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Heavy Seas - The Greater Pumpkin - Heavy Seas Beer

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

615 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 615
Reviews: 199
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 14.14%
Wants: 66
Gots: 93 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: mcallister on 07-28-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 615 | Reviews: 199 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of glid02
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Porter in Atlanta.

Pours an almost opaque orange-amber color with a one-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of large amounts of spices - nutmeg and cinnamon - with fresh pumpkin seeds. Also present are hints of butterscotch and even lighter hints of vanilla.

Tastes very good. Medium malt flavors with good amounts of heavy pumpkin flavors kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are deep spices as in the aroma. Midway through the sip slight amounts of butterscotch flavors work their way into things, fading out into smooth bourbon flavors that carry through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I was very impressed with this beer and even more impressed that the bourbon was as subtle as it was. A very well done beer that's well worth a shot, especially as the weather cools.

glid02, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of Shmagles
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This will be an odd review. This just came into my store recently so im going to mention this as a 2012 version of the great'er pumpkin. I tasted this beer twice from the same bottle and had differing opinions between the two tastings. I have purchased two bottles because of the rarity. From the initial opening it maintained the boozy aspect that you would expect from the bourbon barrel soaking. I was very dissatisfied initially because I felt like I was drinking bourbon with pumpkin beer flavoring added and it just wasn't a satisfying taste. After which I fell asleep for a couple hours and woke up later. Once I tried it again after it having sat out in the open air for a bit did it finally seem to balance out. The boozy notes of bourbon seemed to settle and a beautiful balance emerged. Now I am fully impressed with the style of the beer and am probably more likely to enjoy it again. If I had finished it before leaving it in the open air, I probably would have rated it alot lower than what i am giving it now. Overall I wonder if this beer would work well leaving it to age before drinking. But it is definitely something worth trying. A- overall, but only because I have yet to fully appreciate the bourbon flavoring.

Ap- Seems like a normal pumpkin beer (darker orange)

Sm- Smells like bourbon and pumpkin spice

Ta - Tasted like bourbon and pumpkin spice

MF - Smooth.

Ov - Bourbon seems to weaken over time esp in open air. Do not wait longer than I did to drink it, After so long the beer will go totally flat. I was very lucky that i didnt wake up after I did. The beer was timed perfectly from absolute random luck. (~5-6 hours later) FYI the bottle was 2/3s poured into a pilsner glass. Very little surface area from the brew. The rest was still sitting in the bottle, I constantly poured the remaining amount to try to obtain a bit of foam before drinking.

Shmagles, Oct 10, 2012
Photo of Frosty80
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color: sits a slightly dark copper or burnished orange with some sediment

Smell: awesome. good spicing thats well balanced with the usual wood, vanilla and bourbon aromas with a little alcohol to give it soul. very pleasing. like the perfect holiday potpourri

Taste: aromas translate well into the taste. good balance of spicing and bourbon cask flavors. alcohol makes an obvious appearance but, again, in balance

Mouthfeel: smooth low-full body with low carbonation

Notes: fantastic pumpkin seasonal. they prove that bourbon barrel aging a pumpkin beer works extremely well. delicious.

Frosty80, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of Meerkey
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy, some bubbles, lots of sediment. Orangey-brown. Some firm off-white head.

S: Really good. Lots of pumpkin and spices followed by an alcoholy sweetness that is the bourbon.

T: Whoa. Very tasty. It tastes so ... festive. Pumpkin and alcohol - bourbon shines through. Lots of dark, wintry spices like nutmeg.

M: Unfortunately the mouthfeel is kind of disappointing. Rather thin and little creamy and hint of carbonation. I can't tell if it's actually not very good or just not compared to the magnitude of flavor and other awesomeness that is this beer.

O: Very delicious. I love it. I'd definitely have another and recommend you go get one now.

Meerkey, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of AaronDio
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%

AaronDio, Oct 22, 2014
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Greater Pumpkin, bottle bought at Whole Foods Chelsea in NYC for $11.99 plus tax. Way pricey but I love this beer. Have had it on cask (first at Max's in B'more and then at Pony in NYC) and on tap (at Pony). My first time on a bottle...

Appearance: Poured into my Lost Abbey snifter, The Greater pours freely and happy, delivering a deep-orange beer with barely a finger of head that dies almost immediately. Some lacing, though, but not great retention. About average looks overall.

