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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 DoubleSimcoe
4.39/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Greater Pumpkin, bottle bought at Whole Foods Chelsea in NYC for $11.99 plus tax. Way pricey but I love this beer. Have had it on cask (first at Max's in B'more and then at Pony in NYC) and on tap (at Pony). My first time on a bottle...

Appearance: Poured into my Lost Abbey snifter, The Greater pours freely and happy, delivering a deep-orange beer with barely a finger of head that dies almost immediately. Some lacing, though, but not great retention. About average looks overall.

Smell: Shines! Fleshy pumpkin, hoppy bitterness, sharp bourbon, barrel and booze... this has got it all. Plus some floral tones and spice, hoppy finish.

Taste: Follows nose, with a smooth pumpkin flavor drenched in bourbon. Spice, cinnamon. Tangy-tingly finish, feels like Christmas!

Mouthfeel: Smooth and bourbon-y, reminds me of drinking Elijah Craig or Evan Williams without the burn. Low carbonation, medium body and flavor. Beautiful all around, well-balanced.

Overall: Is this a complex beer? Maybe not... heck, it is all about the pumpkin and the bourbon! But I love it nonetheless. Drinkable, delicious, autumn-y, beautiful. And- different! Yeah. On cask, even better.

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

A light cloudy orang amber with a sizable off white head. A bit of carbonation is seen as well as a good bit of lace along the sides of the glass. Smell is sweet malt and pumpkin with pie spices. A good healthy splash of bourbon but not overpowering. It flows into a mild alcohol sharpness. A nice pumpkin bread component as well. Taste is a bit different. Pumpkin pie is the main course but the bourbon underpins the whole thing giving a boozy holiday flavor to this one. The bourbon and pie spice meld into a beer equivalent of a rum fruitcake. I kinda wish I had waited till Thanksgiving to open this one. Nice malt backbone is backed up by firm earthy hops to close out the beer with a clean dry finish. Bourbon comes in to add some vanilla and oak. Feel is creamy and supple with enough thickness to take on dessert and coffee. A lovely beer of complexity and depth.

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Photo of codysjb
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

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Photo of warnerry
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear reddish copper with a finger of off-white head. Not much lacing to speak of.

S - Bourbon, vanilla brown sugar and pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and clove) up front. Some caramel malt as well. Didn't really get any oak notes. The bourbon is really a complement here. It is one of the predominant aromas, but it blends nicely with everything else.

T - The taste follows the aroma pretty well, with the addition of some wood tannins. A bit sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. The bourbon flavors are an improvement on the base beer.

M - Medium, slightly syrupy mouthfeel.

O - Nice flavor combination. I enjoyed this more than the base beer (which I also thought was pretty good).

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Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

Big thanks to Naugros for this bottle!

Finally got my hands on a barrel-aged pumpkin beer this year...and now I've got a second one! Right on. This one pours a clear dark amber-tawny topped by a half-finger of off-cream-white foam. The nose comprises bourbon, vanilla, light cocoa, honey, cinnamon, clove, brown sugar, caramel, and a touch of ruby red grapefruit rind in the background. The taste brings in more of the same, with the bourbon, vanilla, cinnamon, and newcoming oak rocking the forefront of everything. More spices and a touch of toasted pumpkin seed back them up nicely. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta syrupy feel. Overall, this is what a barrel-aged pumpkin beer oughta tste light. It brings in the best of both worlds and combines them very nicely. There are times when the bourbon looks like it's getting to big for its britches, but then the rest of the components come in and deftly cut it. Good times.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to my boy Lunch for sending me this one in a past trade! 2010 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured orange with a minimal off-white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, pumpkin, wood, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, cinnamon, brown sugar, wood, and sweet alcohol. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. After having the base version right before this one, I was a little concerned on what I would think of this one. However, this one definitely improved quite a bit with the -bal treatment. The barrel added a nice bit of complexity that was lacking in the previous beer and made it much more enjoyable to drink. Definitely the better of the two without a doubt. Just ask nickd and he will tell you why.

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Photo of cbutova
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark cloudy amber body into a pint glass. Creamy white head with decent size and retention. Good coat of lace all down the glass.

S- Mostly pumpkin ale, not much bourbon or barrel here. Spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisin and brown sugar.

T- Slight bourbon barrel flavor goes nicely with the pumpkin ale. The oak, vanilla and whiskey blend well with the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and caramel.

MF- Creamy moderately thick body with silky medium carbonation. Sight nutty bitter finish.

I gotta make a bourbon pumpkin pie sometime. The flavors meld nicely with the mild barrel influence and strong pumpkin ale flavor.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice bourbon barrellization of the Great Pumpkin… This is truly greater.

Presentation: 22 oz brown capped bottle. Perfunctory pirate skull and bones design: here the Great Pumpkin logo gets the barrel treatment. Pirate narrative describing the general style of the brew without going into much detail. Shows 9% Alc. by Vol. Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Medium amber-orange with an short frothy head, moderate to faint retention, small surface ring, and faint lacing.

