The Great Pumpkin | Elysian Brewing Company

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The Great PumpkinThe Great Pumpkin

Brewed by:
Elysian Brewing Company
Washington, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.10%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TheBungyo on 10-24-2006

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Reviews: 190 | Ratings: 686
Photo of Kegatron
4.22/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a couple fingers of foamy white head. This retains with a smooth creaminess, with a sudsy cascade that quickly slides down the side and leaves back some moderate lacing. The aroma smells of ripe pumpkin meat, which literally jumps right out of the glass at you. This is rounded out by notes of light sweetness, some fairly strong pumpkin spices and a gentle floral tinge on the edges. That higher ABV shows itself with a slight underpinning of heat as well.

The taste is very similar, with pumpkin and sweetness up front and the overall freshness of that pumpkin really coming out towards the back. This also has a leafy bitterness to it and more of a moderate spiciness than the nose had. The finish is dry with a light lingering combination of spice and bitterness. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a firm and sprightly carbonation in the mouth that does blow up some but is nicely undercut by a bit of slickness as well that helps keep this relatively smooth in the mouth. Alcohol is present, basically amplifying the sweetness and spices in this but things do even out nicely after this warms up.

This is definitely one of the better Pumpkin Ales that I’ve had. I’m usually not as much of a fan of the Imperial style and I thought early on that the alcohol here was going to get this one in trouble but I was impressed how this pulled itself together once it sat for a while and the overall evenness of the flavors an d freshness of that pumpkin character really carries this through to the end. I was pleased to find that this one delivered.

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Photo of ianjsullivan
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ST: 22oz poured into a pint glass

A: Light, cloudy orange with a half-a-fingernail of white head. The head dissipates to half its size and sits on top for well over a minute.

S: Canned pumpkin, vanilla, nutmeg and allspice.

T: Earthy pumpkin and nutmeg up front and alcohol and vanilla at the end. This beer really reminds me of pumpkin pie. Even the dollop of whipped cream seems to come through in the middle.

M: Medium and sweeter

O: A fine pumpkin beer that is worthy of your money and, perhaps, your Thanksgiving table. Sweetness is balanced by alcohol and spice, and the aroma is excellent.

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Photo of jtierney89
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Semi hazed Orange hue with about a finger of yellow tinged head that resides quickly. Gingerbread cinnamon and clove on the nose. Cinnamon raisin bready malts and some pumpkin.

For an imperial pumpkin pretty light bodied and really smooth. Sweet ginger bread some vanilla and cinnamon raisin bread. Big pumpkin semi spicy finish. Well blended concise and tasty. Is it really the original imperial pumpkin? Who knows but it is a pretty good one.

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Photo of Roose13
4.89/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

A: A golden color. Very solid color. Half-inch head that disappears quickly.

S: Smells like pumpkin pie. Nutmeg, brown sugar, cinnamon.

T: Pumpkin is prominent, but not too prominent like weaker pumpkin beers. I also taste licorice, which really took me by surprise in a pumpkin beer.

M: Not too heavy, crisp and lightly carbonated. Absolutely love how easy it is to drink.

Overall: As of right now, only Dogfish Head is in the same level as this (until I have my first try of the fabled Pumking on Halloween). Amazing beer, and a steal for the $7.99 price I bought it for.

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Photo of Gerasimos
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber from LetsPour. Enjoyed in a La Trappe chalice.

Appears - golden pumpkin, red-orange; half-finger quickly receding head

Smells - nutmeg & pumpkin pie; fall spices

Tastes - nutmeg & pumpkin pie; licorice!; alcohol folded into the back

Mouthfeels - medium light & airy; just heavier than crisp

Overalls - I'm not a pumpkin/fruit beer lover, but I loved this beer; sweet as pumpkin pie but in a refined presentation; stomach-warming alcohol complement; great stuff

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Photo of BeerLover99
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: cloudy rust body, finger off-white head, very little lacing

S: ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, big honey

T: same as nose, but earthy/mild bitter finish

M: med body, smooth mouth

O: Bottle listed as Imperial Pumpkin ale, but
feels more like a pumpkin ale. ABV well hidden.
Would have again, but not essential.


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Photo of justintcoons
3.6/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip.

Slightly hazed golden orange with low carbonation. Two fingers of tight white head with good retention.

Allspice, ginger, black licorice, cinnamon and peppermint. Some caramel and candy sugars. Not really any pumpkin in the nose.

