Imperial Pumpkin Ale brewed by Weyerbacher Brewing Co., and for the purposes of this craft beer review, was served in a tulip pint glass from a bottle.
The ale pours a ruddy, burnt orange with a finger-thick head of bubbly cream-colored foam that vanishes almost immediately. The reduction doesn’t leave behind any lace or residue.
A spicy aroma blends cardamom, clove, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice. It’s pleasant enough but surprisingly absent of pumpkin.
The palate follows much the same. A spicy medley transitions to a note of sweet pumpkin meat before disappearing beneath a dry finish of peppery hops and a warming taste of booze. Sweet caramel ties the palate together and clings to the back of the throat.
The ale is smooth and dry with a medium body and moderate carbonation.
Spices dominate the palate and nose, merely suggesting a flavor of pumpkin. But the balance between spicy and sweet is nicely done even though that sticky sweetness does become tiresome halfway through the tasting. The Imperial Pumpkin Ale is not recommended for those craving a pumpkin-flavored beer but instead for those who enjoy autumnal seasoned brews. Put another way, this is the pumpkin beer for those who don’t particularly like pumpkin beers.
The brewery recommends the following food pairings with their beer: turkey, roasted duck, lamb, stuffing, root vegetables, hearty pasta, and harvest foods. Also pairs well with Comté and gruyere cheeses; spiced and cream desserts.