Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
PumkingPumking

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

6,686 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,686
Reviews: 1,828
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 17.24%
Wants: 440
Gots: 1,459 | FT: 30
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
19 Degrees Plato
8.8 Degrees L
2-row Pale Malt
Caramel Malt
Pureed Pumpkin

Kettle Hops: Magnum
Aroma Hops: Sterling

(Beer added by: BeerBeing on 08-26-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,686 | Reviews: 1,828 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Cubieblu:
Photo of Cubieblu
3.25/5  rDev -20%

More User Reviews:
Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - Hazy golden-yellow, with a two finger snow-white head, which dissipated to NOTHING very quickly. NO lacing to speak of. Surprised this beer wasn't darker.

S - Strong aroma of squashed pumpkin, spices (nutmeg, allspice) and even graham cracker pie crust. An odd hint of "wet paper" odor underneath.

T - Taste follows the nose, with pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg, ginger, and allspice) taking center stage; especially heavy on the ginger and the allspice. Pumpkin seed flavor lingers underneath. Malts blend with the spices to produce a pie crust flavor, which is nice. Doesn't hide it's ABV particularly well.

M - Medium bodied, with medium carbonation. Seems like it could have used a fuller body.

O - Tasty, but didn't live up to the hype for me. Nothing really off putting, just really didn't come together as well as I would have hoped. (a little too much ginger, a little too light of body). I'm sure I will be in the minority here, but I like Sam Adams Fat Jack better.

Photo of brentk56
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an almost clear honey color with a modest, but frothy head that leaves a reasonable splashing of lace

Smell: Pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and sweetened cornbread

Taste: Opens with a rich pumpkin and spice flavor, which becomes increasingly spicey by mid-palate; after the swallow, the cornbread flavor builds, sweet and buttery; the finish has some alcohol on it

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; some warmth on the swallow

Drinkability: A big, flavorful pumpkin brew; among the best if not the very best

Photo of BEERchitect
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

***Guilty pleasures review coming right up***
Admitidly, I generally celebrate beers of experimental quality, but disguard those that seem more of a gimmic than quality. Pumpkin beers usually fall in this catagory for me, but beers like this one are quickly changing my perception of what Pumpkin Ales can be... or already are.

Pumpking is truely amazing with its bright copper (acturally orange) color, brilliant clarity and lively efforvescence. A creamy head carries a dainty structure yet retains with a sheet across the glass. Low on lace, the beer celebrates the oils and starch that encompass pumpkin beers.

From the onset, the beer demonstrates a sturdy backbone of amber (bread crusty) malts and large caramel sweetness. Freshly baked toast, roasted pumpkin, and graham crackers come to mind. A sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, almond, and hazelnut do just enough to emphasize the pumpkin quality in complementary fashion. A buttery praline-like sweetness is just the pillow that the savory crust notes deserve.

The body is firm, rich, and non-waivering. Creamy, bready and with a robust spicy sweetness that I would not have expected from a beer this drinkable. The return of graham cracker dryness and aftertaste is all I need to keep comming back.

This beer is a gem, comming from a guy who has drank a ton of Pumpkin Ales and haven't enjoyed many.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours out a clearish, deep orange body with a tall-standing, frothy, white head.

Smell: All rights, friends, so, it smells greatly of oven-fresh pumpkin pie. Who's with me? Who the HAPPY HALLOWEEN is with me?

Taste: Sweet caramel malts plunged deep into fresh pumpkin puree and liberally coated in a pumpkin pie spice blend and smoothed over with a touch of vanilla creme. I'm sure it's been said dozens of times over, but it's rather pumpkin pie-like, with the malts even mimicking a flavor of rich, crisp graham cracker crust garnished with candy corn. Subtle hop presence and bitterness. Drying finish with a lingering spiced pumpkin taste and some slight alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Excellent for a pumpkin ale! Look, whoever is giving you advice like, "don't bother with Pumking" is no friend of yours. Take your vengeful fists and clock that mofo in the mouth and spit on their prone, beaten body, because they aren't helping you at all. Oh, and Happy Halloween!!

