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Heavy Seas - Great’ER Pumpkin - Heavy Seas Beer

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

219 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 219
Hads: 716
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 24.29%
Wants: 71
Gots: 125 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

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

In the most worthy of pumpkin patches and during the silence of the midnight hour, the Greater Pumpkin raises up and pours a rich deep and burnished orange color. Heady aromas of bourbon, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and clove linger seductively over the thick white head of this tremendous brew. Its love at first sip as the full malt body, dominated by British crystal malt, brown sugar and pumpkin, slowly washes over your tongue. Bourbon barrel aging rounds out the flavors with notes of oak, vanilla, and bourbon. Pairs well with crisp autumn weather, crunchy fallen leaves, and the knowledge that your kids will be asleep soon so you can raid their Halloween candy bags.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 219 | Hads: 716
Photo of jlindros
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice creamy 1 finger head that fades at a med pace with a bit of lacing, over mostly clear pumpkin orange colored beer.

Nose is huge, explodes with heavy fruity pumpkin, fresh pumpkin not really pie or canned, then a light non-gourd like fruit like a sour berry kinda fruit, light holiday spices, a creamy malt with hints of caramel and toasty malt, and light bourbon to round it off which also brings light oak.

Taste starts with more bourbon, much more than the nose. A nice bourbon flavor with some buttery oak, a lot more oak as well, and hint of vanilla. Then the pumpkin but not a ton, again more like fresh pumpkin more so than pie filling or canned, with more of a juicy fruit kick but no berry this time, although maybe a hint of pear like fruit, and light spices. the fruit really starts to take over, and it's not really a pumpkin fruit just an overall fruity taste that seems to make the beer a bit too weird as it dominates. Semi sweet with a hint of booze coming through with the sweet malts, a bit creamy malt and light toasty, as well as hint of caramel. Finish is semi sweet still and sticky, little bit more warming booze and pumpkin, hints of spices and bitterness, and little more bourbon and oak.

Mouth is med to a bit heavier bodied, decent carb, some warming almost tingly booze.

Overall not bad, it has some decent bourbon and buttery oak, decent pumpkin that adds a nice flavor not canned flavor, spices are kept in check, drinkable, light bitterness, a bit too sticky and sweet esp on the finish. Nothing special but tasty and done well.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. 2011 Edition.

Pours a clear copper, with a ½ finger covering of slight off-white head. This retains with more of a thin frothy fizziness, which leaves back a foamy cascade of lace that quickly slides down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of vanilla, oak, pumpkin spices, a touch of softer fruity orange character, and then some underlying greenness. It’s tough to say if it’s pumpkin or not, as a bit of stiff warmth starts to come out as this warms and muddles things a bit.

The taste has a lot of vanilla going on, with additional notes of sweet caramel, orange zest, green pumpkin (it’s definitely standing out more here), and then some festive feeling spices that are scattered throughout the profile. The bourbon flavor mostly sits in the back here, and it rather nicely done, with a pleasant lightly charred burn on the back of the palate. More barrel flavor creeps into the finish, with a woody dryness that lingers with some leftover sugars and a touch of spice. The mouthfeel is full bodied and fairly effervescent in the mouth. Things do get a little smoother though as this runs over the tongue and the alcohol itself it pretty well hid. There is some warmth to the body here and the bourbon leaves a bit of heat behind but I was a bit shocked at how overall smooth this was in the mouth.

This was nice and was much better than I thought a BA Imperial Pumpkin Ale would have turned out. Besides some misgivings with the nose, I really enjoyed the overall integration of the flavors here and I was extremely surprised at how much of a smooth sipper this ended up being in the end. A full bottle was a little too much for me in one sitting but this is a perfect one to split.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

Big thanks to Naugros for this bottle!

