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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.
very good

206 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 206
Hads: 387
Avg: 3.78
pDev: 17.72%
Wants: 24
Gots: 31 | 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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 206 | Hads: 387
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to recall1242 for sending me this one!

Pours a slightly hazy honey orange with a fizzy 1 inch orange-tan head that settles to a small cap. Random dots and streaks of lace drip back down into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spices. Taste is of sweet malt, slight pumpkin flavors, and a variety of pumpkin pie spices but cinnamon seems to be in the forefront. A bitter spice aftertaste lingers on the tongue after each sip. This beer has a higher level of carbonation with a crisp and bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good pumpkin ale and one of the better ones I have tried this Fall season. I am glad I was able to get a bottle of this.

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Photo of metter98
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy orange in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that quickly died down, leaving delicate lacing on the surface along with a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Aromas of pumpkin spices such as allspice and nutmeg stand out in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has a little bit of bitterness from the hops.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The alcohol is well masked from the taste of this beer, which helps its drinkability. It’s not one of the greatest pumpkin beers out there, but is a good offering.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. Appearance is fairly-dark orange with a white head and some pretty good lacing. Nose is pretty strong amounts of pumpkin as well as a bunch of spicing. Light sugar presence. Taste is a bit overspiced. Feel has a bit of extra spicing but fits pretty well balancing the sweetness. Drinks fairly well and is one of the nicer imperial pumpkins out there.

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

With the taste of pumpkin pie front and center, Heavy Seas pushes the evelope of strength and flavor intensity upwards of eight percent while balancing heavy cinnamon with the drippy sweetness of caramel.

Bright orange in color, Heavy seas captures not only the taste of pumpkin, but the color as well. A depth of bronze and copper provide variation in visual saturation with the carbonation streaming throughout. Fueling an off white creme, the beer's head character is short lived as well as short statured, leaving minimal lace behind.

The spice-heavy nose reveals a sweet praline note that tries to ground the cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice notes in front. Starch aromas are seemingly of malt and pumpkin with its mild vegetal scent.

Flavors of sweetness dominate upfront. Heavy caramel provides a somewhat one-dimensional taste but with the pumpiny starch blending in. But it's the heavy cinnamon that frames the taste afterwards. A starchy balance that tastes like real pumpkin pulp assists the sweeter malt taste and feebly attempts to keep the spices restrained. Nutmeg and allspice ride along in the finish and aftertaste.

Firmly bodied, its richeness is the result of starch and sweetness and embedded carbonation that, again, gives a praline texture to accompany the sweetness. The malty weight and residual sweetness rounds out the spices to avoid astringency.

It seems that stronger malted ales are the prefered base type for better support of spice. The first 5-6 ounces were flavorful and bright, but the sweetness, starch, and strong cinnamon balance began to wear on me going into the second half of the glass.

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

Hazy autumn leaves orange due to light showers of fine yeast that remain in suspension. Bright tangerine borders can be seen along the bottom edge of the pint glass, while two fingers of golden beige suds can be seen at the top. Sheer curtains of partially torn lace help the appearance and cement the above score.

The key to any good pumpkin ale is in getting the combination of malt, hops and spices just right. It smells like Clipper City has done exactly that. Cinnamon is especially prominent and alcohol is barely noted. This should be a more than solid brew.

The Great Pumpkin Imperial Pumpkin Ale is not over-the-top. It isn't sticky sweet, it isn't too bitter, it isn't aggressively spiced, and it isn't the least bit boozy. Congratulations to the brewers for having some restraint. Unlike some versions of the style, this one is unlikely to tire out my palate by the time the final ounce meets its fate.

Whatever malts were used were good choices. Likewise with hops and spices. Sweet and bitter are moderate and are in good balance. Cinnamon still has the spotlight and it tastes like nutmeg and ginger are present as well. Honeyish notes appear with warming.

The body/mouthfeel is right in line with all the rest. It's big enough and is silky smooth and at least lightly creamy. Carbonation... you guessed it... right on the money.

