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

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

A - A nice orangish/amber color. Decent head retention. An attractive beer.

S - Strong pumpkin smell with hints of nutmeg and other spices. Very aromatic.

T - Pumpkin and malt flavors dominate along with hints of other spices. Can taste a little bit of alcohol heat from the start.

M - Medium bodied and the carbonation is right. There's a little bit of alcohol burn that lingers in the aftertaste...nothing overpowering though.

The Imperial Pumpkin lives up to its name - it is definitely a strong pumpkin ale. Delicious and tasty, but it is not a beer that I would be able to drink too many of in one sitting. A nice beer to enjoy as Summer turns into Fall.

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

A: Orange pour with brown throughout. A bubble off-white head hangs around for just a bit. Bubbles cling to the glass and rise from the bottom to the top vigorously.

S: Pumpkin, spices, malts. A lot of pumpkin on this one. I can understand how it's called Imperial!

T: Malty like an oktoberfest, but with a nice spiciness mostly on pumpkin. I might be perhaps noticing a hint of alcohol. Decently balanced, a bit strong.

MF: Light and bubbly. Flavor fills the mouth and has a dry finish.

O: Very drinkable. The spices can become a bit much, but it was very enjoyable overall.

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Photo of BrewMaester
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a lively festive orange with a tall tan head doesn’t leave much lacing. The smell is warm and inviting cinnamon spice sweet bread and of course, pumpkin. Great flavor, pumpkin pie, spice caramel subtle sweetness, there is some heat from the abv but not to much. Mouthfeel Is chewy and thick, very satisfying. A fantastic seasonal beer that makes you feel better about g.d. winter coming

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Photo of eclipse54
4.24/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 ounce bottle I received from inlimbo77; thanks a ton! A date code of 06011, lending me to think June 2011. Seems odd considering it doesn't start showing up until August, but perhaps they just brewed it early. Regardless, it goes into my Deschutes pint glass...

The body is a translucent orange and brown color with some lighter pumpkin-colored hues in the thinner regions of the glass. The head was small off the pour, a finger’s-breadth at best, and faded relatively quickly to nothing but a ring around the surface of the liquid. The smell is wonderful; nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, some pumpkin, and even a faint vanilla. The taste is similar, with a bit of the faint pumpkin in the front before the rush of aforementioned spices dominate. A bit of a warming alcohol finish along with the faintest vanilla flavor. Honestly, this is like someone took pumpkin pie, slapped vanilla ice cream on top, and found a way to bottle it. The mouth is rich in flavor, but not overly thick and does not leave any kind of sugary film behind. Very well done. Exactly what I had hoped it would be, and I certainly wish I had more.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.57/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


Acquired via trade
Thanks sendsilk!

Pumpkin orange and auburn with a very thin head. Not much lacing left down the glass.

Spicy aroma: lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice, as well as some rich and sweet malt presence--like a freshly baked, delicious pumpkin bread.

The spices are dominant throughout in this beer. The cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg make up the majority of this beer's flavor. It reminds me of Big Red Cinnamon Gum, and even makes my tongue feel a similarly spicy/numb I associate with cinnamon-flavored gum. There's a touch of bread and pumpkin flavor, but it's definitely dominated by the spices.

Thin mouthfeel.

A hugely flavorful, big pumpkin ale, though the spices are the star and not at all the pumpkin.

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Photo of DirtyPenny
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my 12 oz New England Patriots pint glass.

A: Poured with two fingers of bubbly beige head, which left only little dots of lacing here and there. Beer is a deep reddish orange in color.

S: Spicy cinnamon and cloves with a backbone of pumpkin meat and sweet bready malt.

T: Very rich. Starts with the tinge of cinnamon spice and moves into complimentary caramel and cloves, with a dash of nutmeg on the end. There's a bit of a pie crust aftertaste. In fact, this is pretty much liquid pumpkin pie. A breath of alcohol rounds it out. This gets a little powerful as it warms, to the point that it feels out of balance if you let it sit too long.

M: Rich and creamy. This is one chewy brew.

O: Good, and while I'm not sure if the aggregate score above is going to give this a better score than Saranac's (non-imperial) pumpkin brew, I think I actually preferred there's to Weyerbacher. If nothing else Saranac's is a lot cheaper and has about 90% of the flavor of this.

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Photo of jpro
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

CBX 32oz growler into a Widmer Bros tulip...

A: Pours a clear, rosy, copper; one finger of eggshell head that doesn’t manage much retention or lacing.

S: Cloves (heavy); roasted pumpkin; bready malts and nutmeg.

