Imperial Pumpkin Ale | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Imperial Pumpkin AleImperial Pumpkin Ale
2,740 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: 2,740 |  Reviews: 1,026
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.47/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Deep amber. Nice and clear, but no head and no lacing. Eh?

Smell - Wow, what is that? Cloves? Cinnamon? Some spice is extremely overpowering. I get maybe a hint of pumpkin behind it, but it's spice all the way. I'm not looking for that much.

Taste - At first, it has a nice, but faint pumpkin flavor. It belies the intensity of the aroma. During the drink, the spice gets more intense and really overwhelms. It builds to quite a bite by the end of the drink. Really intense and overwhelms the pumpkin flavor that was there.

Mouthfeel - Creamy at first and quite nice, but the spice makes it feel harsh in the finish. Way too intense.

Overall - Have I mentioned that there's too much clove or cinnamon or whatever that is? Overpowering. It's easy enough to drink and it certainly doesn't taste bad, but where are the other flavors?

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Photo of Greywulfken
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4 a Duvel tulip...

A: deeper orange color than either Pumking or Smashed Pumpkin - almost an orange-brown - didn't really get any head out of the deal

S: I didn't get as much of an aroma off of this as my previous pumpkin ales - some light pumpkin and spice scents, but that's about all.

T: not as sweet or syrupy as Pumking, not as bright and sharp as Smashed Pumpkin - this was right in-between the two - and of the 3, it was the most beery tasting - in a way, the least thrilling. I'd say that my other 2 pumpkin ales were a little richer and more decadent. The flavors didn't change too much as it warmed, which was a little disappointing.

M: nice finish, but some bitter notes crept in; probably the lightest feel of the pumpkin ales I've tried - I did have a slight aftercoat taste on my tongue.

O: for me, I'd prefer something that tastes a little less like a beer and more like a treat - in some ways this beer reminded me of something from Unibroue (I can't recall which brew). So not to sound negative, let me just say, it is a good beer, but I didn't taste the sweet pumpkin-iness as much as I may have liked - and with "imperial" in the name I expected something richer in taste and smell.

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

A - This beer pours a nice dark ruby copper color. This has just a ting layer of light tan foam resting on top of it. The head dissipates quickly, leaving no lace behind.

S - The nose starts off with some sweet malts and a pretty big spice bill. There are scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla, and a touch of booze. I think I'm getting a little bit of hop presence on the back end of the nose. Overall, the smell is very festive and inviting.

T - The taste follows the nose quite well. There are a lot of spice flavors going on. Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice, and vanilla are all present. The pumpkin flavor is there, but it rests in the background a bit. There are some toasted and bready flavors here as well. I am getting some hop presence in the back end, as well as some booziness. The finish leaves some lingering spice flavor, mostly vanilla, and some alcohol.

M - This has a medium body and the carbonation is a little above average. There is a prickling feel from the carbonation and spices. It goes down easy and has a nice feel to it. There is a little bit of alcohol warmth in the finish.

O - This has good drinkability. It goes down easy, and I could easily have a few glasses of this. It is definitely a perfect beer for the fall season. It really has a festive taste to it. I like that the vanilla stands out a little bit more than in other pumpkin beers that I've had. Overall, I think this is a really good pumpkin beer, and a must try for pumpkin beer fans. I would definitely pick up more of this.

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Photo of chadmoe1
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this in bottle on 9/18/2011 in an ale glass.

A -- dark copper with 1/8 inch tan head that stayed awhile

S -- pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon and nutmeg), similar to pumpkin pie before cooking

T -- not nearly as spicy as it smelled; some hints of cinnamon up front with a long toasty malt aftertaste

M -- thick with a good amount of carbonation

O -- not a bad seasonal pumpkin beer, but certainly not the best I've had. If you couldn't smell the beer, you'd think it was just an over-carbonated english ale into which someone dumped some cinnamon. It is surprisingly easy to drink for an 8% ABV beer. Glad I tried it, but not on my top three list for pumpkin seasonals...

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

12 oz. bottle poured into my trusty mug

A- Dark amber with hints of red. A tight head dissipates in a reasonable amount of time. No real lacing to speak of.

S- Spices abound. The Cinnamon and Nutmeg dominate, with a hint of pumpkin.

T- just a bit to heavily spiced to be outstanding. Spices overpower the pumpkin flavor. The Cardamom is evident with the hint of ginger like flavor on the end. Really enjoy this spice thrown into the mix.

M- Sharp on the palette due to the spicing, but ends semi dry after having a slightly heavier than normal mouthfeel for a pumkin ale.

O- Quite enjoyable, and recommended among the style!

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Photo of soulfly1492
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Spices, orange, alcohol, esters, pumpkin.

Appearance: Amber-brown. Tall light brown head with a bit of orange. Very creamy. Good retention.

Taste: Spices, clove, alcohol, some nutmeg.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Never gets quite dry, perhaps a bit at the very end from the alcohol. Very little carbonation.

