Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Join The Buzz! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 199 | Hads: 646
Photo of mikereaser
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage
A - pours a rich brownish orange with very little foam with no lacing, just a ring of soapy bubbles making a ring around the glass
S - aroma is mostly pumpkin with hints of the bourbon and some pumpkin spices. It actually smells really nice.
T - nice pumpkin base with a nice mix of spices to round this one out. The bourbon is faint yet still very present. Its mellow but tastes very nice. I guess I'm saing that there is no alcohol burn.
M - medium bodied with some nice carbonation. a bit tingly.
D - a very nice pumpkin ale, all of the flavors seem to meld together nicely, including the bourbon. Nothing overpowers and makes this one very easy to drink. Not sure if this is due to a year of aging. (715 characters)

Photo of bum732
2.83/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

S: Some pumpkin spices with a moderate bourbon note, slight squash tartness.

L: Hazy, bright burnt orange with a white head that dissipates.

T: Bourbon up front with a pumpkin spice background. Low bitterness yields to sweet pumpkin pie with some additional bourbon notes. Finishes semi-dry with a touch of oak.

M: Medium full body, medium low carbonation, slick.

Big beer, big bourbon as well, not a whole lot of pumpkin, pretty messy. Drain pour normally, but i wanted to get drunk. (488 characters)

Photo of yankeej13
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love my pumpkin beers

A- Pours out a nice light copper like color, has a mild head of foam that fades into a nice thin lace w a small amount of carbonation.

S- Has a very strong pumpkin aroma with mild amounts of cinnamon, nutmeg, a nice tint of bourbon and vanilla, clove.

T- Has a nice smooth pumpkin taste right out of the gate with a bourbon vanilla, with hints of cinnamon and clove in the mid palette, nice and creamy with a sweet malt finish.

M- Great drinkability for the alcohol content, smooth and extremely refreshing.

Overall- Liked it alot, much different than others, I like that there is a giant burst of pumpkin with mild spices rather than lots of spices and lil pumpkin. Very pleased with it. Cheers (722 characters)

Photo of rudzud
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

O - Overall, I'm mixed on this beer. As a bourbon beer, its not too shabby. As a pumpkin beer though, it leaves somethign to be desired. Wish there was more pumpkin in here than bourbon, but its still not a bad brew. (756 characters)

Photo of larryi86
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
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. (593 characters)

Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22-ounce bottle into a Saranac pint glass.

A: Rich, copper orange color with a fluffy, beige head of foam which dissipated slowly and left some clingy lacing. Dense chilled haze with some suspended yeast floating about.

S: Boozy oak, vanilla and harvest spices with a classic bourbon aroma. Smells warm, inviting, and dangerous, actually.

T: Sweet rush of roasted malts and pumpkin with accompanying spices, but more mellow, warm and booze-spicy because of the bourbon-barrel aging. Imparts flavors of wet tobacco leaf, earthy and herbal malt as well as a good amount of spicy pumpkin-driven hop bitterness. Washes down mellow, smooth and rather boozy.

M: Heavy, rich and full-bodied mouthfeel with mellow vanilla-oaky smoothness and a bourbon sting in the finish. A nice sipper.

O: Very interesting twist on an imperial pumpkin, leave it to Heavy Seas to make one feel even more jacked up with the additional bourbon-aging. Sit around the fire and sip in the 9% ABV Great'er Pumpkin with ease. Or in a sincere pumpkin patch. (1,045 characters)

Photo of Naugros
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Nice head, but there's a massive chill haze. Hold the beer up to the light and there's a bunch of sediment floating around in there. Not sure if it's lees suspended in the beer or spices.

The bourbon and the pumpkin are both right up front in the nose. Working together they smell a little solvent rather than boozy. The bourbon surpasses the pumpkin in dominance in the taste. The sweetness is tempered with bitterness as well as a twinge of sour. But I don't get much from the spices as they've been hijacked by the booze.

The time has come to rethink aging every beer we can get our hands on and throwing it into a bourbon barrel. It works with stouts and some barleywines can stand up to the strength of that liquor. Pumpkin ale sounded like a good idea to treat in this manner, but I don't think it really worked here. The original product was probably not bold enough and perhaps Weyerbacher might think about putting their Imperial Pumpkin Ale into bourbon barrels. It might do better sticking up for itself. (1,019 characters)

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Off-white head with some light lacing. Looks somewhat unfiltered with some sediment floating around.

S- Spices up front, some pumpkin. Slight hint of alcohol, but cannot really smell the bourbon.

T- Spices come through right away, can taste the sweetness from the bourbon, but the alcohol is well hidden. Very satisfying.

M- Light carbonation, medium mouthfeel.

O- A very good pumpkin offering. The first barrell aged pumpkin that I have had and was impressed. (467 characters)

Photo of silentjay
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
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 BeerFiend2002
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Goblet...

Pours a hazy burnt orange with one finger of soapy off-white head.

Strong organic pumpkin notes with cinnamon and nutmeg as well. Smells quite nice.

