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The Great Pumpkin - Elysian Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The Great PumpkinThe Great Pumpkin

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

552 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 552
Reviews: 157
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 11.38%
Wants: 272
Gots: 75 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Elysian Brewing Company visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  8.10% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheBungyo on 10-24-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 552 | Reviews: 157
Reviews by yeaprolly:
More User Reviews:
Photo of RenzoD
2/5  rDev -51.6%

Disclaimer*

*I toot the Elysian horn loudly. They are easily one of my top 5 favorite breweries.
*I am not a HUGE pumpkin beer guy, but they grow on me a bit more every year.

That being said...

This beer is overpriced, unbearably sweet, and really boozy.
The nutmeg, cinnamon and other spices are just overbearingly overboard. I tried so hard to make it through my 9 dollar bottle of beer, but I just could not do it.

If you are experimenting pumpkin beers, or if you believe this year is the year that you will make a breakthrough with them, let me advise you not to reach for this one. Perhaps more for the experienced pumpkin beer drinker.

Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Came to the table in a goblet a deep pumpkin orange color with athinner white head atop.Aromas of cardamom and warming cinnamon,there is a decent shot sweet alcohol as well,a little toast s well.More pumpkin on the palate than the aromas with a bit of cooked pumpkin and pie spice,it's warming and the alcohol is pretty big.This a really good warming pumpkin ale,not overly sweet with some real pumpkin flavors.

Photo of warriorsoul
4.39/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Gotta give mad props to skyhand for getting me this one...
Pours a cloudy rust color...less than half a finger of white head with an agressive pour and most of it fades instantly.
Can't say I've had a pumpkin brew that is pushing out this much in aroma alone...I'll spare you the details (think pumpkin pie).
Taste is simply fantastic. Fresh pumpkin, nutmeg, cinammon...actually has a gentle bitterness and finishes quite dry.
Not sure of the abv and I am definitely not tasting alcohol at any point...chilled or room temperature, the flavor onslaught cannot be denied.
Mouthfeel is very thick for the style and the carbonation is excellent...it is the freshness that makes this brew very drinkable.
Definitely, my favorite pumpkin brew to date...I have never been overwhelmed by the style, but this one is the real deal.

Photo of tigg924
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Above average to good pumpkin beer that hits all the traditional notes. Full of cinnamon, clove, and bread, with a small hoppy backbone. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of Mora2000
3.38/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to 5000 for sending me this bottle. Reviewed from notes.

The beer pours a hazy orange color with a white head. The aroma is fairly straight forward and features pumpkin and cinnamon, as expected. The flavor is a little more complex. I get the pumpkin, as well as the spices typically associated with pumpkin beers: cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. The beer is also quite boozy. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of ianjsullivan
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ST: 22oz poured into a pint glass

A: Light, cloudy orange with a half-a-fingernail of white head. The head dissipates to half its size and sits on top for well over a minute.

S: Canned pumpkin, vanilla, nutmeg and allspice.

T: Earthy pumpkin and nutmeg up front and alcohol and vanilla at the end. This beer really reminds me of pumpkin pie. Even the dollop of whipped cream seems to come through in the middle.

M: Medium and sweeter

O: A fine pumpkin beer that is worthy of your money and, perhaps, your Thanksgiving table. Sweetness is balanced by alcohol and spice, and the aroma is excellent.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks go out to SuzyGreenberg for the bottle. Haven't had this one in a while and excited to have the opportunity again.

Pours an orangey clear color with a stark white head that lingers pretty well and leaves good lacing.

Nose is a ton of pumpkin spices and some thick sweet pumpkin notes as well. Roasted pumpkin seed and an almost gingerbread mannish spice note.

Taste is incredibly comprehensive. Pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon and all-spice, nutmeg and slight clove, even what almost seems like bread crust. A tiny touch of creamy sweetness in there too. Not much of a hop profile, but thats expected. Finish is moderately dry, and pumpkin spice lingers on in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is actually ever so slightly thinner than i expected, but its fine where it is. Carbonation is ideal, and it is pretty good as far as being slick enough to feel like a real treat.

Drinkability is solid, especially for the nearly 8% abv. Although, this is probably not the best choice for a session beer, but rather more of a dessert. Could easily take down two bombers though.

Overall, this is definitely one of the best pumpkin ales out there. If you are a fan of pumpkin beers this is an absolute must try. Don't be fooled by the relative mediocrity of night owl bottles (though its ok on tap). The Great Pumpkin is definitely where elysian's holiday spirit shines. Fantastic beer.

Photo of hreb
3.67/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle served in pint glass. Beer pours a pale orange/amber, not quite crystal clear, with almost no head. Pleasant aroma of pumpkin and maybe a hint of cinnamon or allspice.

