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Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company


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4,701 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4701
Reviews: 1669
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 17.24%

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: 4,701 | Reviews: 1,669 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver

Ontario (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Looking for a good Thanksgiving beer, Bucky was pointed in the direction of Southern Tier Brewing Company's Imperial Pumking ("Pumking") by a fellow craft beer enthusiast. In operation since late 2002, Southern Tier Brewing of Lakewood, New York, has grown to produce around 50,000 barrels of beer annually. Its hand crafted ales are now available in more than half of the United States, as well as parts of Australia, Denmark, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Ontario, British Columbia, and the United Kingdom.

Founders Phineas DeMink and Allen Yahn started the brewery with equipment purchased from the Old Saddleback Brewing Co. in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Southern Tier began production in the Stoneman Business Park just outside of Lakewood, New York, and by 2003, select varieties of small batch ales were distributed locally. By 2005, sales covered the majority of New York State and Pennsylvania, and in 2009 a new 20,000 square foot facility was built for the purpose of brewing innovative, high-quality beer to accommodate an expanding customer base. Throughout 2010, it became clear that more beer needed to be produced, and 800 barrels of fermentation vessels were added to the production area and a 7,500 square foot addition was added for use as a conditioning room. The constantly running brew house was also expanded and updated.

Bucky purchased Pumking from his local LCBO in a brown, 650 ml bottle with a bottling date of July 11, 2012. Pumking has been brewed since 2007, and is 8.6% alcohol by volume. Pumking poured a hazy dark orange colour, with the orange becoming much brighter when backlit. A fairly aggressive pour produced about 1" of fizzy white head, which burned itself out within 3 minutes, leaving no spotting or lacing. The beer's aroma was wonderful; pumpkin pie spices and graham cracker pie crust...I swear! Its taste was sweet and dominated by the graham cracker pie crust, with distinct pumpkin pie spice flavours and maybe just a hint of vanilla. No bitterness here at all. Pumking was characterized by a medium level of carbonation, just right for its type, and a smooth mouth feel. It is light to medium bodied, but actually feels a bit heavier than it is due to the rich flavours. At $8.95 per 650 ml bottle the price tag is fairly steep, but a few bottles as a seasonal indulgence won't break the bank. Overall, I can't wait until next fall for the new seasonal batch!

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 22:57:28 | More by BuckyBeerBeaver
Photo of EvoRich


4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I heard Pumking referred to as the absolute best autumn/pumpkin ale there is. I ran across this in a cooler at a bar in the month of February 2014. Bottle date was July 2013. So it wasn't "fresh" as I'm sure this ale is meant to be tasted. But I had to try it anyway.

Look: Orange. Head was white and foamy.

Smell: Pure pumpkin pie. Cinnamon, sugar, spice, nutmeg. The smell of thanksgiving dessert.

Taste: Pumpkin pie, for sure. A little buttery actually which isn't a good thing. Not sure if this is due to being a little old. But regardless, it wasn't a huge setback, as the pumpkin and cinnamon flavors were dominant. Sweeter than any pumpkin ale I've had previously.

Mouthfeel: Pretty creamy, which was a surprise. I expected this to be much thinner. I'd say it's medium bodied.

Overall: Thus far, best pumpkin ale I've had. I'd love to try one fresh, and in season, as I believe in season may have a placebo effect. My brain will tell me it's better in October or November, just because.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2014 01:23:02 | More by EvoRich
Photo of smurf5520


5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

In my opinion, Pumking is hands down, the best beer in the world. If it has ever been taken into outer space, it's probably the best beer there too. And it's not just it's "pie-in-a-glass" taste.

As your glass comes toward you, you first experience the beautiful color, then the wonderful aroma and then the perfect taste. Mouth feel is good too. If you like to just enjoy 1 or 2 beers, Pumking has substantial ABV that lessens the need for multiples.

