end.

Mouthfeel is slightly less than medium, the right amount of life, a little dry in the back end, and easy drinking.

Overall this was a beer I was not really excited for, but it delivered. Thanks jzeilinger for this, one of the better pumpkin beers I have had and I bet it would have been better in the fall.

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Photo of jopezu
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours a murky mahogany with huge sediment, and almost zero head. nose; cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, & clove. spicy and sweet. taste; very light malt, pumpkin spices, sweet cinnamon, nutmeg, lightly boozy yam, light earthy hops, grape, & raisin bread. medium carbonation & mouthfeel. a touch boozy and VERY vinous. the very low malts leaves the supporting cast of spices & hops to carry the show, which they do well and with nice balance. this is almost a spicy pumpkin wine, and easily bests most of the pumpkin beers out there. probably my favorite pumpkin ale.

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Photo of EJTheHero
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on date: 6/11/15
Best by date:2/11/16

Pours a hazy bronze color. Semi aggressive pour leaves absolutely no head.
Nose of cinnamon. Nutmeg, cloves and some Pumkin.
Taste follows the nose. Pumkin and clove are more prominent. Alcohol is in the taste as well.
Mouthfeel is medium to full body. Prickly carbonation on the finish.
Overall a decen Pumkin ale. Most likely would've been better fresh.

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Photo of 11-52_4hops
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Caveat - was given this bottle in late December, so not super fresh and not in the season where I am jones-ing for this type of brew.

Burnt orange color. Strong nose with all of those wonderful smells that make pumpkin ales an annual treat. Flavor more subdued than the smell would lead you to expect-- not necessarily a bad thing. Checks all the blocks: pumpkin, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg without being overwhelmingly sweet. Seems to be an ale first with the pumpkin associated spices providing the back-up. Thumbs up.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark Cloudy Orange. Aroma: Strong sweet pumpkin, cloves, apples. Taste is smooth; strong pumpkin flavor. Low to medium carbonation, but par for the style. One of my favorite Pumpkin beers.
#1 of 8 in Pumpkin Beer Evaluation.Double Blind Evaluation of 8 2013 Pumpkin Beers: 1-Weyerbacher Imperial Pumkin Ale; 2-Dogfishead Punkin Ale; 3-Fegleys Devious Imperial Pumpkin; 4-Southern Tier Pumking; 5-Terrapin Pumpkinfest; 6-Rogue Pumpkin Patch Ale; 7-Shipyard Pumpkin Ale; 8-Big Muddy Brewing Pumpkin.
** 11/xx/2014 Pumpkin Double Blind Tasting: 1-Sam Adams Fat Jack. 2-Hoppin’ Frog. 3-Fegleys Devious. 4-Weyerbacher. 5-Southern Tier Pumking. 6-Terrapin Pumpkinfest. 7-Long Trail. 8-Riverhorse. 9-Blue Moon. 10-UFO Pumpkin (harpoon). 11-Sam Adams Pumpkin. 12-Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin. 13-Dogfishhead (shocker) 14-Ichabod.
** 11/02/2015
Although Weyerbacher was knocked out in a tough 1st round heat; it impressed in the final (as a random wild card) and took 3rd of 15, bested only by ST Pumking and the 2015 Winner Elysian Great Pumpkin.

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Photo of ctylinebeer
4.16/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

L - Dark, orange color with a black hue. Glass is kind of dirty, so head retention was compromised. It did build to at least 2 fingers during and after the pour. Hardly any bubbles noticeable.

S - Pumpkin spice, cinnamon with fruity midtones from the pumpkin. Not too spicy on the nose.

T - Cinnamon, nut meg, pumpkin spice with a caramel pumpkin pie finish. Pumpkin spice aftertaste as well.

F - Easy drinker for 8.0%. Light carbonation, but not enough to mask the palate. Smooth, silky texture

O - I saw this made Playboy's Top 10 Pumpkin Beers, which they ranked it at No. 4. That's awesome Weyerbacher is getting national recognition! This beer deserves to be on the list as one of the best pumpkin beers out there.

