1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

Heavy Seas - The Great Pumpkin - Heavy Seas Beer

Not Rated.
Heavy Seas - The Great PumpkinHeavy Seas - The Great Pumpkin

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

386 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 386
Reviews: 206
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.96%
Wants: 22
Gots: 29 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: sinstaineddemon on 09-18-2009

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 386 | Reviews: 206
Reviews by TappaKeggaBrew:
Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
2.94/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a lovely orange-amber, with a massive head; lingering very good, lacing good.

S: A mix of allspice and sweet fruit, perhaps a waft of hops in the background.

T: Sweet malt (too sweet) hits the palate hard. Next comes the bitterness of hops, like a slap in the face. That's about it. The spices were present, but subdued in comparison.

M: Good carbonation, but strong alcohol (seems higher than labeled 8%)

O: I can't say I like this one.There are many better pumpkin beers to choose from, so the last couple of inches are headed down the drain.

More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

In my tulip glass, the beer was a hazy dark orange with a thin white head. Pleasant aroma of pumpkin and spice. The aroma translated into a stronger taste of pumpkin and pumpkin spice. A bit of warming alcohol, not intrusive. I felt like I was drinking a liquid pumpkin pie. Very smooth, great pumpkin beer.

Photo of warnerry
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 bottling

A - Pours a clear burnt orange with one finger of light tan head. Head dissipates pretty quickly, leaving a small amount of lace. There is also some sediment suspended throughout the glass despite a gentle pour.

S - Cinnamon, nutmeg and a bit of alcohol up front. Also some some sweet malt, brown sugar, and pumpkin/squash presence.

T - Big and malty, with a nice amount of spice that doesn't get overwhelming. Slightly sweet, but finishing dry and slightly bitter from the spices.

M - Medium mouthfeel with a dry, medium bitter finish.

O - A pretty good pumpkin beer. Some noticeable alcohol, but not too much. Not sure I would get this (or most pumpkin beers) again, but I enjoyed it.

Photo of generallee
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 1pt. 6oz bottle into a tulip glass. The label has its ABV (8%) and a short description but no freshness or born on date.

Appearance: Its body has a very nice deep honey amber color with about an inch of off white foam head. It has some visible carbonation and fine yeast sediment suspended in the body making it hazy. Its head fades to just a wispy thin layer and leaves a little spotty lace near the top of the glass.

Smell: The nose has heavy pie spice and sweet honey like notes with bready malt, a slight vanilla note and faint hops.

Taste/Palate: There is a sweet maltiness with notes of honey and vanilla up front with heavy cinnamon and pie spice right behind it. Under that there is just a hint of pumpkin or squash like flavor. In the finish I get a mix of pie spice and hop spice with some mild bitterness and acidity.

Notes For me it was a little heavy on the spice but still good overall.

Photo of Kraken
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 9/25/09

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a 16oz Harp glass. Firm pour conjures a faint skim of very fine head that evaporates quickly. Leaves a faint spotty lace. Color is a cloudy deep orange brown.

Nose- Mmm, Pumpkin, not the over spiced pumpkin pie you get from some seasonals'. Some caramel comes through along with nutmeg. Smells sweet heavy and sticky almost like a desert.

Pallate- Sweet with a heavy essence of pumpkin. Cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice. Bready, with a fair amount of caramel. A slight and interesting bitterness in the finish, almost as if the spices were boiled to long. Finishes dry, no doubt due in part to the higher alcohol content.

Mouthfeel- A bit sticky, dry, mildly cloying.

Drinkability- Strong and more of a seasonal novelty. Seek if a fan of the style.

Photo of madeofsteel
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into a pint glass, has a nice orange/amber color with a fizzy-looking head that rose about a half inch. Fell quickly, leaving some nice lacing behind.

S - As hoped, the pumpkin smell is very prominent, with some clove or allspice in the back. Hints of ginger and the like. It pretty much smells like a pumpkin pie... with malts.

T - The first thing I noticed was that this is oddly bitter for the style. At least at first. You have to let it sit a bit before the other flavors that you're getting with the smells really open up. Pumpkin is certainly present, although not as much as I'd hoped, but the clove and ginger kind of make up for it. Caramel/pumpkin finish.

M - Slight alcohol burn definitely takes away from it, but it is very creamy at first, which was surprising because of how the head looks. The boozy finish is my only real complaint.

O - I don't know if I'll come back to this one eventually, I enjoy giving almost anything pumpkin flavored a whirl, but it is certainly worth a look if you enjoy the style.

Photo of far333
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazed apricot colored with a fine cap of tight foam that leaves a lingering 1/4 inch cap.