Photo of tectactoe
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz bottle. Vibrant copper, dense amber color with a small white head that transformed into a thin layer of bubbles resting at only the edges of the beer along the glass. Not much lacing to speak of when all was said and done. The aroma was full of pumpkin spices, cinnamon bread, and toasted malts. It wasn't noticeable at first, but about halfway through, after the beer warmed up a bit, hints of vanilla bean came out, along with a (very) mild bitterness from the hops. The taste followed the smell pretty closely, with pumpkin, yeast, malt, and maybe a bit of vanilla - very "holiday" smelling. Carbonation was medium, the body was slick and a little too heavy to be called "thin", and the higher ABV was hidden pretty well.

Overall, a good pumpkin beer. I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin flavor beers, but I still enjoy trying them. This one isn't bad, but I'm still searching for that one that changes the way I look at pumpkin beers forever.

Photo of withliterature
2.78/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I can see why a lot of people enjoy this beer: it smells like pumpkin pie! I rarely like pumpkin beers for this exact reason. I want them to taste like pumpkin, the vegetable, not pumpkin pie, the dessert.

The taste is better than the overpowering scent. This beer smells like margarine, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The flavor is more neutral, but I can't say that it tastes like beer. The mouthfeel and appearance are both nice.

I won't be asking for this again. I prefer Dogfish Head's Punkin Ale because it's more vegetal and less dessert-scented. This beer would be great for someone who doesn't mind a sweeter beer with some artificial notes.

Photo of GreaseShark
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours a brilliant orange color like a fresh pumpkin, frothy white head with loads of bubbles throughout.

S-Fresh baked pumpkin pie, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla ice cream seriously delicious to smell

T-Pumking is right this is not light on the flavor of pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon is there as well as a kind of vanilla cream taste.

M-Good throughout medium body, to me it has a bit of a sharp finish that im not particularly fond of maybe from the spice, flavor hangs around for a bit which is nice makes me want to comeback for more.

O- My favorite pumpkin beer, it's one i get excited to drink for both the flavor and the time of the year it signifies. Delicious taste, beautiful color.

Photo of wesbrownyeah
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Southern Tier Imperial Pumking Ale 9.0% alcohol seasonal. Given to me as a gift. Festive Halloween decor with a "king" pumpkin on the label and presented in a 22oz. bomber. Poured into pint glass.

A- Pours a beautiful amber colored fluid that produces a inch and a half head that gently falls to a frothy top and decent patch lacing.
Excellent for the style.

S- This is one hell of a pumpkin ale when it come to smell. Overall the closest scent to a pumpkin pie i've ever smelled no lie! All spice, cinnamon, light caramel, and fresh cooked pumpkin.

T-M- Not overpowering but to the point fresh pumpkin ale... Quirky bites of pumpkin pie and all spice followed by cinnamon with notes of tangy caramel malts with stiff alcohol warmth.
Mouthfeel is good with just enough carbonation to smoothly roll over the strength of the flavors. Overall taste and mouthfeel is good with little to prevent you from likeing this beer unless pumpkin isn't your thing.

D- All and all this is one excellent holiday beer with smooth and sweet qualities that make it a great addition to a turkey dinner or any large meal. Cheers to the innovations of the craft beer movement!

Photo of NOLTERN
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

There are no words to express the perfection of this brew, but I will try. As soon as you pour this brew, you are delighted with the aroma and colour it has as it hits the side of your goblet from the bottle and the smooth head holds nice lacing and has very beautiful retention. You take a whiff. This is pure delight. Autumn has sprung! This is fresh pumpkin pie with whipped cream on top. Nothing is overdone here. The spices are perfect, the colour is perfect, and the head is beautiful. The only test left now is the taste. As this liquid hit my lips, my eyes rolled back in pure ecstacy. The mouthfeel is cream and the taste is superb. This is pure thanksgiving that you remember as a child. This is your grandmothers pumpkin pie served to you on your favorite plate as you gazed out the window at the changing coloured leaves while simultaniously opening your first christmas gift.

I first experienced the pumking 3 years ago, and I have tried over 70 pumpkin beers since then. No pumpkin beer compares to the Pumking.

ALL HAIL THE KING!

Photo of XsoreXsubjectX
1.65/5  rDev -59.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Look, I know there are problems in the world bigger than shitty beer, but today, I feel like writing about shitty beer, damned be the bigger picture.