Anyone who has ever liked an Imperial pumpkin ale will like Clipper City Heavy Seas The Great Pumpkin Ale. It's solid from every angle and is a seasonal that I will definitely buy again. Bottom line: good gourd beer.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Think it was Bobby who opened this one.

A: The beer pours a clear golden-amber color with a thin layer of off-white foam.

S: Not surprisingly, the pie spices are the dominant aroma. Quite a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg, plenty of all spice too. There's a good sweet caramel note and some bread/pie crust going on too. Maybe a little alcohol.

T: Big bread and malt flavor and some toffee and caramel. Again, the pie spices are the main component here. Cinnamon, clove, all spice, and nutmeg are the primary ones. Strangely, I get some sweet apple type notes.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: I think I preferred the bourbon barrel one, but this wasn't bad either.

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

22 ounce bomber - $4.99 at Bullock's Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, robust dark orange body with a susdy, frothy, ivory-colored head. It thins down into a fine, thin layering, though it has some nice staying power.

Smell: Well-spiced, bready nose with plenty of chunky pumpkin notes. It's a nicely fragrant bowl stirred up with brown sugar, cinnamon, and bread crumbs is what it is.

Taste: It's bready, sweet, and spicy. Dry, crumbly, lightly toasted bready malt profile generously coated in dark brown sugar and cinnamon and nutmeg. This one has just the right amount of pumpkin flesh flavor. Mildly bitter though with a restrained hop character, allowing for the spices to shine. The very faintest touch of warming alcohol nearing the end. Drying, spicy finish with a faint, lingering taste of pumpkin.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A good, admirable, though not great pumpkin brew, but I will certainly say it exceeded my modest expectations after the lackluster showing of the previous members of the Mutiny Fleet. Give it a try, provided you're a fan of pumpkin ales!

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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.

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Photo of jlindros
3.06/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Once again in my quest for Pumpkin beer enlightenment I stumble upon Heavy Seas The Great Pumpkin, an homage to Charlie Brown. As I try to tackle another pumpkin, I wonder, when will I hit them all? Until then, here comes another review.

A: A good 1 finger head is somewhat light and airy, but nice looking. I can't even begin to describe how clear this beer is, I could perfectly watch the Red Sox game through it without a problem, well maybe some light bending. Anyways the amber and very light brown color is a nice toasty color. The head has divided to a nice light creamy good lookin head covering.

N: Yep, that's toasted pumpkin. Some semi sweet aromas with pumpkin and toasted notes basically fill out the entire nose. Perhaps some light spices, but that's all I have to say about that.

T: Tastes starts wicked sweet. Damn! I think this just gave me diabetes cancer! If I can make it through the sweetness I can get some obvious pumpkin taste and some toasty flavors. More spices than I thought from the nose. Some warming and slightly burning alcohol pieces its way through the flavors to let you know that it is 8%. Some clean crisp tastes, similar to a good lager or Marzen... Spices are also a little much, but they are kept at bay pretty well (see what I did there, with the bay reference... <sigh>). Back to business, not much else on the taste other than really sweet pumpkin, spices, toasty, and alcohol.

M: Very creamy and some alcohol burn. Pretty thick and slight syrupy, with light carbonation.

F: Still finishes really sweet, I was hoping it would dry off. Now I'm a big fan of Southern Tier, which is usually sweet, but this is just ridiculous! This beer would give Willy Wonka a seizure. Some alcohol burns the tongue but then fades away pretty quickly. The pumpkin taste seems to stick around for a bit and morphs into a weird sweet syrup taste, and then to a bad bitter sweet flavor that just won't go away, no matter how much I punch my tongue, that is until I take another sip. But then the taste comes back again, ahhh!

