Imperial Pumpkin Ale | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

very good
2,726 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

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Ratings: 2,726 |  Reviews: 1,024
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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Photo of brew3crew
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Todd for the bottle!

A- murky brown with a white whispy head that quickly disapates

S- nice amounts of cinnamon and nutmeg

T-really weird aftertaste. Not as nice a taste as the nose. What a shaame

M- medium body and smooth

O-nice ber but I wish it followed the nose more

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Photo of danmcg62
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-poured into a pint glass. Pours a deep amber color with a solid head.

S-Major pumpkin, lots of spice (cinnamon and nutmeg are there).

T-Very malty, big pumpkin flavor, spices are a plenty. Nice taste.

M-Thick, chewy feel throughout the mouth.

O-Overall this is a solid pumpkin brew. Nice combo or pumpkin and spice. Surprisingly drinkable for 8% ABV. Not as good as Southern Tier's Pumking, but good nonetheless.

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Photo of jonash2717
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Since moving from PA to CO, I cannot find a better pumpkin beer/ale than Imperial Pumpkin. In my years of BA readership, this is the only brew that I've felt compelled to review.

Even at the Great American Beer Fest, I couldn't find a better pumpkin brew. Easily the best beer in the pumpkin class. As well traveled as the Great British Beer Festival, I sure as shit didn't even see a pumpkin ale on that island.

The balance of alcohol content and spiced pumpkin flavor, which are both plentiful, is at perfect equilibrium.

Having tasted many rotating pumpkin brews at the glorious Hulmeville Inn, among other places, ale is the way to go - not malts, not lagers. Weyerbacher slaps an Imperial on that baby and booyah, BEST PUMPKIN BREW. [PERIOD].

Although the limited Woodchuck Private Reserve Pumpkin Cider sounds delighful.

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Photo of JMWEB2
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A dark amber body with a decent head.

S: Smell was complex, some nutmeg, clove, and a good bit of cinnamon, very very nice.

T: Good deal of spice just like the smell, malts and pumpkin in the finish, very good.

M: Very drinkable, medium bodied, gotta be careful with the 8.0 ABV.

O: Its a wonderful fall pumpkin beer, just went to the top of my list.

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Photo of mdvatab
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into snifter.

Aroma: Over-the-top, tantalizing spiciness. Cinnamon, spiced apple cider, ginger, allspice, vanilla, and an underlying caramel malt character.

Appearance: Hazy amber-brown. One finger of off-white head thins out within a couple of minutes. Minimal lacing.

Flavor: Carmelly malt up front, balanced by some hop bitterness. The same spices from the aroma come through in the flavor as well. A bit of alcohol is noticeable through the finish, contributing bitterness, and a little bit of warming.

Mouthfeel: Medium-high carbonation has a bit more of a bite that I'd anticipated. Medium-full mouthfeel. Tannins (from spices?) are a bit drying.

Overall: Overall, a very decent example of the style. Could use a bit more maltiness and/or body to prevent the alcohol from being a bit overpowering. The aroma, though, is phenomenal. Definitely reminds me of the fall!

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Photo of Holland
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: looks brownish amber orange, with one inch head subsiding to show a very, very thin lacing on top.

S: pumpkin, spice, some malt - smells like pumpkin pie. Even has the sweetness.

T: taste is heavier on the spices, some bitterness, a little sweetness, and a finish of pumkin. Nice!

M: medium-heavy body with lower than expected carbonation. I did serve it cold, but even when it warmed the carbonation wasn't up to par.

O: very good pumpkin ale, and I'll have it again. Would love to do a side by side with some other pumpkins, but I'll save that for fresh batches next year.

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Photo of phichifiji00
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours amber with one finger of off white head that fades quickly. No lacing.

Smell: Nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves.

Taste: Nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, and vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, smooth/creamy.

Overall: A decent pumpkin beer. I did't care for the combination of cardamom and cloves.

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Photo of thadbme
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark enough to be considered a brown ale, but it is a really dark orange color. Little to no head is seen, and almost no carbonation is present. Its slightly cloudy, and a more orange when viewed in the light.

