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Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
PumkingPumking

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

6,735 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,735
Reviews: 1,845
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 17.24%
Wants: 444
Gots: 1,522 | 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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,735 | Reviews: 1,845 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of metter98
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
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 olradetbalder
3.25/5  rDev -20%

Photo of brentk56
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
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 kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: clear, orange with yellow hues. Not much head. No lace.

S: musty pumpkin, almost a little crayon like actually

T: lemon and Orange peel up front with a musty pumpkin and a hop finish.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: a solid pumpkin ale. Southern tier has mastered the flavored beers.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.54/5  rDev +11.8%
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 ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -26.1%

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.76/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a deep clear orangey color ale with a medium size foamy head with OK retention but no lacing. Aroma of cinnamon with loads of pumpkin. Taste is also dominated by loads of pumpkin and some cinnamon and light cloves. Body has a nice creamy texture with some average carbonation. I was really enthralled by this beer; I thought there were too much pumpkin purée and not enough spices. I guess I am more of a spices kind of guy then a pumpkin.

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Blazing bonfire orange with candlelit jack-o-lantern edges. The head looks like a large dollop of whipped cream atop the beer, except it isn't that bright white. How about whipped cream to which brown sugar and orange peel have been added? Mmm, sounds good. Looks good too. An acceptable amount of tattered lace helps the cause.

I tend to like the noses on well-brewed pumpkin ales, but this one is simply amazing and might be the best one ever! The usual aromas of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices are present and accounted for. The thing that makes Pumking sing, though, is an eggnog-like vanilla custard creaminess that makes it smell *exactly* like pie slathered in whipped cream. Fantastic.

Although the flavor is a carbon copy of the nose, it doesn't hit me the same way. I'd like to see the vanilla complement the other flavors rather than overwhelm and dominate them. The label doesn't list vanilla as an ingredient, but it has to be in there. What I'm tasting isn't coming from malt, hops, yeast, pumpkin or the traditional spices.

The flavor of the caramel malt is buried pretty deeply beneath layer upon layer of gourd and spice (major nutmeg with a sprinkling of cinnamon). I wouldn't mind so much, except that a bolder maltiness might have rounded things out. Sweetness and hop bitterness are evenly matched. It sounds like I don't like Pumking. That isn't it, it's just that it isn't as jaw-droppingly wonderful as expected. Southern Tier is a great brewery, so the bar is set pretty high.

For such a high-ABV ale, the body/mouthfeel is on the light-medium side. I hate to say it, but it ventures close to thin on the finish. Carbonation this laid back would have worked in a bigger beer. It doesn't work as well here.

Southern Tier Pumking isn't the best Imperial pumpkin ale that I've ever had (Elysian Night Owl), nor is it the best all-around pumpkin ale that I've ever had (Smuttynose). Still, it's a more than worthy seasonal that lovers of the style owe it themselves to seek out.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.69/5  rDev +15.5%
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 Knapp85
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first thought about Pumking before even opening the bottle was "That's a Badass looking Label". The evil grin on the Pumpkin's face with the crown just really made me excited to try this brew. Two years ago I had picked up a bottle for a friend and myself to split and we loved it. The following year I bought a case and still have one or two bottles left now.

The beer pours out as a clear copper color. The smell of spice and brown sugar rise from the glass along with some pumpkin and other seasonal spices. The taste of the beer reminded me of a Ginger Snap cookie but in a liquified form. It's spicy and sweet. The mouthfeel could be a little thicker I think but overall it's a really good Pumpkin ale and I enjoy it every time I have it.

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of womencantsail
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mikesgroove for sending one of these my way.

A: Pumking pours an opaque amber color with plenty of copper and orange highlights. A fluffy white head sits atop the beer.

S: It smells like pumpkin pie in a glass. A great sweetness and all of the usual pumpkin pie spices such as cinnaomon, nutmeg, and all spice. A bit of a graham cracker and marshmallow aroma are present as well.

T: Much like the nose would let on. A soft pumpkin flavor and a lot of the sweet and spicy characteristics of pumpkin pie. The marshmallow that was present in the nose is much more pronounced on the palate. There's a bit of a "pie crust" taste on this too.

M: The carbonation is fairly light and this is to the benefit of the beer, I feel. It is very smooth on the tongue and quite full bodied.

