Imperial Pumpkin Brush And Barrel Series | Long Trail Brewing Co.

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Imperial Pumpkin Brush And Barrel SeriesImperial Pumpkin Brush And Barrel Series
Imperial Pumpkin Brush And Barrel SeriesImperial Pumpkin Brush And Barrel Series

Brewed by:
Long Trail Brewing Co.
Vermont, United States

Style: Pumpkin Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brand Name: Imperial Pumpkin
Style: English Strong Ale
Color: Dark Amber/Brown
Bitterness Units: 30
ABV: 8.0%
Date of Introduction: August 2012
Malts: 2-Row, Wheat, Caramel 80L and Caramunich malt
Hops: Nugget, Mt. Hood, Willamette
Packages Available:22oz. bottle, five-gallon “logs” & ½ Keg (15.5-gallon)
Availability:Late summer through early fall

Description: Long Trail Imperial Pumpkin Ale is the first offering in Long Trail’s new Brush and Barrel Series. This limited release seasonal treat is small batch brewed with pumpkins, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, with increased malts and a touch of bitterness for the perfect balance.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 91 | Ratings: 432
Photo of Lone_Freighter
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was poured into a snifter. The appearance was a ruddy dark brown color with a slim off white foamy coating of head rimming itself around the glass. Lacing coated the sides adequately. The smell started off with some pumpkin puree’, light allspice, and a little bit of ginger. The taste was moderately sweet carrying the spice into the balance. There’s a slight sticky aftertaste leading into a quick semi-sweet finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with an okay sessionability about it. Carbonation seemed good for an Imperial Pumpkin ale and good for me. Overall, this is good. It hits all of the points for the style but somehow I had higher hopes for this one.

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Photo of BethanyB
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The white head is a thin, fizzy film, but the body is a crystal clear, ruby red lake. The delightful and strong aroma is exactly what one wants from this style: a hefty slab of pumpkin pie topped with cinnamon and rimmed with a lightly toasted crust. Cloves and candied orange peels add an air of exotic mystery. The taste, however, is less romantic. It's somewhat thin--the punchy layers on the nose are flattened on the tongue. The fruit, spice, and malty crust are all present, but in a dried out, two-dimensional cracker form. Much of the flavor seems to have evaporated, and yet, the beer is still plenty drinkable. Good, in fact. Just not as dashing as the aroma foretold. One thing to write home about however, is the whisper of cloves which lingers in the aftertaste. It's a nice inadvertent touch, a reminder of crisp autumn afternoons. The carbonation is strong, creating a dry finish which more than likely plays a part in the flavor drought. Meanwhile, the light body, while enjoyably crisp, lacks the strength needed to support any imperial ale. Overall, while decently tasty, Long Trail's pumpkin ale is too small for its imperial crown.

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Photo of tekstr1der
3.66/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours brown with just a ring of foam. Aroma has the typical pumpkin spice mix, though no discernible pumpkin. Flavor is pretty much the same. I'll give this higher marks than the abominable pumpkinhead since they manage a higher abv, but the overall impression is similar. Only a few do this style right, not LT in this case.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had this on 2016-10-30 in Columbia, PA from a 2015 22oz bottle

A - Clear orange-copper with a 3/4-finger light tan head and mild-moderate lace.

S - Vanilla, nutmeg, light cinnamon and ginger, brown sugar, graham cracker. Pleasant and sweet smelling.

T - Nutmeg, clove and somewhat-fiery cinnamon yield to rich graham cracker and brown sugar pie crust and light citrus flesh. The pie flavors continue into the finish, moderately nicely with some roasted and hop bitterness for very nice balance.

M - Medium body and carbonation yield an initially smooth presence, which dries nicely; clearing the palate for another sip.

O - This is a well-done, seasonal pumpkin brew. Good aroma and flavor without being cloying. I'll have it again.

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Photo of zdk9
4.48/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours out a dark hazy orange flowing into chestnut brown. A good finger of head and lots of polkadot lacing. Looking good so far.

S- Aroma of gourdy sweetness, touch of ginger, maple syrup. A good deal of malt comes out here in a sort of doppelebock way.

T- Enough pumpkin flavor so that you notice it without being overpowering. Some spice, but again not overpowering. A decent amount of sugary sweetness in the form of maple syrup and honey flavors. Slightly oxidized, not sure if that's an anomaly or intentional.

