Heavy Seas - Great’ER Pumpkin | Heavy Seas Beer

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very good
222 Reviews
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Heavy Seas - Great’ER PumpkinHeavy Seas - Great’ER Pumpkin
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States | website

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
Reviews:
222
Ratings:
735
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
23.97%
 
 
Wants:
75
Gots:
122
For Trade:
5
User Reviews
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Reviews: 222 | Ratings: 735
Photo of AgentMunky
4.54/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass. Fairly sure this was bottled Fall 2010. Aged in bourbon barrels.

A: Unfiltered hazy brown-orange. Bubbles rise sustaining an inch of head. Translucent.

S: Holy hell. It smells fantastic. Huge pumpkin dominates. Spices are a serious undertone, completely avoiding artificiality and reminding me strongly of pumpkin pie. A bit of bourbon might come through as caramel sweetness.

T: What. It tastes like pumpkin eggnog that was spiced and liquored up. I would think this at Christmas or-- who am I kidding? I would drink this anytime. Deep, complex, tasty, creamy, pleasant, and spicy-titillating. Undeniable pumpkin pie with a bit of alcoholic burn...bourbon alright, or maybe rum. Slightly thin in feel, but never in flavour. Tentative carbonation.

O: One of the best pumpkin ales I've encountered. Maybe the best. It's perhaps a little strong, but the booziness gives it a layered complexity that I think improves the overall effect. Recommended, if you can find one. I'll certainly keep my eyes peeled.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

In a snifter a dark gold color with a small off-white head.

Aroma of pumpkin, spice, and booze.

Pumpkin taste with allspice and nutmeg. A rather strong bourbon presence.

Medium mouthfeel. 10% ABV well-hidden.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.88/5  rDev 0%
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!

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Photo of Durge
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear brandy copper color with a modest white ring of head and weak lacing. The aroma offers brandy as well. Vanilla oak and sweet marshmallow cherry. The flavor brings an instant idea of pumpkin brandy with some low lying malt and more cherry sweetness and vanilla oak. Very tasty in a medium bodied beer with reserved carbonation and a slick feel. Very solid and a bit different for a sweet seasonal with high octane. The booze is a bit high but it's worth it.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%

A-Clear amber in the glass, not much carbonation, one finger head that does not last long.

S-Nice spice character with a good deal of pumpkin. Mild bourbon and pleasant oak.

T-Starts with spices, cinnamon and nutmeg, then pumpkin flavor. Mild bourbon, more oak than bourbon but it goes nicely with the beer.

M-Medium bodied, not much carbonation though. Borderline watery.

O-What can I say? I love pumpkin beers and this is a yummy one.

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Photo of warnerry
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear reddish copper with a finger of off-white head. Not much lacing to speak of.

S - Bourbon, vanilla brown sugar and pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and clove) up front. Some caramel malt as well. Didn't really get any oak notes. The bourbon is really a complement here. It is one of the predominant aromas, but it blends nicely with everything else.

T - The taste follows the aroma pretty well, with the addition of some wood tannins. A bit sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. The bourbon flavors are an improvement on the base beer.

M - Medium, slightly syrupy mouthfeel.

O - Nice flavor combination. I enjoyed this more than the base beer (which I also thought was pretty good).

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.1/5  rDev -20.1%

Brief write-up. This beer does a few things right in the style: namely, it doesn't go overboard with the fall spicing. Both cinnamon and nutmeg are well restrained, giving the caramel malt backbone some breathing room. But there's also a big problem with this beer. The finish is WAY too stodgy. It's a full-bodied brew as well, which means this is a slow sipper at best. I was also a bit disappointed in the overly subdued bourbon presence, but hey it's not remotely boozy either. Overall, it's not bad, but not great.

3.1/5: It would be a really good pumpkin ale if it weren't so flabby

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Photo of Pencible
3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a hazy dark gold with a little off-white head.
S: It smelled like lots of mulled spices and cider, with pumpkin and sweet bourbon and a bit of oak.
T: It tasted like pumpkin and apple cider / mulled spices, with bourbon and vanilla and oak and biscuit. It had a somewhat dirty bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was fairly thick with moderate carbonation.
D: This was better than the average pumpkin ale, but not amazing. The bourbon aging was a nice twist, and it seemed to work well with the other flavor elements. But the general quality and crispness of the brew was somewhat lacking. Nice body, and it hid the alcohol well, so it was pretty easy to drink. Enjoyable, but a bit sloppy, so there was some missed potential.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | 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 minimal off-white head. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, pumpkin, wood, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, cinnamon, brown sugar, wood, and sweet alcohol. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. After having the base version right before this one, I was a little concerned on what I would think of this one. However, this one definitely improved quite a bit with the -bal treatment. The barrel added a nice bit of complexity that was lacking in the previous beer and made it much more enjoyable to drink. Definitely the better of the two without a doubt. Just ask nickd and he will tell you why.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange to light copper color with an off white head. In the aroma, bourbon, oak, and pumpkin spices. In the taste, mellow bourbon, oaky, and mellow pumpkin spice. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry bourbon to a clean aftertaste. Light bourbon probably due to the spice contrast. Nice warming feeling.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice bourbon barrellization of the Great Pumpkin… This is truly greater.