Good pumpkiny flavor with some of the spice, that is overtaken by a bourbon sweetness that takes over all the way to the finish. Never had a bourbon barrel aged pumpkin ale before, so I was interested to see how the flavor would be. It tastes kind of like a slice of pumpkin pie going in and being overtaken by a shot of Wild Turkey. Weird, but it works.

Good medium mouthfeel. Its not too heavy, but its hearty enough to let you know that you are having a big boy beer.

Overall, this was one that I was wanting to try and am not disappointed in it at all. Different, but nice flavor to it. Not on the level of Pumking, but nothing else is either. A nice after dinner treat for me on a chilly October night. (883 characters)

Photo of stonermouse
4.39/5  rDev +14%
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. (1,009 characters)

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
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! (558 characters)

Photo of Burt
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a tulip glass.

Amber orange that is hazy, off white head with little lacing.

Light pie spice and bourbon aroma.

Caramel sweetness up front, with pumpkin pie in the middle and a vanilla bourbon finish that slick is on the tongue.

Was looking forward to this and found the barrel aging made it a little tough to drink. One and done. (344 characters)

Photo of jsdunlop
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber that I picked up over at Bestway in G-boro. Light amber with a frothy white head, bit of cloudiness to it. Head sticks around with good lacing. Smells like some raw pumpkin guts, light vinegar or sourness, vanilla, and the traditional pumpkin pie spices. First sip reveals the 9% alcohol that was missing in the aroma. Fairly sweet with vanilla and caramel blending in with the pumpkin spices. Oak aging gives it a strange twang, sort of like sour wood, but it adds a new dimension to the brew. Raw pumpkin sneaks in again towards the end of the sip along with some booze and lingers. Mouthfeel is amazingly creamy with a moderate body to it. Nice carbonation going on. I enjoyed it, though some of the flavors seemed out of place and the alcohol seemed overwhelming. Nice pumpkin character to it. (818 characters)

Photo of Daktyls
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy amber color with a half finger head that recedes quickly to a minimal lacing in the center of the brew.

S: A light aroma of bourbon masks most of the other smells, leaving a slight amount of malt to be detected as well.

T: A light malty-pumpkin flavor up front followed by bourbon-y sweetness on the back end. Spices are somewhat limited but present, lending little to the taste.

M: Medium amount of carbonation for an overall light body, seems to work well together.

O: Overall, this tastes more like bourbon that anything else. Not necessarily a bad thing, just not really pumpkin-y at all. (612 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Passing by a bottle of bourbon aged beer with pirate bottle art work would prove impossible for me.

Dark orange sherbet color with a marrow beige-white head. Swirly skim retention with a few foamy fingers rising from the orange miasma.

Cinnamon lead pumpkin pie spice is most discernible on the nose followed by a pumpkin pie filling and woody, wet bourbon mash up. Aroma is messy and doesn't feature the bourbon well.

Pumpkin pie spice, mild vegetal pumpkin and bourbon muddled together to form a uniform boozy blah.

I thought I was done with boozy, overspiced pumpkin ales for the year but this one sucked me back in. Once again, bourbon was the source of bad decision making. (685 characters)

Photo of Zraly
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy orange with one-finger head poured into a Dogfish Head goblet. Light aromatics of pumpkin pie spices, vanilla and a hint of crushed leaves: a total autumn beverage. Nose is subtle and slightly sweet.

Predominate flavor is a bourbon pumpkin pie that is appropriately spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. Unlike some heavier pumpkin ales it avoids the overbearing quality that can be pumpkin pie spices. Smooth. Warm, sweet clove and vanilla finish that dries down and is rounded out by a firm but pleasant bourbon note.

The 9% is hidden, making this dangerous in a good way.

I would enjoy this with brie, bread, and pecans. It would definitely jazz up some pan gravy made with turkey stock for a stellar open-faced hot turkey sandwich with a side of sweet mashed potatoes. (787 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pumpkin ales make autumn better!
This review combines my 2011 review (the first time I tried it) and my 2013 review (which was an amazing improvement on the 2011 version).

A: medium orange, creamy head that thins quickly - look, it's translucent deep orange with a tan head - how else should a strong pumpkin ale look?

S: cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, pumpkin, bourbon (how can you go wrong?). Strong.

T: sweet, but not too sweet - you taste what you smell: all the pumpkin pie tastes shift around with notes of bourbon, caramel, and ale. Boozy. 2013 version was a cleaner and leaner model. tight pumpkin flavors and an air of sophistication brought about by the bourbon. Suggestions of caramel, vanilla, and airy wood.

M: lightly carbonated, clean finishing, mild alcohol taste. Seems like all pumpkin ales warm very nicely. Rich. Toned down textures and weight in the 2013 release improve the mouthfeel and finish - the bourbon breathed easier and the finish was far drier.

