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Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

6,303 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,303
Reviews: 1,792
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 17.24%
Wants: 423
Gots: 1,298 | 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: 6,303 | Reviews: 1,792 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by dbmata:
Photo of dbmata
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lordy, this is a damn fine beer.

Very sweet and sticky, but a little much in large quantities. It pairs well with vanilla ice cream, to give you an idea of the sweetness level.

Strong spice characteristics, but very little bitter to balance the sweet malt. This is my #2 best pumpkin of 2011.

dbmata, Oct 25, 2011
More User Reviews:
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

brentk56, Oct 21, 2007
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.

BEERchitect, Dec 11, 2009
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!!

ChainGangGuy, Oct 07, 2009
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!

mikesgroove, Sep 29, 2008
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.

metter98, Nov 02, 2010
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.

UCLABrewN84, Aug 31, 2011
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.

t0rin0, Oct 29, 2007
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.

oberon, Sep 23, 2007
Photo of IronCity1822
4/5  rDev -1.5%

IronCity1822, Sep 05, 2012
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.

Popsinc, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of aszatk01
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

aszatk01, Aug 24, 2012
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.

DaPeculierDane, Oct 09, 2007
Photo of BryanFlaherty
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%

BryanFlaherty, Sep 13, 2014
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.

tectactoe, Sep 28, 2012
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.

ricke, Oct 22, 2009
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.

ExtraStout, Oct 09, 2013
Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

t2grogan, Oct 09, 2014
Photo of TCHopCraver
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 1/8/11.

Pumking emerges from the bottle with an orange-peach-gold color combination and an eggshell-white, one and a half finger head after it's pour into a large snifter. A moderate number of carbonation bubbles rise up a a mezzo pace. The lacing is very ghostly and contortionistic- quite apt for the holiday for which it is brewed.

The aroma brings forth notes of pumpkin purée, caramel malt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. A scent reminiscent of freshly baked banana bread complements. When agitated, I can smell some earthy bitter hops and biscuit.

This bottle is a little old, I guess, but I feel as if the pumpkin taste has worn off a bit. Without pumpkin prominence, the caramel malt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and earthy hops keep each other in balance, with the hops and a dry biscuit taste winning out in the end.

I was hoping for a creamy mouthfeel with how high the a.b.v. is, but what I find is a fairly thin body at the beginning and in the middle of the sip. The finish is out of whack bitter as the Magnum hops bite at my palate more than I would like for this brew. It is not a very balanced mouthfeel in this man's opinion.

Maybe this would be better right off the bottling line, but in its current state I thought it was unbalanced in favor of spice and hop flavors. A little more pumpkin in the mix and a smoother mouthfeel would encourage me to rate it a bit higher.

TCHopCraver, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of OhioBobcat
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

OhioBobcat, Sep 26, 2013
Photo of MadScientist
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A light copper with good clarity. The head quickly settles to a ring of rocky white foam around the glass.

S: Smells like a pumpkin pie with a moderately-strong pumpkin and a caramel malt that combine to smell like a pie crust. Moderately-low pie spices mostly allspice and a little clove and ginger. There is enough esters to let me know I've got an ale in my hand but not enough to name it. The malt and and the pumpkin take center stage here. No alcohol.

T: The spice flavor is a little bit stronger than the malt, moderately-strong and moderate respectively, followed by a moderate malt caramelness. There is a moderately-low bitterness that tames some of the crystal malt sweetness which comes in early to mid-palate. The off-dry finish is followed with a spicy and slightly bitter aftertaste. The pumpkin flavor starts to dominate as it warms.

M: A medium to medum-heavy body with moderately-high carbonation. There is a moderate amount of alcohol warmth not that you get that impression in the nose. A slight creaminess and a little prickle that is hard to avoid with the use of spice addition to a beer.

O: This is has been one of my favor pumpkin beers The spice flavor seems a bit more pronounced this year when I think of the past couple years but the pumpkin is still the main player. I look for ward to this beer year after year even though I'm not a fan of the pumpkin style because most are so heavy spiced you could just call a Christmas beer and you'd never no.

MadScientist, Sep 22, 2012
Photo of jono0101
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

jono0101, Jun 21, 2013
Photo of npala86
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

npala86, Sep 18, 2013
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.

withliterature, Sep 20, 2013
Photo of Tiernan
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Tiernan, Aug 28, 2013
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Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 6,303 ratings.