D: A great flavor and aroma, but like actual pumpkin pie, I'm not sure how much of this I could actually drink.

Photo of largadeer
2.5/5  rDev -38.4%

Photo of oberon
3.18/5  rDev -21.7%
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 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 StonedTrippin
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer is a polarizer for sure, but if you like pumpkin beers, youve got to love pumking! it pours a very understated pale pumpkin color, right on que, with a few inches of lazy and patient white foam. the nose is incredible, as much like a christmas cookie as a pumpkin pie, this beer has staying power beyond fall into the holiday season because of its unique spice bouquet, which prominently features clove, vanilla, and allspice. there is less squashy aromatics and forward flavors in the draft version than from the bottle, im not sure why. it still tastes like fresh raw pumpkin, but i think the spices intensify in the keg somehow. its still well balanced, with sweet cookie malt and gentle cinnamon up front and the vegetable spice finish on the back end without all the sugary vibes woud expect. the alcohol is also dangerously well disguised. the mouthfeel i thought was also exceptional, really smooth but not heavy at all for a beer of this magnitude. overall one of the best pumpkin beers out, and not least because of its wide seasonal appeal. amazingly well made, this could be southern tiers best offering.

Photo of emerge077
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After trying this twice and sharing both times, this seems like an ideal way to try it. A full bomber may get to be a little much for one person, due to the heavier mouthfeel and spice level.

Pours a cloudy orange, plenty of foam that settles to a skim. Big aroma of pumpkin purée, nutmeg, and clove. Sort of earthy and bready. Not too sweet or spicy in the nose, very inviting.

First sip delivers a big pumpkin wallop with some dry nutmeg/cinnamon in the aftertaste. It has some breadiness, contributing to a fuller mouthfeel. The spices kind of hang around in the back of the throat with a light bitterness. Everything is big and pretty well balanced. Like I mentioned before, this is a good one to share, not exactly a sessioner.

Photo of zeff80
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a cloudy, orange amber color with a small, foamy, off-white head. No lace.

S - It smelled of pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, spices. There were also malty hints.

T - It truly tasted like pumpkin pie. Delicious pumpkin flavor with just the right nutmeg and cinnamon kicks.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a really nice tasting pumpkin ale. Absolutely the best one that I've ever had.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a mug.

Thanks to VDubb86 for splitting this bottle!

How'd that pumpkin become king? I didn't vote for him... The brew pours a hazy orange amber topped by a finger of white foam. The nose is a panoply of brewing and baking scents: cinnamon, brown sugar, clove, pumpkin pie filling, nutmeg, pumpkin seeds, and Golden Grahams. Damn, this be smellin' good! The taste veers off this course a bit, holding notes of orange peel, brown sugar, pumpkin shell, potato skin, rye bread, and sour cream. It may not conform to the smell's template, but it really ain't too bad, either. The body is a light medium, with a moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, this is a solid punkin brew, one of the better I've yet had.

Photo of JAHMUR
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What is it about pumpkin pie that we like? Is it the spice? Well yes, undoubtedly, but there's more than that. There's the sweetness. But in addition to the sweetness, there's a thin edge of acidity that we like. It's that edge of burnt sugar, and that blackened edge of crust... it cuts through the sweetness. And guess what? Yeah, you got it, Pumking has it.

It tastes very much like pumpkin pie. Intended or not.

I get mainly all-spice and nutmeg in the nose, but there's some cinnamon too. And if you go beyond that, yes, there's some very nice caramelish malt.

Oh, and it looks good too - hazy-orange amber and all of that. Nice head. OK. It's pumpkin beer, who cares?

The flavor combines the all-spice/nutmeg with the caramelish malt sweetness to give an almost nutty flavor that's OH SO LIKE pumpkin pie! Or is that a bit of butteriness? It reminds me of the crust as well. Thankfully, the cinnamon isn't over-done.

It's mildly bitter, and the spicing helps to balance it. What sweetness there is, is welcome - and it never appears sweet. Nor does it finish overly spicy. There's just enough, and then it all dissipates in the finish.

In conclusion, this is one of the finest - if not the best - pumpkin beer that I've ever had. And I base that on two things: one, it's more than just a spiced beer, it actually tastes like pumpkin, and secondly, it's not overly spiced. Worth trying.

Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 6,735 ratings.