Heavy Seas - The Great Pumpkin | Heavy Seas Beer

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Heavy Seas - The Great PumpkinHeavy Seas - The Great Pumpkin

Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by sinstaineddemon on 09-18-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 206 | Ratings: 392
Photo of BMMillsy
1.86/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Bomber bottle poured into tulip. Pours dark orange with medium head. All I can smell here is nutmeg. There is no sign of pumpkin, and the spice is offputting and unpleasant. Flavor follows with unbearable nutmeg that takes my breath away, no real pumpkin flavor, and nothing that says to me that this is a beer. The palate is thick and yet burns with the spices here. This was a drain pour and a half.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: darker amber, light rosy color, nice creamy head
S: medium nose, good pumpkin spice with barrel undertones that really works together, pronounced EtOH
T: well-balanced malt and pumpkin spice, barrel aging really helps to tone down spices, not a lot of character
M: seemed a bit thin in body for EtOH and barrel aging, creamy in texture
O: right on the edge of giving it a 4.5

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Photo of TheCorkStopsHere
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One more stop on my virtual tour of pumpkin beers...The Great Pumpkin from Heavy Seas (Clipper City), down in Maryland. This is a brew I've been drinking most of the summer, but realized I had never done an actual review. So, here we go...

Pours out a slightly hazy version of gamboge, sort-of a light-amber, with a touch of rust. The head is fairly mild in thickness, but lively when you give it a good swirl. Just off-white in color, I'm not surprised by the lack of head, this Great Pumpkin checks in at a commanding 8% abv.

The nose is intriguing! Just the slightest touch of sweet pumpkin aromas, but plenty of alluring spices. Much in the same way the Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin is dominated by spices, rather than pumpkin, this is very similar. The spices here though are on the sweeter side of things, reminds me more of nutmeg and ginger, and less of the cinnamon and clove that I usually pick up.

Ah yes, I had almost forgotten how delicious this Great Pumpkin is! Just like the nose, there is just a hint of sweet pumpkin flavors, but nice sweet spices. I am picking up a little more pumpkin on the nose than I am on the palate, as the flavors are heavily dominated by the spices. And this is all-in-all a sweet, malt-bomb of deliciousness. It lacks a little of the powerful pumpkin and spice that I enjoy, but it is a thoroughly delicious brew.

Overall, I definitely recommend the Heavy Seas Great Pumpkin. There is no bottling/freshness date on the bottle, so I'm wondering if a fresh bottle would make a difference. It's not the best pumpkin beer I've had, but I do like it very much. Maybe this would make a good introduction for craft beer drinkers that are new to pumpkin beer? You know, rather than give them the best right out of the gate, start them off with something a little more crowd friendly? But, at the same time, I'd hate to hand them something less flavorful, and give them a poor representation all-together.

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Photo of kbutler1
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Pours a orangy color with a slight white head. Like chunks? If so, this is the beer for you! Murky with little flecks of chunk floating around. Allspice, caramel, and pumpkin in the nose, actually not a bad aroma. Medium mouthfeel. Slightly sweet upfront. Pumpkin pie, slight cinnamon, allspice, and whip cream (just kidding). Overall, not bad. I am not the biggest pumpkin fan but this is tolerable for me. It does have a slight pepper note to it thought that I am not the biggest fan of.

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Photo of Kromes
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy dark orange color with a thick off-white head that sticks to the glass.

S: A nice pumpkin aroma with cinammon and clove or allspice.

T: A pretty decent pumpkin flavor with not too much pumpkin pie spice but it is there in the background. I can taste a little clove but it isn't overpowering like in other beers. The alcohol kicks in a little at the end with a very slight medicine flavor.

M: Medium body and good carbonation. Smooth feel to it.

O: One of the better pumpkin ales I've had this season. It's balanced even with the high ABV.

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Photo of JizackFH
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer pours a slightly hazy orangish amber color. It has almost 2-fingers of white head resting on top. The head has decent retention, and it leaves a little bit of scattered lace behind on the glass.

S - The nose starts off with some pumpkin sweetness and fall spices such as, cinnamon, nutmeg, and there is some clove in here as well. Also, there is a bit of booziness.

