The Great Pumpkin - Elysian Brewing Company

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The Great PumpkinThe Great Pumpkin

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

154 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 154
Hads: 555
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 5.58%
Wants: 270
Gots: 75 | 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: 154 | Hads: 555
Photo of LampertLand
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Elysian's "The Great Pumpkin" Imperial Pumpkin Ale @ 8.0% , from a 650 ml bottle ,
A-pours a slight haze of orange/gold with a small off white head that leaves some fine lace along the stein
S-great pumpkin pie smell , hint's of booze also
T-solid imperial pumpkin ale , crisp & clean , not that fake manufactured taste , the real thing
MF-lower carbonation , medium/full bodied , strong aftertaste similar to HS-Pumpkineater
Ov-a beer worthy of it's stature as good/great pumpkin ale , worth the hunt if your into pumpkin beers , not worth the $10.99 price here in BC , glad I got one finally to try

cheers LampertLand (623 characters)

Photo of philbe311
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been eager to try this one for a while and was happy to get a bottle this year...

A - A finger's worth of slightly lush egg shell colored head with a bunch of big chunky bubbles sitting a top... Minimal retention gives way to a very thin lacing with a moderate collar... The color is a slightly pale orangish amber... Still with no discernible carbonation... Some lacing clings to the glass after each sip...

S - Pure pumpkin pie aroma... Sweet pumpkin filling... Spices with nutmeg and cinnamon at the forefront... A light brown sugar component... Graham cracker crust... A bit subdued, but very nice none the less...

T - A slight booziness at the forefront... Next comes all the expected characters in perfect harmony... Pumpkin, spices, pie crust, and brown sugar in equal portions... There's something rather unique and quite unlike any other pumpkin ale - I can't quite place my finger (or palate) on it, but I like it...

M - Medium bodied, but rather dense... Slightly syrupy... Light carbonation with a good bite about it... Straight forward and effective... Goes down easily sip after sip... The 8+% ABV sneaks up on you bit with how smoothly it goes down...

D - A very nice Pumpkin Ale... Upper echelon without a doubt, but not as epic as I was hoping for - still falls slightly short of my favorites int he category... However, I will gladly indulge each and every fall and recommend you do the same... (1,426 characters)

Photo of Brandywine
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear light orange with a fingers worth of off white head that dissipated almost immediately.
Smell: Roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin skin, spice, cloves and nutmeg, ginger, faint wintergreen, malt,
Taste: Gingerbread cookie, pumpkin pie, clove, light and refreshing hop bitterness, cinnamon,
Mouthfeel: Medium. Not much carbonation.
Overall: Just a really refreshing pumpkin beer. The spices are not overwhelming or unbalanced, which can be the downfall of many pumpkin beers. Tastes like a desert somehow without being cloying sweet in the least. (562 characters)

Photo of larryi86
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- A clear orange/copper color with a small white head.

S- Pumpkin, lot of spices, cinnamon, some cloves, and some alcohol.

T- Earthy spices, pumpkin, cloves, cinnamon, some caramel malts, touch of alcohol, great balance between the earthy flavors and the sweeter pumpkin flavors.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- A very tasty pumpkin beer. Flavors come together very well. Will pick this up again. (432 characters)

Photo of Chaney
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank you Harrymel for sending me this sought-after fall treat!

Split with the wife tonight. Served in an Elysian snifter.

A: Very cloudy, moderate orange, with an very small white head that almost wasn't one in the first place.

S: This didn't read as a dessert, pumpkin pie beer at all. This was much more "vegetable-like" than any I've smelled. It actually smelled a bit salty. Awesome!

T: Gourd city! I definitely got the pumpkin seeds in the mix. Truly remarkable the way they did that. Pure pumpkin puree and just a mere silhouette of the spices.

M: Not bitter or sweet in any way. Actually, I got a hint of salt in there. The lacing was non-existent.

O: If you're truly looking for pumpkin pie, head toward the Schlafly corner. However, if you want to try a truly uniquie vegetable beer, seek this one out! (818 characters)

Photo of Gmann
3.62/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden straw color with an orange hue. The head is quite short and quickly settled into a light ring. Meh.

The aroma is of cinnamon and brown sugar. Perhaps some nutmeg and ginger but the cinnamon stands out. Overall the aroma is not all that strong; expected more from an imperial pumpkin.

The flavor is much better. Good mix of the pumpkin spices; cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. I seem to pick up some subtle vanilla as well. There is a bit of a vegetal presence from the pumpkin. The malt base is pretty light as it lets the pumpkin flavors shine.

The feel is light but sturdy. The carbonation is prickly bordering on sharp; gives it a crisp edge. The beer is mainly sweet on the palate but its kept in check for the most part. ABV is well hidden. Slightly dry in the finish.

