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The Great Pumpkin | Elysian Brewing Company

178 Reviews
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The Great PumpkinThe Great Pumpkin

Brewed by:
Elysian Brewing Company
Washington, United States | website

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 178 | Ratings: 643
Photo of Bookseeb
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Appearance hold an amber orange color supporting a thin moderate head leaving fair lace. Smell has that nice aroma of pumpkin and accompanying spice, Taste does not disappoint, having that night owl flavor, but more expressive. Mouthfeel is medium with with good carbonation. Overall a good pumpkin and spice flavor with a hint of alcohol.

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Photo of Boto
3.79/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber: This one poured a cloudy, darker golden color. There was a small off white head which didn’t leave much lacing. The nose is good. Pumpkin plus some pumpkin pie spices. The spices are not overdone. The taste is good. It is a bit sweet, but thankfully not sickly sweet as some others of these are. Good body, pumpkin as well as pumpkin pie spices. Not bad.

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Photo of RenzoD
2/5  rDev -51.6%


*I toot the Elysian horn loudly. They are easily one of my top 5 favorite breweries.
*I am not a HUGE pumpkin beer guy, but they grow on me a bit more every year.

That being said...

This beer is overpriced, unbearably sweet, and really boozy.
The nutmeg, cinnamon and other spices are just overbearingly overboard. I tried so hard to make it through my 9 dollar bottle of beer, but I just could not do it.

If you are experimenting pumpkin beers, or if you believe this year is the year that you will make a breakthrough with them, let me advise you not to reach for this one. Perhaps more for the experienced pumpkin beer drinker.

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Photo of kemoarps
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a fairly pale orange-y amber, looks thick. Modest head, dissipates before too long, just a lone continent of that white remains in the sea of umber.

That nose though...
Immediately jumps in with a heavy rich spice and pumpkin combination that is like pumpkin pie, but not that fake canned shit, I'm talking the real from scratch deal. Creamy and sweet with a touch of earthy vegetal underpinning, but the nutmeg and cinnamon and pumpkin seeds take top prize here.

Taste follows the aroma pretty faithfully, maybe edging a little more towards the vegetal pumpkin and relying less heavily on the sweet spices (though they're still there, fear thee not). Medium-thick body is almost chewy, and it lacks the real stale biscuity backdrop that many pumpkins seem to use as a foundation.
I'm no pumpkin beer aficionado, but this is damn tasty. Or should I say... YAM tasty!!?! No, no I should not. That's a terrible pun.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1 PINT 6 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a nonic pint glass

L - It is amber in color and clear. It is topped with an inch of beige head.

S - This beer has some intense pumpkin pie aroma.

T - The flavor matches the smell. It is full of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. It actually tastes like pumpkin pie.

F - Medium

O - This is truly a great pumpkin beer. The flavor and aromas are strong and inviting. This is a great dessert beer.

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Photo of dar482
4.11/5  rDev -0.5%

The beer comes in a rich reddish orange.

The aroma has a big punch of sweet cinnamon in pumpkin syrup and candy. A very bright fruity pumpkin quality.

The flavor has a big punch of cinnamon and pie spice in the front. Not a big punch of pumpkin, but a rounding theme of that throughout. Nutmeg bitters out the beer on the back. A bit of caramel sweetness without being cloying and alcoholic.

In the end, more of a spicy dessert brew towards Pumking.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Beers of the World in Rochester, NY.

Pours a burnt orange color, with a white, slightly fizzy head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like an amplified version of a typical pumpkin ale- pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice, etc. Smells very inviting.

The taste is very similar. There's a bit of a bitterness to this, might be hop flavor, might just be the cinnamon, with other flavors of pumpkin flesh, vanilla, clove.

This one feels a bit creamy in the mouthfeel, which is nice, with a medium amount of carbonation, and a fairly full body.

A good pumpkin ale, certainly in the upper echelon, but I wish it did a bit more to distinguish itself from others in the same style.

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Photo of GJ40
3.8/5  rDev -8%

Deep golden with a slight haze and minimal head. Aroma is spices from a cookie or pumpkin pie. Flavor follows with those spices in the lead but not overdone. They're joined by pumpkin and malts. But there seems to be a slight off flavor to me. Maybe it just the pumpkin but whatever it is doesn't quite fit. A good beer but not one I'd need another of.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this into a snifter due to the higher ABV, sorry BA for not pouring it into a pint glass.
Anyways, here's the rest. The appearance was a nice looking hazy amber to orange to slight brown color with a one finger white foamy head that concaves in a really nice looking way.
The smell had a nice spice of allspice, clove, ginger and cinnamon to end up combining with a slight vanilla / leading to a luscious pie crust deliciousness under my nose.
The taste amplified the previously mentioned flavors to taste. To me, everything just seems uup-ed and in a nice spicy to sweet way.
The mouthfeel had a fairly decent sharp to sweet creamy rolling spiciness running over my tongue. I really enjoyed how this felt over my tongue.
Overall, I have to say that this really was a good beer to definitely have again. I am thinking about picking another one of these up for Thanksgiving.