T - The taste follows the nose pretty well. It starts off with the pumpkin sweetness and spice flavors. There is a little bit of earthiness and mild hop presence. There are also some flavors of caramel, alcohol, and a bit of light pepper. The finish leaves some lingering pumpkin and spice, as well a bit of booziness.

M - The body of this is on the heavier side of medium, and the carbonation is on the lower side. It goes down easy and has a nice feel to it. There is some sweetness and some tingly spice notes. A mild hop bitterness also some through, and there is some boozy warmth on the back end.

O - This has good drinkability. It is a really nice tasting beer, and it has a nice smoothness to it. I wish there was a little more pumpkin flavor that stood out, but it is still really nice. Overall, I think this is a good higher alcohol pumpkin ale. I really enjoyed this one, and I definitely think it is worth checking out.

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Photo of kkipple
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber picked up in October of 2011. No freshness date on the bottle - grr.

A. Poured into a Buffalo tall chalice. Looks appropriately pumpkin - slightly less than clear orange with a small white head and spotty lacing.

S. Big sweet malt presence here, at least big enough to shine through the nutmeg and allspice. There is some alcohol heat too, which isn't really wanted, and a rather poor attempt at harmonizing the spice with the malt - it's not really complementary. It is perfumey though, and has a Hitachino note - I bet there is ginger in this brew.

T. Alas, falls short of even the taste. Sort of a boozy, thin and uninteresting malt base with a lot of spice tossed on top; but it never blends well into something interesting or harmonious. There is a distracting bitter undercurrent here, as well as something akin to coriander (maybe actual coriander) that is out of place. Then the booze, which would be forgivable if the rest of the beer was worthy... here it just adds to the mess. A shame.

M / O. Fine mouthfeel, really. Adequate carbonation and body, but the lingering finish of bitterness and spice doesn't do this one any favors.

Sadly, I wanted to like The Great Pumpkin more than I actually did. My girlfriend liked this one more than I though, so your mileage may vary.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a cervoise glass. No discernible vintage, but I have reason to suspect it's the 2011 bottling.

A: An inch of head tops a clearish, auburn beer. Pretty, but not exceptional.

S: It smells good! Lots of pumpkin spice and little to no artificiality. Faintly grainy malt.

T: Really good! A very well-balanced taste, with plentiful pumpkin and lightly administered spice. Heavy flavour is buttressed by a relatively high ABV. No traces of artificiality, but some malted grain. Endtaste is lightly dry.

M: Moderately substantial, pleasantly carbonated. Nice.

O: I'm a huge fan of the Greater Pumpkin and, though this doesn't equal it, the Great Pumpkin comes closer. It's a lighter, more accessible version even if it's still on the strong end of the pumpkin beer spectrum. Highly recommended; one of the best pumpkin ales out there. Will drink again. Paired with Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, a recommended pairing.

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Photo of BeerPhan86
3.1/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Finally tracked this one down. This will be one a handful of imperial/double pumpkin ales that I have been able to try, my absolute favorite being Pumking by Southern Tier. It is an imperial style that really seems to work, and I see more and more popping up each year. Let's get into it!

A - Pours a slightly hazy orange copper with a very minimal light tan head that quickly dissipates. No real lacing to speak of.

S - Sweet malt, cinnamon, and some slight clove. A nice squashy aroma at the end.

T - Similar to the aroma. More squash/pumpkin flavor than I was expecting but oddly enough not enough of the typical pumpkin ale spice. Odd metallic taste in the finish.

M - Very undercarbonated and watery/thin. A bit more carbonation might help more of the flavors reach the palette.

O - Overall, a bit of a disappointment. I have yet to find something that rivals Pumking. It is a nice attempt at a more squash-based pumpkin ale instead of your typical spiced brown ale, but it does not impress me. The flatness and metallic taste in the finish ruin it for me.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a true pint, the beer is a light, bright, copper-tinted orange coloring with a thick, foamy, light, small bubbled, frothy, white head that stands a good, solid inch and a half. Aromas of smoke and roasted pumpkin on the nose, with a very light spicing and some wheat characteristics. Flavors are round and smooth, with a slightly sour tang on the tail end. The bulk of the flavor profile is a light, smooth pumpkin and spice balance, which is mostly cinnamon, and the overall flavor comes off like a batch of pumpkin cookies. The aftertaste is sugary sweet, but short-lived. The abruptness of the aftertaste keeps it from being overpowering or cloying. A candied finish, both quick and sweet. Tasty beer, and with all the sweet profile, it would make a tasty dessert beer.