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Photo of dank203
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

brew is super malty with loads of pumpkin spice and sweet pumpkin pulp. almost syrupy mouth feel lots of sweet undertones with baked heavy spice on top

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Photo of hardysf
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Average pumpkin beer. Good restraint of pumpkin and spice. Maybe a touch thin for me, could use more carbonation and some thicker mouthfeel.

Nothing special and expensive. Would not buy again.

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Photo of GRPunk
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Weyerbecher Imperial Pumpkin Ale
12 oz. bottle (dated 07/10/15 and 03/10/16, I assume bottled and consume by dates?), $3.29 from Copper Vine. Poured into Duvel tulip.

A- A normal pour creates 1-finger of khaki head that quickly drops to the lightest lace. Carbonation continues to bubble to the surface. The body is a hazy, orange-brown with some floaties. Very light stick is left on the glass.

S- A mix of sweet and pumpkin spice, heavy on the nutmeg. It has a bit of an alcohol kick. Hints of canned and fresh pumpkin pulp. Sweeter than I'd expected, but pleasantly so.

T- Hmm... That's pretty good. Sweet and boozy up front. Spice comes in through the middle and leaves a slight lingering presence. That said, things end up relatively clean.

M- Medium-full body is pretty viscous. Light carbonation can't keep up. Lightly chalky. Dry finish.

O- A very solid pumpkin ale on the higher end of the ABV scale. Better than a lot of traditional versions, but not quite as good as most of the imperial ones. Doesn't necessarily "wow" me for the price.

A- 3.5 S- 4.25 T- 4 M- 3.75 O- 4

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Photo of uccle81
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Not a lot of pumpkin flavor, but TONS of spices. Full ale body, but remarkably crisp for such a heavy malt load. Also relatively sweet, but not overpowering, for 8%.

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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 HorseheadsHopHead
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a stem glass. Bottled on 7/8/15, best before 3/8/16.

The beer comes in a hazy reddish-brown with a thin finger of beige head. Some streaming bubbles are visible, as is some sediment.
Pumpkin spice galore greets the nostrils initially. Clove and nutmeg are most prominent, followed by cinnamon and allspice. But what makes the aroma different from many other pumpkin ales in this one is the creamy balanced sweetness, which is as equally prominent as the spices to me. It smells like a pumpkin candle. Butterscotch, caramel, vanilla, and raisin.
Again, nice balance of flavors in the taste, the sweet malts leading the way with the spices complimenting instead of vice versa. Butterscotch, toffee, caramel, toasted bread crust, and vanilla slide smoothly over the tongue, while clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg add a little bit of kick near the end. There's no real oomph to any of it, though, but it does drink easily. There's some very faint dark fruit notes near the finish as well. Perhaps cranberries, red cherries, and raisins.
The body on this beer is surprisingly light for 8% abv. It barely qualifies as medium. I think most pumpkin ales would benefit greatly with a thicker mouthfeel, more in line with an imperial stout. However, this is still better than some I've had. Carbonation is fairly light, but I honestly wouldn't want too much carbonation in a pumpkin ale.

Overall, I would say this is a decent beer. I could see myself enjoying it again. Hopefully I'll find something more outstanding in my quest to try more pumpkin ales.

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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 Jacobob10
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle date 7/23/15, best before 3/23/16.

Deep orange color. Small creamy head with little retention or lacing. Some legs visible on the glass when swirled. The nose on this one is incredible. Like diving head first into a giant pumpkin pie. Flavor is very heavy on the spice, primarily nutmeg, with some cinnamon as well. Some caramel sweetness from the malt. Thin and a little watery on the palate. Some additional carbonation would probably help with that. Medium bodied. Overall, good aroma and flavor, but the body needs to be beefed up. It would probably be awesome paired with a fresh slice of pumpkin pie.

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Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.89 out of 5 based on 2,705 ratings.
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