Heavy Seas - The Great Pumpkin - Heavy Seas Beer

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Heavy Seas - The Great PumpkinHeavy Seas - The Great Pumpkin

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BA SCORE
85
very good

206 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 206
Hads: 386
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 7.41%
Wants: 23
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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 206 | Hads: 386
Photo of chrisjduncan
4.48/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I know, I am throwing off the curve on this, but I really have to. This is simply one of the best pumpkin ales I have ever had and I LOVE pumpkin ales. At first pour it is as orange as orange gets and really does set you in the mood for the season. The aroma coming out of my glass a full two or three feet from my face was enough that I could smell it and was delighted by it. The taste is purely pumpkin and strong which is a nice change from the more weaker pumpkin flavored ales on the market. Ive been typing for a few minutes now and I can STILL taste it on my tongue. The mouthfeel was a bit more carbonated than I like, too much like soda, but still pleasant. Overall this is absolutely a must have for Pumpkin Ales and anyone who enjoys the style. Well done Clipper City Brewing! (788 characters)

Photo of alexgash
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle.

Medium deep copper body. Clear and clean. Oranger edges. Small, cobwebby, off-white head. Minimal lacing. Candy corn, butterscotch, graham cracker malt mix with clove, cinnamon, and maybe a little citrus zest.

Sweet and toasted malt right off the bat. Graham cracker crust and butterscotch/caramel malts are sweet and intense. Singed/toasted bitterness around the edges. Clove and nutmeg (?) come in strong in the latter half of the palate, upon the wave of sweet, pie-y malt. Cinnamon shows up in the finish, along with lingering spices, vegetal bitterness and leftover malt sweetness. Medium-full body with a slightly creamy feel. A big, intensely flavored pumpkin ale that comes in a notch below Pumking and Weyerbacher. (741 characters)

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass. Beer emerges crystal clear and amber in color with bright orange highlights and hues. Topped with a very small and thin white head. Not much action going on under the surface.

Aroma is laced with alcohol, which in this case, is a deterrant. Kind of corn like and cheap smelling. There are aromas of pumpkin but the overall aroma is laced with adjuncts. I dont think this one is too bad but this one just sets me off the wrong way.

Decent flavor profile but unless this one is served cold, the alcohol is definitely noticeable (mine is slightly less than cellar temp). Hot alcohol. Take your favorite malt liquor and place some pumpkin pie spice and a Nilla Wafer in the bottle, and this is what you come up with. I like the pumpkin flavors better than the aroma; solid bits of pumpkin pie spice with a little bit of breadiness and cracker.

Taking the alcohol into consideration, and by that I mean placing this in an "imperial pumpkin" category, this one isnt too bad. The alcohol is hot and very noticeable. I wouldnt have this one again. Pumpking is still the king of Imperial Pumpkins. (1,147 characters)

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

22oz 2012 bottle. Very happy to have this in Alabama. Served in a Dogfish Head Signature glass.

A: Rich dark amber orange. Small tan head recedes quickly to a small ring. Very translucent.

S: Pumpkin spices are all over. Cinnamon. Nutmeg. Brown sugar. Light pumpkin'y in the nose.

T: Flavors follow the nose. Very spicy, particularly on the cinnamon. It really punches through strong. Pumpkin comes in as a bit of a body, but otherwise it's a swirl of brown sugar, more cinnamon, and other things I can't quite put my finger on. Sweeter malt is in the finish, but not prominent.

M: Moderate weight in this one, and given the 8% ABV that's acceptable. Carbonation isn't big, just enough to refresh the spices off the tongue. Just the lightest warmth in the finish.

O: As the pumpkin style has gotten so popular, it's hard to differentiate and Heavy Seas lands in the middle of the pack with this. If you're looking for a bigger ABV pumkin ale and can't get Pumking, give it a shot. (989 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.09/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Orange with a creamy white head. Crystal clear. Despite auspicious beginnings I'm left foamless by mid glass.

Pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and toast aroma. Like a pumpkin molasses sugar cookie. Burnt sugar in there too.

Pumpkin pie spice is certainly in the flavor profile but it's not overpowering. Pie space and burnt candy sugar vs. vegetal pumpkin in an artificial vs. natural pumpkin battle.

