Imperial Pumpkin Ale | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Imperial Pumpkin AleImperial Pumpkin Ale
Liked This Beer
3.89 w/ 2,734 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,734 |  Reviews: 1,025
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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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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Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 73.1% out of 100 with 2,734 ratings
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