Aroma of nutmeeg and cinnamon, some vegetal squash and pumpkin notes.

Flavors of doughey malt, good dose of nutmeg, some cinnamon, subtle pumpkin notes, mild bitterness lingers. ABV remains hidden.

Full and rich mouthfeel. Very tasty and drinkable.

Photo of glid02
4.09/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Green's on Buford in Atlanta.

Pours a clear orange color with a one-finger white head. The head dissipates into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of robust spices - nutmeg and cinnamon mostly - with sweet malt undertones. Neither the spices nor the sweetness is overdone.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet malt flavors up front segue into loads of spices midway through the sip. Near the end of the sip a hint of deeper malt flavors enters into things before a sweet and spicy ending. The alcohol is hid very well.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a solid thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished the bottle quickly and could have another.

Overall this is a solid attempt at a pumpkin beer by a brewery that usually turns out good beers. It doesn't do much to differentiate itself from others in the style but what's done is done well. Worth a shot.

Photo of pwoods
3.2/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz. brown bottle poured into a RR wine glass.

A: Pours a dark pumpkin flesh color. Moderate head on the pour without much retention or lacing.

S: Quite a bit of pumpkin spices and maybe a little bit of the squash. Plenty of nutmeg with lighter cinnamon and clove. Maybe some cardomum? Light barrel but not really getting any bourbon.

T/M: Alcohol is pretty apparent. Still not much of the bourbon but plenty of alcohol. Barrel is almost undetectable. Lots of pumpkin pie spices. Very glad the cinnamon isn't over done. Spices seem accentuated from the alcohol. Body is medium full with medium light carbonation.

D: Strong spices and pretty apparent alcohol really hurt the drinkability.

Photo of NJpadreFan
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heavy Seas- The Great Pumpkin

A- Dark bronze orange with a thick chunky head. Good messy lacing.
S- Heavy pumpkin, clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Slight touch of caramel and vanilla.
T- Thick sweet malt. Nutmeg, clove, and pumpkin really stand out. Slight citrusy lemon with caramel, biscuity bread, and alcohol.
M- Very thick malt very sweet. Spicy dryness with a light alcohol boozy finish.

Overall- Very good Pumpkin Ale. 1 bomber is enough but a good dessert beer.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.44/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a modest half-inch head that thins within a minute or so. The color is appropriately autumnal, like fire-orange leaves and, well, pumpkin beer!

Just about as big and rich and pumpkin-y a smell as you could get without being face-to-face with a fresh-from-the-oven pumpkin pie. While the peculiar squash makes itself felt in the smell, everybody knows pumpkin doesn't really smell/taste like much, and that's where the spices come in. This one has plenty of nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and clove character, but nothing is overdone. And that light, bready malt base underneath it might as well be the crust of the pie.

If you want subtlety in your pumpkin ale, look elsewhere, because the flavor here is a total Halloweeny smackdown. Spices are huge, bursting with sizzle, although somehow not overbearing (at least, not if you love big, bold-tasting beers). The nutmeg and clove are balanced and upfront, while a hot-cinnamon candy flavor zaps the tongue underneath. That unmistakable but totally subtle orange squash creeps into the flavor too, while a fresh-cream kind of sweetness wraps everything up and keeps everything else from scattering. Flash of alcohol warmth near the end and in the finish. Nice. Hops? Malt? Who knows where they're at and what they're doing here, and who cares...it's a freaking big-ass pumpkin ale, it's very well-made and it's a lot of fun.

Love the creamy, milky roundess of the texture, where carbonation is kept in check but also allowed to tickle the tongue. Medium-bodied and pleasantly, mildly sticky.

I'm wondering if Southern Tier's Pumking wasn't the inspiration here? It's big on alcohol, it's big on flavor, the aroma is tantalizing, it's creamy...and it's just short of Pumking, which is a compliment, because Pumking is king (imo). If you're gonna do a pumpkin ale, make it big and bold I say, and Clipper City have. This is great!!!

Photo of tdm168
3.06/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an orangish amber with 1/4" of head that fades to a thin lacing. Pumpkin and spice are noticeable in the nose but notes of oak and alcohol esters are more prevalent. Taste is pumpkin, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and oak. Alcohol warmth is very noticeable. The oak dominates and clashes with the spices and pumpkin. Viscous, oily, but medium bodied.

Not a pumpkin I'd like to try again.

Photo of secondtooth
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aged (don't know how long -- no dating evident on bottle)..so that's taken into consideration.

Pours a ruddy amber with lots of sediment, some even kinda chunky. Not too attractive. A solid head of foam, though, with no lace present.

Nose is spicy and nice...pumpkin, allspice, cinnamon. Good.

