Heavy Seas - Great’ER Pumpkin - Heavy Seas Beer

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Heavy Seas - Great’ER PumpkinHeavy Seas - Great’ER Pumpkin

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BA SCORE
86
very good

199 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 199
Hads: 641
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 7.53%
Wants: 66
Gots: 105 | FT: 4
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
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Reviews: 199 | Hads: 641
Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.31/5  rDev -14%
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. (1,062 characters)

Photo of russwbeck
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
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. (762 characters)

Photo of 57md
3.35/5  rDev -13%
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 some time 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. (342 characters)

Photo of ThickNStout
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
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. (994 characters)

Photo of codysjb
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
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. (816 characters)

Photo of Naugros
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
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. (1,019 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
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. (827 characters)

Photo of sendsilk
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
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. (424 characters)

Photo of BB1313
3.49/5  rDev -9.4%
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. (889 characters)

Photo of illidurit
3.49/5  rDev -9.4%
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. (313 characters)

Photo of pwoody11
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
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. (853 characters)

Photo of torr
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
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. (1,066 characters)

Photo of plaid75
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at The Tap Room, Patchogue, NY.

Pouted a murky amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured hot alcohol and a touch of pumpkin spice.

The taste consisted of a rindy pumpkin, booze and spice.

The mouthfeel was toward the heavier side of the style.

Overall a boozy malty experience. Not what I am looking for in a pumpkin. (396 characters)

Photo of weezyfart
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
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" (871 characters)

Photo of elgiacomo
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, fall 2010 vintage.

Pours hazy amber/copper with a one finger off-white head that leaves good spotty lacing and holds a good cap.

Aroma is pumpkin, spices: clove, ginger, cinnamon, clove, not much bourbon on the nose although good overall strength.

Flavor is pumpkin, spices such as ginger, clove, nutmeg, a little cinnamon, fair bourbon whiskey, light vanilla, malty, light hop presence, alcohol makes an appearance, long spiced finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, medium carbonation, creamy.

Good pumpkin beer, less bourbon than expected. A big beer that needs sharing as 22oz would be too much for one person. (634 characters)

Photo of mcallister
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Highly carbonated deep amber colored with a fluffy slightly off white head that holds good retention and leaves nice lace.

Nose of bourbon, vanilla, sweet oak, toasty woods, hints of nutmeg and cinnamon, with an underlying of toffee.

Decent beer but a pumpkin ale? The bourbon shows through nicely but like the bourbon barley wine it's not necassarily the best bourbon out there at least the way it's aged. Ahh some hints of cinnamon and nutmeg with a butternut squash finish and a bit of oxidation on the finish as well. Some toffee malt oak and vanilla in the middle but not much else. Good but not what I was hoping. (621 characters)

Photo of shageman331
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
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. (591 characters)

Photo of FatJesus
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
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. (953 characters)

Photo of Daktyls
3.58/5  rDev -7%
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. (612 characters)

Photo of SomethingClever
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
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 (655 characters)

Photo of claspada
3.62/5  rDev -6%
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 (1,062 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.62/5  rDev -6%
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. (789 characters)

Photo of John_M
3.62/5  rDev -6%
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. (1,058 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
3.62/5  rDev -6%
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. (531 characters)

Photo of Gmann
3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
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. (1,146 characters)

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