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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 392 |  Reviews: 206
Photo of mikereaser
3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle on 12/19/09

A - Pours a mostly hazy copper orange with a bright white foam that quickly disappeared

S - mostly just pumpkin spices, cinnamon, cloves, etc.

T - typical pumpkin spices, but i'm also picking up some lemons, oranges and apples as well. weird taste, maybe its just me

M - oily with active carbonations, creamy mouthfeel

D - one is enough for me, decent flavor, unique taste. pumpkin beers are hit or miss for me and this one is a miss.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden with a fairly light head, but good clarity. Smells sweet with pumpkin pie spice and a sweet pumpkin tanginess. Tastes sweet and strong with some more pumpkin pie spice, and a bit beefy with a late alcoholic sting. The mouthfeel is a little too sweet and sharp on the alcohol front, and overall this beer just seems a little too much without delivering the concurrent pleasure needed to justify all the alcohol.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a very hazy pale orange with a thin head that disappears completely. Pie spice in the nose,(clove and cinnamon) with some alcohol detectable too. Lesser aromas include some fruity malt and some pumpkin.

In the mouth, big flavors, not the least of which is the alcohol. Lots of pumpkin spice, especially clove. Big fruity malt and sweetness. However, outside of the hotness from the alcohol, the beer is well balanced. Spice and malt are equally strong and provide a nice stasis. Spice dominates the aftertasteand sweet malt dominates the aftertaste.

Really tasty and pretty drinkable, even with the strength. I would like to get a bottle for the cellar just to see how it is once it calms down. After a full bomber, the 8% ABV will leave you a bit woozy. Split with a friend if you need to drive!

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Photo of WhiteOak
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Orange color. Loaded with floating particles. Head quick to settle.

S- The aroma is a one-dimensional artificial cinnamon smell, just like those old Red Hots cinnamon candy, or Big Red gum, and this is not a plus for me.

T- That same Red Hot cinnamon candy is there, unfortunately, even with some of that fake cinnamon burn. However, there is a background of nice nutty caramel malt. I would like to try this without that one particular cinnamon flavoring agent, because I think it would be a nice ale.

M, D - I like the feel, balance, sweet malt, CO2 level, and drinkability... all except the seemingly artificial "cinnamon." Not too bad otherwise.

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

A: Pours a hazy orange with a bright white head.

S: Has major notes of spices, like cinnamon and some clove, with a boozy pumpkin scent.

T: The nose is pretty accurate with the taste. Has your typical pumpkin spices in there, but a booze flavor in there too. Not that well hidden. It's not that sweet, but more spicy.

M: Highly carbonated, maybe too much, and not smooth enough.

D: Despite my complaining, this is a decent "imperial" pumpkin offering.

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Photo of billab914
3.74/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Southern Tier tulip glass. Poured a hazy dark amber, almost orange color with a half inch off-white foamy head. The head settled out pretty quickly to leave just a thin film covering the top. After a few minutes there was pretty much nothing left of the head and it didn't really leave any lacing either.

Aroma has some ginger, nutmeg, cloves and a little pumpkin. It's a pretty good aroma for the style, it has some spice but it's not overdone like a lot of pumpkin beers. The taste has a lot of the same spices found in the nose up front but finishes with more of a sweet taste. It leaves a long lasting nutmeg/clove spice flavor on your palate after each drink.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is decent, it's a little sweet to drink much of though. It was a pretty decent pumpkin beer but the flavor just wasn't as good as Pumking for my personal tastes. It still falls into one of the better pumpkin beers available here though so I can't say I won't buy it again though when it comes back in season.

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Photo of becktone
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes 1-19-10

Eye: Ridiculously clear body and orange in color. Head is a thick frothy blanket covering the beer. Not much more to it than that. I think the head could stand to be a bit larger but this works. Sheets of lacing.

Nose: Very nice aroma. Smells like pumpkin pie spices. Ginger stands out the most, allspice is there too. Aroma is strong and meets the nose easily once decanted. Pretty much what one can expect from the style. Pumpkin aroma too, the actual vegetable, like canned pumpkin, though not nearly as strong or potent as your nose in canned pumpkin. Malt charcter is hidden behind all the spices and the pumpkin aroma.

Tongue: Very nice, very nice indeed. This pumpkin ale falls more in the category of spiced than. With some they are perfectly balanced with spice and malt, Schlafly for example. This beer focuses on the spice and it comes through strong. It is highly spiced, yet not overly spiced such as Buffalo Bills or Jack's Pumpkin Spice Ale. This beer's spices are in harmony with each other, balanced between each other. Ginger and cinnamon easily picked out and in balance with each other, not obnoxious on the palate but strong. Allspice and nutmeg too. Alcohol is detectable but also lends some sweetness to it all. Cinnamon dries it out. This beer is highly spiced, not overly spiced though.

edit: Call me crazy, but the more I drink of this the more vanilla type of tones and hints I get from the alcohol.

