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The Great Pumpkin - Elysian Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The Great PumpkinThe Great Pumpkin

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156 Reviews
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Reviews: 156
Hads: 564
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 281
Gots: 81 | 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: 156 | Hads: 564
Photo of Docer
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
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. (1,274 characters)

Photo of doughanson78
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
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. (905 characters)

Photo of Beerisheaven
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally a chance to try this one and I am trying to keep this as unbiased as possible given that I was excited to finally get this beer. Thanks to OakedCanuck and Azurescens for setting up trades and throwing some bottles my way.

A - Pretty much your typical standard pumpkin pour with an orange amber color and small white head that steps back fairly quickly.

S - I was a little taken back in that the smell is not typical of the normal pumpkin beer, meaning that they did not attempt to assault you with nutmeg, clove, allspice, and the usual suspects. Instead you get an earthy pumpkiny scent more of an actual pumpkin sitting in a pumpkin patch. A hint of vanilla as well.

T - I have tried a decent # of pumpkin beers over the years and what I always look for is a beer that provides you a pumpkin profile without making it feel that you are drinking liquid pumpkin spices. THIS IS THE ONE. A wonderful taste that combines what seems like the meat/flesh of the pumpkin with just the right amount of traditional spices. They are all there, just not hitting you over the head.

M - Just about perfect and absoultely no trace of the 7.7% listed on the bottle.

O - Along with Selinsgrove Pumpkin Ale (only on tap), this is my new leader in the clubhouse. I really don't think that they could do this one better. Bravo! And thanks to some new WA trading partners for allowing me this chance.

Now, all I want is the glass! (1,426 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


2009 batch courtesy of Pranaferox back in 2009, thanks! This has been in the fridge since then. The label reads 7.7%

A: Transparent golden red with one finger of fast fading beige froth and scattered lacing.

S: The aroma displays a nice balance between pumpkin and spice. There's a little sweetness, but it's not cloying like one usually finds with pumpkin beers. I detect vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, clove, and a little nutmeg, with pumpkin seed and flesh. No evident alcohol.

T: Pumpkin flesh and seed with a touch of sweetness and a nice balance of nutmeg, clove, allspice, earth, and cinnamon. As pumpkin beers go, this is very good. I don't taste any of the alcohol. The finish is dry and pumpkin (this is an adjective now).

M: Lower medium body with creamy carbonation and a smooth, sticky mouthfeel.

Overall: Aside from Midnight Sun's Oak Aged Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter, this is the best pumpkin beer I've had. It's slightly better than Night Owl, which I opened next to it but I couldn't review because it didn't hold up. Night Owl, Great Pumpkin, and eventually world domination. Elysian is the master of this style. (1,149 characters)

Photo of AleEvangelist
4.67/5  rDev +13.3%
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 (735 characters)

Photo of Tilley4
2.91/5  rDev -29.4%
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... (737 characters)

Photo of dragonWhale
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

the great pumpkin of delights.. there is a reason that Elysian hosts the great pumpkin beer festival and this is the showpiece.

Dark amber, glowing, pregnant with pumpkins, bursting with flavor, strong like bull. Everything you could want in a pumpkin beer. The pumpkin is very evident, but there is the mask of clove and nutmeg here, not overpowering, just complimentary, obfuscating the alcohol here. It is 8% or so, perhaps more, but really you just feel like you're drinking from a pumpkin.
Maybe you pretend it is the skull of your vanquished enemies. Either way, it has been spiced correctly, you drink to victory. It does finish a little sweet, the only drawback to an otherwise outstanding beer. (705 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The other pumpkin beer from Elysian that showed up to the pumpkin tasting. This is probably my favorite out of the 10 or so pumpkin beer I tried that night.

Beer is orange and mostly clear with a thin white head of small bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Carbonation moderate to low.

Beer has a very pumpkiny aroma with minimal spices and almost a yeasty / bready aroma to it too. Kind of smells like a Duvel with pumpkin in it. Wasn't expecting that but now I'm interested.

While most pumpkin beers focus on spices and end up tasting like cinnamon or allspice dissolved in an unhopped ale, this beer tastes like pumpkin. A lot like pumpkin. There is some cinnamon in there but its not overpowering, restrained, this is actually a good beer overall. Shocking. I'd even drink this again. (802 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Azurelimits for bringing this to the big pumpkin bash.

Pours a nice orange color with a bit of a white head. The aroma is fairly faint, but tends to focus on actual pumpkin flavors as opposed to an overload of spices. The taste confirms this, as there is some nice, sweet pumpkin and a bit of malt. Mild spicing in the background. Feel is nice and creamy with lower levels of carbonation. Drinks really well. I've been wanting to try this for awhile now; a solid pumpkin beer. (487 characters)

Photo of ScreamForMe
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I finally had a chance to try this much asked about beer on tap yesterday.

