So I’m finally growing tired of reviewing all of these Pumpkin Ales for The Brew Club. After this review of the Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale, I think I have Pumking from Southern Tier left and then that’s it!
Most of the Pumpkin Ales I’ve tried so far, save a couple, have really been a letdown in some way or another. Too spicy, too veggie-tasting, usually something is out of whack that makes me dislike them.
Yet, (and Don will appreciate this) the Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale I hold high hopes for. I’ve read many good things about this pumpkin ale, and I went out to buy it specifically because of what I had read. Of all the pumpkin ales I’ve tried so far, I’d only recommend the Dogfish Head Punkin or the Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale. Will this one be added to my list?
To begin, this is called an Imperial pumpkin ale because it has a relatively high ABV of 8%. According to the Weyerbacher website, this beer is brewed with a lot of pumpkin… “along with Cinnamon, Nutmeg and a touch of cardamom and clove giving this beer a spicy, full-bodied flavor.”
Let’s check it out then!
The first impression I get of the Imperial Pumpkin ale good. It created this very nice, dense foamy head. It wasn’t all fizzy either, it looked like you could scoop it off and top off a desert of some kind with it! The head was also a nice beige color. I don’ t know, this just impressed me. Look at the picture. Does it impress you?
Smelling the beer, I could pick up on that ‘pumpkiny’ and ‘caramelly’ aroma that their website also mentions, some spices sure, but not so much. I’d say that so far this beer is looking, and smelling pretty good! Nothing dominated the aroma too much – it was a nice balance of fruit, sweet, malt, and spices.
Getting on to the taste, I’ll just mention that as usual, I let this beer warm up a little after pouring it. I’m not a fan of ice-cold beers, and I’ve found that letting a beer warm up a bit brings out the flavors a bit more. Ales anyway.
So, what’s this Weyerbacher stuff taste like? Well, it isn’t bad. My first impression of this pumpkin beer is favorable. Like with the aroma, there is a good pumpkin and spice flavor that is well balanced, but perhaps tipping a bit to the pumpkin side on the pumpkin-to-spice ratio. Mouthfeel is nice, and this is definitely a beer with some body to it. So, overall I’d say its pretty good.
Call me a wimp, but the alcohol does come through this beer rather strongly in the taste. Its there up front, its there in the finish, and there’s the alcohol warming sensation all the way down. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, mind you. Its just something that I prefer not be so strong. Granted, this is an ‘Imperial’ Pumpkin Ale and it should come as no surprise, but its still a turn-off for me.
So, this particular pumpkin ale has almost everything going for it. Looks good, smells good and tastes good, but I think that perhaps, if this were a 5. something ABV beer, it would be my favorite. But, as it is, the alcohol that comes through in the flavor is a bit much, and I think it really disproportionately dominates the otherwise harmonious blend of flavors.
Too boozy. How’s that?
I found it interesting that I gave the Weyerbacher Autumn Ale the very same rating last fall!
Have you tried the Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale? What did you think of it? What is your favorite pumpkin ale?