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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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

199 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 199
Hads: 646
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.51%
Wants: 68
Gots: 107 | 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: 199 | Hads: 646
Photo of MrWonka
4.36/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very very good pumpkin beer. If you're a fan of these kinds of beer than plz at least do me the favor and try this one. I happened to come across a whole case of these in almost April and let's just say I'll b buying the whole thing. Anyone who likes weyerbacher pumpkin ale will love this it tastes similar but packs more of a punch. (334 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 edition, 22 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful amber color, specked with orange highlights, topped with two fingers of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic! Lots of candied pumpkin and ginger with strong notes of clove, cinnamon and brown sugar, along with some subtle notes of wood and vanilla. Due to the aging in bourbon barrels, and the high ABV, there’s some alcohol in the nose as well.

Taste: Tons of roasted pumpkin, candied ginger and cinnamon, followed by some wood, vanilla, clove, caramel-like sweetness, and finished with some notes of bourbon from the barrel the beer was aged in. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy. Very smooth as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 10.0%, and with the aging in bourbon barrels, there is quite a bit of alcohol on the palate, imparting a pleasant warmth in the mouth.

Overall: This is a remarkable beer! I love the candied pumpkin and ginger flavor as well as the blended bourbon and vanilla flavors. Very, very good! I’m getting two bottle so this at least next year, one to drink right away, and one or two to age. Delicious! (1,262 characters)

Photo of MDHopster
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My god, I can't stand pumpkins and I love this one. It has to be served at the correct temp, around 50 degrees or a little warmer to really bring out the the bourbon barrel aging, but does the aging ever pair with the pumpkin and spices. Pumpkins are a style I can't generally abide, everyone has different tastes, but I enjoy bourbon barrel aged beers so when I saw this at the White Oak Tavern tonight, well I had to get a taste. After a taste, I ordered a full 10 oz goblet and savored every drop. (503 characters)

Photo of SomethingClever
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into Chimay Chalice

A: Amber colored slightly hazy could be because It is so cold almost no head whatsoever

S: smells of ginger, nutmeg not so much like a cohesive pumpkin smell getting no bourbon on the nose

T: tastes like a pumpkin beer maybe not as sweet as some but it just tastes like pumpkin. I'm not getting much bourbon maybe on the finish and it just makes it sourish/bitter

M: a little syrupy but not over the top like some pumpkin beers I'd say medium body

O: meh a pretty average beer, tastes like pumpkin bourbon is about undetectable. if you see it and you love pumpkin you might love it but otherwise don't bother (655 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%

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. (443 characters)

Photo of Jadjunk
3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

"As fall approaches and thoughts turn to Halloween, we roll out the Great'er Pumpkin. A coppery ale with forward notes of vanilla oak and flavors of autumnal spice, the ale is brewed with actual pumpkin and imported English malts. Pairs well with turkey legs, sweet potatoes, and an evening looking at the stars…" Brewed in the style of a Bourbon Barrel Aged Pumpkin Ale. Available as a fall seasonal in 22 oz. bottles. Rebooted in 2013 as the fall release in the Uncharted Waters series. Enjoyed alongside a 2013 bottle and a 2012 "Mutiny Fleet" series bottle for vertical comparison.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a Heavy Seas pint glass. Served above 52º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy light tan head over an orange amber body with moderate haziness and light sediment in tow. Retention is average, lacing is light and spotty. 3.5

(Smell) Meaty toasted pumpkin, mildly sweet bread malts with a touch of caramel grain and toffee, light cinnamon and nutmeg spiciness. Fairly low impact of bourbon and barrel treatment in the aroma. Potency is medium. 3.75

(Taste) Bitter, waxy pumpkin rind plus a mellow arrangement of nutmeg and allspice. A fairly light body, shallow on malt depth and light sweetness, notes of caramel grain, earthy bread, creeping alcohol presence. Like the aroma, there isn't much bourbon character, potentially aside from the finish, which is quite dry. The flavor is a bit less ideal than the aroma gives off, slightly less ripe pumpkin and harsher alcohol without the benefits of a solid malt base. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, mildly sticky, faintly dry. Carbonation generates a moderate frothiness for a silky mouthfeel. Body is medium+ for the style, medium/heavy overall. Balance is very slightly biter over sweet. Alcohol presence is low/medium and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) Calling The Greater Pumpkin an imperial ale might be only half a step too bold. Compared to the excellent 2013 (see below for notes), I feel this beer didn't spend enough time in the barrels to get much of a bourbon impact, but even without the bourbon, it's a well-bodied and flavorful pumpkin ale, reasonable on the balance, reserved on the spices and a respectable choice for the fall season. 3.75

Vertical Reviews:

