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Heavy Seas - Great’ER Pumpkin - Heavy Seas Beer

Not Rated.
Heavy Seas - Great’ER PumpkinHeavy Seas - Great’ER Pumpkin

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

219 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 219
Hads: 714
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 24.29%
Wants: 71
Gots: 124 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mcallister on 07-28-2010

In the most worthy of pumpkin patches and during the silence of the midnight hour, the Greater Pumpkin raises up and pours a rich deep and burnished orange color. Heady aromas of bourbon, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and clove linger seductively over the thick white head of this tremendous brew. Its love at first sip as the full malt body, dominated by British crystal malt, brown sugar and pumpkin, slowly washes over your tongue. Bourbon barrel aging rounds out the flavors with notes of oak, vanilla, and bourbon. Pairs well with crisp autumn weather, crunchy fallen leaves, and the knowledge that your kids will be asleep soon so you can raid their Halloween candy bags.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 219 | Hads: 714
Photo of WMEugene
4.53/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Lost Dog (Col. Pike) in Arlington. From notes made on 10/12/11

A - hazy orange color, nice head retention, good lacing

S - smooth pumpkin smell, sweetness, slightly malty

T - nice pumpkin flavors balanced with notes of Bourbon. Bready malt flavors in the background

M - medium bodied, smooth with noticable Bourbon alcoholic heat aftertaste.

O - heavy seas' greater pumpkin is a unique and great take on your traditional pumpkin ale. I'm all about aging pumpkin ales in bourbon barrels now!

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Photo of TheCorkStopsHere
4.52/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Heavy Seas (from Clipper City) already produces one of my favorite pumpkin beers, "The Great Pumpkin." They then take that awesome brew, age it in spent bourbon barrels, and call it "The Great'er Pumpkin." I've heard about this one for a few years now, but never had the opportunity to pick one up. This year it was released in the CT market, and we made sure to get some!

The Great'er Pumpkin pours a slightly hazy, burnt-orange, almost rusty color. It's a little darker than I remember the Great Pumpkin being, but I doubt I'd be able to tell them apart just by looking at them. The foam is pretty thick at first, but fades pretty quickly. I'm surprised at how much white foam there is at first, because this Great'er Pumpkin checks in at 9% abv, making it one of the stronger pumpkin beers this year.

The nose is awesome; filled with all kinds of pumpkin pie spices, I'm getting cinnamon, nutmeg, and I can't help but think of ginger for some reason. There's a mild amount of pumpkin aromas too, but it's hidden behind a substantial amount of alcohol esters.

Wow, once I take a sip, I am impressed! This is gorgeously spicy, a bit malty sweet, a little pumpkiny, and quite boozy. It's pretty much everything I like in a beer. Now, it's not nearly as heavy in the pumpkin as some others out there, but the spice is great, and I honestly love that little bit of a boozy nature. The alcohol isn't over-powering, but there's enough of it that you definitely notice it. I think I'd like to see a touch more pumpkin, but otherwise, I love this beer!

Well I'm getting down to the last few pumpkin beers to try this year, and the Heavy Seas "The Great'er Pumpkin" has really set the bar high. I think tomorrow night might be the time for the Pumking, and we'll see if it holds it's own again this year.

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Photo of Chuck_IPA_Mathus
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

mild intoxicating booze aroma

Velvety smooth bourbon pallete

hoppy afterbite. The best pumpkin beer Ive ever experienced and I am not a pumpkin fan at all. Excellent job on the aging of this ale

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pumpkin ales make autumn better!
This review combines my 2011 review (the first time I tried it) and my 2013 review (which was an amazing improvement on the 2011 version).

A: medium orange, creamy head that thins quickly - look, it's translucent deep orange with a tan head - how else should a strong pumpkin ale look?

S: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, pumpkin, bourbon (how can you go wrong?). Strong.

