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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 219 | Hads: 715
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 delta490
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deeply cloudy orange-brown. There is a smidge of head when poured but it dissipates quickly. The aroma is rich pumpkin and spices and the taste is much the same but a little more restrained. It lacks the depth of other pumpkin beers but it also hides its alcohol well. The body is lighter, too but it fits the beer well. There is also a good hit of carbonation

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

22oz into Newport Storm pint glass. 2010 bottling.

A- A orangey amber beer that kind of looks like oil and water mixed. Is that the saturated bourbon or the pumpkin remnants? Hmm... White head that fizzes out quickly.

S- Bourbon! Pumpkin spices mix with the vanilla oaky peppery bourbon notes.

T- Bourbon-dominated. The pumpkin flavors mesh well and almost fade into the background of the flavor profile. The spices are integrated with the bourbon notes.. if you like bourbon you will love this beer. People who don't like bourbon might find this beer to be too much. I personally love it.

M- A bit hot, good carbonation keeps it from being too heavy.

D- High. I really like this beer, it won't be for everyone but I think the bourbon barrels work really well with the pumpkin ale base. I've bought a half-case of this already and will buy more if I see it. Good stuff.

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Photo of Lucular
4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite pumpkin beer which is surprising since I am not usually a huge fan of bourbon barrel aging. Heavy Seas does a great job with balancing the pumpkin and bourbon flavors so that neither dominates the other.

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Photo of Bendurgin
1.93/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured this into a pint glass. The body is hazy orange with about a finger of off white head that looks thick and creamy. The body actually really looks like sweet apple cider. Maybe because it's Autumn. The head doesn't retain very well and leaves just a little spotty lacing. I can definitely smell the pumpkin in this one, a bit of oak and certainly the bourbon. The bourbon is actually a bit aggressive, it makes it a bit to intense. Ugh. Pumpkin and bourbon don't go well together at all. This reminds me of cough syrup. I can taste the pumpkin, bourbon and Autumn spices but the bourbon is too much. I remember having the regular version last year and it wasn't bad. But these flavors just don't go well together. The mouthfeel isn't bad. Not really good though because the feeling in my mouth is just the really bad taste of cough syrup. Not at all drinkable. I'm really pissed at Shane from Tully's for pointing this one out to me and convincing me I should try it. That's strike two Shane.

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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 biggred1
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dense, deep pumpkin-orange with a creamy eggshell head that leaves pretty lace on the glass. The aroma is pumpkin spice and bourbon barrel, toasted oak notes. A creamy, custard-like pumpkin pie and whiskey barrel quality..who wouldn't like that? A toasty, oaky whisky barrel version of a pumpkin beer. Good stuff. Full bodied,oaky and sticky.

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Photo of elgiacomo
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle, fall 2010 vintage.

Pours hazy amber/copper with a one finger off-white head that leaves good spotty lacing and holds a good cap.

Aroma is pumpkin, spices: clove, ginger, cinnamon, clove, not much bourbon on the nose although good overall strength.

Flavor is pumpkin, spices such as ginger, clove, nutmeg, a little cinnamon, fair bourbon whiskey, light vanilla, malty, light hop presence, alcohol makes an appearance, long spiced finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, medium carbonation, creamy.

Good pumpkin beer, less bourbon than expected. A big beer that needs sharing as 22oz would be too much for one person.

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Photo of sendsilk
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.29/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours viscous with a short ecru head. The foam that's there is bubbly and active and leaves minuscule spots of lace behind. Not surprising considering the abv and the spices. Body is an auburn color with bright orange highlights and relatively clear, but this is the first half of the bottle.

S- still cold, it smells of heavy nutmeg. I like that. Cinnamon, brown sugar and loads of whiskey barrel aromas follow up with an alluring vanilla and punkin pie profile. Tartness comes into play as well, and makes for a very well rounded nose thanks to the bourbon and charred wood. This one is earthy sweet, with a great balance of spice to counteract the sugars. Notes of buttered rum come through easily as it warms with date and fig and over-ripened berries.

