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Heavy Seas - Great’ER Pumpkin - Heavy Seas Beer

Not Rated.
Heavy Seas - Great’ER PumpkinHeavy Seas - Great’ER Pumpkin

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

212 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 212
Hads: 682
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 24.29%
Wants: 69
Gots: 118 | 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: 212 | Hads: 682
Photo of DavoleBomb
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Poured into a snifter. Nothing better than a pumpkin beer and football.

3.25 A: Clear orange amber color. I didn't get much of a head on this. Quickly falling frothy beige with a wisp or two of lacing.

3.5 S: Pumpkin spiciness with ginger and cinnamon leading the way. Allspice and a touch of pepper. The bourbon barrel is pretty weak in this. You really have to look for it to find it. Just a light earthiness and a hint of oak.

3.0 T: The bourbon is much, much more apparent in the taste to the point where it almost controls the beer. Big earthiness, leather, mineral, and melon. Oak, vanilla, and a touch of tannic astringency. Again some pumpkin spiciness as mentioned above. Not a lot of sweet maltiness.

3.5 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Light creaminess and smooth.

3.0 D: Ehhh, it's nothing special. The bourbon is too weak in the nose and too strong in the taste. This needs a bigger malty backbone to do well in a barrel.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of Chuck_IPA_Mathus
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

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

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Photo of Lucular
4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
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.

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Photo of cs85b03
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

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.

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Photo of HeartofMiami
4/5  rDev +3.4%

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!

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Photo of RexBanner
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%

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.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.1/5  rDev -19.9%

Brief write-up. This beer does a few things right in the style: namely, it doesn't go overboard with the fall spicing. Both cinnamon and nutmeg are well restrained, giving the caramel malt backbone some breathing room. But there's also a big problem with this beer. The finish is WAY too stodgy. It's a full-bodied brew as well, which means this is a slow sipper at best. I was also a bit disappointed in the overly subdued bourbon presence, but hey it's not remotely boozy either. Overall, it's not bad, but not great.

3.1/5: It would be a really good pumpkin ale if it weren't so flabby

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

Draft. 2015 edition is much better than 2014. Color is a nice light shade of...Pumpkin orange. Little to no head. Smell is light pumpkin spice, squash, all spice and brown sugar. Light. Taste is exactly the same but with a hint of bourbon. Very subtle. Tasty. More flavorful this year. Light on the mouth as well. ABV is undetectable. Clean finish. Excellent pumpkin ale.

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Photo of metter98
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
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

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Photo of Mongrel
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

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.

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Photo of oberon
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of twistwrist
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

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. :)

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Photo of tigg924
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

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

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of JordonHoltzman
4/5  rDev +3.4%

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.

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Photo of dmberger
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%

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.

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Photo of Sound_Explorer
4.39/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
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!

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.26/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2013 bomber at 50 degrees into Imperial pint
Aroma very faint of bourbon (aged in bourbon barrels) with a little clove
Head average (3.5 cm), off-white, creamy, mostly diminishing
Lacing fair
Body medium orange, clear
Flavor begins with bourbon tones, primarily vanillin, and some spiceness; no hops, no malt, no diacetyl, no alcohol flavors
Flavor ends with only sweetness and a short-lived alcohol burn.
Palate is medium, slightly oily, with soft carbonation

Very attractive pour. The differentiation between this and other pumpkin ales seems to be the ubiquitous bourbon barrel. No pumpkin tasted, only bourbon and clove. Rating based on trueness to style.

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Photo of BrewUSA
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Great Seas Greater Pumpkin Ale

Look 9/10
Smell 16/20
Taste 35/40
Feel 7/10
Drinkability 17/20

Overall 84/100

Too boozy for its ABV... Nice flavor and the pumpkin is real nice... I just feel like I have had too many too many pumpkin ales that were far better~

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Review taken from notes: Early November 2013- 1st time experiencing.

22 oz brown bomber that just seems massive and thick. Well made? I think so. Label is pirate inspired with all sorts of 'Heavy Seas' artwork going on. A little Halloween Like with the jack-o,yes, but it is the fall time. Not bad artwork at all. Poured this into a massive German rounded and dimpled like mug. I'm assuming a 24 oz mug!? Lol.. Every bit went in with no problem.

A - a burnt orange color with a more rusty amber hue. Somewhat hazy body. Off white head was massive on the pour and took its time to settle to a nice size ring of lace leaving minimal stick.

S - wow, big bourbon whiffs up front.. I like. Big vanilla and oak aromas throughout the start. Then come some lovely Autumn seasonal blend of spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, along with a crisp punch of allspice. Toasted malt, brown sugar, and a hint of pumpkin in the end.

T - toasted malts, bourbon brilliance with vanilla, mild caramel, and a sturdy oak flavor. Roasted pumpkin with nice touches of pumpkin spice toward the middle. More of the traditional cinnamon and allspice quickly following. Brown sugar toward the finish paired with the sweet vanilla and bourbon barrel goodies.

M - pretty big in body and coats very very well. Nice warming from the 10% is what I look for this time of year. Texture isn't overly thick but it still does well for itself. This is a big pumpkin ale and you'll need to drink this like you would an imperial. Not at all overly sweet nor too much of any one thing. It's very well balanced and quite delicious. Finishing this bottle wasnt a problem for me. That can't be said about a lot of pumpkin ales.

O - a wonderful pumpkin ale. It Has the balance, the flavor, and the aroma any pumpkin head would enjoy yet provides the sort of class a bourbon barrel freak would appreciate. This was an interesting beer and very enjoyable. I was almost shocked at how good Heavy Seas did with this. By far the best beer I've had from them. Ill buy it again next year as well.

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Photo of fourstringer
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Brewer's Art goblet with a moderately aggressive hand. 2013 vintage, but no specific dating on the label. There is a cartographic background with a scary pumpkin head.

A: Honey-orange body with a slight haze. 1 finger off-white head with ok retention. Light lacing. Not too shabby.

S: Nutmeg & pie spice. Bourbon. Oak. Lighter cinnamon and booze.

T: Lightly sweet with a tame spiciness that develops into a pleasant, even-tempered bitterness. Fairly dry finish for the flavor profile. Noticeable alcohol consistent with 10% ABV. Light oak, nutmeg, vanilla. I can detect some actual pumpkin, which I find fairly rare for most pumpkin beers. There is a pronounced whiskey finish to this brew.

M: Moderate to low carbonation with a good smoothness. Moderate body. Some alcohol burn is there, but not unwelcome.

O: Nice beer. I find the bourbon/barrel-aged notes to be fairly present. I appreciate the restrained sweetness and appropriate hopping. Well balanced. Good sipper.


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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Heavy Seas - Great’ER Pumpkin from Heavy Seas Beer
87 out of 100 based on 212 ratings.