Brandy Barrel-Aged Imperial Pumpkin Ale | Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

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Brandy Barrel-Aged Imperial Pumpkin AleBrandy Barrel-Aged Imperial Pumpkin Ale
268 Ratings
Brandy Barrel-Aged Imperial Pumpkin AleBrandy Barrel-Aged Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Brewed by:
Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Pumpkin Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.40%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Doppelbock style, brewed with pumpkin and spices, ale yeast. Aged in brandy barrels.

Added by LambicPentameter on 09-17-2014

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 268 |  Reviews: 50
Reviews by mackthknife:
Photo of mackthknife
4/5  rDev -2.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

if more people got to taste these types of barrel aged strong ales from lakefront, they would have a much better reputation among the beer nerds, pedestrian day to day beers aside, but i reckon they hold these pretty close to the chest, and i feel fortunate enough to have been able to have a few special beers on draft. this is a rad beer, brewed with the malt base of a dopplebock, european sweet malts in high proportion, and a lot more squash than spices which is awesome, and a ton of this brandy barrel character, which is decidedly not a whiskey barrel. really impressive depth of flavor here, and hold on, can we talk about the alcohol? this is a doozy, but not something that is readily perceptible to the drinker, its smooth and warming and autumnal and strong, but there is none of the fusel hotness that usually is there in beers this strong. nicely done there. tons of oak and brandy on the nose and in the flavor, sweet and strong and smooth, with the squash right there behind it, held up nicely but not overtaken by the grain. spices appear to be cinnamon and allspice, but its mild enough for the beer to be tasted and appreciated independently of them, which is not often the case in these pumpkin beers. great carbonation too, not common in beer this strong. i like everything about this one, and am sure its the best beer i have ever had from lakefront. i didnt even know they did this kind of thing. wonderful stuff here, a needed reworking of a played out seasonal style. bravo!

edit: better from the tap than the bottle in my experience, syrupy and still from the bottle, a little too sweet too, but still really interesting and good. the brandy is perfect for this!

 1,690 characters

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.07/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a balloon glass.

The beer is a cinnamon amber color with a head that disappears into nothing, with absolutely no film or lacing.

The aroma is a peppery heat mixed with cinnamon, a touch of vanilla, and a hint of squash.

The taste immediately reminds me of mint chocolate. The cinnamon and vanilla pair well together but the pumpkin gets lost. There is a fair amount of brandy barrel woodiness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is dry, medium bodied.

Overall, there's some nice notes in the taste and aroma with this, but some of the flavors cover up the more earthy squash or pumpkin vibe. Very boozy too, as the 9.5% ABV is not covered up too much.

 664 characters

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.68/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Brandy barrel aged pumpkin ale pours a dark copper color with a small head. Big pumpkin aroma with lots of vanillia. Taste is very warm, lots of pumpkin, nutmeg and vanilla and a warm brandy aftertaste. Good feel. Overall this is how a pumpkin beer should be.

 263 characters

Photo of Lucular
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tastes like an imperial pumpkin beer but I would never have guessed this clocks in at over 13% abv. Spices are complementary and not overwhelming. Brandy barrel is apparent but again not dominant.

Edit: Just had a 2016 bottle (my last) at 2 years old and it's probably mellowed out a bit but really hasn't changed much. Drinks incredibly smooth for 13% abv. Overall I think I preferred it fresh.

 396 characters

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of AlarmClock314
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of 77apm
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of JakerLou
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice.

Appearance: Pours a very cloudy brownish orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Small off white head quickly fades away.

Smell: A spicy and sweet malt forward aroma with good hints of pumpkin, spices, and brandy. Upfront scent of fall spices with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, and pepper. Good hints of pumpkin along with some oak and vanilla. Moderate scent of brandy comes through. Toasted malt with sweet hints of caramel, biscuit, toast, and yeast. A very good complex aroma.

Taste: Like the nose indicates, a nicely spicy, sweet, and boozy malt forward taste with good notes of pumpkin, spices, and brandy. Good mix of fall spices with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, pepper, and allspice. Solid taste of pumpkin with some barrel notes of brandy, oak, and vanilla. The brandy presence is noticeable but subtle enough that it doesn’t overwhelm the pumpkin spice. Toasty malt with notes of caramel, biscuit, toast, and yeast. A really good taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, slick, and moderately boozy.