Very spice forward. Allspice, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and mint. There's this weird black licorice character to it. Pumpkin rind and stem. The malt is taking a backseat with notes of caramel and candy sugar. Some brown sugar and toast. The finish is slightly bitter and earthy.

Medium bodied, crisp, clean and dry.

Very easy drinking. Well hidden abv. I personally don't think this can stand up against better Imperial Pumpkin Ales such as Schlafly, Williamsburg AleWerks, ST Pumking or CC Good Gourd. A little too spice forward for my tastes.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Ok.. so... you are not a pumpkin beer fan, yet.. here we are... the top rated pumpkin ale on BeerAdvocate (as of this writing). Lord hates a coward.. it's this or a wagon for our hero..

A bit of a slightly dull, but cloudy orange amber body. A very nice head at three fingers, off white in color, with very nice pinhead bubbles and slowly falling. Not bad looking, the head is very creamy and whipped too.

Nose is classic pumpkin style ale. Mashy, brown and mushy, with clove, nutmeg, there is a good earth and dank quality here though. A real emphasis on spice here than sweetness, with some airy quality.

Palate brings a real nice balance. A light bodied feel for a high abv. Mix of malt richness and pumkin spice hinted on the nose. Mild brown sugar on the finish, but the one thing missing is here that I have never found on a pumpkin beer, and this is a good hop profile. THere is a real nice astringency here, which gives me the impression of an actual beer than a sugar rush. Nice tight sharp aftertaste with the hop profile, giving to earthy dirt also which matches a pumpkin fall field nicely. There's even a little bit on anisette and licorice quality on the tongue here on the finish.

Overall a wonderfuly well crafted ale, it's all here and done real nicely. The pumking killer indeed. I don't like pumpkin beers, but I am really enjoying this one. I also like the fact that this doesn't come off that sweet in taste, but has all those nice sweet aromas.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.77/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Derek for sending this one! Poured into a wine taster. The color is hazy orange. There is a small off-white head. This isn't great looking, but it doesn't look horrible either.

The aroma is full of nice pumpkin without being too spicy. There is a nice vegetal aroma aided by a little malt sweetness.

The taste is mildly sweet with a hint of caramel. The vegetable flavors of a pumpkin really show on this beer so we can tell it's made with real pumpkin from the flavor.

This is medium to full bodied. There is soft carbonation. This is a nice take on pumpkin beers that doesn't overly rely on spice but instead real pumpkin flavor. Not bad.

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Photo of metter98
4.27/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellowish orange in color. It poured with a thin off white head that dissipated almost instantaneously, leaving only a thin film covering the surface and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of pumpkin in the nose along with some hints of spices.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has lots of pumpkin flavors along with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. There is a slight amount of sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I really enjoyed this beer because it seems to provide the perfect blend of pumpkin and spices without being overly sweet or tasting like pumpkin pie. No alcohol is present in the taste.

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Photo of thecheapies
4.1/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a soft orange-amber color with a nice rich head. Quite a nice look for a pumpkin ale. 4.0

Unique toasted pumpkin seed aroma with mild spices. Nutmeg, allspice, and a caramel malt. Pretty nice. 4.0

Allspice, pumpkin seeds, nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin meat, kola nut, light vanilla, and a hint of wheat malts. Definitely a zippy alcohol note. Surprisingly tasty. 4.0

Moderate carbonation to accentuate the spices. Medium in the body. 4.0

Great pumpkin ale. Would love to try more from the Elysian lineup. 4.5

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Photo of rfgetz
3.67/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper tinted burnt orange, moderate cap of off-white froth, some decent lacing. Scent strong on spice, caramel and alcohol, lots going on and took a bit before individual components could be isolated. Same with scent, strong spice and caramel up front. Spices slightly overpower as it becomes hard to isolate cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger etc. Heavy malting and high ABVs also mask much of the muted gourd flavor. Some floral hoppiness to it. Medium to full bodied. A touch too much going on here for me to enjoy it all.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.34/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a lightly hazy golden orange trending toward copper in color with minimal amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a very thin (less than an eight of a finger) sudsy off-white that quickly reduces to a ring of thin film around the majority of the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices (including cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamon). Lighter notes of caramel malts and toasted pumpkin seeds. This beer smells really good.

T: Great flavors of caramel and toasted malts upfront with lots of pumpkin. Lighter notes of toasted pumpkin seeds with strong flavors of pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamon). Light sweetness initially and light bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp.

