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Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Judges Rating: 
18 / 24
6 / 6
29 / 40
7 / 10
Overall Impression: 
15 / 20

A spice-driven 8.0 percent ABV brew, Weyerbacher Brewing Company’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale seethes with caramel, clove and cinnamon, but only the occasional hint of pumpkin. This beer’s aroma pummels the senses with wave after wave of nutmeg, cinnamon, and even traces of fresh ginger. Rick commented on the lack of “beer-like aroma,” and felt the cinnamon and nutmeg came across as “somewhat artificial smelling.” With a “bit gentler hand on the spice throttle,” he felt the aroma would come together. Tim also felt the spicing “overwhelmed any beery aromas,” and he was floored by the “massive clove presence,” comparing it to hot, spiced tea. Billowing clouds of dense, creamy white foam float gently over this shimmering bronze beer that fills the room with coruscating flashes of copper and gold. Taking its lead from the nose, this brew’s flavor is dominated by fistfuls of spice interwoven with caramelly sweet malt. Tom praised the “candy-like sweetness” and “delicately floral, perfumed hops,” but longed for just a hint of pumpkin to round out this beer. Likewise, he felt the beer was more of a winter warmer than a pumpkin ale. To a person, the judges were unanimous in their slight disappointment in the lack of pumpkin character in this imperial pumpkin beer. Chilly afternoons and frosty evenings demand a powerful, chewy beer to fortify the soul, and on this score Imperial Pumpkin Ale delivers.