T: sweet, but not too sweet - you taste what you smell: all the pumpkin pie tastes shift around with notes of bourbon, caramel, and ale. Boozy. 2013 version was a cleaner and leaner model. tight pumpkin flavors and an air of sophistication brought about by the bourbon. Suggestions of caramel, vanilla, and airy wood.

M: lightly carbonated, clean finishing, mild alcohol taste. Seems like all pumpkin ales warm very nicely. Rich. Toned down textures and weight in the 2013 release improve the mouthfeel and finish - the bourbon breathed easier and the finish was far drier.

O: WOW - I have found a pumpkin ale on par with Pumking and Smashed Pumpkin (my other faves so far) - Heavy Seas (the "greater pumpkin" version) is smack-dab in the middle in terms of tone and mouthfeel, but set apart due to the bourbon aspect - a slightly more enjoyable drink for fans of bourbon and imperial stouts. the 2013 eclipsed the aforementioned beers, taking full benefit of whatever changes may have been made to the recipe.

Clipper City Brewing has crafted a beer that is amazing. It has some of the syrupy-sweetness of Pumking, and some of the crispness of Smashed Pumpkin - throw in the bourbon accents and you have a flavorful pumpkin ale. Heavy Seas rolls with a bangin' (newly upgraded (from 9.0))10.0 abv, and that's got to be hard to beat. Get one if you see it.

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Photo of DCDevilDancer
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No disrespect to those who have reviewed this tasty delight before me, but this beer is being severely underrated, and under appreciated. Some of the previous "B" reviews have hinted that the parts of the beer (bourbon, rich pumpkin, restrained spice) may need time to coalesce, without seeing the process through. No need to wait until next Halloween! Pop this bad boy open now! Then throw it back on ice and wait an hour or two. Maybe sip on a delicous fresh HS/CC Great Pumpkin and enjoy the bright, fleshy, not-over spiced, pumpkin driven pumpkin goodness of their ready to drink un-aged offering as you wait.
Then get ready to enjoy a creamier, richer, bourbon-tinged treat. The boozeiness diminishes as the Greater Pumpkin has time to breathe, and the bold flavors find time to integrate.. you'll think you made the perfect pumpkin bourbon float.
This stuff is legit!
Just give it some time... in the cellar &/or simply w/ some air!

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Photo of wiscokid920
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

This brew is great stuff. Everything I hoped it would be an more. It has an excellent malty base built into the base beer and the bourbon barrel vanilla and slight oak play off the subtle pumpkin pie spices superbly. Very Well Done!

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Photo of Knapp85
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured out as a very nice looking orange color with a thin white head on top. The head fades mostly and leaves just a touch of lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer is very nice, it's got a near perfect balance of spicy pumpkin aromas mixed with the bourbon and vanilla on the nose. The taste is similar to the smell, lots of spice with a wonderful balance of vanilla and bourbon notes. The mouthfeel is creamy with a heavy body and a moderate carbonation to it. Overall I thought this beer was great, I would enjoy this one over and over during the fall season.

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Photo of glid02
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Porter in Atlanta.

Pours an almost opaque orange-amber color with a one-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of large amounts of spices - nutmeg and cinnamon - with fresh pumpkin seeds. Also present are hints of butterscotch and even lighter hints of vanilla.

Tastes very good. Medium malt flavors with good amounts of heavy pumpkin flavors kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are deep spices as in the aroma. Midway through the sip slight amounts of butterscotch flavors work their way into things, fading out into smooth bourbon flavors that carry through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I was very impressed with this beer and even more impressed that the bourbon was as subtle as it was. A very well done beer that's well worth a shot, especially as the weather cools.