M- Fairly thick and creamy. Nothing to complain here- it matches with the rest of the beer.

O- Very nice- pretty much spot on for what I want out of a pumpkin beer- some pumpkin and spice flavor but not overpowering. I would take a bit more classic pie spice, but still ok. The strength is a nice contrast to what you normally get.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle marked 2015 44533 at 42 degrees into snifter
$ 7.54/bomber ($ 0.342/oz) at Consumer Beverages, Lancaster, NY
Aroma weak, some clove
Head small (< one cm, aggressive pour), off white, fizzy, gone in a few seconds leaving a partial one mm ring and some floating islands of tiny bubbles
Lacing – absolutely none
Body dark amber tending toward brown, hazy
Flavor – some cinnamon and clove with a bit of pumpkin earthiness; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3.5, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 3.75

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.84/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 ounce bottle, 2015 vintage. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a hazy burnt orange/amber color with about an inch light tan head that stuck around a little while. There's a lot of lacing. The brew smells like pumpkin spices, mainly clove and ginger, along with some cinnamon, nutmeg and breadiness. I think the taste is pretty much just like the aroma. The clove flavor is the strongest by far to me, with all the other flavors still being noticeable along with some caramel. There's also a slight bitterness in the finish, but it's mostly spicy. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's slick with a good amount of carbonation. Overall I liked this, but I wish there was more balance with the spices. I'd like it more if the clove flavor wasn't quite as strong. With that being said, I think it's worth trying. $5.99 a bomber.

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Photo of SABERG
3.74/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A bottle from this years release shared with my wife. Poured into a shaker pint.
A - Copper colored, beautiful carbonation, leads to a fine white cap.
S - Pumpkin, all spice, cinnamon crust, a bit of garden herbs. Lite grassy notes.
T - Nicely balanced, spices are not out front, the base malts match up well. A
hint of bitterness adds to a very nice pumpkin ale.
F - Lite in body, a crispness throughout keeps this quite enjoyable.
O - I enjoyed this offering, the nose and palate are a bit disconnected, in that spice component
does not translate to the palate in full force. I like that element personally.

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Photo of beerturf
3.81/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

L:cloudy red bownish hue little head
S:bright, raisin, vanilla, caramel/maple syrup, molasses, bannana nut bread esque
T:Pumpkin, not sharp on tongue, mellow all spice, cinnamony, molasses
F:thick, small carbonation bubbles
O:Nice brew, very likeable but nothing stands out

side note they should make six packs of this i dont know if this is experimental or what ever but cost to value aint there.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a chalice: color is amber, head is tan with fine sized bubbles, presents 1/2 inch thick then dissipates to a spotted top with nice lacing and lingering on the glass.

Smell is mainly spice and ethanol from the fermentation. Spice is clove/ginger.

Taste is a little subdued, but pleasant for an imperial pumpkin style ale. Malt is light, maybe some biscuit and light toast with a caramel background. Spice is evident and well blended mix, presenting more as clove/ginger with cinnamon and allspice in background. Something that is noticeable is that this is a imperial style that does not have a big booze component.

Mouthfeel is pleasant but a little sharp and too carbonated. The spices seem to really overtake in the mouthfeel. This seems to be a fine balance in many pumpkin ales of trying to keep malt profile light for pumpkin presence but heavy spice levels detract.

Overall, a solid pumpkin ale, but a bit spice heavy.

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Photo of StartedwithSAM
4.29/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz. bottle poured into a grand snifter at 55F.

Appearance: A nice cloudy, amber in color, 1 finger with off-white head and spotty lacing.

Smell: The nose is balanced with sweet malts, cloves, ginger and subtle cinnamon.

Taste: The taste is concurrent, not cloying but not overly bitter either and the cloves really usher the other flavors to a pumpkin finish which lingers a little.

Mouthfeel: A full body with a somewhat oily feel on the palate.

Overall: I really enjoyed this. The balance between the spices and the pumpkin were accomplished here, along with a pleasant nose made this a really enjoyable drink. I will definitely pick this one up again and save for a cooler evening.

