1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
87
very good

461 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 461
Reviews: 180
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 14.73%
Wants: 55
Gots: 64 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 461 | Reviews: 180 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jsdunlop
3.25/5  rDev -16%
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.

jsdunlop, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of Gatordaddy
3.25/5  rDev -16%

Gatordaddy, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of GreyGhost4
3.25/5  rDev -16%

GreyGhost4, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of GetTheYayo
3.25/5  rDev -16%

GetTheYayo, Sunday at 11:51 PM
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a true pint, the beer is a light, bright, yellow-copper coloring with a slim film covering of white froth. Light pumpkin sweet aromas, with only a slight spicing, and some stronger bourbon and woody overtones. Flavors are boozey right off the bat, with strong oak and bourbon highlights on the slick pumpkin flavors. The spicing is slight on the tail end, and ends up slightly overpowered by the other flavor profiles. The aftertaste is pumpkin and bourbon, which blends nicely. The finish is clean and quick, after the smooth, round body throughout drinking. I was surprised how different this brew is from the Great Pumpkin Heavy Seas offers. Tasty.

GarthDanielson, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of Chaney
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tonight, my wife and I did a comparison test with this one and it's younger brother: "The Great Pumpkin."

On each of the Heavy Seas bombers, there is a story printed. The two Heavy Seas pumpkin beers have EXACTLY the same story, except on this one, the final sentence is: "From the haunted wood emerges the Great'er Pumpkin of them all!"

A: Nice Halloween orange color, with this just one shade darker than the non-barrel aged version. The carbonation is medium and there is about a half inch head on it.

S: It sort of smells like dark fruit dipped in bourbon. If I hadn't know this was a pumpkin ale beforehand, I never would have pegged it as that.

T: Nothing but bourbon wrapped in fruit (notice that I didn't say it the other way around). It may not be a great taste, but it is definitely one of the most interesting pumpkin brews I've ever tasted. The pumpkin tastes BBQd, burnt even, with subtle fruit notes on the aftertaste.

M: This is definitely creamier that "The Great Pumpkin", but I find it far less satisfying. The bourbon relentlessly beats you over the head and doesn't take any prisoners.

D: This is a very interesting experiment, however, I don't believe that this is a style that works as a barrel-ages concoction. When I go shop for a pumpkin ale, I want just that...a pumpkin-flavored ale.

Chaney, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice hazy orange color with smallish off-white head that recedes to a ring around the edge of the beer. Aroma is dominated by the Heavy Seas bourbon barrels, a bit boozy, the cinnamon/nutmeg/pumpkin seems to be a bit drowned out.

Flavor is pretty good, although I am not a huge fan of whatever the bourbon aging does to the Heavy Seas beers. I had the bourbon barrel barleywine and I tasted the same thing from the bourbon aging--a bit of vanilla heavily folded into an over-the-top buttery presence. Ruined the barleywine, though it worked a bit better with this beer. I like the Great Pumpkin a lot, so this was kind of a let-down. When the Great Pumpkin does show through over the buttery mess that is the Heavy Seas bourbon barrels, it's still quite good.

MF is thick, chewy, coating. Maybe a hair more carbonation to keep it moving but that's about it. OK drinkability, but I can't get past the buttery character of these beers. Maybe it's me--I'm pretty sure it's not the bottles since this is the same flavor I've found in two of their BA beers.

LordAdmNelson, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of 57md
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is copper in color with two big fingers of head that took awhile to dissipate. The nose had pumpkin notes, but also a nostril burning dose of alcohol. There were no pumpkin notes in the flavor profile which was quite disappointing. This is just a sub-standard bourbon-aged ale.

This is one pumpkin ale that can be skipped over.

