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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 171 | Hads: 627
Photo of mfavoino
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass on 9/29/12.

Appearance: Medium copper color with a small head that recedes quickly.

Smell: Cinnamon, pumpkin, spices, and caramel malts on the forefront.

Taste: Pleasant spices on the front end with a subtle pumpkin flavor that isn't overwhelming or artificial tasting. Nice bready taste and caramel malts. Finishes clean.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-carbonation, no alcohol at all.

Overall: While I haven't had the opportunity to get my hands on Schlafly's Pumpkin in a couple of years, but I am willing to say Great Pumpkin is on its level.

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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 pmlondrigan
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lighter in apperance then I would have expected. Initially has a nice cap of foam but it fades and had no retention. Kind of a orange clover honey color with good clarity. Lovely subdued aroma of pie spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon as well as toasted squash. Nutty. Not artificial smelling which is nice. The flavor is very balanced, spicy with cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg. There is also a real squash note. Some bitterness and a good backbone. Medium bodied, low carbonation, lingering bitter note. Not my favorite pumpkin ale, but a very, very good one.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber, no bottled-on date, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a hazy orange color, topped with a finger of white head, nice retention, leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Sweet pumpkin aroma, it's pretty heavy on the spices, with lots of nutmeg and cinnamon, as well as sugary malt. The pumpkin is a bit more thin than I would have liked, although it starts to hold its own against the spices as the beer warms.

T- Pumpkin is much stronger in the flavor, has a really nice pumpkin pie flavor, complemented by nutmet, cinnamon and allspice. Malt is graham-cracker-like and has the right amount of sweetness. There's a bit of booze on the finish.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth, creamy feel, alcohol is nicely hidden.

O- A solid pumpkin beer, definitely worth a try for pumpkin beer lovers, although it's probably not my favorite within the style.

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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 alpinebryant
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into my floating air / insulated PIlsner glass with a large massive foaming head of white and strong heavy white lacing down the entire glass.

S: Aroma of heavy spicing , raw, un adulterated pumpkin, malt , nutmeg and cinnamon.

T: Following close on the heels of Night Owl last night, this is very similar in style however much more heavily spiced. Not an arrogant clove or cinnamon, but the Nutmeg is all up in my face on this one. Nutmeg is good in doses, but I find it overdone in here. Coming from a beer that really does the pumpkin bit well, I think this could improve from toning down the nutmeg. It is good however in a lot of ways.

M: Medium body with mild carbonation. I am finding myself burping up nutmeg.

O: As with earlier in this review, the nutmeg is overdone with a nice warming cinnamon presence. The body is great, the carbonation is at a good level. I prefer Night Owl as it is a little more subtle on spices.

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

Appearance: It has a nice semi-cloudy dark golden/orange color to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down moderately slow and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, gingerbread and some bready malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a nice pumpkin presence, nice spiciness (cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger) and bready malts. Everything works well in this one.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

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Photo of claspada
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat hazy amber-orange color with a small quickly dissipating white head leaving decent lacing..

Aromas begin with strong freshly baked graham crackers and freshly grated nutmeg. As it warms you get a little cinnamon, roasted pumpkin flesh and some brown sugar. The nutmeg is the strongest I've ever had in a pumpkin beer and meshes very well with the sweet caramelly maltiness.

The tastes begin with a malty base of toasted graham crackers dusted with light brown sugar. The roasted pumpkin flesh comes in next and soon after the melange of spices join the party, with nutmeg and cinnamon taking the forefront. Spices linger into the finish with more caramel sweetness emerging as it warms.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Beer is smooth and almost creamy with a nice spice bite in the finish.

Overall I thought this was a great pumpkin ale. The nose is amazing; a ton of cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin. The taste is a light heavier on the spice, but the hefty malt bill helps to balance it out and offers plenty of complementary pempkin and caramel/brown sugar maltiness. Definitely one of the best I have ever had, maybe third only behind Weyerbacher Pumpkin and Midnight Sun TREAT.

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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 ksimons
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-a slightly hazy golden orange with a fingers worth of white head that leaves some lacing around the top

S-pumpkin, lots of spices up front-cinnamon, nutmeg, and a light alcohol smell

T-taste is different from most imperial pumpkin beers in that it isn't as sweet. That isn't a bad thing just the first thing I noticed. This beer tastes like real pumpkin, not pumpkin pie, but the actual vegetable. With that is cinnamon, nutmeg, light brown sugar, and a bit of alcohol warming.

M-medium body, light to medium carbonation, spicy aftertaste

Overall this is a different sort of imperial pumpkin beer than most out there. It is not as sweet as most other imperials out there which makes it more interesting. I am a fan.

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Photo of draheim
4.07/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle (2012) into a tulip. Pours a hazy copper color w/ a small head that dissipates to a thin film and ring.

Aroma is earthy, pulpy pumpkin and spice: nutmeg, clove, cinnamon.

Taste follows nose. Nice mellow vegetal pumpkin, holiday spices, warm booze. Pumpkin essence is used as a subtle accent, rather than a centerpiece. Spices give it complexity and depth. Well crafted.

Mouthfeel is slick and clean, nice hoppy aftertaste.

Overall, even though pumpkin beers haven't really been my thing, this is probably the best one I've had.

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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 stakem
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

So here it is, the pumpkin ale of pumpkin ales. At the time of this review, this is the #1 rated pumpkin ale that out-rates my personal favorite pumpkin beer by Selinsgrove. Poured from a bomber into a snifter, the brew appears a perfectly clear color of copper to orange. More than 2 fingers of white froth forms across the top and holds with fairly decent retention for the strength. As the cap fades, it leaves some spots and strings of lacing effect on the glass. A light swirl brings forth a finger of yellowish stained froth. If there was a way to give a 4.75 in appearance, I would give that here. It is better than a 4.5 but not quite perfection.