An inoffensive imperial pumpkin. It's not too spicy, it's not too sweet, it's not too vegetal. It's not very good either though. It's middling. (542 characters)

Photo of brstls4drmrs
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pours a nice orange/amber color with a 1" foam and translucent. Very nice appearance.

S - cinnamon and nutmeg with some baked pumpkin. Not too shabby.

T - cinnamon spice kicker with some clove and nutmeg. Slight buttery taste on the finish.

M - medium to high carbonation with a fizzle on the finish.

O - not a bad pumpkin brew. I'd drink another one. (363 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
4.04/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber of The Great Pumpkin, split-up into two pint glasses.

Over an inch of head bubbled up and loudly fizzed. The color is red-orange. Nice clarity, but the retention didn't hold up too well.

Smells heavily of cinnamon-spiced cooked pumpkin. Definitely some prominent nutmeg in the nose. Hints of vanilla, allspice, and light caramel also noted. Picking up a little booze, but nothing overwhelming. Smells very nice.

Enjoying great pumpkin flavor matched with allspice, nutmeg, light coriander, and cinnamon and countered with some roasty malt bitterness and a kiss of citrus rind-like hops that appear in the middle and finish with some lovely spiciness. Not sugary, but there's definitely a brandied-fruit type sweetness to the beer, offering up some caramel-like undertones and candied ginger. True pumpkin beer flavor, as it's equipped with that plump squash quality in the taste.

Carbonation falls between medium and medium-hard. Richly-bodied. Some pleasant sweetness that doesn't carry over too much tack. At 8% ABV, the noticeable alcohol is right about where it should be. With the rigorous feel, this sips a little better than it drinks.

A benchmark for what a pumpkin beer should be. True to the taste of the vegetable itself. Malty, yet with some mild citrus notes indicative of American hops. Rich and savory, yet drinkable. Even the fact that it's slightly warming. Highly recommended for the season. (1,426 characters)

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. (561 characters)

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. (963 characters)

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

bomber served in an oversized wineglass.

pours a luminous, hazy copper/orange tone while yielding less than a finger of cream-colored head that quickly dissipates into a ring around the glass; lacing in spots.

aroma is more subdued than i was expecting. the usual players are all present and accounted for - pumpkin flesh, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice - but where the nose of, say, pumking is full and robust, steeped in mouth-watering pumpkin pie scents, by contrast this is relatively muted. some may find that appealing; personally i like my imperial pumkin ales more potent and aggressive.

flavor is not an improvement; its profile follows the nose in both makeup and strength. has a dry, slightly bitter finish. not terrible, but one of the more disappointing pumpkin brews i've had so far this season.

medium bodied, medium-carbonation mouthfeel. for me, a drinkability level on par with it's flavor, which is to say average.

original review: 09-28-2010 (962 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
1.86/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Bomber bottle poured into tulip. Pours dark orange with medium head. All I can smell here is nutmeg. There is no sign of pumpkin, and the spice is offputting and unpleasant. Flavor follows with unbearable nutmeg that takes my breath away, no real pumpkin flavor, and nothing that says to me that this is a beer. The palate is thick and yet burns with the spices here. This was a drain pour and a half. (401 characters)

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

A: darker amber, light rosy color, nice creamy head
S: medium nose, good pumpkin spice with barrel undertones that really works together, pronounced EtOH
T: well-balanced malt and pumpkin spice, barrel aging really helps to tone down spices, not a lot of character
M: seemed a bit thin in body for EtOH and barrel aging, creamy in texture
O: right on the edge of giving it a 4.5 (378 characters)

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

One more stop on my virtual tour of pumpkin beers...The Great Pumpkin from Heavy Seas (Clipper City), down in Maryland. This is a brew I've been drinking most of the summer, but realized I had never done an actual review. So, here we go...

Pours out a slightly hazy version of gamboge, sort-of a light-amber, with a touch of rust. The head is fairly mild in thickness, but lively when you give it a good swirl. Just off-white in color, I'm not surprised by the lack of head, this Great Pumpkin checks in at a commanding 8% abv.

The nose is intriguing! Just the slightest touch of sweet pumpkin aromas, but plenty of alluring spices. Much in the same way the Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin is dominated by spices, rather than pumpkin, this is very similar. The spices here though are on the sweeter side of things, reminds me more of nutmeg and ginger, and less of the cinnamon and clove that I usually pick up.

