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Heavy Seas - Great’ER Pumpkin - Heavy Seas Beer

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

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BA SCORE
86
very good

199 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 199
Hads: 643
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.51%
Wants: 68
Gots: 106 | 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.
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Reviews: 199 | Hads: 643
Photo of EastHarris
1.56/5  rDev -59.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I picked this up right before Thanksgiving as a bookend to all of the pumpkin/fall beers I would be having that day. I've had Heavy Seas offerings before but this was my first of their bourbon barrel aged offerings. Poured with almost no head. Smelled of pumpkin pie spices with a slight boozy, oaky aroma. The first sip was wow....what happened to this brew? It tasted like someone took a half decent pumpkin beer and poured a double shot of bourbon directly into it. It was so overwhelming that I drain poured the rest of it and I have not had a bourbon barrel beer since. I basically lost my taste for this style because of this beer.

Well intentioned, but poorly executed. I mean poor. The only person who might like this is a bourbon aficionado and even that is doubtful.

Better luck next time around! (809 characters)

Photo of jsh420
1.86/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

pours cloudy amber orange with a 1 finger head that left some spotted lacing

smell - almost none but i get some watered down bourbon

taste - sweet bourbon smacks your tastes buds right off the bat - this beer has more bourbon flavor then lots of stouts aged in bourbon barrels and no pumpkin to back it up - i think i might and coke zero so i can drink this booze monster

mouthfeel - kind of sticky medium body with low carbonation

drinkability is awful - 3/4 of this bottle went down the drain (498 characters)

Photo of Bendurgin
1.93/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured this into a pint glass. The body is hazy orange with about a finger of off white head that looks thick and creamy. The body actually really looks like sweet apple cider. Maybe because it's Autumn. The head doesn't retain very well and leaves just a little spotty lacing. I can definitely smell the pumpkin in this one, a bit of oak and certainly the bourbon. The bourbon is actually a bit aggressive, it makes it a bit to intense. Ugh. Pumpkin and bourbon don't go well together at all. This reminds me of cough syrup. I can taste the pumpkin, bourbon and Autumn spices but the bourbon is too much. I remember having the regular version last year and it wasn't bad. But these flavors just don't go well together. The mouthfeel isn't bad. Not really good though because the feeling in my mouth is just the really bad taste of cough syrup. Not at all drinkable. I'm really pissed at Shane from Tully's for pointing this one out to me and convincing me I should try it. That's strike two Shane. (998 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
2.06/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to angrybabboon for splitting the bomber.

Appearance: Hazy orange. Bright-white head. Pours a little heavy with some decent carbonation. Minus the haze, this is what I would expect to see.

Smell: This is where things start to go wrong. Bourbon, vanilla, clove, nutmeg, and a nice splash of real pumpkin. Sweet like pumpkin pie filling. Fleshy, vegetable goodness mired in some straight bourbon. Not a lot of aroma blending going on here. It's like sniffing a shot of bourbon and then jamming your nose in pumpkin pie filling.

Taste: Sweet pie filling soaked in bourbon. It tastes like someone got drunk in the kitchen and decided to share. Vanilla and oak jam down the sweetness. Clove and nutmeg dominate the spice profile, but bourbon kicks it in the balls and says "To hell with you. I'm the king!" and promptly drops a steamy load of bottom shelf bourbon on your tongue. Pumpkin bombs! Drop a shot of canned pumpkin in a glass of Jim Beam and you'll get the idea.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a moderate carbonation. Drinks on the smooth side, with a hellaciously dry booze burn after every sip.

Overall: They didn't bourbon barrel age this. I think they pumpkin aged some bourbon. Seriously off balance and almost undrinkable. If I wanted to drink a glass of bourbon, I'd do it. (1,294 characters)

Photo of angrybabboon
2.31/5  rDev -40%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Review adapted from notes taken 11/12/11

Appearance: Hazy, but mostly clear - dark orange - little white head that doesn't stick around for long, average lacing

Smell: Straight-up bourbon, with a side of bourbon - some pumpkin flesh underneath - a ton of the usual pumpkin pie spices - nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, clove, ginger - some sweetness, tons of alcohol - it's like someone hollowed out a pumpkin pie and filled it with bourbon

Taste: Absurd, with so much bourbon - borderline more bourbon than beer - tons of wood, tons of alcohol - underneath this assault, there are some cooked malts and pumpkin - pumpkin pie spices everywhere - a vegetal sweetness, but mostly dry - totally unbalanced, way too much bourbon

Mouthfeel: Medium body, on the thin side considering the harsh flavor, adequate carbonation

Overall: In a word, harsh

I thought a touch of bourbon would do good things to a pumpkin beer. And maybe it would. This beer throws so much bourbon into the equation that it is nearly incomprehensible. And this beer may or may not have made me need to vomit. (1,077 characters)

Photo of SchmoTerp
2.41/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Always a fan of Clipper City and their Heavy Seas series, I was excited about this seasonal brew. When I finally poured this from its 22oz bottle, I was eager to take my first sip. It's appearance was solid, even with a bit of sediment floating around in the glass. The unique red-orange color paired not wholly complimentary with its equally unique smell, a pungent mix of pumpkin, spices, and citrus. Once to my lips, this beer was not for me. The taste of this beer was unbalanced. There were notes of good flavors but together this didn't mesh well. Even worse was the finish which was down right awful and got me looking for a glass of water.