The aroma opens up with a strong scent of green pumpkin. It is earthy and seedy with some vegetative quality that goes to more earthen components like nutmeg and then the spice of cinnamon. Across the middle is a mild scent of ginger and clove with a minor kiss of caramel or toffee malt. The alcohol is present with a minor ester that really drives home the vegetative quality that lasts inside the nose with a touch of something more fruity as it warms up. This nose here is better than a 4 but not quite a 4.5 so where I rounded down for the look, I will go up for the aroma score.

The taste of this brew... is the most unadulterated example of raw pumpkin flavor I have ever experienced in a beer. Anyone who has ever tasted fresh, raw or cooked pumpkin before being spiced or altered will know exactly what I am talking about here. It has a solid vegetative quality that is earthy and carries with it a lot of seedy elements not too different from sunflower seeds that havent been cooked enough. It is minorly toasty with a solvent boost of alcohol inclusion before the spices really come into play. Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and some clove are all present with the cinnamon being the most forward and somewhat similar to a cinnamon red hot candy but without the burn. The aftertaste is exceptionally earthy and vegetative that draws out more flavor of the nutmeg.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. I gotta tip my hat to the folks at Elysian for making the most raw pumpkin flavored beer I have ever experienced. That is to be commended. Also, the spiced inclusion is enough to let you know it is there and then some. However, it does not cross over into the territory of being ridiculous and too much. For an 8% brew, it sure is imperial and the alcohol is not hiding. Is it a good pumpkin beer? Yeah, it certainly is among the best bottled varieties. Is it THE best? No, Selinsgrove destroys this in overall blended flavor, drinkability and enjoyment. If you want to taste raw pumpkin with a boost of alcohol, this is the beer to go for. I have no reservation about my purchase, I am glad I finally got to try it. I look forward to having it again closer to the holidays.

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Photo of stoutluvr420
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of 22 oz bottle. Dark orange pour with white head, aroma has notes of big pumpkin spice, some caramel, toffee, lots of cinnamon, touch of nutmeg & some vegetal pumpkin. Taste is an equal mix of sweet squashy pumpkin flesh & some slight cinnamon, ginger, finishing fairly sweet, alittle (brown) spicy. Not a fan of the style as a whole, but this one is done pretty well. Would def buy again.

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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.


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

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Hazy orange with one-finger, off-white, creamy head that lasted a couple minutes. Pretty good lacing.

S: Sweet pumpkin. Some spice - cinnamon, nutmeg. A bit too mild.

T: Light sweetness and light bitterness. Spice is more noticeable in the taste. It's followed by toasty malt. Not too sweet.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to soft carbonation. Silky smooth. Not too warm going down.

O: Solid pumpkin ale. Not the best I've had, but it's up there.

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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 theveganbrewer
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orange amber with a slight off-white head. I get a very nice pumpkin and spice aroma with a little sweetness and molasses.. Pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices with perhaps just a bit too much spice in the nose.

I found this a lighter body than I expected. Bitter, less sweet than expected, with a vegetal presence through the sip. Both wife and I were saying the smell really wowed us and the taste was a slight let down and the mouthfeel was deceptive. Definitely getting some pumpkin seed on the finish, but there is just a little lacking there in the middle to transition from the intense aroma into the actual beer.

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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 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 mdfb79
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap today at The Pony Bar on the UES in New York at their Elysian event. 8 oz. pour.

a - Pours a somewhat hazy amber-orange color with one inch of white head and low to moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of gingerbread, cinnamon, nutmeg, bready malts, spice, pumpkin, and wheat. Ton of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin in the nose; one of the best pumpkin beer noses I've smelt. 5 for me considering the style.

t - Tastes of ginerbread, pepper, spices, nutmeg, bready malts, pumpkin, grains. Slightly less cinnamon in the taste than the nose, and more spices, but still very good.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Body is smooth and doesn't feel like 8.1% ABV.

o - Overall I thought this was a great pumpkin ale. The nose is amazing; a ton of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin. The taste is a light heavier on the spice, but a great pumpkin beer none the less and hope I can get it around Thanksgiving.

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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 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 mothman
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Ryan for this one!

Pours a white head. Color is a golden orange.

Aroma: Pumpkin pie with whip cream flavors. Gram crust. Some spices. Incredible.

Taste: Identical to the nose. No need to repeat myself, other than the fact that the spices that show, are not overpowering. The pumpkin flavors are spot on and it tastes just like pie.

Mouthfeel: A touch of spice and creaminess. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, this was the best pumpkin beer I have ever had. I normally am not a fan of the style, but this was was awesome and I could drink a lot of it.

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

Bottle generously shared by dunt. Served in a Närke tulip.

A - Quick-dissolving foam settles to a thin collar, tiny spots of lace, and wisps on top. Hazy dark orange-gold colored body.

S - Massive pumpkin pie, with equal parts crust, whipped cream, and pumpkin flesh. Allspice and nutmeg are present, but thankfully kept a reasonable levels. There's a touch of caramel malt, but this is pretty much dominated by the pumpkin and associated flavors.

T - Taste is also redolent of pumpkin, whipped cream, and graham cracker crust. There's less spice character here - to the point where I was a tad disappointed by the reduced complexity and depth of the flavor.

M - Smooth, medium body, medium-low carbonation, no alcohol heat whatsoever, and some tannic pumpkin flesh textures.

D - Elysian knows how to make pumpkin beers. I enjoyed this nearly as much as I did Dark O' The Moon. I appreciate that they don't feel the need to obliterate all the other flavors with spices. Would happily have this again, even out of season.

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