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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

219 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 219
Hads: 715
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 24.29%
Wants: 71
Gots: 124 | 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: 219 | Hads: 715
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 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 Knapp85
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured out as a very nice looking orange color with a thin white head on top. The head fades mostly and leaves just a touch of lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer is very nice, it's got a near perfect balance of spicy pumpkin aromas mixed with the bourbon and vanilla on the nose. The taste is similar to the smell, lots of spice with a wonderful balance of vanilla and bourbon notes. The mouthfeel is creamy with a heavy body and a moderate carbonation to it. Overall I thought this beer was great, I would enjoy this one over and over during the fall season.

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

Incredibly spicy, savory, and sweet- Heavy Seas churns out a beer that's easily mistaken for rum-soaked graham crackers. And at imperial-type strength, its a pumpkin beer that's finally fortified and worthwhile.

Poured into a round snifter, its orange glow with slight tawny brown-bronze low lights- the beer starts to even look like a pumpkin. Its bright clarity really shows off the streams of carbonation the rise up from its depths to build a creamy ivory head to top of the ale. Semi-stern retention struggles to retain the second half of the session and laces only daintily- preferring that rum-like consistence as much as ale.

Biscuity, savory and spicy- the beer's aromas is strikingly of gingersnaps and graham crackers as the caramel-soaked malts become decorated with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice and ginger that dance about its periphery. Toasted grains provide a near-toffee richness with toasted pecans, bread crust and a distinct "french toast" character.

And that same savory caramel, nutty, toasty and crusty flavor comes to life with a supple hint of butterscotch just as the spices fold into the taste in the middle palate. Turning from sweetness to toastiness, the sprinkle of all those pumpkin pie spices help to dry the beer as the sweetness begins to fade until the taste of dry molasses, spiced rum, and husky grain character gives it finish a glimpse into the gingersnaps that was picked up by the nose.

Full-ish in body, the beer's ample sweetness certainly speaks to its imperial strength and savory character. But as the carbonation keeps the beer creamy, the alcohol and spice counterbalances with a drier tone. Finishing spicy, warm and rum-like- echoes of spice and toast stem into a long and arid aftertaste.

The secret is out! Imperial Pumpkin Ales is what beer enthusiasts crave. Its as sultry, savory and seductive as any taste in the beer world. Heavy Seas takes advantage of the impressionable palates with a drier and spicier version of this clever and quirky seasonal beer.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, dark brown with the slightest tan head. Smells slightly of bourbon and a little bit of pumpkin pie spice in the background. Neither seems to stand out. The taste ups the intensity a little bit, but not in a good way. The bourbon and pumpkin spices just don't really blend all that well in this version. The mouthfeel is medium with low carbonation. No noticeable alcohol. Drinkability is pretty good for a beer of this heft, and I'll give it points for not having ridonkulous amounts of pumpkin spices, but that's about all I can say.

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Photo of emerge077
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bright jewel tone color, saturated dark orange. Long lasting head of creamy foam, never breaks after the first few sips. Irregular spotty lacing.

Huge roasted pumpkin aroma, sweet like pumpkin pie, crust and all. Not overly "spicy" and no overt bourbon in the nose, but there is a nice mellow dose of vanilla and nutmeg.

Medium bodied with a little bit of bourbon heat behind it, lingering pumpkin and pie spice flavors. Slightly nutty, vanilla from the bourbon, and a hint of the whiskey barrel at room temperature. Nicely melded, really enjoyable, slightly boozy. Would seek this out again.

Thanks Chris for sharing this one!

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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 oline73
2.92/5  rDev -24.5%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What are the chances? Two people bring the same beer to an impromptu tasting (thanks Dan). Thanks for the taste from your bottle, Craig.

A: The pour is a dark amber color with a thin ring of tan foam around the outside of the glass.

S: Tons and tons of pie spices such as cinnamon, all spice, and nutmeg. The bourbon aroma is plentiful as well, providing quite a bit of booze along with the usual oak and vanilla.

T: The vanilla flavor is really nice and smooth here. Fairly sweet, but the bourbon flavor helps to mitigate that a bit, and the intense cinnamon and nutmeg flavors do an even better job of this.

M: The body is maybe on the thin side of medium with a low to medium carbonation.

D: I could see this being great, but the bourbon and spices are just overdone at this point.

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Photo of jlindros
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice creamy 1 finger head that fades at a med pace with a bit of lacing, over mostly clear pumpkin orange colored beer.

Nose is huge, explodes with heavy fruity pumpkin, fresh pumpkin not really pie or canned, then a light non-gourd like fruit like a sour berry kinda fruit, light holiday spices, a creamy malt with hints of caramel and toasty malt, and light bourbon to round it off which also brings light oak.

Taste starts with more bourbon, much more than the nose. A nice bourbon flavor with some buttery oak, a lot more oak as well, and hint of vanilla. Then the pumpkin but not a ton, again more like fresh pumpkin more so than pie filling or canned, with more of a juicy fruit kick but no berry this time, although maybe a hint of pear like fruit, and light spices. the fruit really starts to take over, and it's not really a pumpkin fruit just an overall fruity taste that seems to make the beer a bit too weird as it dominates. Semi sweet with a hint of booze coming through with the sweet malts, a bit creamy malt and light toasty, as well as hint of caramel. Finish is semi sweet still and sticky, little bit more warming booze and pumpkin, hints of spices and bitterness, and little more bourbon and oak.