It must be tough to brew a good pumpkin ale because I have tasted so many bad ones. There are none better than Southern Tier Pumking.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2014 18:13:17 | More by smurf5520
Photo of asaharyev


4.34/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The aroma has big, bready malts up front, with a good amount of pumpkin to back it up. It smells almost like zucchini bread, with a bit of a sweet corn aroma as well. The flavor has more of the pumpkin up front, with the malts taking a back seat. Tons of cinnamon and clove come through as well, and the higher alcohol content makes itself apparent. The mouthfeel is a bit chewy, so this beer is kind of like a pumpkin pie in a glass. One of the best pumpkin beers.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2014 15:56:21 | More by asaharyev
Photo of RAlmeida77


4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hands down, my favorite Pumpkin Ale. This beer is pumpkin pie in a glass, and it smells that way too.

It pours with a dark, amber color and just fills the air with the scents of pumpkin, nutmeg and other wonderful spices. I could smell this all day long and be happy! The aroma leads to you expecting a taste that is similar and the taste doesn't disappoint. Very good flavor of pumpkin, nutmeg and spices....simply delicious. As drinkable as this beer is, it tends to be a little heavy for me. Getting through a 22 oz bottle often leaves me feeling like I just had a decent sized meal.

This is a must try during the autumn months. It's one of my go to's.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 17:44:21 | More by RAlmeida77
Photo of sully11277


4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

poured into my snifter

A- it is a clear orange with a nice head that goes away but sticks to the sides of the class. you can see a lot of carbonation coming from this beer.

S- Pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, a lot of roast and spicy too it. It pretty much smalls like a fresh pumpkin pie.

T/M- You get a lot of pumpkin up front then the nutmeg and cinnamon come in. Then you get the roast with nice hop bitterness to end it.

O- This is a beer I buy every year once it is released and it is great every time.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 21:01:36 | More by sully11277
Photo of 1759Girl


4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- expected something darker and mor murky. Bright, no head whatsoever.
Smell- amazing. Really smells like you just opened a tin of canned pumpkin.
Not just everyone's fall back of making a beer that smells like pumpkin pie spice
Taste- fairly simple but not uncomplex. Slight spice,middle malt, and a hang of pumpkin baby food (in a good way)
Mouf- nice, easy
Drinkability- better than most for its style. One of my favorites

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 05:14:01 | More by 1759Girl
Photo of ptbise


4.74/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

As Pumpkin Beers go, this is the gold standard. My wife says it's like a pumpkin pie without the crust. She's right the beer does have more of a dessert feel with its creamy finish. Limited release every year is worth the wait every October. Sometimes difficult to find in in the PA / NY region it's produced. Stock up if you can!!!

Serving type: on-tap

01-20-2014 17:28:53 | More by ptbise
Photo of JayBarnes10


4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

have had this one a couple times, great notes of pumpkin and a yammy finish. it's a deserty beer, one that you'd drink just 1 or 2 of I feel but REALLY enjoy them. after having it on draft, and in a bottle, it's good either way. 1 of my favorite beers.

Serving type: on-tap

01-15-2014 22:18:41 | More by JayBarnes10
Photo of jimmah120


3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber about 5 months old. Born on date is a little hard to find, bear the bottom under the etched label. Got it on sale for $5.

Rough pour gives you a clear orange beer with few chunks and a small silky head. Smell is powerful concentrated pumpkin, sickly sweet and vegetal, and some spice. Taste is thick malty yams, with the sweetness and spice of a pumpkin pie. Finishes with some english tasting hops. Feel is a slick medium, with a cloying bitter finish. High abv is imperceptible.

The hype is deserved as this is the most "pumpkinny" of the fall beers I've tried. It's not the best, tho. I'll take Indeed's yamma jamma over this any day.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2014 22:01:45 | More by jimmah120
Photo of iheartmyTHO


4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I'm a sucker for "pumpkin" flavored anything in the Fall, including beer. Every Fall, I go to TotalWine and make my own 6-pack of various pumpkin beers. Out of all of the pumpkin beers I have tried, Pumking is definitely the king of pumpkin beers in my opinion.