Overall: Best pumpkin ale I've had to date. Nice bold spices and pumpkin, very good mouthfeel and nice orange/clove aftertaste.

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Photo of Kooz
2.24/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Dark copper color with little head--slightly opaque. Looks enticing.

Smells overpoweringly of cinnamon and nutmeg. I don't get any pumpkin--or any other scent--from this. It's a bit unpleasant. It's like inhaling cinnamon/nutmeg powder. It lingers in the back of the throat.

Slightly bitter--not a hoppy bitter; something else. This beer is just too spiced. It's unpleasant. Everything about the beer is overpowered by the cinnamon/nutmeg spice. There's a third spice too that I can't place. It's not helping.

Mouthfeel is dry and powdery, with a slight bite. Not entirely good. Good body to it; somewhat creamy.

This was a fairly expensive beer ($12/4-pack), and unfortunately, is disappointing. I wouldn't buy this again. I will sit on a bit and see how it is in a month or two. If it's any better, I'll revise.

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Photo of atr2605
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a deep copper/light brown that is transparent, with an off white head with decent retention
S-artificial pumpkin, spice, honey, vanilla, low hop aroma
T-the honey and vanilla flavors are up front, followed by a subtle pumpkin and spice, with spice carrying into the finish. The hops give it balance and structure but are still a little weak
M-medium bodied
O- not a bad pumpkin ale but seems to be lacking a little something. Maybe a bit more hops would jazz it up. The overall flavor is still nice, but I felt like it could have been better

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

A- Pours a clear rust-orange with a one finger creamy head that fades fairly quickly and barely leaves any lacing. Really nice carbonation flowing from my DFH glass.

S- Over the top spice at first... Nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, yams, pumpkin, clove, licorice and allspice! Really nice malt backbone laying underneath it all.

T- Again, very upfront and in your face spice just the same as the nose. A bit more pumpkin, brown sugar, molasses and even a hint of graham cracker on the tongue. The spice really spreads across the tongue and mellows out with the sweetness from the malt.

M- This is where this one os winning me over! It really spreads across your palate just like Grandma's Pumpkin Pie! I can almost feel the creaminess from the whipped cream. I love the way the sweetness rolls on the tongue and lets each of the pie spices open up and let you know that they are there!

O- This has to be one of the top 5 Pumpkin brews. Lots of actual pumpkin, a little too much spice perhaps, especially in the nose... but over all very well done! I wanna grab some of this and see how it mellows out by Thanksgiving.

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Photo of JAXSON
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber with a creamy head and beautiful honeycomb lacing along the edges. Nose is soft, meaty pumpkin pie with nutmeg and a soft floral quality. Mouth opens with a touch of pumpkin meat and sugars, segues into a lightly spicy finish with gobs of pumpkin meat. Just dry enough but genuine and pleasantly robust throughout. Hops are minimal and act to compliment the pumpkin flavors into a kind of crusty flavor. Some slight lingering off flavors on the finish but that's pretty much my only knock on this. Soft in the mouth, creamy, almost perfect. Very good, probably the best pumpkin beer I've had.

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

Bottle from afdempse. Thanks Adam!

The beer is fairly hazy and sunset orange colored, with a small white cap that leaves some sparse lacing on the pint glass. The aroma is heavily spiced, with nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin, sweet potato, brown sugar. There's no mistaking this brew - 'tis autumn. The flavor, while also heavily spiced, offers more balance and distinction of flavors than the aroma would have led me to believe. A tasty malt backbone supports the various fall spices. Alcohol content is hidden well. Overall, a tasty pumpkin beer. While one in a session is plenty, I would certainly have this again.

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Photo of stoned9immaculat
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

finally going to review a beer...Bought from beer Heaven on columbus blvd. Poured from bottle into a snifter. Beer has a dark reddish color two it with very nice head and retention. Spices are what primarily come through on the nose, cinnamon and nutmeg being the most prominent(bottle also inludes cardamon and cloves). Spices are defentatley present in the tast but not overwhelmingly so that a bit of pumpkin doesnt come through(wich sometimes i find a problem with other pumpkin ales). Alcohol is overpowering but it is definately present and creates a nice warming sensation that works great with the spices and pumpkin. This is hands down my favorite pumpkin ale that I have tried. Also what an awesome label!!

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Photo of forcedlaughter
4.65/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a dark, burnt orange, almost brown. Small head, but more than I thought I'd get.

Smells like pumpkin pie (sans whip cream like Pumking).

Tastes like pumpkin pie, but not that overly sweet stuff like store-bought.

I will pick this over most other pumpkin beers this season. Some are just too sweet for me, but this nails it.

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

Had this at Blind Tiger in NYC - its been awhile but extremeley memorable - truly was fantastic.

Appearance included a nice frothy head but really the smell seamed to jump from the glass. Taste and mouthfeel were perfect, exactly what you want from a Pumpkin in Fall flavorful but didn't linger for too long.

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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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Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 2,740 ratings
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