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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: 630
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 11.14%
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: 630
Photo of RenzoD
2/5  rDev -51.6%


*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.

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Photo of harrymel
2.09/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

ABV: 7.7%

A: pours coppered orange with no head formation and only a ring of off-white foam. Textured mirror surface with near excellent clarity.

S: Smells pretty standard to me: nutmeg, cinnamon, allpice. The vegetal smells area little pungent in this one. Smells like squash with the spices. Pretty decent, but nothing spectacular.

T: Hmm, this flavor is not what I had anticipated. Bitter with herbal qualities. The spices in this one are a bit aggressive here. The sharpness and bitterness is hard for me to get over. Nope, don't like it. Really too much chemical astringency, practically tannic. Rubbing alcohol. So disappointed.

M: Medium bodied with moderate on light carb. Semi dry finish. Pretty decent mouthfeel.

O: yeah, smells good, but tastes brutal for me. I like Elysian, and have previously enjoyed this beer, but wow, not impressed. Alcohol, sharp chemicals, bitter. This is not good.

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Photo of Tilley4
2.91/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Lots of hype comes along with this brew so I was stoked to get to try it....

Glugs out a murky dull orange with zip for a head or carbonation... Nada... Uh oh...

Well it certainly smells the part... Lots of actual pumpkin aroma with the usual cinnamon and nutmeg and allspice... Sweet malty background... Pretty good aromas...

Dull maltiness brings an overwhelming spice and bitterness with it. Almost like shaking ground cinnamon onto your tongue... You get the cinnamon flavor along with a sharp biting bitterness that's not at all pleasant... Lots of booziness as well... Reminds me of the bottle of Pumking that I had that was way too boozy and spicy...

Majorly disappointing... Schlafly's offering wipes the floor with this...

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Photo of ccrida
3.11/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On draught at the Capital Hill pub. Served in a cervoise, The Great Pumpkin is a chill hazed dark, burnt orange with a small, creamy off-white head that leaves really nice lace.

Smell is soft all-spice.

Taste is malty and spicy, more robust then the nose, but not overwhelmingly so, pretty average "pumpkin" (pie) beer, smooth though.

Mouthfeel is chewy, medium-heavy body.

Drinkability is pretty good, your average pumpkin brew. The spices bring out the heat, even though it's not really that strong, at 7.8%.

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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.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.32/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Reviewed live.

A- One finger of quickly eroding white head that leaves a tight white ring around the top. Somewhat murky straw color. Particles floating around make the clarity relatively low. Thin ribbons of white lacing. Appealing. It would look nicer with a more pronounced head.

S- Well balanced pumpkin, brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon. Really just a scoop of pumpkin pie in a glass. Very appealing. Hides any trace of alcohol.

T- Doesn't live up to the high expectations of the smell. Alcohol is much more present here, and drops with a bitter clang, outweighing any potential sweetness or warm maltiness from the pumpkin and caramel malts. The warm pumpkin pie sort of fades into a more aggressive squash and vinegar sort of flavor. Makes me wonder if I waited too long to open this.

M- Acrid carbonation, light body and a relatively messy finish. Not terrible. Not great.

O- The smell was to die for. The taste failed me in what was going to become my favorite pumpkin beer.

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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.

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Photo of mactrail
3.47/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The aroma is very nice-- it's more like roasted squash with a whiff of spices.Why does this taste like gin? There's a distinct juniper note. the first sip is disgusting. So sweet, spiced with that goopy vegetable taste. But it does get better. Some lemon comes through as you sip, but it's still sweet.

Alright, it's a better imitation of pumpkin pie than most, but I'm not sure why you'd want a cold fizzy beer to taste like that. The long spicy nose as you exhale lasts beyond the last sip. From the 22 oz bottle purchased at Bine & Vine in San Diego.

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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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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.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle split into two big snifters

Pours brownish orange with very little head. Smell is spiced and yeasty. Lots of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Taste is pumpkin and pie spice, and some kind of bitterness that I don't quite recognize. It makes me think of unsweetened pumpkin skin, but I'm not sure I've ever tasted it, so that could be totally imaginary.

Mouthfeel is slightly heavy, and surprisingly fizzy for something that looked like it had no head. Overall, I'm somewhat underwhelmed. It's not bad, but it's not magic.

