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Heavy Seas - The Greater Pumpkin - Heavy Seas Beer

Not Rated.
Heavy Seas - The Greater PumpkinHeavy Seas - The Greater Pumpkin

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BA SCORE
88
very good

626 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 626
Reviews: 200
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 13.88%
Wants: 64
Gots: 95 | FT: 3
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: 626 | Reviews: 200 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of weezyfart
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After much fanfare from friends of mine, I decided to plunk down some bucks and give this beer a try. I actually had pretty high hopes because this is the only aged pumpkin ale I've cone across yet.

Appearance: murky brown almost rusty in color with a small cap that left no lacing.

Aroma: I get a lot of wood, a lot of vanilla, plus pumpkin spice of course. I also get some dried apricot.

Taste: this is where the beer gets lost to me. Just about all I taste is vanilla and oak. There is lingering spice in there, but it is way overshadowed by the oak and the whole beer gets steered off course. In other words, it totally flew over the seasonal runway. I could drink this in February and basically think of it as a strong ale brewed with spices and aged in oak. I then may have given it better scores because I wouldn't have been thinking "pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin"

Photo of shageman331
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- slightly better head than the great pumpkin by heavy seas and a little darker, but all in all pretty similar

Smell- big hit of vanilla and Bourbon with some pumpkin making its way through

Taste- there is a lot of vanilla in this beer. The Bourbon influence is a bit overpowering and masks the pumpkin a little too much for my taste. I would like more pumpkin and spice.

Mouthfeel - Carb is well done and keeps the party moving along

Overall - I think this beer could have been exceptional if the Bourbon influence was toned down. All on all, this beer is a bit of a let down.

Photo of Nichols33
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of SomethingClever
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into Chimay Chalice

A: Amber colored slightly hazy could be because It is so cold almost no head whatsoever

S: smells of ginger, nutmeg not so much like a cohesive pumpkin smell getting no bourbon on the nose

T: tastes like a pumpkin beer maybe not as sweet as some but it just tastes like pumpkin. I'm not getting much bourbon maybe on the finish and it just makes it sourish/bitter

M: a little syrupy but not over the top like some pumpkin beers I'd say medium body

O: meh a pretty average beer, tastes like pumpkin bourbon is about undetectable. if you see it and you love pumpkin you might love it but otherwise don't bother

Photo of John_M
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On cask at Mahaffey's the other night.

The beer pours a pumpkin orange amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is impressive in this pumpkin ale, showcasing a boatload of clove, nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, all spice and brown sugar. The beer smells sweet and very spicy. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely in this fairly sweet beer, though there's also something of a buttery mouthfeel and considerable alcohol as well. While I realize this is meant to be an "imperial" style ale, this beer comes across as an 11% or 12% abv. beer.... that's how boozy it is. Mouthfeel is soft, smooth and almost slick in this low carbonation presentation, and the beer has a farily long, spice infused finish. As seems to be typical in these mutiny fleet beers, drinkability is not this beer's strong suit. The combination of sweetness, spice and in your face alcohol made it impossible for me to finish even the 10 ounce glass I was served at Mahaffey's. While interesting, at least for me, this was ultimatley another mutiny fleet dud.

Photo of Daktyls
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy amber color with a half finger head that recedes quickly to a minimal lacing in the center of the brew.

S: A light aroma of bourbon masks most of the other smells, leaving a slight amount of malt to be detected as well.

T: A light malty-pumpkin flavor up front followed by bourbon-y sweetness on the back end. Spices are somewhat limited but present, lending little to the taste.

M: Medium amount of carbonation for an overall light body, seems to work well together.

O: Overall, this tastes more like bourbon that anything else. Not necessarily a bad thing, just not really pumpkin-y at all.

Photo of claspada
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 Bottle aged for a year in the fridge.

Pours a dark amber color with a thin ring of tan foam around the outside of the glass that recedes to leave some pretty decent lacing on the glass.

Aromas are quite intense with tons of bourbon, quite a bit of booze along with the usual oak and vanilla. As it warms you get a lot of pumpkin pie spices as well; including cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.

The tastes begin with a great deal of sweet vanilla. Fairly sweet, but the oaky bourbon flavors helps to mitigate that a bit. As it warms the intense cinnamon and nutmeg flavors do an even better job of this.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low-medium carbonation. Finish is pretty darn sweet and boozy, which is suprising given the year of age.

OveralI, I chose to age this because I heard it was farily intense upon the release and it it still so after a year. The bourbon and spices are just overdone causing an intense flavor profile is just hard to really enjoy. I don't mind aging beers for more than a year but a pumpkin beer doesnt fit that MO for me

Photo of womencantsail
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What are the chances? Two people bring the same beer to an impromptu tasting (thanks Dan). Thanks for the taste from your bottle, Craig.

