Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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: 715
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 24.29%
Wants: 71
Gots: 124 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 219 | Hads: 715
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.

 630 characters

Photo of inlimbo77
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz, 10/22/2013
Riedel tulip

A: Pours a slightly hazy nice orange leading to copper. No real head. Turns into a bright white collar. Some lacing sheeting. Alcohol feet.

S: Not getting a lot of barrel. Lots of fleshy pumpkin and spices. Cinnamon and nutmeg. Vanilla. Sweet English malts. As it warms you do get the bourbon. Very nice vanilla/toffee/caramel meshing with pumpkin.

T: Touch of bitterness on the tip of the tongue. You get that fleshy pumpkin and pie like spice blend. Initially not getting much barrel character, over just general vanilla flavors from pie filling blend of spices. Some sweetness. Finish is drier than expected.

M: Medium leading to full.

 672 characters

Photo of cfrances33
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to runner440. poured into a tulip.

Pour: Nice copper orange with two fingers off light, light tan head. Leaves some pretty nice lacing and the head hangs around.

Smell: Really great bourbon, cinnamon, and pumpkin puree on the nose. Not booze, some caramel, but pretty darn clean.

Taste: This beer is delicious. Great pumpkin flavors, moderated by a delicious bourbon vanilla. Cinnamon and baking spice augment.

Mouthfeel: Where this beer excels. I expected this to be hot as shit, but it's very subdued and delicious. Incredibly creamy.

Overall: Really impressed. This beer gets less credit than it deserves.

 627 characters

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

A:Nice opaque color with notes of brown and orange. The malt almost adds a straw color to accent it. Neat head that sticks to the glass.
S: It has a strong bourbon smell hinted with alcohol that turns into sweetness and pumpkin right away.
T: The bourbon aging really gives it a nice sweet accent to the malt. It has accents of cinnamon and all spice. Really gives it some great depth.
D/M: Very thick and strong beer. Really should be enjoyed on a warm day with some strong food. Great carbonation and balance. I applaud the improvement with this version.

 556 characters

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.

 464 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bastu for sending me this one!

Pours a murky honey orange with a 1 inch puffy tan head that fades to an oily film on the top of the beer. Small streaks and dots of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, pumpkin, spices, and some minor vanilla and wood aromas. A bit of a boozy smell comes out too but not necessarily a bourbon aroma. Taste is of malt, pumpkin, spices, vanilla, wood, and a bourbon flavor on the finish. This beer has a crisp mouthfeel with a good level of carbonation. Overall, this is a good pumpkin ale that is pretty much just as good as The Great Pumpkin just with added aromas and flavors.

 640 characters

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

Out of a bottle purchased at Hopheads this beer was a hazy orange color with a thin layer of white head. The retention was not very good but it did leave some streaks of lacing throughout the sample. The aroma was an appealing blend of pumpkin, spices, booze, caramel malt and hints of toasted nuts. The flavors were good and definitely put it amongst one of the best pumpkin beers I’ve had. It was doubtlessly boozy right from the beginning with notes of bourbon and vanilla but beyond that first wave was the pumpkin and spices one would expect followed by the subtle notes of caramel and butterscotch. I suspect this beer would age really well because I felt the strong booze notes were quashing some of the potential complexity. The mouthfeel was good, the body medium/full and the carbonation on-point. A “big” beer but a good one and exactly what I’d expect from Heavy Seas.

 888 characters

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.

 211 characters

Photo of buschbeer
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

1 PT 6 FL OZ bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours a hazy burnt orange in color with amber highlights. It is topped with an inch of beige head that leaves little lacing.

I get some roasted pumpkin, caramel, and vanilla to start. I also get a nice blend of cinnamon and pumpkin spices. It smells like a fall treat.

The pumpkin spices are muted allowing the pumpkin to shine. The bourbon barrel is not readily apparent but does come through by way of caramel and vanilla flavors. The pumpkin spices, while subtle, are there to bring home the flavor.

Full, smooth mouthfeel

This is a solid pumpkin beer. I would have liked to have experienced more bourbon flavors, but I would have it again.

 699 characters

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).

 695 characters

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

22 oz bottle poured into my large brandy snifter.