2013 (1 Year Aged) Pours a clearer body but with more chunks of sediment, creamy froth head. More dominant notes of bourbon and oak, some vanilla and a sweet molasses backbone, pumpkin and spice still evident in the aroma if not slightly washed out. The flavor carries more bourbon and syrup up front, paired with slightly meatier pumpkin behind, light and dry spice profiles, decent balance, optimally boozy and notable bourbon impact. Texture is slicker, slightly more viscous and chewier than the fresh vintage, carbonation is smoother and frothier. Alcohol presence is medium and there are no off characters. I'm not sure how widely the build on this one differs from the fresh vintage, but it is superior in almost every way, much better bourbon character, meatier, riper pumpkin and a more solid, better balanced malt body. The bourbon doesn't take away from the pumpkin style but compliments its strengths very well. Quite a fantastic vintage and highly recommended.

2012 (2 Years Aged) Pours a crisp, frothy head over a similarly colored body to the 1 year and fresh vintages, slightly less pulpy matter than 2013. Faint, earthy caramel malt and grainy alcohol, remnants of nutmeg spice and vegetal pumpkin, altogether falling off. Flavor is as harsh if not worse, astringent grains and sharp nips of bourbon, strong cinnamon, faded pumpkin. Texture is slick, oily and medium dry, carbonation is slightly frothy and crisp. Alcohol presence is medium/high, fairly grainy and harsh. Slightly different recipe for this year prior and potentially a different beer entirely, either way it's quite past its prime.

Recommended Vintages: Fresh or 1 Year Aged (2013)

Heavy Seas Beer's
The Greater Pumpkin
3.63/5.00 (3,987 characters)

Photo of wiscokid920
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

This brew is great stuff. Everything I hoped it would be an more. It has an excellent malty base built into the base beer and the bourbon barrel vanilla and slight oak play off the subtle pumpkin pie spices superbly. Very Well Done! (235 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
3/5  rDev -22.1%

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. (978 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle was poured into a large snifter.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper orange color with great clarity and vision of tiny bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, bready malts, caramel, vanilla, oak, coconut, and nice warm booze.

Taste: Starchy pumpkin, spices, sugar, bread, caramel, nice warm alcohol, and a happy man. Delicious stuff.

Mouthfeel : Silky smooth, nice barrel booziness, medium to full bodied, low to medium carbonation, and a little chewy.

Overall: This beer could obviously get better with age. Might have to buy several bottles to store on the pantry. (744 characters)

Photo of Chuck_IPA_Mathus
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

mild intoxicating booze aroma

Velvety smooth bourbon pallete

hoppy afterbite. The best pumpkin beer Ive ever experienced and I am not a pumpkin fan at all. Excellent job on the aging of this ale (196 characters)

Photo of Lucular
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite pumpkin beer which is surprising since I am not usually a huge fan of bourbon barrel aging. Heavy Seas does a great job with balancing the pumpkin and bourbon flavors so that neither dominates the other. (215 characters)

Photo of cs85b03
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

I will start this beer to explain that I have been on a "pumpkin treasure hunt." That is, a hunt to find the best pumpkin beer. This may or may have not been stricken by my recent interest to get back into brewing or my realization of a few extremely complex pumpkin ales. I have searched long and far, even traveling to the other side of the country, in order to complete the hunt. Though vast journeys were made, I did not need to travel but a few miles outside my work to find the best pumpkin ale one can find. My pumpkin ale is still finishing, so it is possible (yet doubtful) the tides may turn once more. Sorry for all the pirate talk, I thought it would add to the brewery.

A deep amber, almost intentionally gloomy color with a slow compact tan head. This beer is pungent with tones of caramel malt, vanilla and clove. Pumpkin is noticed upon first sip, where it along with molasses, sun-dried tart cherries and pumpkin pie spice coat your entire throat. Finishes smooth and lingers with anise and dry brown sugar. This is #1 for my pumpkin treasure hunt. If you must know, #2 is Elysian's, followed by #3 for dogfish head followed by #4 - smuttynose. #2,3, and 4 are all very close and it is very difficult to judge them together. This, however, is a clear winner in my books. It may be just that this beer is what a pumpkin ale should be; robust, bold, big and a reminder that fall is a reminder of what cold winter brings. I should note that Kentucky Ale's Pumpkin is just as heavy, but is hot, lacks heartiness, and on so many levels is much inferior to this beer, so heaviness is not nearly the only factor that deemed this pumpkin #1 of the season.

