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Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
PumkingPumking

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,831 Reviews
THE BROS
81
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,831
Hads: 6,941
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 17.12%
Wants: 474
Gots: 1,788 | 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: 1,831 | Hads: 6,941
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A standard pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces an almost two-finger thick, frothy, light tan colored head. The beer is a light amber / dark copper color that shows a brilliantly clear, bright copper hue when held up to the light. Lots of clean caramelized, sweet malt notes add an almost butterscotch note. This is nicely lacking in the typically lame over-spiced pumpkin-pie spice blend. Aromas similar to vanilla, toasted cotton candy, . The aroma is incredibly distinct and quite sweet I would not have guessed that pumpkin would add these butterscotch / caramelized notes, but they are quite different from anything I have ever gotten from malt. While this does smell fairly sweet there is a significant, equally competing, toasted malt note that adds a ton of biscuit malt character.

Lightly sweet compared to what the aroma might have suggested, though this still ends up being quite sweet and at times a touch cloying. This does have a medium fullness to it that coats the palate a bit after each sip. The finish has a touch of hot alcohol to it as well as a lingering toasted cotton candy like note that gets more like toasted grain as the finish lingers on in the palate. An interesting, sort of fruity, butterscotch-sort-of flavor plays a significant role here and has a soft vanilla like edge to it. As the beer warms, the significant, toasty grain notes starts to take on a nutty flavor.

This is a very interesting take on the style, I really, really like that the spices seem to have been left out of this beer entirely (or at least used differently than typical); the pumpkin character though is quite a bit different than I was expecting and not in a bad way. This definitely comes off as a bit cloying (which is typical of this brewery), though I now expect to get dessert when I crack one of this breweries beer open. (1,839 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-Tap

The king has a dirty orange brown look to it with a lot of bubbles within. Overall a nice off white/tan cap sprung above the liquid. Smells consisted of NUTMEG, pummkin,with a big dose of spices with sweet malts backing. The taste is pretty much the same with no intrusion of hops giving off bitter vibes. This one is silky smooth with some minor heat but a big aftertaste of octoberness. A well above medium feel with great drinkable capabilities. I hate pumpkin beers, but for some reason ST always pushes the envelope, and with this style, it works. (560 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Decided to drink one of my few remaining Pumking's tonight. When it comes to this beer it seems like people either love it or hate it. I am firmly in the love it category with this one and I bought more of this beer this year then probably any other single beer.

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter glass. Pours a bright orange color with very little head. What was there quickly disappears and leaves very little lacing on the glass. This is my one complaint with this beer. If this had a nice big foamy head it would really do this beer wonders and make it more delicious. It's kind of like having pumpkin pie without whipped cream, it's good but it's even better with it.

Aroma is big on sweetness and spice. It has pumpkin, cloves and nutmeg. It's light on the cinnamon which I find overwhelming in a lot of pumpkin beers. The sweetness to it is really great smelling in a pumpkin beer, I might not like it in all beers but in this one it works great.

Taste is a lot like the nose suggests, very sweet with pumpkin, nutmeg and cloves. As a lot of people describe, it's like pumpkin pie in a glass. Like the nose I really like the sweetness in the taste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with below average carbonation, which works very well for me in this beer. Drinkability is OK, it's very delicious and I enjoy it every time I have a glass but the sweetness makes having more then one difficult. I usually like to split the bomber at least 2 ways.

Overall I love the taste and smell of this beer, if they can add better head retention to it this could easily move way up my list. A little whipped cream with the pumpkin pie would be awesome. (1,664 characters)

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

Typical Southern Tier bomber etched on label bottle, no freshness info offered. Pours clear light glowing orangy amber. Long lasting near white head. The expected pumkiny/fall spicied nose. Plenty of more pumpkin notes in this full flavor, strong fall seasonal, sweetness and a winey note late. Nice fall sipper, with a long, spicy finish. More quality brew from ST. Not my favorite style, but I would go for this one again, if it a was fall and I had a hankering for a decent drinking pumpkin style brew. (505 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

From the pour a small head of uniform size forms but recedes rather quickly. Head barely manages a finger in size and leaves a small collar of light tan. Body is slightly hazy orange amber, but mostly see through. After some time though this beer looks quite flat however.

Giant whiff of pie crust and sweet bakers dough. Nothing else just sweet pie crust. Is this even beer??? That is pretty darn impressive though.

A pleasant mix of squash and hop mild pine bitterness. Clove and pie crust sense travels through with a stupidly flaky and biscuity texture. Sweetness comes out with more sips taking brown sugar into the mix.