Ah yes, I had almost forgotten how delicious this Great Pumpkin is! Just like the nose, there is just a hint of sweet pumpkin flavors, but nice sweet spices. I am picking up a little more pumpkin on the nose than I am on the palate, as the flavors are heavily dominated by the spices. And this is all-in-all a sweet, malt-bomb of deliciousness. It lacks a little of the powerful pumpkin and spice that I enjoy, but it is a thoroughly delicious brew.

Overall, I definitely recommend the Heavy Seas Great Pumpkin. There is no bottling/freshness date on the bottle, so I'm wondering if a fresh bottle would make a difference. It's not the best pumpkin beer I've had, but I do like it very much. Maybe this would make a good introduction for craft beer drinkers that are new to pumpkin beer? You know, rather than give them the best right out of the gate, start them off with something a little more crowd friendly? But, at the same time, I'd hate to hand them something less flavorful, and give them a poor representation all-together. (1,945 characters)

Photo of kbutler1
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a orangy color with a slight white head. Like chunks? If so, this is the beer for you! Murky with little flecks of chunk floating around. Allspice, caramel, and pumpkin in the nose, actually not a bad aroma. Medium mouthfeel. Slightly sweet upfront. Pumpkin pie, slight cinnamon, allspice, and whip cream (just kidding). Overall, not bad. I am not the biggest pumpkin fan but this is tolerable for me. It does have a slight pepper note to it thought that I am not the biggest fan of. (497 characters)

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

A: Hazy dark orange color with a thick off-white head that sticks to the glass.

S: A nice pumpkin aroma with cinammon and clove or allspice.

T: A pretty decent pumpkin flavor with not too much pumpkin pie spice but it is there in the background. I can taste a little clove but it isn't overpowering like in other beers. The alcohol kicks in a little at the end with a very slight medicine flavor.

M: Medium body and good carbonation. Smooth feel to it.

O: One of the better pumpkin ales I've had this season. It's balanced even with the high ABV. (550 characters)

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

A - This beer pours a slightly hazy orangish amber color. It has almost 2-fingers of white head resting on top. The head has decent retention, and it leaves a little bit of scattered lace behind on the glass.

S - The nose starts off with some pumpkin sweetness and fall spices such as, cinnamon, nutmeg, and there is some clove in here as well. Also, there is a bit of booziness.

T - The taste follows the nose pretty well. It starts off with the pumpkin sweetness and spice flavors. There is a little bit of earthiness and mild hop presence. There are also some flavors of caramel, alcohol, and a bit of light pepper. The finish leaves some lingering pumpkin and spice, as well a bit of booziness.

M - The body of this is on the heavier side of medium, and the carbonation is on the lower side. It goes down easy and has a nice feel to it. There is some sweetness and some tingly spice notes. A mild hop bitterness also some through, and there is some boozy warmth on the back end.

O - This has good drinkability. It is a really nice tasting beer, and it has a nice smoothness to it. I wish there was a little more pumpkin flavor that stood out, but it is still really nice. Overall, I think this is a good higher alcohol pumpkin ale. I really enjoyed this one, and I definitely think it is worth checking out. (1,316 characters)

Photo of kkipple
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber picked up in October of 2011. No freshness date on the bottle - grr.

A. Poured into a Buffalo tall chalice. Looks appropriately pumpkin - slightly less than clear orange with a small white head and spotty lacing.

S. Big sweet malt presence here, at least big enough to shine through the nutmeg and allspice. There is some alcohol heat too, which isn't really wanted, and a rather poor attempt at harmonizing the spice with the malt - it's not really complementary. It is perfumey though, and has a Hitachino note - I bet there is ginger in this brew.

T. Alas, falls short of even the taste. Sort of a boozy, thin and uninteresting malt base with a lot of spice tossed on top; but it never blends well into something interesting or harmonious. There is a distracting bitter undercurrent here, as well as something akin to coriander (maybe actual coriander) that is out of place. Then the booze, which would be forgivable if the rest of the beer was worthy... here it just adds to the mess. A shame.

M / O. Fine mouthfeel, really. Adequate carbonation and body, but the lingering finish of bitterness and spice doesn't do this one any favors.