This is a big beer. It doesn't feel like it, though. I've had plenty beers in this ABV range that are not shy of warning of their potency. This one is different. Comes in syrupy, instantly coating your tongue, finishes extremely smooth and leaves no traces of hotness. I've never experienced such from a 10%+ ABV adjunct beer before. (2,020 characters)

Photo of HeartofMiami
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Pours opaque amber in color with one finger of beige head. Smells like the spices that go into pumpkin pie but pumpkin is faint. Mouthfeel is good. Taste is like a bite of fresh pumpkin pie with nice balance of spices and pumpkin. Finish is sweet sugar and more pie flavor. Overall, pleasantly surprised. Can't wait to have the next bottle! (346 characters)

Photo of RexBanner
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%

Pours a deep dark orange in color. Sweet smells of vanilla, Brown sugar, nutmeg, rum soaked raisins. The taste followed the nose closely albeit more subdued. The sweetness wasn't cloying. The beer is made to stand out in this concoction; the spices are just an accent. The taste of oak is slightly present in the taste also. The sharpness and burn of the alcohol is reminiscent of a brandy or bourbon and effective at breaking up the sweetness in this beer. Medium bodied, not overly bubbly. This would be an excellent beer to bottle condition for 2 years. Overall; I prefer this beer over Pumking because it isn't as sweet/ overly spiced. Recommended for pumpkin/yam beer lovers. (681 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%

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 (589 characters)

Photo of uvachief
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Not bad but not great either. Good seasonal pumpkin ale. Little too light and lacking in pumpkin pie for my taste. Smooth and that golden orange brown color on draft. Little to no head. Smooth and light in the mouth. Finished clean. Just needs more of that pie taste. (273 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is hazy yellowish orange in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down rather quickly, leaving a patch of large bubbles in the center, a collar around the edge of the glass, and a thin film of bubbles in between.
S: Light to moderate aromas of pumpkins are present in the nose along with notes of pumpkin spices such as nutmeg. Hints of bourbon also become noticeable once the beer warms up.
T: As in the smell, the taste has lots of pumpkin flavors along with notes of nutmeg and hints of cinnamon. Notes of bourbon and associated vanilla flavors are also noticeable in the finish, particularly after the beer warms up.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I really liked this pumpkin ale because it had lots of pumpkin flavors and wasn't overwhelmed by spices. The bourbon also wasn't dominant and added a nice touch of complexity to the taste. The beer is also very drinkable because any traces of alcohol (except for the bourbon) are very well hidden.

Serving type: bottle (1,130 characters)

Photo of Mongrel
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Velvety smooth and boozy, like some sort of creamy barleywine. Tastefully restrained spicing just lets a really well crafted strong ale shine through. The bourbon barrel isn't too strong either. Vanilla from the bourbon barrel complements the pumpkin pie spice really nicely. Certainly not your typical pumpkin ale and certainly more subtle and restrained than I was expecting from a beer this big in ABV. A surprisingly elegant ale. (433 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The perfect weather for a big pumpkin ale here in NC. today.Pours into an imperial nonic a deep burnt orange in fused copper with a sticky off white head that clings to the glass it settles pretty quickly.Big alcohol and pie spices in the nose,smells like an alcoholic doozy.And the aromas are correct,cinnamon and clove flavors with a big spiced rum-like sweetness with it's mild molasses,vanilla, and brown sugar notes.Whoo this isn't the "biggest" pumpkin ale I have had but it tastes like it might be.I get more of a rum alcohol flavor than I do the bourbon barrel,hmm odd. (577 characters)

Photo of twistwrist
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Very aromatic fragrance. It smells like the perfect fall beer! I enjoyed the taste, but I tend to compare every pumpkin beer I drink to Southern Tier's Pumking, and all fall short. :) I enjoy the combination of malts and spices in this high-gravity beer. The 10% can sneak up on you as it doesn't taste quite that heavy.
Overall, this is definitely a beer I will enjoy again many times, but nothing, still, compares to Pumking. :) (436 characters)

Photo of tigg924
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

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. (197 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (1,443 characters)

Photo of JordonHoltzman
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. A copper translucent body and a tan layer of bubbles that lasts just 15 seconds. Smells of pumpkin and nutmeg, and a hit of bourbon from the barrel aging.
The taste matches the aroma for a very well balanced taste. The bourbon and oak blends well with the pumpkin and spices and malt. A slight taste of alcohol is present at the end. The bourbon hits the palate immediately followed by the spices and real pumpkins, but a half minute after a nice sip, the bourbon still lingers.
The mouthfeel is a little thicker then the appearance leads on. A warming feeling from the alcohol is in the mouthfeel. Not a bad thing, and was expected as its 10% ABV. The carbonation is not that high.
Overall this is one of the more complex pumpkin style beers I've had. More of a sipper than most pumpkin ales, for the lower ABV types are often very drinkable. (885 characters)

Photo of dmberger
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%

The best pumpkin beer out there, and it's an ass-kicker too. Great spices and cloves in the taste, but you get a wonderful dose of malt and bourbon flavors as well. Sip this, get warm from the alcohol, and enjoy a nice evening in the fall with this beer. (256 characters)

Photo of Sound_Explorer
4.39/5  rDev +14%
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. (452 characters)

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