Feel and Drinkability: Dry finish with cinnamon lingering. Body is on the lighter side of heavy. Easy enough to drink, but I think that I could only drink one bottle of this. The high degree of spice would start to irk me after a while. I believe it would benefit from more malt sweetness to give balance to the spices. The more I drink of it the less upfront the spices become. I could see drinking two bombers of this in one sitting, no more. This is a good pumpkin ale, but not one that I'm gonna rush to drink every year, this isn't a must have every year as the the Schlafly, Wyerbacher, or Pumking are.

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Photo of scottum
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazed orange amber with a very thin white headskie. Easy drinking and smooth bodied. A touch thin perhaps, but very easy going. Pumpkin beers I find to be very hit or miss, and Heavy Seas has a good one here. Not over the top with the spices, once can actually taste the fruit de pumpkin in the mix with a slight sweetness that is immediately countered by a sharp but mellow hop balance. I like it.

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

Hazy autumn leaves orange due to light showers of fine yeast that remain in suspension. Bright tangerine borders can be seen along the bottom edge of the pint glass, while two fingers of golden beige suds can be seen at the top. Sheer curtains of partially torn lace help the appearance and cement the above score.

The key to any good pumpkin ale is in getting the combination of malt, hops and spices just right. It smells like Clipper City has done exactly that. Cinnamon is especially prominent and alcohol is barely noted. This should be a more than solid brew.

The Great Pumpkin Imperial Pumpkin Ale is not over-the-top. It isn't sticky sweet, it isn't too bitter, it isn't aggressively spiced, and it isn't the least bit boozy. Congratulations to the brewers for having some restraint. Unlike some versions of the style, this one is unlikely to tire out my palate by the time the final ounce meets its fate.

Whatever malts were used were good choices. Likewise with hops and spices. Sweet and bitter are moderate and are in good balance. Cinnamon still has the spotlight and it tastes like nutmeg and ginger are present as well. Honeyish notes appear with warming.

The body/mouthfeel is right in line with all the rest. It's big enough and is silky smooth and at least lightly creamy. Carbonation... you guessed it... right on the money.

Anyone who has ever liked an Imperial pumpkin ale will like Clipper City Heavy Seas The Great Pumpkin Ale. It's solid from every angle and is a seasonal that I will definitely buy again. Bottom line: good gourd beer.

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

Pours a one finger cream head that fades to a ring, leaving some lace. Almost clear pale amber color. Pumpkin spice nose. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is pumpkin pie spices. Nice balance of spice and malts. $6.75 for a 22oz bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

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Photo of Durge
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours a hazy golden amber color with a modest ring of off-white head and meager slivers of lacing. The aroma is a pleasant nutmeg and sweet pumpkin spice. There's a curious herbal hop in there too I think. The flavor comes out with something that approximates the aroma. Lots of nutmeg, allspice and semi-sweet pumpkin and some hop bitterness that seems more citrus now, orange bite. It's a little grainy, bright with some lemony highlights. It's mid-bodied plus with modest carbonation. Not highly drinkable but drinks reasonably for an 8 percent imperial. Very decent stuff for that seasonal satisfation, well done Heavy Seas.

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Photo of drseamus
3.49/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pretty light actually. Golden body. I expected more orange.

S: Big pumpkin with plenty of spices. Dead on.

T: More of the same as the smell. It is exactly like a real pumpkin.

M: Medium bodied but thick with spices.

D: Not as good as Pumpking but still pretty good.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.41/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a hazy rosey amber, with a finger of off-white foamy head. Thin frothy look to the retention, leaving a good bit of spotty foam behind. The aroma sits heavy in the nose with spice and warmth. Notes of cinnamon, clove, and allspice are really dominant here, with an underlying sticky base of sweetness that is tinged with green smelling pumpkin meat. Man, the spice is really laid on thick here in the nose.

The taste is very similar, starting with a big flush of malt and citrus sweetness that ends with an aggressive feeling green vegetable character from the pumpkin. Those spices are just as assertive as they were in the nose, but fortunately, not quite as overbearing. Better overall balance here on the palate, with pumpkin and spice mixing with a mellon rind bitterness that sticks on the tongue. The mouthfeel is full bodied, with a softer carbonation up front that then works itself into a much sharper creaminess towards the back. That higher ABV is felt here. It's doesn't necessarily run rampant but does add a certain amount of intensity to the spice and earthy bitterness that is present.

