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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

213 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 213
Hads: 688
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 24.29%
Wants: 69
Gots: 121 | 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: 213 | Hads: 688
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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Photo of barczar
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy deep copper with orange tints and a billowing, frothy cream head that leaves minimal lacing.

Vanilla, nutmeg, ginger, clove, cinnamon and pumpkin dominate the initial aroma, with a hint of booze lurking in the background. There's a buttery, caramel malt character that emerges, accompanied by graham cracker notes. Very spice forward.

Flavor reveals more boozy notes, with vanilla and bourbon underlying a slightly sweet, bready, toasted caramel malt backbone that dries out in the spicy finish. The pumpkin character emerges more so in the aftertaste, but nutmeg cinnamon, and clove are evident mid palate. Buttery, graham cracker notes surface mid palate to add a pumpkin pie flavor. Banana esters become noticeable as it warms, along with a slight squash tang and cola notes.

Body is full , creamy, and smooth, with minimal carbonation and surprisingly light alcohol warmth.

Spice dominates the aroma, but seems to be subdued by the bourbon character in the flavor. Very nice take on the style. Not overly sweet, with a pretty decent pumpkin presence, though the balance is toward spices. The bourbon adds nice complexity. And that 10 percent is surprisingly well hidden. The banana and cola character I'm perceiving is somewhat disappointing, but I think it's just a combo of other flavors...namely ginger.

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Photo of jbaker67
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky orange pour with a thin off-white head. The nose is more whiskey than bourbon with a hint of booze. Faint pumpkin pie spices creep up in the background of the aroma. The flavor is a very nice blend of oak and vanilla with pumpkin pie and whipped cream. This is far from your average pumpkin ale. Very well done.

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

Malty aroma has firm notes of pumpkin and cinnamon and a bourbon overtone that comes from the barrels in which it was aged. It pours a slightly hazy dark orange amber with a pale orange-tan head that does not stick around for long and leaves minimal lacing. Flavor has a strong bourbon note that dominates the flavor but does not overwhelm it, allowing the malt, pumpkin and cinnamon notes along with the whisper of caramel to have their say. Thick, smooth texture is fairly tingly and has a strong nip thanks to the bourbon. A perfect beer to begin October!

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Photo of Jwale73
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle served in my Darkness tulip. Pours a semi-hazy burnt-orange with a creamy, loose, one inch bright white head. Head gradually disperses into a creamy slick with some thin, but densely packed strands of lacing evident during the tasting. Nose expresses bourbon, a buttery quality, pumpkin spice aromas and a trace of citrus. Taste follows nose - pumpkin pie flavors dominate upfront; nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, followed by bourbon flavors that nicely integrate with the other elements. Mouthfeel is light-medium (but closer to medium), with a lively carbonation, a slightly silky texture and some residual alcohol heat detectable at the finish. A very pleasant variation on the style and makes a great post-Thanksgiving digestif. That being said, 22oz. is perhaps a bit much. A 12oz. bottle split amongst two is more than satisfying.

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Photo of Durge
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear brandy copper color with a modest white ring of head and weak lacing. The aroma offers brandy as well. Vanilla oak and sweet marshmallow cherry. The flavor brings an instant idea of pumpkin brandy with some low lying malt and more cherry sweetness and vanilla oak. Very tasty in a medium bodied beer with reserved carbonation and a slick feel. Very solid and a bit different for a sweet seasonal with high octane. The booze is a bit high but it's worth it.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY.

Pours a bright, hazy orange. One inch fizzy head. Small amount of lacing.

Smells like pumpkin spices- clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc, oak, vanilla, pumpkin.

The taste is pretty similar. Strong spicing especailly nutmeg, with oak, vanilla, and some slight, sweet bourbon flavors. Some rum-like flavors too, with brown sugar and molasses in small amounts. Biscuity sweet malts.

Medium to light body. Well carbonated, creamy mouthfeel. Very drinkable.