Taste is similar, with the spice most prevalent up front, followed by a warming presence (it is 8%), and a tinge of bitterness even.

Maybe not the best pumpkin ale out there, but getting past the appearance, definitely enjoyable. I'd be curious to try one fresh.

Photo of Boitnott
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am huge fan of the bourbon barrel style and pumpkin ale style, so what better than to combine the two? First review for me, so sorry if it is a less detailed.

A: The beer has a nice orange color but it is darker than most of the other pumpkin ales. I would imagine this is because of the bourbon barrel combination but I am not sure.

S: You can definitely smell the bourbon more than the pumpkin. I like a pumpkin ale to have that strong pumpkin smell, so I did not enjoy this smell as much, but I do not consider it a weakness.

T: The bourbon and the pumpkin go very well together. Unlike the smell, the taste is very balanced between the two. The strong hint of nutmeg compliments the main flavors very well. Very heavy beer, you can definitely taste the high alcohol content. It took me a while to finish.

M: The beer goes down very smooth.

D: Very great beer to sip slowly and take your time on. I do not think I could drink more than two of them (they come in a 22 oz.) but that is because it is very heavy. Once again, not a weakness

Serving Type: Bottle to a chilled Pilsner glass. Still have learn about the correct glasses to drink out of.

Photo of RickS95
3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a brownish orange. Cloudy and full of goodness, nothing clear about this beer. The head is somewhat lacking, it's offwhite but isn't there very long. No lacing.

In addition to the usual array of pumpkin spices, there are traces of actual pumpkin as well. Cloves and nutmeg fill the nose, as does the highish alcohol.

Unfortunately, the pumpkin and spices don't translate into taste because the alcohol masks everything. In the swallow it finally lets up a bit and the pumpkin comes out, but the taste was only average at best.

The alcohol ruins the palate more than some DIPAs I've had. It's all alcohol and little else. There's a slight sweetness and even a spicy bitter finish, but the alcohol grabs the taste bud immediately and never really lets go.

I was disappointed that this was only an average beer. I had high hopes, but it's too one dimensional. The alcohol was just too aggressive, I've had beers with double the ABV that were more balanced.

Photo of Kegatron
3.41/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a hazy rosey amber, with a finger of off-white foamy head. Thin frothy look to the retention, leaving a good bit of spotty foam behind. The aroma sits heavy in the nose with spice and warmth. Notes of cinnamon, clove, and allspice are really dominant here, with an underlying sticky base of sweetness that is tinged with green smelling pumpkin meat. Man, the spice is really laid on thick here in the nose.

The taste is very similar, starting with a big flush of malt and citrus sweetness that ends with an aggressive feeling green vegetable character from the pumpkin. Those spices are just as assertive as they were in the nose, but fortunately, not quite as overbearing. Better overall balance here on the palate, with pumpkin and spice mixing with a mellon rind bitterness that sticks on the tongue. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a softer carbonation up front that then works itself into a much sharper creaminess towards the back. That higher ABV is felt here. It's doesn't necessarily run rampant but does add a certain amount of intensity to the spice and earthy bitterness that is present.

Not necessarily a bad example of the style or anything but this needed to dial back the spice and warmth a bit. This was worth at least a try but there are better options out there each fall.

Photo of DavidSeanNJ
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Oh, how I love imperial pumpkin ales. This was one of the better impy pumpkins that I have had thus far....

22 oz. bomber poured into a snifter- multiple pours.
Solid orange/brownish/goldeny color with an off white head. Smells like freshly baked pumpkin pie. Huge whiff of molasses and brown sugar. Malty pumpkiny goodness here. Heavily spiced with a slight hop backbone. Sticky and medium bodied. Pumpkin flavor is very prevalent. Great example of a well crafted impy pumpkin ale. Tasty yet not overly cloying. Will look for this again every year.

Photo of hdofu
4.65/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pumpkin orange and boy is it a doozy. taste of pumpkin pie ever increasing each sip you drink, Has a thin white cool whip colored head. Smells alot like pumpkin pie. Sipped this while watching Its the great pumpkin charlie brown, it's spices actually got more intense as I continued to drink it. I think I might make this a new Halloween tradition.

Photo of thagr81us
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to my boy Lunch for sending me this one in a past trade! 2010 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured orange with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices. The flavor was of sweet malt, pumpkin, alcohol, brown sugar, and spices. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. This was not overly complex which left me wishing and hoping for more. This was okay though as the flavors that were there were just right in intensity. I had this one right before the -bal aged version, so I was hopeful that this would help the base brew while I was having it. It did just for the record.