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Photo of Shmagles
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This will be an odd review. This just came into my store recently so im going to mention this as a 2012 version of the great'er pumpkin. I tasted this beer twice from the same bottle and had differing opinions between the two tastings. I have purchased two bottles because of the rarity. From the initial opening it maintained the boozy aspect that you would expect from the bourbon barrel soaking. I was very dissatisfied initially because I felt like I was drinking bourbon with pumpkin beer flavoring added and it just wasn't a satisfying taste. After which I fell asleep for a couple hours and woke up later. Once I tried it again after it having sat out in the open air for a bit did it finally seem to balance out. The boozy notes of bourbon seemed to settle and a beautiful balance emerged. Now I am fully impressed with the style of the beer and am probably more likely to enjoy it again. If I had finished it before leaving it in the open air, I probably would have rated it alot lower than what i am giving it now. Overall I wonder if this beer would work well leaving it to age before drinking. But it is definitely something worth trying. A- overall, but only because I have yet to fully appreciate the bourbon flavoring.

Ap- Seems like a normal pumpkin beer (darker orange)

Sm- Smells like bourbon and pumpkin spice

Ta - Tasted like bourbon and pumpkin spice

MF - Smooth.

Ov - Bourbon seems to weaken over time esp in open air. Do not wait longer than I did to drink it, After so long the beer will go totally flat. I was very lucky that i didnt wake up after I did. The beer was timed perfectly from absolute random luck. (~5-6 hours later) FYI the bottle was 2/3s poured into a pilsner glass. Very little surface area from the brew. The rest was still sitting in the bottle, I constantly poured the remaining amount to try to obtain a bit of foam before drinking.

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Photo of Frosty80
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color: sits a slightly dark copper or burnished orange with some sediment

Smell: awesome. good spicing thats well balanced with the usual wood, vanilla and bourbon aromas with a little alcohol to give it soul. very pleasing. like the perfect holiday potpourri

Taste: aromas translate well into the taste. good balance of spicing and bourbon cask flavors. alcohol makes an obvious appearance but, again, in balance

Mouthfeel: smooth low-full body with low carbonation

Notes: fantastic pumpkin seasonal. they prove that bourbon barrel aging a pumpkin beer works extremely well. delicious.

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Photo of Meerkey
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy, some bubbles, lots of sediment. Orangey-brown. Some firm off-white head.

S: Really good. Lots of pumpkin and spices followed by an alcoholy sweetness that is the bourbon.

T: Whoa. Very tasty. It tastes so ... festive. Pumpkin and alcohol - bourbon shines through. Lots of dark, wintry spices like nutmeg.

M: Unfortunately the mouthfeel is kind of disappointing. Rather thin and little creamy and hint of carbonation. I can't tell if it's actually not very good or just not compared to the magnitude of flavor and other awesomeness that is this beer.

O: Very delicious. I love it. I'd definitely have another and recommend you go get one now.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.39/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Greater Pumpkin, bottle bought at Whole Foods Chelsea in NYC for $11.99 plus tax. Way pricey but I love this beer. Have had it on cask (first at Max's in B'more and then at Pony in NYC) and on tap (at Pony). My first time on a bottle...

Appearance: Poured into my Lost Abbey snifter, The Greater pours freely and happy, delivering a deep-orange beer with barely a finger of head that dies almost immediately. Some lacing, though, but not great retention. About average looks overall.

Smell: Shines! Fleshy pumpkin, hoppy bitterness, sharp bourbon, barrel and booze... this has got it all. Plus some floral tones and spice, hoppy finish.

Taste: Follows nose, with a smooth pumpkin flavor drenched in bourbon. Spice, cinnamon. Tangy-tingly finish, feels like Christmas!

Mouthfeel: Smooth and bourbon-y, reminds me of drinking Elijah Craig or Evan Williams without the burn. Low carbonation, medium body and flavor. Beautiful all around, well-balanced.

Overall: Is this a complex beer? Maybe not... heck, it is all about the pumpkin and the bourbon! But I love it nonetheless. Drinkable, delicious, autumn-y, beautiful. And- different! Yeah. On cask, even better.

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Photo of stonermouse
4.39/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

At the outset, I'll say this beer is going to be love it or hate it. I, for one, love it.

Pours a pale orange, nothing shocking here. Film of white covers the brew throughout, with little lacing. Lots of floaties.

Nice aroma here. Not as boozy as I expected. There's a good deal of pumpkin patch in the aroma, with little spices.

