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
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