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The Great Pumpkin - Elysian Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The Great PumpkinThe Great Pumpkin

Educational use only; do not reuse.

171 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 171
Hads: 627
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 21.07%
Wants: 302
Gots: 109 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 171 | Hads: 627
Photo of Spider889
4.89/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this at Falling Rock on 9/28/11.

This is far and away THE best pumpkin beer I have ever had. The aroma is pure pumpkin pie and gingerbread.

Tastes of nutmeg, sweet ginger, and molasses. Some cinnamon and nuttiness on the finish.

Chewy bready mouthfeel.

Overall pure excellence.

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Photo of Roose13
4.89/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

A: A golden color. Very solid color. Half-inch head that disappears quickly.

S: Smells like pumpkin pie. Nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon.

T: Pumpkin is prominent, but not too prominent like weaker pumpkin beers. I also taste licorice, which really took me by surprise in a pumpkin beer.

M: Not too heavy, crisp and lightly carbonated. Absolutely love how easy it is to drink.

Overall: As of right now, only Dogfish Head is in the same level as this (until I have my first try of the fabled Pumking on Halloween). Amazing beer, and a steal for the $7.99 price I bought it for.

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Photo of TheBungyo
4.8/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the Elysian Brewery's Imperial Pumpkin Ale. Yes the moniker fits because this is a brew fit for royalty. I seem to remember the ABV being something like 7.7 but I'm not certain. Anyway the body is is like autumn hued crystal ... perfectly transparent yet a crisp orange color. Head is a dense carpet of creamy foam. Oddly, you can't see any of the carbonation but you can feel it once you take a sip. Nose is big on nutmeg and cinnamon and yes of course, pumpkin. Flavors are much the same but this is certainly the beer that has done the best job of blending them. Pumpkin is thankfully big on the finish. I'd honestly say that this is the best Pumpkin Ale I've had ... previously it was Elysian's other Pumpkin Ale, Night Owl. Also, despite the ABV the alcohol is completely hidden. Probably would work like a charm as a dessert beer. This should become a very sought after beer ... I'm already hoping they brew it again next year.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.79/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In the past I've seen this on the shelf and never knew that it was kind of a hard to get beer. I've had the Night Owl many times and love it so I'm stoked to get the chance to try this one out.

A- A nice orange caramel color with a thin head taht leaves more of a slimy looking lacing.

S- This smells excellent! Lots of spices, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, all spice, and a great hit of earthy pumpkin. This is a great smelling beer.

T- This is outstanding. The spices are just right, big and bold and hit you right up front. Then they fade out and you get this excellent roasted pumpkin flavor. As the taste fades away you then are left with a hearty meaty pumpkin seed taste in your mouth. There is a nice malt presence that brings a good balance to the boldness of the spices and earthyness of the pumpkin.

M- Full body comes to mind, very robust and full in your mouth, but there is a nice amount of carbination that makes this work. For the taste and smell of the beer I'm glad it is a thicker beer and not some thin wimpy feeling beer.

D- Oh hell yes! I could drink this all the time, I'm just wishing I bought a few more bottles.

Overall this is thee best pumpkin beer out there hand down. As I drink more of this it is becoming a favorite of mine for sure. I just hope I can get this each year because it is on my list as a seasonal I must have.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.77/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to RoryGilmore for this bottle. After having in on tap I had to have it again.
Poured a nice orangish with a quickly disappating head. The nose was pumpkin and spicey. Taste was pumpkin, nutmeg, spices and cinnamon. The nutmeg and cinnamon give it an extra kick and zing at the end. Mouthfeel was exceptional. This beer is very well balanced. The ABV seems light. The ABV and pumpkin taste was a bit more prominent on tap.

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Photo of julian
4.77/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Deep amber/crimson in color with a lovely 1 finger off white head.

S: What is there to say? This is simply intoxicating. It smells like the most amazing pumpkin pie...in liquid form...in your glass. Every component of the aroma tickles your senses and leaves your drooling all over yourself in anticipation of the first sip. Amazing.

T&M: This is a deliciously decadent blend of spices and pumpkin, hops and malt. It tastes like pumpkin pie in every sense of the word. It has a medium-heavy mouthfeel making you feel like you're almost "chewing" the beer, yet it's a liquid and goes down easy while quenching your thirst. Nothing is over the top or offensive, everything is well balanced, and in perfect harmony. I love this beer.

O: This is probably my favorite example of a pumpkin ale, and by far the best implementation of pumpkin in the brewing process I've tried to date. This is a world class beer and deserves gold for it's category at GABF and the World Beer Cup.