Mouth is med to a bit heavier bodied, decent carb, some warming almost tingly booze.

Overall not bad, it has some decent bourbon and buttery oak, decent pumpkin that adds a nice flavor not canned flavor, spices are kept in check, drinkable, light bitterness, a bit too sticky and sweet esp on the finish. Nothing special but tasty and done well.

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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 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 TheManiacalOne
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

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

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass; no bottle dating, but this should be a 2012 vintage. Slow gusher upon opening. Pours fairly cloudy orange amber color with a 1-2 finger foamy white head with solid retention, that reduces to a thin lacing cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, bourbon, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, oak, pepper, clove, and pie crust. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of barrel, malt, and spice notes. Taste of caramel, pumpkin, brown sugar, bourbon, cinnamon, nutmeg, toffee, oak, vanilla, pepper, clove, and pie crust. Lingering notes of caramel, pumpkin, brown sugar, bourbon, toffee, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, oak, and pie crust on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of barrel/malt/spice flavors with some great complexity; and no cloying sweetness present after the finish. Barrel notes are a little strong, but it is still very well balanced. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and slick mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is fairly well hidden with a decent amount of warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice barrel aged pumpkin ale. Good balance and very nice complexity of barrel/malt/spice flavors; and fairly smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip. Tried a bottle of this right after The Great Pumpkin.

a - Pours a hazy orange-amber color with 2 inches of white head that leaves quickly and light carbonation evident. Some nice lacing.

s - Smells of bourbon, pumpkin, and oak. Smells pretyy good, but no spices like in The Great Pumpkin.

t - Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, oak, pumpkin, and bready malts. Again, no spice or caramel malts like The Great Pumpkin had.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - I actually liked this one more than The Great Pumpkin, though it isn't as much as a pumpkin beer. The spices and caramel malts that The Great Pumpkin had were kind of lost here due to the bourbon and oak, but a very enjoyable beer. Would have again.

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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 drabmuh
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a bruery tulip. Beer is orange and hazy with a thin broken white head of small bubbles.

Aroma is strong with some pumpkin, minimal spices and strong bourbon.

Beer is light in body and quite hot. Its mildly spicy but the pumpkin some how cuts through and is still present. My wife enjoys this beer and this style more than I do but this is a decent beer. I wouldn't have expected much from a bourbon barrel aged fruit beer but this one comes through. Its a little harsh on the onset but overall its OK.

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Photo of WesWes
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a hazy orange color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a warm pumpkin and spice scent along with a nice bourban barrel aroma. The pumpkin and bourban character works well together. The taste is decent. It has a very aggressive bourbon flavor that goes down easy and finishes warm with good pumpkin character. The barrel aging dominates the palate and diminishes the overall pumpkin and spice taste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is the first bourbon barrel aged pumpkin ale I've ever tried. It's unique and complex, but I prefer the regular version.

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Photo of billab914
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Sierra Nevada shaped glass. It poured dark orange in color with a frothy and sticky white head filling the top inch of the glass. The head faded to a thin, creamy, dusting and left just some traces of lacing as I drank it.

The aroma is very interesting with woody oak and pumpkin pie spice being the most prominent. They actually come together very well. A little bit of bourbon and vanilla come through in the barrel character as well. The spices are pretty subdued, which I like. Very nice mix of pumpkin and bourbon barrel flavors overall, and definitely one of my favorite aromas for the style.

The taste has a lot of woody oak flavors to it. The bourbon shows up more in the finish with some nice vanilla notes to it as well. Some pumpkin pie spice comes through and adds some interesting flavors to it. I get a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg in the finish, along with some pumpkin like flavors. I get a moderate herbal, hoppy, bitterness in the finish as well. Cool flavors overall and they complimented each other better then I expected.

The mouthfeel is a little above medium bodied and carbonation is on the lower side. I like the lower carbonation for a barrel aged beer. Drinkability was pretty decent. The spices mixed with the barrel flavors better then I expected, but I can't say they complimented each other as well as other styles do. Pretty drinkable, really cool and unique, and a very enjoyable pumpkin beer overall.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Exiled for sharing this beer.

The beer pours a light orange color with a white head. The aroma is heavy on the pumpkin and associated spices - mainly nutmeg and cinnamon. I don't get too much bourbon-aged character in the aroma.

The flavor is pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon and some oak, vanilla and whiskey notes. You can definitely tell the bourbon is there, but is more subtle than in a lot of other beers. The bourbon-aging compliments the base beer, it doesn't completely overshadow and dominate it..

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of rolltide8425
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Really like how this beer is put together. The bourbon character, while apparent, is in the background as it should be, in my opinion. The first flavor I get is pumpkin which is followed by cinnamon and clove.

 209 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.24/5  rDev -16.3%
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.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours lighter than I expected, more a golden color than a brown- on the lighter side of amber. A fairly slight head, but that seems okay for the style and abv. Smells boozy and sweet, with some pumpkin pie spice notes. The bourbon is light and clean and style, rather than heavy and laced with oak and molasses. Tastes like a bourbon laced pumpkin pie- creamy, sweet, bourbony and with chocolate and some surprising lemon notes as well that add some nice acidity that cuts through the rest of the richness. Smooth and rich in the mouth, This is quite a nice variation on the standard pumpkin beer.

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Heavy Seas - Great’ER Pumpkin from Heavy Seas Beer
87 out of 100 based on 219 ratings.