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Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,896 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,896
Hads: 7,228
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 33.92%
Wants: 503
Gots: 2,028 | FT: 32
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:
Beer added by: BeerBeing on 08-26-2007

19 Degrees Plato
8.8 Degrees L
2-row Pale Malt
Caramel Malt
Pureed Pumpkin

Kettle Hops: Magnum
Aroma Hops: Sterling
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pumking Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,896 | Hads: 7,228
Photo of MasterCraft
1.32/5  rDev -67.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I'm a fan of Southern Tier, and kept hearing great things about Pumking, really wanted to like this one...

Bomber poured into a tulip

A-Low carbonation, modest head, quite a nice shade of orange

S-Pumpkin pie, store bought vanilla frosting, sweet corn, marshmallow. Not a good start.

T-Yikes, way too sweet. Lots of vanilla, more corn, no spice to be found. Reminds me of cake vodka (also a regrettable experience)

M-Not horrible, but hard to appreciate due to the taste. Rather thick

O-Gross. Not sure how I see this come up so often in discussion of "best pumpkin ale". Rarely will I pour a beer down the sink, but I couldn't finish a third of the bomber. Would expect better from Southern Tier.

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Photo of mckajd03
1.32/5  rDev -67.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I'm assuming this rating will come out to be one of the lowest of the group, so let me start with a disclaimer: I have loved all other Southern Tier beers, and bought this both b/c it was rated so high and I'm trying to work through all the ST brews. This is the first one that hasn't been excellent.

With that said, this is the worst beer I've had in a while. The only redeeming quality is the appearance. If you've ever eaten a buttered popcorn flavored Jelly Belly, then you now know what to expect in both the nose and the tastejk. And it's not like it's in the background or anything. I can't find any pumpkin in the nose- only butter. There's a slight hint of spice and pumpkin on the back of the palate, but it's crushed by the rancid popcorn taste. I almost gagged. Perhaps I got a bad bottle, but I don't think I'm the only one who wonders where ST went wrong here.

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Photo of barneysdad
1.38/5  rDev -65.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I missed my chance to try this last year. After all the hoopla and with much anticipation I scored 2 bottles this week. What a disappointment! Thank goodness I didn't buy an overpriced case of this goo. As pumpkin ales go, this is the worst by far of the dozen or so that I've tried. Looks great, smells sweet, tastes like liquefied caramel corn and not at all like pumpkin. No way this deserves an Excellent rating, in my opinion. If Grandma's pumpkin pie tasted like this, I'd lose my Thanksgiving dinner.

I've had several other Southern Tier brews - all very good. Just adds to the surprising let down.

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Photo of VWBuggirl
1.38/5  rDev -65.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Unfortunately, this beer was everything I don't want in a pumpkin beer.

It was sickeningly sweet, overly thick, and tasted like a pumpkin pie instead of a beer brewed with pumpkin. I was worried when I took a sniff and it smelled like dessert time on Thanksgiving... I was not pleased when it tasted like pie and had such a heavy thickness to it either. Give the Dogfish punkin a shot for a great example of the style.

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Photo of decimator
1.38/5  rDev -65.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

650ml bottle poured into a pint glass. ABV 8.6%.

A - Poured a clear golden orange with a thin vanishing head. No lacing.

S - Sweet pumpkin. There's something slightly unpleasant in the background that I can't quite pin point.

T - Oh this tastes god awful. Very light sweetness upfront followed by a vile sourness with an even worst medicinal boozy finish.

M - Average carbonation, astringent, dry, slight alcohol burn, the awful aftertaste lingers too long.

O - Drainpour. Just couldn't drink this one.

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Photo of Scebbie
1.39/5  rDev -65.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1

Entirely too sweet and chemically - tastes like they mixed in a pound of Sweet n Low + dry cleaning fluid. Avoid this like a rancid, post-Halloween pumpkin.