Taste is just what I was hoping. They held back on the spices, and some true pumpkin flavors come through. The pumpkin flavor is mellow yet savory, the way pumpkin should be. Of course, this beer is a young bourbon barrel, and as such, it's a bit hot. And the bourbon adds booze, but just a touch of sweetness.

Mouthfeel is solid. It's a little sticky, but not unpleasantly.

Good stuff here, although I can imagine that there will be a lot of folks who outright hate this. It's hot and minimally spiced, so as pumpkin ales go, it might be lacking the expected flavor profile for some. I dig it, though, and imagine it will cellar quite well.

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Photo of Sound_Explorer
4.39/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I had the GABF 2013 Rum Barrel aged version and I loved it. Not usually a big fan of barrel aging, especially bourbon or whiskey (as this beer usually is) as the liquor usually takes over too much for my taste. Using the sweeter Rum, and already being a fan of pumpkin beer, it was the best thing I tasted at the festival. Been looking for a Rum aged beer for awhile and this was a great first impression of using Rum for a sweet sample of awesomeness.

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Photo of MrWonka
4.36/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very very good pumpkin beer. If you're a fan of these kinds of beer than plz at least do me the favor and try this one. I happened to come across a whole case of these in almost April and let's just say I'll b buying the whole thing. Anyone who likes weyerbacher pumpkin ale will love this it tastes similar but packs more of a punch.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle, poured into a snifter

A- pours a hazy-yet-bright ruby-orange color with a small fizzy white that reduces quickly, leaving some short lasting lace

S-cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin spice up front, oaky notes kick in providing a strong vanilla presence, creating a creme brûlée aroma. Some alcohol at the end

T- slightly tart pumpkin flavors up front complimented by some cinnamon and nutty flavor. Sweet vanilla and creme brûlée flavors follow the aromas mid-palate, eventually leading an oaky finish

M- medium-heavy body with moderate carbonation leads to an almost viscous mouthfeel that is creamy and finishes smooth. Alcohol is hidden brilliantly

O- this was very good, most barrel aged pumpkin beers are overpowered by the barrel, this one was not. The base beer is very flavorful and mixed with the oak nicely to provide a dessert-like sweetness. Well done!

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY.

Pours a bright, hazy orange. One inch fizzy head. Small amount of lacing.

Smells like pumpkin spices- clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc, oak, vanilla, pumpkin.

The taste is pretty similar. Strong spicing especailly nutmeg, with oak, vanilla, and some slight, sweet bourbon flavors. Some rum-like flavors too, with brown sugar and molasses in small amounts. Biscuity sweet malts.

Medium to light body. Well carbonated, creamy mouthfeel. Very drinkable.

An excellent BA Pumpkin beer. I think this would also lend itself well to rum barrel aging.

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Photo of mscottjohnston
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml poured into tulip glass. Amber color with a one finger head. Nose is malt and spice. Taste starts with malts and spices, mixes with oak and finishes with pumpkin and bourbon. Medium body lingers nicely, with a slight alcohol burn on the back end. Very enjoyable entry into the pumpkin beer world. Would definitely buy again.

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Photo of polopaul20
4.34/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 bomber, poured September 2015. Pours light brown/amber color. You can tell its a pumpkin beer, but the real star is the bourbon barrel flavor. Aftertaste has a great floral character with no burn. Looking forward to comparing to current years batch.

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Photo of GregSVT
4.34/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber into a snifter

A: Pours a hazy burnt orange with a small off-white head that fades to a small ring and leaves only the smallest bits of lacing on the glass. It could use more of a head but as a barrel aged high abv beer I can't fault it 100% for this.

S: The nose is full of pumpkin, nutmeg, and buttery bourbon. Smells wonderful and I can't wait to take a sip.

T: Flavors of pumpkin, spices like nutmeg and allspice, and sweet buttery bourbon all hit the tounge at the same time. I'm not sure if there are different batches but this one isn't a bourbon bomb like some reviews below would have you believe. The barrel aging isn't as big as some BA beers I've had(GIBCS).