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Photo of Arbitrator
4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled bottle into a glass. Thanks, Jason! A toast to you.

A: Pours a hazy, orange amber with a small, short-lived beige head.

S: Graham cracker, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, brown sugar, caramel, vanilla. This is PIE. I took a quick sniff and decided to top off my glass before surrendering the bottle.

T: A quick taste told me all I needed to know: pumpkin pie. This has well-developed flavors of graham cracker, vanilla, cinnamon (suggesting the crust), as well as caramel, nutmeg, allspice, and brown sugar (suggesting the filling). While sweet up front, it finishes clean, leaving only a hint of vanilla and cinnamon in the aftertaste.

M: Medium-bodied, with good carbonation. Clean finish; no stickiness or imbalanced flavors.

O: Christ, this was awesome. This was the first bottle that was completely drained at a lineup of 20-odd pumpkin beers, and for good reason. If you like pumpkin pie, seek this out. I'm sorry to say that this bumped my previous favorite, Kern River Brewing Company's Pumpkin Ale, out of the top spot at the tasting. While KRBC's approach is very sessionable, this one bumps up the flavor to the point where a bomber split two ways is perfect.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Part of the Elysian Halloween spectacular. Split all three of these with multiple members of my family over the house on Halloween. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 10/31/2009.
The Great Pumpkin what can I say. This was actually the first one I opened this night with this set of three and was pleased as could be once I did. The pour was nice and light brown, hints of amber or orange color and a touch of haze to it as well. Nice look to it with a small head of white up and over the top that settled down nicely into a firm, but thin broken crown. All pumpkin on the nose, all spice, cinnamon, hints of brown sugar as well all becoming quite evident as it warms. Really deep and complex aroma, one of the strongest pumpkin smells I have run across in a while. Smooth even flavor as well, not so much spice as I would have expected given the huge nose, but still really well done. Rich flavor of pumpkin, bready malts, hints of cinnamon, Warms up fading some of the flavor but still holds up very strong and has a nice buttery mid palate that really lets the flavor pop quite nicely. Easily drinkable this one went down without a problem in the world.
Overall very solid indeed. Going by the nose one of the biggest seasonal I have yet to run across, just a wonderful example of the style that was very well received by all.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.69/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a wide mouth flute glass from a 22oz bomber.

Appearance: Deep transparent orange with medium to heavy bibles on the body, heavy pour as always with a three quarter inch head coming off an off-white. Settles quick with slightly uneven lacing.

Smell: super strong pumpkin with heavy nutmeg and cinnamon, seriously you want to inhale this and best of all the aroma just lingers.

Taste: Heavy pumpkin and sweet cinnamon, comes off a touch spicy due to nutmeg. Has the feel of a seriously incredible pumpkin pie, which I think is what pumpkin beers should taste like.

Mouth: very sticky, medium carbonation with a distinct spiciness to it that is nothing to be compared to peppers. Think of a pumpkin cream with heavy nutmeg, incredible.

Overall: Honestly I have had many many pumpkin beer and thought another brew king of the jungle, my friends this beer is the new lion. Literally dessert in a glass.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
4.69/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Was lucky enough to score a bomber! Hopefully it is as good as Dark O' The Moon :)

The beer pours a deep amber color with hints of orange especially when held to light. Small light tan head with decent retention and some lacing. The nose is fantastic! Great mix of cinnamon, vanilla, pumpkin, nutmeg, even hints of graham cracker, nice! Flavor continues from the nose, strong graham cracker before the pumpkin pie flavors dominate. Mild bitterness. Finishes a bit slick but well carbed.

Overall, this is the best pumpkin beer I've ever had. Hands down.

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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

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

Appearance: light amber with slight haze. Heavy lacing at first with little staying power.

Aroma: the spice notes jump out with the sporting base of the pumpkin promising much. Fantastic sweetness, with a hint of malt.

Mouthfeel: Heavy without being syrupy. Light carbonation doesn't cut it too much. I almost wonder what it would be like as a cask ale.

Flavor: While the pumpkin is prominent in the nose, I was pleased that it didn't overpower the entire flavor. Laced throughout are a steady stream of spices and pumpkin. Base is sweet malt, and almost no detectable hops.

Overall: A perfectly balanced beer. Spices and pumpkin are prominent, but not overpowering. Somehow manages to not be cloying throughout the entire glass. 9

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Photo of doughanson78
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: A very dark orange, but can still see through it. Half finger white, with a very, very slight orange hue. Dissipates fairly quickly but leaves a beautiful lacing.