T- pumpkin pie WITH the pie crust. I've never had a pumpkin beer that strikes a balance between sweet/salty/sour/bitter but this does it. Malty sweetness with an earthy sweetness and tannins from the oak paired with a hint of bitterness from the spices does the trick. Cinnamon, clove, maaaad nutmeg, mace, vanilla, tobacco, cured wood and sour wood. Soil and mushroom, all backed up by the buttery sweet aroma with a fruity kick. Alcohol is there in a spiced rum sort of way adds to the flavor. Finishes like speyside scotch with burn and lingering fruity and peppercorn notes.

MF- the combination of alcohol and tight, zippy carbonation stings the palate, opening craters for the flavor to sink into. Barrel aging has definitely benefitted here as the tannins provide a spark to lift the sugary feeling. Idk if it is bottle conditioned but knowing clipper city and feeling the sandpaper, it probably is. Much love to em.

D- being a "big beer" and considering my notions of pumpkin ale, this shit is off the chain. Barrel aging sells it to me but even without that I believe this would be a stellar spiced ale. I'm not kickin it here all cinnamon faced either. Nutmeg and brown sugar are up front, although the brown sugar could be elements of the vanilla flavors from the wood. Either way, it's a banger.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2013 vintage.

A: Pours a mostly clear amber with an off white head. Lots of visible carbonation going on in the body. Spots of lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Spiciness up front with a dose of sweetness. Graham cracker like crust aroma is present which I like in pumpkin beers. Bourbon barrel aging doesnt make too much of an impact.

T: As with the aroma there is a healthy dose of spice to this one. Cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg come to mind. Bourbon is light in the background adding just a touch of vanilla, oak and booze.

M: Medium body with lots of carbonation for such a boozy beer. Retains a creamy mouthfeel. Finish is a bit sticky which is understandable considering the sweetness. Alcohol isnt too hot.

Overall its a pumpkin beer that exemplifies the style but I still feel that this one could push the envelope a little further. A bit more bourbon and pumpkin flavor.

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

Poured from a cellar temperature bottle into a Smuttynose Big Beer Series goblet. The beer has a translucent orange color, with notes of brown to give it a slightly tarnished look. A bubbly tan head settled to a skim with a ring of large bubbles at the edges. Tiny carbonation bubbles can be seen within.

This beer smells very good to me. Woodsy bourbon and oak are present, but so is warm pumpkin fruit. There is just a hint of spice mixed in as well. A touch of hot alcohol gives away this aroma as belonging to a strong beer, but otherwise it smells like an appealing pumpkin dish. This is by far the best pumpkin beer aroma I've come across.

This beer has an interesting blend of flavors. It's hard to tell where the pumpkin ends and the bourbon begins. The pumpkin does feel stronger as I first sip, with bold fruit flavors present here. Smokey bourbon and oak move forward as I swallow. Some alcohol burn is present here. Pumpkin spice lingers on after I swallow.

Great'er Pumpkin is a smooth, full bodied beer without too much carbonation. A decent coat is left behind. It has a pumpkin flavor and gives off alcoholic vapors. This warmth is similar to how a sip of bourbon feels going down.

It won't be difficult for me to finish my glass of this imperial beer. I wouldn't want to have too many glasses of this in a session, simply because it is so strong. I would like to pick up a few bottles of this next fall to spread out across the season. It's a very enjoyable beverage. Who would have thought bourbon aging a pumpkin ale would work so well?

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Photo of Zraly
4.16/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy orange with one-finger head poured into a Dogfish Head goblet. Light aromatics of pumpkin pie spices, vanilla and a hint of crushed leaves: a total autumn beverage. Nose is subtle and slightly sweet.

Predominate flavor is a bourbon pumpkin pie that is appropriately spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. Unlike some heavier pumpkin ales it avoids the overbearing quality that can be pumpkin pie spices. Smooth. Warm, sweet clove and vanilla finish that dries down and is rounded out by a firm but pleasant bourbon note.

The 9% is hidden, making this dangerous in a good way.

