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Heavy Seas - The Greater Pumpkin - Heavy Seas Beer

Heavy Seas - The Greater PumpkinHeavy Seas - The Greater Pumpkin

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BA SCORE
87
very good

416 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 416
Reviews: 175
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 14.51%


Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: mcallister on 07-28-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 416 | Reviews: 175 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of pwoody11
pwoody11

Delaware

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Did a side by side with the Greater Pumpkin. The Greater Pumpkin is the same beer aged in Bourbon Barrels.

This beer was a burnt orange with no head but a small ring around the edges. It was darker in color than the Great version.

Aroma was pumpkin and spice dominated with a little faint malt and bourbon in the background.

After the first sip I'm pretty much only picking up pumpkin. This is "spicier" and more "pumpkiny" than the Great version. The other version is much sweeter whereas this one seemed to be heavier on the nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla.

Mouthfeel was a little weak, but didn't detract from the overall drinkability.

As far as the side by, to be honest, I couldn't pick up on any major differences. I think the Greater Pumpkin is a correct description, as I preferred it over the other, but again, no striking major differences.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2010 21:53:42 | More by pwoody11
Photo of FatJesus
FatJesus

Maryland

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Two to choose from so I went with the one aged in bourbon barrels. Let's see what we got.
Poured into a Samuel smith pint glass from 22oz bottle.
Pours a hazy orange with a white one finger head that quickly dissipates with little lacing to be seen. Some sediment present.
Smells like nutmeg, cinnamon, some pumpkin and bourbon. Everything I expected, bourbon a little on the heavy side. First few taste I get pumpkin pie with nice spices and a bourbon burn at the end, but the more you drink it the more the bourbon takes over the overall taste of everything else. Mouthfeel is average, slight carbonation. A little sticky. Overall the bourbon overpowers everything else this beer has to fifer. Starts off great with all the smells and tastes you expected but gets killed by the bourbon. Don't get me wrong, I like bourbon-barrel aged stouts, the flavors in this just can't hold it's own. Next I will try the regular greater pumpkin to see how that is.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2011 22:51:33 | More by FatJesus
Photo of torr
torr

Rhode Island

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had heard amazing reviews from various sources before purchasing this brew. I expected a not overpowering pumpkin ale with a boozy twist. Now, I cannot say that I have the most refined palette, but what I tasted was a beer with a shot or two of bourbon in it. There was no appreciable pumpkin flavor. I wasn't expecting to be punched in the face with pumpkin like you might expect in a Shipyard, but I also wasn't expecting to get kicked in the balls with bourbon.

In my opinion, this is a better than average beer. It is obvious that Heavy Seas is trying to do something interesting that would be beyond the capabilities of most home brewers. I found this to be something I might serve via tasters to an interested group. I cannot imagine drinking more than one of these in a sitting. The overpowering bourbon flavor brought down what might otherwise be a complex and entirely enjoyable beer. I enjoyed the body, color, and the pumpkin spice aroma.

Overall it's worth a try, but generally the pumpkin beer money could be better spent on a Southern Tier Pumking.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2012 04:38:29 | More by torr
Photo of sendsilk
sendsilk

Florida

3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received in a recent trade. 22 oz. bomber

Murky orange with little head and not much lacing on the glass. Smells very much like cinnamon, cloves and coriander. Taste is pretty spicey, fairly sweet/sugary with the bourbon chiming in but not overly so. It's pretty nice but not the pinnacle of pumpkin beers. Mouthfeel is about average (I guess) for the style. Glad I got to try it but it was just slightly too spicey for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 01:34:35 | More by sendsilk
Photo of BB1313
BB1313

Ohio

3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

2013 vintage. 22oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a light copper with a fluffy off-white head that fades and leaves nice retention and decent lacing. The aromas are loaded with caramel malts. Lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Lots of vanilla. There's a nice amount of graham cracker. Not much oak. The bourbon is extremely subtle. The flavors are very earthy. Lots of spices. More cinnamon and ginger. The bourbon characteristics seem non-existent. It's hard to tell that this was even thrown in bourbon barrels. It tastes good, but loses points for lacking the barrel presence. Mouthfeel is full-bodied, but somewhat thin. Active carbonation making it smooth and drinkable. Alcohol goes unnoticed.

This is a fine pumpkin ale. The only flaw is that the bourbon and oak characteristics seem to be absent, in my opinion. I personally don't think aging this beer will make it improve.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2013 23:29:42 | More by BB1313
Photo of Naugros
Naugros

New Jersey

3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Nice head, but there's a massive chill haze. Hold the beer up to the light and there's a bunch of sediment floating around in there. Not sure if it's lees suspended in the beer or spices.

