Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
PumkingPumking

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

6,689 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,689
Reviews: 1,829
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 17.24%
Wants: 440
Gots: 1,464 | 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: 6,689 | Reviews: 1,829 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -1.5%

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 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 largadeer
2.5/5  rDev -38.4%

Photo of emerge077
4.1/5  rDev +1%
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 StonedTrippin
4.1/5  rDev +1%
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 TMoney2591
4.1/5  rDev +1%
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 zeff80
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
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 NeroFiddled
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Photo of Jason
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Heady start as the foam almost crests over the top of the glass, bright golden orange color. Smells of pumpkin bread and vanilla wafers, a very sweet nose. Very smooth big body. Pumpkin to start then sweetness, soon the spices kick in as well as the hops. Alcohol does not chime in until a few sips in and quickly warms the mouth. A slow sipper due to the more robust flavors of spice and malt sweetness ... the alcohol as well. Certainly worth a go, I bet some pork loin would love to be brined in this.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a vibrantly clear amber hue forms a light thin white head and as it dwindles lacing sticking to the glass was pretty minimal. This was on tap at Fathead's a couple weeks ago, I had to give in to the Imperial Pumpking, plus I have this whole infatuation thing going on with most of Southern Tier's brews. Aromatics caramel roasted nutty brown sugar with melted butter, whipped cream, and an air of popcorn Jelly Belly jellybeans. Spices and alcohol are flowing as well but the nutmeg, allspice combo don't stick out as much compared to other pumpkin ales out there. Flavors bring to mind pumpkin chiffon pie with pumpkin puree', cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg with a whipped cream sweetness but once again that buttery popcorn flavor came out thank god my portion was a 12oz snifter. Alcohol enters the mix with a smooth burn, but it's hard to get over that "circus peanut" candy marshmallow creaminess it just gets cloying. Mouthfeel is full bodied syrupy sticky with residual sugars creamy bodied with even carbonation flows decently well in small sips. Drinkability is for me an absolute dessert only beer really hard to throw this into a drinking session, plus the high abv can stick it to ya. I applaud the effort to be original with the pumpkin ales but this extreme imperial effort fell short compared to the rest of Southern Tier beers on the market.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.18/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is seems a lot like banana bread along with cinnamon, pumpkin, caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is likewise bready with flavors of pumpkin and spices like cinnamon & nutmeg. There's also a strong buttery flavor in it. The malt character is on the thin side for the style and there's a mild hops presence. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and a little crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Flavorful, goes down ok, not too filling, strong kick, decent representation of style, I can where some people might like this beer as it's quite different from other Pumpkin ales, but I just did not like the beer very much.

Photo of nickfl
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with a small head of white foam on top of a brilliantly clear, orange-copper colored body. The foam settles rapidly and leaves little lace.

S - An earthy, slightly fruity aroma with distinct notes of real pumpkin pie, even notes of freshly baked pie crust.

T - Sweet malt up front with a strong, spicy/earthy pumpkin note. Some husky toasted malt in the middle with musty, herbal hop flavor. Finishes with moderate hop bitterness and lingering spice character with notes of cinnamon, allspice, and clove.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - This beer has the most remarkably realistic pumpkin pie aroma I have ever encountered. Most pumpkin ales taste like bad spice soup while some manage to become an interesting combination of malt and spice, but none ever really smell like pie, at best they smell like something that can remind one of pumpkin pie when the idea is suggested beforehand. This beer on the other hand is really something extraordinary, it truly smells like home made pumpkin pie, right down to the bready note of pie crust. This aroma is remarkable and quite pleasant, but I am still not sure it makes for a good beer. The flavor is a bit of a mess with heavy toast and musty hops that just don't make me feel like I want to finish the bomber sitting in front of me. In the end, I have to regard this as an interesting technical exercise rather than a normal beer. The aroma is genuinely impressive and my hat is off to the brewer for their achievement, but the beer just isn't all that pleasant to drink. This beer is a must try, but at the same time not one that I would drink again.

Photo of Kegatron
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with a smaller white head. Nose is a lot of spices. Nutmeg, cinnamon, cardammon? Flavor is much more spice forward than I remember last years being. Wasn't it all about the pumpkin last year. I mean it's still nice, but the spices are too high IMO. Feel is good on both liquid and carbonation. Nice to drink, but too much spices. Tone it down and bring back the pumpkin flavor and you've got something very good.

Photo of Slatetank
4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got the chance to taste this at KClinger's tavern in Hanover, PA.
Served cool in a standard pint glass.
A - A very clear light amber w/ golden highlights. The head is practically absent w/ some scatterd signs of lace.

S - Great spiced pumpkin aroma! Lots of vanilla, nutmeg w/ light clove scents.

M - Med/full w/ a spiced feel up front and creamy mild finish w/ low carbonation.

T - Excellent, way decent flavor of spice and pumpkin working in synergy. There is a gentle hop flavor that accompanies the gentle malt taste - like an English pale matched w/ brown sugar and pumpkin spices. Smooth texture as it swirls around the tongue w/ a soft sweet flavor. This is the beer I came to drink: A great tasting pumpkin flavor that makes you think "pumpkin pie in a glass". It has a ball of pumpkin spices which bring vanilla custard and nutmeg to mind first, then a blend of spice w/ a smooth ale maltiness. The fresh malt and middle of spice w/ a well placed hop flavors are punctuated by a malty finish that is clean.