I would enjoy this with brie, bread, and pecans. It would definitely jazz up some pan gravy made with turkey stock for a stellar open-faced hot turkey sandwich with a side of sweet mashed potatoes.

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Photo of pwoody11
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Did a side by side with the Greater Pumpkin. The Greater Pumpkin is the same beer aged in Bourbon Barrels.

This beer was a burnt orange with no head but a small ring around the edges. It was darker in color than the Great version.

Aroma was pumpkin and spice dominated with a little faint malt and bourbon in the background.

After the first sip I'm pretty much only picking up pumpkin. This is "spicier" and more "pumpkiny" than the Great version. The other version is much sweeter whereas this one seemed to be heavier on the nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla.

Mouthfeel was a little weak, but didn't detract from the overall drinkability.

As far as the side by, to be honest, I couldn't pick up on any major differences. I think the Greater Pumpkin is a correct description, as I preferred it over the other, but again, no striking major differences.

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Photo of NumberNone
4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a solid amber color with a thin white bubbly head. Moderate lacing. Moderate evident carbonation.

S: Pumpkin, brown sugar, malt, nutmeg, slight allspice, slight bourbon, slight hops.

T: Consists of malt, pumpkin, brown sugar, slight hops, cinnamon, nutmeg, slight bourbon, some alcohol. Similar to The Great Pumpkin with less citrus and more whiskey and alcohol.

M: Smooth with good earthiness and a grainy texture on the tongue. Nice hit of dryness. Flavors are well balanced even with a bit of an alcohol kick.

O: A tasty improvement over the solid The Great Pumpkin. It has more of a kick yet still retains its pumpkin ale qualities (with this version actually having a somewhat stronger pumpkin flavor). The alcohol kick makes you wonder how it might taste with some age, though it's quite good fresh. It has many of the qualities of The Great Pumpkin in taste, and it's definitely a pumpkin, but here it's taken up a notch . The "aged in bourbon barrels" indicated on the bottle is definitely evident. Is it worth the several extra dollars in price over the original? Maybe not, but definitely worth trying both to experience the differences,

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.75/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 edition, 22 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful amber color, specked with orange highlights, topped with two fingers of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic! Lots of candied pumpkin and ginger with strong notes of clove, cinnamon and brown sugar, along with some subtle notes of wood and vanilla. Due to the aging in bourbon barrels, and the high ABV, there’s some alcohol in the nose as well.

Taste: Tons of roasted pumpkin, candied ginger and cinnamon, followed by some wood, vanilla, clove, caramel-like sweetness, and finished with some notes of bourbon from the barrel the beer was aged in. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy. Very smooth as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 10.0%, and with the aging in bourbon barrels, there is quite a bit of alcohol on the palate, imparting a pleasant warmth in the mouth.

Overall: This is a remarkable beer! I love the candied pumpkin and ginger flavor as well as the blended bourbon and vanilla flavors. Very, very good! I’m getting two bottle so this at least next year, one to drink right away, and one or two to age. Delicious!

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into shaped imperial pint. Four finger creamy french vanilla colored head. Decent retention, a slim cap in left floating atop for the duration. Moderate lacing, scattered clumps left clinging to the glass. Body is a glowing orange color with slight haze, pretty standard for a pumpkin ale.

Warm pumpkin and spice aromas mesh seamlessly with the bourbon. The combination works so well I am surprised this is not done more often. Strong doses of cinnamon and nutmeg followed by a warm bready aroma. The bourbon in integrated in such a way it is just another piece and not the focal point.

Flavor is very well balanced. Waves of pumpkin, spice and bourbon hit the tongue intermittently keeping the taste buds off guard. The oak and the bourbon contribute flavors which compliment a pumpkin ale very well. Vanilla in integrated evenly through out.

Medium to just under full bodied. Texture is smooth with moderate carbonation. Flavors do cling to the tongue a bit but the finish is not excessively long.

Awesome beer, tremendously drinkable. Almost zero booziness which is surprising considering we are talking about a 9% -bal aged beer. This has become my favorite pumpkin ale and possibly my favorite holiday beer as well. In the past I have found Heavy Sea to be solid but not much more, this is the first offering that truly impresses me. Highly recommended.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Hazy, translucent russet with just a dusting of head & a thin, beige collar. A few strands of nucleation.