This was a one time special for me. (685 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Passing by a bottle of bourbon aged beer with pirate bottle art work would prove impossible for me.

Dark orange sherbet color with a marrow beige-white head. Swirly skim retention with a few foamy fingers rising from the orange miasma.

Cinnamon lead pumpkin pie spice is most discernible on the nose followed by a pumpkin pie filling and woody, wet bourbon mash up. Aroma is messy and doesn't feature the bourbon well.

Pumpkin pie spice, mild vegetal pumpkin and bourbon muddled together to form a uniform boozy blah.

I thought I was done with boozy, overspiced pumpkin ales for the year but this one sucked me back in. Once again, bourbon was the source of bad decision making. (685 characters)

Photo of bum732
2.83/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

S: Some pumpkin spices with a moderate bourbon note, slight squash tartness.

L: Hazy, bright burnt orange with a white head that dissipates.

T: Bourbon up front with a pumpkin spice background. Low bitterness yields to sweet pumpkin pie with some additional bourbon notes. Finishes semi-dry with a touch of oak.

M: Medium full body, medium low carbonation, slick.

Big beer, big bourbon as well, not a whole lot of pumpkin, pretty messy. Drain pour normally, but i wanted to get drunk. (488 characters)

Photo of oline73
2.92/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a clear orangish amber with a half finger of off white head and decent retention.

Smell: Pumpkin pie, spices and sweet malt with some brown sugar. Definitely the best part of this beer.

Taste: It kind of follows from the smell, but doesn't live up to it. There is pumpkin and pie spice, but it gets overshadowed by the bourbon and a huge anise presence. There is some bitterness, but the spice in the finish crushed everything.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and a bit syrupy. Tingly carbonation with a slick finish.

Overall: The aftertaste just killed this beer for me. It smells wonderful, but I found myself enjoying each sip a bit less than the last. Probably won't do this one again. (739 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
3/5  rDev -22.1%

Poured into a snifter. Nothing better than a pumpkin beer and football.

3.25 A: Clear orange amber color. I didn't get much of a head on this. Quickly falling frothy beige with a wisp or two of lacing.

3.5 S: Pumpkin spiciness with ginger and cinnamon leading the way. Allspice and a touch of pepper. The bourbon barrel is pretty weak in this. You really have to look for it to find it. Just a light earthiness and a hint of oak.

3.0 T: The bourbon is much, much more apparent in the taste to the point where it almost controls the beer. Big earthiness, leather, mineral, and melon. Oak, vanilla, and a touch of tannic astringency. Again some pumpkin spiciness as mentioned above. Not a lot of sweet maltiness.

3.5 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Light creaminess and smooth.

3.0 D: Ehhh, it's nothing special. The bourbon is too weak in the nose and too strong in the taste. This needs a bigger malty backbone to do well in a barrel. (978 characters)

Photo of ChadQuest
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First off, i am drinking this bottle 8 months after it's release.

Color is a golden hue, lighter then i was anticipating, not much lacing or head at all, drops out right away.
The aroma is sweet pumpkin pie, wood, and alcohol. I would have liked more spice notes.
The flavors are rounded smooth pumpkin sweetness and a light woody alcohol. Little spice, really little bourbon character.

I enjoy pumpkin beers, but i like more spice then this one. This one was also probably better fresh when the bourbon was stronger. (519 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
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. (927 characters)

Photo of Burt
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
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. (344 characters)

Photo of JayS2629
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
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. (921 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%

Brief write-up. This beer does a few things right in the style: namely, it doesn't go overboard with the fall spicing. Both cinnamon and nutmeg are well restrained, giving the caramel malt backbone some breathing room. But there's also a big problem with this beer. The finish is WAY too stodgy. It's a full-bodied brew as well, which means this is a slow sipper at best. I was also a bit disappointed in the overly subdued bourbon presence, but hey it's not remotely boozy either. Overall, it's not bad, but not great.

3.1/5: It would be a really good pumpkin ale if it weren't so flabby (589 characters)

Photo of jale
3.12/5  rDev -19%
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. (436 characters)

Photo of nas5755
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
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. (585 characters)

Photo of LanceW
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
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. (335 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.24/5  rDev -15.8%
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. (677 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
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. (548 characters)

Photo of uvachief
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Not bad but not great either. Good seasonal pumpkin ale. Little too light and lacking in pumpkin pie for my taste. Smooth and that golden orange brown color on draft. Little to no head. Smooth and light in the mouth. Finished clean. Just needs more of that pie taste. (273 characters)

Photo of jsdunlop
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
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. (818 characters)

Photo of Chaney
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
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. (1,316 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
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. (660 characters)

Photo of cwps48
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
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. (623 characters)

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Heavy Seas - Great’ER Pumpkin from Heavy Seas Beer
86 out of 100 based on 199 ratings.