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Photo of EricHeff
1.39/5  rDev -65.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

My wife and I tried this beer on tap along side another pumpkin ale (we are both big pumpkin beer fans). Unfortunately this beer tasted nothing like a pumpkin beer. Infact it was pretty horrible.
I even questioned if the bartender poured us the right beer until I read some other reviews on here.
It poured a yellow-ish orange color and had basically no head on it. Smelling it side by side with another pumpkin beer gave us the hint before we tried it that there wasn't going to be much "pumpkin" flavor in this. As for the taste, well its hard to describe. It was sugary had a bad bitter after taste and over powering spice that I just cant place. Nutmeg maybe?
Maybe it was a bad batch or something because we could barely finish the beer it was so bad. I will defiantly be avoiding this beer in the future.

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Photo of MountainGoat13
1.42/5  rDev -64.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Holy beer death: WTF happened to this beer? For years pumpking has been our favorte, hands down, in pumpkin beer taste tests for being malty, not too rich, and not overly spiced. We're curious if somehow the our 2015 22 oz bottle / batch somehow got botched because all 5 of us who blind tested it immediately poured out the bottle - it was disgusting. It tasted essentially like burned, carbonated toffee with wet newspaper. It seemed like someone took a budweise, added pumpkin spice syurp and caremels, and then burned it. Considering we may have gotten a ridiculously wrecked batch, this review is biased - but we're reluctant to ever buy it again now.

The look was good, standard. Smelled heavily of toffee, and mouthfeel was thick & syrupy despite the relatively good look. Head standard, though thinner than expected. I will call this the single worst beer I've ever had in my life - even worse than Shipyard pumpkin (which tastes like a soft-drink but which now seems palatable vs. this bottle of pumpking).

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Photo of David-Schapira
1.48/5  rDev -63.1%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Every year the ABV drops, they brew more and more and of course the price goes up... Boooo Southern Tier, once great beer is lost in the shuffle with the hundreds of other pumpkin beers

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Photo of TheBeerMaster1
1.5/5  rDev -62.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Definitely wasn't feeling it at all. I haven't liked the Pumking for years, but for whatever reason it was actually decent for me last year. I dont know if that means the recipe was different or the bottle conditioning on this one was too young or what. It had a nice caramel malty taste but oh man, the plethora of cinnamon reminded me of that God awful Shipyard brew. I never drain pour, but this almost made me do it. No thanks

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Photo of BeerTwigs
1.56/5  rDev -61.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

My wonderful Girlfriend purchased a bomber of the Pumking right at the end of August, I let it sit in the fridge for several weeks as I slowly worked my way into the season with some lighter pumkin ales and oktoberfests.

I finally decided to crack into this Labor day weekend and boy was I disappointed. The appearance is ok, the color is as expected. What really threw me for a loop was the strong aroma of nutmeg and cinnamon. Not only did the smell let me down, the first taste did as well. This may have been the hardest 22oz I have ever fought through. It was terribly sweet and impossible to choke donw. I really expected more for this as I usually love Pumkin Pie... oh well. On to the next brew...

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Photo of TimSorrentino
1.62/5  rDev -59.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Wow. This is one nasty beer. Tasted like an artificial flavored gummy bear or jelly bean.

Pumpkin pie crust in a beer? This has it. Various pumpkin pie spice "flavors" but chemical in nature.

I could not get past the artificial nastiness to take any other "qualities" serious.

I will never buy this again. Blech.

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Photo of Rukasu
1.68/5  rDev -58.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

What a horrendous beer.

Appearance is fine, a nice golden brown, a bit reddish. Solid white head.

Smell is awful. Opening a bottle is akin to walking into a Yankee Candle store in October. The smell is almost artificial it's so strong. Like an overpowering mix of graham cracker, butter popcorn Jelly Belly's and allspice.

If the smell was bad, the taste is only worse. Take everything in the scent notes and add lemon citrus notes plus the potent 8.6% alcohol and you have a recipe for disaster. The taste lingers and lingers. I truly, truly suffered through a bomber of this. My wife had about two sips and nearly gagged.

I've never been a fan of "pumpkin" beers, since there is never any pumpkin/squash taste and only "pie spice", but was told that this was one of the better ones. How wrong my friends were. This just reaffirms my belief that "pumpkin beer" is a complete waste of brewers' time and effort, but it's such a moneymaker that they can't refuse to make it.

