Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

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1,809 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,809
Hads: 6,856
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 16.87%
Wants: 458
Gots: 1,677 | FT: 33
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
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Reviews: 1,809 | Hads: 6,856
Photo of BergBeer
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%

A: Transparent golden orange with lots of legs. Clean looking beer

S: Cinnamon, slight cinnamon graham cracker, pumpkin, and sweet malt

T: Big malt up front with cinnamon and bready notes, followed by a nice big pumpkin, then a hint of nutmeg, hazelnuts, with a hint of something like clove? but then goes back to the nice balanced pumpkin

M: Light to medium bodied smooth and wet on the palate and drinks easy. Nothing mid blowing here

O: A good pumpkin beer. I think it captures the pumpkin taste nicely but it loses me every few sips as it can have too much spice that leads to a kind of potpourri taste. But it's nothing that prevents me from picking up a bottle or two a year. Is it the best pumpkin beer I've had? Not by a long shot but it doesn't feel like the season without one. (791 characters)

Photo of mnredsoxfan69
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

I didn't have the recommended snifter for this one so I used a weizen glass. This one poured a burnished gold with faint orange at the heart. The two finger, rocky, ivory head quickly dissipated leaving a thin ring around the edge and not much more. I could see thin streams of bubbles rising to the top, releasing more of the pumpkin pie spice aroma that initially greeted my nose. Closer inspection of the nose revealed the light scent of pumpkin and a touch of banana (according to my elder daughter's more sensitive nose. The younger simply said, "beer.")

And now the most important part, tasting this bad boy. Initially sweet, followed by the aforementioned spices and pumpkin, all done with a firm, yet restrained, hand so as not to be overpowering. I detect ginger, nutmeg, clove and possibly cinnamon and very little hop flavor or aroma. There's also a bit of a bread-like flavor as well. The spices have a balancing bitterness that goes nicely with the sweetness of this brew. There's so much going on that one doesn't even notice the higher alcohol content.

The mouth feel was a little thin for this strong and busy an ale. I wanted it to be creamier, smoother, more warming and fuller in the mouth. Instead, it tended to being lighter bodied with a definite tingle on the tongue from the carbonation.

Overall, the total effect is actually higher than one might expect from the component parts. The flavors work very well together, enhanced by the aroma. The mouth feel, as mentioned is on the thin side, but doesn't distract the other senses. It is excellently enjoyable and definitely worth sharing with friends over a slice of pie or a pumpkin mousse. (1,668 characters)

Photo of BurningTreeMufen
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%

Appearance- An orange almost honey appearance that is much lighter in color than most pumpkin beers I have had. A pleasant surprise.
Aroma- Spices that smell like a freshly baked pumpkin pie.
Taste- A nice malt backbone that is complemented by pumpkin pie spices. The sweetness is balanced by a bitterness that is somehow still pumpkiny.
Mouthfeel- Medium body and very light carbonation. Well hidden alcohol.
Overall- The best pumpkin beer that I've had. (459 characters)

Photo of Brackh
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Pours a orangey honey color. Smells great. Sweet and spicy. Tastes of pumpkin but it isn't over the top. You can pick up the spices but they aren't overwhelming either. It had this sweetness on the back end. Almost like a cookie. Butter maybe. It was unique. I liked what it offered at the end. It was different enough that I enjoyed drinking the bomber trying to figure out what I was having. Good pumpkin beer. (412 characters)

Photo of Kwojcik
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Had this beer last year on tap, and loved it. Went to buy in after Haloween and it was sold out. This year I went to my favorite beer store and the price was almost $9.00/bottle. Needless to say I'll be waiting to buy it on tap. (231 characters)

Photo of DuffDaddy
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Sadie got a bomber of this for me for my birthday. I've been saving it until it was closer to Halloween. Drank it last night while watching the Simpson's Treehouse of Horror. Great pumpkin pie flavor with a considerable alcohol warmth. Probably the best pumpkin beer so far. (278 characters)

Photo of Shroud0fdoom
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22 oz. bomber

I had this brew some years ago, never really reviewing it. Today is the day I tick this brew. I use the word tick so lightly. Ok, describe this brew to those who might be interested in drinking it yet want feedback before dishing out the $$! I will keep it simple and to the point for people to understand.