Photo of Gmann
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy orangy brown color with a short dense khaki colored head that settles into a light ring.

The aroma is strong with the pumpkin spices. Cinnamon appears to be the strongest, with nutmeg and allspice following. Perhaps some light pepper. Not a spice bomb which is good.

The taste is of a solid amber malt; bready with some caramel notes. Some tea like flavors from the malt as well. This is followed by the pumpkin spices; cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger. Don't really detect much actual pumpkin. There seems to be a touch of a bitter and peppery hop in the end. For an imperial pumpkin this isn't too bad, flavors are in check and not overly boozy.

The feel is moderate with fizzy carbonation. Sweet on the palate to start but finishes with a slight hoppy bitterness and lemony astringency. Perhaps a touch of booziness.

For an imperial pumpkin this is pretty good; I still rather have a non-imperial version any day though.

Photo of scootny
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very clear, dark pumpkin colored. Like a dusky fall orange. White head is thick with great retention and lacing. Clumps are sliding down the glass and sticking to the sides. Active carbonation is evident as the glass sits and with each swallow. Smell is a mix of biscuit malt and pumpkin meat. Toasted multigrain bread and light butterscotch. Pumpkin pie spice is showing along with a sweet alcohol note. Taste is sweet and alcoholic with a firm bitterness in the finish. Malted caramel sweetness in the front with a Maris Otter malt biscuit and toast flavor. Pumpkin pie sits on top of the caramel and tries to cover the alcohol but it just can't a as the flex is too bold. Firm bitterness rides in on the last of the booze and leaves an herbal and slightly minty finish. Slight metallic mineral edge along with other flavors give this an overall English character with an imperial pumpkin edge. Feel is slightly heavy with a light syrup consistency. Carbonation is smooth and very well done, making this sipper of an ale quite easy drinking. A solid imperial pumpkin that while a not a quaffer goes down easily. Temperature is very important with this one. The flavors develop and unify as it warms to English pub temp. Much better flavor cool than cold.

Photo of HURTemHIZZY
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear burnt yellow color with a one finger off white head that took a minute or two to dissipate. Left no lacing. Smell is pumpkin, vanilla, and nutmeg. Nice aroma, although very sweet. Would like a bit of bitterness to balance all the sweetness out.

Tasteis bit better than the aroma. Pumpkin dominates, with nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, and spice also being noticed. There is an underlying bitterness that tries to keep it as balanced as it can which is nice. Medium bodied, slightly syrupy mouthfeel is solid, but the pumpkin and spice levels take away from the drinkability for me (although just about any pumpkin ale isn't all that drinkable to me.)

Photo of nimrod979
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a nice translucent orange with an average bubbly white head.
Spicy pumpkin aromas. Sweet nutmeg aromas.
Big malty flavors at first. Spicy cinnamon, clove and pumpkin flavors. And a bit of nutty sweetness before washing down with a slight bit of bitter hoppiness to it. Also a slight tinge of alcohol gives it a little heat to add to the spice.
Medium bodied. with a creamy and soft texture. A little watery diminishes the finish but a pretty solid pumpkin ale. A little unique with a more hoppy finish than you would really expect in a pumpkin beer.

Photo of mscudder
4.24/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a globe.

A - A deep, translucent orange with an ivory head. Head retention and lacing is below average.

S - Nice pumpkin pie aroma; spices, nutmeg, cinnamon and malts. Perhaps a touch of alcohol. I like it.

T - Starts with some big bready malts granted a feeling of the graham cracker crust. Recedes into a familiar assortment of pie spices. Certainly sweet, yet this is less intense than the Pumking. Lives up to the name and much more balanced.

M - Medium body with a bit more carbonation than I would like to see. Wish it were closer to truly creamy composition.

O - I like it and would but again. Given the almost $3 more to get my hands on a Pumking, I may make this one my choice pumpkin brew! Less intense sweetness by allocating the focus toward the spices. Good job Heavy Seas!

Photo of SpdKilz
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split with my brother-in-law. Picked up during my trip to Michigan.

Appearance – Pours a murky orange color into a tulip. Two fingers of head is achieved with a slight pour that dissipates somewhat slowly.

Smell – Spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and slight clove. A hint of hops, sweet pale malts, and various other candied aromas.

Taste – Spot on to the aroma. Heavy on the spices, a sweet backbone, finishes with pumpkin/squash.

Mouthfeel – Creamy, medium bodied, lower carbonation.

Overall – A solid imperial pumpkin beer. Would choose this over Pumking hands down.

to view more.
Heavy Seas - The Great Pumpkin from Heavy Seas Beer
85 out of 100 based on 386 ratings.