Finally got my hands on a barrel-aged pumpkin beer this year...and now I've got a second one! Right on. This one pours a clear dark amber-tawny topped by a half-finger of off-cream-white foam. The nose comprises bourbon, vanilla, light cocoa, honey, cinnamon, clove, brown sugar, caramel, and a touch of ruby red grapefruit rind in the background. The taste brings in more of the same, with the bourbon, vanilla, cinnamon, and newcoming oak rocking the forefront of everything. More spices and a touch of toasted pumpkin seed back them up nicely. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta syrupy feel. Overall, this is what a barrel-aged pumpkin beer oughta tste light. It brings in the best of both worlds and combines them very nicely. There are times when the bourbon looks like it's getting to big for its britches, but then the rest of the components come in and deftly cut it. Good times.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass; no bottle dating, but this should be a 2012 vintage. Slow gusher upon opening. Pours fairly cloudy orange amber color with a 1-2 finger foamy white head with solid retention, that reduces to a thin lacing cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, bourbon, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, oak, pepper, clove, and pie crust. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of barrel, malt, and spice notes. Taste of caramel, pumpkin, brown sugar, bourbon, cinnamon, nutmeg, toffee, oak, vanilla, pepper, clove, and pie crust. Lingering notes of caramel, pumpkin, brown sugar, bourbon, toffee, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, oak, and pie crust on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of barrel/malt/spice flavors with some great complexity; and no cloying sweetness present after the finish. Barrel notes are a little strong, but it is still very well balanced. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and slick mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is fairly well hidden with a decent amount of warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice barrel aged pumpkin ale. Good balance and very nice complexity of barrel/malt/spice flavors; and fairly smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip. Tried a bottle of this right after The Great Pumpkin.

a - Pours a hazy orange-amber color with 2 inches of white head that leaves quickly and light carbonation evident. Some nice lacing.

s - Smells of bourbon, pumpkin, and oak. Smells pretyy good, but no spices like in The Great Pumpkin.

t - Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, oak, pumpkin, and bready malts. Again, no spice or caramel malts like The Great Pumpkin had.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - I actually liked this one more than The Great Pumpkin, though it isn't as much as a pumpkin beer. The spices and caramel malts that The Great Pumpkin had were kind of lost here due to the bourbon and oak, but a very enjoyable beer. Would have again.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy medium to dark golden orange in color with light amounts of fine gentle carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and some golden yellow + copper highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy light beige head that reduces to a mottled thick film (with smaller patches of larger bubbles) covering the entire surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Slightly stronger than moderate aromas of caramel malts, roasted pumpkin, spices (cinnamon and ginger with a hint of allspice), and light aromas of vanilla + oak from the bourbon barrel aging.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of caramel malts with some lighter flavors of toasted malts. That is followed by moderate flavors of roasted pumpkin with some light flavors of vanilla + oak and just a hint of bourbon. Finally, there are moderate to strong flavors of pumpkin pie spices - cinnamon strongest followed by lighter amounts of ginger and allspice. Minimal amounts of bitterness in the finish.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: The alcohol is extremely well hidden in this beer - I expected it to be rather hot considering the ABV and the fact that it is aged in bourbon barrels but it turns out to be real sneaky in it's strength. Very enjoyable with a nice pumpkin and spice flavor without being cloyingly sweet.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of billab914
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Sierra Nevada shaped glass. It poured dark orange in color with a frothy and sticky white head filling the top inch of the glass. The head faded to a thin, creamy, dusting and left just some traces of lacing as I drank it.

The aroma is very interesting with woody oak and pumpkin pie spice being the most prominent. They actually come together very well. A little bit of bourbon and vanilla come through in the barrel character as well. The spices are pretty subdued, which I like. Very nice mix of pumpkin and bourbon barrel flavors overall, and definitely one of my favorite aromas for the style.

The taste has a lot of woody oak flavors to it. The bourbon shows up more in the finish with some nice vanilla notes to it as well. Some pumpkin pie spice comes through and adds some interesting flavors to it. I get a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg in the finish, along with some pumpkin like flavors. I get a moderate herbal, hoppy, bitterness in the finish as well. Cool flavors overall and they complimented each other better then I expected.

The mouthfeel is a little above medium bodied and carbonation is on the lower side. I like the lower carbonation for a barrel aged beer. Drinkability was pretty decent. The spices mixed with the barrel flavors better then I expected, but I can't say they complimented each other as well as other styles do. Pretty drinkable, really cool and unique, and a very enjoyable pumpkin beer overall.

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Photo of WesWes
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a hazy orange color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a warm pumpkin and spice scent along with a nice bourban barrel aroma. The pumpkin and bourban character works well together. The taste is decent. It has a very aggressive bourbon flavor that goes down easy and finishes warm with good pumpkin character. The barrel aging dominates the palate and diminishes the overall pumpkin and spice taste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is the first bourbon barrel aged pumpkin ale I've ever tried. It's unique and complex, but I prefer the regular version.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Exiled for sharing this beer.

The beer pours a light orange color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the pumpkin and associated spices - mainly nutmeg and cinnamon. I don't get too much bourbon-aged character in the aroma.

The flavor is pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon and some oak, vanilla and whiskey notes. You can definitely tell the bourbon is there, but is more subtle than in a lot of other beers. The bourbon-aging compliments the base beer, it doesn't completely overshadow and dominate it..