Well I think this beer needs to be renamed pumpkin pie, but it delivers what it says. My only thinking though, is that it seems so blatantly obvious I wonder if this has artificial flavoring in it??? Crazy! (874 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz. bomber, great label,

A: Pours amber/orange with a nice white head, good look.

S: Pumpkin pie crust, almonds, fall spice, just great.

T: The crust is there in the background of the actual flavour which also adds great pumpkin flesh notes that are balanced very well with the spice. Quite tasty.

M: Medium/full-bodied, spicy.

D: One of my favourite pumpkin beers ever, Southern Tier is making some great stuff, wish I could get this around here. (462 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance - Clear amber body topped with a small, off-white head. It's gone in a flash with no lacing and no sign of life. By the end of the glass, it looks like I'm drinking watered-down whiskey.

Smell - Oh my it's the best smelling pumpkin ale I've had. Pumpkin bread. The most impressive pumpkin flavor of the season. Really quite delicious. I could sniff it forever.

Taste - The spice takes over here, which drowns out the pumpkin. I really prefer pumpkin flavored beers, not the strong spice. A lot of cinnamon and clove drown out what was a nice pumpkin aroma. It finishes with something akin to a bitterness, but sort of an astringency from the cinnamon.

Mouthfeel - Seemingly light bodied from the somewhat dry finish of the spice. Still, it leaves an intense flavor behind in the mouth. Not a creamy pumpkin ale at all.

Overall - I was disappointed in this, as was my wife, who had been looking forward to this one. I still haven't found one better than Good Gourd. Love that creaminess and true pumpkin flavors and this one lacks both in the taste. In aroma it can't be beat, though. (1,135 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.41/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Farmhouse in Emmaus, PA.

Looks nice and what do I get on the first sniff? Pie crust. Pie crust? Yeah, and nutmeg, lots of nutmeg. Same goes for the flavor, lots of nutmeg. there's maybe a touch of vanilla, and biscuit crust-like grains, but mostly nutmeg. I'm a little disappointed I didn't really get much pumpkin, but at least this beer was pretty unlike anything I've had before. (397 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Served on tap into a 18oz. mug. Nice murky brown with a light off white head that stays around.

S. Pumpkin pie, spices, faint malts.

T. Once again a wonderful Pumpkin pie filling. Some cinnamon and spice are there to compliment. Sweet malts. Delectible.

M. Medium bodied and fairly smooth. Decent amount of cabonation.

D. Wow, what a tasty treat this was. I debated having another, but decided to move on. The best Pumpkin brew I've had to date. (452 characters)

Photo of Kelp
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a nice copper color into my glass. Smells like I am about to drink a pumpkin pie. Taste just like it smells, right up front is the pumpkin pie filling. followed by the taste of the graham cracker crust and then a subtle finish of the whipped topping(vanilla). Just sweeps across the tongue. I can do a bottle but after that it would be hard to try and do another. Great a bottle at a time but anything more might be to much for me. (442 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very interesting pumpkin beer with a very different flavor profile from most. This one tastes more like pumpkin custard- or even pumplin creme brulee. I wouldn't say it is my absolute favorite pumpkin (that would be Elysian's Great Pumpkin), but the richness and different tastes in this one make it very, very enjoyable indeed. Pours an orange amber with little head. Smells and tastes of pumpkin custard with a brulee crust and roasted pumpkin seeds. There is an eggy richness to this beer and the carmelized sugars are so deep and rich they taste burnt. This beer definitely shares some characteristics with Creme Brulee fro The same brewery, but it isn't nearly as unctous nor as sweet as that beer. Thee notes of roasted punpkin seeds adds a savory, almost salty nuttiness to the equation. The spice notes are also a bit different with lots of mace and nutmeg and little to no cinammon. There are also some squash-like flavors from the pumpkin and the pumpkin also adds some silkiness to the mouthfeel. A great beer and very different from the overly sweet pumpkin concoctions out there. (1,092 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.51/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark slightly cloudy amber orange color with dark golden burnt orange hues when held to a light source and a one finger foam white head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Minimal spots of lacing.

Wonderfully spicy aroma with a blast of cinnamon, clove, ginger, brown sugar and nutmeg. Huge pumpkin presence with a subtle vanilla character.

