Heavy Seas “The Great Pumpkin” Imperial Pumpkin Ale (2011)


Heavy Seas “The Great Pumpkin” Imperial Pumpkin Ale sits at 8.0% ABV.

I poured some of a 22 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: A liberal pour gave between 2 and 3 fingers of light tan foamy head that dissipated over the course of about 5 minutes. This left pretty thick lacing that clung to the glass during the retreat, and about a dollop of foam at the end. The color on this is a bright burnt orange. This was cloudy, and seemd to have moderate carbonation.

Smell: I noticed a lot of spice up front, with some caramel-like malt and strong yeasty notes. The spices noticeable are cinnamon, nutmeg, and a lot of clove. There is decent pumpkin smell there, though it takes a backseat to the spices. This also had some very clear booziness.

Taste: This is very bready up front, also having lots of malt and spices. The pumpkin comes through pretty well, and isn’t as overwhelmed by spice as the nose might suggest. The spicing has some peppery notes to it, perhaps some ginger thrown in. This also has some caramel sweetness, which does a decent job at combating the booziness. Even so, there is some booziness on the taste. The finish is sweet and malty, which leaves a spicy aftertaste that is more punchy and coarse. This is a strongly flavored pumpkin ale with relatively overt alcohol.

Feel: This is medium bodied, with medium carbonation. This has some nice warmth to it. The overall feel is candy-like, like sucking on a malty jolly rancher.

Drinkability: This has 8.0% ABV, and comes across as boozy. So I don’t think it gets great marks for drinkability. The strong flavors make it enjoyable to drink. Even so, this is more sluggish for drinkability than many others.

Overall: I like this beer. It is a flavorful pumpkin ale. For the heavy hitters (that is, beers with high flavor and ABV), I think it is a bit low on the totem pole. It isn’t as smooth as say, Dofish Head’s “Punkin” or Hoppin Frog’s “Frog’s Hollow”. Nor is the flavor profile all that unique. Even so, this is nice and warm. It is good, despite it’s booziness.

Overall Rating: ***


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