D - Extremely tasty, possibly the best pumpkin ale I have tasted yet. The smell is like a pumpkin candle very fragrant and drawing you in each time. The mouthfeel and taste work together to make it a consistently excellent ale from first sip to last. I would definitely love a case of this. The spice is used conservatively, and with great skill making this very easy to quaff, absolutely great.

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of russpowell
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from SMason, cheers! Let this one warm up for about 20 minute prior to decanting

Pours an effervescent amber/bronze with a finger of khaki colored head. Zero head retention & lacing. Appearance drags down an otherwise fantastic beer

S: Rich pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg & some pumpkin flesh as well, superb nose

T: Follows the nose; nutmeg, all spice & general pumpkin flavor up front, along with some herbal hop bitterness. More of the same as this warms with cinnamon & a touch of booze leading the way flavor-wise, plus a kiss of toffee & a touch of herbal hops. finishes with some herbal hops contrasting pumpkin pie sweetness & spiceyness

MF: Light, especially considering the ABV, slightly prickly carbonation up front, fades after awhile. A bit of stickyness & chewyness comes on as this warms

Drinks pretty darn easy, although I can feel the ABV asserting itself at the end. One of the better Pumpkin beers out there IMO

Photo of oline73
3.05/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a Unibroue tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a very nice clear amber color with under half a finger of fluffy white head. The head goes away quickly and there is no real sign of carbonation.

Smell: Quite sweet with lots of pie crust hitting you right away. You can pick up some malt and pumpkin. Kind of reminds me of popcorn jelly bellies.

Taste: Much like the smell. Sweet with a lot of pie crust and less pumpkin. There is some hop bitterness along with some alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with mild carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I've tried this several times and I just don't get it. It's better than a bad pumpkin beer, but it tastes an awful lot like buttered popcorn jelly beans.

Photo of MasterSki
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle in a deal with Morphoenix - probably should have reviewed this back in October, but here goes. Out of a pint glass...

A - Thin, quick-dissipating white foam that leaves some spotty lacing. Transparent pumpkin color (go figure!) with plenty of visible carbonation.

S - Pumpkin pie, graham cracker, spices (mostly cinnamon & clove), brown sugar and maple syrup. The smell comes alive as the brew warms up.

T - Starts off with sweet malt and maple and all the associated pumpkin pie flavors. The finish is a little bit more beer-like with a tiny touch of hop bitterness. It's not cloyingly sweet like the Creme Brulee - I don't feel like I'm going into diabetic coma from drinking this.

M - A little thin and watery, especially for a 9% brew. Carbonation is reasonable and gives a nice tingle that complements the spicy characteristics of the brew. There's a sticky aftertaste which suits the flavor quite nicely.

D - Very easy to drink this one - my wife and I polished off the bomber quite quickly. No major drawbacks - good carbonation, not overly sweet, can't taste the 9%, etc. and a pleasant enough flavor to make me want more. I'd really like to try this one fresh next October.

Definitely the best of the pumpkin beers I've had (although that's not saying a lot with some of the competitors).

N.B. I find it amusing the Southern Tier notes that this is an "Imperial" Pumpkin Ale - maybe it's time for a new category?

Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of drabmuh
3.23/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have to preface this with I don't drink Pumpkin beers often, they are my wive's favorite seasonal, so I try them with her. This was an interesting one. First thing, the color, orange. The carbonation are gigantic bubbles and the smell, spice, all spice, nutmeg, something else. I don't detect the alcohol or the hops in the smell at all, even though the bottle claims that the hops are there. they are lost. the flavor of the beer is overwhelmed with spice. I realize that this is the point of these beers. There is an odd aftertaste of nutmeg. I'm pretty sure it was nutmeg. I don't really detect any OBVIOUS pumpkin in the flavor. There is a bright sweetness in the beer that I feel blocks out the pumpkin flavor. If I concentrate I can detect it, but it is not forward. It is hard for me to rate this beer, so I gave it a higher rank that I normally would have. I think it accomplishes what the makers want to accomplish and pumpkin beer fans will probably be relatively pleased with this beer.

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

Into a chalice, it's poured, lookig a light orange, softly hazed, with brown edges..nice, if slimmed down head.

Aroma starts with cinnamon and nutmeg, not too loud, soft, but spicy, then the meat of the gourd calls out below. Sweet, spicy, and nice.

In the mouth, it's all there. Nothing but pumpkin, not too big and bold, but not skimpy either, and not one of these where only the spices of a pumpkin pie are employed to deliver the desired effect. No, this is with real pumpkin added, and the abv is definitely higher than normal, doesn't show at first, but then we get nice and warm.
Honestly, it really tastes like drinking a slightly diluted pumpkin pie, blended up and kicked up with some booze. Delicious stuff.
Really good.
Might not need the 9% abv, I mean, jeez, does everything have to go so high, these days? I remember when 9% used to mean something...argh, grumble, mumble, you kids get off my lawn!

BUT..damn good beer, highly recommended...drink one and see...

Photo of mactrail
2.38/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Such a wierd nose. There is a powerful aroma of candy, I'm thinking Kandy Korn, which I find totally revolting. But hey, it's Halloween.

Lots of sticky malt. The hops seem wildly inappropriate. A harsh bitterness on top of a sugary, sweet spice base. Not pleasing contrasts like a good sweet and sour duck. I can only think of pumpkin pie made with aspartame-- the artificial sweetner that gave Tab that nice bitter taste. Here it ain't nice.

This is my second tasting and it only gets worse. My apologies to those who liked it. I give Southern Tier credit for listing ingredients-- very good for educating us drinkers-- I mean consumers.

Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 6,689 ratings.