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Imperial Pumpkin - Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

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Imperial Pumpkin
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39 Reviews
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Reviews: 39
Hads: 206
Avg: 4.16
pDev: 22.6%
Wants: 40
Gots: 40 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Lakefront Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  9.50% 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 39 | Hads: 206
Photo of x37x
3.45/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

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Photo of weonfire
3.67/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

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Photo of martyl1000
3.7/5  rDev -11.1%

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.

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Photo of metter98
3.74/5  rDev -10.1%
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.

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Photo of TTAmod
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into tulip. This is a brandy barrel-aged imperial pumpkin ale.

A- Dark, clear amber. Slight tones of dark brown. Short-lasting off-white head. Lacing is actually quite nice, though.

S- Smell is your typical pumpkin-style ale. The pumpkin comes through a lot, but there is also the typical pumpkin spices: nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, etc.

T- The taste really layers on the flavors and is quite complex. The brandy barrel really shines through in the beginning...strong boozy, slightly sweet woody taste. Pumpkin and spices kick in about half way...ends slightly woody and boozy.

M- Tastes higher than 8%. Carbonation is lacking, which is probably a good thing. Medium body and very smooth.

O- An interesting pumpkin beer. In my opinion the brandy barrel aging overpowers what I really love about the regular LF Pumpkin Lager....either way, I'd still buy this again.

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Photo of jlindros
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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Photo of alphagnome
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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%.

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.

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.

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

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.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice: color is amber, transparent, head is light tan, presenting very thin and dissipating to a ring.

Smell is a blend of booze and pumpkin spice mix; the booze is pleasant and lightly sweet, the spice profile is heavy vanilla, lighter cinnamon and ginger are noticeable.

Taste is very big and bold with a lighter booziness than the aroma; malt is sweet, a good caramel component; brandy shines through afterwards with a warming quality; spices finish it out with a heavy vanilla, with components of cinnamon and maybe ginger/allspice.

Mouthfeel is a bit sharp but as it warms it is subdued with a great strong warming presence, reminds me of the combination of pumpkin desserts and sweeter digestif liqueurs.

Overall, I like this style of pumpkin ale a blend of the spicier ales that is immensely aided by the brandy barrel aging providing depth and strength and a nice mouthfeel

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Photo of jdkitchi
3.95/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of oline73
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From: Friar Tuck's, Savoy, IL
Date: Bottled 2013-09-04
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

Lakefront's Imperial Pumpkin is a delicious pumpkin ale, one that seems to manage blending spices, pumpkin, and barrel aging all into an effective beverage. While I don't enjoy the obvious ethanol, and think this could be trimmed to 6-7.5% ABV without little consequence, the overall combination of flavors is masterly. One of the few barrel aged beers that I think works (that is, hasn't completely overshadowed the original base beer).

Pours a 1cm tall head of beige-colored foam, made up of small-sized bubbles that yield a frothy appearance. Retention is average, the foam lasting roughly one minute in decline to a thin ring around the perimeter of the glass and a few small islands of residual foam resting atop the body of the beer. Lacing is minimal, a few dots cling to the glass' walls. The beer's body is a dark amber brown hue, with light bringing out dark golden orange tints. Carbonation is visible through the transparent body, though low in number and activity.

Aroma is of butter, caramel, brandy, pumpkin pie filling (pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon), and ethanol. Delicious, the best part of this beer.

Front of palate detects butter, pumpkin pie filling (pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves), and caramel. Mid-palate increases the intensity of the butter, pumpkin pie filling, and caramel, adding brandy and ethanol to the mix to add complexity and potency. Back of palate finds cinnamon, nutmeg, ethanol, burnt caramel and butter. Aftertaste of ethanol, buttery dark caramel, mild cinnamon and nutmeg.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy in body, with carbonation of medium-low intensity, resulting in a mouthfeel that is lightly foamy (1/4) and otherwise smooth (3/4). Closes semi-dry, with substantial stickiness clinging to the palate and lips.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of thebigredone
4/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of flunker24
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Lets see if I can sum this up in one quick paragraph. It has a reddish copper color with a short one finger head that dissipates quickly. There is a slight aroma of the brandy, but its not overpowering that goes along with some ester, spice, and a touch of cinnamon. Once this touches your tongue you feel the brandy hit, then all the other flavors follow: pumpkin, all spice, vanilla, and some caramel. The brandy and barrel linger. A solid feel in the mouth with carbonation to distribute the aforementioned flavors.

A very enjoyable beer that kicks, can't wait to try it in a year a write a review for the next batch.