S - Softly spice bourbon whiff, oaken sweet caramel riding the e pumpkin layer.

T - The tastes amplifies the sweet and spice pumpkin sense with a nice bourbon barrel identity, nice sync of spices woven with the oak vanilla. Underflow of the expected all spice, cinnamon, and clove come together in a subtle way dancing with the fleshy pumpkiness.

M - Medium carbonation and body. Prickly with a rather smooth finish and a soft lingering warmth.

O - Surprised by the flow of this offering. Nice sipper…

Notes: I many need to revisit the Great after having had the Greater Pumpkin… This works pretty well. Now, it´s only the second barrel aged bourbon pumpkin ale I try, and both, but this one in particular, were quite surprising… I may need to pick up another one of these.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass. 2011 Edition.

Pours a clear copper, with a ½ finger covering of slight off-white head. This retains with more of a thin frothy fizziness, which leaves back a foamy cascade of lace that quickly slides down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of vanilla, oak, pumpkin spices, a touch of softer fruity orange character, and then some underlying greenness. It’s tough to say if it’s pumpkin or not, as a bit of stiff warmth starts to come out as this warms and muddles things a bit.

The taste has a lot of vanilla going on, with additional notes of sweet caramel, orange zest, green pumpkin (it’s definitely standing out more here), and then some festive feeling spices that are scattered throughout the profile. The bourbon flavor mostly sits in the back here, and it rather nicely done, with a pleasant lightly charred burn on the back of the palate. More barrel flavor creeps into the finish, with a woody dryness that lingers with some leftover sugars and a touch of spice. The mouthfeel is full bodied and fairly effervescent in the mouth. Things do get a little smoother though as this runs over the tongue and the alcohol itself it pretty well hid. There is some warmth to the body here and the bourbon leaves a bit of heat behind but I was a bit shocked at how overall smooth this was in the mouth.

This was nice and was much better than I thought a BA Imperial Pumpkin Ale would have turned out. Besides some misgivings with the nose, I really enjoyed the overall integration of the flavors here and I was extremely surprised at how much of a smooth sipper this ended up being in the end. A full bottle was a little too much for me in one sitting but this is a perfect one to split.

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Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of the better pumpkin beers we have had, among a great 2011 crop. Bottle picked up in New york. Orange body, with bright tastes of orange, ginger, cinammon. Very fresh tasting although aged from last year. This ageing led to a balance and a dangerous smooth drinking. Bourbon added complexity without taking over or felling boozy.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bastu for sending me this one!

Pours a murky honey orange with a 1 inch puffy tan head that fades to an oily film on the top of the beer. Small streaks and dots of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, pumpkin, spices, and some minor vanilla and wood aromas. A bit of a boozy smell comes out too but not necessarily a bourbon aroma. Taste is of malt, pumpkin, spices, vanilla, wood, and a bourbon flavor on the finish. This beer has a crisp mouthfeel with a good level of carbonation. Overall, this is a good pumpkin ale that is pretty much just as good as The Great Pumpkin just with added aromas and flavors.

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Photo of chilly460
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pretty orange/brown beer with a contrasting tan head. Head sticks around well, good lacing.

S - Huge, festive, aroma. Lots of caramel sweetness, cinnamon spice, pumpkin, and booze. Can't say I'd know what the style of a barrel aged imperial pumpkin would be, but this is what I'd want.

T - Right on cue with the aroma, big "festive" beer. Booze was just a bit out of balance with the flavors, otherwise well done. I'm accustomed to big barrel aged stouts, I think they need to tone down the bourbon on this relatively lighter beer.

M - Just needed a bit more chewy meaty feel to it to live up to my vision of what a monster pumpkin beer should be.

O - Fun dessert type beer, they did a nice job defining a "new" style to me.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Yellow orange pour with a surprisingly large white head. The retention is very good. I was expecting this to be much, much darker.

S: The smell is pretty boozy. Bourbon and whiskey mostly. The pumpkin and spices have mostly become subdued. Vanilla and a bit of oakiness remain.

T: The taste really surprises me. The bourbon really overpowers it. The pumpkin, spices, and cinnamon show up on the back...and it doesn't taste good. Very strange taste. Never had a beer this light with bourbon flavors. Sort of confuses my palate.

MF: Light and carbonated well. Alcohol is certainly noticeable.

O: Not terribly drinkable. It tasted really strange. It was balanced, but the aftertaste was just so weird. Certainly glad I tasted it, but I wouldn't get it again.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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Photo of bum732
2.83/5  rDev -26.9%
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.

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Photo of yankeej13
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
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

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Photo of rudzud
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of larryi86
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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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.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

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Photo of silentjay
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of BeerFiend2002
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of stonermouse
4.39/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
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!

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