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Heavy Seas - Great’ER Pumpkin | Heavy Seas Beer

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Heavy Seas - Great’ER PumpkinHeavy Seas - Great’ER Pumpkin
BA SCORE
3.91/5
Very Good
748 Ratings
Heavy Seas - Great’ER PumpkinHeavy Seas - Great’ER Pumpkin
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States
hsbeer.com

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
In the most worthy of pumpkin patches and during the silence of the midnight hour, the Greater Pumpkin raises up and pours a rich deep and burnished orange color. Heady aromas of bourbon, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and clove linger seductively over the thick white head of this tremendous brew. Its love at first sip as the full malt body, dominated by British crystal malt, brown sugar and pumpkin, slowly washes over your tongue. Bourbon barrel aging rounds out the flavors with notes of oak, vanilla, and bourbon. Pairs well with crisp autumn weather, crunchy fallen leaves, and the knowledge that your kids will be asleep soon so you can raid their Halloween candy bags.

Added by mcallister on 07-28-2010

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#6,747
Reviews:
224
Ratings:
748
pDev:
13.04%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
77
Gots:
129
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 748 |  Reviews: 224
Photo of adamette
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Live review. Poured from the 22 oz. bomber that I bought at Wine and Beverage Depot in Mentor a few days ago for $8.99. No observed "best by" date or "brewed on" date. I am not sure that it matters too much with the reasonably high ABV of 9%. I have to admit being intrigued by this one by the Bourbon Barrel Aged aspect of it. Poured into my silver rimmed Orval goblet.

A VERY short lived off white head over a hazy, thick looking pumpkin colored body. The head which was barely there after a vigorous pour disappeared almost completely in 10 seconds. I really like the look of the body. 4.5

S Well, smells of a sweet malty pumpkin beer with bourbon notes. Just like I expected but intriguing none the less. I am not convinced yet, even as I am about to taste this beer, that these combinations will even work. 4.0

T Interesting. I taste probably more of the bourbon than the pumpkin but the pumpkin is certainly in there. The pumpkin is a nice subtle, authentic pumpkin and not a candy or spicy pumpkin which I find often in pumpkin beers. The bourbon tastes provide the sweet malty, burn of alcohol that you would expect but have a kind of dark caramel taste that is quite good. 4.0

M Surprisingly smooth for the elevated ABV and ultra sweetness. 4.0

D This is meant to be a sipper and it intentions are well received. I will only be able to drink the bomber but the process is enjoyable. 3.5

Notes: I can understand if this is a polarizing beer. Some will really embrace it and other will be repulsed. Actually I find that this is the case for any pumpkin beer. I came in skeptical but interested and I go out pleased with this beer.

 1,643 characters

Photo of Vogt52
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of silentjay
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a tarnished copper color with a quickly fading almost white head that leaves some decent lacing.

aroma first is of bourbon, then spices, then some sweetening from the pumpkin, plenty of vanilla, brown sugar, though not a very strong aroma and a bit bourbon dominant.

bourbon again out of the gate with the spices up next and a bit of squash-like pumpkin flavor with a vanilla and boozy finish.

medium bodied with a heavier level of carbonation than I'd expect in a bourbon-barrel aged beer.

not my favorite pumpkin ale, not my favorite imperial pumpkin ale (fishermans imperial pumpkin stout!), not my favorite bourbon barrel aged beer (allagash curieux), but an enjoyable beer that I would drink again.

 714 characters

Photo of allenson21
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Jho3325
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of micropale
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of barczar
3.91/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy deep copper with orange tints and a billowing, frothy cream head that leaves minimal lacing.

Vanilla, nutmeg, ginger, clove, cinnamon and pumpkin dominate the initial aroma, with a hint of booze lurking in the background. There's a buttery, caramel malt character that emerges, accompanied by graham cracker notes. Very spice forward.

Flavor reveals more boozy notes, with vanilla and bourbon underlying a slightly sweet, bready, toasted caramel malt backbone that dries out in the spicy finish. The pumpkin character emerges more so in the aftertaste, but nutmeg cinnamon, and clove are evident mid palate. Buttery, graham cracker notes surface mid palate to add a pumpkin pie flavor. Banana esters become noticeable as it warms, along with a slight squash tang and cola notes.

Body is full , creamy, and smooth, with minimal carbonation and surprisingly light alcohol warmth.

Spice dominates the aroma, but seems to be subdued by the bourbon character in the flavor. Very nice take on the style. Not overly sweet, with a pretty decent pumpkin presence, though the balance is toward spices. The bourbon adds nice complexity. And that 10 percent is surprisingly well hidden. The banana and cola character I'm perceiving is somewhat disappointing, but I think it's just a combo of other flavors...namely ginger.

 1,327 characters

Photo of kwgduke
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of biggred1
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dense, deep pumpkin-orange with a creamy eggshell head that leaves pretty lace on the glass. The aroma is pumpkin spice and bourbon barrel, toasted oak notes. A creamy, custard-like pumpkin pie and whiskey barrel quality..who wouldn't like that? A toasty, oaky whisky barrel version of a pumpkin beer. Good stuff. Full bodied,oaky and sticky.

 342 characters

Photo of OneDropSoup
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Hazy, translucent russet with just a dusting of head & a thin, beige collar. A few strands of nucleation.

Smell has some orange peel, typical spice profile (a little cinnamon, a little nutmeg, clove, allspice, a tiny bit of ginger). Some lightly caramel malts, only trace amounts of the bourbon barrel, with very subtle oak & vanilla. Booze is apparent, too.

Starts off with the spices & pumpkin flavor, followed by a substantial alcohol presence & rolling into the bourbon characteristics & settling there nicely. Very nice, long aftertaste, moving through the spice notes, oak, & vanilla again. Bourbon verges on becoming unwieldy, but stops just short. Not bad, but not sure if the pumpkin is big enough to balance the booze & barrel.