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of rolltide8425
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Really like how this beer is put together. The bourbon character, while apparent, is in the background as it should be, in my opinion. The first flavor I get is pumpkin which is followed by cinnamon and clove.

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

Clipper City/ Heavy Seas/ The Greater Pumpkin

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

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.24/5  rDev -16.3%
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.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours lighter than I expected, more a golden color than a brown- on the lighter side of amber. A fairly slight head, but that seems okay for the style and abv. Smells boozy and sweet, with some pumpkin pie spice notes. The bourbon is light and clean and style, rather than heavy and laced with oak and molasses. Tastes like a bourbon laced pumpkin pie- creamy, sweet, bourbony and with chocolate and some surprising lemon notes as well that add some nice acidity that cuts through the rest of the richness. Smooth and rich in the mouth, This is quite a nice variation on the standard pumpkin beer.

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Photo of John_M
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of plaid75
3.52/5  rDev -9%
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.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A – Opaque ice tea apricot body. Creamy, white head has ok retention and lace.

S – Green olives dominate the nose. Bright oak and molasses play backup, but can’t stand up to the overwhelming brine.

T – Strangely, but thankfully, none of the brine makes it into the profile. Soft bourbon is restrained, sweet, and paired with a vanilla and rolling oak. Chardonay-like twang in the center. Honey and light-grade molasses balance the alcohol and oak in the finish.

M – Medium-full body. Well carbonated.

O – Outstanding flavor profile, but almost no pumpkin flavor.

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Photo of aasher
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of corby112
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Draft at Capones in Norristown, PA.

Pours a hazy dark golden orange color with tangerine edges and two finger, white foam head that slowly fades into a thick, lasting ring.  Streaks of lace left behind.  

Subtle aroma with some caraway seed and toasted oak along with subtle pumpkin and autumnal spices.  Hints of cinnamon and brown sugar compliment the dry, toasted oak.  Was expecting more pumpkin.  Not really much bourbon in the nose either.

Medium bodied with a nice barrel presence that's decently integrated into the pumpkin and spice flavors.  Dry oak, vanilla and subtle bourbon sweetness followed by pumpkin purée, nutmeg, vanilla, allspice, clove and ginger.  Nice warmth in finish but the ABV is well hidden.

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Photo of puboflyons
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From the 650 ml. bottle. 2015 batch. Sampled on September 7, 2015

The pour is a moderately heady amber-orange color. Some haze.

Subtle aroma. Pumpkins are vague but the nutmeg and other pumpkin spices are a bit more noticeable but still kind of distant.

Medium to full body.

The taste has got some spice! Big nutmeg, cinnamon, and pepper spice finish erupting unexpectedly on the palate considering I got a very thin aroma. Where did that come from?

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Photo of rudzud
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up at Julio's. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a crystal clear light copper with a creamy almost two finger head that faded to leave a nice blanket and rich halo.

S - Nice sweet malts, pumpkin spices, and some smooth bourbon. Very creamy and smooth smelling.

T - More of the sweeter malts with lighter pumpkin spices. A fair amount of bourbon and oak notes as well as alcohol. Just not enough pumpkin for me in this one.

M - Nice and creamy mouthfeel. Quite drinkable considering the higher ABV. Bourbon is nicely present.

O - Overall, I'm mixed on this beer. As a bourbon beer, its not too shabby. As a pumpkin beer though, it leaves somethign to be desired. Wish there was more pumpkin in here than bourbon, but its still not a bad brew.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a cloudy orange/copper color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both decent. Aroma is sweet and spicy, it smells like pumpkins, spices (cinnamon, nutmeg), vanilla and bourbon. Taste is similar to the aroma, but with some alcohol/booze being noticable but not overpowering. The bourbon flavor is a bit stronger than the others, but the flavors all mesh well together. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit syrupy and has low carbonation. Drinkability is good, it improves as the beer warms up. I think it's a good overall brew, I'd buy this again.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
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!

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Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy auburn w/ good carbonation leading to a large head that dies slow (not much lace). The aroma is a mix of pumpkin (not overbearing), some caramel/sugary sweetness, cinnamon, spicy pepper, some bready dry malt and hints of bitter citric hop. First impression is real sweet and smooth, as a sweet pumpkin (along w/ sugar, caramel, and maybe vanilla) taste hovers over the spicy, alcoholic edge. This sweetness is thin, however, and there is a crisp, dry finish of spice and a touch of hops, plus a touch of that bourbon barrel (I think...might be power of suggestion). This finish amplifies the sweetness on the next sip so I couldn't put this beer down and overall I'd say it's nicely balanced, although some might find it too sweet.

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