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Photo of antott0523
3.24/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Translucent copper color with a thin beige head that struggles to stick around. Some lacing on the glass and minor amount of carbonation visible.

S: Strong notes of nutmeg and allspice dominate this beer and tickle the olfactory cells. Sugary notes of pumpkin pie. A hint of booze. Great nose.

T: While the spices come through initially, this beer is quite unpleasant from start to finish. It's a bit too boozy, relatively bitter for a style that I drink to satisfy my sweet tooth. The finish is artificial and chemical like.

M: Moderate body and it feels a bit thin. Moderate amount of carbonation.

D: Not very drinkable for me. And highly disappointed based on the nose as well as the other great experiences I've had with Elysian including Punkuccino, Dragonstooth, and the almighty Dayglow IPA. If you don't like over top pumpkin flavor this could be the beer for you, but I feel it really has some off putting qualities to the flavor.

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Photo of Bfarr
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

This beer is heavy on the spice but the sweetness balances it out well. It has a great, strong aroma and is enjoyable despite the strong spices. Pumpkin finishes out the beer in a fuzzy and distractingly tacky feel. Alcohol is very gently warming.

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Photo of John_M
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%

Really enjoyed this one from Elysian. The beer had pretty good pumpkin flavor, with plenty of spice as well. While on the sweet side (as pumpkin beers generally are), there was enough underlying hoppy bitterness to bouy and counter that sweetness, and the beer out a bit. I thought that greatly enhanced this beer's drinkability.

Not a huge fan of the style, but regardless, this was one of the better versions I've had in some time.

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Photo of n2185
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a slightly hazy orange with a finger of white head that fades into a frothy ring with a little lacing.

S: sweet, squashy pumpkin aromas dominate with pumpkin pie spices and notes of caramel apples and vanilla.

T: pumpkin pie spices, sweet breads, squashy pumpkin pie, vanilla, a slightly boozy finish.

M: medium body with lowish carbonation, this beer is nicely creamy.

O: a great pumpkin ale overall. Definitely one of the best I've had.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer appears a radiant orange hue with a small head that rapidly fades to nil. The aroma offers cinnamon, pumpkin pie, brown sugar. Sweet and definitely true to style. Lots of brown sugar and cinnamon character. Thin body with low carbonation. Alcohol content well hidden. A tasty beer, though a little goes a long way. A good beer to share a few ways.

 356 characters

Photo of superspak
4.54/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2013 bottling. Pours lightly hazy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of huge pumpkin flesh, pumpkin seed, cinnamon, gingerbread, nutmeg, toast, caramel, brown sugar, clove, allspice, pie crust, herbal, and toasted earthiness. Absolutely insane aromas with incredible complexity and balance of pumpkin, malt, and spice notes; with great strength. Taste of big pumpkin flesh, pumpkin seed, cinnamon, gingerbread, nutmeg, clove, allspice, toast, caramel, brown sugar, pie crust, herbal, and toasted earthiness. Lingering notes of pumpkin, pumpkin seed, cinnamon, gingerbread, pie crust, nutmeg, clove, allspice, caramel, brown sugar, herbal, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of pumpkin, malt, and spice flavors; with big authentic pumpkin presence and fantastic malt/spice balance; and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth and lightly slick/syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely insane imperial pumpkin ale. All around amazing complexity, robustness, and balance of malt/pumpkin/spice flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A world class pumpkin ale for sure.

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Photo of angelmonster
4.29/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Review is of 5 month old bottle

Pours a hazy pale honey/orange color. Head is 1/5th of an inch and white. Head retention and lacing were average.

Smell is of sweet pumpkin, cinnamon, clove, and allspice. Slight honey and vienna/munich malts are prominent. Hops arent present and alcohol is well hidden.

Taste is very sweet and full of fall spices. Cinnamon and allspice take center stage, pumpkin and clove are apparent too. Sweet honey hides 8% alcohol well, hops are super light.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side for an imperial pumpkin beer. Head retention didnt last as long as I was hoping, carbonation levels were good. Finishes slightly dry.