The bourbon and the pumpkin are both right up front in the nose. Working together they smell a little solvent rather than boozy. The bourbon surpasses the pumpkin in dominance in the taste. The sweetness is tempered with bitterness as well as a twinge of sour. But I don't get much from the spices as they've been hijacked by the booze.

The time has come to rethink aging every beer we can get our hands on and throwing it into a bourbon barrel. It works with stouts and some barleywines can stand up to the strength of that liquor. Pumpkin ale sounded like a good idea to treat in this manner, but I don't think it really worked here. The original product was probably not bold enough and perhaps Weyerbacher might think about putting their Imperial Pumpkin Ale into bourbon barrels. It might do better sticking up for itself.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 00:57:40 | More by Naugros
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap 11/28/2012 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a tulip pint glass.

A: The beer is a cloudy light brown color, with a short dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains pumpkin, cinnamon & other spices, caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with a hearty malt character. Then some sweet flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, this is yet another beer that proves that “imperial” doesn’t always mean better.

Serving type: on-tap

12-01-2012 02:31:05 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at the December iteration of the Santa Cruz tasting series. Dark orange color. Peppermint and cinnamon aroma, very wintery, pumpkin pie plus spices. Smooth pumpkin sweetness, big spice notes, too much nutmeg/cinnamon. Didn’t get any bourbon. Dial down the spices, dial up the squash and the booze.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2012 08:30:13 | More by illidurit
Photo of ThickNStout
ThickNStout

Georgia

3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle from Minks (Marietta, GA). 7.99. No bottling info but it is the 2012 vintage. Served in a large snifter.

Pours vibrant deep orange with three quarter finger pale head that fades quickly. No lacing.

Smells of vanilla, bourbon, mild spice, graham cracker and a hint of pumpkin. Strong booze as well.

Taste kicks off with bold bourbon and progresses to vanilla, unsweetened pumpkin pie, wet oak, stale graham cracker and a bunch of booze. While my description may not sound appetizing, it's actually pretty good. The alcohol bite can be distracting but I just play it off as the bourbon.

Medium full bodied with mild carbonation.

An interesting variation of the ever popular fall seasonal pumpkin brew. I haven't tried the base beer but I'm not sure it's quite enough to stand up to the bourbon barrel aging. The woodsy bourbon is nice but the pumpkin kind of gets lost in the mix. Still, a pretty good value as far as barrel aged imperials go and I don't regret the purchase.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2012 04:30:39 | More by ThickNStout
Photo of codysjb
codysjb

Florida

3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought about a month ago and I’ve been looking forward to getting to try this one.
A: Not much head despite the fact that it gushed all over the place (thankfully missing my laptop and droid) which quickly dissipated in any matter. Light brown, but more of golden amber, color which you can’t see straight through.
S: Bourbon and booze, almost no pumpkin and not much of anything else.
T: Bourbon, Bourbon, a little pumpkin and more bourbon. I can certainly taste the alcohol, not what I was expecting.
M: Almost all bourbon, the flavor is really overwhelming. Can’t taste much of the beer.
O: Not the worst thing ever, better than a bunch of beers but the flavors are unbalanced and there’s way too much bourbon. Maybe not the best type of beer to age in bourbon barrels since the flavors don’t hold up.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2011 06:12:31 | More by codysjb
Photo of 57md
57md

Pennsylvania

3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is copper in color with two big fingers of head that took awhile to dissipate. The nose had pumpkin notes, but also a nostril burning dose of alcohol. There were no pumpkin notes in the flavor profile which was quite disappointing. This is just a sub-standard bourbon-aged ale.

This is one pumpkin ale that can be skipped over.

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2013 06:52:55 | More by 57md
Photo of LordAdmNelson
LordAdmNelson

Ohio

3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice hazy orange color with smallish off-white head that recedes to a ring around the edge of the beer. Aroma is dominated by the Heavy Seas bourbon barrels, a bit boozy, the cinnamon/nutmeg/pumpkin seems to be a bit drowned out.

Flavor is pretty good, although I am not a huge fan of whatever the bourbon aging does to the Heavy Seas beers. I had the bourbon barrel barleywine and I tasted the same thing from the bourbon aging--a bit of vanilla heavily folded into an over-the-top buttery presence. Ruined the barleywine, though it worked a bit better with this beer. I like the Great Pumpkin a lot, so this was kind of a let-down. When the Great Pumpkin does show through over the buttery mess that is the Heavy Seas bourbon barrels, it's still quite good.

MF is thick, chewy, coating. Maybe a hair more carbonation to keep it moving but that's about it. OK drinkability, but I can't get past the buttery character of these beers. Maybe it's me--I'm pretty sure it's not the bottles since this is the same flavor I've found in two of their BA beers.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2010 00:44:22 | More by LordAdmNelson
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tonight, my wife and I did a comparison test with this one and it's younger brother: "The Great Pumpkin."

