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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 Pencible
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a hazy dark gold with a little off-white head.
S: It smelled like lots of mulled spices and cider, with pumpkin and sweet bourbon and a bit of oak.
T: It tasted like pumpkin and apple cider / mulled spices, with bourbon and vanilla and oak and biscuit. It had a somewhat dirty bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was fairly thick with moderate carbonation.
D: This was better than the average pumpkin ale, but not amazing. The bourbon aging was a nice twist, and it seemed to work well with the other flavor elements. But the general quality and crispness of the brew was somewhat lacking. Nice body, and it hid the alcohol well, so it was pretty easy to drink. Enjoyable, but a bit sloppy, so there was some missed potential.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

saw this locally and had to jump at it. just looked too interesting to miss.

a - opened the bottle and filled my cbs snifter. poured a soft orange, but settled in the glass as a darker brown with a thin white bubbly head that fizzed away somewhat quickly. to the light, this beer is chunky!?!

s - nice festive spiciness of a craft store with a soft barrel. the bourbon here is more in the vein of backwoods than in various -bal stouts. smells pretty fantastic.

t - full bodied pumpkin with a slap in the face of booze. has a kind of sangria type vibe with a pumpkin twist. the booze is REALLY in your face on this one.

m - boozy tingle. full bodied. the heat is on.

o - overall, who would've guessed it...barrel aged pumpkin!?! and it works!!! overall it is good, but the alc is just intense and i never say that. enjoyable none-the-less and a must try for the fans of the pumpkins.

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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 gford217
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright, completely opaque orange with a soapy white head that recedes to a small swirl along the top.

The smell starts with the spices, nutmeg and cinnamon especially, balanced by the vanilla sweetness from the bourbon barrels. There is a sweet sugary pumpkin aroma that floats underneath the alcohol.

The taste is more of the same but probably a bit sweeter with the vanilla and pumpkin up front, giving way to the light spices. The spices don't last long before the bourbon barrel knocks them out of the way and dominates the finish with a definite burn going down.

The mouthfeel is smooth and boozy with a nice tingle on the palette from the combination of alcohol and pumpkin spices.

The bourbon mellows the spices from the base beer pretty well and gives the impression of a well-balanced pumpkin beer. Not bad.

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Photo of illidurit
3.49/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at the December iteration of the Santa Cruz tasting series. Dark orange color. Peppermint and cinnamon aroma, very wintery, pumpkin pie plus spices. Smooth pumpkin sweetness, big spice notes, too much nutmeg/cinnamon. Didn’t get any bourbon. Dial down the spices, dial up the squash and the booze.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
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!

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Photo of Gmann
3.64/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a golden amber color with some orange hues. The white head is small and wispy, settles into a very light ring.

The aroma is of light pumpkin spice; cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Some pumpkin vegetal notes. These aromas are contrasted by a sweet bourbon scent that brings vanilla and oak. Quite surprised by the subtle nature, especially for a big beer.

The taste is quite bourbon-y to start. Vanilla and oak flavors are present as well as a slight fusel alcohol. Perhaps a touch of caramel. The pumpkin spices are muted but seem to play well with the bourbon flavors. Some cinnamon and nutmeg, perhaps some ginger. The malt is slightly bready and doesn't play too much in the flavor profile.

The feel is quite light, almost watery. Its sweet on the palate; the spice and ABV burn seem to help keep the sweetness in check. A bit dry in the finish.

Not really what I expected. I expected a thicked bodied, heavily spiced pumpkin ale that had some bourbon notes. This is almost the opposite. Its light, the main flavor is the bourbon and the pumpkin profile is subtle. It is a nice blend though; the spice works quite well with the bourbon.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.18/5  rDev +8%

A-Clear amber in the glass, not much carbonation, one finger head that does not last long.

S-Nice spice character with a good deal of pumpkin. Mild bourbon and pleasant oak.

T-Starts with spices, cinnamon and nutmeg, then pumpkin flavor. Mild bourbon, more oak than bourbon but it goes nicely with the beer.

M-Medium bodied, not much carbonation though. Borderline watery.

O-What can I say? I love pumpkin beers and this is a yummy one.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Poured into a snifter. Nothing better than a pumpkin beer and football.

3.25 A: Clear orange amber color. I didn't get much of a head on this. Quickly falling frothy beige with a wisp or two of lacing.

3.5 S: Pumpkin spiciness with ginger and cinnamon leading the way. Allspice and a touch of pepper. The bourbon barrel is pretty weak in this. You really have to look for it to find it. Just a light earthiness and a hint of oak.

3.0 T: The bourbon is much, much more apparent in the taste to the point where it almost controls the beer. Big earthiness, leather, mineral, and melon. Oak, vanilla, and a touch of tannic astringency. Again some pumpkin spiciness as mentioned above. Not a lot of sweet maltiness.

3.5 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Light creaminess and smooth.

3.0 D: Ehhh, it's nothing special. The bourbon is too weak in the nose and too strong in the taste. This needs a bigger malty backbone to do well in a barrel.