A tasty pumpkin beer. Its sweet but not overly like the other imperial pumpkins that are out there. Good spice profile but the malt lacks some depth. (949 characters)

Photo of Mounty4Life
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle to 16oz chalice. Appears a hazy Orange with little head. It has a really awesome nose that makes me think this what a pumpkin beer is supposed to smell like. Almost as good as a fresh pumpkin pie! Is really good but missing something that seperates great pumpkin beers. Alcohol presence lingers that 1 is enough! Mouthfeel is easy going besides alcohol detection, medium carb. If was looking for imo. Pumpkin and was only option would suffice. Other out there are better but has a good example of style. (530 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a great great beer, unique in the pumpkin ale world. it pours a shining orange to new copper color, with a skinny white head that fades fast. the nose is spicy, but not cinnamon, more clove or even ginger or something. there also plenty of vanilla sweetness and of course pumpkin. the flavor is different, its made with pumpkin seeds, and you can definitely taste the nutty earthy almost salty vibe they bring to the table. vanilla sugar and spice is also present, and so is the alcohol. there is a medium body, a little heavy because of the light carbonation, and a lot of alcohol warmth. this is a great beer, i feel like the pumpkin lends itself better to imperial ales, rather than smaller brews. it just provides such a big base. its a huge canvas on which to paint, and this elysian beer creates a clever work. (816 characters)

Photo of TheMultiYeast
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle of Imperial Pumpkin greatness. Clear orange with a small white head.

Nose is bursting with spice notes. Cloves and nutmeg, allspice, light cinnamon in there. Brown sugar sweetness.

Equally spice dominant. Nutmeg and cloves, sturdy malt backbone, caramel sweetness, pie crust.

Semi thick feel complements spice flavors

This is how I like my pumpkin ales. Good for one or two but way over the top with sweetness and spice. Give it a shot. (454 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to SatlyMalty! Poured into a Dogfish signature snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a solid orange-ish amber color with a 1/4 inch head that soon plummets down to a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a thin sheet of surface foam. Above average lacing.

S- Lots of clove, cinnamon and allspice come forth from the bouquet. Smells nearly identical to pumpkin pie right down to the creamy aspect.

T- The flavor is also spot-on pumpkin pie right down to the aftertaste. Plenty of sweetness and spice mixed in with some vegetal pumpkin flavor. Alcohol is also well-balanced and nicely hidden.

M- The body is smack dab in the middle of the spectrum. I feel lots of pumpkin beers tend to be too heavy on the malt and it can drag down the overall experience, but not this one. Lightly carbonated while still maintaining crispness.

O- Wow. One of my new favorite pumpkin beers. Has the sweet/spicy/gourd ratio down to a science while also having a nice kick, yet is still smooth. (1,000 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My third 'Great Pumpkin' of the season (well, fourth... if you count a same-named gaffe by Millstream, my third from ELYSIAN) - this is a 22 oz.bottle poured to a pint glass, served straight from the cellar (cool, not cold). Label lists an even 8% ABV,

It's the bottom of the 7th, Game 7 of the Giants-Cardinals NLCS series... an orange & black labelled 'Giant' beer seems most appropriate.

A: Pretty caramel orange pour, slightly haze but minimally carbonated - just a stray strand or two. Nice head at first, a fizzy finger-and-a-half, light buttercream. Doesn't last long, fading to a slim ring, a mottled skim patch and few flecks of lacing.

S: Big, nose-tickling pumpkin spices. Lots of clove and nutmeg - even a zingy ginger and pepper. Something akin to fennel/licorice creeps up for brief moments. Have had these colder and wasn't as impressed - therefore, I *highly* recommend pouring at 55-60F!

T: Something like spiced apples right away; as with the nose cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg. Caramel maltiness. Finish gets earthier, drier, almost ashy. Great way to balance the initial sweetly spiced fruitiness with brassy bitterness, even a hint of tang.

M: Feel is rather soft, gently carbonated - creamy(?). Starts medium and grows bigger, even a little sticky. Has a latent warmth and, as such, is a nice sipper. At times, seems akin to a doppelbock.

O: I really like pumpkin ales a lot... the style is one I look forward to and seek out every year. The Elysian beers (they make several others) are always among my favorites - this is no exception. Just a touch sweeter (AT TIMES) than I like for a pumpkin beer - then a dirty bitterness would rein it back in. Terrific, overall, and definitely one I'll keep drinking and recommending. (1,747 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.58/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at City Tap House, Philly, PA

For a hyped-up pumpkin ale, I found this a bit lack-luster. Poured a somewhat cloudy copper-orange color with a small white head that receded to a ringlet. Aroma was pretty soft and mellow, with light notes of pumpkin and a bit of cinnamony spice. Taste was similarly mellow, not an in-your-face blast of pumpkin pie, but everything you'd expect is still there: pumpkin flesh, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, sweet bready malts. Medium body, and quite easily drinkable. Overall not bad; about on the same level as DFH's Punkin Ale. (576 characters)

Photo of snaotheus
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle split into two big snifters

Pours brownish orange with very little head. Smell is spiced and yeasty. Lots of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Taste is pumpkin and pie spice, and some kind of bitterness that I don't quite recognize. It makes me think of unsweetened pumpkin skin, but I'm not sure I've ever tasted it, so that could be totally imaginary.