Presentation: 22 oz brown capped bottle. Perfunctory pirate skull and bones design: here the Great Pumpkin logo gets the barrel treatment. Pirate narrative describing the general style of the brew without going into much detail. Shows 9% Alc. by Vol. Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Medium amber-orange with an short frothy head, moderate to faint retention, small surface ring, and faint lacing.

S - Softly spice bourbon whiff, oaken sweet caramel riding the e pumpkin layer.

T - The tastes amplifies the sweet and spice pumpkin sense with a nice bourbon barrel identity, nice sync of spices woven with the oak vanilla. Underflow of the expected all spice, cinnamon, and clove come together in a subtle way dancing with the fleshy pumpkiness.

M - Medium carbonation and body. Prickly with a rather smooth finish and a soft lingering warmth.

O - Surprised by the flow of this offering. Nice sipper…

Notes: I many need to revisit the Great after having had the Greater Pumpkin… This works pretty well. Now, it´s only the second barrel aged bourbon pumpkin ale I try, and both, but this one in particular, were quite surprising… I may need to pick up another one of these.

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Photo of gford217
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of Gmann
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a golden amber color with some orange hues. The white head is small and wispy, settles into a very light ring.

The aroma is of light pumpkin spice; cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Some pumpkin vegetal notes. These aromas are contrasted by a sweet bourbon scent that brings vanilla and oak. Quite surprised by the subtle nature, especially for a big beer.

The taste is quite bourbon-y to start. Vanilla and oak flavors are present as well as a slight fusel alcohol. Perhaps a touch of caramel. The pumpkin spices are muted but seem to play well with the bourbon flavors. Some cinnamon and nutmeg, perhaps some ginger. The malt is slightly bready and doesn't play too much in the flavor profile.

The feel is quite light, almost watery. Its sweet on the palate; the spice and ABV burn seem to help keep the sweetness in check. A bit dry in the finish.

Not really what I expected. I expected a thicked bodied, heavily spiced pumpkin ale that had some bourbon notes. This is almost the opposite. Its light, the main flavor is the bourbon and the pumpkin profile is subtle. It is a nice blend though; the spice works quite well with the bourbon.

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Photo of Dope
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep orange pour with a nice billowy tan head. Retention is good and lacing is excellent.

S: Tons of pumpkin along with some milder pumpkin spices. Nutmeg and cinnamon in particular. A bit of bourbon, surprisingly not much. Bourbon comes out as it warms. A touch of vanilla?

T: Much like the nose. Lots of bourbon soaked pumpkin with nutmeg and cinnamon in the background. A light touch of vanilla everywhere. A little bit of oak too, especially in the aftertaste.

M: Medium body, a little tingle from the bourbon.

O: Interesting take on a pumpkin beer, never had a bourbon barrel one. Definitely adds a decent bit of complexity that complements the beer. Base beer isn't really all that hot unfortunately, needs more spices.

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Photo of illidurit
3.49/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at the December iteration of the Santa Cruz tasting series. Dark orange color. Peppermint and cinnamon aroma, very wintery, pumpkin pie plus spices. Smooth pumpkin sweetness, big spice notes, too much nutmeg/cinnamon. Didn’t get any bourbon. Dial down the spices, dial up the squash and the booze.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3/5  rDev -22.7%

Poured into a snifter. Nothing better than a pumpkin beer and football.

3.25 A: Clear orange amber color. I didn't get much of a head on this. Quickly falling frothy beige with a wisp or two of lacing.

3.5 S: Pumpkin spiciness with ginger and cinnamon leading the way. Allspice and a touch of pepper. The bourbon barrel is pretty weak in this. You really have to look for it to find it. Just a light earthiness and a hint of oak.

3.0 T: The bourbon is much, much more apparent in the taste to the point where it almost controls the beer. Big earthiness, leather, mineral, and melon. Oak, vanilla, and a touch of tannic astringency. Again some pumpkin spiciness as mentioned above. Not a lot of sweet maltiness.

3.5 M: Heavier medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Light creaminess and smooth.

3.0 D: Ehhh, it's nothing special. The bourbon is too weak in the nose and too strong in the taste. This needs a bigger malty backbone to do well in a barrel.

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Photo of n2185
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark orange with a finger of off-white head that recedes into a thin layer with little lacing.

S: Some pumpkin spices up front followed by vanilla, oak, and a surprising tart aroma that is reminiscent of tart cherries. Smooth bourbon aromas bring up the finish with some slight yam notes. Quite nice.

T: Spices up front again followed by a fairly strong kick of bread and bourbon. Vanilla and oak are mixed in as well with a slightly bitter finish and pumpkin showing up on the aftertaste. Light alcohol burn.

M: Medium body with lowish carbonation, this beer could benefit from a creamier body to compliment the bourbon aspects.

