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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.

446 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 446
Reviews: 143
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 272
Gots: 62 | 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: 446 | Reviews: 143 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Adamostella
4/5  rDev -3.4%

Adamostella, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of seanwhite
5/5  rDev +20.8%

seanwhite, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of dirtylou
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, i think this is the 3rd out of 4 that i purchased when this was released

appearance: served in my hopleaf tulip - cloudy amber body, unfiltered to the max, light beige ring

smell: pumpkin roasted with cinnamon and brown sugar, rich sweet malt, cream

taste: the ratings dont lie - of all the pumpkin beers i had this year, this is probably #1 - blows ST and DFH out of the water. rich pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, a touch of brown sugar and ginger. Divine

mouthfeel: creamy, rich medium body

overall: very high quality

dirtylou, Nov 06, 2011
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.43/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I just happened to luck into this one. Boy, am I glad that I did.
22oz bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip glass.

A - Pours a dark orange-amber with a small light tan head that fades rather quickly.

S - Cinnamin, graham cracker up front, then some vanilla, pumpkin, and nutmeg finish it off.

T - Tastes like a pumpkin pie. Pumpkin, cinnamin, and graham cracker dominate, plus some vanilla.

D - Lively body, high carbonation, a touch oily.

O - Best pumpkin beer, hands down.

HuskyinPDX, Nov 05, 2011
Photo of Arbitrator
4.78/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arbitrator, Oct 31, 2011
Photo of julian
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

julian, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of cbarrett4
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from tap at Saraveza Portland during Elysian Pumpkin Festival into spooky little Elysian Halloween snifter.

Okay, this is right now the champion king of all pumpkin ales (that I have tasted). Pours a pure copper hue with good carbonation, a pretty nice amount of head that fades leaving a decent lace.

Smells of pumpkin. Actual pumpkin meat. There is a hint of spice floating around, some malt and hop aromatics working in as well.

Amazing flavors assail the palate with pumpkin goodness. Lots of help from the spices and the malts. A true ale flavor at the heart. Really terrific.

Very nicely balanced, despite the high alcohol. Pretty viscous and rich without being heavy, highly concentrated. Medium body. Long finish. Really a great beer.

cbarrett4, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of bonbini26
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Blind Tiger's Pumpkin Event

The Great Pumpkin pours a deep copper color, with a ghostly white head. Intense pumpkin, sugar and spice on the nose, with a nice bready and malty backdrop to tame the spices. Overall one of the better pumpkin beers I have had, but it still does not stand up to Pumking, which until further notice is king of all pumpkin beers

bonbini26, Oct 26, 2011
Photo of JAXSON
4.58/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

JAXSON, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of aficionado
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass. Thanks BuckeyeOne!

Hazy deep orange amber goodness with a good deal of carbonation bubbles, a small head, and a little bit of lacing left behind.

How come all the pumpkin beers with tremendous flavor and not a ton of residual sweetness have a weak aroma? Subtle caramel, vanilla, and spice on the nose, but put some of the beer in your mouth and the aroma kicks in hard. Tons of flavor. Reminds me of Schlafly but more roasty and with more caramel. A little smoother and a tad sweeter too, but not annoying sweet like Pumking. The pumpkin is tasted here for sure. Cinnamon, ginger, clove, allspice, vanilla, caramel. Full mouthfeel. A little alcohol tinge on the finish.

aficionado, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of Elimination
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a huge fan of pumpkin beers, I was excited to find a bottle of this.

It is a very hazy brown orange, with huuuge chunks floating around, they dont seem like yeast clumps but possibly pumpkin from secondary perhaps...In all honesty I like seeing that, makes it feel very homebrew like in a weird way.

Smell of strong pumpkin spice, a bit of vanilla, gourds, squash, not exactly sweet pumpkin pie. But more of the vegetable matter that makes pumpkin

Taste is a subtle amount of pie spice, some definite squash character, a bit of vanilla with a backing of whiskey like alcohol heat.

Thick sticky chunky mouthfeel grabbing ahold of the tongue and clinging on

Great great beer, wish it was one I could get more easily...If I put this against 2011 pumking, this would win...yet 2010 pumking was definitely better. I have made pumpkin beers before, and know it is definitely not easy to create and know what the outcome will be.

Elimination, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of jag21
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


A: Cloudy dark orange/brown.

S: Sweet pumpkin pie with subtle notes of spice such as cinnamon, allspice, bit o nutmeg

T: Pumpkin at first, smooth tasty pumpkin pie. Same spices from nose throughout complement the pumpkin perfectly.

M: Medium carb giving a nice slick mouthfeel.

O/D: I could put a bomber down, this is a mighty great pumpkin ale from Elysian, arguably the king.

jag21, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of harrymel
1.98/5  rDev -52.2%
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.

harrymel, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of beerandcycling88
4.33/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.

A Pours a orangish copper color thats kind of cloudy with a very light head.

S It smells like a pumpkin pie with lots of nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and of course lots of pumpkin.

T The taste follows the smell with lots of spices and pumpkin. Its almost like drinking a pumpkin pie.

M Light mouthfeel, nothing special.

Overall this is a great fall beer that tastes like a pumpkin pie in a bottle without tasting artificial. I would drink this again in a heartbeat.

beerandcycling88, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of Docer
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Docer, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of doughanson78
4.68/5  rDev +13%
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.

doughanson78, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of Beerisheaven
4.47/5  rDev +8%
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!

Beerisheaven, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of HopHead84
4.38/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

HopHead84, Aug 07, 2011
Photo of AleEvangelist
4.7/5  rDev +13.5%
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

AleEvangelist, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of Tilley4
2.85/5  rDev -31.2%
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...

Tilley4, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of dragonWhale
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

dragonWhale, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.1/5  rDev -1%
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.

drabmuh, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  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.

Thorpe429, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of ScreamForMe
4.47/5  rDev +8%
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!

ScreamForMe, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.8/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

Wetpaperbag, Oct 03, 2010
The Great Pumpkin from Elysian Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 446 ratings.