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Photo of mjpolzin
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%

Once the calendar turned to September, I am willing to drink pumpkin beers. This one hit Madison right after Labor Day so I thought it would be a fun way to kick off pumpkin beer season.

This is the first beer I have had that is brandy barrel aged The smell was of fairly strong brandy which I rather enjoyed. Initially I tasted brandy as well but as it warmed, more pumpkin pie spice came through. The only real negative thing I can say about this beer is that it was a little dry. Don't know if the brandy barrels would do that?

Overall, a really good pumpkin beer.

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Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

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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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - The bottle states this is a lager, but the color is more emblematic of a porter. I won't argue the style, just the color.

Smell - The booze is easy to detect in this one. Booze and cinnamon mesh well in the aroma, given a sweet impression more than a biting one.

Taste - In the initial taste, the brandy makes an immediate impression. With the brandy comes notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and nuances of pumpkin. I think the brandy smothers the pumpkin, but this is still pretty darn good. I really appreciate the many layers of taste in the brandy.

Mouthfeel - One can taste the brandy, but not feel the burn. It is thick enough to linger, and smooth enough to go down easy.

Overall - This is the best pumpkin beer of the season for me.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a FW teku glass. 9/4/13 bottling date.
dark orange color, fairly small head. Smell is very intense and i get it even from aways off. lots of nutmeg and pumpkin flavor as well as a lot of cinnamon and a ton of vanilla. the taste has a lot of pumpkin flavor at first with a lot of vanilla, then even some bourbon? flavor. its a big ABV beer and very full bodied. goes down smooth but definitely a sipper and one of the most intense pumpkin beers ive had to date.

overall this is a terrific beer! and the best ive had from lakefront

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Photo of Stevedore
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, bottling date 9/4/2013, poured into an unlabeled snifter today, 10/16/2013.

Pours a light mahogany body with a substantial 1cm offwhite head. Very pretty beer. Bits of lacing follow the beer as it goes down.

Smells ridiculously sweet. Pumpkin pie, whipped cream, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves up the wazoo. Its so much, on the verge of being a major mess. But somehow this comes off just right. Nicely executed.

Same as in the nose, but just right. Pumpkin pie, crust, vanilla whipped cream and holiday spices provide the majority of the flavours. There is a little bit of brandy-like sweetness, but not much. Not a whole lot of oak, but I am thinking the barrel is contributing the vanilla-like whipped cream flavours. Very sweet, on the verge of cloying but not quite.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly watery but still substantial. Carbonation could be better, for a medium bodied barrel-aged beer it could be a bit thicker and creamier. There is quite a bit of booziness apparent here, which is not good for my drinking experience here.

Very fascinating beer. The brandy barrel treatment really complements the base pumpkin beer quite well. This is a sipper, but a great cold, rainy fall sipper at that. Its worth trying once, I don't know if I would ever want a 4-pack of this, though.. its a bit syrupy and too hot to be drinking on a regular basis.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Lakefront Imperial Pumpkin

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a stemmed tulip. Chilled...

A) It's a bit of burnt orange, like the maple leaves dropping in my backyard. Very little head generated on the pour, and what was there didn't stick around.

S) A nice amount of pumpkin and spice, lightly toasted malt, vanilla, brown sugar, and a little of the brandy. Very nice...

T) Enough pumpkin and spice to keep lovers of pumpkin brews quite happy, but what really separates this offering from other pumpkin beers, is the barrel aging. Nice vanilla flavor, brown sugar, a little wood, and enough brandy to warm you up, but not overwhelm. This is great at room temp.

M) Medium body with very light carbonation. The light carbonation works for me, as I found this quite smooth. Let it warm up, and sip on it like a good brandy. The aftertaste is full of warm pumpkin flavor, and it coats the mouth.

O) I hope Lakefront considers making this a seasonal release, rather than a one shot deal. It is a perfect pumpkin sipper for those colder fall evenings, that start to make you think about the long winter that awaits.

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Photo of bound4er
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A. Crimson to dark amber appearance with an off white head that breaks fairly fast to a nice covering skim. Lacing is minimal.

S. Lots of baking spice (cinnamon and nutmeg) and pumpkin with a sweet cherry infused brandy note to add a unique twist. Smells very inviting.

T. Baking spice, pumpkin and Brandy Old-Fashioned flavors (a Wisconsinites dream).

M. Nice and creamy with low carbonation.

O. This is the first pumpkin beer that I will buy more of after trying a single. Not my favorite style but this is a special beer. The pumpkin doesn't taste fake and there is enough other interesting flavors to keep me coming back for more. Really well made stuff.

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Photo of don1481
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of freakspank
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%

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.

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Imperial Pumpkin from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
91 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.