Smell has some orange peel, typical spice profile (a little cinnamon, a little nutmeg, clove, allspice, a tiny bit of ginger). Some lightly caramel malts, only trace amounts of the bourbon barrel, with very subtle oak & vanilla. Booze is apparent, too.

Starts off with the spices & pumpkin flavor, followed by a substantial alcohol presence & rolling into the bourbon characteristics & settling there nicely. Very nice, long aftertaste, moving through the spice notes, oak, & vanilla again. Bourbon verges on becoming unwieldy, but stops just short. Not bad, but not sure if the pumpkin is big enough to balance the booze & barrel.

Full-bodied, a little prick from alcohol & spices. Heats up in the middle & gives the palate a little bit of a work-over.

This is a style I just couldn't resist trying -- while it's got some flaws & I don't necessarily think the pumpkin is enough to support the bourbon barrel, it's enjoyable nonetheless. Definitely a sipper, & I can think of a handful of pumpkin ales I'd go to before this, but I'd be up for it again sometime for sure.

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Photo of GregSVT
4.34/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber into a snifter

A: Pours a hazy burnt orange with a small off-white head that fades to a small ring and leaves only the smallest bits of lacing on the glass. It could use more of a head but as a barrel aged high abv beer I can't fault it 100% for this.

S: The nose is full of pumpkin, nutmeg, and buttery bourbon. Smells wonderful and I can't wait to take a sip.

T: Flavors of pumpkin, spices like nutmeg and allspice, and sweet buttery bourbon all hit the tounge at the same time. I'm not sure if there are different batches but this one isn't a bourbon bomb like some reviews below would have you believe. The barrel aging isn't as big as some BA beers I've had(GIBCS).

M: The feel is medium-full bodied and a bit low on the carbonation but again this is about par for a barrel aged beer.

D: This drinks very well for a 9% beer and I have a few more I will be enjoying this fall/winter.

If you like Nemesis 2009 you'll like this.

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Photo of qchic
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the best pumpkin beers out there (and there are too many, if you ask me). Had this on cask, and the bourbon, pumpkin, and spices blended nicely. Nothing over the top in this rich, satisfying sipper.

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Photo of zaphodchak
4.54/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

EDIT: It seems as though I got a bottle of last year's batch, by some fantastic stroke of fortune. Over the fresh version, aging has improved it astronomically.

Thin whitish head, orangey hazy body. Some lacing.

Nicest pumpkin beer I've ever had the joy to nose. Pumpkin, nutmeggy spice, and a heavy helping of bourbony oak.

Holy cow; the taste absolutely lives up to the nose. Fantastic imperial pumpkin ale with heavy, heavy oaking presence. This bottle may have been from last year, which will only help it. There's a faint alcohol burn, but I don't mind in the least.

Mouthfeel is pretty standard and totally second fiddle to everything else. I don't notice it, so it must be all right.

Even if you don't like (or don't think you'll like) pumpkin beers, if you've ever enjoyed a bourbon-barrel aged imperial stout, you'll love this beer. I guarantee it.

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Photo of brewtus
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark orange with a single finger off white head. Smell is full of pumpkin, cinnamon, oaky bourbon. Taste starts with lots of pumpkin, cinnamon again, sweet potato, some marshmallow, sweet, finishes with an oaky bourbon, not too hot, plenty of malt, slight hop presence. This is well balanced but neither of the flavors are intense enough IMO. I did really enjoy it though.

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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 ChadQuest
3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First off, i am drinking this bottle 8 months after it's release.

Color is a golden hue, lighter then i was anticipating, not much lacing or head at all, drops out right away.
The aroma is sweet pumpkin pie, wood, and alcohol. I would have liked more spice notes.
The flavors are rounded smooth pumpkin sweetness and a light woody alcohol. Little spice, really little bourbon character.

I enjoy pumpkin beers, but i like more spice then this one. This one was also probably better fresh when the bourbon was stronger.

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