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Photo of intobenme
3.56/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Was really looking forward to this beer. Found far too much nutmeg and other spices and the nose was overpowering as well. I love pumpkin beers but this one feels a bit overdone to me.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at City Tap House, Philly, PA

For a hyped-up pumpkin ale, I found this a bit lack-luster. Poured a somewhat cloudy copper-orange color with a small white head that receded to a ringlet. Aroma was pretty soft and mellow, with light notes of pumpkin and a bit of cinnamony spice. Taste was similarly mellow, not an in-your-face blast of pumpkin pie, but everything you'd expect is still there: pumpkin flesh, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, sweet bready malts. Medium body, and quite easily drinkable. Overall not bad; about on the same level as DFH's Punkin Ale.

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Photo of billab914
3.58/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a tasting glass. Amber in color with a thin head around the edges of the glass.

The aroma has notes of Squash, raw pumpkin and spice. It's got a sweet, almost sugary presence to it along with some slight bready pie crust like flavors.

Pumpkin and squash flavors are very apparent in the taste. Light on the spice, which I like. Tastes a little like raw pumpkin. Pale malts show through in the finish.

Mouthfeel is on lighter side of style with moderate carbonation. Overall a pretty good beer and unique in the style. I liked the low spice and that the real pumpkin and squash flavors seemed to come out more in it.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.6/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip.

Slightly hazed golden orange with low carbonation. Two fingers of tight white head with good retention.

Allspice, ginger, black licorice, cinnamon and peppermint. Some caramel and candy sugars. Not really any pumpkin in the nose.

Very spice forward. Allspice, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and mint. There's this weird black licorice character to it. Pumpkin rind and stem. The malt is taking a backseat with notes of caramel and candy sugar. Some brown sugar and toast. The finish is slightly bitter and earthy.

Medium bodied, crisp, clean and dry.

Very easy drinking. Well hidden abv. I personally don't think this can stand up against better Imperial Pumpkin Ales such as Schlafly, Williamsburg AleWerks, ST Pumking or CC Good Gourd. A little too spice forward for my tastes.

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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.

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

A- Pours a dark orange color, topped with a decent amount of head with nice retention that remains spotty throughout the drink.

S- The pumpkin aroma is pretty evident. There's even a side hint of honey. I don't get much spice in the scent. I get a lot of sugar.

T- Pumpkin is very strong in the taste. i get a definite flavor of nutmeg with a hint if cinnamon. I get a weird amount of sweetness that I can't put my finger on.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth, creamy feel, but could use more carbonation.

O- I fear I am a victim of "the BA Rating". Had I never heard of this beer at all, is say it was average or a little above average. I stand by that conviction. Worth trying.. Don't break your back to get it.

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Photo of juhl31
3.62/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

from a pumpkin beer tasting we had halloween night including Michelob (brought the night before to a party...), Elysian, Dogfish Head, Southern Tier

-orangy amber with a good white head

-good, rich pumpkin pie smell. the best smell of the group for sure

-there is a decent pumpkin taste in there, but it is pretty heavy on the spices and is a little light. the spice is kind of overpowering

-little weird on my mouth. somewhat like an oktoberfest

-not a great beer for me. i wish it would have tasted more like it smelled because the pumpkin didnt really come through much

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Photo of nlmartin
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was chilled and served in a pint glass.

A- The body of the beer is a coppery orange coloration. A thick biege head with major retention rides the body. Sudsy lacing marks this beers passage from my glass.

S- The aroma of the beer has plenty of roasted and toasted pumpkin pie spicing, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, all spice, caradamon, honey and brown sugar.

T- The flavor of the beer has toasted pumpkinm cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, brief malty sweetness that gets swallowed up in spice.

M- The body of the beer is medium and well carbonated. Very smooth and not a hint of alcohol heat.

O- This is a pretty good pumpkin ale. The spice is a bit heavy handed but isnt a deal breaker.

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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.

