Imperial Pumpkin - Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

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Imperial Pumpkin
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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

191 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 191
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.05%
Wants: 35
Gots: 27 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Lakefront Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerFMAndy on 09-05-2013

Pumpkin and spiced bock aged in used oak Korbel brandy barrels. Originally brewed for their 25th Anniversary.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 191 | Reviews: 38
Reviews by Graff:
More User Reviews:
Photo of don1481
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into my Lakefront glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark orangish color. Little hazy. Very little head when I poured it. Odd.

Smell: Yep. Smells like a sea of spices. Somewhat like a pumpkin pie, I suppose.

Taste: Once you get past the initial shock of boozy taste there's a really nice array of spices that just go and hit you. Reminds me of my grandma's pumpkin pie - yes, with booze.

Mouthfeel: It's got a thicker feel to it, but not obnoxiously so. Helps the after taste linger, which is not a bad thing at all.

Overall: Yeah, I'll have no problems getting through this 4 pack. It's pretty darn good - better than their 25th Anniversary Stout that I had recently for sure.

Photo of weonfire
3.67/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Light brown- almost a burnt orange. translucent, finger of white light head - no lacing. lots of carbonation rising

S - Pumpkin, vanilla, nutmeg, carmel, faint cherry brandy

T - Immediately has a nice taste of soft pumpkin, vanilla, cherry & warm carmel. But quickly turns to a somewhat bitter spice and a heavy presence of alcohol.

M - Med - low body. Great carbonation. Alcohol is the major presence. Soft burn in the throat.

O - Yes, 8% ABV is considered a 'Big' beer. But there are many beers out there where much much higher ABVs dont come thru as much nearly as this does. That being said - the initial pumpkin flavor is very pleasant. Possibly a bit too much vanilla for my taste- makes for a somewhat bitter finish. Luckily the spice is relatively level is low. Overall, I was really looking forward to the Brandy barrel aging. Unfortunately I'm not gathering much or at least as much as I'd hoped. I'm guessing it was a cherry brandy that most flavors got lost in the pumpkin.

Photo of alphagnome
3.93/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance:
Deep, reddish mahogany body houses plenty of sediment and is plenty cloudy. No head to speak of, even after a hard pour. Decent legs for being 8%.

Aroma:
Heavy on the allspice... in fact, that's pretty much all I get. A very sweet malt profile houses a hint of nutmeg and even a bit of booze.

Taste:
Solid pumpkin pie profile, is quite sweet, and plenty boozy. Plenty of spicing from the usual suspects in the style; allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The barrel-aged character shines through with a pleasant sweetness (ALMOST too sweet) and plenty of vanilla and warming alcohol. I highly recommend enjoying this one at a warmer temperature, you'll definitely get more flavor out of this one.

Mouthfeel:
Heavy bodied beer and lightly carbonated. Sweet finish. Easy to drink, but it will warm you up.

Overall:
A pretty solid pumpkin ale that I definitely enjoyed more the second time I had it. The booziness of this one might turn some off, but it's definitely worth a shot if you're a fan of the style.

Photo of freakspank
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Didn't think I'd give a pumpkin this high of rating but I was very impressed by this Bock. I enjoy many of Lakefront's beers and this one is the best Pumpkin I've had so far. Actually was lucky I got my hands on it cause after talking to the Cellar they did have ONE 4 pack but it was in the back. Tried it while watching some fall football. The brandy really comes out but not overpowering. Almost making the pumpkin spice taste more warm. Very drinkable and ready for a great sit down and relax brew.

Photo of Vonerichs
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy rusty orange with heavy carbonation activity and a slightly orange hue to the head.

Pumpkin, nutmeg, brown sugar aromas.

I love the sweet brown sugar and pumpkin spice contrast. Cinnamon, vanilla extract, and slightly boozy.

Medium bodied and soft, smooth. Light alcoholic heat in the end.

I found it to be a fantastic pumpkin ale and the barrels gave it a nice but subtle vanilla and booze quality.

Photo of jdkitchi
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This wasn't very well carbonated but it was a little too cold out of the fridge.

This ale is like pumpkin pie in a bottle. Slightly sweet and very good spice flavors. The bandy barrel aging adds some nice complexity but still lets the base beer shine through. This is a real good pumpkin ale, yum.

I'm going to cellar a few of these and see what happens.

