1. Rating beers by attributes (look, smell, taste, feel, overall) is back! Read the latest update ...
  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

449 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 449
Reviews: 177
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 14.73%
Wants: 54
Gots: 63 | 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: 449 | Reviews: 177 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of donkeyrunner
2.45/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Passing by a bottle of bourbon aged beer with pirate bottle art work would prove impossible for me.

Dark orange sherbet color with a marrow beige-white head. Swirly skim retention with a few foamy fingers rising from the orange miasma.

Cinnamon lead pumpkin pie spice is most discernible on the nose followed by a pumpkin pie filling and woody, wet bourbon mash up. Aroma is messy and doesn't feature the bourbon well.

Pumpkin pie spice, mild vegetal pumpkin and bourbon muddled together to form a uniform boozy blah.

I thought I was done with boozy, overspiced pumpkin ales for the year but this one sucked me back in. Once again, bourbon was the source of bad decision making.

donkeyrunner, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of 2dogbrew
4/5  rDev +3.4%

2dogbrew, Sep 29, 2012
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.36/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

GreesyFizeek, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of Davepoolesque
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Davepoolesque, Oct 28, 2013
Photo of tclapper
4/5  rDev +3.4%

tclapper, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of Morey
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

Morey, Oct 06, 2013
Photo of VeganUndead
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

VeganUndead, Mar 31, 2014
Photo of mrebeka
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

mrebeka, Nov 23, 2013
Photo of thekevlarkid
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a bottle purchased at Hopheads this beer was a hazy orange color with a thin layer of white head. The retention was not very good but it did leave some streaks of lacing throughout the sample. The aroma was an appealing blend of pumpkin, spices, booze, caramel malt and hints of toasted nuts. The flavors were good and definitely put it amongst one of the best pumpkin beers I’ve had. It was doubtlessly boozy right from the beginning with notes of bourbon and vanilla but beyond that first wave was the pumpkin and spices one would expect followed by the subtle notes of caramel and butterscotch. I suspect this beer would age really well because I felt the strong booze notes were quashing some of the potential complexity. The mouthfeel was good, the body medium/full and the carbonation on-point. A “big” beer but a good one and exactly what I’d expect from Heavy Seas.

thekevlarkid, Jan 29, 2012
Photo of barczar
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.

barczar, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%

ThePorterSorter, Oct 25, 2013
Photo of Chugs13
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Chugs13, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of jsh420
1.75/5  rDev -54.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

pours cloudy amber orange with a 1 finger head that left some spotted lacing

smell - almost none but i get some watered down bourbon

taste - sweet bourbon smacks your tastes buds right off the bat - this beer has more bourbon flavor then lots of stouts aged in bourbon barrels and no pumpkin to back it up - i think i might and coke zero so i can drink this booze monster

mouthfeel - kind of sticky medium body with low carbonation

drinkability is awful - 3/4 of this bottle went down the drain

jsh420, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of vermilcj
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

vermilcj, Nov 27, 2013
Photo of hoppymcgee
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

hoppymcgee, Nov 05, 2013
Photo of atone315
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

atone315, Jul 29, 2014
Photo of jampics2
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into a snifter. Sampled alongside the regular Great Pumpkin, which I believe I actually prefer to this.

The pour produces an off white head on top of the dirty pumpkin orangeish brown body. Not a great looking beer, the head quickly recedes and doesn't leave good lace. Just a bit above average here, but mostly the same look as the Great Pumpkin.

The smell is where the two beers start to differ. This has some spices, namely cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove, but also features some well-integrated bourbon. There's not a lot of malt, and the bourbon is just barely there - enough to notice but not a huge dominant component. There's also some notes of vanilla and butterscotch, and maybe even some brown sugar, but they're not very expressive. This was a step back from the very expressive and pleasant nose of the Great Pumpkin. Also, some really heavy booze emerges. This gained a single percent but apparently that was all raw booze.