Appearance and nose/smell are wonderful. Mouthfeel really worked with this beer. A decent amount of carbonation balanced it out nicely. Highly drinkable pumpkin brew!

Next review! (256 characters)

Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.79/5  rDev +16.3%
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. (1,359 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3.11/5  rDev -24.5%
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%. (518 characters)

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
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. (1,388 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
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. (780 characters)

Photo of juhl31
3.62/5  rDev -12.1%
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 (577 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
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. (1,370 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sample at Alan's HSC initation. Bottle from Elysian in Seattle. This beer is a clear copper/orange color with a thin light beige head that dissipates steadily. Rings of lacing on the glass. Nice pumpkin pie aroma with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. Medium-bodied with pumpkin flavor at the forefront, backed up by sweet malt, nutmeg and cinnamon. The finish is spiced pumpkin goodness that lingers awhile. Very enjoyable overall. (428 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours out a lightly hazed, amber-colored body with a thin, short-lived, white head.

Smell: Well-spiced, sweet-smelling, Autumnesque nose of pumpkin pie garnished with pumpkin seeds. Yeah, there's a backdrop of malts to help set the scene, but, come on, we're here for the pumpkins, right?

Taste: Malty base with a taste of delicately toasted bread dusted with light brown sugar. Pleasant, pleasing taste of gouged out pumpkin meats and pumpkin seeds follows, the latter of which I've begun eating over the last year or so. A word of advice for anyone interested in taking up eating pumpkins: stick with the shelled, roasted, and salted variety. Sure, the in-shell ones aren't too bad, but, man, that shell is difficult to chew and trying to properly pass those shell shards is like crapping out a +2 morning star the next day. Where were we? Oh, yeah, so the fairly clean hop character provides a light, complimentary bitterness. All of the listed spices are on hand and well-represented, though the cinnamon and nutmeg are the standouts for me. Touch of alcohol. Still more pumpkin flavor yet to come on the dry, spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A splendid finish to a fine evening. The Great Pumpkin is a wonderful pumpkin ale and one I recommended, provided you're a fan of the style. (1,344 characters)

Photo of erikm25
4.61/5  rDev +11.9%
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. (978 characters)

Photo of nickd717
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
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? (620 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hey, I ordered a pumpkin ale, this thing is red! No kidding, this poured an more red than orange body. A twidge hazed. The red throws me, thinking i was poured a Lindemans. A shallow white head quickly turns in on itself.
Ok, the aroma is a lot pumpkin pie. Brown sugar, llightly toasted bread, spices and a bit of orange. Tastes pretty darn close to pumpkin pie, too. The spice hits first then the brown sugar comes into play along with baked pumpkin. Representing the crust of a pie is the yeasty breadiness along with roasted malt. This is quite an experience. However, as it warms, it loses it's spice in the front and the pumpkin fades within the yeast and malt. Could use a bit more kick to it all the way through. (720 characters)

Photo of paco1029384756
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky orange color with a small white head.

Scent of pumpkin, earth, yeast and spices. The scent it a bit light, but has a good pumpkin character and it balanced nicely.

Taste of pumpkin, cinnamon, spices, yeast, earth and some alcohol. Not the best, but I would like to try this one fresh.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and a bit slick with fairly strong carbonation. (375 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
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) (282 characters)

Photo of atsprings
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to wagenvolks for the share, 22oz bomber into 2 Brooklyn tulips. Pours a crisp orange with a thin diminishing head. The aroma is a huge amount of pumpkin spice with caramel malts right behind. The taste is more of the same, pumpkin spice is more predominate than in many other pumpkin ales, but still not over the top, the malts tend to shine through more in the finish, but the spices linger as well. The beer is fairly light and crisp with decent refreshing carbonation. This is certainly a very respectable pumpkin ale, one I would try again if given the opportunity. (577 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to RoryGilmore for the Subpop-LIF win! Split a 22 oz. bomber with fellow BA, atsprings, at his new pad.

A moderately aggressive pour into the Brooklyn tulilp produces a hazy, burnt copper body with an ochre core. White chunks of yeast swirl aimlessly at the glass' bottom, while above, a sizable inch of creamy, light tan head builds and quickly recedes. The aroma is intoxicatingly rife with pumpkin pie and whipped cream (graham cracker crust included). Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and pumpkin pulp all blend harmoniously into one of the more potent-smelling Pumpkin Ale's out there.

The flavor starts off bold and full of pumpkin pie notes, while a delicate lactic sweetness quickly gives way to a spicy booze onslaught. The aftertaste is a bit too massive, as tongue-lashing sweet and sour spices override the more delicate pumpkin front. Mouthfeel is creamy, but the body is a bit thick and syrupy to be a sessionable October brew (especially when you live in the Carolinas!). However, this was certainly an interesting craft beer experience, and easily the "greatest" Pumpkin Ale I've tried. (1,110 characters)

The Great Pumpkin from Elysian Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 156 ratings.