Not necessarily a bad example of the style or anything but this needed to dial back the spice and warmth a bit. This was worth at least a try but there are better options out there each fall.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright orange/amber color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of robust pumpkins, spices, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with a hearty malt character that is quickly followed by sweet and spicy flavors of nutmeg, ginger, pumpkins and caramel. There's a mild hops presence that provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, I wasn't expecting much of this beer but I found it to be pretty good for the style even though there are others that I would choose first.

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

22 ounce bomber - $4.99 at Bullock's Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, robust dark orange body with a susdy, frothy, ivory-colored head. It thins down into a fine, thin layering, though it has some nice staying power.

Smell: Well-spiced, bready nose with plenty of chunky pumpkin notes. It's a nicely fragrant bowl stirred up with brown sugar, cinnamon, and bread crumbs is what it is.

Taste: It's bready, sweet, and spicy. Dry, crumbly, lightly toasted bready malt profile generously coated in dark brown sugar and cinnamon and nutmeg. This one has just the right amount of pumpkin flesh flavor. Mildly bitter though with a restrained hop character, allowing for the spices to shine. The very faintest touch of warming alcohol nearing the end. Drying, spicy finish with a faint, lingering taste of pumpkin.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A good, admirable, though not great pumpkin brew, but I will certainly say it exceeded my modest expectations after the lackluster showing of the previous members of the Mutiny Fleet. Give it a try, provided you're a fan of pumpkin ales!

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

Appearance: pours a hazy orange color with a 1/4" head. No lacing develops.

Smell: pumpkin pie spices are easily detectable and very nice on the nose.

Taste: caramel, cinammon, nutmeg, some mild alcohol tones and a decent bitterness make up a nice hearty pumpkin ale.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp to start, smooth and a bit dry late. Aftertaste is long lasting.

Drinkability: decent fall beer but one bomber bottle was enough in a single session.

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Photo of OldSchoolGamer
3.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pumpkin Ale season is coming to a close. This will probably be one of the last ones I will have until next year. Here is my review:

A: Pours a murky amber-orange color. Head is decent for a pumpkin ale. Lacing is very minimal. Quite a bit of carbonation as well.

S/T: The aroma is pretty typical for pumpkin ale. Lots of spice, along with a almost musty character in there. Taste is good, but not nearly on par with other excellent pumpkin ales out there. You get a lot of spice upfront. Lots of clove, with cinnamon and nutmeg more in the back. Very peppery as well, which is different. Pumpkin definetly comes through, but it has an almost mildew character to it. Alcohol does come through as well.

M/D: Mouthfeel is medium bodied. The spice, carbonation, and alcohol tingle the tongue as it goes down. Drinks rather easily. Other than the slight mildew flavor, nothing is really offensive or offputing about this beer.

If I had to rank my personal top five pumpkin ales this would rank fifth. Southern Tier Pumking, Hoppin Frog Frog's Hollow, Shipyard Imperial Pumpkin, St. Ambroise, then this. Not a great example of the style, but well worth trying.

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Photo of jhammel01
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a orange red color. Its a bit hazy and has a decently retaining head. ight off the bat I know I'm going to love this beer.
Smells like Cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Also a bit of pie crust.
In the taste, the pumpkin and spices are up front and the pie crust is definitely there in the finish with a bit of alcoholic burn. especially as it warms.
Mouthfeel is a bit on the thicker side and is very smooth. A perfect combination.

A nice beer. One of my favorite versions of a pumpkin ale. I enjoyed this one as it was an imperial pumpkin ale and I havent had one before. Not as watery as other pumpkin ales Ive had this year.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Finishing up a few straggler Halloween beers, though this one is good all of October/November.

Appearance - slightly hazed, a thin manila cover and not much lace to this autumn-orange colored brew.

Aroma - rich pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon initially. Some vegetals emerge but the hot cinnamon persists.

Taste - big malt/grain impact. A little more grain than I usually pick up in an imperial of this style. Has a malt liquor aspect to it. Good spice and cinnamon on the swallow, accompanied by some notable hop spiciness. Quite a bit of belly warmth, yowza. It's only 8%, but it's kind of hot for that level. Decent residual spices on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - big, smooth, with plenty of carbonation, as I like 'em.

Drinkability - worth a try. Needs a little more base flavor and a little less hootch.

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Photo of wahhmaster
3.47/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a nonic imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy orange color with a small white head that dissipates almost immediately and leaves almost no lacing.

Smell: Smells heavily of pumpkin and related spices (cinnamon, ginger, etc.). Slight maltiness detectable too.