Mouthfeel is slightly heavy, and surprisingly fizzy for something that looked like it had no head. Overall, I'm somewhat underwhelmed. It's not bad, but it's not magic. (524 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very cloudy, dark golden orange color with tangerine edges and a half finger off-white head that immediately fades into a thin ring. Minimal spotty lacing.

Sweet and spicy pumpkin pie aroma with sweet malts, pumpkin puree and autumnal spices. This is the only other pumpkin pie beer that equals Southern Tier Pumking's liquid dessert aroma. Pumpkin and caramel malt sweetness along with clove, cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and graham cracker. Amazing!

Full bodied with a zesty spice presence up front that lingers over the pumpkin and sweet malt notes into a slightly dry finish. Strong clove, cinnamon, brown sugar and allspice notes followed by pumpkin puree, caramel malt, vanilla and nutmeg. Very dessert like and lacking the earthy vegetal quality that makes so many pumpkin beers so unappealing. Still, the strong autumnal spices and sweet malts make it feel like a beer. The high ABV is excellently masked without a trace of alcohol, making this complex beer extremely quaffable. One of the better pumpkin beers I've had. Up there with Pumpking and older batches of Southampton Pumpkin. (1,114 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a couple fingers of foamy white head. This retains with a smooth creaminess, with a sudsy cascade that quickly slides down the side and leaves back some moderate lacing. The aroma smells of ripe pumpkin meat, which literally jumps right out of the glass at you. This is rounded out by notes of light sweetness, some fairly strong pumpkin spices and a gentle floral tinge on the edges. That higher ABV shows itself with a slight underpinning of heat as well.

The taste is very similar, with pumpkin and sweetness up front and the overall freshness of that pumpkin really coming out towards the back. This also has a leafy bitterness to it and more of a moderate spiciness than the nose had. The finish is dry with a light lingering combination of spice and bitterness. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a firm and sprightly carbonation in the mouth that does blow up some but is nicely undercut by a bit of slickness as well that helps keep this relatively smooth in the mouth. Alcohol is present, basically amplifying the sweetness and spices in this but things do even out nicely after this warms up.

This is definitely one of the better Pumpkin Ales that I’ve had. I’m usually not as much of a fan of the Imperial style and I thought early on that the alcohol here was going to get this one in trouble but I was impressed how this pulled itself together once it sat for a while and the overall evenness of the flavors an d freshness of that pumpkin character really carries this through to the end. I was pleased to find that this one delivered. (1,620 characters)

Photo of ianjsullivan
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ST: 22oz poured into a pint glass

A: Light, cloudy orange with a half-a-fingernail of white head. The head dissipates to half its size and sits on top for well over a minute.

S: Canned pumpkin, vanilla, nutmeg and allspice.

T: Earthy pumpkin and nutmeg up front and alcohol and vanilla at the end. This beer really reminds me of pumpkin pie. Even the dollop of whipped cream seems to come through in the middle.

M: Medium and sweeter

O: A fine pumpkin beer that is worthy of your money and, perhaps, your Thanksgiving table. Sweetness is balanced by alcohol and spice, and the aroma is excellent. (603 characters)

Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Semi hazed Orange hue with about a finger of yellow tinged head that resides quickly. Gingerbread cinnamon and clove on the nose. Cinnamon raisin bready malts and some pumpkin.

For an imperial pumpkin pretty light bodied and really smooth. Sweet ginger bread some vanilla and cinnamon raisin bread. Big pumpkin semi spicy finish. Well blended concise and tasty. Is it really the original imperial pumpkin? Who knows but it is a pretty good one. (445 characters)

Photo of Roose13
4.89/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

A: A golden color. Very solid color. Half-inch head that disappears quickly.

S: Smells like pumpkin pie. Nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon.

T: Pumpkin is prominent, but not too prominent like weaker pumpkin beers. I also taste licorice, which really took me by surprise in a pumpkin beer.

M: Not too heavy, crisp and lightly carbonated. Absolutely love how easy it is to drink.

Overall: As of right now, only Dogfish Head is in the same level as this (until I have my first try of the fabled Pumking on Halloween). Amazing beer, and a steal for the $7.99 price I bought it for. (624 characters)

Photo of Gerasimos
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber from LetsPour. Enjoyed in a La Trappe chalice.