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Photo of madeofsteel
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into a pint glass, has a nice orange/amber color with a fizzy-looking head that rose about a half inch. Fell quickly, leaving some nice lacing behind.

S - As hoped, the pumpkin smell is very prominent, with some clove or allspice in the back. Hints of ginger and the like. It pretty much smells like a pumpkin pie... with malts.

T - The first thing I noticed was that this is oddly bitter for the style. At least at first. You have to let it sit a bit before the other flavors that you're getting with the smells really open up. Pumpkin is certainly present, although not as much as I'd hoped, but the clove and ginger kind of make up for it. Caramel/pumpkin finish.

M - Slight alcohol burn definitely takes away from it, but it is very creamy at first, which was surprising because of how the head looks. The boozy finish is my only real complaint.

O - I don't know if I'll come back to this one eventually, I enjoy giving almost anything pumpkin flavored a whirl, but it is certainly worth a look if you enjoy the style.

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Photo of ZeroSignal
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Undated 22 poured into a SA Perfect Pint

A - Hazy orange-amber pour with a light, off-white head. Loaded with floaties. Retention settles to the edges and leaves a loose lace.

S - Sweet smell with a good dose of pie spice; heavier on the ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Caramel notes as the beer sits a bit.

T&M - Smooth and creamy feel. Not overly sweet, but certainly packs a nice malty, caramel punch. Well balanced with the spicing, which follows the nose; perhaps a bit more ginger and nutmeg than cinnamon. Also manages to have the pumpkin meat taste in the finish, and ends slightly sweet. The sweetness of this one seems amplified the longer it sits and warms.

O - I'll admit that I'm generally turned off by floaties...I know it's fine for them to be there, I've just never cared for them in my beer, at least aesthetically. Overall this is nice, nothing spectacular, but certainly worth a try.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to my boy Lunch for sending me this one in a past trade! 2010 Vintage! Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured orange with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, pumpkin, brown sugar, and spices. The flavor was of sweet malt, pumpkin, alcohol, brown sugar, and spices. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. This was not overly complex which left me wishing and hoping for more. This was okay though as the flavors that were there were just right in intensity. I had this one right before the -bal aged version, so I was hopeful that this would help the base brew while I was having it. It did just for the record.

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Photo of n2185
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a very slightly hazy orange with a finger of off-white head that recedes into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Typical pumpkin spices up front--clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.--followed by lots of creamy vanilla and yam-like aromas. Slight alcohol aroma towards the finish.

T: Spices up front in the flavor as well followed by some light vanilla and caramel flavors. A slightly bitter, hearty bread flavor follows with a light alcohol burn.

M: Medium body and carbonation, this beer's carbonation and alcohol presence keep it from being creamy .

O: A pretty decent pumpkin ale. I'd like a bit less alcohol presence, a creamier body, and more pumpkin flavors, but still it's not bad at all.

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Photo of DaveBlack
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light copper colored brew, with a thin, yet sticky layer of head. almost no lacing is left on the edges of the glass.

S: Pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and a LOT of allspice rest on a sweet malty base with a little bit of hop bitterness.

T: Lots of sweetness up front, which brings a lot of the pumpkin flavor and pumpkin pie spices that I was hoping for. The spices are well balanced, and the finish brings a heavy hit of hops which balances out the malts, spicy sweetness.

M: The mouthfeel is thick and pretty sticky, and there is more carbonation than one would expect from looking at it.

O: A pretty good pumpkin ale. Not the best I've ever had, but better than the vast majority. The sweetness/spiciness/bitterness are all well balanced, and it's a pleasant fall beer. Worth a look for sure.

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Photo of cbutova
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Orange amber body into a pint glass. White creamy head about one finger size. Decent retention and a good coat of fine lace.

S- Vegetal and sugar sweet pumpkin and spices. Pumpkin pie aspect as well as caramel sweet malt and nutty hints.