T: Pumpkin spice and clove; a touch of alcohol; maybe a touch of vanilla in there, too; better than the clove dominated aroma.

M: Medium-bodied and a touch fizzy; somewhat dry on the finish.

O/D: In my opinion, no pumpkin ale is really up there in the drinkability department... this is one’s no exception; a good brew, but nothing too crazy; overall - smeh... maybe I should give up on the pumpkins.

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

A- dark golden brown with small head

S- mild spice but not overpowering. Hint of pumpkin

T- Malt profile has very earthy flavor and pumpkin profile is nice and smooth.

M- somewhat thin

O- There are some great flavor profiles...but a little watered down for my taste.

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

A: Pours a medium red with a bit of a white head that disappears quickly, leaving some halo and lacing

S: Big spice nose. Cinnamon, nutmeg, some allspice, maybe a hint of vanilla, along with a huge pumpkin aroma.

T: Much like the nose, the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves dominate the palate, with the pumpkin flavor taking a backseat. Still, very nice. With all the spices, it's almost minty.

O: Another nice pumpkin ale. Though, I must say, shipyard smashed pumpkins is probably my favorite pumpkin ale still, but I'll try to find some more to try.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

another hearty thanks out to Beenitty who sent this my way. enjoyed in my E snifter.

a - poured a brick orange that settled as a ruby red. thin bubbly dull white head. slippery lacing.

s - boy oh boy, it's like i just walked into a craft store. pot pouri pumpkin style. cinnamon, sugar, pumpkin. smells awesome (if you like pumpkins).

t - it's a beer, but with pumpkin and cinnamon flavoring. very good, but not as crazy as the nose. for the fan of pumpkin beer, this is one to try.

m - a bit watery and light to medium bodied. not that fizzy. a bit boring.

o - overall, another solid pumpkin brew. the highlight is the nose by a mile, but not bad.

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Photo of afdempse
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, orange-ish copper color. Thin off-white head.

Aroma of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. Nice and fresh.

Spice hits the palate quickly, but is a well-balanced blend of the traditional pumpkin pie spices, and not overdone. A nice sweet & malty backbone offers balance to the spice. Some earthy meatiness - could be attributed to using pumpkin flesh? Bitterness level is perfect here, just enough to support.

Finish is semi-sweet but with no off-notes or weird spice remnants that you might find with other spice beers. Alcohol goes virtually undetected - quite a feat for a beer of this strength.

Overall, a great pumpkin beer, but I probably wouldn't have more than one in a sitting.

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark amber/brown with orange highlights. Beautiful one finger cocoa head. Very good on the carbonation and lacing. A somewhat hazy beer that you can't see through. Nose is really nice for the style. Nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin, some malt. Really good, especially if you like pumpkin ales. Taste follows the nose, with nothing really changing. Big time malt backbone on this brew- and it's really well done. This is a borderline 4.5 on taste. Alcohol is almost completely masked, w/ at 8% is pretty good. Mouthfeel is malt smoothness and carbonation bite, w a nice lingering aftertaste. Somewhat dry finish, but not too bad. Overall, this is a really nice Pumpkin Ale, and I definitely recommend this. I know I'll pick it up again. Cheers.

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Photo of tone77
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a deep brownish/orange color with a 1 inch head. Smell is spicy, mostly cinamon, some pumpkin. Taste is also cinamon up front, some nutmeg and pumpkin. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Burt
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 8oz. tumbler.

Copper amber that is slightly hazy, off white thick head that dispersed slowly and left a little lacing.

Pumpkin pie spices, some maltiness.

Malty graininess and oven roasted pumpkin at first, pumpkin pie spice in the middle with a creamy and buttery finish.

This is the first pumpkin beer of the year for me and it was not overpowering like some can be. Also it is nicely balanced with every thing pumpkin, spices and alcohol. Not a bad beer.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
4.54/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass

A: pours a medium amber color with a slight warmth to it, pours with a finger of light tan head that is foamy and lingers nicely, pours entirely clear with a small amount of carbonation bubbles present
S: very nice scent, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, purely reminds me of fall, wonderful
T: nice taste, not offensive like other pumpkins can be, not too harsh but well balanced, allspice, nutmeg, and pumpkin spice, possibly a finish of brown sugar
M: medium carbonation tingle on the tip of the tongue then slides smoothly across the palate, finishes with a slight burn, not from alcohol but just the types of spices used, leaves almost a cinnamon freshness in the mouth
O: possibly the best pumpkin ive ever had, not terribly strong on the alcohol but wonderously complex and so smooth, not too filling, just wonderful

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.72/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a very beautiful ruby with white head that fades completely over time.