Smell: Shines! Fleshy pumpkin, hoppy bitterness, sharp bourbon, barrel and booze... this has got it all. Plus some floral tones and spice, hoppy finish.

Taste: Follows nose, with a smooth pumpkin flavor drenched in bourbon. Spice, cinnamon. Tangy-tingly finish, feels like Christmas!

Mouthfeel: Smooth and bourbon-y, reminds me of drinking Elijah Craig or Evan Williams without the burn. Low carbonation, medium body and flavor. Beautiful all around, well-balanced.

Overall: Is this a complex beer? Maybe not... heck, it is all about the pumpkin and the bourbon! But I love it nonetheless. Drinkable, delicious, autumn-y, beautiful. And- different! Yeah. On cask, even better.

DoubleSimcoe, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of InkedinRi
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%

InkedinRi, Sep 14, 2014
Photo of Smosk
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%

Smosk, Oct 09, 2014
Photo of stonermouse
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

At the outset, I'll say this beer is going to be love it or hate it. I, for one, love it.

Pours a pale orange, nothing shocking here. Film of white covers the brew throughout, with little lacing. Lots of floaties.

Nice aroma here. Not as boozy as I expected. There's a good deal of pumpkin patch in the aroma, with little spices.

Taste is just what I was hoping. They held back on the spices, and some true pumpkin flavors come through. The pumpkin flavor is mellow yet savory, the way pumpkin should be. Of course, this beer is a young bourbon barrel, and as such, it's a bit hot. And the bourbon adds booze, but just a touch of sweetness.

Mouthfeel is solid. It's a little sticky, but not unpleasantly.

Good stuff here, although I can imagine that there will be a lot of folks who outright hate this. It's hot and minimally spiced, so as pumpkin ales go, it might be lacking the expected flavor profile for some. I dig it, though, and imagine it will cellar quite well.

stonermouse, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of Sound_Explorer
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I had the GABF 2013 Rum Barrel aged version and I loved it. Not usually a big fan of barrel aging, especially bourbon or whiskey (as this beer usually is) as the liquor usually takes over too much for my taste. Using the sweeter Rum, and already being a fan of pumpkin beer, it was the best thing I tasted at the festival. Been looking for a Rum aged beer for awhile and this was a great first impression of using Rum for a sweet sample of awesomeness.

Sound_Explorer, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of Treyliff
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle, poured into a snifter

A- pours a hazy-yet-bright ruby-orange color with a small fizzy white that reduces quickly, leaving some short lasting lace

S-cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin spice up front, oaky notes kick in providing a strong vanilla presence, creating a creme brûlée aroma. Some alcohol at the end

T- slightly tart pumpkin flavors up front complimented by some cinnamon and nutty flavor. Sweet vanilla and creme brûlée flavors follow the aromas mid-palate, eventually leading an oaky finish

M- medium-heavy body with moderate carbonation leads to an almost viscous mouthfeel that is creamy and finishes smooth. Alcohol is hidden brilliantly

O- this was very good, most barrel aged pumpkin beers are overpowered by the barrel, this one was not. The base beer is very flavorful and mixed with the oak nicely to provide a dessert-like sweetness. Well done!

Treyliff, Feb 22, 2014
Photo of mscottjohnston
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml poured into tulip glass. Amber color with a one finger head. Nose is malt and spice. Taste starts with malts and spices, mixes with oak and finishes with pumpkin and bourbon. Medium body lingers nicely, with a slight alcohol burn on the back end. Very enjoyable entry into the pumpkin beer world. Would definitely buy again.

mscottjohnston, Oct 01, 2013
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.36/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

GreesyFizeek, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

Stinkypuss, Sep 21, 2011
Photo of GregSVT
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber into a snifter

A: Pours a hazy burnt orange with a small off-white head that fades to a small ring and leaves only the smallest bits of lacing on the glass. It could use more of a head but as a barrel aged high abv beer I can't fault it 100% for this.

S: The nose is full of pumpkin, nutmeg, and buttery bourbon. Smells wonderful and I can't wait to take a sip.

