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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.

440 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 440
Reviews: 142
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 269
Gots: 61 | 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: 440 | Reviews: 142 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

ChainGangGuy, Oct 03, 2009
Photo of erikm25
4.63/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

erikm25, Oct 03, 2009
Photo of nickd717
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
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?

nickd717, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.13/5  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.

Mebuzzard, Sep 30, 2009
Photo of paco1029384756
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

paco1029384756, Jun 26, 2009
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
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)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of atsprings
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

atsprings, Sep 10, 2008
Photo of wagenvolks
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

wagenvolks, Sep 10, 2008
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.8/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

barleywinefiend, Jun 30, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

Georgiabeer, Dec 10, 2007
Photo of TheName
4.1/5  rDev -1%
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!

TheName, Sep 26, 2007
Photo of jletts
4.43/5  rDev +7%
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!

jletts, Oct 30, 2006
Photo of warriorsoul
4.4/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

warriorsoul, Oct 30, 2006
Photo of TheBungyo
4.83/5  rDev +16.7%
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.

TheBungyo, Oct 24, 2006
Photo of WAbeerfiend
2/5  rDev -51.7%

08.26.14 Date of birth.
Poured from a bomber into a beer can glass on 09.10.14.

A: 2 finger head. See though orange. Head recedes to 1 finger after a minute. Has nice lacing.

S: Pumpkin pie, cinnamon, nutmeg. Some brown sugar and pumpkin pie crust, but not as strong as in other pumpkin beers.

T: Nutmeg, cinnamon are dominant. Pumpkin seeds are there too.

M: Creamy. Feels too watery.

O: I wanted to like this one based on the ratings, but this did not even come close to other pumpkin ales *cough* Pumking. I did not get any pumpkin flavor, which I thought was because maybe the bottle was from the year before. (The place that I bought it from recycled last year's ST Warlock). The bottle was fresh, though, so that wasn't the cause. Spices aren't even very prominent. This was disappointingly mild all around. It also had too much bitterness on the back end, which I've experienced before with other Elysian beers. Honestly, the bitterness grew to overwhelm what little flavor that there was. Unbalanced, and not worth the price at $10.99 in the Seattle area. Drain pour.

WAbeerfiend, Saturday at 03:39 AM
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The Great Pumpkin from Elysian Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 440 ratings.