Full-bodied, a little prick from alcohol & spices. Heats up in the middle & gives the palate a little bit of a work-over.

This is a style I just couldn't resist trying -- while it's got some flaws & I don't necessarily think the pumpkin is enough to support the bourbon barrel, it's enjoyable nonetheless. Definitely a sipper, & I can think of a handful of pumpkin ales I'd go to before this, but I'd be up for it again sometime for sure.

 1,209 characters

Photo of KG710
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of cjohns73
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

 1,140 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle served in my Darkness tulip. Pours a semi-hazy burnt-orange with a creamy, loose, one inch bright white head. Head gradually disperses into a creamy slick with some thin, but densely packed strands of lacing evident during the tasting. Nose expresses bourbon, a buttery quality, pumpkin spice aromas and a trace of citrus. Taste follows nose - pumpkin pie flavors dominate upfront; nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, followed by bourbon flavors that nicely integrate with the other elements. Mouthfeel is light-medium (but closer to medium), with a lively carbonation, a slightly silky texture and some residual alcohol heat detectable at the finish. A very pleasant variation on the style and makes a great post-Thanksgiving digestif. That being said, 22oz. is perhaps a bit much. A 12oz. bottle split amongst two is more than satisfying.

 845 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy auburn w/ good carbonation leading to a large head that dies slow (not much lace). The aroma is a mix of pumpkin (not overbearing), some caramel/sugary sweetness, cinnamon, spicy pepper, some bready dry malt and hints of bitter citric hop. First impression is real sweet and smooth, as a sweet pumpkin (along w/ sugar, caramel, and maybe vanilla) taste hovers over the spicy, alcoholic edge. This sweetness is thin, however, and there is a crisp, dry finish of spice and a touch of hops, plus a touch of that bourbon barrel (I think...might be power of suggestion). This finish amplifies the sweetness on the next sip so I couldn't put this beer down and overall I'd say it's nicely balanced, although some might find it too sweet.

 745 characters

Photo of FlussigkeitMut
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Newport_beerguy
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of IrishMonk
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of a bomber from Habersham Beverage in Savannah.

One of my favorite fall seasonals, a creamy pumpkin ale that is pretty drinkable despite the heavy alcohol. Not as spicy as the Great Pumpkin. The bourbon flavor is very forward, and slightly over takes the spices, but leaves a nice pumpkin crust finish. Well worth a try if you like full, barrel aged ales.

 362 characters

Photo of sposter4
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of rudzud
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up at Julio's. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a crystal clear light copper with a creamy almost two finger head that faded to leave a nice blanket and rich halo.

S - Nice sweet malts, pumpkin spices, and some smooth bourbon. Very creamy and smooth smelling.

T - More of the sweeter malts with lighter pumpkin spices. A fair amount of bourbon and oak notes as well as alcohol. Just not enough pumpkin for me in this one.

M - Nice and creamy mouthfeel. Quite drinkable considering the higher ABV. Bourbon is nicely present.

O - Overall, I'm mixed on this beer. As a bourbon beer, its not too shabby. As a pumpkin beer though, it leaves somethign to be desired. Wish there was more pumpkin in here than bourbon, but its still not a bad brew.

 756 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Malty aroma has firm notes of pumpkin and cinnamon and a bourbon overtone that comes from the barrels in which it was aged. It pours a slightly hazy dark orange amber with a pale orange-tan head that does not stick around for long and leaves minimal lacing. Flavor has a strong bourbon note that dominates the flavor but does not overwhelm it, allowing the malt, pumpkin and cinnamon notes along with the whisper of caramel to have their say. Thick, smooth texture is fairly tingly and has a strong nip thanks to the bourbon. A perfect beer to begin October!

 558 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

 887 characters

Photo of gford217
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

 828 characters

Photo of jampics2
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into a snifter. Sampled alongside the regular Great Pumpkin, which I believe I actually prefer to this.

The pour produces an off white head on top of the dirty pumpkin orangeish brown body. Not a great looking beer, the head quickly recedes and doesn't leave good lace. Just a bit above average here, but mostly the same look as the Great Pumpkin.

The smell is where the two beers start to differ. This has some spices, namely cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove, but also features some well-integrated bourbon. There's not a lot of malt, and the bourbon is just barely there - enough to notice but not a huge dominant component. There's also some notes of vanilla and butterscotch, and maybe even some brown sugar, but they're not very expressive. This was a step back from the very expressive and pleasant nose of the Great Pumpkin. Also, some really heavy booze emerges. This gained a single percent but apparently that was all raw booze.

Whereas the Great Pumpkin has a nice sweetness to the taste, that quality is taken away by the bourbon in this version, and I can't say it's for the best. The caramel is replaced with dry bourbon and wood, but the notes I would have liked - oak tannins, coconut, vanilla - aren't prominent or, in some cases, even present. Some spice and bourbon sting don't work that well together, and, while it has bready tastes and isn't a bourbon bomb, the beer just looses so much sweetness and replaces it with bourbon and booze.

The mouthfeel is OK, medium body and medium carbonation, with some lingering booze and spice. Overall, this was just not working for me, and I was very excited by the idea. The execution, however, was just not great, but an admirable attempt. I'd love if someone made a bourbon barrel aged pumpkin beer with lots of vanilla from the barrel, maybe a barrel aged imperial chocolate pumpkin stout. That's the ticket. Until that get's released, stick to the regular Great Pumpkin or pour a bit of Makers Mark into a Southern Tier Pumking (don't try that at home, I'm kidding).

 2,043 characters

Heavy Seas - Great’ER Pumpkin from Heavy Seas Beer
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 748 ratings
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