Imperial Pumpkin Ale | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Imperial Pumpkin AleImperial Pumpkin Ale
BA SCORE
3.89/5
2,739 Ratings
Imperial Pumpkin AleImperial Pumpkin Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States
weyerbacher.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#7,081
Reviews:
1,025
Ratings:
2,739
pDev:
13.37%
Bros Score:
3.97
 
 
Wants:
164
Gots:
489
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,739 |  Reviews: 1,025
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.

 1,253 characters

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.

 383 characters

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.

 471 characters

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.

 552 characters

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.

 569 characters

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.

 449 characters

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.

 264 characters

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.

 654 characters

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.

 669 characters

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.

 495 characters

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!

 1,663 characters

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.

 763 characters

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.

 372 characters

Photo of jtierney89
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall very good beer, rivals punkin by dogfish head for me. The appearance is great in a nice frosted glass, nice head, amber/orange color. Smells heavenly of pumpkin, I didn't pick up many other scents. Immediately your hit in the mouth with a ton of pumpkin taste, cinnamon and allspice follow. The beer is super drinkable at 8%.

Decent mouthfeel, gets slightly spicy after a little while

Overall awesome beer for the season

 431 characters

Photo of zaphodchak
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fine trace of offwhite head, orangey amber body.

Creamy pumpkin on the nose, quite sweet, with a trace of cardamom. Delightful.

Pumpkin in the taste, faint undertones of star anise (not mentioned in ingredients). Some nutmeg on the finish. Probably will improve with aging. A bit tart.

Mouthfeel is quite smooth, fine.

It's a nice pumpkin beer. Not super rich, definitely pumpkin-y, and not just pumpkin pie spice.

 418 characters

Photo of zeledonia
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, it's October, and I feel like pumpkin! Got a couple others in the fridge, but tonight the maniacal king pumpkin on the label caught my eye.

Every time I pour a pumpkin ale, I halfheartedly hope it will come out bright orange. And I'm always (unreasonably) disappointed. This one is pretty - a deep slightly orange copper color, with one finger of cream-colored head. Head fades fast, just a bit of lacing.

Smell is really nice - rich, sweet, yummy roasted pumpkin. It's flanked by a lovely blend of spices and a sweet malt base. One of the better pumpkin beers I've had the privilege of sniffing.

Taste is spiced-up. The pumpkin is there, but the cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon come through, bringing a little tingle. Tastes kinda like pumpkin chai with bite. I like it. Finish is quick and clean.

Mouthfeel: medium-bodied, though it feels rather light for the ABV. Carbonation is on the high side; could do with a bit less. Finishes dry, with a little watery feel hanging on.

This is one of the better pumpkin ales I've had. Everything about it works together really well, and while the pumpkin flavor is present and potent, it's complemented well by the rest of the beer. A winner.

 1,194 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: quarter finger head, murky amber color with a little lacing.

S: musty hops and pumpkin spices.

T: Nice pumpkin flavor. Not too bad on the alcohol being overwhelming with this one. the pungent hop flavor lingers in the aftertaste.

M: Semi-dry in the finish. moderate carbonation and medium body.

Overall: This was my first imperial pumpkin ale. I was expecting an overwhelming alcohol flavor as I thought the pumpkin wouldnt quite over-ride it but it covered it well.

 473 characters

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

On-tap at Picco

A: The beer pours a clear dark amber color with a kinger of khaki head.

S: Smells of pie spices. Lots of nutmeg and cinnamon, with, strangely, a touch of anise. There is a bit of pumpkin as well as some of the usual bread and caramel, maybe a touch of toast.

T: Starts off with sweet caramel and toffee with a fair bit of spice. As with the aroma, plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg and that same little bit of anise. An almost powdery spice flavor. Tons of bread, too.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: Despite the little bit of anise (which I'm not the hugest fan of), this was still pretty solid.

 627 characters

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

Review from notes: 9/28/11

A - A clear orangish amber color, half inch of off-white foam settles to a ring of bubbles after a couple of minutes.

S - Immediately I think of Big Red gum. Cinnamon comes out nicely, while nutmeg and cloves also make an appearance. Thick rich pumpkin pie with whipped cream comes to mind. Malts and hops overshadowed by the spices here, which I've come to expect in this style. Pumpkin comes out more as it warms.