Whereas the Great Pumpkin has a nice sweetness to the taste, that quality is taken away by the bourbon in this version, and I can't say it's for the best. The caramel is replaced with dry bourbon and wood, but the notes I would have liked - oak tannins, coconut, vanilla - aren't prominent or, in some cases, even present. Some spice and bourbon sting don't work that well together, and, while it has bready tastes and isn't a bourbon bomb, the beer just looses so much sweetness and replaces it with bourbon and booze.

The mouthfeel is OK, medium body and medium carbonation, with some lingering booze and spice. Overall, this was just not working for me, and I was very excited by the idea. The execution, however, was just not great, but an admirable attempt. I'd love if someone made a bourbon barrel aged pumpkin beer with lots of vanilla from the barrel, maybe a barrel aged imperial chocolate pumpkin stout. That's the ticket. Until that get's released, stick to the regular Great Pumpkin or pour a bit of Makers Mark into a Southern Tier Pumking (don't try that at home, I'm kidding).

jampics2, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of Zach136
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Zach136, Sep 24, 2013
Photo of jzeilinger
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very deep orange color with no carbonation and an off-white creamy foam head with rocky billowing bubbles in the middle.

S - Heavy spiced pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, some boozy bourbon, and perhaps some light vanilla aroma.

T - WOW! This beer strikes a perfect balance between pumpkin, spices, vanilla, and bourbon. There's some light woodiness in the flavor as well and the combination of everything together makes for a very interesting beer, it all plays very well together with no one fighting for the front seat. Halfway through the sip, the bourbon and oak flavors are more pronounced. After all the sweetness, this beer does finish with a nice touch of hop bitterness. I'm not a huge fan of cask beers but it really does bring out the nuances in a beer, although I much prefer CO2. The booze creates a very noticeable warming in the back of the throat on the way down.

M - Thick and full bodied that's total velvet on the tongue.

D - Can't have too many of these, they're very potent. Of the pumpkin beers I've had, I'd have to stamp this one as my favorite.

Pumpkin and bourbon barrels, now here's something very different...and I like it!

jzeilinger, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of Kmlund
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Kmlund, Oct 28, 2013
Photo of Howlader
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Howlader, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of Burt
3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a tulip glass.

Amber orange that is hazy, off white head with little lacing.

Light pie spice and bourbon aroma.

Caramel sweetness up front, with pumpkin pie in the middle and a vanilla bourbon finish that slick is on the tongue.

Was looking forward to this and found the barrel aging made it a little tough to drink. One and done.

Burt, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of aerozeppl
3.03/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Reddish amber color with quite a bit of stuff floating in suspension. A half finger of white head with some lacing.

S: The nose is mostly nutmeg. For a bourbon aged beer this nose is tight when it should really be bright. Not that impressed at all.

T: No bourbon at all which is a disappointment. Not much pumpkin either. More pumpkin spices which I think it a way to turn an ale into a pumpkin ale. It is not bad and there are no off flavors or anything like that but it is just kind of meh for me. The idea of a bourbon pumpkin ale really exited me but the execution left me wanting more.

M:Medium bodied. Carbonation is soft and pleasing.

D: A friend had this on cask and said it was one of the best beers that he had ever had. This was a big let down for me. I think they might have a small issue on the bottling line. Their draft beers are always remarkably better. For a big barrel aged beer this is kind of bland.

aerozeppl, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of GrindFatherBob
3/5  rDev -22.5%

GrindFatherBob, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of inlimbo77
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz, 10/22/2013
Riedel tulip

A: Pours a slightly hazy nice orange leading to copper. No real head. Turns into a bright white collar. Some lacing sheeting. Alcohol feet.

S: Not getting a lot of barrel. Lots of fleshy pumpkin and spices. Cinnamon and nutmeg. Vanilla. Sweet English malts. As it warms you do get the bourbon. Very nice vanilla/toffee/caramel meshing with pumpkin.

T: Touch of bitterness on the tip of the tongue. You get that fleshy pumpkin and pie like spice blend. Initially not getting much barrel character, over just general vanilla flavors from pie filling blend of spices. Some sweetness. Finish is drier than expected.

M: Medium leading to full.

inlimbo77, Nov 22, 2013
Heavy Seas - The Greater Pumpkin from Heavy Seas Beer
87 out of 100 based on 449 ratings.