Imperial Pumpkin Ale | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

very good
2,727 Ratings
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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,727 |  Reviews: 1,025
Photo of shatnerosmotic
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of eerbayman
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of mchodge13
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of Lawnboy33
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of JNewbs
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of kkrez
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of sjstraub
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of Hessian257
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of Jspriest
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of thebouch01
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of seanwhite
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of Kenyont2
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of mater
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of albertjr21
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Notes from 2011 bottle enjoyed in a tulip on 9-28-11.

Brew yields a deep garnet hued amber color with a frothy, almost creamy, head. A generous aroma of "Fall" blended dessert fills the nose with notes of sugared ginger cookies and perhaps some cinnamon and nutmeg. Fairly smooth mouthfeel with only a slight booziness relative to other pumpkin beers of Imperial claim that I've tried. Maple like sweetness joins a solid pumpkin flavor in the malt body with a note of clove and an herbal finish.

 496 characters

Photo of doughanson78
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks to trxxpaxxs for this one in the Locals Only BIF.

A: Dark amber in color with a orange tint. Super clear. Two finger off white head with good retention and ok lacing.

S: Big pumpkin, spice, and graham cracker. Touches of clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The sweetness of the pumpkin is balanced well by the spiciness.

T: Sweet caramel and pumpkin flesh upfront. A peppery spiciness along with cinnamon and clove. A bit of alcohol entering and through the finish. Also some pie crust in the finish. Alcohol warmness in the throat.

M: Medium light body. Medium high carbonation. Decent creaminess.

O: A pretty good Pumpkin Ale. A tad to boozy and a touch to peppery. If you like pumpkin ales give it a try.

 750 characters

Photo of mooseo
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint.

A - Beautiful deep red amber. Small creamy white head.

S - Strong scents of nutmeg, clove, and pumpkin pie crust.

T - Nutmeg, cinnamon and clove hit first, followed by sweet malts and a slightly toasted flavor. Pumpkin is present throughout. Spices come in towards the end and tend to linger in the mouth.

M - Medium bodied with low carbonation. Creamy. Has a slight warming alcohol.

D - I was really impressed with this pumpkin ale. Weyerbacher got everything right here. It's tasty, highly drinkable, and leaves you wanting more.

 567 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
3.69/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: Thin head, some bubbles. Clearish amber-gold.

S: Huge pumpkin spice. Sweet grain. Cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon.

T/M: Less than stellar. The smell is bigger than the taste, which relies too heavily on the spices. The mouthfeel is pleasant; light and carbonated. Very refreshing. Sweet.

O: Good, but not an excellent pumpkin ale. The strength doesn't show and it's quite drinkable. I wouldn't recommend it, but I might pick one up next year.

Oct 2015 EDIT:
It took 4 years for me to pick up another, and my opinion is unchanged.

 591 characters

Photo of SickGnar
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Robust amber, perhaps just a touch reddish orangey. Khaki head of medium size that keeps a ring and makes a fair effort to leave lace that struggles to adhere. Clear with just a few rising bubbles.

S: Boozy (but not overly so) & spicy – cinnamon, cloves, & nutmeg. Faint sweetness and bready / breadcrust malts. Improves as it warms by becoming more malty with nutty & toasty notes joining the increased breadcrust as well as a touch more sweetness. A bit of pumpkin also pokes through as this one warms.

T: Not nearly as spicy or boozy as the nose implied. Cinnamon really fades (good) with cloves and nutmeg playing beautifully with the malt base which features loads of breadcrust, hints of darker roast, and a nice nutty and toasty base with just enough malty sweetness. Pumpkin is present, and grows as it warms. Just enough peppery booze notes to let you know you have something big in your glass. Herbal hops poke through in the finish.

M: Over medium body, but not too far over. CO2 to match. Good amount of dextrins and residual sugars. Spice, roasty hints, balancing hops, and alcohol manage to take it a bit drying. Slight creeping warmth. Nicely smooth for a larger beer.

D: A rather nice strong ale given a seasonal flair by some spice & gourd. The rich melanoidan, toasty, nutty, roasty malt base of this really make it shine. Way too easy drinking for 8 percent!

 1,386 characters

Photo of falloutsnow
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from Beertopia in Omaha, NE.
Poured into a standard US pint glass.

Pours a 2cm head, light tan in color. Very fine bubbles, creating a creamy, milky effect. Body is a dark brown amber with orange-yellow highlights. Head descents slowly, yielding minimal lacing. Body is opaque, with carbonation only visible at top.

Scent of dark malt sweetness, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Reminiscent of how cinnamon-flavored chapstick smells. Some ethanol if inhaled deeply. Buttery diacetyl at open, too.

Strong cinnamon-nutmeg-clove flavor combination, much more assertive than if in a pie. This transitions to a malt sweetness and baked butternut squash dusted with ground cinnamon. Aftertaste of cinnamon and carmelized sugar sweetness. Slight alcohol taste, burn, and warmth.