On each of the Heavy Seas bombers, there is a story printed. The two Heavy Seas pumpkin beers have EXACTLY the same story, except on this one, the final sentence is: "From the haunted wood emerges the Great'er Pumpkin of them all!"

A: Nice Halloween orange color, with this just one shade darker than the non-barrel aged version. The carbonation is medium and there is about a half inch head on it.

S: It sort of smells like dark fruit dipped in bourbon. If I hadn't know this was a pumpkin ale beforehand, I never would have pegged it as that.

T: Nothing but bourbon wrapped in fruit (notice that I didn't say it the other way around). It may not be a great taste, but it is definitely one of the most interesting pumpkin brews I've ever tasted. The pumpkin tastes BBQd, burnt even, with subtle fruit notes on the aftertaste.

M: This is definitely creamier that "The Great Pumpkin", but I find it far less satisfying. The bourbon relentlessly beats you over the head and doesn't take any prisoners.

D: This is a very interesting experiment, however, I don't believe that this is a style that works as a barrel-ages concoction. When I go shop for a pumpkin ale, I want just that...a pumpkin-flavored ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2010 01:59:13 | More by Chaney
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a true pint, the beer is a light, bright, yellow-copper coloring with a slim film covering of white froth. Light pumpkin sweet aromas, with only a slight spicing, and some stronger bourbon and woody overtones. Flavors are boozey right off the bat, with strong oak and bourbon highlights on the slick pumpkin flavors. The spicing is slight on the tail end, and ends up slightly overpowered by the other flavor profiles. The aftertaste is pumpkin and bourbon, which blends nicely. The finish is clean and quick, after the smooth, round body throughout drinking. I was surprised how different this brew is from the Great Pumpkin Heavy Seas offers. Tasty.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 01:49:51 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of cwps48
cwps48

Maryland

3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Golden orange, but hazy. Moderate head with no lacing after it recedes.

S: Overwhelming bourbon barrel aging. Southern Tier-esque. Though, unlike ST, they did manage to get a bit of other flavor in the beer; pumpkin manages to turtle-head out. Swirling allows some of the cinnamon and allspice to pop, also.

T: Vanilla. Jesus, this is bourbon barrel aged. Pumpkin hardly comes out, but you can find it if you look hard enough. Somewhat hot.

M: Dry. Too carbonated for my liking. But I will admit, it is somehow making me want more...

D: Somewhat smooth. But too much bourbon to drink it quickly. Definitely a sipper.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 03:29:44 | More by cwps48
Photo of jsdunlop
jsdunlop

North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber that I picked up over at Bestway in G-boro. Light amber with a frothy white head, bit of cloudiness to it. Head sticks around with good lacing. Smells like some raw pumpkin guts, light vinegar or sourness, vanilla, and the traditional pumpkin pie spices. First sip reveals the 9% alcohol that was missing in the aroma. Fairly sweet with vanilla and caramel blending in with the pumpkin spices. Oak aging gives it a strange twang, sort of like sour wood, but it adds a new dimension to the brew. Raw pumpkin sneaks in again towards the end of the sip along with some booze and lingers. Mouthfeel is amazingly creamy with a moderate body to it. Nice carbonation going on. I enjoyed it, though some of the flavors seemed out of place and the alcohol seemed overwhelming. Nice pumpkin character to it.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2011 01:40:54 | More by jsdunlop
Photo of russwbeck
russwbeck

Virginia

3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Yellow orange pour with a surprisingly large white head. The retention is very good. I was expecting this to be much, much darker.

S: The smell is pretty boozy. Bourbon and whiskey mostly. The pumpkin and spices have mostly become subdued. Vanilla and a bit of oakiness remain.

T: The taste really surprises me. The bourbon really overpowers it. The pumpkin, spices, and cinnamon show up on the back...and it doesn't taste good. Very strange taste. Never had a beer this light with bourbon flavors. Sort of confuses my palate.

MF: Light and carbonated well. Alcohol is certainly noticeable.