Sadly, I wanted to like The Great Pumpkin more than I actually did. My girlfriend liked this one more than I though, so your mileage may vary. (1,296 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a cervoise glass. No discernible vintage, but I have reason to suspect it's the 2011 bottling.

A: An inch of head tops a clearish, auburn beer. Pretty, but not exceptional.

S: It smells good! Lots of pumpkin spice and little to no artificiality. Faintly grainy malt.

T: Really good! A very well-balanced taste, with plentiful pumpkin and lightly administered spice. Heavy flavour is buttressed by a relatively high ABV. No traces of artificiality, but some malted grain. Endtaste is lightly dry.

M: Moderately substantial, pleasantly carbonated. Nice.

O: I'm a huge fan of the Greater Pumpkin and, though this doesn't equal it, the Great Pumpkin comes closer. It's a lighter, more accessible version even if it's still on the strong end of the pumpkin beer spectrum. Highly recommended; one of the best pumpkin ales out there. Will drink again. Paired with Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, a recommended pairing. (945 characters)

Photo of BeerPhan86
3.1/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Finally tracked this one down. This will be one a handful of imperial/double pumpkin ales that I have been able to try, my absolute favorite being Pumking by Southern Tier. It is an imperial style that really seems to work, and I see more and more popping up each year. Let's get into it!

A - Pours a slightly hazy orange copper with a very minimal light tan head that quickly dissipates. No real lacing to speak of.

S - Sweet malt, cinnamon, and some slight clove. A nice squashy aroma at the end.

T - Similar to the aroma. More squash/pumpkin flavor than I was expecting but oddly enough not enough of the typical pumpkin ale spice. Odd metallic taste in the finish.

M - Very undercarbonated and watery/thin. A bit more carbonation might help more of the flavors reach the palette.

O - Overall, a bit of a disappointment. I have yet to find something that rivals Pumking. It is a nice attempt at a more squash-based pumpkin ale instead of your typical spiced brown ale, but it does not impress me. The flatness and metallic taste in the finish ruin it for me. (1,067 characters)

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. (798 characters)

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. (1,037 characters)

Photo of ZeroSignal
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Undated 22 poured into a SA Perfect Pint

A - Hazy orange-amber pour with a light, off-white head. Loaded with floaties. Retention settles to the edges and leaves a loose lace.

S - Sweet smell with a good dose of pie spice; heavier on the ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Caramel notes as the beer sits a bit.

T&M - Smooth and creamy feel. Not overly sweet, but certainly packs a nice malty, caramel punch. Well balanced with the spicing, which follows the nose; perhaps a bit more ginger and nutmeg than cinnamon. Also manages to have the pumpkin meat taste in the finish, and ends slightly sweet. The sweetness of this one seems amplified the longer it sits and warms.

O - I'll admit that I'm generally turned off by floaties...I know it's fine for them to be there, I've just never cared for them in my beer, at least aesthetically. Overall this is nice, nothing spectacular, but certainly worth a try. (904 characters)

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. (811 characters)

Photo of n2185
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a very slightly hazy orange with a finger of off-white head that recedes into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Typical pumpkin spices up front--clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.--followed by lots of creamy vanilla and yam-like aromas. Slight alcohol aroma towards the finish.

T: Spices up front in the flavor as well followed by some light vanilla and caramel flavors. A slightly bitter, hearty bread flavor follows with a light alcohol burn.

M: Medium body and carbonation, this beer's carbonation and alcohol presence keep it from being creamy .

O: A pretty decent pumpkin ale. I'd like a bit less alcohol presence, a creamier body, and more pumpkin flavors, but still it's not bad at all. (698 characters)

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

A: Light copper colored brew, with a thin, yet sticky layer of head. almost no lacing is left on the edges of the glass.

S: Pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and a LOT of allspice rest on a sweet malty base with a little bit of hop bitterness.

T: Lots of sweetness up front, which brings a lot of the pumpkin flavor and pumpkin pie spices that I was hoping for. The spices are well balanced, and the finish brings a heavy hit of hops which balances out the malts, spicy sweetness.

M: The mouthfeel is thick and pretty sticky, and there is more carbonation than one would expect from looking at it.

O: A pretty good pumpkin ale. Not the best I've ever had, but better than the vast majority. The sweetness/spiciness/bitterness are all well balanced, and it's a pleasant fall beer. Worth a look for sure. (798 characters)

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