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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 ThisWangsChung
3.1/5  rDev -19.9%

Brief write-up. This beer does a few things right in the style: namely, it doesn't go overboard with the fall spicing. Both cinnamon and nutmeg are well restrained, giving the caramel malt backbone some breathing room. But there's also a big problem with this beer. The finish is WAY too stodgy. It's a full-bodied brew as well, which means this is a slow sipper at best. I was also a bit disappointed in the overly subdued bourbon presence, but hey it's not remotely boozy either. Overall, it's not bad, but not great.

3.1/5: It would be a really good pumpkin ale if it weren't so flabby

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

A: Deep orange pour with a nice billowy tan head. Retention is good and lacing is excellent.

S: Tons of pumpkin along with some milder pumpkin spices. Nutmeg and cinnamon in particular. A bit of bourbon, surprisingly not much. Bourbon comes out as it warms. A touch of vanilla?

T: Much like the nose. Lots of bourbon soaked pumpkin with nutmeg and cinnamon in the background. A light touch of vanilla everywhere. A little bit of oak too, especially in the aftertaste.

M: Medium body, a little tingle from the bourbon.

O: Interesting take on a pumpkin beer, never had a bourbon barrel one. Definitely adds a decent bit of complexity that complements the beer. Base beer isn't really all that hot unfortunately, needs more spices.

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Photo of jsh420
1.86/5  rDev -51.9%
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

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

22 oz bottle poured into my large brandy snifter.

A- Body is a uniformly translucent pumpkin hue-its pretty cloudy. Pours with a 2 finger or so smooth, creamy white head. This slowly, eventually fades to a nice thick collar. Little lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar stand out the most initially. Behind this is a distinct boozy astrigency. A slight bourbon sweetness can also be detected.

T-There is a very good balance initially of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, sweet bourbon, and dry oak. Its quite complex. The finish is more astrigent-with some alcohol bitterness coming through-but the spices and pumpkin have almost equal strength. What lingers is a good bit of nutmeg and cinnamon, a hint of pumpkin-and a big alcohol warmth.

M- Medium to low carbonation with a slightly dry, spicy body with medium weight.

D- This is a very good, different pumpkin ale. The bourbon barrels add a different character-and certainly a big kick. This is clearly a strong pumkin ale that doesn't hide its booziness. Job well done by Clipper City here- one of my favorites from them.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The color is a bright copper and this yielded a huge creamy and foamy head that was congealed at the top. So thick you can float a bottle cap on it because I did.

HUGE coconut cream aroma with some pumpkin spice. The bourbon and oak come out in the aroma but it's quashed by the Coppertone Lotion scent.

The flavors are more towards the bourbon than the scent was. The bourbon is very clean, smooth and slightly oaked. The coconut is tamed and serves with vanilla. The pumpkin is sweet, not overly spiced and not too earthy.

The feel is thin and there is a nice heat in the chest but none in the throat.

Overall, interesting. This seems to serve bourbon drinkers well, as it really took the bourbon flavor but pumpkin beer fans may not find what they are looking for.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

1 PT 6 FL OZ bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours a hazy burnt orange in color with amber highlights. It is topped with an inch of beige head that leaves little lacing.

I get some roasted pumpkin, caramel, and vanilla to start. I also get a nice blend of cinnamon and pumpkin spices. It smells like a fall treat.

The pumpkin spices are muted allowing the pumpkin to shine. The bourbon barrel is not readily apparent but does come through by way of caramel and vanilla flavors. The pumpkin spices, while subtle, are there to bring home the flavor.

Full, smooth mouthfeel

This is a solid pumpkin beer. I would have liked to have experienced more bourbon flavors, but I would have it again.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$7.99 for a 22oz bottle @ Jacks.9.0%ABV per the bottle. Pumpkin ale aged in bourbon barrels, brewed with spices. No ingredients listed on the mfgr website. Pours out to a hazy burnt orange, requiring a hefty pour to achieve a decent head which recedes quickly leaves minimal lacing. Carbonation is mild. the aroma is a nice blend between the sweetness of the malts, pumpkin and spices. The spices are not overpowering which is common in a lot of this category. Maybe a little vanilla in the nose. The mouthfeel is soft and silky, dense, rich and syrupy. The taste is again, a great balance between the spices and malt. The malt is firm and compliments the spicing, which is not overbearing. Suggestion of vanilla and just a stinging peppery hint of bourbon in the aftertaste.

I'm not a fan of this style, but this is a wonderful pumpkin ale...without a doubt, the best I've had. It is very rich, so a 22oz bottle is plenty but I could see myself picking this up again next year, or even sitting on a few bottles.

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

Review from a 1 year old cellared bottle. Great'er Pumpkin pours a hazy orange amber with a small creamy white head. The foam dissolves quickly leaving behind a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is malty with a touch of tartness. Caramel, bubblegum. oak, vanilla and bourbon are blended with green apple and some medicinal alcohol.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is syrupy with mild carbonation. The flavor is rich and sweet with a touch of tartness. Caramel malt followed by oak, vanilla, bourbon and dark fruit are followed by some green apple tartness. It finishes with a taste of cinnamon with lingering oak and tart flavors.

