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The Great Pumpkin - Elysian Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The Great PumpkinThe Great Pumpkin

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

423 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 423
Reviews: 140
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 10.34%
Wants: 248
Gots: 53 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TheBungyo on 10-24-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 423 | Reviews: 140 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thorpe429


4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2010 11:42:58 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of ScreamForMe


4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

10-16-2010 00:11:32 | More by ScreamForMe
Photo of Wetpaperbag


4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2010 03:41:47 | More by Wetpaperbag
Photo of ccrida


3.1/5  rDev -25.5%
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%.

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2009 23:09:27 | More by ccrida
Photo of AKBelgianBeast


4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2009 04:52:35 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of gford217


4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2009 02:48:02 | More by gford217
Photo of juhl31


3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2009 17:55:43 | More by juhl31
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.7/5  rDev +13%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2009 22:07:39 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Dogbrick


4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2009 01:54:10 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of ChainGangGuy


4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2009 02:02:16 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of erikm25


4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2009 01:39:37 | More by erikm25
Photo of nickd717


4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
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?

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2009 19:08:06 | More by nickd717
Photo of Mebuzzard


4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-30-2009 09:33:56 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of paco1029384756


3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2009 23:41:35 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
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)

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2008 01:38:43 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2008 18:05:43 | More by atsprings
Photo of wagenvolks


4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2008 03:53:28 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of barleywinefiend


4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2008 00:21:56 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the pumpkin festival at the Elysian in Capitol Hill. As the original reviewer noted, this is their Imperial Pumpkin- and a great beer it is. Probably my all time favorite pumpkin ale, and it is bottled too! Abv is 8.1% in 2007, and the beer is brewed with real pumpkin, roasted pumpkin seeds, and the malts are: pale, crystal 45, Munich, Cara-hell, and Cara-red. Spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice in conditioning, and bittered with Magnum hops. Starting gravity 18.5 degrees plato. Pours a dark orange/amber with a creamy head and good lacing. Smells rich and sweet with notes of brown sugar and pumpkin pie spices. Tastes of creamy pumpkin, brown sugar, spice and fresh cream. Rich and full mouthfeel with a creamy finish. This is utterly delicious.

Serving type: on-tap

12-10-2007 16:44:26 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of TheName


4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a unique, reddish orange with a slight haze topped by a tight, short-lived head. Overwhelming aroma of pumpkin--actual pumpkin meat, not the spicy, pumpkin pie of other pumpkin beers--together with a handful of clovey, cinammony scents. Flavor is where you find the pumpkin pie. Nutmeg and clove followed up with a nice, warmth from the alcohol. After all this, a sweet but light pumpkin flavor fills the mouth. Mouthfeel is nicely smooth and syrupy with a very pleasant carbonation--full without being overwhelming. In spite of the warmth from the alcohol, it's intensely drinkable and may go down a little too easily.

All in all, by far the best pumpkin I've discovered. Beyond autumnal. Hope they brew it again next year--not to be missed.

[ADDENDUM] - After trying a carefully saved bottle this September I cannot recommend it more. Aged almost 1 year, the beer was fantastically spicy but smooth with a gloriously velvety mouthfeel. Buy a few bottles this year and stick a few in the cellar. Awesome!

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2007 16:53:38 | More by TheName
Photo of jletts


4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a 22 at the brewery on Capitol Hill and served it in a pint glass at home. Appears orangish amber and a little cloudy with particulates. The beer poured with a thick ivory head and smelled of green apple and sugary pear directly after the pour, melding quickly into a strong, fresh pumpkin pie and spice cake. WOW! Smells like fall. Mouthfeel is substantial, a little syrupy, and good for the style. The taste was dominated by the spices of pumpkin pie: brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves. As it warms, the alcohol comes through. There is some hop bitterness in this beer toward the end, though mostly hidden up front by all the spice and caramelly malt. A strong beer, but it is still drinkable because it just tastes so good! Definately an excellent fall beer but one that will overwhelm your tastebuds after a few. Another great seasonal from the Elysian!

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2006 02:38:09 | More by jletts
Photo of warriorsoul


4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2006 00:44:13 | More by warriorsoul
Photo of TheBungyo


4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2006 07:01:01 | More by TheBungyo
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The Great Pumpkin from Elysian Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 423 ratings.