Do yourself a favor and steer clear of this abomination of beer.

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Photo of jdubjacket
1.68/5  rDev -58.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

I haven't reviewed a beer in months, but felt compelled to post a review about this beer.

I love a good pumpkin ale, since I had my first one in 2002. When ST made it to Georgia, I was stoked about finally being able to get Pumking. Having said that, I have not been as disappointed by a beer than this.

I could tell as soon as I got a whiff of this that it was going to be a disappointment. Smells way too sweet to be pumpkin ale. While some cinnamon is to be expected, the sweetness seemed almost artificial - like candy or heavy syrup. Finished ok...subtle pumpkin flavor, with pie crust with too much brown sugar. Reminded of the overly sweet Creme Brulee.

Couldn't finish about 6 ounces... wound up pouring this down the drain.

I don't know why this beer is rated so high. I think this is a terrible example of pumpkin ale. Shipyard Pumpkin Ale may actually be better than this...

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Photo of XsoreXsubjectX
1.7/5  rDev -57.6%
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


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Photo of doppelmeup
1.7/5  rDev -57.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

My excitement in trying this beer is only matched by my disappointment with how it tasted.

I have had many pumpkin ales, but this one really tastes nasty, and has a yuck aroma as well. Here is my review.

A: Starts off nice, with a pretty half inch white head on top of a golden, pumpkin (what else!) color. Almost like a jack-o-lantern in a glass. Unfortunately, that was only good thing about this beer, IMO.

S: It wants to smell like pumpkin pie; but fails. Instead, I get a soggy breakfast cereal- maybe Golden Grahams? What happened to aromas of pumpkin pie spice? The smell is very off-putting, but I've got a bomber so I'll continue.

T: Yuk. Strident bitterness, from the alcohol, maybe? More cheap breakfast cereal. This is possibly the worst pumpkin ale I've ever had, and I've tried most of them. I don't even think I'll make it through one glass, let alone the entire bomber.

M: Decent. Slightly prickly from the carbonation. Warming in the mouth, but that funky cereal remnant aftertaste remains.

D: This is just terrible. A waste of $7. if you really want a nice pumpkin ale, stick with Cottonwood. It is by far the best one out there.

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Photo of kkleu357
1.7/5  rDev -57.6%

From notes on 10/17/13

I was looking forward to this one. The beer has a lot of flavor, but it has way to much cinnamon. I also taste sweet corn, which is kind of weird. The way people talk it up, I'm slightly disappointed. The longer I drank this the worse it got. Almost to the point of not being able to drink it. It just seemed to taste more and more like sweet corn dipped in a lot of cinnamon. The DOB of the beer was 8/28/13, so it was fairly new. I’m not sure if we just got a bad batch or not, but the 2 of us drinking this would agree this is by far the worse pumpkin beer we've ever had.

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Photo of crossovert
1.72/5  rDev -57.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

650ml bottle. 2011 edition.

It pours a nice orange color but the head is fizzy and dissipates qickly with no lacing.

The smell is terrible. Smells like spice scented artificial vanilla frosting. Ew.

Flavor is sugary. It just isnt great. The pumkin is fine but it is over-spiced and over-sweet. Candy corn mixed with pumpkin pie comes to mind. Hilarious that this is considered the pinnacle of this style. The hops also just really dont work here.

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Photo of cmadd
1.72/5  rDev -57.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Poured a darker pumpkin orange with less than a finger of head and not much lacing.

S: Nutmeg, cinnamon, and butter; Good God, a mess of diacetyl.

T: Although the alcohol is well-hidden the mess continues. There is so much diacetyl and residual sugars that I can't help but imagine this was a disastrous fermentation that they realized could sell as pumpkin ale. I can't handle this. Somewhere in here there might be a few spices, but I can't get to them.

M: Medium body with decent carbonation.

O: Totally undrinkable. I pride myself in finding something enjoyable in just about every beer, but I found myself unable to finish this. It's not even the cloying sweetness, I can enjoy Choklat from time to time, it's the diacetyl that was truly aversive. I hope for Southern Tier's sake that I had a bad bottle.