This is a very tasty beer that's easy to drink for 9% abv.

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Photo of Chaney
3.26/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tonight, my wife and I did a comparison test with this one and it's younger brother: "The Great Pumpkin."

On each of the Heavy Seas bombers, there is a story printed. The two Heavy Seas pumpkin beers have EXACTLY the same story, except on this one, the final sentence is: "From the haunted wood emerges the Great'er Pumpkin of them all!"

A: Nice Halloween orange color, with this just one shade darker than the non-barrel aged version. The carbonation is medium and there is about a half inch head on it.

S: It sort of smells like dark fruit dipped in bourbon. If I hadn't know this was a pumpkin ale beforehand, I never would have pegged it as that.

T: Nothing but bourbon wrapped in fruit (notice that I didn't say it the other way around). It may not be a great taste, but it is definitely one of the most interesting pumpkin brews I've ever tasted. The pumpkin tastes BBQd, burnt even, with subtle fruit notes on the aftertaste.

M: This is definitely creamier that "The Great Pumpkin", but I find it far less satisfying. The bourbon relentlessly beats you over the head and doesn't take any prisoners.

D: This is a very interesting experiment, however, I don't believe that this is a style that works as a barrel-ages concoction. When I go shop for a pumpkin ale, I want just that...a pumpkin-flavored ale.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%
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.

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

After trying Avery's Rumpkin recently, I redoubled my efforts to acquire this beer, and, as luck would have it, I ended up with 5 of them. Fortunately, it is quite enjoyable. Pours a dark golden color, bordering on amber, with a good dirty white head on top. Aromas of bourbon initially, giving way to vanilla, cinnamon and a host of supporting pumpkin pie spices. On the palate, this one drinks way to easily for 9%, with a nice creamy mouthfeel, and flavors of brown sugar and sweet malt, buffered by autumn spicing and a lingering boozy finish. Very nice.

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Photo of n2185
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark orange with a finger of off-white head that recedes into a thin layer with little lacing.

S: Some pumpkin spices up front followed by vanilla, oak, and a surprising tart aroma that is reminiscent of tart cherries. Smooth bourbon aromas bring up the finish with some slight yam notes. Quite nice.

T: Spices up front again followed by a fairly strong kick of bread and bourbon. Vanilla and oak are mixed in as well with a slightly bitter finish and pumpkin showing up on the aftertaste. Light alcohol burn.

M: Medium body with lowish carbonation, this beer could benefit from a creamier body to compliment the bourbon aspects.

O: A pretty good pumpkin ale. While the bourbon does tend to dominate the pumpkin flavors, it does not completely mask them.

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

The Greater Pumpkin has a hazy orange body with a ton of sediment floating throughout it. The head is off-white in color and more than two fingers tall.

The aroma is really nice: pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, bourbon and some sweet malt.

I really liked the idea of a pumpkin beer aged in bourbon barrels, because I figured that pumpkin beers have such strong flavors that they could stand up to barrel-aging. I think I was right, as I like how the flavors work together in Greater Pumpkin. Bourbon and pumpkin mix together at first, coupled with an array of spices that include cinnamon and nutmeg. As the spices fade they mix with a woody flavor. A little bit of sweet malts shine through toward the finish, and also a low hop-bitterness. A blast of warmth from the alcohol finishes it.

The body is pretty full with a creamy smoothness. Good mouthfeel for a beer that is this big and packed with strong flavors.

Pumpkin spices and bourbon are two flavors that can be unpleasantly overpowering in a beer. Mixed together, the two manage to complement each other quite nicely. This beer is a little bit hot and boozy, especially as it warms.

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Photo of mcallister
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Highly carbonated deep amber colored with a fluffy slightly off white head that holds good retention and leaves nice lace.

Nose of bourbon, vanilla, sweet oak, toasty woods, hints of nutmeg and cinnamon, with an underlying of toffee.

Decent beer but a pumpkin ale? The bourbon shows through nicely but like the bourbon barley wine it's not necassarily the best bourbon out there at least the way it's aged. Ahh some hints of cinnamon and nutmeg with a butternut squash finish and a bit of oxidation on the finish as well. Some toffee malt oak and vanilla in the middle but not much else. Good but not what I was hoping.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle was poured into a large snifter.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper orange color with great clarity and vision of tiny bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, bready malts, caramel, vanilla, oak, coconut, and nice warm booze.

Taste: Starchy pumpkin, spices, sugar, bread, caramel, nice warm alcohol, and a happy man. Delicious stuff.

Mouthfeel : Silky smooth, nice barrel booziness, medium to full bodied, low to medium carbonation, and a little chewy.

Overall: This beer could obviously get better with age. Might have to buy several bottles to store on the pantry.

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