Unlike some pumpkin beers, Pumking isn't just in your face candy-like pumpkin spice flavors, nor is it too malty. You get nice notes of the pumpkin spices but you do taste something slightly vegetabley and earthy as well - almost a true pumpkin / squash flavor. It's one of the few pumpkin beers I drink on multiple occasions over the Fall.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2014 19:09:06 | More by iheartmyTHO
Photo of Rhf9120

Rhode Island

4.56/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Over all in my opinion a fantastic beer. I am a very big fan of pumpkin beers and in my opinion this one beats all others. It was a nice amber color with a white head. I have never tried this beer on tap only in the bottle but I would recommend it to any pumpkin beer lover.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 23:03:05 | More by Rhf9120
Photo of NEdward

Rhode Island

2.39/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

A: orange, slightly hazy

S: a pumpkin pie

T: a pumpkin pie and a nondescript beer

M: carbonated, unrestrained granulated sweetness, greasy finish

O: I don't understand why people look forward to the novelty of drinking the simulacrum of a seasonal dish rather than eating the real thing. I suspect having 9 months to forget how regrettable it actually is has something to do with it, but also the willingness of folks to buy into the idea of a beer representing picturesque pumpkin pickings and redolent autumnal vistas that it can't possibly deliver on shouldn't be discounted either.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 06:53:05 | More by NEdward
Photo of Ozzylizard


3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

No-date bottle at 40-42 degrees into goblet
Aroma - odor of roasted nuts overlaid with a spiceness
Head - average (4 cm), off-white, mostly diminishing
No lacing
Starts lightly bitter with no discernable hoppiness, just spicey
Ends lightly bitter, no hoppiness, still just spicy
Medium body, watery, fizzy carbonation

Overall, not to my taste. Tastes nutty and spicy, but not very good. Ended up with indigestion later. Different than most pumpkin beers because the pumpkin spices seemed to be absent.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2013 11:25:05 | More by Ozzylizard
Photo of ISmith87


4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - 4.25 - Nice clear orange amber color, 1 finger of white head dissapears to a thin film of bubbles, no lacing.
S - 4.5 - Pumpkin pie, cinnamon, whipped cream, almost a hint of chocolate in the background. This is a good example of what a pumpkin beer should smell like.
T - 4.75 - Immediate pumpkin, cinnamon sugar, and whipped cream. Like liquid pumpkin pie. Perfect representation of pumpkin pie in beer form. Bready, pie crust background.
M - 4.0 - light - medium mouthfeel, aftertaste is pumpkin, hop bitterness, and boozy. Alc covered for the most part though.
O - 4.25 - Great beer, perfect representation of a pumpkin beer. I think most October beers could learn from this one. This is a very good example of a high gravity pumpkin beer. As opposed to 2003 Bell's Eccentric Ale - a very BAD example of a high gravity pumpkin beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2013 04:00:11 | More by ISmith87
Photo of d5001986


3.1/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into tulip glass.

This is my first Pumpkin beer, so I don't have anything to compare it with.

Appearance is deep golden orange. Clear with small, off white head.

Smell is pumpkin up front, followed by clove and very slight alcohol.

The first thing I taste is cloves, it's overpowering. I also pick up pumpkin and nutmeg, with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Feels medium bodies and goes down smooth.

Overall not a big fan of this one. The spices were too dominating, I would have enjoyed this more if not for that.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2013 00:29:53 | More by d5001986
Photo of Beer-A-Lot


4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

So smooth and flavorful. Not at all too sweet. A whole bottle does whack you pretty good. But it's delicious, with the right feel and burst of spices. I think it's as good in the bottle as it is fresh on tap. But I can't wait to see how it does after aging a couple more months. So solid and consistent. Goes great with food or as desert.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2013 02:47:18 | More by Beer-A-Lot
Photo of LambicPentameter


3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed out of a brown 22 oz bomber with no dating that I remember seeing. However, I do know that this bottle is from the 2013 release of ST's annual pumpkin beer. Poured into a small goblet/wine glass hybrid.

