Thursday, October 30, 2014

Lakefront Imperial Pumpkin


4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Chad9976 (1207) - Albany, New York, USA - OCT 30, 2014
You don’t tend to see too many pumpkin beers that are barrel-aged; I wonder why that is? Going by the few that I’ve had, I can saw that they can be great beers when done correctly and Lakefront Imperial Pumpkin is a good example of this. It’s essentially a barleywine or old ale with light pumpkin spices, but the result is a delicious brew.

I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date. Thanks to my friend Jordan for the bottle!

Appearance: Dark orangish/brown hue, slightly translucent but mostly opaque. Pours to a small, off-white, foamy head which mostly dissipates and leave little lacing.

Smell: Rich sweetness of confectionery syrups, strong brandy presence, and a hint of pumpkin potpourri.

Taste: Pumpkin beers are usually known for being spicy, rather than sweet, and when they’re sweet it tends to taste like pumpkin pie. In the case of Lakefront Imperial Pumpkin the sweetness is derived from the huge malt character. Flavors of vanilla, butterscotch, toffee and caramel are all noticeable right away. There’s even a milk chocolate flavor at the beginning. Towards the middle it develops a dark/dried fruit character as fig, date, raisin and even pomegranate emerge. Slight cinnamon and nutmeg spices can be found in the background throughout, though they become more prominent on the finish. The brandy barrel aging has definitely enhanced this base brew as it probably accounts for the robust sweetness and subtle spice. I usually prefer my pumpkin beers to be more overtly pumpkin-flavored, which this is just shy of being outstanding.

Drinkability: There was absolutely no challenge to drinking this bottle of Lakefront Imperial Pumpkin at all. The mouthfeel was calm, thick, but smooth with a gentle warmth from the alcohol. It left a surprisingly clean aftertaste with no drying or cloying sensation. At 9.5% ABV it definitely has the body a brew of that weight should have. An ideal nightcap beer. 
Grade: 9/10