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

Pours a copper tinted burnt orange, moderate cap of off-white froth, some decent lacing. Scent strong on spice, caramel and alcohol, lots going on and took a bit before individual components could be isolated. Same with scent, strong spice and caramel up front. Spices slightly overpower as it becomes hard to isolate cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger etc. Heavy malting and high ABVs also mask much of the muted gourd flavor. Some floral hoppiness to it. Medium to full bodied. A touch too much going on here for me to enjoy it all.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this because of all the hubbub I heard heard and even though I am not a huge pumpkin fan I figured I might as well. Orange color, two finger thick head, fluffy. Smells very spicy, nutmeg cinnamon, the usual suspects, not bad. the flavor was more of the same but for a split second I thought I was chewing a piece of cinnamon gum like Big Red or something. This was much better than Night Owl and honestly this probably was the best pumpkin beer I've had to date. Sadly though I must still say it was not worth the $9 price tag.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.69/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours up an almost minimal amount of head which has no retention. The head is off-white with hints of beige and amber while the body is a slightly darker, medium amber which appears as a glowing, medium amber when held up to the light. Minimal amount of lacing.

Nose- This sure does smell like pumpkin pie, even echoes of sweet potato pie. This runs the gamut of autumn spices: cloves, nutmeg, mace, and cinnamon. Not harsh in anyway. The aroma is quite inviting and clean- which is not true of many spiced beers. Cinnamon is the most dominant spice.

Taste- Reflective of the nose, with almost all of the spice notes hitting me at once. Cinnamon, as it was on the nose, is by far the most dominant. At the moment, it's a little hard to process it all since it tastes as if I just drank the aroma mashed together. I can't tell if the bitterness that seems to permeate all aspects of the flavor profile is a characteristic of all the spices or if this is a separate flavor. Tastes a lot like a mild red hot (the candy) or a spicier version of Big Red chewing gum. A mild indication of raw pumpkin but this seems more like suggestion of the mind. No real heat but how could one discern that with all this spice. Some of the bitterness is definitely separate from the spice profile but it tends to be woody (some pine) with a slight inclination toward yeast and earwax. This is probably a highly desirable beer for some but a little too one-sided for me. I thought Night Owl was much more subdued and well rounded and therefore, better. It would seem that pumpkin ales are not the type of beer to turn imperial. Don't get me wrong- I applaud the effort but I don't need anymore spice than your typical pumpkin beer already has. Does mellow but this makes it seem thin and watery. It really only validates what I've thought to be true- I just don't like pumpkin beers. You might though.

Mouthfeel- Fairly thin and and just a little bit more than light bodied. Ample carbonation works well with the conspicuous spice.

Drinkability- I don't need this much fall, harvest time, or holiday in my beer. This is why I eschew wassails and “Christmas” beers. If I want that, I just drink some heavily spiked eggnog. Price point is all wrong for a beer I don't enjoy but 9 bucks seems reasonable for someone who would.

Overall- This is pretty much one of the highest rated pumpkin ales but it's not my piece of pie. I can drink it fine. There's nothing wrong with it but 22 ounces is too much for me. Definitely worth a try but I won't be buying it again.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.72/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

much thanks to Stakem for this bottle, shared with tenderbranson69 and carlos, enjoyed from a sampler glass, the bottle was chilled and sample allowed to gradually warm.

The color is a lighter amber than some with thin cap of white and gentle haze with average lacing collection, head retention is good. The smell is very nice with a lot of spice esters and an almost potpourri type mix of earthy sweet and mild alcohol to add to the light herbal nose. The feel is good with mix of malt toastiness and slight herbal textures with earthy grain and nutty spice with slight warmth of cinnamon which leads to a mild warming alcohol presence and semi-dry finish.

The flavor has a mild cinnamon taste which increases with some light bready malt and hint of spicy ginger with an earthy nutty toasted taste which suits the style, the middle gets spicier with some mild vanilla and sweet gentle cotton candy-like malt sweetness with a taste of alcohol which adds to the bite the cinnamon and clove elements provide. Overall a pretty tasty pumpkin in the Imperial realm, very drinkable if a little hot - not an every drinking pumpkin, but a good candidate for sharing and enjoyable Thanks a lot Adam!

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 10/3/08. On tap at Blind Tiger. Pours a dark orange/brown with a small ring of white head. Aroma of light pumpkin spices (nutmeg, slight cinnamon). Flavor like biting into a slice of pumpkin pie! Now this is how a pumpkin beer should taste! Delicious.
7/4/8/4/15 (3.8/5)

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