First things first, the pour! This brew pours very light for being an 8 % brew. Very bright orange body, medium clarity and hazy. Tight, white fizzy head that made a roar but then faded into a simple lacing around my chalice. The appearance is quite outstanding.

Next step is the aroma. The way this brew smells is outstanding. Very dominant vanilla with a kiss of nuttiness in the background. Nutmeg and other spicies only tease the beer holder. Not really adding a whole depth to the brew.Yet that vanilla is banging!

The flavor is Good. I'm not being wowed or anything of that nature, yet its not offensively bad neither. First this hits the taste buds with pumpkin spices and vanilla. Pie crust is in there aswell adding a nice texture to the overall spice characteristics. Toffee notes flow further down after the swallow and a little hop bitterness captures the sides of the palate, leaving an earthy tobacco flavor. This finishes slightly bitter and wet. Lingering toffee and spices with a toasted nut flavor in the aftertaste. The body is light yet very flexable with a very poppy carbonation.

Overall: I seem to enjoy this beer more while it warms up. At first this brew is lightly flavored. Yet it does improve while it warms. I'm not being wowed by this by any means. While I'm not being impressed, it is a well crafted brew. Not offensive yet not breaking the boundaries in Pumpkin beers. At the end of the day and personal opinions are rested. This brew is Worthy. (1,808 characters)

Photo of ClavisAurea
3/5  rDev -25.6%

22oz bomber in a small glass at fridge temps

Appearance:poured a clear and orangeish yellow color with a very energetic head of fine bubbles that stayed till the end of the glass.

Nose: cooked rice, pumpkin, spices, clove, honey, bready

Taste: clean and refreshing, not heavy like I would expect something of Imperial strength would be, light pumpkin flavor, slight bitterness, very dry, not as spiced as I would have expected in a pumpkin ale. No alcohol taste at all. Slight spiciness in the back of my throat after drinking this one (not pleasant, kind of like a sore throat and I'm not sick at all).

Maybe it's just me but I like pumpkin/harvest ales to have a punch-you-in-the-face pumpkin and spice flavor. This one is just lacking that extra pumpkin-ness I'm looking for. It's good but not there for me. For an 8.6% ale, I would also expect some kind of a kick from the higher gravity. I probably wouldn't get this one again. (936 characters)

Photo of HopBomb515
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Deep orange color, almost no head but thin white ring, some alcohol legs but not much stick and stay in the lacing. Huge pumpkin pie aroma! Love the smell. Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spices, and graham cracker. Taste follows with an opening of vegetal pumpkin flavor, pumpkin pie spices from the nose hit mid way, buttery graham cracker profile underneath and a nice hit of spicy hop flavor in the finish. Decent carbonation carries a medium body to a creamy finish. The finish could be cleaned up a bit and the spices dialed back just a touch. One of my favorite pumpkin beers overall with classic fall flavors. (631 characters)

Photo of rob111270
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

This has got some bite to it...they need to tame the spices just a bit and this could end up being a world class pumpkin brew...the finish on this one is a bit rough. Overall, still a darn good beer! Just not on the top of my list. (233 characters)

Photo of Kickerdude
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

Wow. Although I did see this beer highly rated on multiple websites as a top pumpkin beer, I did not expect to drink, well, pumpkin pie. This has a LOT of sugar, but isn't overly sweet, with the thick pumpkin taste, along with spices, pie crust, and a very slight malt/hop kick. I would say this is like no beer i have ever had - when i poured it into the glass, the head was almost non-existent, but there was plenty enough carbonation; from here, the first sip seemed to shock me, with the fresh pumpkin pie overtaking my mind. It is decently thick, and with the taste of all aspects (already listed) of pumpkin pie, and a little beer, taking over with HUGE flavor. Some may think it is sweet, but it really isn't as sweet as you may think/expect. I think it is perfect, and less sweet than pumpkin pie is. Overall, amazing beer and experience. (853 characters)

Photo of JtheHorn
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Oh my god, this is by far the best pumpkin beer I've tried so far. There are a lot of negative comments but I think it is delicious. When people said its liquid pumpkin pie I was skeptical but boy was I wrong.
A- golden orange body with white head, very good looking in my belgian snifter.