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Photo of HURTemHIZZY
1.74/5  rDev -56.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

yikes, what a mess. I love ST, but this was one of the most overly sweet and artificial tasting beers I've had in a while.

Pour doesn't look bad. Amber color. Thin off white head. Decent retention, slight lacing. Smells like pumpkin pie, but slightly artificial. Heavy cinnamon, pumpkin, vanilla, and a tiny bit of butterscotch.

Flavor is like the aroma, but stronger and more artificial. Tastes like corn syrup and pumpkin pie flavored sugar water. God this is bad. If I wasn't at an outdoor tasting festival it would have been a drain pour. I struggled to get the 5 oz sampler down.

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Photo of Halvin
1.75/5  rDev -56.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1

Had this beer on tap at sweet cheeks, outside Fenway park last night. It was the first beer I ever sent back. To me, it tasted just like I would imagine a Fenway park urinal would taste. Try it for yourself - I handed the beer around the table and 3 of my friends agreed with me. It has an articial sweet mintiness that overwhelmed any subtle pumpkin notes. though one of my friends actually thought it was decent, tasting pie - which I see some other reviewers also noted.

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Photo of dmgnyc
1.76/5  rDev -56.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Happy Halloween everybody. Been hearing tons of good things about this one, so purchased a bomber and decided to break it out on All Hallows Eve. Crank the Type-O Negative, let's get scary.

Appearance is a pure coppery orange with non-existent head and lacing. More than a little thin, but the nearly neon-orange hue is kind of cool and carries the day.

Smell is interesting enough...maybe some pie crust and marshmallow, but mostly an overbearing butterscotch scent. Medicinal butterscotch.

Taste - Hey kids - do you like the taste of orange cough syrup? Yeah?

Mouthfeel - Thin and medicinal.

This rates pretty highly, so Southern Tier must be doing something right. Maybe I just don't dig pumpkin beers, let alone those with an 8.6 abv that bring back childhood nightmares of being laid up in bed with a hacking cough. This was purchased two weeks ago, and I'm thinking it may improve with age....but I shouldn't need to hold onto it for a year to enjoy it. Nine dollar drain pour.

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Photo of JohnFatAss
1.78/5  rDev -55.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

What a let down.
Pours a bright orange color. Slight haze to it. Does not look natural.

Smells like pumpkin bread and spices. Not bad, but just wierd coming from a beer.

The taste is just awful. Not even sure if it tastes like pumpkin. Spices maybe, Cinnamon or nutmeg?

As soon a the smell hits, you know it is going to be bad. And once you get a mouthfeel of the stuff. Yuk!!!

This is the worst beer I have had all year.
I can not believe all the good reviews.

I had to pour this down the drain..
An automatic F.

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Photo of djmichaelk
1.79/5  rDev -55.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

22oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a hazy auburn-orange, with a decent inch or so of dense head. Bits of lacing, poor retention.

S - Oxidation up front. Vegetative cardboard. Ugh. Smells like rotting garbage.

T - Yuck. Like pumpkin flavoring and nutmeg mixed with high-fructose corn syrup, wrapped in cardboard. Awful. I actually experimented with this, tasting it cold, cool, warm. All terrible. Very artificial tasting. Drain poured after the second glass.

M - Carbonation is actually quite good. Finish is mercifully short. Medium-dry.

O - I'm struggling to understand why so many people rate this highly. I was really hoping to like it since it's readily available here, but after trying a really great example of the style (CCB Good Gourd) recently, this is almost offensively bad. I even checked with the store - it's this year's release. What a huge letdown.

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Photo of chicagobill13
1.81/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Everyone was saying try this beer and try. have you try it yet?

Appearance: Slighy head and golden amber that is not too dar.

Smell: smell of nutmeg. Not a really a fan. It is overbearing smell. To me, you can't smell anything else.

Tastle and mouthfeel: This is a pumpkin ale and you can't taste any pumpkin in this beer. All you taste is vanilla and nutmeg.

I am very disappointed but I see others like it. That is fine but not the beer that is says on the bottle. This is awesome beer for the winter just needs a little more malty taste. Cheers!

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Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,896 ratings.