Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

220 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 220
Hads: 723
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 24.23%
Wants: 73
Gots: 123 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States | website

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: 220 | Hads: 723
Photo of jkrug5
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pumpkin ale fan, or not, you should give this one a shot. Can't beat the price, and actually has a good balance without the pumpkin flavor dominating. ABV sneaks up on you, perfect beer for a cool fall night.

 208 characters

Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle, it pours clear amber with a small head, quickly dissipating. Heavy scent of bourbony alcohol and some spice in the nose. The taste punches you with the alcoholic kick, like an assassin that announces his presence before he strikes.

 250 characters

Photo of Naugros
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

 1,019 characters

Photo of ChadQuest
3/5  rDev -22.7%
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.

 519 characters

Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.31/5  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.

 1,062 characters

Photo of rootbeerman
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

from notes:11-5-10

A: pours cloudy dark orange with a thin short lasting orangish white head.
S: malt sweetness with spiced pumpkins, a touch of bourbon main spices are allspice clove and a touch of cinnamon.
T: great balance between bourbon and pumpkin. nice spice blend with the pumpkin and malt.
M: slightly syrupy, coating and lingers for a long time. carbonation is low.
D: good sipper, flavors are balanced well, bourbon adds a nice touch.

 450 characters

Photo of jgasparine
4.64/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured from the bottle with a very thin, offwhite head, which quickly evaporated to a collar... over a completely opaque, turbid pumpkin color... with little traces of carbonation working its way up the sides of the glass.

S- The aroma is an incredibly complex combination of graham- cracker-like malt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, which is met with a wonderful compliment of bourbon and vanillin (presumably from oak). Some very mild vinous notes in the background. Just a tremendous amount of stuff happening here in this nose...

T- In the mouth you get this malt character, that again comes through with a slight impression of graham cracker... which is met with moderate, well-proportioned dose of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. On the mid palate, you have a mild surge of vanilla and bourbony flavor... which turns to a moderate hop bitterness into the finish, which terminates with a kiss of booze that lingers tremendously on the palate. I truly appreciate the amazing complexity of this brew in the flavor profile... and nowhere do I feel that one component of this symphony overpowers any other element. The ability to maintain such a dynamic yet balanced flavor is worthy of a '5'.

M- Medium-plus body, with a fair amount of texture due to unattenuated sugars and a very gentle, yet pervasive carbonation. Just a tiny hint of heat from the EtOH. And a very mild astringency.

D- This stuff is just too delicious... and dangerously quaffable. Hands-down one of the best brews I've had from Heavy Seas!

 1,519 characters

Photo of wiscokid920
4.5/5  rDev +16%

This brew is great stuff. Everything I hoped it would be an more. It has an excellent malty base built into the base beer and the bourbon barrel vanilla and slight oak play off the subtle pumpkin pie spices superbly. Very Well Done!

 235 characters

Photo of Extol
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - orange in color... Like a darker pumpkin. Smell - smells like pumpkin pie. Taste - pumpkin and vanilla. Like a pumpkin pie. Lots of bourbon flavor. Overall - not my style, but ok.

 193 characters

Photo of yankeej13
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
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

 722 characters

Photo of ThrewRedButter
2.98/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

L - Dark, hazy orange. Two fingers of off-white head.

S - Very, VERY subtle pumpkin, cinnamon, and oak. No bourbon.

T - Alcoholic squash. Cinnamon is biggest spice with some nutmeg. Finish is an alcohol sting. The spiciness and alcohol are reminiscent of rum and not bourbon. No barrel character to speak of.

F - A tad thin for a 10% barrel-aged beer. Alcohol is noticeable, but not overpowering. Lots of carbonation,but despite the alcohol sting it goes down easy.

O - No barrel character and a thin feel hold this back tremendously. On the other hand, as a standard pumpkin ale, this works nicely. I think this was a little too ambitious, but it competes with other standard, non-BA pumpkin beers.

 703 characters

Photo of jpmclaug
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into my Deschutes snifter. I heard this was a bourbon bomb so I have high expectations

A - Hazy orange body with a small lingering white head.

S - Smells like pumpkin pie. Pumpkin aroma with subtle pumpkin spices. Not especially pungent but pleasant.

T - Pumpkin spices with a sweet bourbon flavor mixed in. The bourbon isn't as prevalent as I was led to believe. Really blends well with the spices normally found in pumpkin beers. A bit of an alcohol flavor in the finish as well.

M - medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D - Pretty decent beer. Definitely a sipper. Warming alcohol notes makes me think this would be a good cold weather beer. Worth trying for a new experience.

 719 characters

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

Draft. 2015 edition is much better than 2014. Color is a nice light shade of...Pumpkin orange. Little to no head. Smell is light pumpkin spice, squash, all spice and brown sugar. Light. Taste is exactly the same but with a hint of bourbon. Very subtle. Tasty. More flavorful this year. Light on the mouth as well. ABV is undetectable. Clean finish. Excellent pumpkin ale.

 382 characters

Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Review taken from notes: Early November 2013- 1st time experiencing.

22 oz brown bomber that just seems massive and thick. Well made? I think so. Label is pirate inspired with all sorts of 'Heavy Seas' artwork going on. A little Halloween Like with the jack-o,yes, but it is the fall time. Not bad artwork at all. Poured this into a massive German rounded and dimpled like mug. I'm assuming a 24 oz mug!? Lol.. Every bit went in with no problem.

A - a burnt orange color with a more rusty amber hue. Somewhat hazy body. Off white head was massive on the pour and took its time to settle to a nice size ring of lace leaving minimal stick.

S - wow, big bourbon whiffs up front.. I like. Big vanilla and oak aromas throughout the start. Then come some lovely Autumn seasonal blend of spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, along with a crisp punch of allspice. Toasted malt, brown sugar, and a hint of pumpkin in the end.

T - toasted malts, bourbon brilliance with vanilla, mild caramel, and a sturdy oak flavor. Roasted pumpkin with nice touches of pumpkin spice toward the middle. More of the traditional cinnamon and allspice quickly following. Brown sugar toward the finish paired with the sweet vanilla and bourbon barrel goodies.

M - pretty big in body and coats very very well. Nice warming from the 10% is what I look for this time of year. Texture isn't overly thick but it still does well for itself. This is a big pumpkin ale and you'll need to drink this like you would an imperial. Not at all overly sweet nor too much of any one thing. It's very well balanced and quite delicious. Finishing this bottle wasnt a problem for me. That can't be said about a lot of pumpkin ales.

O - a wonderful pumpkin ale. It Has the balance, the flavor, and the aroma any pumpkin head would enjoy yet provides the sort of class a bourbon barrel freak would appreciate. This was an interesting beer and very enjoyable. I was almost shocked at how good Heavy Seas did with this. By far the best beer I've had from them. Ill buy it again next year as well.

 2,041 characters

Photo of BrewUSA
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Great Seas Greater Pumpkin Ale

Look 9/10
Smell 16/20
Taste 35/40
Feel 7/10
Drinkability 17/20

Overall 84/100

Too boozy for its ABV... Nice flavor and the pumpkin is real nice... I just feel like I have had too many too many pumpkin ales that were far better~

 261 characters

Photo of HeartofMiami
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Pours opaque amber in color with one finger of beige head. Smells like the spices that go into pumpkin pie but pumpkin is faint. Mouthfeel is good. Taste is like a bite of fresh pumpkin pie with nice balance of spices and pumpkin. Finish is sweet sugar and more pie flavor. Overall, pleasantly surprised. Can't wait to have the next bottle!

 346 characters

Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Caramel amber, thin white head which vanishes soon after pouring.

S: Nutmeg is most prevalent out of the pumpkin spices, a bit of bourbon, raisins, some mustiness.

T: Alcohol upfront, more wine tasting than bourbon; gentle, earthy hops, not as malt forward as I expected. Fairly acidic. Almost tastes like pumpkin wine, if that's a real concoction.

M: Medium body, not that carbonated, especially smooth for a barrel aged beer. Again, getting a slight wine vibe.

O/D: Alcohol is hidden well, getting most of the taste, and not that much burn. Probably won't get again, but an interesting beer.

 600 characters

Photo of hdofu
4.78/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is more evidence of what some time in the woods can do for improving character. This is a completely different creature from its Great pumpkin sibling. It pours cloudy orange and has a fair amount of head. The Bourbon is very evident in the first sip and combined with the pumpkin spices it has a flavor much like egg nog. The smell is very spicy still much like pumpkin pie. It has a bit more of an boozy feel then the great pumpkin, which I like. In my oppinion this is probably my favorite pumpkin beer (when I had the great pumpkin I was debating whether I liked it more or Dogfish's punkin ale) as of now this is the best.