A: The pour is a dark amber color with a thin ring of tan foam around the outside of the glass.

S: Tons and tons of pie spices such as cinnamon, all spice, and nutmeg. The bourbon aroma is plentiful as well, providing quite a bit of booze along with the usual oak and vanilla.

T: The vanilla flavor is really nice and smooth here. Fairly sweet, but the bourbon flavor helps to mitigate that a bit, and the intense cinnamon and nutmeg flavors do an even better job of this.

M: The body is maybe on the thin side of medium with a low to medium carbonation.

D: I could see this being great, but the bourbon and spices are just overdone at this point.

Photo of drabmuh
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a bruery tulip. Beer is orange and hazy with a thin broken white head of small bubbles.

Aroma is strong with some pumpkin, minimal spices and strong bourbon.

Beer is light in body and quite hot. Its mildly spicy but the pumpkin some how cuts through and is still present. My wife enjoys this beer and this style more than I do but this is a decent beer. I wouldn't have expected much from a bourbon barrel aged fruit beer but this one comes through. Its a little harsh on the onset but overall its OK.

Photo of Mjlong1
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

22oz bottle poured into a large snifter.

A: Orange in color. Hazy. Off white head settles quickly. Lacing is small and spotty.

S: Strong waft of gourdy sweet pumpkin. Whiffs of cinnamon and pumpkin spice. Rich barrel aromas of caramel, vanilla, bourbon, and charred oak. Pleasant shortbread malt backbone.

T: A wave of cinnamon and pumpkin spice dominates for a while. Striking impression of graham cracker. Bourbon and barrel flavors pick up steam on the mid palate, but the spicing never goes away. Bourbon, oak, and caramel punch through the spices from time to time. Pleasant shortbread and toffee malt backbone is stifled. Pumpkin comes on strong toward the back end. Finishes with long lingering cinnamon.

M: Medium-thick body. Chewy. Low carbonation. Soothing alcohol warmth.

O: The English malts are delicious on the rare occasions that they are allowed to peek through the iron curtain of spices. The barrel flavors are comforting and enticing as well. Tone back the spicing by half and this would be an excellent beer, but as it stands it's a bit much.

Photo of BeerResearcher
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz brown bottle. No freshness date.
Served in a Sam Adams lager glass.
It pours an orange-hued copper color with little specks of suspended floaties and a thin beige head which fades in a matter of seconds. No lacing whatsoever.
The first smell is that of a spiced pumpkin bourbon cake (not a bad idea!), followed by some citrus zest and a whiff of dry barn.
The flavors are fairy intense with pumpkin, bready malt, spices, lemony citrus, grapefruit and bourbon.
The alcoholic profile grows as you get halfway through the glass, and I think to myself yourself, "I've had 2 Wolaver Pumpkin Ales,
and a Sierra Nevada Tumbler before this and now I have to consider how many hours I've been drinking, what I ate and how much I weigh, because I'm feeling this brew in each breath I take and there is a noticeable pleasant buzz in the works. Fear not! I'm sitting in my home office just drinking and a typing...and staring at the pumpkin I just bought.

Photo of Jadjunk
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

"As fall approaches and thoughts turn to Halloween, we roll out the Great'er Pumpkin. A coppery ale with forward notes of vanilla oak and flavors of autumnal spice, the ale is brewed with actual pumpkin and imported English malts. Pairs well with turkey legs, sweet potatoes, and an evening looking at the stars…" Brewed in the style of a Bourbon Barrel Aged Pumpkin Ale. Available as a fall seasonal in 22 oz. bottles. Rebooted in 2013 as the fall release in the Uncharted Waters series. Enjoyed alongside a 2013 bottle and a 2012 "Mutiny Fleet" series bottle for vertical comparison.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a Heavy Seas pint glass. Served above 52º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy light tan head over an orange amber body with moderate haziness and light sediment in tow. Retention is average, lacing is light and spotty. 3.5

(Smell) Meaty toasted pumpkin, mildly sweet bread malts with a touch of caramel grain and toffee, light cinnamon and nutmeg spiciness. Fairly low impact of bourbon and barrel treatment in the aroma. Potency is medium. 3.75

(Taste) Bitter, waxy pumpkin rind plus a mellow arrangement of nutmeg and allspice. A fairly light body, shallow on malt depth and light sweetness, notes of caramel grain, earthy bread, creeping alcohol presence. Like the aroma, there isn't much bourbon character, potentially aside from the finish, which is quite dry. The flavor is a bit less ideal than the aroma gives off, slightly less ripe pumpkin and harsher alcohol without the benefits of a solid malt base. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, mildly sticky, faintly dry. Carbonation generates a moderate frothiness for a silky mouthfeel. Body is medium+ for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is very slightly biter over sweet. Alcohol presence is low/medium and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) Calling The Greater Pumpkin an imperial ale might be only half a step too bold. Compared to the excellent 2013 (see below for notes), I feel this beer didn't spend enough time in the barrels to get much of a bourbon impact, but even without the bourbon, it's a well-bodied and flavorful pumpkin ale, reasonable on the balance, reserved on the spices and a respectable choice for the fall season. 3.75