T - Quite spicy. Lots of cinnamon and cloves mingle with earthy pumpkin flavors. Some sweet Big Red initially, with a nice spicy pumpkin-like finish. Malts make a short pitstop. Alcohol is noted, but I'd blindly put it in the 6% range. The cinnamon and spices help tame that, I'd say.

M - Moderate carbonation and body. Somewhat spicy on the tongue. A slight dry finish, and relatively warming in the gut.

O - To date, this is one of my favorite pumpkin beers. Be prepared for a lot of spices, but it has a nice earthy pumpkin characteristic to it as well. If you aren't a fan of cinnamon, I'd stay away. Otherwise, this is a beer I'd recommend to any craft drinker.

 1,114 characters

Photo of MacQ32
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very dark copper/amber color with a solid finger of off white head. Decent retention, decent lacing

A - Lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin and clove.

T - Fairly heavy combination of the spices mentioned above, nice sweet malt backbone.

M - Medium body, kind of light for the abv/style, in a good kind of way. Appropriate carbonation, quite drinkable

O - Very spicy/fall like. Really enjoy this, and at a drinkable 8% I'm quite happy with it

 455 characters

Photo of hardy008
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper color with a one finger tan head which quickly settles down to a small disc of foam. The aroma has a lot of cinnamon, as well as nutmeg, cardamom, pumpkin, and cloves. Smells like this should be sweet.

The taste is sweet with a lot of cinnamon, as well as nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, pumpkin, and some biscuit malt. Tastes like pumpkin pie with the crust. This could be a little heavy on the spices for some, but I like it.

Medium bodied with average carbonation. The aftertaste has a lot of cinnamon. A nice beer from Weyerbacher.

 538 characters

Photo of harrymel
3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled: 17AUG11

A: Pours a nice semi hazy dark burnt sienna colored ale with under a finger of fine white foam which falls to a broken sheet with a central cap. Spotty lace.

S: This one seems dominated by nutmeg. Second fiddles cinnamon, cloves. A hint of a sour squash nose.

T: Spicy. Wow. Tons of cinnamon with some dry toasted bread flavors. The nutmeg falls through here for me. Pretty sweet, but earthy.

M: Moderately heavy for me with a lively carbonation that rounds out fine, but the finish is also wet with a waxy coating.

O: Of the pumpkins I've had, this one is pretty middle of the road.

 608 characters

Photo of oline73
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. This bottle has a year of age on it.

Appearance: Pours a reddish amber with a few floaties in it. There is a layer of off white head that fades to a ring around the glass.

Smell: Pumpkin spice dominates. Malty with cinnamon, nutmeg and some pumpkin.

Taste: Not very sweet at all. Some pumpkin with stronger flavors from the cinnamon and nutmeg. The finish is smooth and full of spices.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: The age did this beer well. Fresh, I think the finish is a bit too bitter. The time smoothed things out nicely.

 625 characters

Photo of KenC
2.71/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Dark orange/brown, cloudy color. Aggressive pour to a pint glass revealed a half finger of tan head that disappeared immediately. Zero lacing as expected by style & ABV.

S- Cardamom. That’s it cardamom. Where is everything else?

T- Cardamom and pepper. There is just nothing else to say. From start to finish, one boring taste. All the spices that go into this style and nothing came through.

M- Feel is medium to heavy. It’s the one redeeming quality in this bottle. An imperial should have stand-up mouth feel and this has it. Right on target.

O- I hope that this batch or bottle was just no good. All the complexity I had hoped for was dashed. It was just this side of a drain pour. I’ll try another bottle, as Weyerbacher, in general, usually brews something I like.

 785 characters

Photo of bum732
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

S: Strong pumpkin spices with a prominent malt backbone.

L: Fairly clear, reddish brown, creamy white head that dissipates.

T: Semi-sweet pumpkin pie with a medium light, herbal bitterness. Spices kept in check, melding with a pumkin bread like maltiness. Finishes on the light note and fairly dry with some residual cinnamon.

M: Medium full body, medium carbonation.

Very nice, bold flavors without giving me diabetes :cough: (Southern Tier). Enjoyed it, at DFH's Punkin level for me.

 489 characters

Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 2,739 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.