The smell is Cinnamon and nutmeg. Lots and lots of fall type spices coming through but not over powering.

The taste is similar. It is slightly dry with a pumpkin pie taste on the back that lingers for about 30 seconds.

I am blown away by how good this beer blends all the ingredients together. Also being 8% you can't pick up on any alcohol.

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Photo of keanex
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

A: Deep copper/red with a thing light tan head less than 1 finger that quickly dissipates to a small lacing.

S: Strong delicious pumpkin pie smell. A bit heavy on the cloves and cinnamon, but the pumpkin smell is easily picked out. This smells wonderful.

T: Smells like it tastes. Strong clove and cinnamon tastes slightly overpower the pumpkin. Leaves a cloves aftertaste in your mouth.

M: Medium carbonation, medium bodied but leaves a creamy coating.

O: A good pumpkin offering, a bit heavy on the spices is my only complaint, the cloves in particular.

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Photo of n2185
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, coppery-orange with a finger of off-white head that recedes into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Some spice notes in the aroma--cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg--followed by sweet caramel and vanilla aromas. There are some floral notes in there as well as a touch of sweet citrus.

T: Similar to the aroma, spices come up front but don't overwhelm. Sweet vanilla and bready flavors follow along with a slight bitterness on the finish from the hops. Some slight yam/pumpkin flavors on the aftertaste.

M: Medium body and carbonation, this beer is fairly light for its strength, but still has a slightly creamy feel to it.

O: Overall, a good pumpkin ale. I'd prefer a more pronounced pumpkin flavor, but at least the spices are not overpowering as they are in some pumpkin ales.

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

A - Surprisingly dark amber which is slightly cloudy with a nice lace and thin head that sticks around.

S - Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, cardamon, pumpkin pie, slight metallic nose, fresh yeast rolls, slight malt underneath it all

T - Big spice front with a musty pumpkins backing it up. An almost chlorine/diacetyl butteriness that gives way to a mild bitter, subtle alcohol, and a bit of caramel malt. Slightly sweet with the cinnamon and nutmeg overpowering the clove and the cinnamon, while they are definitely still there. The pumpkins give the beer an almost meaty quality that makes for a chewy and rich experience.

M - Moderate to heavy carbonation, and good palate coating which is both pleasant and unusual in its profile. The finish leaves a slightly cloying alcohol that doesn't give out to a tannic bitterness.

O - A very unique Pumpkin ale. Has a slight funkiness to it, which I like, reminds me of a good French or Alsacian wine. Sweet but not too much so, and the spices are very well balanced so you can pinpoint each one in the medley of flavors.

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Photo of hoptualBrew
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the 12oz with a weird looking pumpkin king on the front. Ale spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamon, and cloves - fuck yeah I'll have some.

Pours a deep brown honey orange with a little fluffy off white head. Some alcohol legs here at 8%, it will get ya there.

Smells like a pumpkin pie, I think I may go to the fridge & pair this bad boy up with a slice & some whip cream. Cinnamon, nutmeg dominate the nose, very bready too.

Soft mouthfeel brings in the pumpkin pie flavors - jesus this is a fucking amazing beer. This brings back memories of cold halloween nights crowded around a fire & eating pumpkin pie & other seasonal desserts.

Highly recommended & at $2.50 for a 12oz, its really not a bad deal at all! Get some.

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

Picked up a 4pk at Wegmans in Warrington, PA.


Enjoyed in a DFH Signature Glass

A - Pours a semi-transparent deep orange/reddish color. A one finger, beige colored head on the initial pours that fades rather quickly to a light skim. Little to no lacing left on the side of the glass.

S - Delicious sweet smell with cinnamon and nutmeg aromas. Very inviting.

T - A rather sweet beer (caramel-like) with a good amount of spices (cinnamon & nutmeg). The pumpkin is noticeable but is pretty much overwhelmed by the spices. The aftertaste is slightly bitter with a tanginess. The alcohol is slightly noticeable.

M - A lightly carbonated beer. A thicker consinsitancy that leaves a syrupy sweetness in the mouth.

O - Another really good pumpkin ale from Pennsylvania. I had the BrewWorks Devious last week and I think I enjoyed that just a bit more but this is a highly enjoyable and delicious beer. I'll gladly finished the remaining bottles in the pack.


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Photo of Jesse13713
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at 101 laundry in Kent. I was much more pleased with this than the last on tap beer I had here.

Appearance - A sweet looking natural brown with light orange hints. A nice film laces to the glass effortlessly. A good middle between opaqueness and transparency.