Appearance - Aggressive pour yields not much in the way of head--just a half finger of off-white bubbles that fades quickly, leaving sparse filmy bubbles across the top and no lacing. Body is a translucent orange with hints of burnt umber in places.

Smell - Like so many of ST's "sweeter" beers, this one has a very distinct caramel-corn, buttered popcorn aroma to it. I get a similar characteristic from both Warlock and Crème Brûlée, so it must be something in the spicing they add to get the flavors. It's intoxicating, but a little bit one-note. I don't get much distinction of pumpkin in the aroma at least. In addition to the caramel-corn, there is fainter elements of nutmeg and allspice.

Taste - Here, the bonafide pumpkin element comes in a bit more strongly. I still get a sweetness, partly because that caramel smell is just so cloying that it really impacts the flavor. I also get elements of butternut squash and caramel malt sweetness. Easy drinking for an almost 9% beer.

Mouthfeel - Slightly viscous and medium-bodied with low levels of carbonation. Lingeringly sweet aftertaste.

Overall, a solid beer. I've seen people suggest that Warlock is just Pumking with more bitter, roasted components, and I'm inclined to agree. If I want a pure pumpkin beer (rather than a pumpkin stout or something), there are others that I'm likely to reach for first. However, this one is pretty solid and worth a try for anyone who hasn't sampled it before.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2013 04:47:55 | More by LambicPentameter
Photo of reebtaerG


5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-pours a light creamy orange color with a one finger white head
S- an overall smell of pumpkin, cinnamon and spices
T-great creamy pumpkin flavor toasted spice
M- very well balanced
O-this beer is what every other brewer is trying to become. Can't believe ABV it's hidden well

Serving type: on-tap

11-28-2013 02:30:30 | More by reebtaerG
Photo of stckhndlr


4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Love the golden pumpkin like color of the beer. and has some of the bes and has some of the best lacng I've seen on any beer. Just a touch of cloudiness to it.
S- This is all pumpkin. I could smell it wafting from the glass from two feet away. Huge natural pumpkin smell. Not a ton of spice like most pumpkin beers. Just straight pumpkin. Maybe just a bit of molasses too.
T- again this is dominated by a smooth strong pumpkin flavor with just a hint of spice and a bit of caramel. Bit of mineral in the finish and aftertaste. Not to bad.
M- creamy and smooth. Just a medium body. Nothing crazy. imple and well rounded.
O- what I like the most about this is it stays true to the style of the beer. When it says pumpkin, that is what I want to taste. It's not masked up with pie spices and fake flavors. This one is as pumpkin as it gets.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2013 18:17:02 | More by stckhndlr
Photo of megahurts4


4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Southern Tier Imperial Pumking

Appearance: pumpkin colored, small to no head, and no lacing.

Smell: incredibly delicious pumpkin pie.

Taste: prominent pumpkin spice followed by a malty light fresh hop.

Mouthfeel: medium but feels more like a soft drink.

This is quite a different October brew. It is heavy in pumpkin spice and can be initially delicious, but it goes down like a soft drink (soda/pop/cola/whatever the yankees call it). I'm on the fence with that feeling. The alcohol is almost not detectable in the aroma or taste to myself.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 06:46:13 | More by megahurts4
Photo of falloutsnow


4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From: Friar Tuck's, Savoy, IL
Date: None on bottle
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

Southern Tier has an effective pumpkin pie-like beer recipe with Pumpking. I found the graham cracker and butter crumb pie crust aromas/flavors to be the most prominent, with sweetness and pie spices more tuned down in the mix. The combination unites for a fairly enjoyable and unique pumpkin ale, one that I would return to each season. That being said, I find it hard to finish a single bottle by myself in one sitting - this is too big, sweet, and rich for that.