An excellent BA Pumpkin beer. I think this would also lend itself well to rum barrel aging.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to my boy Lunch for sending me this one in a past trade! 2010 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured orange with a minimal off-white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, pumpkin, wood, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, cinnamon, brown sugar, wood, and sweet alcohol. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. After having the base version right before this one, I was a little concerned on what I would think of this one. However, this one definitely improved quite a bit with the -bal treatment. The barrel added a nice bit of complexity that was lacking in the previous beer and made it much more enjoyable to drink. Definitely the better of the two without a doubt. Just ask nickd and he will tell you why.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange to light copper color with an off white head. In the aroma, bourbon, oak, and pumpkin spices. In the taste, mellow bourbon, oaky, and mellow pumpkin spice. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry bourbon to a clean aftertaste. Light bourbon probably due to the spice contrast. Nice warming feeling.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.54/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass. Fairly sure this was bottled Fall 2010. Aged in bourbon barrels.

A: Unfiltered hazy brown-orange. Bubbles rise sustaining an inch of head. Translucent.

S: Holy hell. It smells fantastic. Huge pumpkin dominates. Spices are a serious undertone, completely avoiding artificiality and reminding me strongly of pumpkin pie. A bit of bourbon might come through as caramel sweetness.

T: What. It tastes like pumpkin eggnog that was spiced and liquored up. I would think this at Christmas or-- who am I kidding? I would drink this anytime. Deep, complex, tasty, creamy, pleasant, and spicy-titillating. Undeniable pumpkin pie with a bit of alcoholic burn...bourbon alright, or maybe rum. Slightly thin in feel, but never in flavour. Tentative carbonation.

O: One of the best pumpkin ales I've encountered. Maybe the best. It's perhaps a little strong, but the booziness gives it a layered complexity that I think improves the overall effect. Recommended, if you can find one. I'll certainly keep my eyes peeled.

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Photo of tigg924
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Deep pumpkin spices like cinnamon and clove dominate the start of this beer. A good deal of dry oakiness comes out as it warms which leaves a bit of bitterness. A good beer, but I have had better.

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Photo of Bung
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. Lighter, semi-murky orange pour. Some white head, receded to a whispy layer.

More pumpkin, nutmeg, ginger in the aroma than I expected. Some malt caramel and booze. Just hints of oak and vanilla.

Taste is very spicy up front. A bit uneven and overbearing nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. The pumpkin and barrel don't mesh with the spices, at least at first. This improves greatly as it warms. Vanilla, caramel oak are much more present in the finish and in general when it warms up quite a bit.

Goes down all right, but it just doesn't leave me wanting more. The difference in the unwarmed state will probably cause me to not seek this out again, which is about par for the Mutiny Fleet series in general.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

In a snifter a dark gold color with a small off-white head.

Aroma of pumpkin, spice, and booze.

Pumpkin taste with allspice and nutmeg. A rather strong bourbon presence.

Medium mouthfeel. 10% ABV well-hidden.

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Photo of cbutova
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark cloudy amber body into a pint glass. Creamy white head with decent size and retention. Good coat of lace all down the glass.

S- Mostly pumpkin ale, not much bourbon or barrel here. Spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisin and brown sugar.

T- Slight bourbon barrel flavor goes nicely with the pumpkin ale. The oak, vanilla and whiskey blend well with the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and caramel.

MF- Creamy moderately thick body with silky medium carbonation. Sight nutty bitter finish.

I gotta make a bourbon pumpkin pie sometime. The flavors meld nicely with the mild barrel influence and strong pumpkin ale flavor.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

saw this locally and had to jump at it. just looked too interesting to miss.

a - opened the bottle and filled my cbs snifter. poured a soft orange, but settled in the glass as a darker brown with a thin white bubbly head that fizzed away somewhat quickly. to the light, this beer is chunky!?!

s - nice festive spiciness of a craft store with a soft barrel. the bourbon here is more in the vein of backwoods than in various -bal stouts. smells pretty fantastic.

t - full bodied pumpkin with a slap in the face of booze. has a kind of sangria type vibe with a pumpkin twist. the booze is REALLY in your face on this one.

m - boozy tingle. full bodied. the heat is on.

o - overall, who would've guessed it...barrel aged pumpkin!?! and it works!!! overall it is good, but the alc is just intense and i never say that. enjoyable none-the-less and a must try for the fans of the pumpkins.

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Photo of Pencible
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of gford217
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright, completely opaque orange with a soapy white head that recedes to a small swirl along the top.