S: The spices are front and center on this brew, and this time its cinnamon and nutmeg that stick out. Nutmeg seems to be the most prevalent with a bit of cinnamon on there. Just a hint of pumpkin spice but not as much. Some fruit is on the back end of it, but have to take note and look for it to get past the spices. A very nice smell to this one.

T: If I could imagine liquifying a pumpkin pie and eating it, this is what it would taste like. The fruit is there, the spices are there, very little booze taste to it. Very slightly bitter but smooth at the same time. Very drinkable, but you must be in the mood for this style of beer.

M: A smooth finish with the cinnamon taking hold in the mouth. A tad of carbonation.

O: My favorite pumpkin offering so far. This one and the post road would be good head to head. I like the smell and the taste of this one better. After it sits for a bit it starts to get a little bit bitter, but it just blends in with the spices. I would recommend this to anyone for a pumpkin ale to try.

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Photo of JustinMann
4.72/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tried this at a Bocktown Beer and Grill. Its wonderful pumpkin pie flavor mixed nicely with the caramel, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I was pleasantly surprised that our server had dipped the rim of the pint glass in brown sugar. While I haven’t had many pumpkin ales to-date, it is my opinion that this ale ranks extremely high when compared with ANY type of beer. I was super impressed.

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Photo of brstls4drmrs
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a orange/amber color with a 1" froth and good lacing. Froth had a nice white/orange color and the liquid is slightly cloudy.

S - Like mama's pumpkin pie but in a glass. Clove and nutmeg on the nose with some faint scents of licorice. A great smelling brew.

T - Pumpkin galore with hints of nutmeg and clove. All about some pumpkin.

M - Feels a little thin but smooth going down. Medium carbonation.

O - A solid pumpkin brew. I'd definitely have another.

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Photo of mltobin
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, poured into a pint glass.

The appearance of this pumpkin ale is amber and orange with a small off-white head. Its` nose is nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, very nice indeed. The taste of this beer is a bit bitter, some pumpkin, along with more of those nice spices and sweetness to it. Mouthfeel is medium, a crisp texture. It drinks fairly easily. All in all, one of the better pumpkin beers out there. While it has a stronger spice than some of the basic pumpkin ales, it is not overdone as some others are on the other end of the spectrum.

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Photo of Jerone
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark caramel color with tinges of read and a one finger quickly fading tan head.

S - Wow, smells just like a pumpkin pie, lots of pumpkin and spices, cinnamon, clove, allspice and some malt sweetness.

T - Lots of malt sweetness and a bit of spice, although not as spicy as I was expecting and the ending leaves that pumpkin flavor in your mouth. As the beer warmed up the sweetness turned overbearing.

M - Mouthfeel was medium bodied with low carbonation, nice smooth and creamy.

O - Just too sweet for my liking, but may be worth a buy for the smell alone.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. This one pours a hazy amber brown with a finger of white head that settles leaving some soapy lace.

Rich pumpkin aroma here with your standard autumn spices; nutmeg, cloves and allspice. Pretty standard pumpkin ale aroma here. Lots of cloves on the pallet. Almost over powers the pumpkin but it's still there, even though it's a bit overshadowed.

Medium bodies wth good carbonation. Overall not bad here. A solid pumpkin brew.

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Photo of 00766
4.7/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Nice beer with subtle spicing. It is not too carbonated and there is no bitter after taste. much more body than shipyard pumpkin. After notes of sweetness like a Belgian. I like the color, not too clear and red tones make it look nice in the glass. Minimal head.

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Photo of HosP
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass. Wife stole most of this one!

A- Deep copper color. Thin white head sticks to the glass.

S- Nice subtle pumpkin aroma. Get a nice mix of spices in the nose. Some sweet malt aroma at the end.

T- Very much like the nose. Pumpkin flavors throughout, more present than the nose would lead on to. Spices give a nice pop to the flavor and really remind you of a thanksgiving day pumpkin pie.