Flavors delivers with a big combination of spice and bitterness. Gravity and mouthfeel are high for a pumpkin ale, thus the "Imperial". Balanced out by healthy carbonation. The gourd works its way into the body of the beer, complimenting the substantial grain bill nicely.

This is a great execution of a pumpkin ale. It's a totally different style, but I'm enjoying it almost as much as I remember enjoying Night Owl (note: must try these two side by side), and much more than Dark O' The Moon.

Photo of dirtylou
4.67/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, i think this is the 3rd out of 4 that i purchased when this was released

appearance: served in my hopleaf tulip - cloudy amber body, unfiltered to the max, light beige ring

smell: pumpkin roasted with cinnamon and brown sugar, rich sweet malt, cream

taste: the ratings dont lie - of all the pumpkin beers i had this year, this is probably #1 - blows ST and DFH out of the water. rich pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, a touch of brown sugar and ginger. Divine

mouthfeel: creamy, rich medium body

overall: very high quality

Photo of nickd717
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Falling Rock in Denver.

A - Clear orangish-copper color with a small white head and some lacing.

S - Aroma is exactly like a pumpkin pie, really great.

T - Fresh pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices - cinnamon and nutmeg especially - along with brown sugar and just a touch of alcohol. This approximates a pumpkin pie better than any other beer I've had (eat that, Buffalo Bill's!). Fairly sweet, but not too much so.

M - Body and carbonation are medium, and there's a tiny bit of alcohol warmth.

D - Pretty high, but it does get to be a bit much eventually. I mean you can only have so much pumpkin pie, right?

Photo of Kegatron
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a couple fingers of foamy white head. This retains with a smooth creaminess, with a sudsy cascade that quickly slides down the side and leaves back some moderate lacing. The aroma smells of ripe pumpkin meat, which literally jumps right out of the glass at you. This is rounded out by notes of light sweetness, some fairly strong pumpkin spices and a gentle floral tinge on the edges. That higher ABV shows itself with a slight underpinning of heat as well.

The taste is very similar, with pumpkin and sweetness up front and the overall freshness of that pumpkin really coming out towards the back. This also has a leafy bitterness to it and more of a moderate spiciness than the nose had. The finish is dry with a light lingering combination of spice and bitterness. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a firm and sprightly carbonation in the mouth that does blow up some but is nicely undercut by a bit of slickness as well that helps keep this relatively smooth in the mouth. Alcohol is present, basically amplifying the sweetness and spices in this but things do even out nicely after this warms up.

This is definitely one of the better Pumpkin Ales that I’ve had. I’m usually not as much of a fan of the Imperial style and I thought early on that the alcohol here was going to get this one in trouble but I was impressed how this pulled itself together once it sat for a while and the overall evenness of the flavors an d freshness of that pumpkin character really carries this through to the end. I was pleased to find that this one delivered.

Photo of Gerasimos
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber from LetsPour. Enjoyed in a La Trappe chalice.

Appears - golden pumpkin, red-orange; half-finger quickly receding head

Smells - nutmeg & pumpkin pie; fall spices

Tastes - nutmeg & pumpkin pie; licorice!; alcohol folded into the back

Mouthfeels - medium light & airy; just heavier than crisp

Overalls - I'm not a pumpkin/fruit beer lover, but I loved this beer; sweet as pumpkin pie but in a refined presentation; stomach-warming alcohol complement; great stuff

Photo of Gmann
3.62/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden straw color with an orange hue. The head is quite short and quickly settled into a light ring. Meh.

The aroma is of cinnamon and brown sugar. Perhaps some nutmeg and ginger but the cinnamon stands out. Overall the aroma is not all that strong; expected more from an imperial pumpkin.

The flavor is much better. Good mix of the pumpkin spices; cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. I seem to pick up some subtle vanilla as well. There is a bit of a vegetal presence from the pumpkin. The malt base is pretty light as it lets the pumpkin flavors shine.

The feel is light but sturdy. The carbonation is prickly bordering on sharp; gives it a crisp edge. The beer is mainly sweet on the palate but its kept in check for the most part. ABV is well hidden. Slightly dry in the finish.

A tasty pumpkin beer. Its sweet but not overly like the other imperial pumpkins that are out there. Good spice profile but the malt lacks some depth.

Photo of antott0523
3.24/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Translucent copper color with a thin beige head that struggles to stick around. Some lacing on the glass and minor amount of carbonation visible.

S: Strong notes of nutmeg and allspice dominate this beer and tickle the olfactory cells. Sugary notes of pumpkin pie. A hint of booze. Great nose.