Pours an ephemeral, whitish head that barely lasts after the pour, never reaching higher than a half centimeter, fading to a thick ring around the perimeter of the glass and a few small islands of foam resting atop the body of the beer. Lacing is modest, a small string of dots that ring the perimeter of the glass. Beer's body is a semi-hazy (40-50% opacity), deep golden orange color, a much paler golden orange when near light. Small amounts of carbonation are visible along the sides of the glass.

Aroma of graham cracker butter crumb pie crust, so: grain scents, malt sweetness, and well-placed diacetyl. Could probably throw in some essence of sweetened, condensed milk and the smoothness of pumpkin pie batter, but the overwhelming aroma I get is of a very aromatic and mouthwatering pie crust.

Front of palate finds graham cracker and butter crumb pie crust, sweetness, vanilla, and modest pie spices (cinnamon) that are thankfully relegated to the background. Mid-palate continues the graham cracker and butter crumb pie crust with vanilla, adds some baked pumpkin/squash, and reduces the pie spices to a fairly low level. Back of palate tastes continued graham cracker and butter crumb pie crust, baked pumpkin/squash, vanilla, faintly spicy nutmeg and allspice, and a minor hint of ethanol. Aftertaste of baked pumpkin/squash, graham crakcer and butter crumb pie crust, and vanilla.

Beer's body is medium-heavy to medium, with carbonation in a range of medium to medium-high, resulting in a mouthfeel that borders fizzy, but never quite reaches it, resulting in a smooth, foamy mouthfeel overall. The carbonation complements the body's thickness quite nicely, the beer is quite pleasant on the palate. Finish is dry and leaves a lingering dryness and substantial sweetness on the palate, compelling another sip.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2013 07:44:27 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From notes.

A - Golden pour with one finger of white head. Good carbonation, spotty lace, finger retention.

S - Pumpkin pie! Banana bread, canned pumpkin, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice. They pretty much nailed the pumpkin element on this one.

T - Pumpkin pie filling, mild sweet spice. Very interesting stuff. A bit sweet. Pie crust.

M - Good carbonation, medium body, sweet finish.

O/D - Great drinkabiliity. Lovely pumpkin element that really worked. I don't typically enjoy pumpkin beers, but I love pumpkin pie, and this did it for me. A really neat beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2013 15:46:47 | More by tbeckett
Photo of jonesmr


4.41/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

This beer comes in a 22 ounce bottle. This beer is one of the better pumpkin seasonal beers that I have tried. The beer is a copper color and has nutmeg/allspice/cinnamon aroma. The beer is sweat, yet it has earthy undertones.

The beer tastes like a liquid pumpkin pie.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2013 02:21:15 | More by jonesmr
Photo of CJfromPhilly


2.81/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours from the 22oz. bottle a light copper color with a 1 1/2 finger slightly off-white head. Lively carbonation is observed, there are quite a few bubbles rising in the glass. The room is almost overwhelmed with the aroma of spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.) and a sweet caramel-like aroma. A slight aroma of pumpkin is picked up. 1st sip brings a dry dose of the aforementioned spices...a little TOO dry for my tastes. This could use some more malt or maybe a hint of brown sugar sweetness to even out the dry bitterness! Mouthfeel is medium, not watery or heavy. Overall, a bit of a disappointment. WAY too dry & bitter, almost unpleasantly so! Perhaps I got a bad bottle, unfortunately (or maybe not) it was among the last ones of the season, at least at Total Wine and More @ Claymont, DE. I'll have to look around and see if there's more somewhere out there, otherwise i'll have to wait a year to give this another chance. From all the reviews i've read, I was expecting something much better.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 19:41:06 | More by CJfromPhilly
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Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 4,701 ratings.