Final thoughts: Yep, it's a pumpkin beer alright. Some toasty pumpkin flavor, light on the spices, but ridiculously sweet! Then the long nagging sweet pumpkin flavor that turns somewhat bitter and won't go away takes a lot from the drinkability. Also, did I mention its way too sweet! It's got a nice alcohol taste, warmth, and slight burn with is unusual for a pumpkin beer, but, you know, the sweetness. Don't think I could stomach this again. If it were, say, 1/10 the sweetness I might be able to attempt this again.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright orange/amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of robust pumpkins, spices, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with a hearty malt character that is quickly followed by sweet and spicy flavors of nutmeg, ginger, pumpkins and caramel. There's a mild hops presence that provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, I wasn't expecting much of this beer but I found it to be pretty good for the style even though there are others that I would choose first.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Trying out of my first imperial pumpkins from a local brewery. Pours a beautiful golden color (even my girlfriend thought so!) and smells or nutmeg and cinnamon. Taste is definitely very strong on the spices, maybe a bit too much. Never thought I'd say this but it could use more pumpkin flavoring, the spices kind of ruin the palette after a while. Pretty good beer, and totally hides the alcohol, but not for everyone.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle. Pours slightly hazy orange color with a foamy 2 finger white head with average retention that reduces to a very thin cap. Aromas of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and brown sugar. Taste of cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and some clove; with the pumpkin flavors in the background with some pie crust noticed. The finish is fairly dry, but there is some lingering notes of sweetness, with some spices. No bitterness noticed, but it fits this style perfectly. Alcohol was very well hidden, only a very small warming after the finish noticed. Quite drinkable because of the good flavor, and very smooth going down. Medium carbonation and body. I was actually letting this sit in the fridge for a while, afraid to try it, because I didn't know what to expect. Most pumpkin beers can be done very badly, but this one is done very well, and I would definitely have it again. Delicious.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a hazy orange-amber color with 2 inches of white head that leaves quickly and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of pumpkin pie, spices, fruity malts, and bready malts. A little sweet, but not too sweet.

t - Tastes of spices, pumpkin, fruity malts, caramel malts, bready malts, and a little alcohol.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A pretty good pumpkin ale. I enjoyed the smell a lot. I wish the taste had been a little sweeter and a little more pumpkin than spice, but still a good beer. Would try again.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Beer is dark amber and hazy, you cannot see through this beer. Head is white, thin, nearly non existent. Carbonation minimal.

Aroma is spicy. Definite clove character, some cinamon perhaps. No hop aroma at all.

Beer is bitter, sharp and spicy. Hard to drink. I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin beers but this one has a warming alcohol flavor that thins out the mouthfeel. Drinkability low due to odd bitterness on the back end. Not a repeat but you pumpkinheads may like it.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear dark orange to copper in color with glowing orange highlights and moderate to heavy amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall dark beige head that reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice stand out). Light amounts of sweetness in the smell.

T: Moderate to strong flavors of caramel malts with quite a bit of sweetness along with moderate flavors of pumpkin and strong pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon really stands out).

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of alcohol heat in the finish.

O: Enjoyable but the alcohol is not as well hidden as in some other beers in the style - also, the cinnamon is a little too intense in this brew for my tastes (things seem just a touch out of balance between the pumpkin and spices).

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

Bomber into a snifter. The brew appears a beautiful color of clear orange with a white finger of head. Spotty lacing effect sticks to the glassware. Some yellow almost green hints are seen around the edges when held to the light.

The smell is quite herbal with hops and a bit of something like cinnamon bark. More spice like nutmeg and a little ginger and alcohol comes out as it warms up. There is a bit of a vegetative raw pumpkin character also present.

The taste is tannic with cinnamon bark and herbal hops leading the flavor show. Some pumpkin flesh and herbal hop bitterness rounds things out. There is a mild fruity alcohol aspect and a lingering spice and ginger-like bitterness.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is an interesting tannic offering with enough pupokin flavor to keep you interested. I think this is a decent take on the style but a little too tannic and bitter to make me want to have it again.

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Photo of WesWes
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy amber color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a very balanced malt and fruit scent. It boasts of pale and crystal malts along with a solid pumpkin aroma and a wonderful spice bouquet. The taste is outstanding. It's bold and flavorful with excellent pumpkin flavor. The malt bill is tasty and balanced. The pumpkin spices are present, but not overly so. It goes down smooth with little alcohol warmth. The mouthfeel is great. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking fall seasonal. It's better than most pumpkin beers out there and it packs twice the punch.

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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.

