By Iron Chef Leftovers
My love of pumpkin beers is unabashed and I have a particular soft spot for ones that are of a darker style. I feel that pumpkin marries well with the roasted notes in dark beers and there is less of a need to overly spice the beer, so you get more pumpkin flavor out of them. I also like imperial pumpkin beers since they tend to fall into the same category and you can really appreciate the subtleties of flavor in the beer. During a recent bottle swap, a bottle of the Heavy Seas The Great’er Pumpkin was thrown in because my trading partner knew of my love of pumpkin beers. I thought this was a nice gesture (and has since been reciprocated with a couple of stellar IPA’s back to him) so I was excited to try this beer in an impromptu beer tasting with the rest of the CSE gang (i.e. Blaidd Drwg, Coltrane, Annie S. and Seattle Author). The beer came in 22oz. bottles and runs about $10, but alas, is not available in Seattle, but is available from plenty of places on the East Coast that will ship.
From the Heavy Seas website:
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.
The beer pours deep orange in color with a creamy head and shows strong notes of bourbon with backing notes of roasted pumpkin and spice – it smells like a pumpkin pie with bourbon added. The beer starts out on the palate with strong notes of roasted pumpkin with mild backing notes of pumpkin pie spices and roasted pumpkin seeds. These flavors linger and are joined at the end by a slightly sweet caramel note and a touch of vanilla from the bourbon barrel without imparting any really heavy bourbon notes. The finish is extremely long and pleasant, making you want to take your time and savor between sips, but without any really harsh notes from the barrel or alcohol, making this a smooth, balanced and easy to drink beverage for such a high alcohol beer, with incredible depth of pumpkin and just a pleasant backing note of spice.
I may have found my new favorite pumpkin beer; I will definitely be shipping some to Seattle in the fall.
Heavy Seas The Great’er Pumpkin raises a massive 5 storm warnings out of 5.