Vertical Reviews:

2013 (1 Year Aged) Pours a clearer body but with more chunks of sediment, creamy froth head. More dominant notes of bourbon and oak, some vanilla and a sweet molasses backbone, pumpkin and spice still evident in the aroma if not slightly washed out. The flavor carries more bourbon and syrup up front, paired with slightly meatier pumpkin behind, light and dry spice profiles, decent balance, optimally boozy and notable bourbon impact. Texture is slicker, slightly more viscous and chewier than the fresh vintage, carbonation is smoother and frothier. Alcohol presence is medium and there are no off characters. I'm not sure how widely the build on this one differs from the fresh vintage, but it is superior in almost every way, much better bourbon character, meatier, riper pumpkin and a more solid, better balanced malt body. The bourbon doesn't take away from the pumpkin style but compliments its strengths very well. Quite a fantastic vintage and highly recommended.

2012 (2 Years Aged) Pours a crisp, frothy head over a similarly colored body to the 1 year and fresh vintages, slightly less pulpy matter than 2013. Faint, earthy caramel malt and grainy alcohol, remnants of nutmeg spice and vegetal pumpkin, altogether falling off. Flavor is as harsh if not worse, astringent grains and sharp nips of bourbon, strong cinnamon, faded pumpkin. Texture is slick, oily and medium dry, carbonation is slightly frothy and crisp. Alcohol presence is medium/high, fairly grainy and harsh. Slightly different recipe for this year prior and potentially a different beer entirely, either way it's quite past its prime.

Recommended Vintages: Fresh or 1 Year Aged (2013)

Heavy Seas Beer's
The Greater Pumpkin
3.63/5.00

Photo of ummswimmin
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Stuck inside during the great Frankenstorm... seems like the perfect time to review some beer!

I poured the Greater Pumpkin into a chalice style glass. On the pour I get about two fingers of foam, but that dies down pretty quickly. The coloring is a deep orange.

I can smell this beer aroma is reaching me from a few feet away. You immediately get a bunch of pumpkin. You can also pick up the bourbon at the edges.

The flavor is really hot. It is over-whelming. You get a ton of alcohol in this. The pumpkin really comes out. I feel like this could get better with aging.

Photo of Gmann
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a golden amber color with some orange hues. The white head is small and wispy, settles into a very light ring.

The aroma is of light pumpkin spice; cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Some pumpkin vegetal notes. These aromas are contrasted by a sweet bourbon scent that brings vanilla and oak. Quite surprised by the subtle nature, especially for a big beer.

The taste is quite bourbon-y to start. Vanilla and oak flavors are present as well as a slight fusel alcohol. Perhaps a touch of caramel. The pumpkin spices are muted but seem to play well with the bourbon flavors. Some cinnamon and nutmeg, perhaps some ginger. The malt is slightly bready and doesn't play too much in the flavor profile.

The feel is quite light, almost watery. Its sweet on the palate; the spice and ABV burn seem to help keep the sweetness in check. A bit dry in the finish.

Not really what I expected. I expected a thicked bodied, heavily spiced pumpkin ale that had some bourbon notes. This is almost the opposite. Its light, the main flavor is the bourbon and the pumpkin profile is subtle. It is a nice blend though; the spice works quite well with the bourbon.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got a bomber of this for 7.99 at my local beer Nutz. Not Sure of the age but with some sediment in the bottle it may be last years batch. Hoping the bourbon has rounded out in that time!

A - Poured a nice amber with an inch of fluffy white head. The pour was pretty carbonated so the sediment was disturbed and resulted in a snow storm in my glass. Ow well it's a bourbon beer so I don't think it is soured.

S - Wow this smells like a booze bomb! Heavy bourbon with just a hint of caramel sweetness with just a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon.

T - Belch! Ow wow the only time I had a as much bourbon flavor was in Nemesis! Usually a beer will round out the bourbon flavor resulting in a sweetness but this is full on booze flavored! Hard to detect anything else but I did pick up mostly caramel sweetness, some wood, and a very mild if any pumpkin taste but really it good have just been bourbon with this monster!

M - Very heavy and almost undrinkable. I kind of enjoy a scotch or bourbon flavor MILDLY in my beer but this is ridiculous.

D - I don't think age will do much more with this beer since after a while the sediment starts to set in destroying the flavor. Was really hoping for more with this beer but has really opened my eyes for big ABV Pumpkin ales. Most of them (Smashed Pumpkin, Hopping Frog Double Pumpkin, and this) were total booze bombs. I will stick with my Screaming Jack from Michigan. PASS!

