The Greater Pumpkin is a Heavy Seas effort that vanquishes a great many of the faults associated with the pumpkin ale style and creates something that is heavy, intense, and fun all in the space of a 22 ounce bomber. The ale pours with a dark brown, mahogany to orange coloration and small wisps of a lightish-tan head that tenaciously remains on top of the glass. There is a powerful boozy nose to the beer that showcases some of the notes that will become prevalent as one takes their initial sip. The bourbon flavor is really light here, which means that the pumpkin flavor can be discerned while the little bits of vanilla and whiskey that one tastes work in harmony with the beer rather than wholly taking over.
The Greater Pumpkin goes in a number of distinct directions with each pull from the beer. This means that there is a strong burn at some moments, while the slightly sour notes of the pumpkin shines through at other points. This effort is able to stay together well as the beer continues to warm, with the same strong malt backdrop allowing the pumpkin and bourbon flavors the ability to shine alone or together. The Greater Pumpkin straddles the line between sweet and strong perfectly, making this into a heady effort that will do imbibers well; one bottle should be more than enough to get things going nicely.
For more information about The Greater Pumpkin and the rest of the Heavy Seas year-round and seasonal offerings, visit the brewery’s domain. We have reviewed other Heavy Seas efforts in the past; Heavy Seas Black Cannon is a stellar take on the Black IPA format.