Photo of x37x
3.45/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep ruby red color in a tulip glass with no head. The smell is amazing... cinnamon spice with a bit of pumpkin. All wonder is lost with the taste, a harsh medicinal body with a lot of syrupy sweetness and booziness to it. I can't drink more than a couple of sips of this stuff.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Lakefront tulip
8% ABV

A - A fleeting head isn't surprising from a beer with elevated alcohol, but this one maintains a ring of foam above the deep, clear copper beer.

S - Warming brandy barrel alcohol and soothing vanilla is a beautifully inviting way to usher one in to a big and robust pumpkin aroma and the perfect spirit to pair with this beer's melange of spice. Roasted pumpkin rind and sweet caramel malt finish out this clean lager wonderfully for an exceptional aroma.

T - Though imperialized, this pumpkin lager doesn't go for heavy pumpkin or loads of spice. Instead, maltiness prevails with sweet caramel and toffee flavors, exceptionally accented by pumpkin and spice and capped off by traces of wood and brandy with a trickle of vanilla on the back end.

M - Light carbonation gives this imperial pumpkin a heavier-feeling body than it really has but warm, soothing alcohol keeps it in check, finishing with a smoothness that perfect for a cold fall day.

O - Bottled the day of this review, a confession that the brandy is a little heavy is in order, though, that's relative considering some barrel aged beers don't get this smooth with out a minimum of two years of age on them. This imperial pumpkin sets the bars for pumpkin beers up a notch with it's wonderful lagering, interweaving the sweet malty base together with the pumpkin and spice beautifully. The addition of vanilla and ingeniously choosing brandy barrels for aging this imperial pumpkin puts the finishing touches on a beer that will not only fly off the shelves but reward those who are patient enough to wait for the coldest days of fall to indulge.

Photo of metter98
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at The Queen's Kickshaw, Astoria, NY

A: The beer is slightly hazy amber orange in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a thin white head that died down, leaving only a thin ringer of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of pumpkins are present in the nose along with slight hints of nutmeg.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but has some sweetness along with additional hints of cinnamon. No alcohol is perceptible. The flavors become a little stronger as the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is a little too sweet for my taste as a pumpkin beer, except if you wanted to have this for dessert. The pumpkin flavors aren't that strong, but balance out well with the spices. It's not that difficult to drink since it hides its alcohol rather well.

Photo of mfnmbvp
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with bottled on date 09/04/2013 printed on the bottleneck. Another new beer to me from Lakefront Brewery, and my first encounter with a barrel aged pumpkin beer. I've been seeing this beer on the shelves for months now, so I'm excited to finally have it. I honestly have no idea what to expect.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours about the usual appearance of a typical pumpkin beer. Pours a dark coppery ruby orange with some ruby hues. Less than a finger of bubbly beige head that falls to a fluffy ring.

S - The smell is very pleasant. Typical gourdy pumpkin aromas: buttery diacetyl, cinnamon, brown sugar, creamy earthiness / woodiness, vanilla extract notes, and some alcohol fumes. Doesn't smell too much different than a regular pumpkin beer, but there is some noticeable syrupy qualities & vanilla imparted from the brandy barrels.

T - Taste follows the nose, with all the attributes of a regular pumpkin ale - cinnamon & brown sugar, lightly grainy, but with added syrupy brandy alcohol presence, earthiness / woodiness, and vanilla extract. The vanilla doesn't always taste entirely natural, but it works very well with the rest of the flavors.

M - Feel is smooth, clean, lightly syrupy and with lots of sticky vanilla / burnt brown sugar spice lingering on the palate. Body is a hefty medium with low carbonation.

Overall, a nice pleasant introduction to the world of barrel aged pumpkin beers for me, and by far my favorite beer that I've tried from Lakefront Brewery so far. Glad to have tried it, and I will be sure to grab the other beers in the 25th anniversary series while I still can.

Lakefront Brewery 25th Anniversary Imperial Pumpkin ---4/5.

Photo of stortore
4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce into a New Holland flute. Bottled 9/4/2013.

6th of 8 bottles, first review. Looks great in glass, pouring flat at this point. Aroma is a lot of vanilla, some brandy and cinnamon. Still tastes terrific, boozy but not overwhelming. Follows the nose, bringing in some oak, pumpkin. Really smooth, a full rich body.

I think this is an awesome beer and although the 2014 ale version is very good, I wish they would have re- created this. This is truly a treasure and I will rue when my last two are gone. After, not during.

Photo of oline73
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter.