O: Extremely well balanced - not too sweet, not too much pumpkin, not too many spices, alcohol is well hidden... This is just a very good beer, the best I have had in the style. Enjoyable and easy to drink, a great beer to sip on.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a clear gourd colored orange with an elegant, creamy white head that laces. The beer's nose is modestly spiced with unexpectedly potent notes of sweet yam/pumpkin. The taste doesn't disappoint either with heavy pumpkin sweetness and subtle spices making it like liquid pumpkin pie. The alcohol is very well masked except for a slight burn on exhalation. The beer is very well balanced with the pumpkin and spice harmonizing on each sip followed by a slightly pine/mint/licorice bitterness. Very enjoyable beer and a worthy pumpkin beer indeed. Completely worth trying and I appreciate the bottles unknown person I received them from!

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Photo of mattsander
3.95/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Great clarity, nice pumpkin amber color with little to no head.

S: Pumpkin (GO FIG) flesh, toasty pumpkin seeds. The typical spices are there but slightly restrained, this doesn't smell like that mass-produced supermarket pumpkin pie (normally what I get from this style).

T: Sweet and spicy with plenty of pumpkin flavor. Nutmeg/ginger/cinnamon are all here but again dont take center stage. Nice restraint, tasty beer.

M: A bit sweet and thick, suitable for the style but not my preference. One bottle is enough.

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Photo of beergoot
3.92/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pumpkin yellow-orange body topped off with a thin but rich, creamy head. Aroma emits fresh-baked pumpkin pie scents. Smoothly carbonated; medium body; clean and dry. Taste is spicy, bitter, sweet malts and, of course, pumpkin; Noticeable alcohol flavor, too.

Flavorful if somewhat unbalanced (bitterness and boozy tastes a bit too sharp for my tastes for this style of beer), yet I certainly like this brew. Better than the sum of its parts...

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Photo of oline73
4.42/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours a cloudy orangish amber color with a half finger of off white head. The head fades to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Definitely getting some pumpkin and spice, but the spice isn't overwhelming at all. Some sweet malt with a hint of brown sugar. Quite smooth.

Taste: This is a very smooth beer. I'm getting a bunch of pie spices, but as in the smell, they're not biting or overly powerful. Some nutmeg and cinnamon along with the mildly sweet pumpkin. The finish is just a tad bitter, but it goes well with everything else.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with carbonation that is quite smooth and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a very smooth and full flavor pumpkin ale. Great fall beer, I'd definitely have more.

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Photo of OktoberfestMunichSurvior
4.56/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I discovered The Pumpkin King in Elysian's Pumpkin Patch four-pack. The Pumpkin King pours a slightly cloudy copper gold, one might even call it pumpkin orange. Like a lot of pumpkin ales that I've tried, it pours with very little head, so pour vigorously if you prefer some foam. The smell is strong pumpkin, pumpkin spices, and hops... exactly what I want a pumpkin beer to smell like. The flavor is surprisingly light on the spices, hidden behind the malts and hops, though they are still there in the form of background notes which I think adds to the perception of complexity in the flavor. The Great Pumpkin is definitely more nuanced than other "beat you over a head with one spice or another" pumpkin ales that are a lot of fun to drink but not what I would describe as particularly delicious. At 8% ABV there is a distinct medicinal taste on the back end, although this is not unexpected and therefore not concerning, to me at least. Of course what defines a pumpkin ale is the actual pumpkin itself, and I'm happy to say that the pumpkin flavor is front and center. It helped to rest my pallet for a few minutes before dipping in for a few more sips so that I could experience the full pumpkin flavor over and over. Unlike a lot of pumpkin beers that I've tried, the pumpkin flavor was fresh and not too vegetablely. I think that the additional hops in the imperial style compliments the pumpkin flavor greatly, not only to mask some of the strong spice notes, but the floral and citrus flavors from the hops genuinely compliment the pumpkin. Imperial is the way to go for pumpkin ales, in my opinion. I highly recommend this beer as it is #1 on my list of pumpkin ales, for now at least.

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Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Came to the table in a goblet a deep pumpkin orange color with athinner white head atop.Aromas of cardamom and warming cinnamon,there is a decent shot sweet alcohol as well,a little toast s well.More pumpkin on the palate than the aromas with a bit of cooked pumpkin and pie spice,it's warming and the alcohol is pretty big.This a really good warming pumpkin ale,not overly sweet with some real pumpkin flavors.