O: A pretty good pumpkin ale. While the bourbon does tend to dominate the pumpkin flavors, it does not completely mask them.

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Photo of jsh420
1.86/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

pours cloudy amber orange with a 1 finger head that left some spotted lacing

smell - almost none but i get some watered down bourbon

taste - sweet bourbon smacks your tastes buds right off the bat - this beer has more bourbon flavor then lots of stouts aged in bourbon barrels and no pumpkin to back it up - i think i might and coke zero so i can drink this booze monster

mouthfeel - kind of sticky medium body with low carbonation

drinkability is awful - 3/4 of this bottle went down the drain

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Photo of KYGunner
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The color is a bright copper and this yielded a huge creamy and foamy head that was congealed at the top. So thick you can float a bottle cap on it because I did.

HUGE coconut cream aroma with some pumpkin spice. The bourbon and oak come out in the aroma but it's quashed by the Coppertone Lotion scent.

The flavors are more towards the bourbon than the scent was. The bourbon is very clean, smooth and slightly oaked. The coconut is tamed and serves with vanilla. The pumpkin is sweet, not overly spiced and not too earthy.

The feel is thin and there is a nice heat in the chest but none in the throat.

Overall, interesting. This seems to serve bourbon drinkers well, as it really took the bourbon flavor but pumpkin beer fans may not find what they are looking for.

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Photo of Sound_Explorer
4.39/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I had the GABF 2013 Rum Barrel aged version and I loved it. Not usually a big fan of barrel aging, especially bourbon or whiskey (as this beer usually is) as the liquor usually takes over too much for my taste. Using the sweeter Rum, and already being a fan of pumpkin beer, it was the best thing I tasted at the festival. Been looking for a Rum aged beer for awhile and this was a great first impression of using Rum for a sweet sample of awesomeness.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

1 PT 6 FL OZ bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours a hazy burnt orange in color with amber highlights. It is topped with an inch of beige head that leaves little lacing.

I get some roasted pumpkin, caramel, and vanilla to start. I also get a nice blend of cinnamon and pumpkin spices. It smells like a fall treat.

The pumpkin spices are muted allowing the pumpkin to shine. The bourbon barrel is not readily apparent but does come through by way of caramel and vanilla flavors. The pumpkin spices, while subtle, are there to bring home the flavor.

Full, smooth mouthfeel

This is a solid pumpkin beer. I would have liked to have experienced more bourbon flavors, but I would have it again.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Off-white head with some light lacing. Looks somewhat unfiltered with some sediment floating around.

S- Spices up front, some pumpkin. Slight hint of alcohol, but cannot really smell the bourbon.

T- Spices come through right away, can taste the sweetness from the bourbon, but the alcohol is well hidden. Very satisfying.

M- Light carbonation, medium mouthfeel.

O- A very good pumpkin offering. The first barrell aged pumpkin that I have had and was impressed.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap (original straight 4.3 rating)
Pours a burnt orange, with initial cloudiness that fades to translucence. Head grows to a finger, but dies recede to the edges and spots on the surface. Head clings to sides briefly with each sip.

Nose is a combination of pumpkin/squash pulp with just enough spice to bring out the dessert part. Bourbon adds a decent waft of vanilla with its own light scent. It really leans a little more pumpkin bread than pumpkin pie.

Taste is similar to the nose, and definitely brings out my bready impression from the taste. The bourbon and barrel come out mid-taste, bringing a spicy woodiness to the mix. Pretty straightforward but also quite tasty. A little less sweet than the nose indicates. Some sips I actually get a little banana in the mix (later in the taste).

A little bit thin and maybe starting to show some age (it is December), a little oily aftertaste noticed.

Not as good as my original rating indicated, but a very solid pumpkin beer that I'll have to revisit next year more in season.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.39/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Greater Pumpkin, bottle bought at Whole Foods Chelsea in NYC for $11.99 plus tax. Way pricey but I love this beer. Have had it on cask (first at Max's in B'more and then at Pony in NYC) and on tap (at Pony). My first time on a bottle...

Appearance: Poured into my Lost Abbey snifter, The Greater pours freely and happy, delivering a deep-orange beer with barely a finger of head that dies almost immediately. Some lacing, though, but not great retention. About average looks overall.

Smell: Shines! Fleshy pumpkin, hoppy bitterness, sharp bourbon, barrel and booze... this has got it all. Plus some floral tones and spice, hoppy finish.

Taste: Follows nose, with a smooth pumpkin flavor drenched in bourbon. Spice, cinnamon. Tangy-tingly finish, feels like Christmas!

Mouthfeel: Smooth and bourbon-y, reminds me of drinking Elijah Craig or Evan Williams without the burn. Low carbonation, medium body and flavor. Beautiful all around, well-balanced.

Overall: Is this a complex beer? Maybe not... heck, it is all about the pumpkin and the bourbon! But I love it nonetheless. Drinkable, delicious, autumn-y, beautiful. And- different! Yeah. On cask, even better.

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Heavy Seas - Great’ER Pumpkin from Heavy Seas Beer
87 out of 100 based on 222 ratings.
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