T- Has a nice squash, pumpkin flavor with the spices just overlaying it rather than dominating. Cinnamon, brown sugar, raisin, nutmeg and dark fruit.

MF- Silky moderately thick Jody(body) with smooth medium carbonation. Slightly nutty bitter aftertaste.

Solid pumpkin ale with a more sweet vegetable flavor than most.

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Photo of stckhndlr
3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- poured into a pint glass. very clear golden orange amber in color. 1 1/2 finger head with some off white tan color. very nice color.

S- alot of pumpkin spice and a ton of nutmeg. smells like a sweet pumpkin spice candle from Yankee Candle. Just feels like fall when you smell this one.

T- as soon as you put this in your mouth it's sweet but then the pumpkin spice takes over and your tastebuds just scream out as if to say "What the Hell is that?". Huge malt and spice flavor. Almost too much. A bit overpowering. But it really does wake you up.

M- This really has a full body to it. Frothy and creamy it just flows over the tongue and covers it completely in flavor. Feels good.

O- I think the intensity of this beer gives it an acquired taste. it's a big beer that makes for good sipping. Take it slow with this one.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's the Great Imperial Pumpkin Ale, Charlie Brown! I don't know if Charlie Brown drinks beer - he may still be underage after 50 years; however, if he did, he would find an interesting quaff.

It pours out the usual glob of head (1 finger) that sits to glisten atop a dark amber body. The aforementioned head will soon sink into a thin translucent head, one that leaves no lacing throughout its trip to the bottom of the glass.

There is a massive nose, an aggressive one that emits intense blasts of pumpkin (Duh!) and spice at the get-go. A pungent miasma fills the air; this does not bode well to those who eschew the so-called "sweet" beers.

Given the above caveat, the initial sip is sweet, somewhat. But then, the aggressive maltiness takes charge and bitch-slaps the sweetness into submission, The pumpkin spiciness is still there, cowering on the grimy floor waving on the other ingredients so they can have their own say- which they do in no short time.

A sudden flash of bubble gum end the individual tasting session. It is time to take another sip.

While never being a major advocate of pumplin beers, I will still defend this one in that it does not dwell on the cloying behavior of other beers of this style. This one is well balanced, with a generous helping of malt that lets one enjoy the quaff by acting as bouncer to any sweetness that seeks to enter the palate.

Be warned; the alcohol content might grab you if you are not careful! Enjoy!

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Photo of nimrod979
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours a nice translucent orange with an average bubbly white head.
Spicy pumpkin aromas. Sweet nutmeg aromas.
Big malty flavors at first. Spicy cinnamon, clove and pumpkin flavors. And a bit of nutty sweetness before washing down with a slight bit of bitter hoppiness to it. Also a slight tinge of alcohol gives it a little heat to add to the spice.
Medium bodied. with a creamy and soft texture. A little watery diminishes the finish but a pretty solid pumpkin ale. A little unique with a more hoppy finish than you would really expect in a pumpkin beer.

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Photo of tykees88
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- It's a nice pumpkin orange. A head that is impressive. Alcohol legs, but no head lacing really.

S- Smells like pumpkin. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. It's a nice smell.

T-Letdown. It's a really sweet flavor, but the spices are too much. It creates a hot flavor.

M-It's really thick. Really chewy. I am just not a fan here.

O-Split a bomber, don't drink the whole thing like I did. you have to try it, cuz it has a cool label at least

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Photo of mtalley999
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a duvel tulip.

Pours a deep amber with about 2 fingers of whilte head.

Aroma is very pleasant. I get mostly pumpkin, with some clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Taste is mostly of pumpkin, with the spices coming through on the finish, more clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg. There is a lingering bitterness as well that is slightly off-putting.

Mouthfeel is relatively thin, with a bit of carbonation.

Not a bad pumpkin ale, but not spectacular either. The bitterness that I'm getting seems out of place, and I don't remember it from the last time I had this beer, so maybe this is an off bottle.

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Photo of phichifiji00
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Orange/brown, hazy, pours 1 finger of white head that fades fairly quickly. Moderate lacing.

Smell: Nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin, ginger.

Taste: pumpkin, hops, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, moderate carbonation, smooth, slightly astringent.