M: The feel is medium-full bodied and a bit low on the carbonation but again this is about par for a barrel aged beer.

D: This drinks very well for a 9% beer and I have a few more I will be enjoying this fall/winter.

If you like Nemesis 2009 you'll like this.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clipper City/ Heavy Seas/ The Greater Pumpkin

Pours an expected hazy burnt orange color with a soapy, off white head and a whole sheet of lacing down the tulip snifter. Aroma of pumpkin, vanilla, spice, bourbon, and alcohol. In the taste, nice pumpkin pie goodness with alot of vanilla, I suspect some from adding vanilla bean and some due to the aging in the bourbon barrels. A small bourbon presence is felt and tasted, but mainly sweet vanilla pumpkin pie. Creamy, smooth, full bodied feel. Overall, a fantastic pumpkin ale, recommended.

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Photo of larryi86
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- A nice clear orange with a two finger head.

S- Bourbon, vanilla, spices, pumpkin, cinnamon, sweet malts.

T- Bourbon and vanilla are the first things I notice. Underneath there is a really nice pumpkin flavor with some spices and a good amount of sweetness.

M- Alcohol can be slightly harsh, nice medium body.

O- This is a solid pumpkin beer and the bourbon barrels really did add a nice extra kick. Perfect for the fall weather and would be a great drink for something like Thanksgiving dinner. Hopefully I will be picking up a few more bottles soon.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$7.99 for a 22oz bottle @ Jacks.9.0%ABV per the bottle. Pumpkin ale aged in bourbon barrels, brewed with spices. No ingredients listed on the mfgr website. Pours out to a hazy burnt orange, requiring a hefty pour to achieve a decent head which recedes quickly leaves minimal lacing. Carbonation is mild. the aroma is a nice blend between the sweetness of the malts, pumpkin and spices. The spices are not overpowering which is common in a lot of this category. Maybe a little vanilla in the nose. The mouthfeel is soft and silky, dense, rich and syrupy. The taste is again, a great balance between the spices and malt. The malt is firm and compliments the spicing, which is not overbearing. Suggestion of vanilla and just a stinging peppery hint of bourbon in the aftertaste.

I'm not a fan of this style, but this is a wonderful pumpkin ale...without a doubt, the best I've had. It is very rich, so a 22oz bottle is plenty but I could see myself picking this up again next year, or even sitting on a few bottles.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into shaped imperial pint. Four finger creamy french vanilla colored head. Decent retention, a slim cap in left floating atop for the duration. Moderate lacing, scattered clumps left clinging to the glass. Body is a glowing orange color with slight haze, pretty standard for a pumpkin ale.

Warm pumpkin and spice aromas mesh seamlessly with the bourbon. The combination works so well I am surprised this is not done more often. Strong doses of cinnamon and nutmeg followed by a warm bready aroma. The bourbon in integrated in such a way it is just another piece and not the focal point.

Flavor is very well balanced. Waves of pumpkin, spice and bourbon hit the tongue intermittently keeping the taste buds off guard. The oak and the bourbon contribute flavors which compliment a pumpkin ale very well. Vanilla in integrated evenly through out.

Medium to just under full bodied. Texture is smooth with moderate carbonation. Flavors do cling to the tongue a bit but the finish is not excessively long.

Awesome beer, tremendously drinkable. Almost zero booziness which is surprising considering we are talking about a 9% -bal aged beer. This has become my favorite pumpkin ale and possibly my favorite holiday beer as well. In the past I have found Heavy Sea to be solid but not much more, this is the first offering that truly impresses me. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Glanzman
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 ounce bottle served in a pint glass.

Pours a nice caramel color with almost no head nor lacing.

The aroma is great. Malty , spicy, and biscuity.

The taste is the same. The spices are somewhat a little strong for my taste but still a good beer overall.

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Heavy Seas - Great’ER Pumpkin from Heavy Seas Beer
87 out of 100 based on 219 ratings.