Appears - golden pumpkin, red-orange; half-finger quickly receding head

Smells - nutmeg & pumpkin pie; fall spices

Tastes - nutmeg & pumpkin pie; licorice!; alcohol folded into the back

Mouthfeels - medium light & airy; just heavier than crisp

Overalls - I'm not a pumpkin/fruit beer lover, but I loved this beer; sweet as pumpkin pie but in a refined presentation; stomach-warming alcohol complement; great stuff (472 characters)

Photo of BeerLover99
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: cloudy rust body, finger off-white head, very little lacing

S: ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, big honey

T: same as nose, but earthy/mild bitter finish

M: med body, smooth mouth

O: Bottle listed as Imperial Pumpkin ale, but
feels more like a pumpkin ale. ABV well hidden.
Would have again, but not essential.

VERY GOOD, NOT MUST TRY! (354 characters)

Photo of justintcoons
3.6/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip.

Appearance
Slightly hazed golden orange with low carbonation. Two fingers of tight white head with good retention.

Nose
Allspice, ginger, black licorice, cinnamon and peppermint. Some caramel and candy sugars. Not really any pumpkin in the nose.

Taste
Very spice forward. Allspice, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and mint. There's this weird black licorice character to it. Pumpkin rind and stem. The malt is taking a backseat with notes of caramel and candy sugar. Some brown sugar and toast. The finish is slightly bitter and earthy.

Mouthfeel
Medium bodied, crisp, clean and dry.

Overall
Very easy drinking. Well hidden abv. I personally don't think this can stand up against better Imperial Pumpkin Ales such as Schlafly, Williamsburg AleWerks, ST Pumking or CC Good Gourd. A little too spice forward for my tastes. (839 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Ok.. so... you are not a pumpkin beer fan, yet.. here we are... the top rated pumpkin ale on BeerAdvocate (as of this writing). Lord hates a coward.. it's this or a wagon for our hero..

A bit of a slightly dull, but cloudy orange amber body. A very nice head at three fingers, off white in color, with very nice pinhead bubbles and slowly falling. Not bad looking, the head is very creamy and whipped too.

Nose is classic pumpkin style ale. Mashy, brown and mushy, with clove, nutmeg, there is a good earth and dank quality here though. A real emphasis on spice here than sweetness, with some airy quality.

Palate brings a real nice balance. A light bodied feel for a high abv. Mix of malt richness and pumkin spice hinted on the nose. Mild brown sugar on the finish, but the one thing missing is here that I have never found on a pumpkin beer, and this is a good hop profile. THere is a real nice astringency here, which gives me the impression of an actual beer than a sugar rush. Nice tight sharp aftertaste with the hop profile, giving to earthy dirt also which matches a pumpkin fall field nicely. There's even a little bit on anisette and licorice quality on the tongue here on the finish.

Overall a wonderfuly well crafted ale, it's all here and done real nicely. The pumking killer indeed. I don't like pumpkin beers, but I am really enjoying this one. I also like the fact that this doesn't come off that sweet in taste, but has all those nice sweet aromas. (1,519 characters)

Photo of andrewinski1
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Derek for sending this one! Poured into a wine taster. The color is hazy orange. There is a small off-white head. This isn't great looking, but it doesn't look horrible either.

The aroma is full of nice pumpkin without being too spicy. There is a nice vegetal aroma aided by a little malt sweetness.

The taste is mildly sweet with a hint of caramel. The vegetable flavors of a pumpkin really show on this beer so we can tell it's made with real pumpkin from the flavor.

This is medium to full bodied. There is soft carbonation. This is a nice take on pumpkin beers that doesn't overly rely on spice but instead real pumpkin flavor. Not bad. (653 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellowish orange in color. It poured with a thin off white head that dissipated almost instantaneously, leaving only a thin film covering the surface and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of pumpkin in the nose along with some hints of spices.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has lots of pumpkin flavors along with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. There is a slight amount of sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I really enjoyed this beer because it seems to provide the perfect blend of pumpkin and spices without being overly sweet or tasting like pumpkin pie. No alcohol is present in the taste. (743 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a soft orange-amber color with a nice rich head. Quite a nice look for a pumpkin ale. 4.0

Unique toasted pumpkin seed aroma with mild spices. Nutmeg, allspice, and a caramel malt. Pretty nice. 4.0

Allspice, pumpkin seeds, nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin meat, kola nut, light vanilla, and a hint of wheat malts. Definitely a zippy alcohol note. Surprisingly tasty. 4.0

Moderate carbonation to accentuate the spices. Medium in the body. 4.0

Great pumpkin ale. Would love to try more from the Elysian lineup. 4.5 (514 characters)

The Great Pumpkin from Elysian Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 154 ratings.