M- Medium body. Moderate carbonation.

O- One of the better pumpkin beers I've had. Would love some more of this for sure. Haven't had some of the higher rated pumpkin beers, but would love to try them if they are better than this.

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Photo of Jimmys
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: a copper hue with a big bustling head. good retention.

S: wow. the clove is especially evident. right in your face. some other pumpkin spices are there as well. cinnamon and nutmeg and allspice to name the common players.

T: similar to the nose, the clove is glaring. the spice is tremendous. almost tastes like incense, if that makes any sense....the rest of the pumpkin spices are on the palate too. all this spice makes it hard to find anything else in there (malt, hops, etc.) but that is point of most of these pumpkin brews.

M: very moderate fizz. medium body.

D: for an imperial pumpkin, this is easy to drink. a very festive offering from weyerbacher.

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Photo of thedoubler55
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A nice dark amber in color, a nice off white head, with a bit of lacing around the glass.

S: Very strong in pumpkin smell, like a freshly baked thanksgiving pumpkin pie, nutmeg and cinnamon throughout.

T: A Sweet sweet brew, lots of pumpkin all over, spiciness on first sip and malts all over not to boozey.

M: Medium bodied, a perfect balance of carbonation but a good mouthfeel on this pumpkin brew.

O: Overall a good brew, I enjoyed it very much, weyerbacher impresses all the time.

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Photo of siege06nd
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic pint...

A: Pours an opaque orange copper color, like an old Lincoln penny. Two and a half fingers of cream colored head. The lacing and retention on this are very nice, a half finger of head provides a fluffy and delicious cap on this one. One of the best looking pumpkins I have seen.

S: Holy cinnamon, Batman! The nose on this is just loaded with the stuff. Smells like a fresh package of Big Red bubblegum. I get some nice allspice, clove, and raw pumpkin behind the cinnamon. Smells fantastic, but I dinged it a little for the overbearing cinnamon.

T: Meh. Following the nose, this beer is plenty spicy. I get a ton of allspice, some clove, light cinnamon, and a bit of roasted pumpkin on the back end. All the flavors are there, but they don't meld particularly well. This beer is spicy, burns the back of my throat spicy. It also has a curious, bitter finish that isn't altogether pleasing. Color me confused...hits all the right notes but in an oddly discordant way. Oh well.

M: A little light on carbonation and a thick, cloying texture. Creamier than I am used to from a pumpkin beer. This one lacks balance.

O: I thought I was in for a treat based off of the appearance and smell of this brew, but the taste and mouthfeel let me down slightly. That's not to say this isn't a good pumpkin beer. It most certainly is. But it isn't the most focused I have had and it's definitely a little over-spiced. Could have used a touch more malt to level things out a touch. All the same, I love me some pumpkin beers and this one is enjoyable. Weyerbacher continues to produce some of the finest brew in the country. If you see it, grab it!

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

Poured into my DFH snifter. Reddish-orange color with a thin ring of light brown head. Fairly clear with tiny sporadic bubbles. Smelled strongly of pumpkin, nutmeg, and spice with traces of banana and vanilla bean. Taste contained lots of malty character with hints of pumpkin and nutmeg, but not nearly as much impact as I expected based on the smell. Still, the taste is fairly well-balanced, and the ABV is well-masked as there is no alcohol taste at all. Great mouthfeel; the carbonation level is pretty low but there is still a great deal of creamy smoothness which goes well with this style of beer.

Overall, a great take on a pumpkin beer- a good deal of pumpkin taste but not overwhelmingly so. I still like DFH Punk'n better, but this is also very good.

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Photo of cneville
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap, in a pint glass.

Hazy orange in color, with a thin head that disappears quickly. Aroma is malty, with the prerequisite pumpkin spices, in a nice blend. Spices come heavily in the taste--nutmeg, cinnamon, and the pumpkin later. The alcohol is hidden well at this percentage. Not my favorite pumpkin beer, but definitely a good example of one with more alcohol.

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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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