Imperial Pumpkin Ale | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

very good
1,024 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: 1,024 | Ratings: 2,726
Photo of TurnipEntropy
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 08(Aug)/02/16, opened 04(April)/08/17 after near constant refrigeration. Poured into a snifter, drank after slight warming.

Look: hard poor resulted in a thin bubbly head. The amber color has a slight orange hue to it. Overall, this is exactly how I want a pumpkin ale to look.

Smell: hits you the second you open the bottle. The smell is dominated by a bready, caramel malt and cinnamon, although clove does manage to come through. It's also slightly boozy. I do not smell the nutmeg or cardamom.

Taste: sweet, but it's a pumpkin ale, so what did you expect? Almost all of the flavors actually come through in this beer, which I've never experienced before from a pumpkin ale. Upfront you get the sweetness and the malt, but the cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove settle in, making this a great beer to sip at. I don't personally get the cardamom. What kept me from giving it a higher score on taste is that the cinnamon tastes a little like fake cinnamon. Since the beer was old, I didn't count not tasting the cardamom against it.

Feel: smooth, refreshing, and a very slight bitter tingle.

Overall, smell and taste matter the most to me, so 4.25. This was an excellent purchase. If you've been searching for a good pumpkin ale, buy this beer ASAP.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark cinnamon-pumpkin color with a small ring of bubbly head.

Aroma is beautiful. Warm brandy, hot cinnamon, cardamom, clove, pepper, potpourri.

Taste is a little bit of a let down, as the spices are far gone, could be due to age. It's still got some of the cinnamon and potpourri flavors there, along with a lot of club soda.

Feel is hot (boozy), and very carbonated. Leaves a sticky, dry finish.

Overall, I can't knock this one too much. It's pretty tasty even after the spices have fallen off. I'll revisit it again this fall.

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Photo of NilocRellim
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear red colour. Smells syrupy, ginger, juicy pumpkin pulp, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Tastes like it smells, juicy pumpkin pulp, sweet and malty throughout, date syrup, ginger, spiced hop at the end, and maybe some cinnamon.

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Photo of Harrison8
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a murky burnt-pumpkin with a finger of dark-khaki head. Head retention is decent with no lacing left behind. Aroma is hearty, with notes of pumpkin, holiday spices, biscuit and toasted malts, butter, and caramel. Nice and full aroma. Flavor profile has pumpkins, and holiday spices right up front. As the holiday spices linger and dwindle away, notes of toasted malts, caramel, and burnt sugar pop up. Very flavorful. Mouth feel is medium-thick, with a hearty, filling feel. Overall, a fantastic, bold rendition of pumpkin beer, at least if you enjoy complex flavors. Holiday spices are plentiful, but edge onto the side of over powering.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

DATE: October 7, 2016... OCCASION: made it through another week of school... GLASSWARE: Maudite snifter...pours a dark amber, almost mahogany body with a busy, bubbly body that cannot sustain the fizzy, off-white head--a placid surface collects the occasional bubble, but the alcohol halts any impressive froth... BIG, powerful cinnamon, caramel, gingerbread and nutmeg promise BIG things in the profile... some hops also wrapped with a breath of alcohol... a medium-bodied, oily, bourbon-evoking draw... the profile is profoundly ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg--a dessert in and of itself... outstanding, strong, and worth the price tag.... another strong Weyerbacher product that seems bigger than its 8% ABV... right up there with other high ABV pumpkin ales...

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Photo of Meyers1023
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured a reddish color with very little tan bubbly head. The smell has a lot of sweetness to it before the other spices kick in, made me very wary of the beer. Flavor is very well balanced. The sweetness of the pumpkin and cinnamon start off but the nutmeg transitions it to the clover and more savory spices. This is a good pumpkin ale, great combination of flavors, not too sweet but very seasonally spiced.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I am making an effort to try a variety of pumpkin beers this year and I have come across this - so glad I did.

I'll just start off by saying this is probably the best pumpkin ale I have had to date. And I can't think of coming across another one better (but here's to hoping.) Anyway, though the brew pours no head and it has zero lacing, it has a rich pumpkin look - liquid pumpkin if you will. The scent is a perfect blend of pumpkin, spice, and hops, neither one overpowering or stepping on the other. I found it crisp to the tongue as well as silky and smooth, the carbonation was easily ignored in this brew. At an 8% ABV, the ale, the pumpkin flavor and the spicy malts all seem to blend as well as they do to the nose. This is by far a truly special beer - pumpkin or not.

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Photo of Im4jojo
4.85/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Aroma: Sweet and malty. Spicy pumpkin.
Appearance: Foggy orange glow, reminiscent of a lit Jack-o- lantern. Unfiltered? Not much carbonation here. Poured into a tulip glass, it revealed a pencil-thin head. Little lacing left behind.
Taste: I taste cardamom right up front. The rest of the pumpkin pie spices hang-out in the back.
Overall: Very warming. Enjoyable. Nice to sip on a Fall day.

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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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Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.89 out of 5 based on 2,726 ratings.
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