S: Just pumpkin upfront. Sweet pumpkin pie filling. Awesome. Spices are secondary in this one. Cinnamon first, with hints of nutmeg and allspice. Maybe a touch of cloves but not sure.

T: Lots of pumpkin. Some caramel up front. Get the spices coming through nicely in the middle, well blended spices. Towards the finish the pumpkin and spices blend to a beautiful finish. A very slight touch of alcohol comes through, which is something I'm finding is typical of the style.

M: A touch light but still medium bodied. Silky and slick. Medium carbonation.

O: Awesome. This definitely fights for Pumking for my favorite Pumpkin Ale so far. A must try... except that Seattle only got 30 cases supposedly.

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Photo of the_awesometeer
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Pours a hazy orange with lots of carbonation and a thin head that continues through out the whole beer. Strong smells of nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon. Nice balances flavor of all those pumpkin spices without them being over powering. Really enjoyed the beer, might be my favorite Pumpkin Ale.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from 9/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a medium orange amber with a slight off-white head, but light lacing. Pumpkin and malt aroma. Pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices, light fruit and malt in a nice combination. Complex and well integrated. Slightly bitter hop/pumpkin finish, probably from the pumpkin seeds. Medium bodied with some creaminess Excellent and one of my favorite pumpkin ales.

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Photo of gford217
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber courtesy of glkaiser poured into a tulip.

Pours a deep, clear amber with a one-inch creamy head that shows excellent retention and some spotty lacing.

The aroma is fantastic, just like a pumpkin pie with lots of brown sugar and sweet pumpkin aroma with just the right mix of spices, especially cinnamon and clove. The best smelling pumpkin beer I've come across.

The taste isn't quite as great as the aroma but that's a high hurdle. There is plenty of pumpkin and spices in there with less brown sugar sweetness than the aroma. The finish is slightly dry and almost peppery.

The mouthfeel is super smooth with strong carbonation. It's pretty full bodied and sticky sweet on the palate.

This is, without a doubt, the best pumpkin beer I've tasted. Fantastic stuff.

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Photo of mikeyv35
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Date: 09/09/2012
Type: 22oz. Bomber
Vintage: 2012
Glass: Southampton Tulip

Pours a golden in color w/ orange highlights that produces a thin off-white head that left light lacing. Strong aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and breadiness. The taste was of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove up front, leading into breadiness, and finishing w/ a bitterness made up of hops, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin seeds. Medium bodied and lush. Pretty drinkable as the spices and pumpkin don't overwhelm the base beer, but rather compliment it.

Overall, very enjoyable as it has been every year I have sampled it. I guess Elysian knows pumpkin! What really separates this brew from others in the style is how natural it tastes, almost to the point where you can literally taste the pumpkin seeds in the brew. Nothing artificial tasting about it, just a well crafted base beer with accompanying deep pumpkin flavors and spices.

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Photo of erikm25
4.61/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a darkened rustic orange with autumn tinting throughout. Head was a thin rim of ghostly white. Mild retention even after an aggressive pour. This looks like I would expect an Imperial Pumpkin Ale to look.

S: Massive aromas like the headless horseman's head exploded all its pumpkin guts, seeds, and meat into the glass. Cinnamon and hearty pumpkin pie crust waves come oozing from the glass. Sugary and fresh. This smells even better as it warms up.

T: Great multi spiced taste up front. Nutmeg, cloves, and brown sugar. Has a bit of bready roundness. Vanilla swirled with allspice. Finishes with a slight hop tinge. This is a great tasting pumpkin beer and I suspect I'll love it more if I can try it on tap. Bottle lists this as 7.7% and that works out perfectly.

M: Full bodied with good carbonation.

D: Maybe my most anticipated beer and I was beyond pleased. Very drinkable if you like this style and really a good way to kick start the best month of the year.

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Photo of JAXSON
4.59/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Eric! Pours a copper peach with a fairly large head. Nose is rich pumpkin pie meat, nutmeg and cinnamon, pie crust. Awesome, rich, meaty. Mouth is slick and kind of dark, spices at the forefront, pumpkin pie meat really creeps out. Nothing bright or vibrant about this, but it's earthy, rich, and super enjoyable. I'm going to have to drop my score on Weyerbacher's which was the best I've had of the style before this.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.57/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a brilliant copper orange with a finger of eggshell head. Big, spicy aroma of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and honey.

Moderate carbonation and a lively, full mouthfeel. Pumpkin, bread, and molasses up front with lots of clove and allspice. Gentle, lingering sweetness on the finish mixed with cinnamon and barely a hint of booze.

One of the best pumpkin beers I've tried -- really nice.