Medium bodied, light around the edges. Surprising at 8% ABV. Carbonation slightly too high, creating a prickly feel on the palate.

One of the better pumpkin ales I had this year; I remember not thinking much of this last year. One to revisit if available, but I would appreciate Weyerbacher toning down the alcohol a notch; I'm not sure how much this benefits by a heightened ethanol content, and the noticeable scent and burn aren't particularly pleasant.

 1,247 characters

Photo of theBubba
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my red wine glass, this honey showed a brilliant copper color and left a small short lived head, with some lacing that hung around til the end.

Smell was of a little banana, some allspice, nutmeg and caramel. I didn't mention pumpkin, cause as we all know, pumpkin has a tad more aroma than zucchini. Which ain't much. Yeah, I know...bake one and you may get a bit more aroma. Maybe oven aroma? I only mention this because, yes, pumpkin ferments, but it's really the right blend and amount of spices and hops that matter.

Mouthfeel was creamy with soft carbonation. Very nice.

Taste was exceptional. Perfect mix of malt, spice, and booze... a serious seasonal ale. Not some pumpkin pie-like swill. Last year I was on a pumpkin ale quest and tasted MANY. The Weyerbacher was my favorite and sold out pretty quickly here. I was glad to see its return this season. Of course at 12 bucks a 12 oz. FOUR pack you may think twice. However, you get what you pay for.

 974 characters

Photo of enzocc
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A - Predominant malt color. Almost a finger of head... Clear, transparent. Leaving randomly lacing on the glass. Good looking beer!

S - Brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, and cloves are the dominant smell. All this essences are dominandt in the beer, but at the end, the main essence is THE PUMPKIN! a sweet and smoky pumpkin.

T - The sweet of the pumpkin makes this beer exceptional. Very nice and soft sweetness! Cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, and brown sugar are also around. The taste doesn't bored you.

M - Watery and sticky. Its the only problem for me. Its almost a thin beer. At the end leaves you with a aftercandy feel (sticky and chewy)

O - Nice seasonal beer. First Weyerbacher beer that I try. Not a complete pumpkin ale for me, but I could get it again. The flavors are there, you can notice right away without problem. Nice beer to pair with Chicken Tacos! :)

 873 characters

Photo of Chico1985
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark orange/amber, served with only a ring on top but retains as that, leaves some lacing.

Nose has good strength, hints of a spice bomb all the way. Taste is big on the spice and sweetness, kinda odd. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, orange soda, a bit of caramel and toasted bread, a bit of alcohol. Not much in the way of actual pumpkin unfortunately. Decent mouthfeel, kinda oily, high-ish carbonation.

Eh, not bad, but far from great.

 444 characters

Photo of IronLover
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Copper orange with a reddish hue and perfect clarity. Poured with a dense, foamy head that leaves random, lacings on the glass. Sweet pumpkin and spicy aromas. Spicy aromas are delicate enough to allow the pumpkin sweetness to dominate. Buttery smooth feel with the carbonation and maltiness combining to provide a thick, chewy texture. Sweet pumpkin flavor up front and into the middle. Spices kick-in thru the middle and slowy intensify to the finish. Spices are delicate enough so as not to overwhelm the sweet pumpkin maltiness and nicely subdue an underlying booziness. Finishes with a lingering but light, spicy aftertaste. The best Pumpkin Ale I've had.

 660 characters

Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.47/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Andrew for the hookup on this one. My first pumpkin beer. Enjoyed before taking the kid to go trick-or-treat. Happy Halloween!

A - Pours a mahogony with a one finger head that dissipates alomst immediately. Not much lace to be had...

S - Definitely smells like pumpkin. Cloves, Cinnamon, and some ginger. Lots of spicey notes to be had here...

T - Pretty much follows the nose. Cinnamon, cloves, anise, and maybe a little nutmeg. Ends on spicey ginger note. Not picking up much in the way of malt, or hops. This one rides the spice wave all the way through. Abv is well hidden...

M - Medium bodied with a medium amount of carboantion...

O - Not bad, but not great either. A little to much spice for my likings, but i'm still glad I got a chance to try this...


 790 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark red-amber, ever so slightly hazy, with a tan head of moderate size and duration.

Aroma is mainly clove and nutmeg, lightly floral with hints of some other spices.

Clove and nutmeg also dominate the taste The high ABV is largely camouflaged, probably by the spicing. Some trace of sweet malt, but there is little flavor besides the overpowering spices.

Medium-thin body; decent carbonation; slight burn and warming from the alcohol.

High ABV -- kind of a Pumpkin tripel -- but otherwise rather average quality pumpkin ale.

 540 characters

Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.89 out of 5 based on 2,727 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.