Imperial Pumpkin Ale | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

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Imperial Pumpkin AleImperial Pumpkin Ale
Very Good
2,745 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:
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Ratings: 2,745 |  Reviews: 1,026
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very hazed, deep amber/ orange hue, excellent settlement of foam on top...nice looking...

Aroma is sweet and vegetal, spicy, with the usual suspects, cinnammon, cardamon, ginger, just a touch,..very nice, I like it...

Rich, full mouthfeel, abundant play on the palate, very hefty in the mouth...I like it...the alcoholic level makes it an "Imperial" Pumpkin Ale, but beyond that the flavor makes it ever-so drinkable....the various spices and the pumpkinny taste makes it ever-so worthwhile...

yumm...very good...

And, thanks to BlitheringIdiot, ...Beer is Good, Happy Pumpkin Spice Beering!!!

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Photo of JasonStrauss
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Brown bottle with no freshness date. The evil pumpkin on the label portends the moderately high 8% abv.

Appearance: Copper/orange and just bit cloudy/hazy. Good head upon pouring, but dissipated to a thin layer around the sides of the glass.

Smell: Cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and (per the label) cardamom, but I have no idea what that spice smells like. :) I got most of the aroma after pouring, before the head dissipated. Afterward, a more malty aroma pushed through, as there wasn't enough head retention to capture the various spices.

Taste: Spicy, most notably from the cloves and nutmeg, but with a malty, cinnamon backbone. The finish is pleasantly smooth, with that malty, cinnamon flavor lingering. Not bad.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, and medium-bodied. The cloves and nutmeg, combined with sufficient carbonation add a little zing to the middle. Slightly dry finish.

Drinkability & Notes: This is a good pumpkin ale and compares favorably to Dogfish Punkin' Ale. I'd like to have these side-by-side for a real comparison, but I think I prefer the DFH just a bit more. Definitely a drinkable brew, though. I'd get this again.

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Photo of BitterBrian
3.42/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Burnt orange in color, poured with very little head that soon disappeared. Very tasty. The spices were evident (especially the cloves) and the pumpkin taste prevailed. Maybe I'm to familiar with the balance of the DFH Punkin Head because this was just a bit washed out. Still as stated below, it is very drinkable for such a high ABV pumpkin ale. This was probably my second favorite Pumpkin Ale this season.

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

Pours a bright reddish orange with a thick creamy tan head and decent retention. Smell is very strong and very nice, with the nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger pumpkin spices all coming through nicely, with just a hint of pumpkin as well. Where the pumpkin is barely detectable in the nose, it really jumps out and asserts itself in the flavor, with a very spicey finish full of the aforementioned spices and white pepper. Medium bodied with a very smooth and dry mouthfeel. This is one of the best pumpkin ales I've had, a little spicey at times, but definitely one I'd have again.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliantly clear, deep amber color with a frothy pale tan colored head. The aroma is strongly of pumpkin spice, it jumps out of my glass as I pour this beer; a mix of nutmeg (which dominates), cinnamon, all spice, ginger and a bit of white pepper. The aroma is quite sweet as well. The taste is fairly sweet, yet still remains light on the palate, but finishes with a spicy dryness. The beer actually finishes with a bit of pumpkin meat flavor as well; a sort of vegetal note that also adds to the perceived dryness in the finish. The beer is definitely spicy with notes of nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon. There is a slight acidity here as well, which is interesting, sort of a mix between tart plum and squash character.

I definitely like this better than Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin beer, but it really does not seem like anything more than a supped up version of that beer, a tad more spice, more malt sweetness (which gives this a much better balance), and perhaps a bit of actual pumpkin character. All these go to making this a better beer than Buffalo Bill's, but I would like to see more focus on the actual pumpkin character.

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Photo of scooter231
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A lovely concoction lives within this very cool looking bottle. Picked it up, in fact, mostly because of the label- the pumpkin quite rocks. And the contents certainly didn't disappoint.

It's a lovely rusty color, slightly hazy, with a white poofy head and lacing. Smells spicy, citrusy, and, well, pumpkiny. Tastes good, too. Pumpkiny without being overly sweet. In fact, this reminds me quite a bit of a good winter warmer- with a touch of pumpkiny sweetness in the background. I'd prefer this over most winter warmers I've had- a tasty spicy blend.

Mouthfeel is awesome- chewy, full, bubbly- just really alive on the tongue. Highly drinkable- a bit sweet after a few, but the first couple are easy to get down- too easy.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Hurray Weyerbacher!
The Pumpkin King on the bottle is mad cool.
For an 8% brew (so the brewery's site says) the alcohol is well used.
Smells sweeter than it tastes. You can detect it but it serves to wake up the spice melange in here (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and clove).
I'm enjoying said spice blend... the nutmeg is well used and the clove makes for a pleasurable texture.
I don't see why the reviews of this haven't been more positive.
I'm going to give this a positive review!
All Hail the Imperial Pumpkin!
Go Hail.

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Photo of whartontallboy
3.29/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm the first to admit I was really excited when I heard this was getting released. Another good local making a pumpkin ale? Fantastic! Beer was not really too far on either side of my expectations.