S- smells just like pumpkin pie! Graham cracker pie crust, Cinnamon, nutmeg, and scrumptious pumpkin. Smells so good.

T- oh my god, so good. Pumpkin pie spices, graham cracker, some vanilla sweetness and an awesome sweet after taste.

M- mouthfeel is almost creamy, coating the palate. Decent amount of carbonation.

O- despite all the negative feedback, now that I've actually tried it, I'm hooked. Its such a good desert beer, I hope my beer store still has some bottles cause I need a few in the cellar and in my fridge. 5 out of 5 with no doubt. (843 characters)

Photo of liane8585
1/5  rDev -75.2%

Terrible. I love love love pumpkin beers and this one was recommended to me at a specialty beer store because I told him I like Elysian's NightOwl. This is nothing like that. I would drink NightOwl over this any day or actually I would drink the pumpkin beer from the local craft brewery a few miles from us. This tastes nothing like pumpkin and had such a strong disgusting smell and taste but I couldn't put my finger on what it was. My husband thought it was hazelnut. Whatever it was, it was terrible. (505 characters)

Photo of Ohiovania
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Worst Pumking I've ever had. Got a growler of it yesterday. Heat at the end and no pumpkin pie complexity compared to previous years when I've had this. (152 characters)

Photo of Ericness
2.84/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2014 poured in teku glass.

Appearance: Light orange colored with thin white head when pressured.

Smell: Lots of pumpkin spices; slightly sweet.

Taste: Not good. Spice overload and a bit buttery for my tastes.

Feel: On the thin side and too thin to carry the flavors.

Overall: I was not a fan of this beer despite liking it more previously. Not sure if this is due to this year's batch, the bottle, or it failing in comparison to many of the other pumpkins I've had but I will not revisit this one. (504 characters)

Photo of PA-hunter
4.46/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured bottle into glass. 8.6 % abv

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear light orange with an eggshell white head with decent retention.

Smell- Strong spice notes of nutmeg and cinnamon. Aroma of mashed pumpkin is also quite prominent.

Taste- An intense blend of the aforementioned cinnamon/nutmeg spiciness with the fresh pumpkin flavor at the same time. Very interesting how the spices are not at the end of the flavor profile, yet the pumpkin taste still lasts strong as a key note. A caramel malt flavor also plays a part as well. A big hit of vanilla comes out on the back end.

Mouthfeel- Medium to medium heavy in body. On the light side as far as an imperial goes. Lively carbonation to the palate. Alcohol is virtually undetectable.

Overall- Of the many pumpkin ales I had, this one is definitely unique in its own way. The smell and taste of Pumking are original. Not to mention easy drinking. One of the top 5 pumpkin ales for sure. (944 characters)

Photo of 1PA
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

This beer is one of my favorite all time beers. Not only just the best pumpkin beer. Love the aroma line the sweetness. Carbonation perfect and Carmel Color This is far under valued for the product. I loved it on draft if you are lucky but the bomber is no compromise. Keep brewing this masterpiece (303 characters)

Photo of dmgeng
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Loved this beer last year but the 2 that I got this year just weren't as good. I'm not sure if they modified the recipe or if my tastes have changed so much. It is worth mentioning that they did change the label so that might mean they changed the formula.

A - Rich orange color with some protein haze (like they added pumpkin!) Bountiful white head with moderate lacing.

S - Sweet pumpkin pie spices come to the top of the heap: i.e. cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla, and maybe some slight clove. Second to the spices comes the malt, caramel, and a slight vegetable character that I know from a dozen pumpkin beers as pumpkin (gourd) aromatics.

T - For last year's (2013) batch it tasted just like pumpkin pie in a glass sweet, spiced, and delicious. This year (2014) it seems the pumpkin taste is front and center with the spices quickly coming with the cinnamon and allspice. The malty/caramel tones after that and then a vanilla flavor that lingers. I enjoy the vanilla flavor but the "pumpkin" flavor seems to detract my taste buds from the spice regime this year as much as last. It isn't un-enjoyable but I can't help but feel like there is an off flavor in the two bottles that I got this year.

