Imperial Pumpkin Ale | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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Imperial Pumpkin AleImperial Pumpkin Ale
Very Good
2,746 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,746 |  Reviews: 1,026
Photo of sjstraub
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of mindfuldave
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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! :)

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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.

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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.

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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...


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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.

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Photo of challenja
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass.

A: A deep amber orange, with a little coat of blood! Nice carbonation with a nice mellow white bone head.

S: This is one spicy smelling beer! Lots of Cinnamon and clove throughout. Nutmeg barrels through the second wiff layer and rounds out with Caramels and toffeed butter chips.

T: This is #3 in terms of taste for Seasonal Pumpkin beers. Strong and in your face in terms of bold spiciness that you would expect from a top tier seasonal beer. It is not as sweet as S.T Pumking and Schlafly's Pumpkin ale but it boasts the most hops and spices for sure. Most people could be turned off by it, but if you love Pumpkin beers then you will love this one! Sweet caramel, nutmeg and clove bomb, with a nice malty and hoppy backbone bite, a nice hidden layer of banana nose on this one. I was very impressed.

M: Medium bodied with a nice lacy alcohol bite to marry nicely the intense spice character that this Imperial Pumpkin Ale likes to pair with a smooth banana coating of arms.

O: My number 3 all time Pumpkin Beer. A must buy and this one doesn't have a cult following like Schlafly and S.T Pumking so you can be sure to have it at a Total Wine or other major beer super store. Do yourself a favor and pack some up for the cold fridged January nights when you hopefully are near a nice roasting fire. This beer will serve me well this winter season. Shit I will bring some with me when I go boarding soon. HA!!

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Photo of MattyG85
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep and lively amber orange with lots of rising bubbles. Solid four fingers of off white head that has a light tint of orange. Pretty good retention and lacing.

Smell: Very spicy. Big aroma of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom ginger, and clove. A decent presence of pumpkin. Also some caramel and toffee malts in the background. The spice is so strong that it kind of overwhelms everything else but it smells good.

Taste: A much more balanced taste. Starts with a strong spicy presence of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and clove. Midway there is a taste of pumpkin than a big presence of bready caramel malts takes over in the finish. It starts very spicy but finishes like a Marzen.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate carbonation. Spicy, sweet, chewy, and creamy. A little heat is felt but it goes down pretty smooth.

Overall: A very good pumpkin ale. Very bold with the spices and malts. Could of had a little more actual pumpkin flavor but whats there is very good.

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Photo of ONUMello
4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Muddy orange-brown, with a thin head
S: I can smell this from 1-2 feet away. Intense pumpkin, nutmeg, clove and a hint of cinnamon & ginger.
T: Very spicy, caramel as well. Not nearly as much pumpkin as I hoped.
M: Smooth, full; hides the 8% abv well.
O: Quite nice overall, especially the nose, I just wish there were a bit more pumpkin and less spice.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this beer up in Totowa recently since it was available via the single bottle and I hadn't had this before. I get a little leery when I see the word "Imperial" in front of a beer's title these days since that word is thrown around pretty often. While this wasn't overpoweringly strong, I could see why this could be described that way. The taste, aroma, and alcoholic content were more potent than in other Pumpkin Ales that I've had and after finishing the bottle, I didn't feel that the more expensive price for this was unjustified!

Nice deep pumpkin hue to the pour with a clear appearance and some head that quickly faded. This had one of the strongest scents that I've ever smelled in a beer, and I don't just mean Pumpkin Ales. I didn't even have to bring the bottle near me and it seemed like the pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, and clove were dying to get out of the bottle. Could this have been possessed? I doubt it, but those notes were repeated in the taste, which had a nice balance to it and a clean finish. The carbonation was just enough for a slight tingle and helped removed any trace of the spice, which was at a good level to begin with. Not a lot of nut here which led to a lighter-than-expected mouthfeel and also allowed for the pumpkin to shine through - literally and figuratively!

The alcohol is deceptively high in this as I couldn't feel it in the taste and barely noticed a boozy sensation after I worked my way through the contents of my pint glass. In the past, I wasn't so much a fan of this style, but it's a beer like this that can change my mind. This was an unexpected surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed and can't wait to try again, and it's beers like this that make this season so enjoyable!

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a standard pint glass, color is nice translucent amber with light tan head that dissipates quickly.

Smell is mixed caramel malt with spices, clove sticks out with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Taste is caramel malt with spiciness, spice is somewhat strong and overpowers any hints of malt flavoring. No hint a pumpkin earthiness to me, but could be the strength of the brew and spiciness.

Mouthfeel is expected, strong flavors on the tongue, good effervescence slightly cloying and long lasting, but what you would expect from a spiced brew.

Overall, flavors and spiciness remind me of Yards tavern spruce, which gives me a sense that the spice content is quite high. Overall, not my favorite type of pumpkin, one of the more spicy.

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Photo of dorianmarley
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a very cloudy, orange-brown; with a creamy head and tons of lacing.

Smells medicinal since it has so much spice. Cinnamon and clove being the most fragrant. Brings Christmas-time more to mind than pumpkin season.

The taste has the most spice I've had in almost anything, let alone a beer: cinnamon, clove; perhaps a trace of pumpkin as the bottle suggests. The spice is almost overwhelming at first, but mellows as the beer warms up.

The mouthfeel is nice. The spices are warm and the carbonation complements instead of competes with the bite.

Overall, the taste can be too much to handle. But the mouthfeel is nice and the smell, alone, is well-worth the price of admission.

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Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 2,746 ratings