O: WOW - I have found a pumpkin ale on par with Pumking and Smashed Pumpkin (my other faves so far) - Heavy Seas (the "greater pumpkin" version) is smack-dab in the middle in terms of tone and mouthfeel, but set apart due to the bourbon aspect - a slightly more enjoyable drink for fans of bourbon and imperial stouts. the 2013 eclipsed the aforementioned beers, taking full benefit of whatever changes may have been made to the recipe.

Clipper City Brewing has crafted a beer that is amazing. It has some of the syrupy-sweetness of Pumking, and some of the crispness of Smashed Pumpkin - throw in the bourbon accents and you have a flavorful pumpkin ale. Heavy Seas rolls with a bangin' (newly upgraded (from 9.0))10.0 abv, and that's got to be hard to beat. Get one if you see it. (1,760 characters)

Photo of begforme4484
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a burnt amber orange with a yellow hue on the edges. Finger width of white head, with solid lacing retention.

Smells of pumpkin, spices, oak, and bourbon. It smells like, well, an aged, spiked, The Great Pumpkin.

The taste is superfluous. The fall spices, pumpkin, wood, malts, and bourbon notes blend together almost too well.

It's lightly carbonated, very smooth, as it should be IMO. Medium bodied and hidden alcohol tones.

Overall, this is going to be a hit or miss beer with most people. I think it's a must try, if you do happen to find a bottle or two of it around your area. (592 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
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. (541 characters)

Photo of BeerResearcher
3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz brown bottle. No freshness date.
Served in a Sam Adams lager glass.
It pours an orange-hued copper color with little specks of suspended floaties and a thin beige head which fades in a matter of seconds. No lacing whatsoever.
The first smell is that of a spiced pumpkin bourbon cake (not a bad idea!), followed by some citrus zest and a whiff of dry barn.
The flavors are fairy intense with pumpkin, bready malt, spices, lemony citrus, grapefruit and bourbon.
The alcoholic profile grows as you get halfway through the glass, and I think to myself yourself, "I've had 2 Wolaver Pumpkin Ales,
and a Sierra Nevada Tumbler before this and now I have to consider how many hours I've been drinking, what I ate and how much I weigh, because I'm feeling this brew in each breath I take and there is a noticeable pleasant buzz in the works. Fear not! I'm sitting in my home office just drinking and a typing...and staring at the pumpkin I just bought. (950 characters)

Photo of FatJesus
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Two to choose from so I went with the one aged in bourbon barrels. Let's see what we got.
Poured into a Samuel smith pint glass from 22oz bottle.
Pours a hazy orange with a white one finger head that quickly dissipates with little lacing to be seen. Some sediment present.
Smells like nutmeg, cinnamon, some pumpkin and bourbon. Everything I expected, bourbon a little on the heavy side. First few taste I get pumpkin pie with nice spices and a bourbon burn at the end, but the more you drink it the more the bourbon takes over the overall taste of everything else. Mouthfeel is average, slight carbonation. A little sticky. Overall the bourbon overpowers everything else this beer has to fifer. Starts off great with all the smells and tastes you expected but gets killed by the bourbon. Don't get me wrong, I like bourbon-barrel aged stouts, the flavors in this just can't hold it's own. Next I will try the regular greater pumpkin to see how that is. (953 characters)

Photo of InlandTaipan
4.14/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was poured out of a 22oz bottle.

A: A roasted orange color that is hazy. Sediment is present (bottle was poured gently to avoid disturbing sediment).

S: The aroma of this beer is very inviting. Unlike most other pumpkin beers I have tried the aroma is extremely balanced as opposed to focusing on spices. The bourbon character comes through but is not overwhelming.

T: The flavor is extraordinary. There is sweetness, spice, wood, malt character, as well as bourbon present. No one flavor dominates. An excellent blend of flavors for a barrel aged pumpkin beer.

M: The beer is perfectly carbonated in my opinion. with each touch of the tongue to the roof of my mouth I experience a sensation of bourbon vapors entering my nasal cavity which is very pleasant.

O: The Greater Pumpkin by Heavy Seas is a must try with well balanced characteristics, although I would swear this beer is higher than 9%! (914 characters)

Photo of oline73
2.92/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a clear orangish amber with a half finger of off white head and decent retention.

Smell: Pumpkin pie, spices and sweet malt with some brown sugar. Definitely the best part of this beer.

Taste: It kind of follows from the smell, but doesn't live up to it. There is pumpkin and pie spice, but it gets overshadowed by the bourbon and a huge anise presence. There is some bitterness, but the spice in the finish crushed everything.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and a bit syrupy. Tingly carbonation with a slick finish.

Overall: The aftertaste just killed this beer for me. It smells wonderful, but I found myself enjoying each sip a bit less than the last. Probably won't do this one again. (739 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: hazy, dull orange. Very slight head that swells on an aggressive pour and recedes to a swirl or two.
Smell: Very modest for a greater pumpkin. There's pumpkin to be sure and some spice and sweetness but much lighter than I would expect from such a bold brew.
Taste: ummm. That's more like it. Chewy pumpkin pie. Very smooth.
Overall: Very tasty, smooth drinker. Well done. (385 characters)

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