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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no score

(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
Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

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 Stevedore
4.14/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of TTAmod
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

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 RoamingGnome
4.18/5  rDev 0%
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.

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 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 bound4er
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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 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 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.

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