57md, Nov 09, 2013
Photo of codysjb
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought about a month ago and I’ve been looking forward to getting to try this one.
A: Not much head despite the fact that it gushed all over the place (thankfully missing my laptop and droid) which quickly dissipated in any matter. Light brown, but more of golden amber, color which you can’t see straight through.
S: Bourbon and booze, almost no pumpkin and not much of anything else.
T: Bourbon, Bourbon, a little pumpkin and more bourbon. I can certainly taste the alcohol, not what I was expecting.
M: Almost all bourbon, the flavor is really overwhelming. Can’t taste much of the beer.
O: Not the worst thing ever, better than a bunch of beers but the flavors are unbalanced and there’s way too much bourbon. Maybe not the best type of beer to age in bourbon barrels since the flavors don’t hold up.

codysjb, Nov 10, 2011
Photo of BB1313
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

2013 vintage. 22oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a light copper with a fluffy off-white head that fades and leaves nice retention and decent lacing. The aromas are loaded with caramel malts. Lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Lots of vanilla. There's a nice amount of graham cracker. Not much oak. The bourbon is extremely subtle. The flavors are very earthy. Lots of spices. More cinnamon and ginger. The bourbon characteristics seem non-existent. It's hard to tell that this was even thrown in bourbon barrels. It tastes good, but loses points for lacking the barrel presence. Mouthfeel is full-bodied, but somewhat thin. Active carbonation making it smooth and drinkable. Alcohol goes unnoticed.

This is a fine pumpkin ale. The only flaw is that the bourbon and oak characteristics seem to be absent, in my opinion. I personally don't think aging this beer will make it improve.

BB1313, Nov 23, 2013
Photo of ThickNStout
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle from Minks (Marietta, GA). 7.99. No bottling info but it is the 2012 vintage. Served in a large snifter.

Pours vibrant deep orange with three quarter finger pale head that fades quickly. No lacing.

Smells of vanilla, bourbon, mild spice, graham cracker and a hint of pumpkin. Strong booze as well.

Taste kicks off with bold bourbon and progresses to vanilla, unsweetened pumpkin pie, wet oak, stale graham cracker and a bunch of booze. While my description may not sound appetizing, it's actually pretty good. The alcohol bite can be distracting but I just play it off as the bourbon.

Medium full bodied with mild carbonation.

An interesting variation of the ever popular fall seasonal pumpkin brew. I haven't tried the base beer but I'm not sure it's quite enough to stand up to the bourbon barrel aging. The woodsy bourbon is nice but the pumpkin kind of gets lost in the mix. Still, a pretty good value as far as barrel aged imperials go and I don't regret the purchase.

ThickNStout, Oct 17, 2012
Photo of illidurit
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at the December iteration of the Santa Cruz tasting series. Dark orange color. Peppermint and cinnamon aroma, very wintery, pumpkin pie plus spices. Smooth pumpkin sweetness, big spice notes, too much nutmeg/cinnamon. Didn’t get any bourbon. Dial down the spices, dial up the squash and the booze.

illidurit, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap 11/28/2012 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a tulip pint glass.

A: The beer is a cloudy light brown color, with a short dense off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains pumpkin, cinnamon & other spices, caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with a hearty malt character. Then some sweet flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style, this is yet another beer that proves that “imperial” doesn’t always mean better.

TheManiacalOne, Dec 01, 2012
Photo of Naugros
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Naugros, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of sendsilk
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received in a recent trade. 22 oz. bomber

Murky orange with little head and not much lacing on the glass. Smells very much like cinnamon, cloves and coriander. Taste is pretty spicey, fairly sweet/sugary with the bourbon chiming in but not overly so. It's pretty nice but not the pinnacle of pumpkin beers. Mouthfeel is about average (I guess) for the style. Glad I got to try it but it was just slightly too spicey for me.

sendsilk, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of Mantooth
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Mantooth, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of geofftrojans
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

geofftrojans, Oct 23, 2012
Photo of RobDB
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

RobDB, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of Beejay
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Beejay, Sep 24, 2013
Photo of hoppymcgee
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

hoppymcgee, Nov 05, 2013
Photo of FatJesus
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

FatJesus, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of BellsFan
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

BellsFan, Oct 12, 2013
Photo of Lantern
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Lantern, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of thereal_adam
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

thereal_adam, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of Marco_Gtz
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

Marco_Gtz, Apr 29, 2014
Heavy Seas - The Greater Pumpkin from Heavy Seas Beer
87 out of 100 based on 461 ratings.