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Photo of mfavoino
4.02/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass on 9/29/12.

Appearance: Medium copper color with a small head that recedes quickly.

Smell: Cinnamon, pumpkin, spices, and caramel malts on the forefront.

Taste: Pleasant spices on the front end with a subtle pumpkin flavor that isn't overwhelming or artificial tasting. Nice bready taste and caramel malts. Finishes clean.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-carbonation, no alcohol at all.

Overall: While I haven't had the opportunity to get my hands on Schlafly's Pumpkin in a couple of years, but I am willing to say Great Pumpkin is on its level.

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Photo of Justin_Neff
3.62/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a dark orange color, topped with a decent amount of head with nice retention that remains spotty throughout the drink.

S- The pumpkin aroma is pretty evident. There's even a side hint of honey. I don't get much spice in the scent. I get a lot of sugar.

T- Pumpkin is very strong in the taste. i get a definite flavor of nutmeg with a hint if cinnamon. I get a weird amount of sweetness that I can't put my finger on.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth, creamy feel, but could use more carbonation.

O- I fear I am a victim of "the BA Rating". Had I never heard of this beer at all, is say it was average or a little above average. I stand by that conviction. Worth trying.. Don't break your back to get it.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
4.21/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lighter in apperance then I would have expected. Initially has a nice cap of foam but it fades and had no retention. Kind of a orange clover honey color with good clarity. Lovely subdued aroma of pie spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon as well as toasted squash. Nutty. Not artificial smelling which is nice. The flavor is very balanced, spicy with cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg. There is also a real squash note. Some bitterness and a good backbone. Medium bodied, low carbonation, lingering bitter note. Not my favorite pumpkin ale, but a very, very good one.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber, no bottled-on date, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a hazy orange color, topped with a finger of white head, nice retention, leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Sweet pumpkin aroma, it's pretty heavy on the spices, with lots of nutmeg and cinnamon, as well as sugary malt. The pumpkin is a bit more thin than I would have liked, although it starts to hold its own against the spices as the beer warms.

T- Pumpkin is much stronger in the flavor, has a really nice pumpkin pie flavor, complemented by nutmet, cinnamon and allspice. Malt is graham-cracker-like and has the right amount of sweetness. There's a bit of booze on the finish.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth, creamy feel, alcohol is nicely hidden.

O- A solid pumpkin beer, definitely worth a try for pumpkin beer lovers, although it's probably not my favorite within the style.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.72/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

much thanks to Stakem for this bottle, shared with tenderbranson69 and carlos, enjoyed from a sampler glass, the bottle was chilled and sample allowed to gradually warm.

The color is a lighter amber than some with thin cap of white and gentle haze with average lacing collection, head retention is good. The smell is very nice with a lot of spice esters and an almost potpourri type mix of earthy sweet and mild alcohol to add to the light herbal nose. The feel is good with mix of malt toastiness and slight herbal textures with earthy grain and nutty spice with slight warmth of cinnamon which leads to a mild warming alcohol presence and semi-dry finish.

The flavor has a mild cinnamon taste which increases with some light bready malt and hint of spicy ginger with an earthy nutty toasted taste which suits the style, the middle gets spicier with some mild vanilla and sweet gentle cotton candy-like malt sweetness with a taste of alcohol which adds to the bite the cinnamon and clove elements provide. Overall a pretty tasty pumpkin in the Imperial realm, very drinkable if a little hot - not an every drinking pumpkin, but a good candidate for sharing and enjoyable Thanks a lot Adam!

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.08/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into my floating air / insulated PIlsner glass with a large massive foaming head of white and strong heavy white lacing down the entire glass.

S: Aroma of heavy spicing , raw, un adulterated pumpkin, malt , nutmeg and cinnamon.

T: Following close on the heels of Night Owl last night, this is very similar in style however much more heavily spiced. Not an arrogant clove or cinnamon, but the Nutmeg is all up in my face on this one. Nutmeg is good in doses, but I find it overdone in here. Coming from a beer that really does the pumpkin bit well, I think this could improve from toning down the nutmeg. It is good however in a lot of ways.

M: Medium body with mild carbonation. I am finding myself burping up nutmeg.

O: As with earlier in this review, the nutmeg is overdone with a nice warming cinnamon presence. The body is great, the carbonation is at a good level. I prefer Night Owl as it is a little more subtle on spices.

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The Great Pumpkin from Elysian Brewing Company
4.14 out of 5 based on 686 ratings.
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