Name:  Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Place of Origin / Brewer: Pennsylvania, USA / Weyerbacher Brewing Company

Beer style / ABV%:  Pumpkin Imperial Ale / 8.0%

Specialty Prep / Individuality:  In a family goal to create a monument to the pumpkin king, the Weyerbachers, in line with their growing reputation for unique and interesting beers, present an ale intentionally heavy on pumpkin and caramel, and in a more unique note, have thrown cardamom into the mix as well. It also weighs in at 8.0% ABV, to pack a little extra punch.

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Packaging:

If a touch on the cartoony side, this boastful label raises a firm middle finger to other would be takers on, featuring a crowned and caped Pumpkin, raising his scepter high to declare his own bad-assery, while a bevy of intimidated looking challengers look on from behind him. – Mike

Man, Weyerbacher’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale really lives up to it’s name with the graphic jack o’lantern caricature leading his minions.  This label is this first one that really stood out as a craft beer.  All the pertinent information is there; brewery, ABV, spices, and (nice) website. – Rick

Okay, okay I get it, Imperial Pumpkin Ale…supreme ruler…pumpkin king image.  I know it’s the Weyerbacher way, but it’s just really busy with way too much going on from a design standpoint.  As much as I can enjoy a good rallying of the pumpkin troops this bottle does not get me excited about what’s inside. – Brittney

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Color: 7

Pours a commanding deep red amber with a creamy one-finger off-white head that settles into a nice ring and leaves some serious lacing.  This is a really inviting looking beer sitting in the glass.  It makes me happy. – Tim

Dark wood with luscious garnet overtones and a limited opacity, blossoming an elegant ivory head. Extravagant. – Mike

Brown, with a bit of cloudiness and orange / copper tones emerging when held to the light. Had no head except for a very thin crown – not sure if this particular specimen was flat, or if this is normal for this beer. – Erich

M – 9 / T- 8 / B- 5.5/ R- 9 / E – 4


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Aroma:  7.5

Cardamom is a newcomer in the selection of spices that we have usually been offered thus far so it stands out immediately to me.  After that it’s the almost raw pumpkin smell that presents itself.  The aroma is more pumpkin bread than pumpkin pie to me. – Brittney

I know that we’ve mentioned pumpkin pie in a bottle before but the bouquet on this beer is so powerful and sweet that it actually smells like the freshly baked pumpkin bread my mom used to make around Christmastime.  I was bowled over by the nutmeg and cinnamon on this.  This has to be one of the best smelling pumpkin beers I’ve ever opened. – Tim

Bold and spicy tones thick with clove and a slap of cardamom really jumping out. Most overt though is a tremendous baked pumpkin aroma so potent and oven fresh, I would expect to burn my mouth if this was a confection. – Mike

M – 9.5 / T- 9 / B- 6 / R- 7.5 / E – 6

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Mouth feel:  7.5

Quite interesting – smooth but lightly oily, slick.  There’s no astringency from the spices or the higher alcohol content.  Extremely pleasant in this regard. – Erich

Full bodied, not at all watery, with a slight tingle on the tongue.  The 8% ABV is almost indiscernible giving the spices room on your tongue to coalesce. – Rick

Medium to full bodied and thick on the molasses, it’s sweet and substantial on the tongue, creamy with low carbonation.  It almost tastes like a pumpkin smoothie as beer–and I mean that in a good way. – Tim

M – 9 / T- 7 / B- 5 / R- 8 / E – 9

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Tasting notes:  7.5

The nose comes through here in spades. No surprises, just exactly what you expect. There’s a huge and rich malted barely presence with molasses and pumpkin whipped together so nicely, it might give you diabetes. The nutmeg and clove hang heavy as well, leaving the cinnamon to linger on exit. – Mike

This is the kind of great craft pumpkin ale I’ve been hoping to try.  An easy to drink sweetness that is reminiscent of pumpkin pie with a great taste and a decent alcohol content as well.  It’s a breath of fresh air. – Rick

There is a lot going on here. Most of which is pleasant.  With unique spices and higher levels of pumpkin than most, it’s not your average pumpkin beer. – Brittney

This is almost a desert beer that is sure to turn off drinkers looking for more ale than pie in their pumpkin brews.  But to that I say: “Why?”.   Part of what I’m searching for in a the perfect pumpkin beer is the essence of desert in a bottle.  The fact that this is an imperial ale and it’s batting 8% ABV gives it just the right amount of punch to beat down the syrupy sweetness that the beer presents upfront. – Tim

M – 9 / T- 7 / B- 6.5 / R- 7.5 / E – 8

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Finish:  7

A real nice finish here.  There’s almost no bite except from the carbonation, which is minimal.  I’m left with a sweet dryness, which is a nice balance leaving only a slight tackiness.  – Rick

The clove notes are almost instantaneous as you down a sip, but I was expecting a longer finish than I got.  For all the deep flavor this beer imparts from the nose and the body, it actually finishes very clean.  – Tim

Cinnamon and a lazy drain of caramelized sugar and pumpkin, with just a touch of hoppiness on the outflow. Allspice and clove continue to linger as well. There is a slight burn of alcohol in the back of the throat, though, as well as a hint of dryness. – Mike

M – 8 / T- 6 / B- 5.5 / R- 8 / E – 7

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Flavor balance: 6.5

–         Pumpkin to Spice balance:

As I’ve found with most pumpkin beers the warmer you let this beer get, the more you can pick out the gourd in the mix. The same is true here, but there is so much going on in nose this that the balance is definitely heavily favored to the spice. – Tim

I think in order to be considered a balanced pumpkin beer, the pumpkin should probably have to stand out just a bit beyond the spice which tends to constantly dominate in this style of beer.  It’s not hard to notice the actual pumpkin taste here. – Britt

M – 8.5 / T- 5 / B- 6.5 / R- 7.5 / E – 4

–         Sweet / Dry balance:

Oh, it’s sweet, and that might turn off some, but this time, I think it works perfectly with the high alcohol content.  However, I might stand alone here because I feel like a few of you are gonna think you just drank a bottle of Grandma’s Molasses. – Tim

Sweetness is subtle but not cloying, and the 8.0% ABV doesn’t even register.  Well-balanced. – Erich

M – 6 / T- 5 / B- 5 / R- 8 / E – 8

–         Multiple Drinkability?

It’s enjoyable and different.  A well put together beer but I would probably not drink more than one. – Brittney

Dangerous in this regard.  As mentioned, the 8.0% ABV is masked well, and it’s sweet but not sweet enough to give a stomach ache. The unique mouth feel and flavor make it quite desirable to come back to. – Erich

You could do it, but I don’t think that’s what this brew was meant for. Something this close to perfect is meant to be savored, and abuse of that grace could lead to an epic hangover and sour stomach. Invite three friends over, and split a pack. – Mike

M – 4 / T- 5 / B- 4.5 / R- 6 / E – 9

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Overall: 7.17

M – 8.42 / T- 7.00 / B- 5.67 / R- 7.5 / E – 6.83

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