M - Medium to high mouth-feel. Moderate carbonation but it doesn't seem to effect the body one way or another.

Overall, this is a pretty solid pumpkin beer that is trying to give it's all in the pumpkin category but this year just let me down. I am definitely going to get another two next year and see if the flavor/recipe changes again (along with it's label). Last year I would have said it was my top 5 beers but this year I wouldn't buy it again. Even with the slight off flavor there beer still could be one of the best pumpkin beers out there.

Glass- Stein (1,776 characters)

Photo of sierratwohearted
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

22 oz bomber, bottled 6/19. no head, not much carbonation-appears pretty still in the tulip glass. appearence is a very hazy golden yellow. smells AMAZING, like i just carved out a pumpkin for a jack-o-lantern. pumpkin pulp, sweet cinnamon, pumpkin pie. tastes like liquid pumpkin pie, very spiced-cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla. pretty sweet, medium body, somewhat creamy mouthfeel. very rich, a little cloying, some alcohol in the backend. its distinctive among pumpkin ales. hope to have another on thanksgiving-but thats it. (523 characters)

Photo of RandyV
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

This is somewhat like drinking pumpkin pie filling. It's just kind of odd on the palate from start to finish. The alcohol to me is well hidden, as this is easy to quaff. Pumpkin beers have never rated high on my desire list, but I would love to find a solid representative of the style as something to look forward to every October. DF Punkin' Ale is the closest to that go to that I've found. (397 characters)

Photo of JamesBondGA
3/5  rDev -25.6%

pours a pale orange color, with a some foam that quickly dissipates into just some bubbles on the side of the glass. Very Fizzy. Pumpkin spice flavor on smell and taste. almost too much pumpkin spice on the flavor. Not really all that enjoyable in the taste department. Definitely there are MUCH better Pumpkin beers than this. (331 characters)

Photo of arizcards
3.24/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Picked up a bomber from Total Wine in mid August for $6.99. Bottled on 7/8/14.

Beer poured a light amber with not much head.

Nose is kind of sweet with a stale pie crust king of aroma going on.

Taste is allspice, clove, and nutmeg forward, some vanilla sweetness to go with that pumpkin base. A pepper bitterness from the allspice lingers in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is pretty full and smooth.

Overall the flavors are not melding and as a result this is not very enjoyable. I can't say that about too many brews. I thought it was odd that Southern Tier out of the blue decided to ship to the Arizona market for the first time...kind of wonder if they dumped a bad batch... (687 characters)

Photo of yarnbomb
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Extra .25 because of the potential it reaches when you age it 6 months exactly. Only at that point does it become truly spectacular. Otherwise, it's just too sweet. I get excited to see these at the end of the "season"- that's when I load up and save it for a spring treat. (273 characters)

Photo of tillmac62
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

BOD 8/10/14. Clear light amber pour. Fair head, lacing and retention. Wonderful nose of strong pumpkin over balanced spicy notes of clove and nutmeg. As it warms, biscuit malt, cinnamon and vanilla notes appear. Medium bodied with an almost slick mouthfeel. Normal carbonation with a bit of effervescence on the finish. The flavor profile is intense, complex and fairly well balanced considering the brewer's desired effect - it comes at you like an unrestricted NASCAR racer at 'Dega (ie. over 220 mph). It begins by smashing you in the face with pumpkin, that then flows into a smash in the face of the aforementioned spices. Clove takes the lead in the middle and slowly fades into a vanilla note over a rich biscuit and bready sweetness. The finish is smooth and a blend of the flavors linger against a nice mild alcohol burn at the back of the throat. (865 characters)

Photo of RexInMinn
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Loved the color and the flavor, but it lacked body and had no lacing to speak of. Yes, I'd buy it again because it tasted that good (22 oz. bottle bought at Zipp's in Minneapolis and recommended wisely by their Beer Guru Shaughn), and I would definitely turn my friends on to it, if I had any friends, but I don't, not leastaways who I drink with anymore, but I would treat myself to another bottle of this even if the price is a bit high. Worth it. (449 characters)

Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,809 ratings.