A- Body is a uniformly translucent pumpkin hue-its pretty cloudy. Pours with a 2 finger or so smooth, creamy white head. This slowly, eventually fades to a nice thick collar. Little lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar stand out the most initially. Behind this is a distinct boozy astrigency. A slight bourbon sweetness can also be detected.

T-There is a very good balance initially of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, sweet bourbon, and dry oak. Its quite complex. The finish is more astrigent-with some alcohol bitterness coming through-but the spices and pumpkin have almost equal strength. What lingers is a good bit of nutmeg and cinnamon, a hint of pumpkin-and a big alcohol warmth.

M- Medium to low carbonation with a slightly dry, spicy body with medium weight.

D- This is a very good, different pumpkin ale. The bourbon barrels add a different character-and certainly a big kick. This is clearly a strong pumkin ale that doesn't hide its booziness. Job well done by Clipper City here- one of my favorites from them.

 1,117 characters

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

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2013 vintage.

A: Pours a mostly clear amber with an off white head. Lots of visible carbonation going on in the body. Spots of lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Spiciness up front with a dose of sweetness. Graham cracker like crust aroma is present which I like in pumpkin beers. Bourbon barrel aging doesnt make too much of an impact.

T: As with the aroma there is a healthy dose of spice to this one. Cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg come to mind. Bourbon is light in the background adding just a touch of vanilla, oak and booze.

M: Medium body with lots of carbonation for such a boozy beer. Retains a creamy mouthfeel. Finish is a bit sticky which is understandable considering the sweetness. Alcohol isnt too hot.

Overall its a pumpkin beer that exemplifies the style but I still feel that this one could push the envelope a little further. A bit more bourbon and pumpkin flavor.

 928 characters

Photo of Kennethzelljr
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A very copper color and a creamy bubbly head.smells of allspice,clove,cinnamon.subtle notes of burnt vanilla.tastes of all of those favors but the bourbon barrel aging is a bit over the top the bourbon hints are more forth front than the pumpkin and makes the beer a bit "hot" and boozy.you can taste the 10%,mouth feel is pretty light but it's fine it makes the beer easier to drink.this beer may be better to cellar a year or two....it's very good and a lot going on with it.a lot better than a lot of other pumpkin beers but not for every pumpkin fan for sure.if you're a barrel aged fan at least give it a try if you don't mind pumpkin flavors.

 648 characters

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.

 317 characters

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

A: Deep orange pour with a nice billowy tan head. Retention is good and lacing is excellent.

S: Tons of pumpkin along with some milder pumpkin spices. Nutmeg and cinnamon in particular. A bit of bourbon, surprisingly not much. Bourbon comes out as it warms. A touch of vanilla?

T: Much like the nose. Lots of bourbon soaked pumpkin with nutmeg and cinnamon in the background. A light touch of vanilla everywhere. A little bit of oak too, especially in the aftertaste.

M: Medium body, a little tingle from the bourbon.

O: Interesting take on a pumpkin beer, never had a bourbon barrel one. Definitely adds a decent bit of complexity that complements the beer. Base beer isn't really all that hot unfortunately, needs more spices.

 732 characters

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.

 597 characters

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

Live review. Poured from the 22 oz. bomber that I bought at Wine and Beverage Depot in Mentor a few days ago for $8.99. No observed "best by" date or "brewed on" date. I am not sure that it matters too much with the reasonably high ABV of 9%. I have to admit being intrigued by this one by the Bourbon Barrel Aged aspect of it. Poured into my silver rimmed Orval goblet.

A VERY short lived off white head over a hazy, thick looking pumpkin colored body. The head which was barely there after a vigorous pour disappeared almost completely in 10 seconds. I really like the look of the body. 4.5

S Well, smells of a sweet malty pumpkin beer with bourbon notes. Just like I expected but intriguing none the less. I am not convinced yet, even as I am about to taste this beer, that these combinations will even work. 4.0

T Interesting. I taste probably more of the bourbon than the pumpkin but the pumpkin is certainly in there. The pumpkin is a nice subtle, authentic pumpkin and not a candy or spicy pumpkin which I find often in pumpkin beers. The bourbon tastes provide the sweet malty, burn of alcohol that you would expect but have a kind of dark caramel taste that is quite good. 4.0

M Surprisingly smooth for the elevated ABV and ultra sweetness. 4.0

D This is meant to be a sipper and it intentions are well received. I will only be able to drink the bomber but the process is enjoyable. 3.5

Notes: I can understand if this is a polarizing beer. Some will really embrace it and other will be repulsed. Actually I find that this is the case for any pumpkin beer. I came in skeptical but interested and I go out pleased with this beer.

