Brewery: Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Beer: 25th Anniversary Imperial Pumpkin
Serving: 12 oz bottle
Glassware: Lakefront tulip
Information: 8% ABV,
Style: Pumpkin Lager
Availability: Limited Release
Cellaring: Under proper conditions, this beer can be cellared for extended periods.
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.
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 mélange of spice. Roasted pumpkin rind and sweet caramel malt finish out this clean lager wonderfully for an exceptional aroma.
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.
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.
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.
Score: 91 / 100 – Exceptional