Medium bodied with a huge spicy pumpkin pie flavor. Lots of cinnamon, brown sugar, clove ginger, nutmeg and a very strong pumpkin presence. There's a slight touch of vanilla and some sweet/caramel malt. The ABV is extremely well masked without even a slight touch of alcohol heat making it extremely quaffable. Probably the best example of the style I've had yet. (721 characters)

Photo of weeare138
2.78/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to TomDecapolis for sharing this bomber...
Appears a copper toned amber with a small white cap that quickly fizzles out into nothing. Tiny remnants of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of buttery playdough, and pumpkin scented wax candles...I'm at a loss of words. I just wasn't digging it from the first smell.
Taste isn't as bad as the aromas but there's this buttery pumpkin flavor that is just strange to me.
Mouthfeel is buttery sweet and bitter...odd. (473 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tumbler pint, the beer is an orange-yellow coloring with a slight hazing and a thin, white film of head. Slow bubbling carbonation throughout the beer. Smells are like pumpkin bread, with a good dose of cinnamon and an overall roasted character. The beer's flavor is amazing. Sugary sweet, with a huge pumpkin and cinnamon component, as well as an underlying roasted backbone. Tastes like a pumpkin cookie right out of the oven. The aftertaste is creamy and rich, with pumpkin and buttery tones. The finish is quick and clean. Very impressive. (571 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled through the efforts of Bentk56 and Secret Bunny 09 BIF.

Clear amber colored beer with a small off-white head that doesn't last. Slight chill haze.

Very nutty smell with a caramel candy and pumpkin pie spice aroma. You can smell the pumpkin too but that isn't the only scent. Pretty close to Pumpkin Pie in a glass.

The taste starts out sweet nutty and spicy. Long lasting caramel aftertaste with an emphasis on the vanilla. Strong hazelnut flavor to this one. Doesn't change much as you drink it, pretty much pumpkin pie in a glass.

Mouthfeel is OK.

This is OK but not really something I would look forward to drinking two glasses of a night. Sweet taste starts to get old after a while. That plus I'm not too fond of hazelnut flavor anything except hazelnuts. Same as Coffee should be coffee flavored! (815 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orange/gold with a small head with minimal retention and some lacing. Smell is of nutmeg, some cinnamon, all spice, and vanilla. Wonderful nose. Tastes like liquid pumpkin pie while not being overly spiced or sweet. Nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, and pie crust. Has nice creamy mouthfeel to it with great carbonation. This is one of the tastiest pumpkin beers I've had. (374 characters)

Photo of John_M
3.2/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Each to their own of course, but I confess I do not understand the apparent appeal of this beer. On tap at Max's the other night, I think I made it through about a forth of my glass before I dumped it.

The beer pours a bright gold color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose one gets a huge of aroma of pumpkin, but with also a lot of brown sugar and nutmeg. There's also something of a cookie dough aroma that I'm just not liking. The flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, although I find this beer to be almost cloyingly sweet. Thankfully, there's some slight bitterness in the finish to cut through some of the sweetness, but nevertheless, the high alcohol and cookie/candy-like sweetness is nearly nauseating. Seriously, something about this beer is affecting my gag reflex and not in a good way. The combination of sweetness and high alcohol make this beer very heavy and tiring to drink, and it's quite warming from the high abv. In fact there is some hotness to this beer, a quality I associate with the high alcohol.

I'm glad I had a chance to try this beer, but I can't say I was very impressed. This will the be the first and last glass I'll ever get of it. (1,195 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.82/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured a faded orange color with a tannish head.

S: Nose is big pumpkin, allpoice, cinnamon and nutmeg.

T: Tastes amazing! This is the epitomy of a pumpkin ale, big toasted, smooth pumpkin flavors, not artificial but very natural and fresh. Toastyness with cinnamon, nutmeg. Best pumpkin ale had to date and I found this beer to be perfect for the style.

M: Very nice, toasted pumpkin, spice kick

D: Sorry, Great Pumpkin Ale, this is still my fav (455 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This thing (literally) glows like a jack-o-lantern! The orangey pumpkin colour was no surprise but its sheer luminescence is slightly baffling; even despite the lack of clarity it flares right up, its shine enough to light a dark autumn evening. The Pumking adorns a thin crown that is bejeweled with thick bubbles. It certainly looks suitable for a king.

This is undoubtedly one of my most favourite aromas of all the thousands of beers I've ever had. And it isn't easy to describe (at least not to do it justice, anyhow). It is very pumpkin pie-esque but substantially distinctive in its own right. It has a budding bouquet of hops, malts and spices and is also redolent of custard, vanilla and graham cracker crust.

The taste is no different - it is brimming with notes of clove, vanilla ice cream, custard, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin and biscuity, honeycomb malts. Unlike many pumpkin ales I don't find this one overly reliant on the spices. It's not spicy per se and is rightfully malty (and hoppy) in its own right; the spices make excellent accents but don't stand-out.

Let me put it more simply: imagine the tastiest pumpkin-pie you've ever, ever had. Think a crispy, crumbly graham cracker crust that wasn't spared an ounce of shortening. Think of a fleshy pumpkin center - spiced with some combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and clove - and a heaping mound of vanilla ice cream served on the side.