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Photo of founddrama
3.05/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Welp. Pumpkin flavor is the dominant one. Still tastes like a beer, so at least they didn't go overboard there. Color is great. Mouthfeel is good. Aroma is… pumpkin.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a goblet

A- pours a deep amber color with a small creamy off-white colored head that reduces to leave only a ring around the edge

S- quite malty base with aromas of brown fruit bread & brown sugar, spice aromas of nutmeg & cinnamon, light vegetal notes to close it out

T- malty base follows the aroma with notes of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, even a hint of molasses. The spicing kicks in mid-palate with an emphasis on nutmeg, followed by cinnamon & clove. More malty sweetness closes it out with some dark bread & a trace of hop bitterness

M- medium body with medium prickly carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues all the way to a silky finish

O- one of the more malty pumpkin ales out there, and it works well with the spices, very drinkable at 8% as well

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Photo of SierraFlight
3.39/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bomber. Dark copper color with good streaking from an initially thin head. Roasted malt and pie spice aromas with a bubblegum note from the yeast, perhaps. Full, rich flavors. Medium sweetness with all the spices.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, cloudy, brownish/orangeish color with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin coating of foam that covered the entire top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic. Lots of pumpkin and spices of nutmeg, cinnamon, all-spice, ginger, clove, and brown sugar. There’s also lots of malt and bready notes, too, like freshly baked ginger bread, however, I get next to nothing in the way of hops.

Taste: Pumpkin and spices upfront. Fruity and savory. I get tons of nutmeg and ginger, followed by pumpkin and malt an some subtle hops to round everything out. Very damn good!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy. There is some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 8.0%, I’m surprised that there is not more of an alcohol presence on the palate.

Overall: This is a really, really good beer! I really like the savory tartness that this beer has. If Long Trail put this out next year, I’ll certainly get a bottle of it to enjoy!

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Photo of bluehende
3.99/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the best pumpkins I have had. bomber bought at the brewery two months ago poured into a snifter. Very nice carmel and malty flavor with very light spice. Would search this one out if you like low spice in your pumpkins.

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Photo of smcolw
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Amber to brown color. Clear. Little head that becomes only rim bubbles. Nearly no spots on the glass.

Almost imperceptible smell (filled to the rim by the bar). Toasted (Crystal?) malt aroma.

First impression: Circus Peanuts, those faux orange flavored soft candy. That doesn't sound appealing, I know, but it works. Up front is a solid amber flavored base. The hop kicks in during the swallow. The aftertaste is first hint of sweetness and the confection marshmallow of orange. Very rich body with a low carbonation--rich.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.76/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

(on tap at Doobie's - served in a footed goblet)

... strictly from notes... ventured into Doob's around 1am after a ~13hr bar management shift...

a lot like my last pumpkin ale (a homebrew with cinnamon stick, fresh ginger, whole cloves, vanilla extract, a bit of lactose, and a weizen yeast)... just a bit more bitterness (mine was marginally bitter) and ginger-snappy with a light thread of caramel... this caramel clung to the back and at the bottom

kinda marble-smooth, with a soft, grainy grind

respectable sweet and spicy balance, with enough bitterness to give it a well-rounded, if not quite dessert-like taste... the alcohol is crazy-well tucked underneath - no boozy or sharp characteristics

overall - not all that bad... the connection to my homebrew was the pulpy, gourd highlights in the taste (could attribute it to the nutmeg in this one, though I refuse to use nutmeg in mine)... this actually tasted like they cut the brew with a buttload of real pumpkin (kudos, if they did)

either way, one of the better straight-shootin' craft pumpkin beers

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Photo of matridium
5/5  rDev +34.4%


This taste like drinking a slice of pumpkin pie. come on this is beer..... and well. if you make a pumpkin beer it should have some pumpkin back bone. The spices shine through but the bitterness is impressive. Nice, smooth, and well pumpkin.

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Photo of JohnFatAss
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is an exceptional pumpkin ale.
Perfect for a cold autumn night.

It pours a gorgeous dark orange color.
It has a thick, tan and creamy head.

Rich and full bodied.
Sweet and malty.
Perfectly spiced with just the right amount of bitterness.

8% ABV gets the job done.

Again, a perfect beer for a cold autumn night.

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Photo of biegaman
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Long Trail's Imperial Pumpkin looks dense as pumpkin pie filling and is about the same colour too. Almost remarkably, however, it's complexion is clear and it's only the naturally deep tone that stands in the way of perfect transparency. Its head, also befitting, is something like a dollop of whipped cream (at least for a while).