The smell starts with the spices, nutmeg and cinnamon especially, balanced by the vanilla sweetness from the bourbon barrels. There is a sweet sugary pumpkin aroma that floats underneath the alcohol.

The taste is more of the same but probably a bit sweeter with the vanilla and pumpkin up front, giving way to the light spices. The spices don't last long before the bourbon barrel knocks them out of the way and dominates the finish with a definite burn going down.

The mouthfeel is smooth and boozy with a nice tingle on the palette from the combination of alcohol and pumpkin spices.

The bourbon mellows the spices from the base beer pretty well and gives the impression of a well-balanced pumpkin beer. Not bad.

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Photo of warnerry
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear reddish copper with a finger of off-white head. Not much lacing to speak of.

S - Bourbon, vanilla brown sugar and pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and clove) up front. Some caramel malt as well. Didn't really get any oak notes. The bourbon is really a complement here. It is one of the predominant aromas, but it blends nicely with everything else.

T - The taste follows the aroma pretty well, with the addition of some wood tannins. A bit sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. The bourbon flavors are an improvement on the base beer.

M - Medium, slightly syrupy mouthfeel.

O - Nice flavor combination. I enjoyed this more than the base beer (which I also thought was pretty good).

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Photo of illidurit
3.49/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

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Photo of Gmann
3.64/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3/5  rDev -22.5%

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.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very deep orange color with no carbonation and an off-white creamy foam head with rocky billowing bubbles in the middle.

S - Heavy spiced pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, some boozy bourbon, and perhaps some light vanilla aroma.

T - WOW! This beer strikes a perfect balance between pumpkin, spices, vanilla, and bourbon. There's some light woodiness in the flavor as well and the combination of everything together makes for a very interesting beer, it all plays very well together with no one fighting for the front seat. Halfway through the sip, the bourbon and oak flavors are more pronounced. After all the sweetness, this beer does finish with a nice touch of hop bitterness. I'm not a huge fan of cask beers but it really does bring out the nuances in a beer, although I much prefer CO2. The booze creates a very noticeable warming in the back of the throat on the way down.

M - Thick and full bodied that's total velvet on the tongue.

D - Can't have too many of these, they're very potent. Of the pumpkin beers I've had, I'd have to stamp this one as my favorite.

Pumpkin and bourbon barrels, now here's something very different...and I like it!

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Photo of rlee1390
4.18/5  rDev +8%

A-Clear amber in the glass, not much carbonation, one finger head that does not last long.

S-Nice spice character with a good deal of pumpkin. Mild bourbon and pleasant oak.

T-Starts with spices, cinnamon and nutmeg, then pumpkin flavor. Mild bourbon, more oak than bourbon but it goes nicely with the beer.

M-Medium bodied, not much carbonation though. Borderline watery.

O-What can I say? I love pumpkin beers and this is a yummy one.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice bourbon barrellization of the Great Pumpkin… This is truly greater.

Presentation: 22 oz brown capped bottle. Perfunctory pirate skull and bones design: here the Great Pumpkin logo gets the barrel treatment. Pirate narrative describing the general style of the brew without going into much detail. Shows 9% Alc. by Vol. Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Medium amber-orange with an short frothy head, moderate to faint retention, small surface ring, and faint lacing.

S - Softly spice bourbon whiff, oaken sweet caramel riding the e pumpkin layer.

T - The tastes amplifies the sweet and spice pumpkin sense with a nice bourbon barrel identity, nice sync of spices woven with the oak vanilla. Underflow of the expected all spice, cinnamon, and clove come together in a subtle way dancing with the fleshy pumpkiness.

M - Medium carbonation and body. Prickly with a rather smooth finish and a soft lingering warmth.

O - Surprised by the flow of this offering. Nice sipper…

Notes: I many need to revisit the Great after having had the Greater Pumpkin… This works pretty well. Now, it´s only the second barrel aged bourbon pumpkin ale I try, and both, but this one in particular, were quite surprising… I may need to pick up another one of these.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.1/5  rDev -19.9%

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

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Heavy Seas - Great’ER Pumpkin from Heavy Seas Beer
87 out of 100 based on 213 ratings.