Overall: A really good twist on a pumpkin beer. Great complex of spices, pumpkin, and barrel flavors. One of the best pumpkin beers out there now.

 1,285 characters

Photo of CLCardinal84
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of PatrickG
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of MuFugga
3.79/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MichaelNeelsen
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Served too cold, had to give it a bit to warm up to taste anything. The smell was prevalent right away, though.

L: Wonderful, apple cider, amber color. Egg shell white head that doesn't lace much but hangs around the rim.

S: So wonderful. Smells like the gift shop at a farm apple orchard in rural Wisconsin. Potpourri, apple cider donuts, autumn candles, vanilla bean and, of course, pumpkin spices (not pumpkin itself).

T: The vanilla bean and the oak are the prominent flavors. The pumpkin spice comes through at the finish. It's interesting, the taste is not why I love this beer. I love this beer for the smell and the mouthfeel. The taste is still good, but the amazing smell contributes to that flavor. Warm booze in the back of the throat.

F: Smooth but moderately heavy. Silky, creamy, smooth.

O: By far my favorite pumpkin beer, and my favorite autumn beer. Well done, Lakefront.

 935 characters

Photo of andesite83
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Snow81
5/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of spacecake9
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

This one really threw me. I had to drink the whole 4-pack and read about the ingredients before I could enjoy it. I'm not a brandy drinker so I'm not sure exactly what affect it had on this beer.
A - The beer pours a dark clear amber brown with a small head. Looks great.
S - Smells great, pumpkin and spices with a bit of alcohol.
T - I've never had a beer with such a strong vanilla flavor! The pumpkin and spices are really muted, bowled over by the vanilla. Then you get some alcohol burn at the end, no doubt from the brandy barrel aging.
M - Medium mouth feel, low carbonation, and the flavor hangs around.
O - After 3 bottles I was not sure if I liked this. But after a little homework I think I understand what they were going for and I appreciate it better. Certainly a unique member of the pumpkin club and I would love to try it on tap. I'm looking forward to the 2015 version!

 897 characters

Photo of riotontheroad
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Lone_Freighter
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Steve.
Back of the bottle read "16 Sep 2016."
This was poured into a tulip.
The appearance was a semi-thick dark amber to brown color with a thin cap of a little white foamy head that slid off at a moderate pace. Just a little bit of concave white lace.
The aroma had a nice blend of sweet pumpkin flesh, brandy alcohol sweetness, light honey covered biscuits, touch of cinnamon then nutmeg and an even lighter speckled of vanilla.
The flavor leaned towards the sweet side and slid off into the spice of the nutmeg/cinnamon to the barrel woodiness. Moderate aftertaste of the barrel, somewhat sweet with the pumpkin flesh.
The mouthfeel was about medium bodied with a fair sipping quality about it. Carbonation started getting lighter - I'm guess the age of the bottle perhaps did this. ABV still felt somewhat close to what was projected. Semi-stickiness in the finish with a touch of the vanilla, pumpkin flesh and brandy barrel.
Overall, I really don't notice any of the "doppelbock" qualities that I heard were supposedly in this, however, this is an aged review with adjuncts that could have affected these doppelbock qualities. It's one that I wouldn't mind coming back to preferably fresh, but still, this is very nicely done even for now.

 1,253 characters

Photo of pagesofphotographs
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of rhynosorus
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of Treyliff
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter, bottled August 20, 2015

A- pours a deep ruby color with a foamy off-white head that eventually reduces to just a ring around the edge of the glass

S- sweet and malty with aromas of caramel, give way to pumpkin spice notes of cinnamon, nutmeg & clove. The combination of the spices and the sweet malt gives an aroma of pie crust. Subtle brandy notes close out the aroma

T- you can tell that this is a doppelbock base, as it's loaded with caramel/toffee sweetness up front. The sweetness quickly compliments flavors of cinnamon & nutmeg, along with undertones of brandy & earthy wood. Spicy yeasty finish with a mix of caramel & brandy on the linger

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a crisp, slightly sweet finish

O- the base beer provides a perfect canvas for just the right amount of spicing, along with the compliment of the brandy barrel, outstanding pumpkin ale

 948 characters

Photo of Eaglefan344
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jaycase
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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Brandy Barrel-Aged Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 4.12 out of 5 with 268 ratings