 632 characters

Photo of WMEugene
4.53/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Lost Dog (Col. Pike) in Arlington. From notes made on 10/12/11

A - hazy orange color, nice head retention, good lacing

S - smooth pumpkin smell, sweetness, slightly malty

T - nice pumpkin flavors balanced with notes of Bourbon. Bready malt flavors in the background

M - medium bodied, smooth with noticable Bourbon alcoholic heat aftertaste.

O - heavy seas' greater pumpkin is a unique and great take on your traditional pumpkin ale. I'm all about aging pumpkin ales in bourbon barrels now!

 505 characters

Photo of Daktyls
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy amber color with a half finger head that recedes quickly to a minimal lacing in the center of the brew.

S: A light aroma of bourbon masks most of the other smells, leaving a slight amount of malt to be detected as well.

T: A light malty-pumpkin flavor up front followed by bourbon-y sweetness on the back end. Spices are somewhat limited but present, lending little to the taste.

M: Medium amount of carbonation for an overall light body, seems to work well together.

O: Overall, this tastes more like bourbon that anything else. Not necessarily a bad thing, just not really pumpkin-y at all.

 612 characters

Photo of fourstringer
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Brewer's Art goblet with a moderately aggressive hand. 2013 vintage, but no specific dating on the label. There is a cartographic background with a scary pumpkin head.

A: Honey-orange body with a slight haze. 1 finger off-white head with ok retention. Light lacing. Not too shabby.

S: Nutmeg & pie spice. Bourbon. Oak. Lighter cinnamon and booze.

T: Lightly sweet with a tame spiciness that develops into a pleasant, even-tempered bitterness. Fairly dry finish for the flavor profile. Noticeable alcohol consistent with 10% ABV. Light oak, nutmeg, vanilla. I can detect some actual pumpkin, which I find fairly rare for most pumpkin beers. There is a pronounced whiskey finish to this brew.

M: Moderate to low carbonation with a good smoothness. Moderate body. Some alcohol burn is there, but not unwelcome.

O: Nice beer. I find the bourbon/barrel-aged notes to be fairly present. I appreciate the restrained sweetness and appropriate hopping. Well balanced. Good sipper.

Prost!

 1,016 characters

Photo of Mongrel
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Velvety smooth and boozy, like some sort of creamy barleywine. Tastefully restrained spicing just lets a really well crafted strong ale shine through. The bourbon barrel isn't too strong either. Vanilla from the bourbon barrel complements the pumpkin pie spice really nicely. Certainly not your typical pumpkin ale and certainly more subtle and restrained than I was expecting from a beer this big in ABV. A surprisingly elegant ale.

 433 characters

Photo of endincolorado
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, orange-amber color with nice, thick, foamy white head that settles slowly. Great lacing.

Really nice aromas of caramel malt, pumpkin and spices, a sweet, alcoholic note from the bourbon along with a faint oaky vanilla.

Tasty caramel malt, a nice balance of pumpkin pie spices, alongside a pretty powerful bourbon barrel presence that provides some warming alcohol, and a pleasant woodiness. Texture is medium-bodied and adequately carbonated.

This one packs a punch and is clearly meant to be drunk in small portions, though it's tasty enough to forget this and down the whole bomber.

 603 characters

Photo of jale
3.12/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a cloudy orange-amber with two quarters of off white head.

S: Pumpkin aroma with a lot of nutmeg.

T: Sweet with a hint of malt upfront moving quickly into alcohol heat. Pumplin but mostly nutmeg middle. I don't pick up any bourbon but the finish is considerable oaky tannins.

M: medium body which is somewhat sticky. For a lighter beer I find this slightly chewy.

O: I would like to have tasted more malt backbone in this.

 436 characters

Photo of pzrhsau
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A:Nice opaque color with notes of brown and orange. The malt almost adds a straw color to accent it. Neat head that sticks to the glass.
S: It has a strong bourbon smell hinted with alcohol that turns into sweetness and pumpkin right away.
T: The bourbon aging really gives it a nice sweet accent to the malt. It has accents of cinnamon and all spice. Really gives it some great depth.
D/M: Very thick and strong beer. Really should be enjoyed on a warm day with some strong food. Great carbonation and balance. I applaud the improvement with this version.

 556 characters

Heavy Seas - Great’ER Pumpkin from Heavy Seas Beer
87 out of 100 based on 220 ratings.