Overall: A good pumpkin beer. Good spice level. Good drinkability.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.2/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked up a bomber of Clipper City's The Great Pumpkin last week for $6.19 at The Lager Mill. I was looking for a new Pumpkin Ale to try this fall so I thought I would give this one a try since every beer I have tried from Clipper City's Mutiny Fleet Series has been pretty good, so lets see how it goes. No visible freshness date 2011. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into a snifter.

A- The label on this beer is pretty typical typical for the Mutiny fleet, but after a closer look I can see that the skull is really a carved pumpkin, that was a nice subtle touch. It poured a nice burnt orange/ pumpkin like color with two and a half fingers worth of off white head that died down to a thin ring with a thin lump in the middle that eventually faded to nothing.

S- The first thing that I pick up in the aroma is a nice mixture of spices that consists of clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg. After the spices come a little bit of sweet caramel malts and then some pumpkin and butternut squash at the end. A little more spice forward then I like but its still smells good, similar to pumpkin pie.

T- The taste is somewhat similar to the aroma with the spices seeming to stick out the most, all the spices that I picked up in the aroma are in the flavor and are the first thing I taste. After that comes that malts that just impart some sweetness and not really any flavor. The pumpkin in toned down and is overpowered by the dominating spices. The finish has a medium amount of sweetness and little slightly bitter warming alcohol at the end. I would have liked less spices and more pumpkin.

M- On the heavy side of being medium bodied and a nice medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was where it should be for an Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

Overall I thought this was an Ok Pumpkin Ale. I like my pumpkin ales to have a noticeable pumpkin flavor and not dominated by spices, and in this beer the spices were just too dominating and didn't let much pumpkin or malt flavor shine through. The heavy spices and slightly warming alcohol don't make this beer too drinkable, I am glad I am splitting this bomber with my brother or else this might be a chore to finish. What I liked most about this beer was the aroma, it seems to have ok balance in the aroma and it was similar to pumpkin pie. What I liked least about this beer was the flavor, there was just too much spices and too little malts and pumpkin. I don't think I would get this beer again when in need for a Pumpkin Ale, Screaming Pumpkin is cheaper, more balanced, and tastes better. If you love Pumpkin Ales you may want to give it a try but expect it to be spice forward. This wasn't a bad beer it just lacked the balance that I look for the most in this style, Screaming Pumpkin from the Michigan Brewing Company is still my favorite Pumpkin Ale, but I would still take this over Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale and I would like to try The Greater Pumpkin if I see it around, maybe barrel aging is just what this beer needs. My least favorite beer from The Mutiny Fleet so far, but Peg Leg is still my least favorite beer from them.

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Photo of auroracrisis
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz into a pint glass, this is the current batch.

Orangeish with ruby highlights, and a tad hazy in the body. A pillow of foam upon pouring that slowly dissipates into a ring of foam around the edges of the beer that remains for the duration of the session. Quick but spotty bubbles could be seen dancing to the top of the beer.

Forward with spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove on the nose at first. Canned pumpkin and some confectionery malts behind the initial spice which can be compared to caramel and dessert breads.

A tad spicier on the tongue with nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove again. Pumpkin and malt less apparent in the flavor but still there. Heavy on the spices which leaves the pumpkin and malt to be much more subtle than on the nose.

Medium-full in your mouth, with a tickle of carbonation. A touch of drying as well from the spices.

A spicy but delicious pumpkin beer. Wish there was just as much pumpkin on the tongue as there was on the nose but that may come out with more time. This one is a bit fresh. Cheap for a bomber and good, something I'd recommend for someone looking for more in this style of beer.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Malty aroma has a firm overtone of pumpkin and cinnamon - very October indeed. It pours a slightly hazy coppery amber with a thin pale pumpkin-orange head, but the condition of the head may be an artifact of the pour. Lip-smacking malty flavor has firm tones of pumpkin and cinnamon with hints of cloves and fruit and a bit of an alcohol nip. Texture has above average body and is smooth with a subtle fizz, leaving an edgy, malty, pumpkin finish. Perfect for this time of year!

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Heavy Seas - The Great Pumpkin from Heavy Seas Beer
3.78 out of 5 based on 392 ratings.
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