Overall one of the best pumpkin beers Ive had. Very sweet but the spices and alcohol provide some balance. Would like to see this beer get some bourbon treatment.

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Photo of Kayaker
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great pumpkin. Well balanced mild spices. Nice aroma and taste. Nice pumpkin flavor. Definitely one of the top 10 pumpkin beers. Smooth rich flavor. Not watery like many of the pumpkins out there. Too bad beers like this are available for such a short period.

 259 characters

Photo of Kuaff
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Drank at cellar temperature in a cellar.

This one presents a one-finger white head that fizzles away fast, over a transparent dark golden-orange body. This becomes an opaque orange once the last of the ale is poured out with the yeast sediment at the bottle's bottom.

This stuff gives off a STRONG aroma blend of pureed pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices. After cracking the bottle open and pouring a snifter-full, I can smell it a couple feet away. Ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg are pretty prominent. Incredibly, there's also a nutty, seedy smell, which must be from the pumpkin SEEDS this was brewed with. I also pick up just a touch of vanilla. There's not a whole lot more I could ask for in a pumpkin ale aroma.

The taste isn't nearly as intense as the smell, but I do get some sweet pumpkin, along with a bit of spiciness. Cloves come through more in the flavor than in the scent. A fairly sweet and refreshing flavor.

The carbonation is fairly bubbly and the feel is moderately bubbly. Not bad.

A quality pumpkin ale that delivers what one would expect from the style.

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Photo of minterro
4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

bomber bought from Little's Wine and Liquor.

A&S: Fantastic smell, pure pumpkin pie. With all the spices you would expect in a good pumpkin pie: cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ect. Very strong aroma as well. Murky orange colored beer. Head is bright white with no retention.

T&M: more bready than the smell would make you think. I'm getting some mintyness like I was getting from Dry Docks pumpkin only not as strong. Pretty sweet. Thick and luscious mouthfeel. Medium to full bodied and on the lower end of carbonation.

Overall: A very good beer, but I think I might like the Night Owl from Elysian just a tad more.

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Photo of spoony
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

From an undated 650 ml bottle into a snifter.

A-An aggressive pour produces almost a finger of light-khaki head. The foam drops immediately to a collar. The brew is orange-tinted golden-amber in color. It looks pretty still -- and slightly hazy -- in the glass.

S-This is probably my favorite pumpkin beer smell ever. It is very spicy (lots of cinnamon and nutmeg), semi-sweet (brown sugar), with a hint of rum-like booze, and a nice toasted flavor to accompany the traditional pumpkin flesh aroma.

T-The taste, while good, is a bit of letdown compared to the amazing scent on this thing. The beer looses some of the spiciness and gains a bit of fruity alcohol, which muddies things a bit. Still...it is pretty good with baking spices, mild brown-sugar sweetness, pumpkin flesh, and a decent bit of drying, toasted pumpkin seed.

M-The feel is lighter than some in the style, but still medium. Carbonation is slightly assertive and moderate to fine on the palate.

O-What a great smelling beer. The scent is really the highlight here, but the rest of the beer isn't bad. If you like your pumpkin beer on the dryer side, this brew is a good choice because it still provides some spice and pumpkin flesh without getting vegetal or overly earthy. I could use a bit more heft in the feel, but this is not quaffable by any means. Wow, what a great smelling beer.

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Photo of srhoadsy
4.09/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served chilled into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy, deep copper color with half an inch of airy, beige head that quickly recedes with light surface layer and lacing.

Strong aromas of pumpkin and spice.

Strong flavor of pumpkin pie as to be expected. But with an underlying musty, earthy quality that sets it apart.

Medium bodied with a sweet but crisp finish. Moderate carbonation with mild aftertaste.

I really enjoyed this beer. I would put in my top three pumpkin brews so far. Good Gourd, Pumpking and Great Pumpkin.

 521 characters

Photo of Axnjxn
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

32oz growler into a tulip. 9/27/13 filling date

Pours a dark copper/orange color with an inch thick white head. Par for the style. The smell is much less overwhelming than most other beers of the style - where you usually smell a ton of nutmeg and cloves with this beer i actually get a lot of actual pumpkin smell. The taste is also different than most other pumpkin beers... its much more "beer like." much more bitter than the usual extremely sweet pumpkin ale. Definitely can see why this is preferred by a lot of people! Medium bodied, mild carbonation.

Overall one of the better pumpkin "beers" that there are. This one actually tastes like beer.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.69/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours up an almost minimal amount of head which has no retention. The head is off-white with hints of beige and amber while the body is a slightly darker, medium amber which appears as a glowing, medium amber when held up to the light. Minimal amount of lacing.