Pours out a deep copper-orange clear color with a moderate white fizzy head. Didn't hold particularly well, and it looked somewhat still in the glass after a few minutes.

Smell is quite nice, with lots of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices. In particular the cinnamon and cloves came through pretty clearly. There was a tiny twinge of nutmeg in there, too.

Flavor slips up a tad. It's not cloyingly sweet, and I don't think it's over-spiced. It's just kind of boring. The spices don't read as clearly on the tongue as they do in the nose, so it just kind of comes off as a mess of nutmeg and cinnamon with a slight pumpkin flavor on the back end. Tiny bitterness in the finish, but not mouch. Thin and dry in the mouth.

Overall: Certainly in the upper half of the ten or so pumpkin ales I've had this year, and I appreciate the stab at something a little more muscular in the style. Could use a bit less spice and a bit more pumpkin, though.

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

Most people seem to be on the fence with this one, however, I quite enjoyed it, finding it to be one of the better, although not amongst the best, pumpkin ales that I have sampled.

It pours avery nice deep amber colour with an ample off-white head that leaves virtually no residue on the glass but lingers for a short while before dissolving away.

The smell is sweet and spicy. Cinnamon, some cloves and a decent amount of nutmeg are certainly present here. Pumpkin is noted, although it is masked somewhat by the spices. Regardless, the aroma is quite nice overall.

The flavor is almost a reverse of the aroma. While all that is noted above is present, the pumpkin flavour dominates here with the spices taking a bit of a back seat (although not by much as they are all quite prevalent still). There is a bit of tartness here as well and a nice alcohol warmth at the finish.

Overall, this was quite the enjoyable brew. Would I crack open more than one in a night? Maybe, but probably not (with that said, there's probably no pumpkin ale that I would often drink four 12 oz bottles of in one night...which is obviously just about the equivalent of two of these bombers). Would I go back to this one in the autumn months? You bet. Give it a try and enjoy.

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Photo of Gavage
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear orange / copper color with a huge fluffy 3" head. Some spotty lacing develops through the drink. The aroma is over the top, as plenty of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves are easily detectable while your nose is not even near the glass. The flavor is a bit of a letdown, as the spices are way too dominating. Same spices listed in the aroma, and add a some raisins, pepper, and alcohol. Very mild bitterness, and the pumpkin flavor is weak in the big picture.

The mouthfeel is lightly crisp and smooth at the start and finish. The finish is long on the spice. The drinkability is down as the overwhelming spiciness tires your tastebuds. Looks great, smells great, but goes downhill from there.

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

A decent pumpkin ale. Like pretty much every single pumpkin ale I've ever tasted, there isn't much underlying pumpkin taste. Pumpkin pie spices are used to give the illusion of a pumpkin taste. That's just the nature of the style.

A slight bitterness somewhere mixed in. Not sure if it is hops or some other taste. But whatever it is, it prevents this beer from being cloying, which happens a lot in this style.

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Photo of weeare138
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a copper color with a lush ivory head that slowly fades into a small film. Lots of streaky lacing to be seen. Tiny amounts of carbonation slowly rise to the top.
Smell is of a heavy dosage of spicey cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and scented pumpkin candles.
Taste is a bit overkill of spices with a tiny bit of pumpkin coming through. The spices are nice but way too much to handle.
Mouthfeel is very rich...very rich. Bready and very spicy. Spiciness lasts well after the swallow in this one...perhaps too long.

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Photo of Dithyramb
2.49/5  rDev -36%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

750 purchased from hampden
you'd think the imperial one would have enough power to subjugate the masses, but no
the imperial one is all style without much substance
an ale with spices added
pretty with light brown toasted pumpkin pie shade
enormous off white head with retention, lacing, and added carbonation
aromas of ale with spices
flavor the same. Mainly spice laden.
not bad overall, but a little tiring once it starts warming up. Light mouthfeel, with more spice than body.

Left a very dry, spice laden taste in the mouth, much like a saison. Not overly woth having a few.

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Photo of lokaen
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, transparent amber with a quick-receding white head.
Smells of clove, pumpkin, and cinnamon in that order. The taste however begins with a strong cinnamon and ends slowly with cardamom and hints of clove. Crisp in the front of the mouth, smooth and slightly thin in the sip, but substatial in the swallowing. A rather drinkable beer, perfect with a meal or desert applicable to the season, I could imagine having two or three of these in a night of drinking.

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

Presentation: Poured from a 1pt 6oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Dark orange color, tan head about 2cm thick. The liquid is pretty clear.

Smell: Pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg, and some cinnamon undertones. A mildly bitter after-taste.

Taste: Tastes like pumpkin pie with carbonation. This was my first pumpkin ale, and I liked it. I'm due to try more...

Notes: Found this at From the Vine near Polaris (Columbus, OH). Had to reserve a bottle, as this sells before it's stocked. Not bad for $5.99.