T: Flavors of pumpkin, spices like nutmeg and allspice, and sweet buttery bourbon all hit the tounge at the same time. I'm not sure if there are different batches but this one isn't a bourbon bomb like some reviews below would have you believe. The barrel aging isn't as big as some BA beers I've had(GIBCS).

M: The feel is medium-full bodied and a bit low on the carbonation but again this is about par for a barrel aged beer.

D: This drinks very well for a 9% beer and I have a few more I will be enjoying this fall/winter.

If you like Nemesis 2009 you'll like this.

GregSVT, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of Mitchster
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$7.99 for a 22oz bottle @ Jacks.9.0%ABV per the bottle. Pumpkin ale aged in bourbon barrels, brewed with spices. No ingredients listed on the mfgr website. Pours out to a hazy burnt orange, requiring a hefty pour to achieve a decent head which recedes quickly leaves minimal lacing. Carbonation is mild. the aroma is a nice blend between the sweetness of the malts, pumpkin and spices. The spices are not overpowering which is common in a lot of this category. Maybe a little vanilla in the nose. The mouthfeel is soft and silky, dense, rich and syrupy. The taste is again, a great balance between the spices and malt. The malt is firm and compliments the spicing, which is not overbearing. Suggestion of vanilla and just a stinging peppery hint of bourbon in the aftertaste.

I'm not a fan of this style, but this is a wonderful pumpkin ale...without a doubt, the best I've had. It is very rich, so a 22oz bottle is plenty but I could see myself picking this up again next year, or even sitting on a few bottles.

Mitchster, Nov 16, 2010
Photo of larryi86
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- A nice clear orange with a two finger head.

S- Bourbon, vanilla, spices, pumpkin, cinnamon, sweet malts.

T- Bourbon and vanilla are the first things I notice. Underneath there is a really nice pumpkin flavor with some spices and a good amount of sweetness.

M- Alcohol can be slightly harsh, nice medium body.

O- This is a solid pumpkin beer and the bourbon barrels really did add a nice extra kick. Perfect for the fall weather and would be a great drink for something like Thanksgiving dinner. Hopefully I will be picking up a few more bottles soon.

larryi86, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of kzoobrew
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into shaped imperial pint. Four finger creamy french vanilla colored head. Decent retention, a slim cap in left floating atop for the duration. Moderate lacing, scattered clumps left clinging to the glass. Body is a glowing orange color with slight haze, pretty standard for a pumpkin ale.

Warm pumpkin and spice aromas mesh seamlessly with the bourbon. The combination works so well I am surprised this is not done more often. Strong doses of cinnamon and nutmeg followed by a warm bready aroma. The bourbon in integrated in such a way it is just another piece and not the focal point.

Flavor is very well balanced. Waves of pumpkin, spice and bourbon hit the tongue intermittently keeping the taste buds off guard. The oak and the bourbon contribute flavors which compliment a pumpkin ale very well. Vanilla in integrated evenly through out.

Medium to just under full bodied. Texture is smooth with moderate carbonation. Flavors do cling to the tongue a bit but the finish is not excessively long.

Awesome beer, tremendously drinkable. Almost zero booziness which is surprising considering we are talking about a 9% -bal aged beer. This has become my favorite pumpkin ale and possibly my favorite holiday beer as well. In the past I have found Heavy Sea to be solid but not much more, this is the first offering that truly impresses me. Highly recommended.

kzoobrew, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of dismal
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I was really curious about this one as I've never had or seen a bourbon barrel aged pumpkin beer so I really wanted to try it. Poured a very dark cloudy hazy orange with a somewhat small to medium sized white head. The head fairly quickly dissolved but somewhat stuck around till almost the end of the beer. Left hardly any lacing on the glass. The smell for me reminded me of a lot of bourbon barrel aged beers or at least had a familiar smell of that with the twist of a pumpkin ale. Had the bourbon, the vanilla from the oak, pumpkin and spices. The smell was very good. Taste was pretty much the same except I think the vanilla, bourbon, and the other taste from the barrel really stuck out with the pumpkin not totally in the background but still very upfront and well balanced. The pumpkin was there but not overpowering which I liked a lot. Went down really smooth, not very bitter at all actually kind of sweet. Mouthfeel was pretty average, nothing to rant or rave about. Drinkability was great. A mildly high ABV but very well hidden in my opinion. I could smell and taste the bourbon but it played no effect in making "hot" or undrinkable. I could have easily done another after finishing this one. Overall not the greatest pumpkin ale I've ever had but I'd put it up there. I was skeptical about a bourbon barrel aged pumpkin ale but it turns out it was quite wonderful, the bourbon and the oak barrel add great flavors to this beer. If I ever see this one again I will pick it up without hesitation. Great beer and great pumpkin ale.