Nose- This sure does smell like pumpkin pie, even echoes of sweet potato pie. This runs the gamut of autumn spices: cloves, nutmeg, mace, and cinnamon. Not harsh in anyway. The aroma is quite inviting and clean- which is not true of many spiced beers. Cinnamon is the most dominant spice.

Taste- Reflective of the nose, with almost all of the spice notes hitting me at once. Cinnamon, as it was on the nose, is by far the most dominant. At the moment, it's a little hard to process it all since it tastes as if I just drank the aroma mashed together. I can't tell if the bitterness that seems to permeate all aspects of the flavor profile is a characteristic of all the spices or if this is a separate flavor. Tastes a lot like a mild red hot (the candy) or a spicier version of Big Red chewing gum. A mild indication of raw pumpkin but this seems more like suggestion of the mind. No real heat but how could one discern that with all this spice. Some of the bitterness is definitely separate from the spice profile but it tends to be woody (some pine) with a slight inclination toward yeast and earwax. This is probably a highly desirable beer for some but a little too one-sided for me. I thought Night Owl was much more subdued and well rounded and therefore, better. It would seem that pumpkin ales are not the type of beer to turn imperial. Don't get me wrong- I applaud the effort but I don't need anymore spice than your typical pumpkin beer already has. Does mellow but this makes it seem thin and watery. It really only validates what I've thought to be true- I just don't like pumpkin beers. You might though.

Mouthfeel- Fairly thin and and just a little bit more than light bodied. Ample carbonation works well with the conspicuous spice.

Drinkability- I don't need this much fall, harvest time, or holiday in my beer. This is why I eschew wassails and “Christmas” beers. If I want that, I just drink some heavily spiked eggnog. Price point is all wrong for a beer I don't enjoy but 9 bucks seems reasonable for someone who would.

Overall- This is pretty much one of the highest rated pumpkin ales but it's not my piece of pie. I can drink it fine. There's nothing wrong with it but 22 ounces is too much for me. Definitely worth a try but I won't be buying it again.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance- The beer pours a nice hazy orange amber color with a very small white head. The head fades decently fast leaving some patchy bubbles of foam on the surface of the beer and a decent level of foamy islands of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – A nice roasted pumpkin smell creates the biggest aroma. This is complemented by spice aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Other aromas of a bready smell as well as a nice caramel and brown sugary sweet smell are there as well giving an overall great pumpkin pie aroma. While pumpkin pie like, the smell is not too sweet or too spiced but consists of a very nice blend of aromas.

Taste – The taste begins with a good bready and roasted pumpkin flavor. The sweetness is lighter upfront with just a bit of caramel sweetness. The spice flavors are lighter as well at the start, with some hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. As the taste advances the nutmeg and cinnamon spice are joined by some allspice with the nutmeg growing quite a bit more potent to the end. As this occurs, so too comes some sweeter flavors of more caramel and brown sugar. Along with these flavors, the roasted pumpkin grows a bit more intense with the bready taste fading some, leaving a moderately sweet pumpkin pie like flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and chewier side with a carbonation level that is on the slightly lower side. Both are fantastic for the pumpkin pie like tastes of the brew making for a creamy, thick mouthcoating texture one would like with something resembling a pumpkin pie dessert.

Overall – This is a very nice and tasty imperial pumpkin ale. A little on the drier side and more roasted pumpkin in nature with a nice blend of flavors and a great feel overall.

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Photo of archyquaffer
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a clear plastic cup. Nice art on the label, which features The Great Pumpkin with a mischievous smirk. A moderate pour produces about a half inch of head. The beer is a bit hazy, and about the color of a pale ale, with light carbonation.

Even though my nose is a bit stuffy, I smell and taste plenty of pumpkin and spices. Also some nuttiness, perhaps from pumpkin seeds, and some sweetness suggestive of brown sugar or maple syrup. The spices are not overdone, and mesh well with the other flavors (i.e., no soapiness). Pretty clean on the aftertaste, with just a bit of lingering pumpkin, which keeps the flavors from becoming too cloying.

I was dubious about pumpkin beer, with several misfires extending back a few years. I even thought that I might not even like pumpkin beer, even though I LOVE pumpkin pie. This beer really does taste like pumpkin pie. The price was moderately steep, but not outrageous, at 4.99 for a bomber, bought at the Albertsons in Livingston, Montana. Bravo to the brewmeisters!

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The Great Pumpkin from Elysian Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 178 ratings.
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