The beer pours a clear reddish amber color with hardly any carbonation at all. What carbonation you can see goes away completely really quickly. The nose is full of pumpkin, dark fruit, and booze. I'm also getting some spice as well. Very nice smelling beer. The taste is really aggressive and pretty darn good. I'm getting pumpkin and some spice with a lot of brandy sweetness. Vanilla shows up as the beer warms. This one is a bit hot, maybe it could use some time. Surprisingly, there is a lot of carbonation, even if it looks like there won't be any. The finish is hot, warming, and a but buttery. This is a good one on a cold night.

Photo of aasher
4.41/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you to Jonathan for this bottle.

This beer pours a light bodied dark, burnt dark copper in color with a slight off white lacing. The nose is sweet and malty with plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg with just a touch of brandy. For being barrel aged, there isn't much alcohol at all. The flavors are big and creamy. There is a lot of spice but they may have been necessary to take away from barrel character. There is a lot going on. The pumpkin aspect is in pumpkin spice latte territory. It drinks very smoothly with mild carbonation. I enjoy this beer a lot. It is both different and true to style. I love its barrel aged. I couldn't recommend this enough.

Photo of djhowell
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Pumpkin pie and a boozy, warm kick from the brandy barrel aging. I'm glad Lakefront brought this back this year; it's an interesting take on pumpkin beers.

Photo of jlindros
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting beer, I'm not usually a fan of pumpkin beers these days, but aged in brandy barrels and with vanilla it could be interesting.

Pours a light fizzy bubbly head that fades pretty quickly, this batch apparently being 9.5% so that's typical, little lacing but nice legs, semi hazy cherry red colored beer.

Nose is mixed of good and bad, some mild pumpkin, fake pumpkin and messy gourd earthy notes, with a madeira like steak sauce mess mixed in, and lots of sweet candy things and some alcohol notes with phenols. Mild brandy fruity note, faint pumpkin spices thankfully, with a decent pumpkin pie aroma and toasted grainy malts, a mild vanilla with barrel note, decent biscuit doughy pie crust note as well.

Taste is nice, lots of vanilla out front, vanilla bean and some notes of barrel, with a nice fruity brandy flavor, with whisps of alcohol and some faint phenolic booze notes, and fair sweetness. Then pumpkin pie, light fresh pumpkin and gourd flavors, not really canned or fake pumpkin, but it's light overall, with light spices, a touch of cinnamon and ginger I think, etc. A nice creamy wheat flavor, with toffee and caramel, mild biscuit and doughy flavors almost pumpkin pie crust like flavor again, but not a lot, dark dried fruits with the dark wheats and esters. Finish dries a bit, leaves a bit of a tingly booze, with a mild bitterness, little pumpkin and gourd, light spices and vanilla, and hint of brandy and barrel lingering as well.

Mouth is med to fuller bod, thick and a bit creamy smooth, decent carbonation with small dissolved bubbles.

Overall pretty interesting, some nice notes of brandy and vanilla, spices are light thankfully, decent barrel, decent pumpkin as it didn't taste fake or canned, nice base malt and wheat with biscuit caramel toffee, etc. The nose was just a bit off with that madeira soy BBQ sauce thing, but otherwise pretty nice for a pumpkin beer.

Photo of aubzachsyd
4.71/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The best pumpkin beer that I've ever had. The combination of the pumpkin spice, vanilla and brandy barrel notes are incredibly good. I wish I would have bought more. And that Lakefront decides to make this a regular seasonal. Sure seems like it's more than 8% ABV though. Not that I'm complaining.

Photo of martyl1000
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%

It got better as it warmed. But the alcohol astringency was just too distracting. (Will I ever find a pumpkin beer I like?)

It's also way too sweet. Like a Pumpkin schnapps.

Photo of workingclassbrew
4.34/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got these for my wife who loves Lakefront Pumpkin Lager, this altogether much different beer.

Poured into a tulip glass, no head, virtually no carbonation. The aroma is as sticking your nose into a carved pumpkin. Took me awhile to capture that. Not very spicy, and only a touch of vanilla as the bottle notes.

The taste is the opposite of the tangy pumpkin smell. Very sweet brandy cask, as if the beer was pulled from the crevices of the cask. Heavy pumpkin guts, heavy warm alcohol, heavy carrot like sweetness on the back of the tongue. As it warms it gets sweeter, deeper, more intense almost more like a food than drink.

Truly an imperial beer. This is a beautiful beer to be relished, beautiful...

Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

A little light on the brandy influence....

Photo of thebigredone
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had low expectations for this, but was pleasantly surprised.