dismal, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of hustlesworth
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours viscous with a short ecru head. The foam that's there is bubbly and active and leaves minuscule spots of lace behind. Not surprising considering the abv and the spices. Body is an auburn color with bright orange highlights and relatively clear, but this is the first half of the bottle.

S- still cold, it smells of heavy nutmeg. I like that. Cinnamon, brown sugar and loads of whiskey barrel aromas follow up with an alluring vanilla and punkin pie profile. Tartness comes into play as well, and makes for a very well rounded nose thanks to the bourbon and charred wood. This one is earthy sweet, with a great balance of spice to counteract the sugars. Notes of buttered rum come through easily as it warms with date and fig and over-ripened berries.

T- pumpkin pie WITH the pie crust. I've never had a pumpkin beer that strikes a balance between sweet/salty/sour/bitter but this does it. Malty sweetness with an earthy sweetness and tannins from the oak paired with a hint of bitterness from the spices does the trick. Cinnamon, clove, maaaad nutmeg, mace, vanilla, tobacco, cured wood and sour wood. Soil and mushroom, all backed up by the buttery sweet aroma with a fruity kick. Alcohol is there in a spiced rum sort of way adds to the flavor. Finishes like speyside scotch with burn and lingering fruity and peppercorn notes.

MF- the combination of alcohol and tight, zippy carbonation stings the palate, opening craters for the flavor to sink into. Barrel aging has definitely benefitted here as the tannins provide a spark to lift the sugary feeling. Idk if it is bottle conditioned but knowing clipper city and feeling the sandpaper, it probably is. Much love to em.

D- being a "big beer" and considering my notions of pumpkin ale, this shit is off the chain. Barrel aging sells it to me but even without that I believe this would be a stellar spiced ale. I'm not kickin it here all cinnamon faced either. Nutmeg and brown sugar are up front, although the brown sugar could be elements of the vanilla flavors from the wood. Either way, it's a banger.

hustlesworth, Oct 10, 2012
Photo of WanderingFool
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from a 1 year old cellared bottle. Great'er Pumpkin pours a hazy orange amber with a small creamy white head. The foam dissolves quickly leaving behind a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is malty with a touch of tartness. Caramel, bubblegum. oak, vanilla and bourbon are blended with green apple and some medicinal alcohol.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is syrupy with mild carbonation. The flavor is rich and sweet with a touch of tartness. Caramel malt followed by oak, vanilla, bourbon and dark fruit are followed by some green apple tartness. It finishes with a taste of cinnamon with lingering oak and tart flavors.

This is a very tasty beer that's easy to drink for 9% abv.

WanderingFool, Oct 28, 2012
Photo of ShogoKawada
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz into Newport Storm pint glass. 2010 bottling.

A- A orangey amber beer that kind of looks like oil and water mixed. Is that the saturated bourbon or the pumpkin remnants? Hmm... White head that fizzes out quickly.

S- Bourbon! Pumpkin spices mix with the vanilla oaky peppery bourbon notes.

T- Bourbon-dominated. The pumpkin flavors mesh well and almost fade into the background of the flavor profile. The spices are integrated with the bourbon notes.. if you like bourbon you will love this beer. People who don't like bourbon might find this beer to be too much. I personally love it.

M- A bit hot, good carbonation keeps it from being too heavy.

D- High. I really like this beer, it won't be for everyone but I think the bourbon barrels work really well with the pumpkin ale base. I've bought a half-case of this already and will buy more if I see it. Good stuff.

ShogoKawada, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of cjgiant
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%

cjgiant, Sep 22, 2014
Photo of Daniellobo
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Daniellobo, Nov 04, 2011
Photo of Michaelcc73
4.28/5  rDev +10%

Michaelcc73, Oct 22, 2014
Heavy Seas - The Greater Pumpkin from Heavy Seas Beer
88 out of 100 based on 615 ratings.