And it has the all the richness of a high butterfat cream. Yet its brittle but assertive hoppiness and its crumbly, wafer-y maltiness ensure that it drinks with the utmost crispness and invigorating refreshment. It is made-up like a zestful American IPA and it drinks with the sessionability of an English mild. Don't just buy one, buy several bottles.

Pumking is THE king of pumpkin beers in my opinion. I like plenty, but love few, of this unique but often overly perfumed and overly spiced style. Southern Tier's offering appeals to me because, despite the distinct pumpkin-pie flavouring and spices and high alcohol, it drinks just like an easily quaffed, quality IPA. I cannot recommend it enough. (2,126 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the LCBO, 750ml into a couple pint glasses, shared with my girlfriend.

Pours a pale orange, half a finger of white head that dissipates to a small collar, no lace here. Nose is of pure pumpkin pie, absolutely no doubt about it. The crust, pie and some spicing are completely evident and it epitomizes the smell of ACTUAL pumpkin pie. Impressive. Taste follows the smell, nothing new to be discovered. I can't get over the resemblance to pumpkin pie, its like a liquid version. Crust is evident foremost, and tons and tons of pumpkin follow with some spicing too. Highly carbed and a medium-heavy body. Drinkability was limited to half a bomber, difficult to finish even at that. Really filling and distinct. Difficult to have this as one would have a 'normal' beer, I find it hard to find anything in this that makes it more than a novelty for the Fall season. 3/4/4/35/25

EDIT: Revisited over a year later (10/08/11), better nose and flavour than I recall initially. One of the ebst pumpkin beers going - loads of crust, ginger snap and true pumpkin pie notes. Awesome. 35/45/4/4/45 (1,097 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.23/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a crystal clear golden-orange body with a yellowish-white head of creamy foam. The foam layers on the glass with each sip.

S-The big smell of pumpkin pie has smells of cream and custard with a big graham malt with strong honey malt notes.

T- This beer has a big, I mean HUGE pumpkin pie with strong graham malt flavors which is so big it taste a bit chemical. There are notes of dried apples and a light hop bitterness in the finish.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a tight fizz in the finish that helps to clean up the finish.

D- This beer has a screaming big pumpkin flavor with spicy qualities that makes this truly an imperial pumpkin beer. I think I will be tasting pumpkin for days. It is so strong that it taste almost chemical and it is hard to finish the whole beer. The pumpking is so big it is offensive. (883 characters)

Photo of jdhilt
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger off-white head that fades quickly to a ring leaving no lace. Clear copper/amber color. Spicy sweet bread nose. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is sweet, cinnamon, pumpkin. Higher ABV is hidden. $6.49 for a 22oz bottle from Manchester Wine and Liquors Manchester, CT. (304 characters)

Photo of plaid75
3.62/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light copper hue with a one finger creamy white head. There was decent retention and good lacing.

The smell strongly resembled pumpkin/zuchini bread.

The taste consisted of elements of vanilla, pumpkin, caramel and allspice. The taste was full and finished with a pumpkin muffin/bread type flavor.

The mouthfeel was full and creamy.

Overall a unique and flavorful pumpkin ale. The flavor was a touch too heavy for my taste however. (445 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.28/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A 650 mL bomber purchased at State Line. This is my first pumpkin beer.

A: The ale is an apple juice-hued brown with a nice clarity. Strong carbonation required multiple pours to fill a pint.

S: Interesting aroma. I'm no fan of pumpkin pie so I can't pinpoint much. My wife tells me the pumpkin and allspice aromas are strong. The aroma is quite robust.

T: The ale is a spice overload, my senses can barely keep up. The pumpkin is intensely powerful, chewy and thick with a nice bready constitution. Brown sugar and an array of spices are strong but not the driving focus of the ale.

M: The pumpkin and spices are unusual. They finish long, leaving a chewy feeling on the palate. The spices sit like a rock in your stomach long, LONG after the ale is gone. I felt queasy at times.

D: The 9% alcohol is well-hidden but the strength of the flavor profile would limit me to one bottle (or half a bottle, as I split it with ksak). In hindsight, I can't say that I want to try another pumpkin beer again. (1,004 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to shaebs99 for this brew.

Pours a nice golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy off-white head, nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, popcorn, pumpkin, nutmeg, cinimmon, and some caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, popcorn, pumpkin/nutmeg, slight cinimmon and some caramel tones. The alcohol is hidden pretty well at 9% ABV. Medium body. Very drinkable, a different pumpkin ale, especially with the popcorn taste, never had one to date like this, recommended. Thanks Steve. (526 characters)

Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,831 ratings.