The taste was certainly different, but reminded me of a mix of rootbeer flavored Bottle Caps candy, booze, and pumpkin beer. As strange as that sounds, it was really quite good.

Overall, this isn't something I would seek out regularly, but I would certainly drink it again, and that's I don't say often regarding pumpkin brews.

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Believe this fall seasonal is a slight tweak to the 25th anniversary. Label describes as Brandy barrel aged with vanilla added. The abv here is 9.5 which is higher than the 25th anniversary incantation.

Copper colored with a thin white outer ring.

Lots of spicing on the nose: cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin and brown sugar. Vanilla shows up here as well....sweet dessert quality all over this.

Taste follows suit....like vanilla ice cream atop fresh pumpkin with all the aforementioned spices mixed in. The barrel lays a drop kick of alcohol heat along the back end that also serves to dry the finish.

A nice, abundantly spiced, and moderately boozy big pumpkin beer.

Photo of Pintofbrown
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

Easy to tell this is a barrel-aged offering, the ring of white foam dissipates in about a minute, leaving behind a dark amber body.

This is the best spice profile I have ever smelled on a pumpkin ale, maybe on any beer! Right away there is cinnamon and clove, then sugary and boozy cherries from the brandy barrel, and some light brown sugar and/or vanilla. Wow, I cannot quit sticking my nose in this glass.

The pumpkin spices are not as big on the palate, but the vanilla and brandy barrel smacks me in the mouth. After the palate is done processing that, there is a little bit of spicy cinnamon, baked sweet potato with brown sugar, and a long, sweet, boozy finish.

Heavy, this beer feels heavy on the tongue. Pretty sticky too, the after taste hangs forever on the cheeks, may have to start charging rent if it will not get out of here.

What an awesome beer. Just to be clear, I would have guessed around 10-12 percent ABV on this one, runs a little hot on the palate. Those flavors from the brandy barrel though, they compliment the spicing and style very well! I highly recommend this sweet, boozy, pumpkin monster of a beer!

Photo of TheSSG
4.69/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a great, dense, off-white head that collapses into a nice half-inch head. Overwhelming aroma of sweet malt, tons of spice, and a nice vanilla-wood behind it all. As I swirl it around, I can draw in long drags of a deep, rich, oak atop spiced pumpkin bread. Good god, this smells like Autumn; heavenly. Radiant, transparent, burnt sienna color. A nice thick mouthfeel. Starts with a noticeable booziness (8% ABV!) just as the spiciness ramps up, almost immediately; cut to pumpkin malt; a flash of vanilla; like pumpkin bread or spiced cookies. The finish is lingering spice and oak blended in perfectly.

Wow. This is great. I LOVE the normal pumpkin lager (so this is right up my alley!), and this is just an intense version (reminds me of the Spiced Pumpkin liquor from Great Lakes Distillery). The aroma is absolutely perfect. The flavor is just a fantastic balance of spice, pumpkin, and those brandy barrels. Enough of a balance of all the flavors to really satisfy and live up to the expectations. One of the best things to ever come out of Lakefront.

Photo of homebrew311
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a vibrant amber/reddish orange with minimal head and lacing. Has viscous apperance and nice clarity. Nose features familiar pumpkin spice notes with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice very forward. The brandy elevates these notes and brings on a brown sugar like sweetness along with some vanilla. No booziness from the brandy, just the essence of brandy which works well with the base beer. The taste is sweet up front with brown sugar, cinnamon, and all spice with notes of vanilla in the background. This is a nice array of fall flavors and would make for a nice dessert beer. The finish has a nice notes of cinnamon and vanilla. Mouthfeel is sturdy with mellow carbonation. Overall, this is a well executed brew. Lots of big flavors and spices which could easily become heavy handed, but they work nicely and strike a nice balance.

Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%

Appearance: Pours a clear burnt orange with a modest head; splashy lacing lingers behind

Smell: Rich pumpkin pie aromatics with a waft of brandy

Taste: There is solid base of pumpkin flavor with the pie spices building above; vanilla, oak and brandy elements arrive, after the swallow; a bit sweet and boozy, in the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Overall: Bought this on a whim to compare to the Pumpkin Lager and, while I was told that this was a reprise of the 25th anniversary beer, I note that this is an ale while that beer was a lager; anyway, in comparison to its little brother, this shows what using ale yeast can do for the style; certainly, an excellent pumpkin beer and the brandy (while a touch overwrought) really adds a nice aspect

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Imperial Pumpkin from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
93 out of 100 based on 191 ratings.