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Photo of billab914
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip glass. Poured a hazy dark amber, almost orange color with a half inch off-white foamy head. The head settled out pretty quickly to leave just a thin film covering the top. After a few minutes there was pretty much nothing left of the head and it didn't really leave any lacing either.

Aroma has some ginger, nutmeg, cloves and a little pumpkin. It's a pretty good aroma for the style, it has some spice but it's not overdone like a lot of pumpkin beers. The taste has a lot of the same spices found in the nose up front but finishes with more of a sweet taste. It leaves a long lasting nutmeg/clove spice flavor on your palate after each drink.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is decent, it's a little sweet to drink much of though. It was a pretty decent pumpkin beer but the flavor just wasn't as good as Pumking for my personal tastes. It still falls into one of the better pumpkin beers available here though so I can't say I won't buy it again though when it comes back in season.

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Photo of Gavage
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a hazy orange color with a 1/4" head. No lacing develops.

Smell: pumpkin pie spices are easily detectable and very nice on the nose.

Taste: caramel, cinammon, nutmeg, some mild alcohol tones and a decent bitterness make up a nice hearty pumpkin ale.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp to start, smooth and a bit dry late. Aftertaste is long lasting.

Drinkability: decent fall beer but one bomber bottle was enough in a single session.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a lightly hazy burnt orange with soft white head.

S: Nice mix of pumpkin and fall spice.

T: On first taste it is real heavy on the cinnamon, as it warms a nice pumpkin sweetness comes out.

M: Nice full body, soft carbonation, creamy.

D: A nice pumpkin ale, the spices are a bit over the top, but I was glad to try it.

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

22 oz bottle

Deep brownish amber, very hard to see through but not completely translucent. Thin off white head that recedes to a thick cap with minimal lacing. Mild aroma of pumpkin with light spices (nutmeg most prominent, a little cinnamon) but lingering metallic notes detract from the smell. Thicker, chewy body, with light carbonation, very smooth mouthfeel overall and no alcohol presence. Flavor starts very spicy, clove and cinnamon which mellows out the fruity sweetness which follows and lingers into the finish. Never very overly pumpkin, or spicy for that matter, this beer doesn't really compare in the over the top pumpkin flavors of something like Pumpking. I don't usually care for pumpkin beers that much so this is actually nice in its restraint and balance.

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

Pours a dark golden with a fairly light head, but good clarity. Smells sweet with pumpkin pie spice and a sweet pumpkin tanginess. Tastes sweet and strong with some more pumpkin pie spice, and a bit beefy with a late alcoholic sting. The mouthfeel is a little too sweet and sharp on the alcohol front, and overall this beer just seems a little too much without delivering the concurrent pleasure needed to justify all the alcohol.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a true pint, the beer is a light, bright, copper-tinted orange coloring with a thick, foamy, light, small bubbled, frothy, white head that stands a good, solid inch and a half. Aromas of smoke and roasted pumpkin on the nose, with a very light spicing and some wheat characteristics. Flavors are round and smooth, with a slightly sour tang on the tail end. The bulk of the flavor profile is a light, smooth pumpkin and spice balance, which is mostly cinnamon, and the overall flavor comes off like a batch of pumpkin cookies. The aftertaste is sugary sweet, but short-lived. The abruptness of the aftertaste keeps it from being overpowering or cloying. A candied finish, both quick and sweet. Tasty beer, and with all the sweet profile, it would make a tasty dessert beer.

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Photo of corby112
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy golden amber with golden orange hues when held to a light source and a two finger frothy white head. Good retention, leaving sporadic lacing throughout.

Sweet pumpkin pie aroma with hints of cinnamon, brown sugar, ginger, nutmeg and vanilla. The spiciness is however not overpowering, blending well with the pumpkin notes.

Nice medium body with lots of pumpkin pie spice. Pretty malty for the style with a lot of pumpkin flavor, cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla, ginger and nutmeg. The spiciness is pretty prominent but doesn't overpower the pumpkin lasting into a dry finish . This one is thick and complex and the ABV is very well masked making it pretty drinkable. Not the best example of the style but pretty good.

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Heavy Seas - The Great Pumpkin from Heavy Seas Beer
85 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.