Smell - Light spices are noticeable immediately. Light bread notes and plum. Sweet caramel is subtle as well. A but of raisin and a plethora of cinnamon.

Taste - Wow. I wasn't expecting much after being softened by the bottle variation. This is top-notch pumpkin beer here. A warm infusion of raisin and cinnamon are quick to coat my mouth. A bit if light fruit is noticeable in the background as well. A heavy hit of cinnamon remains delicious throughout. The pumpkin is very persistent at your taste buds, but remains in the background of this fruity, spicy beer. Surprisingly, I taste beef jerky in the aftertaste. I'm not sure how or why, but I like it. Awe yeh.

Mouth feel and overall - Warm and tingly on the tongue. I continue to taste different notes as my glass empties. This beer surprises you and leaves you in suspense of what you'll taste next. Delicious. Medium bodied all around. The pumpkin notes are making themselves better known towards the end of the drink.

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Photo of brystmar
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pumpkin ales are my favorite seasonal brew. I've heard great things about this beer all year, so I was excited to pick up a 4pk this afternoon.

A: Pours darker than most pumpkin ales with mostly brownish/maroon hues. Foamy white head leaves some beads of lace behind but retreats quickly.

S: Dominated by malt and cloves. Hints of pumpkin and cinnamon in the background. No traces of booze. Doesn't remind me of fresh pumpkin pie like my other favorites.

T: Sweet malts and cloves all over the place. The pumpkin spices feel like an afterthought and only really show up in the aftertaste. Not bad; it just feels like a completely different style of pumpkin ale.

M:On the weaker side of medium-bodied, could use more carbonation as well (and I *rarely* say that).

D: Pretty drinkable for an imperial pumpkin ale. Despite its lack of complexity, this brew is quite smooth and balanced in regards to malt :: spices. Alcoholic burn is barely noticeable as it descends.

Last Fall, I declared Frog's Hollow Imperial Pumpkin Ale by Hoppin Frog the best of the style. Better than ST PumKing, better than DFH Punkin, better than every other pumpkin beer I'd ever tasted. Since then, my beer-loving friends insisted this Weyerbacher brew was on par (or better). And after having enjoyed this brew, the Hoppin Frog beer is still clearly the king.

Here's how the pumpkin ale landscape looks to me now:

Top Tier:
* Frog's Hollow Imperial Pumpkin Ale by Hoppin Frog
* Devious Imperial Pumpkin by Bethlehem Brew Works

2nd Tier:
* Punkin' by Dogfish Head
* PumKing by Southern Tier (I don't like hoppy beers, but I those who do love this brew)

...and then everything else -- including this Weyerbacher. A solid pumpkin ale, but not in the same league as any of the aforementioned brews.

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep orange/tan body, trace head, zero lacing

S: nutty, clove, nutmeg, pumpkin, light boozy

T: clove, pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon,
trace of orange peel, earthy slight boozy finish

M: med body, smooth, slight chewy mouth

O: This is my 2nd Weyerbacher offering,
quite good. Wish the boozy flavor was a
little more muted, but still would
recommend this and get it again.


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

12 oz. bottle poured into nonic; stamp of "081111" on bottle neck. Bottling date, maybe?

Appearance: Deep copper body, close to that of an amber ale or Irish Red. A frothy head of two fingers quickly dwindles to a complete cover of foam on top of the beer. Only sporadic spotty lacing is left behind.

Aroma: Huge notes of spice, namely cinnamon, nutmeg, and maybe some clove. Also there are big notes of raw pumpkin, with maybe just a bit of caramel. A truly great smelling beer, it reminds me holiday-themed candles. Strong nose on this one, definitely "imperial strength," but still balanced.

Taste: Spices hit the tongue at first - I pick up cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves all at once, but everything is layered very well. There's a sturdy malt backbone of caramel flavors to support all of the other flavors going on. The pumpkin flavors come near the finish, just as big and bold as the other flavors present. An ever-so-slight earthy hoppiness rounds out the finish. This is certainly not a beer for the faint of heart. It's big, bold, and autumnal. A dessert beer for sure, but still very balanced, though it leans toward the sweeter end of the spectrum. Alcohol is surprisingly well-hidden.

Mouthfeel: Creamy medium bodied ale with soft carbonation and a smooth going down. Finish is remarkably dry, but satisfying. Maybe a little lighter than I expected for this beer, but still fitting. Zero burn from the alcohol, which was cool.

Overall: If you love fall seasonals like I do, go for this one, but be warned - it is not a pumpkin ale for beginners; this is not a "training wheels" pumpkin ale. It's literally like liquid pumpkin pie, and that is a fantastic thing to me.

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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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