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Photo of OktoberfestMunichSurvior
4.56/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I discovered The Pumpkin King in Elysian's Pumpkin Patch four-pack. The Pumpkin King pours a slightly cloudy copper gold, one might even call it pumpkin orange. Like a lot of pumpkin ales that I've tried, it pours with very little head, so pour vigorously if you prefer some foam. The smell is strong pumpkin, pumpkin spices, and hops... exactly what I want a pumpkin beer to smell like. The flavor is surprisingly light on the spices, hidden behind the malts and hops, though they are still there in the form of background notes which I think adds to the perception of complexity in the flavor. The Great Pumpkin is definitely more nuanced than other "beat you over a head with one spice or another" pumpkin ales that are a lot of fun to drink but not what I would describe as particularly delicious. At 8% ABV there is a distinct medicinal taste on the back end, although this is not unexpected and therefore not concerning, to me at least. Of course what defines a pumpkin ale is the actual pumpkin itself, and I'm happy to say that the pumpkin flavor is front and center. It helped to rest my pallet for a few minutes before dipping in for a few more sips so that I could experience the full pumpkin flavor over and over. Unlike a lot of pumpkin beers that I've tried, the pumpkin flavor was fresh and not too vegetablely. I think that the additional hops in the imperial style compliments the pumpkin flavor greatly, not only to mask some of the strong spice notes, but the floral and citrus flavors from the hops genuinely compliment the pumpkin. Imperial is the way to go for pumpkin ales, in my opinion. I highly recommend this beer as it is #1 on my list of pumpkin ales, for now at least.

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Photo of superspak
4.54/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2013 bottling. Pours lightly hazy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of huge pumpkin flesh, pumpkin seed, cinnamon, gingerbread, nutmeg, toast, caramel, brown sugar, clove, allspice, pie crust, herbal, and toasted earthiness. Absolutely insane aromas with incredible complexity and balance of pumpkin, malt, and spice notes; with great strength. Taste of big pumpkin flesh, pumpkin seed, cinnamon, gingerbread, nutmeg, clove, allspice, toast, caramel, brown sugar, pie crust, herbal, and toasted earthiness. Lingering notes of pumpkin, pumpkin seed, cinnamon, gingerbread, pie crust, nutmeg, clove, allspice, caramel, brown sugar, herbal, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of pumpkin, malt, and spice flavors; with big authentic pumpkin presence and fantastic malt/spice balance; and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth and lightly slick/syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely insane imperial pumpkin ale. All around amazing complexity, robustness, and balance of malt/pumpkin/spice flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A world class pumpkin ale for sure.

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Photo of SublimeZero
4.54/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is solid. Sweeter then his little brother, Night Owl, but much more cinnamon and pumpkin finish. Great feel. It has a meek look pouring a medium copper color with little to no head but will punch with flavor of cinnamon, cloves, and pumpkin.

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Photo of corby112
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very cloudy, dark golden orange color with tangerine edges and a half finger off-white head that immediately fades into a thin ring. Minimal spotty lacing.

Sweet and spicy pumpkin pie aroma with sweet malts, pumpkin puree and autumnal spices. This is the only other pumpkin pie beer that equals Southern Tier Pumking's liquid dessert aroma. Pumpkin and caramel malt sweetness along with clove, cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and graham cracker. Amazing!

Full bodied with a zesty spice presence up front that lingers over the pumpkin and sweet malt notes into a slightly dry finish. Strong clove, cinnamon, brown sugar and allspice notes followed by pumpkin puree, caramel malt, vanilla and nutmeg. Very dessert like and lacking the earthy vegetal quality that makes so many pumpkin beers so unappealing. Still, the strong autumnal spices and sweet malts make it feel like a beer. The high ABV is excellently masked without a trace of alcohol, making this complex beer extremely quaffable. One of the better pumpkin beers I've had. Up there with Pumpking and older batches of Southampton Pumpkin.

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Photo of BeerWizard
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This beer lives up to it's name - this really is a great pumpkin ale. Poured from a 22oz into a goblet, hazy orange, with a thin white head. Kind of remeniscent of my childhood Orange Crush vice, just a little more rustic looking. Smells delicious, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread, cola, cherry, and pumpkin. No alcohol on the nose at all. Pumpkin flavor is heavier in the taste, but I think the flavor is really well balanced overall, just a nice mosaic of spices and fruit. Sweet, bitter on the back end, and nice mouthfeel. Carbonation is perfectly appropriate for an 8% abv, and the mouthfeel is slick and not as heavy as you might think. Best imperial pumpkin I've ever had.

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The Great Pumpkin from Elysian Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 171 ratings.