T: While the spices come through initially, this beer is quite unpleasant from start to finish. It's a bit too boozy, relatively bitter for a style that I drink to satisfy my sweet tooth. The finish is artificial and chemical like.

M: Moderate body and it feels a bit thin. Moderate amount of carbonation.

D: Not very drinkable for me. And highly disappointed based on the nose as well as the other great experiences I've had with Elysian including Punkuccino, Dragonstooth, and the almighty Dayglow IPA. If you don't like over top pumpkin flavor this could be the beer for you, but I feel it really has some off putting qualities to the flavor.

Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Semi hazed Orange hue with about a finger of yellow tinged head that resides quickly. Gingerbread cinnamon and clove on the nose. Cinnamon raisin bready malts and some pumpkin.

For an imperial pumpkin pretty light bodied and really smooth. Sweet ginger bread some vanilla and cinnamon raisin bread. Big pumpkin semi spicy finish. Well blended concise and tasty. Is it really the original imperial pumpkin? Who knows but it is a pretty good one.

Photo of Treyliff
4.49/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle, bottled 8/26/14, poured into a snifter

A- pours a vibrant amber-orange color with a small creamy white head that reduces to a small layer floating on top with a bit of lace left behind

S- pumpkin spice aromas up front with an emphasis on cinnamon and ginger, this combination smells exactly like fresh gingerbread cookies. Beyond the ginger, notes of pumpkin flesh and roasted pumpkin seeds kick in, malty sweet aromas of graham cracker pie crust, vanilla and whipping cream close it out, quite impressive!

T- the spicing emphasizes cinnamon on the flavor as well, with notes of nutmeg, ginger & clove quickly following. Malty sweetness in the mid-palate brings flavors of brown sugar and heavy whipping cream, more pumpkin spicing on the close, with lingers of cinnamon

M- medium-heavy body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel and a chewy, slightly warming finish

O- one of the best pumpkin beers on the market. The original imperial pumpkin ale certainly set the bar high

Photo of bonbini26
3.88/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Blind Tiger's Pumpkin Event

The Great Pumpkin pours a deep copper color, with a ghostly white head. Intense pumpkin, sugar and spice on the nose, with a nice bready and malty backdrop to tame the spices. Overall one of the better pumpkin beers I have had, but it still does not stand up to Pumking, which until further notice is king of all pumpkin beers

Photo of philbe311
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been eager to try this one for a while and was happy to get a bottle this year...

A - A finger's worth of slightly lush egg shell colored head with a bunch of big chunky bubbles sitting a top... Minimal retention gives way to a very thin lacing with a moderate collar... The color is a slightly pale orangish amber... Still with no discernible carbonation... Some lacing clings to the glass after each sip...

S - Pure pumpkin pie aroma... Sweet pumpkin filling... Spices with nutmeg and cinnamon at the forefront... A light brown sugar component... Graham cracker crust... A bit subdued, but very nice none the less...

T - A slight booziness at the forefront... Next comes all the expected characters in perfect harmony... Pumpkin, spices, pie crust, and brown sugar in equal portions... There's something rather unique and quite unlike any other pumpkin ale - I can't quite place my finger (or palate) on it, but I like it...

M - Medium bodied, but rather dense... Slightly syrupy... Light carbonation with a good bite about it... Straight forward and effective... Goes down easily sip after sip... The 8+% ABV sneaks up on you bit with how smoothly it goes down...

D - A very nice Pumpkin Ale... Upper echelon without a doubt, but not as epic as I was hoping for - still falls slightly short of my favorites int he category... However, I will gladly indulge each and every fall and recommend you do the same...

Photo of Docer
4.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: (3.5)
- Nice dark semi-cloudy squashy looking brew. Rich caramel color, and very minimal off-white head. Not more than a finger from a heavy pour, and a small ring and an island of light foam that looks like Australia.

Smell: (4.5)
- A hearty rich, and festive smelling brew for sure. Lovely sweet malts, bready caramel, and big roasty squash, and seeds. Lovely clove and cinnamon flare to it as well. Smells very good and balanced. Spicy.

Taste: (4.0)
- Nice sweet pumpkin brew here. Crisp clean water, nice pumpkin pie flare, and great nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon spices. Perhaps a little herbal and earthy quality from the allspice. Great balance, perfect strength, and not a noticeable amount of alcohol at all. This is what I think the Night Owl should be, and then maybe imperialize this further.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)
- Nice medium body, well carbonated, and slightly creamy smooth. Little puckering and chewy from the spices and malt. Certainly very good.