Like most Pumpkin Ales, the "pumpkin" part aught to be in quotation marks. Pumpkin may place ahead of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and clove on the ingredients list but the aroma is virtually squash free and dominated first and foremost by those quintessential fall-time scents.

Brewing a pumpkin ale can be tricky; you want enough pie spices to evoke the holidays but not so much as to make it feel like you've washed your mouth out with a scented hand soap. Finding the right balance is harder than people think. The key is to not overlook the malts and hops, something which Long Trail was clearly mindful not to do...

The ale has a mouthfeel dense and crunchy enough to match its 'Imperial' moniker; a hearty base of caramalts moderates the spiciness, providing complimenting notes of toasted nuts and hard, dark toffee. Naturally, individual flavours of the spices (cinnamon and nutmeg in particular) can still be appreciated, especially in the finish which acts as a highlight reel of sorts.

Long Trail's Imperial Pumpkin is an exceptionally well-proportioned pumpkin ale. Its success at harmonizing nutty, malty sweetness, hop and squash earthiness, and baker's rack spices makes it exceptionally approachable (especially considering its strength). Like most of this brewery's offerings this is well made and reasonably priced; an easy one to recommend.

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Photo of Hendry
4/5  rDev +7.5%

No need to go into the same boring details, to me Pumpkin Ales tend to be generic in appearance, but vary in aroma somewhat and the proof is in the taste for me.
The main takeaway I got from LT Imperial Pumpkin is that the spices (the most dominant elements as pumpkin itself imparts little flavor) are relatively tame and don't impart that whipped cream and graham cracker crust loaded with sweet pumpkin that make Pumking so popular.

The taste never reaches the level of sweet as there bittering hops counteracting any sweetness that might be present. Finishes clean and the hops balance the pumpkin spices with an interesting take on the style. Those looking for a sweet pumpkin pie bomb probably won't care for this one, but I found it to be a solid representation of the style that is slightly off center.

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Photo of Scrapss
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Poured from the 22 oz bomber into a tulip.

A: Orange brown with a hint or red. off white head that does not last long.

S: Aromatic hydrocarbon with deep caramel malts. Phenolic resin with a sweet pumpkin note. Spices are muted and play supporting role.

T: Super sweet malt with a lightly orange and pumpkin tang with a bready then spicy white pepper note.

M: medium with a tinge of creaminess. Slight sweet lingering finish with maltiness through out.

O: This is a big in your face tour of malt. It's the perfect big malted pumpkin for a crisp fall night. The pumpkin and spices are not making a bold statement...rather a supporting flavor.

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Photo of brother_rat
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Bottle, poured into a tulip. Had a Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin last night so I wanted to try this during the 1 pm games today. Solid. A: poured a very pumpkiny orange-brown, with a thick head that was creamy white on top and more orange down towards the beer. No lacing, and the head did not stick around long. S: great pumpkin flavor, but lots of spices. There was a malty sweetness, but no creaminess. T: warming, solid cold and after warming up a bit, with aggressive spice and pumpkins. No hops whatsoever, as expected. Aftertaste of some dry spices and an earthiness, like a wet grain. Tasted more bitter than sweet. Solid, but not great--mostly nice because it wasn't imbalanced like a lot of other pumpkin ales. M: mouthwatering and medium-bodied. You do feel that 8% ABV. O: Pretty good, and better than most pumpkins. Nicely balanced and not overly spiced nor super-sweet, but a bit too much astringent/bitter flavor for me, and you could taste the higher content more than other imperial pumpkins.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%

one of the better pumpkins going in the early season here. its great, not over spiced, which i love, but also not under flavored. featuring the pumpkins better than most others i have seen, just a light nutmeg hit in there, and maybe a little honey or maple sweetness as it finishes. the alcohol is warming, and when the beer is room temperature, it burns just enough. maybe its still hot outside, but this beer brings me to fall. i like the beers that take me someplace, and this one definitely does that. rich caramel malts and even a hint of rye spice in this, although i question its presence. it is a little thin in body for its size, so the booze stands out more than it should towards the end. mild cinnamon on the close, but its never spice before squash. overall a nice beer from this series, seasonally perfect in the early going.

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Imperial Pumpkin Brush And Barrel Series from Long Trail Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 432 ratings