If you're short on time, just read this:

if your one of those people put-off by the thought of a beer that tastes like the soaking milk from a children's sugary breakfast cereal, don't drink it. If you want Cap'n Crunch-flavored beer, this Bud's for you.

For those for time to waste, here's the rest:
There's bad beer, and then there are just noxious flavors, flavors which perturb and revolt, painful flavors, culinary shrapnel. Whatever the holy hell this thing is, it's in the later camp.

Appearance: quite lovely, and promising. Autumnal oranges and browns, a frothy and bulbous off-white head, setting the tone.

Smell: the first sign that something is really, really up. As in a "this is just kind of unnatural" kind of scent. Notes of corn, sugar, malt, cinnamon, maple, nutmeg, and fermentation.

Taste: milk from a bowl of Cap'n Crunch cereal, soaked 20 minutes, plus marshmallow-coated beer-vomit. One of those tastes that never stops being shocking, sip after sip. A pumpkin flavor undergirds the whole operation, but it is trampled and distorted by an embarrassment of sugar and corn. Still, this is the most pumpkin-pie-y of the beers of the Pumpkin Ale set that I've ever tried, but this proves to me that sheer massiveness of taste does not do this genera any favors. Previously, I've had a hard time getting on board the pumpkin ale train because of weakness of flavor, but today, I've experienced the precise opposite, which has indirectly made more desirable the weaker pumpkin ales. I needed to wash this out of my mouth, and decided on toothpaste.

Mouthfeel: quite nice. Chewy, sparkly, full. A nice rip of carbonation between satiny smoothness. Good enough for a great beer, but the taste bars any enjoyment here.

Overall: As I said before, it smacks eerily of the milk used to soak children's breakfast cereal. I must state here that, though I am certifiably a hop-head, I adore sweeter, heavy beers, and I chose this hoping for a little spiced magic. Instead, this is really the worst beer I've tried in recent memory, and I'm surprised at its poor performance considering the excellent reputation of the brewery. It is a brewery which has done me right many times, but I have to say that this is just brutally unpleasant.

Things I would rather consume than this beer:

- alligator semen
- shotglass of Cool Water cologne
- smirnoff ice "green apple crisp" 32oz
- a gallon of Sunny Delight
- a gallon of Orbtiz, the questionably tapioca-infused soft drink
- a full-to-the-brim gallon of bum wine (see: Nighttrain, Cisco, Wild Irish Rose, Boone's Farm, etc)
- a half-cup of olive oil
- 12 PBR's
- mexican drinking water

Oof.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up finally thanks to a very generous BA who sent me down a couple of them. I had been waiting forever to try this one, and missed out on it last year. Served cold, right out of the fridge per instructions. It was served in an oversized wine glass and consumed on 09/22/2008.

The pour was simply stunning. A very rich and very hazy looking orange liquid came gurgling out of the bottle, hitting the glass with decent enough force to throw up a nice two inch layer of off white head. Nice retention kept this one hanging around for a good long while before finally settling down into a thin layer of white across the top that stayed until the very end and left behind a very nice layer of side glass lace.

The aroma was about as rich as you can get. This was the most decadent, dessert like beer that I have ever run across. This smelled more like a pumpkin pie then my grandma's ! Super sweet with lots of gingerbread, and sweet cookie goodness. This was about as good as it gets. Translated over as perfectly as you could have imagined into the flavor. Huge notes of cinnamon, pumpkin spice, gingerbread, everything you could imagine. This was just colossal with no hint at all of any abv. Rich and decadent in the taste and well as the feel,. The only drawback was this was soo rich with sugar it was hard to drink too much of it as it became a little bit tough after a bit. Aside from that this was about as good as it gets.

Overall, wow. I have never tasted anything like this it was just tremendous. This was the most perfect fall dessert I could think of. Rich, sweet, decadent. This was better then I ever imagined it would be. Overall I was floored and would have to recommend this to anyone!

Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is cloudy amber-orange in color and poured with a finger high white head that quickly settled into a thin layer of bubbles consistently covering the surface. A medium to high amount of carbonation is visible.
S: There are inviting aromas of sweet pumpkin pie in the nose, which almost makes this beer smell like a dessert.
T: While there is some malty sweetness and flavors of pumpkins and spices in the in taste, these are nicely balanced with some hop bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very easy to drink because the sweet flavors in the taste aren't cloying because of the underlying hops and the alcohol content is very well masked.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to mjtiernan for sending me this one!

Pours a clear light copper orange with a 1 inch fizzy orange-white head that fades to an oily film on the top of the beer. No lacing on this one on the drink down. Kind of a disappointing appearance. Smell is very complex with caramel malt, biscuits, actual pumpkin puree, and a wide array of pumpkin pie spices - cinnamon, clove, nutmeg. Taste is of malt/bread/biscuit/crust, unsweetened pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and the aforementioned spices. There is a slight spice bitterness that sticks the the tongue after each sip. This beer has a higher level of carbonation with a crisp and dry finish. Overall, this is a good pumpkin ale that is somewhat different that I was expecting. I was thinking that this could be a creamy, sweet pumpkin milkshake of a beer but I like this one as it is.

Photo of chugalug06
1.08/5  rDev -73.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

For the record: I AM a Pumpkin Ale fan...

A - Very nice off-white foam head. Brew is delicious clean, crisp golden orange color. Medium viscosity.

S - WHOA! Smells like a cookie.... Lots of sugary cloves. Some overwhelming spice too. The worst smelling Pumpkin Ale I've ever had... Smells like pumpkin puke.

T - Horrible!!! Very rough and not too rounded... Lots of heat hidden by over-powering spice...

M - Slightly too much carbonation. Very bitter too. Lingers in a bad way; it doesn't finish clean.

O - VERY DISAPPOINTING! Up until this brew, I really enjoyed ST... Not too sure I'll be hunting their others, after this one... Drain pour.

Photo of t0rin0
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Don't know where this came from or even who bought it but it was on the table at a friends place last week when we were sampling beers and man was it a find. Don't know anything about the brewery but after trying this and their Hoppe Pale Ale I'm gonna do some research on these guys.

It came from a 22 oz bottle with some pretty cool artwork on it. The beer poured an orange/rust color that was very clear and had an off-white, almost orange head that faded quickly. Smelled strong of pumpkin pie (as all these types of beer do) but with some extra spices that really made it stand out from the other 6 or 7 pumpkin beers ive tried.

It tasted great, that is it tasted like pumpkin pie and good beer. No idea what the alcohol content is and the website doesn't say either but it was balanced well with the flavors. It also had a thick body that was both good and bad depending on if you want to chug this beer or sip on it with thanksgiving dinner. Overall its a pretty drinkable beer and I would like to find more of this stuff.

Photo of JCH3191
2.75/5  rDev -32.3%

Reviews for this beer seem to be on the opposite ends of the spectrum. Given the way most people rave about this beer, I expected a lot more out of it.

The head dissipates fairly quickly and the color is pretty much what is to be expected from a pumpkin beer...maybe a bit lighter for my taste.

The smell is like that of pumpkin pie which has increased my excitement to actually taste the beer.

The mouth feel is smooth. Carbonation is relatively light but appropriate for the style and flavors of the beer. Noticeable but not at all overpowering. Almost has a creamy feel to it.

That just leaves the taste. Everything felt 100% up until this point. Upon the first few sips, the flavor seemed to be lacking. Up front, the flavor was very weak compared to the smell and the mouth feel. The side of the bottle says it tastes like pumpkin pie and pie crust. As I continue to drink, these flavors become a bit more apparent. However, it almost tastes like regurgitated pumpkin pie rather than actual pumpkin pie. This holds especially true in the aftertaste.

I do not find this beer to be repulsive as most of its haters do. But on the same token, it falls very short of its reputation. I wouldn't run away from it if someone offered me a free bottle but I wouldn't run out of the house to spend money on it either.

Photo of oberon
3.15/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

9% ABV per label.I like the concept of the Imperial pumpkin ale but in the end it just didnt seem to hit home with me,poured into an impy pint glass a clear deep copper with some dark orange tint a thinner wispy head atop.Full on spice and alcohol in the aroma maybe even a bit much in the spice department,heavy cardamom and clove with a dose of vanilla bourbon it becomes a bit boozy after it warms a little.Spice and booze overpower the palate in my mind very spiced like the nose cardamom and clove with a lingering cinnamon that bourbon vanilla booze hits and hits hard making a bit tough to swallow after awhile for me some dryer toastiness tries to show thru but it faint.I think a little over the top for me I still like the concept but this was just to much for me.

