Heavy Seas - The Greater Pumpkin - Heavy Seas Beer
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 430 | Reviews: 176 | Display Reviews Only:
3.8/5 rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75
We crack a bomber of their 2013 stock with the new label, pouring a brew of rich reddish pumpkin coloring into our large tasting snifters. It holds a creamy two finger head of easily reproducible sandpaper foam, with airiness resembling frothing sea foam. Lacing is in wet cords around the glasses. A definite haze cuts clarity, but no sediment is noted. Carbonation appears to be active around the edges, but slow. The aroma whiffs of bright and souring oak, light mossiness, coiny metallics, apple cider vinegar, clean vanilla, fusel burn of smoky bourbon and nail polish remover, black pepper, cinnamon, allspice, sour lemon citrus, black currant, fresh whipped cream, and fresh pumpkin pulp and seed. Our first impression is that while the booze is high towards the front of the sip, it ends with nice sweetness and balance. As we sip, you are hit primarily with big fusel booziness, amber and caramel maltiness, table salt, granite, bittered oak, black pepper and biting cinnamon spice, lemon peel, chemical burn, plastics, and parchment paper. The middle to the peak immediately eases up, with sweetness of warmed brown sugar, thick caramel maltiness with nice roast and warmth, sweet bourbon booziness, buttery diacetyls, coconut fruitiness, cleaner oak, light plastics, lactic creaminess, and continued bite of citric rind. The end washes with sweet cinnamon-sugar, vanilla icing and extract, cherry sweetness, that continued core of sweet booziness, phenolic plastics, sweaty and dirty oak, salt and pepper, flakey pastry cream puffs, and a gritty, wheaty type malt. The aftertaste breaths of cold pumpkin pulp, aluminum foil and icy metallics, fusel smokiness, bourbon and oak, gingerbread and cinnamon, fresh pumpkin vegetals, sheeted plastics, heavy creamer, burnt butters, and wheat breadiness. The body is medium to full, and the carbonation is reasonably high. Each sip comes on pleasant froth, cream, foam, slurp, smack, and pop. The mouth is initially coated with syrupy thickness, but quickly warms, and then dries with light astringent pucker. The abv is appropriate, and the beer sips nicely.
Overall, the most enjoyable aspect of this beer was its aroma. This initially came across as quite booze and metallic, but as it warmed, those notes faded, allowing the beauty of the spice and the gourd to flourish. That said, the flavoring to follow lacked the punch that we’ve come to expect from these big, oaky pumpkin beers. The oak was actually great, and almost overly so because of how sour it was, but the pumpkin was rather flat. This is not to the fault of the brewer, but rather to the fault of the product itself, as it is inherently not very spicy or savory in its flavoring. There was, however, enough spice added to keep things interesting, and to meet the wood in full. This was a nice beer for sure, and we are glad to have had it fresh, while the bourbon barreling is in full season, but we suggest you wait a bit if you want a cooler, more buttery, and smooth-sipping beverage.
Serving type: bottle
10-26-2013 01:34:02 | More by TheBrewo
3.61/5 rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25
22oz bottle poured into a large snifter.
A: Orange in color. Hazy. Off white head settles quickly. Lacing is small and spotty.
S: Strong waft of gourdy sweet pumpkin. Whiffs of cinnamon and pumpkin spice. Rich barrel aromas of caramel, vanilla, bourbon, and charred oak. Pleasant shortbread malt backbone.
T: A wave of cinnamon and pumpkin spice dominates for a while. Striking impression of graham cracker. Bourbon and barrel flavors pick up steam on the mid palate, but the spicing never goes away. Bourbon, oak, and caramel punch through the spices from time to time. Pleasant shortbread and toffee malt backbone is stifled. Pumpkin comes on strong toward the back end. Finishes with long lingering cinnamon.
M: Medium-thick body. Chewy. Low carbonation. Soothing alcohol warmth.
O: The English malts are delicious on the rare occasions that they are allowed to peek through the iron curtain of spices. The barrel flavors are comforting and enticing as well. Tone back the spicing by half and this would be an excellent beer, but as it stands it's a bit much.
Serving type: bottle
10-19-2013 04:12:05 | More by ryan1788a5
3.93/5 rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Pours a hazy deep copper with orange tints and a billowing, frothy cream head that leaves minimal lacing.
Vanilla, nutmeg, ginger, clove, cinnamon and pumpkin dominate the initial aroma, with a hint of booze lurking in the background. There's a buttery, caramel malt character that emerges, accompanied by graham cracker notes. Very spice forward.
Flavor reveals more boozy notes, with vanilla and bourbon underlying a slightly sweet, bready, toasted caramel malt backbone that dries out in the spicy finish. The pumpkin character emerges more so in the aftertaste, but nutmeg cinnamon, and clove are evident mid palate. Buttery, graham cracker notes surface mid palate to add a pumpkin pie flavor. Banana esters become noticeable as it warms, along with a slight squash tang and cola notes.
Body is full , creamy, and smooth, with minimal carbonation and surprisingly light alcohol warmth.
Spice dominates the aroma, but seems to be subdued by the bourbon character in the flavor. Very nice take on the style. Not overly sweet, with a pretty decent pumpkin presence, though the balance is toward spices. The bourbon adds nice complexity. And that 10 percent is surprisingly well hidden. The banana and cola character I'm perceiving is somewhat disappointing, but I think it's just a combo of other flavors...namely ginger.
Serving type: bottle
10-15-2013 23:38:58 | More by barczar
Heavy Seas - The Greater Pumpkin from Heavy Seas Beer
87 out of 100 based on 430 ratings.