Taste: Tastes heavily of pumpkin (duh!) and spices. Strong flavors of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves are present. Finishes with flavors of sweet malts. Has a detectable flavor of alcohol as well.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and full-bodied. The high alcohol content gives it a pleasing warmth as well.

Drinkability: An interesting beer. The high alcohol content pairs well with the pumpkin flavoring. This is a good fall seasonal but not necessarily something I'll get again.

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden orange with a medium white head that hangs around a bit floating atop the body as it leaves a faint trail of lacing.

Big pumpkin spice aromas such as nutmeg, clove, and brown sugar as well as noticeable fresh hops to follow.

The palate is a bit sweeter than the aroma led on. Immediately you notice the nutmeg, brown sugar, and cinnamon, but it sweetens as it coats the palate, eventually giving way to a pleasant hop bite at the finish. This beer has great flavor and a lot to offer the palate if you are patient.

Very smooth mouthfeel, medium in body and carbonation, tons of character, and even a bit creamy at the finish.

This is one fantastic pumpkin ale. Loads of flavor, but nothing that overwhelms the senses or dominates the other features; amongst my autumn favorites.

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

Found this on in the cask at Rustico Friday night so thought I would give a shot. This was my first Clipper City beer and did lead me to try a few others over the weekend in DC. The beer poured a cloudy semi-dark copper color with a course one finger head that headed quickly as to be expected with a cask. The pumpkin aroma was immediately noticeable even in a packed bar. There was also smokey hints to the beer this beer. The taste settled well on the pallette and was more pumpkin flavor than pumpkin pie flavor which was pleasing for a holiday varietal. The smokey flavor came out in a distinctive clove finish. Was a good cask for this very fresh and full of flavor.

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Photo of sisuspeed
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured this into a free Heavy Seas glass that I got with the bomber from Julio's. Definitely digging the free glassware thing they do with some of their beers. Anyways, this beer pours a robust orange color with a fairly thick white head that eventually bubbles down to a thin film across the top of the beer. Looks like a pumpkin brew to me.

The aroma is a nice mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, a bit of brown sugar and a squash/pumpkin smell. Well done, staying true to the classic pumpkin beer aroma.

Smooth and creamy are the next attributes of this beer that come to mind. Mmm... good pumpkin pie flavor, sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon. For 8% ABV I don't taste the alcohol too much, but I can feel its warming presence, which is nice on a New England November evening.

The mouthfeel is like I said, smooth and creamy. Very well done. Nice body on this beer. This pumpkin ale has some substantial weight. Also, the drinkability of this brew is quite good, especially for a pumpkin. Fairly rich, so a bomber is all you need, but if you really like your pumpkins you might be grabbing another one of these.

All in all, I'm pretty impressed with this beer. I've never had anything by Clipper City before, but this is definitely a good first impression. I would rate this right up there with some of my all time favorite pumpkins.

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Photo of abuliarose
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Heavy Seas glass. The body is a golden ale color, clear, with an orange warmth to it under decently-sized head which dies fast. Smells pretty good for a pumpkin ale! I'm getting the pumpkin, which is always a plus, and some spices along with a little malt and a little floral hoppiness. Solid smells.

Holy cow this beer is sweet. I mean, it tastes delicious but boy is it sweet. There's the basic pumpkin flavor there and a decent amount of spices masking some soft malt notes. Everything besides the sweetness is good, but tougher to pick up on. Not getting much if any bitterness. Carbonation is extremely small and gentle, making it almost like flat soda. Body is ultra-smooth because, well, can you guess?

Anyway, it's a decent pumpkin ale... like drinking the liquid canned pumpkin pie filling of beers. I can see it as a sipper alongside dessert wines, but I might O.D. on sugar if I down a pint.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.26/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A hearty (8% ABV) but pretty under-whelming pumpkin beer. Appearance is an orange murkiness with not much head. The flavor was pretty decent, but this beer seemed to have hardly any carbonation, and rather than being rich in mouthfeel like some other low-carbonation beers (Imperial Stouts), this beer came off as flat and kind of uninspired. But, the aroma and flavor were pretty good - lots of spice but somehow not quite as pumpkin-y as other really good pumpkin beers. I really like the pumpkin beer genre, and have had quite a few this year, and my three favorites are Southern Tier Pumking, Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin, and Hoppin' Frog Imperial Pumpkin. This beer is nowhere near as good as those three, but is still a pretty enjoyable. I wouldn't go out of my way to get it, but I thought it OK.

I bought this beer at Blacklick liquors in Blacklick (near Reynoldsburg, outside Columbus), OH.

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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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