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Photo of francisweizen
2.56/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This one kinda blows! A shame too as it sounded so good. I always give these new Weyerbacher brews a whirl, but they so often dissapoint me horribly. It's a shame too as this brewery really is hit or miss, and when they are on, they are on (like at the last open house!). Anyways, a dull glowing orange/amber with an off-white dirty dishwater head that dies quickly and leave minimalistic lacing. Aromas are like vegetable soup, DMS abounds, and some spices try to cover it up, but fail badly. Like DFH punkin' ale when it is a year old and has been bathing in the sun. Taste is not much better. Thin with an artificial sweetness and spiciness as well as those vegetal notes. Mouthfeel is thin and not too appealing. Drinkability is blah. I'll always try new Weyerbacher brews, as sometimes they really impress...However, sometimes, their new beers are nothing to speak of. This is one of the latter. Try it once to quench your curiosity...and than move on...move on...

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

This beer was served in a pub glass.

Appearance: This one pours a red tinged with orange glow. The head is a creamy off white approximately one inch.

Smell: For the life of me I could not smell any pumpkin. I did like the cloves, cinnamon, and all spice kind of aroma coming off the beer. I would rate it higher if I could smell pumpkin.

Taste: Again I could not taste any pumpkin. Very nice spicy taste, the cloves, cinnamon and spice played very nice together. Hell I think I could taste something kind of bread like, but no pumpkin.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: This one is fairly easy to drink once. I doubt if I will repeat. I just could not taste the pumpkin

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Photo of erica
2.83/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A Sunday afternoon drive to the local Six-Pack Shop found me with a mixed 6-pack, including this one from Weyerbacher. I have found most Weyerbacher brews generally to be grossly sweet and definitely not to my tastes, but I do like their Imperial Stout / Raspberry Stout. I also generally love pumpkin ales, and I forgot it was that time of year. So, I obviously picked this one, since it's called Imperial Pumpkin. Sounds good, doesn't it?

After a few hours in the fridge to chill it just enough, I popped the cap and poured. It poured a crystal-clear medium to dark red-orange-brown, very autumn-like, darker than expected for a pumpkin, with a fizzy off-white head that faded quickly into a ultra-thin layer of tiny bubbles. Streams of bubbles are constantly rising in the glass. If I think about it, the scene on the top of my beer from the bits of bubbles left looks like a desert mountainous landscape, one of the mountains is smoking, and there's a legless cat flying through the sky. Nice.

It smells.... Sweet! Really sweet, not nice pumpkin pie sweet, but more like 'get yer nose out quick before it turns to sugar (or whatever makes it sweet)! Along with that, there's a baking spice cabinet aroma, a cinnamon-bomb topped with cloves and nutmeg. Pleasant but over-done. And I'm a big fan of the DFH Punkin, which is nice and spicy. But not like this. There's a hint of bread or pie crust, even a slight creamy scent, but I can't smell any pumpkins in this!! In a word, I could describe the taste as Spicy-sweet. But, what fun is a one-word description? Tastes like corn muffins topped with mashed cooked pumpkin, with way too much spices sprinkled (or rather dumped) on top. Really, the pumpkin is just hiding in the background. I really think this beer would benefit from the less is more school of thought. There's a bready and almost lactic finish to this, almost like the whipped cream you'd put on a slice of pumpkin pie.

Mouthfeel is decent. Quite carbonated for how thick of a sweet taste there is. Thank god, otherwise this would be like drinking sweetened spiced molasses. Drinkability suffers here for the simple reason that there is too much sugar-coated spices that mask the pumpkin in there. I am glad I only picked up one bottle, because i am having trouble getting through it, but I also am glad I tried it.

Not sure what the problem is here, but it really just seems that all that spice was thrown in to cover up something. Were the pumpkins bad? I don't know, I don't want to know. Like I said, one bottle is more than enough. That's my curiosity satisfied.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours brick red with a sudsy tan head. Visible carbonation noted up the sides of the glass.

Smell: Very "lager-like". Some bready, yeasty notes with some cinnamon and cloves in the background. Kind of smells like musty pumpkin pie. Nothing all too impressive.

Taste: Yikes! Over the top spices. Tastes like I'm licking a pile of cinnamon and cloves. It finishes with some yeast and a brush of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a little overcarbonated.

Drinkability: Appropriate for the time of year but it gets a little old after a while. Nice to enjoy while watching some college football but probably won't be sampling this again any time soon.

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Photo of cbl2
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No best by date. Pours a crystal clear medium brown with hints of orange and subtle red tinges, topped by a thin tightly packed off-white head.

Spicy doesn't come close to describing this. It smells like a pumpkin pie in my glass. A ton of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg vie for dominance over a sickly sweet malt backbone.

Again, overly spiced. The clove is annoying on my tongue, while the nutmeg and cinnamon along with oddly bitter hops mask the sweetness of the malts. A high alcohol feeling warms the mouth, along with an odd pumpkin sensation.

Nowhere close to what I consider the golden standard of pumpkin ales: Punkin Ale by DFH. This is overly hopped, overly spiced, and in general, overly done.

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Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 2,745 ratings