What can I say? Besides being awesomely dramatic, apparently some of our product photos are also prophetic. Okay, okay. Maybe that’s giving us a little too much credit, but you have to agree that our feature on Lakefront Pumpkin Lager was more than a little foreshadowing. If you don’t believe me, check back to last year’s review. Go on, I’ll wait: https://greatpumpkinbeerreview.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/lakefront-pumpkin-lager-lakefront-brewery-inc/

See what I mean?

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Name: Great Lakes Pumpkin Seasonal Spirit

Place of Origin / Distiller: Wisconsin, USA / Great Lakes Distillery

ABV: 45%

Specialty Prep/ Individuality:

This Limited edition whiskey is distilled from the essence of the Lakefront Pumpkin Lager (grain and pumpkin with spices based on Thomas Jefferson’s Recipe) and aged in new and used oak bourbon barrels. We reviewed Bottle 5/3407, Batch 5, which was beautifully hand numbered and dipped in orange wax. Even the label design is a throwback to the beer it is distilled from.

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Great Lakes Pumpkin Spirit first meets the glass with beautiful, brassy, golden-orange hues, very closely resembling an old cask scotch. Contrarily, the nose is extremely reminiscent of a younger corn whiskey, combining elements of white dog, and sweet pumpkin, but, besides some faint wisps of ginger, little to no spice.

Our initial delving was taken neat, and, once past the lips, clove and nutmeg emerged in gobs, with a splash of cinnamon to boot. A very pleasant surprise given the relative quietude of the nose. Both smooth and sensuous on the tongue, it has an admirable heat, though far from overwhelming. Equal parts sweet bourbon and malt whisky, this sucker comes of nicely balanced between opposing palatial preferences.

Once the taste buds have adapted to the slightly elevated proof, it’s remarkable how the mash bill so perfectly reflects the sweet pumpkin lager that provides its origins. It’s creamy, and light on the palate, and given an ice cube or splash of water, is almost as refreshing as a cold beer itself.

Though we didn’t get into them ourselves (mostly because my bar accoutrements are packed in boxes until we get into the new house next week), there is a substantial list of cocktail suggestions provided through Great Lakes Distilling’s website. It’s not hard to see how this would make an excellent mixer, and comparably to pumpkin liqueurs and mixers, provide a subtle and solid backbone to a classic cocktail, rather than dominating the other elements.

Suffice to say, if you’re a real whiskey fan looking for something with a little “seasonal spirit”, it’s an absolute no brainer to pick this up. And if you happen to be in the Milwaukee area on October 9th, stop by the distillery for the 3rd Annual Release Party, and dip your own bottle in that shiny orange wax.

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