Photo of aasher
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I opted to go ahead and pour this one instead of aging it. The curiosity got to me. It poured a cloudy, murky dark burnt orange with almost no head at all. You can smell it from a couple feet away. You can pick up the pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon. Up close you get little more than bourbon, oak, and vanilla. The taste isn't what I wanted it to be. It's subtly pumpkin while overly bourbon. I would've liked it the other way around. It drinks slightly "hot" too because of the bourbon flavor paired with the 9% alcohol content. It has a medium to body and leaves the bourbon flavor on your palate. I like it, but it could've been better. I'll probably buy another one just to let it age for a couple years.

Photo of jnn4v
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Orangeish brown, hazy color. No sediment. Very little head.

S: Smells like pumpkin spice candles, hot mulled cider, and hints of apple pie.

T: Apple pie spice, apple cider, pumpkin pie, and alcohol. Not overly sweet. Sort of medicinal flavor.

M: Good texture. Medium-to-thick mouthfeel.

D: OK drinkability. The alcohol and cloves started to get annoying halfway through.

Photo of oberon
3.69/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The perfect weather for a big pumpkin ale here in NC. today.Pours into an imperial nonic a deep burnt orange in fused copper with a sticky off white head that clings to the glass it settles pretty quickly.Big alcohol and pie spices in the nose,smells like an alcoholic doozy.And the aromas are correct,cinnamon and clove flavors with a big spiced rum-like sweetness with it's mild molasses,vanilla, and brown sugar notes.Whoo this isn't the "biggest" pumpkin ale I have had but it tastes like it might be.I get more of a rum alcohol flavor than I do the bourbon barrel,hmm odd.

Photo of emyers
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy copper-orange with a thin off-white head.

Smell: Pumpkin, pie spice, and molasses up front with bourbon undertones. The bourbon is definitely subtle, but adds a very nice layer of complexity. Excellent.

Taste: Unfortunately goes a little downhill here. Maintains a similar profile to the aroma with pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice taking the forefront, but flavor-wise it's pretty mild. Once again, the bourbon flavor is very subtle. The alcohol presence, however, is not, and really weighs this down a bit. If there was more flavor overall it would be able to stand up to the alcohol, but as it is it gets overpowered a bit. Still a solid taste, just not as good as it could be.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a medium carbonation level. Definite alcohol heat.

Overall: This is a good beer, and the bourbon offers a nice change of pace from the standard pumpkin beers out there. Ultimately it just needs more flavor (both pumpkin and bourbon).

Photo of dheacck11
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pour is a dark copper bronze, fairly opaque. Not much head.

Nose is rich and big with apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a little brandy.

Taste is absurdly boozy, such strong bourbon taste it bowls you over. Little hint of pumpkin spice, really tough to find other flavors buried under all the booze. Little more ale and pumpkin spice flavor as it warms.

Feel is sticky and medium full.

Wow. Perhaps aged a bit too long in those bourbon barrels. I like a BBA brew, but this is just more boozy than I would like. Gonna give it some time to warm and see if it improves.

Photo of TheGordianKnot
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bomber into goblet...

A- Rusty orange. Has a nice dense off white head, settles fast with some lacing.

S- 5... Simply put: its prefect. Not sure how to describe perfection? Pumpkin pie, spice, sweetness, nuttiness, caramel, everything awesome!

T/M- A little hot from the bourbon. The pumpkin and spice flavors take a back seat as everything seems to settle down on the tongue; ends up being much more of a blend of fall flavors rather than what I hoped a bourbon barrel pumpkin beer would be. Has a slight oak taste on the middle of the palate. The end is alcohol and nutmeg. Body is medium/almost heavy with decent carbonation, but it's not airy.

O- Wished I would have gotten more pumpkin in the flavor. If taste was like aroma, this would be impeccable! Not sure how she will do with this, as I feel the pumpkin flavors I want may settle even more. Decent, but many other options out there which taste better and my wallet enjoys more.

Photo of Pencible
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a hazy dark gold with a little off-white head.
S: It smelled like lots of mulled spices and cider, with pumpkin and sweet bourbon and a bit of oak.
T: It tasted like pumpkin and apple cider / mulled spices, with bourbon and vanilla and oak and biscuit. It had a somewhat dirty bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was fairly thick with moderate carbonation.
D: This was better than the average pumpkin ale, but not amazing. The bourbon aging was a nice twist, and it seemed to work well with the other flavor elements. But the general quality and crispness of the brew was somewhat lacking. Nice body, and it hid the alcohol well, so it was pretty easy to drink. Enjoyable, but a bit sloppy, so there was some missed potential.

Photo of Mamagacci
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of TailsnAles
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%

Heavy Seas - The Greater Pumpkin from Heavy Seas Beer
88 out of 100 based on 626 ratings.