Photo of IronCity1822
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Popsinc
2.38/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was really looking forward to this one but I found myself very disappointed. Looks fine but the smell is off. Why is the nose giving me hints of sweet corn on my pumpkin beer? It's just not right.

The taste was artificial and seemed sweetened with something that I couldn't put my finger on. Very unpleasant for my palate. I found the finish drying and chalky and I was left with a sharp, off taste at the back of my mouth. One glass was more than enough.

My favorite previous to Pumking was St. Ambroise Pumkin Ale and in a roundabout way, Pumking has given me a new appreciation for the St. Ambroise version which has nice nutmeg & cinnamon notes and a subtle hint of pumpkin.

Not was I was expecting. I doubt I'll have another.

Photo of aszatk01
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2

Bomber served up at Delilah’s 5000th party. Shockingly full flavored and interestingly bodied beer but a little difficult to drink in large quantities.

To me this is exactly what a pumpkin beer should be. Pumpking is loaded with an intense spiciness suitable for the best pumpkin pie or loaf. The malt is meaty like fried butternut squash and depthful like a Belgian malt bomb.

Appearance: Golden-yellow body with a thin yellowed-white froth. Decent looking but nothing special.

Aroma: Probably the best pumpkin beer aroma I’ve come across. Nutmeg is huge as is cinnamon. A general all spiciness is there too. Almonds and cashew nuttiness. Graham crackers and ginger bead. Whipped cream. Pumpkin seeds. Vanilla extract.

Flavor/Mouthfeel: Here things get a bit frightening. The flavor contains all the complexity and interest of the aroma but adds even more spice. I feel warmth from the booze and all the fall seasonings. My whole mouth is alive and awake. My sinuses are clearing. It’s wonderful in so many ways but sadly, my stomach doesn’t agree. Each sip is like eating an entire slice of pumpkin pie. It gets filling and the nutmeg starts doing strange things to one’s digestive track. This is when drinkability becomes an issue.

So, I wouldn’t want to drink more than a glass in one sitting but otherwise this is a startling good beer and loads of fun to experience.

Photo of BryanFlaherty
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of ricke
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Slightly hazy orange color with a rather big white head that leaves some lacings.

S: Very very weird. Powerful pumpkin aromas, holiday spices (nutmeg, cinnamon), bread crumbs, dough and a general character of pie. Gingerbread snaps. Notes of oranges. Perhaps some malts beneath this pumpkin pie madness. I actually like this, in a strange way.

T: Taste is not as crazy as the smell, but it's still rather weird. Again, pumpkin and spicy pie flavors dominate. It's sweet with lots of fruity notes (pumpkin, oranges). Notes of nutmeg and cinnamon levels the sweetness a bit. Lots of dough character - it's like drinking a pumpkin pie. At times, I think I can even taste pie crust. The finish is somewhat bitter, which is quite pleasant here, and has notes of pumpkin and spices. No sign of the alcohol.

M: Medium body, easy to drink. Moderate carbonation. Slightly dry finish.

D: This is one strange beer. However, I must say I enjoyed it. It definitely achieves what it sets out to achieve - being one big pumpkin beer. I wouldn't want to drink a whole lot of it though, nor drink it very often.

Photo of ExtraStout
3.64/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark orange color with little head and retention. However the orange is pumpkin orange and the color is awesome. The nose is like pumpkin pie. I smell allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, pumkin, and vanilla extract.

I can appreciate the pumkin spice in the beer but there is a problem, too much spice and I got a somewhat lingering citrusy bitterness. I aslo feel that the pumpkin flavoring of the beer just isn't very good but I'm not a Pumpkin beer guy.

This beer has a somewhat sticky mouthfeel. I'd like a bigger malt body to go with the pumpkin spice. Somehow, this beer just doesn't do it for me but it is the best Pumpkin I've ever tried. I knew I'd be okay just because it was from Southern Tier.

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Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 6,686 ratings.