 1,643 characters

Photo of silentjay
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a tarnished copper color with a quickly fading almost white head that leaves some decent lacing.

aroma first is of bourbon, then spices, then some sweetening from the pumpkin, plenty of vanilla, brown sugar, though not a very strong aroma and a bit bourbon dominant.

bourbon again out of the gate with the spices up next and a bit of squash-like pumpkin flavor with a vanilla and boozy finish.

medium bodied with a heavier level of carbonation than I'd expect in a bourbon-barrel aged beer.

not my favorite pumpkin ale, not my favorite imperial pumpkin ale (fishermans imperial pumpkin stout!), not my favorite bourbon barrel aged beer (allagash curieux), but an enjoyable beer that I would drink again.

 714 characters

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.

 1,327 characters

Photo of biggred1
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dense, deep pumpkin-orange with a creamy eggshell head that leaves pretty lace on the glass. The aroma is pumpkin spice and bourbon barrel, toasted oak notes. A creamy, custard-like pumpkin pie and whiskey barrel quality..who wouldn't like that? A toasty, oaky whisky barrel version of a pumpkin beer. Good stuff. Full bodied,oaky and sticky.

 342 characters

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

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Hazy, translucent russet with just a dusting of head & a thin, beige collar. A few strands of nucleation.

Smell has some orange peel, typical spice profile (a little cinnamon, a little nutmeg, clove, allspice, a tiny bit of ginger). Some lightly caramel malts, only trace amounts of the bourbon barrel, with very subtle oak & vanilla. Booze is apparent, too.

Starts off with the spices & pumpkin flavor, followed by a substantial alcohol presence & rolling into the bourbon characteristics & settling there nicely. Very nice, long aftertaste, moving through the spice notes, oak, & vanilla again. Bourbon verges on becoming unwieldy, but stops just short. Not bad, but not sure if the pumpkin is big enough to balance the booze & barrel.

Full-bodied, a little prick from alcohol & spices. Heats up in the middle & gives the palate a little bit of a work-over.

This is a style I just couldn't resist trying -- while it's got some flaws & I don't necessarily think the pumpkin is enough to support the bourbon barrel, it's enjoyable nonetheless. Definitely a sipper, & I can think of a handful of pumpkin ales I'd go to before this, but I'd be up for it again sometime for sure.

 1,209 characters

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

The Greater Pumpkin has a hazy orange body with a ton of sediment floating throughout it. The head is off-white in color and more than two fingers tall.

The aroma is really nice: pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, bourbon and some sweet malt.

I really liked the idea of a pumpkin beer aged in bourbon barrels, because I figured that pumpkin beers have such strong flavors that they could stand up to barrel-aging. I think I was right, as I like how the flavors work together in Greater Pumpkin. Bourbon and pumpkin mix together at first, coupled with an array of spices that include cinnamon and nutmeg. As the spices fade they mix with a woody flavor. A little bit of sweet malts shine through toward the finish, and also a low hop-bitterness. A blast of warmth from the alcohol finishes it.

The body is pretty full with a creamy smoothness. Good mouthfeel for a beer that is this big and packed with strong flavors.

Pumpkin spices and bourbon are two flavors that can be unpleasantly overpowering in a beer. Mixed together, the two manage to complement each other quite nicely. This beer is a little bit hot and boozy, especially as it warms.

 1,140 characters

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.

 845 characters

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.

 745 characters

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

Out of a bomber from Habersham Beverage in Savannah.

One of my favorite fall seasonals, a creamy pumpkin ale that is pretty drinkable despite the heavy alcohol. Not as spicy as the Great Pumpkin. The bourbon flavor is very forward, and slightly over takes the spices, but leaves a nice pumpkin crust finish. Well worth a try if you like full, barrel aged ales.

 362 characters

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