O: Not terribly drinkable. It tasted really strange. It was balanced, but the aftertaste was just so weird. Certainly glad I tasted it, but I wouldn't get it again.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2011 18:56:10 | More by russwbeck
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, dark brown with the slightest tan head. Smells slightly of bourbon and a little bit of pumpkin pie spice in the background. Neither seems to stand out. The taste ups the intensity a little bit, but not in a good way. The bourbon and pumpkin spices just don't really blend all that well in this version. The mouthfeel is medium with low carbonation. No noticeable alcohol. Drinkability is pretty good for a beer of this heft, and I'll give it points for not having ridonkulous amounts of pumpkin spices, but that's about all I can say.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2010 22:16:56 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of Ozzylizard
Ozzylizard

Pennsylvania

3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2013 bomber at 50 degrees into Imperial pint
Aroma very faint of bourbon (aged in bourbon barrels) with a little clove
Head average (3.5 cm), off-white, creamy, mostly diminishing
Lacing fair
Body medium orange, clear
Flavor begins with bourbon tones, primarily vanillin, and some spiceness; no hops, no malt, no diacetyl, no alcohol flavors
Flavor ends with only sweetness and a short-lived alcohol burn.
Palate is medium, slightly oily, with soft carbonation

Very attractive pour. The differentiation between this and other pumpkin ales seems to be the ubiquitous bourbon barrel. No pumpkin tasted, only bourbon and clove. Rating based on trueness to style.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 14:09:59 | More by Ozzylizard
Photo of LanceW
LanceW

Michigan

3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this brew a "barrel aged" tasting. It ranked right in the middle of the pack for my self. There was a large amount of spice in the brew due to it being a pumpkin ale. I didn't pick up the barrel aged at first but the body was quite full and large.

Worth drinking but I believe that there is better in the 8-9 dollar bomber range.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 21:39:47 | More by LanceW
Photo of nas5755
nas5755

Massachusetts

3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A hazy lite golden brown beer with a nice head and some minimal lacing. The nose is full of hot bourbon with a little pumpkin and spices. The beer tastes like bourbon with pumpkin and spices, more nuanced and complex than the nose, heat is noticeable but it does not distract from the beer in a negative beer(I despise heat is most beers). The heat actually works here. A very smooth mouthfeel from the pumpkin, mild carbonation. Overall, this is one of my favorite pumpkin ales and it is a style I just don't appreciate. A decent beer that has some strong points and some weak points.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2010 00:59:28 | More by nas5755
Photo of jale
jale

Michigan

3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a cloudy orange-amber with two quarters of off white head.

S: Pumpkin aroma with a lot of nutmeg.

T: Sweet with a hint of malt upfront moving quickly into alcohol heat. Pumplin but mostly nutmeg middle. I don't pick up any bourbon but the finish is considerable oaky tannins.

M: medium body which is somewhat sticky. For a lighter beer I find this slightly chewy.

O: I would like to have tasted more malt backbone in this.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2011 23:08:34 | More by jale
Photo of Burt
Burt

Rhode Island

3.05/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a tulip glass.

Amber orange that is hazy, off white head with little lacing.

Light pie spice and bourbon aroma.

Caramel sweetness up front, with pumpkin pie in the middle and a vanilla bourbon finish that slick is on the tongue.

Was looking forward to this and found the barrel aging made it a little tough to drink. One and done.

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2011 09:18:30 | More by Burt
Photo of aerozeppl
aerozeppl

New York

3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Reddish amber color with quite a bit of stuff floating in suspension. A half finger of white head with some lacing.

S: The nose is mostly nutmeg. For a bourbon aged beer this nose is tight when it should really be bright. Not that impressed at all.

T: No bourbon at all which is a disappointment. Not much pumpkin either. More pumpkin spices which I think it a way to turn an ale into a pumpkin ale. It is not bad and there are no off flavors or anything like that but it is just kind of meh for me. The idea of a bourbon pumpkin ale really exited me but the execution left me wanting more.

M:Medium bodied. Carbonation is soft and pleasing.

D: A friend had this on cask and said it was one of the best beers that he had ever had. This was a big let down for me. I think they might have a small issue on the bottling line. Their draft beers are always remarkably better. For a big barrel aged beer this is kind of bland.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2010 21:56:53 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of JayS2629
JayS2629

Alabama

3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

There are some bitter, lemony hop characteristics on the finish of this beer that seem out of place with the rest of the taste.

It pours a bright orange, pumpkin copper with a thin white ring of foam. Creamy swirls of white float on a thin film on top. Leave some thin creamy laces.

The smell is of pumpkin, hints of vanilla, allspice, and a touch cinnamon. Strong note of good bourbon.

Nice toasted malt hold its all up with hints of bourbon and oak peeking through. Follows the nose with the pumpkin and spices. Nice sweet front with a bitter, lemony hop in the breath of the finish that just didn't seem to fit. This could have been done better. The bourbon burns and fights the spice for domination. Bourbon wins. Out of balance.

The body was medium with some creamy qualities.

Its an easy drink, sweet but not cloying, and not overly spiced. The balance was done nicely, its just not my favoirte pumpkin beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2011 22:00:37 | More by JayS2629
Heavy Seas - The Greater Pumpkin from Heavy Seas Beer
87 out of 100 based on 416 ratings.