Overall: (4.0)
- Solid pumpkin brew, and is more complex than some of the other big favorite pumpkin beers out there. Price is a bit steep, but that doesn't affect my judging of the fluid inside. Very solid, but a bit light for what I think an imperial should be. Nice complex, and balanced beer.

Photo of n2185
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a slightly hazy orange with a finger of white head that fades into a frothy ring with a little lacing.

S: sweet, squashy pumpkin aromas dominate with pumpkin pie spices and notes of caramel apples and vanilla.

T: pumpkin pie spices, sweet breads, squashy pumpkin pie, vanilla, a slightly boozy finish.

M: medium body with lowish carbonation, this beer is nicely creamy.

O: a great pumpkin ale overall. Definitely one of the best I've had.

Photo of Kayaker
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great pumpkin. Well balanced mild spices. Nice aroma and taste. Nice pumpkin flavor. Definitely one of the top 10 pumpkin beers. Smooth rich flavor. Not watery like many of the pumpkins out there. Too bad beers like this are available for such a short period.

Photo of Brandywine
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear light orange with a fingers worth of off white head that dissipated almost immediately.
Smell: Roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin skin, spice, cloves and nutmeg, ginger, faint wintergreen, malt,
Taste: Gingerbread cookie, pumpkin pie, clove, light and refreshing hop bitterness, cinnamon,
Mouthfeel: Medium. Not much carbonation.
Overall: Just a really refreshing pumpkin beer. The spices are not overwhelming or unbalanced, which can be the downfall of many pumpkin beers. Tastes like a desert somehow without being cloying sweet in the least.

Photo of smakawhat
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Ok.. so... you are not a pumpkin beer fan, yet.. here we are... the top rated pumpkin ale on BeerAdvocate (as of this writing). Lord hates a coward.. it's this or a wagon for our hero..

A bit of a slightly dull, but cloudy orange amber body. A very nice head at three fingers, off white in color, with very nice pinhead bubbles and slowly falling. Not bad looking, the head is very creamy and whipped too.

Nose is classic pumpkin style ale. Mashy, brown and mushy, with clove, nutmeg, there is a good earth and dank quality here though. A real emphasis on spice here than sweetness, with some airy quality.

Palate brings a real nice balance. A light bodied feel for a high abv. Mix of malt richness and pumkin spice hinted on the nose. Mild brown sugar on the finish, but the one thing missing is here that I have never found on a pumpkin beer, and this is a good hop profile. THere is a real nice astringency here, which gives me the impression of an actual beer than a sugar rush. Nice tight sharp aftertaste with the hop profile, giving to earthy dirt also which matches a pumpkin fall field nicely. There's even a little bit on anisette and licorice quality on the tongue here on the finish.

Overall a wonderfuly well crafted ale, it's all here and done real nicely. The pumking killer indeed. I don't like pumpkin beers, but I am really enjoying this one. I also like the fact that this doesn't come off that sweet in taste, but has all those nice sweet aromas.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Funny... I tried desperately to trade for this last year, and now I stumbled on to a case at my best bottleshop!! Cool!

Poured into my slim tulip... a thin white head dies back quickly leaving no cap or lacing.. the brew is pretty standard orange.

Maltiness is near absent.. instead pumpkin spices try and make up for the deficiency.. a bit of ginger? I honestly get a bit of squash.. spices are lesser than expected with warmth.. Nose is better than TREAT (because I don't want the spices :-)

Flavor is nice too.. spicing is there, but not overdone.. a bit of normalcy mid palate that immediately builds and finishes in the Spice Trade...

I know this is pretty good, but (damn) I have a problem with spiced brews... "warm" spices just should not be the majority in beer.. and this one is pretty much the same, but with a judicious hand.

I did not want to like this one as much as I did... but I must give props to the fine folks at Elysian.. Pumpkin beers do not need to be a spice bomb!! Nicely done... though, I wish I had somebody to share it with because the rest of this bomber is going to be ginger and nutmeg burps.

4/4/4/4/4.5

Photo of jmarsh123
3.48/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to gueuzehead for the extra!

Pours murky orange color with a small white head that fades instantly. A ring of lacing.

Smells like most pumpkin beers. I get heavier nutmeg than other spices, but also contains cinnamon and brown sugar.

Similar flavors. Some good malty caramel malts and pumpkin flavors, but the spices are ratcheted up a bit past my preference. Pronounced nutmeg and cinnamon. Alcohol shows a bit here, but the extra body outweighs the booze coming through.

Carbonation levels are a tad low and finishes somewhat astringent. Decent body, but the carb level and finish hurt mouthfeel.

All in all a pretty solid pumpkin beer and much better than some atrocities I've had.

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The Great Pumpkin from Elysian Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 552 ratings.