Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,907 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,907
Hads: 7,298
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 33.92%
Wants: 501
Gots: 2,085 | FT: 31
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States | website

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: 1,907 | Hads: 7,298
Photo of Aenema
4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a clear, bright orange. Little off-white head quickly disappears and leaves minimal lacing.
Smell - Tremendous nose. Nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin - this smells just like fall and pumpkin pie.
Taste - Sweet, bready malts, bitter hop kick in an effort to balance the beer and lots of pumpkin, pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice.
Mouthfeel - Medium-light body with moderate to light carbonation.
Drinkability - Quite drinkable, especially for a 9% beer. Still a beer that is best split due to the s.

 507 characters

Photo of jera1350
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap, I would have to say Pumking is just slightly better than from the bottle. Either way, this is liquid pumpkin pie, whip cream and all. Deep amber color with creamy small head of foam. Nice lacing. Smells and tastes just as described above. Rich, sweet and satisfying. I may bring this to Thanksgiving for dessert instead of the actual pumpkin pie. The best Fall beer out there. This is a must try.

 404 characters

Photo of Nesued
2.21/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

650ml bottle.

Appearance - Golden in color, medium to light carbonation, clear. Moderate head that resolves to a thin ring.

Smell - Spicey "Fall/pumkin pie" aroma. Lots of nose but a medicinal, almost "fake" nose as well. Seems to be trying to be too much over the top. Looses a bit at the end.

Taste - Wow, sweet, sweet, and sweet. Not from malt body, more from just candi sugar. Way out of balance. Tasted better as it warmed.

Mouthfeel - Thin and lacking. At least for me. I've had other fall offerings in this style that were more balanced.

Drinkability - I've had several Southern Tier offerings and for my taste, they seem way out of balance. Far too sweet is this one. I'm not sure how I can use this beer. Dessert? After-dinner? Hard to find a place, other than as a novelty. Needs more balance, in my opinion.

 828 characters

Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22oz brown pop top bottle with awesome label and a nice ditty about the beer

Appearance: A strong pour produces a dark golden beer with bright clarity and a large-bubbled ivory cap with good retention

Smell: Big pumpkin and huge spicy cookie presence; this is like a pumpkin gingersnap, super sweet, spicy, and biscuity goodness...pungent and quite interesting

Taste: Huge pumpkin cookie flavors...biscuity cookie, fresh pumpkin, spicy sweetness...wow; this is like a sucker punch to the tastebuds (in a good way). Ends just a tiny bit bitter on the finish, with some spicy hops poking through.

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy

Drinkability: This bomber dissappeared alarmingly fast

Conclusion: Definitely a different sort of pumpkin beer; it's like a really, REALLY boozy pumpkin gingersnap cookie...odd, but delicious

 831 characters

Photo of kegger22
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a pumpkin orange with a generous head that quickly faded to a bare collar. The aroma was exactly that pumpkin pie smell, nutmeg, cinnamon, amazing. The taste was also like pumpkin pie, but with a nasty, bitterish aftertaste. I could not appreciate that aftertaste, but it did not entirely spoil the flavor. The feel was medium bodied with good carbonation. Drinkability was good. DFH Punkin' didn't smell so much like pie, but I preferred it.

 449 characters

Photo of rhinos00
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

NOTE: I hate pumpkin beers, but I still tried to go into this with an open mind. Poured into a pint glass at South Park Tavern.

A- Pours a clear, copper color. Produced a solid two fingers width of off-white head.

S- The aroma was quite the treat. Lots of spices, some ginger and toasted, slighlty burnt pumpkin pie. Perfect balance, was not over spiced like many others I have had before.

T- Like the aroma, but less pumpkin and more ginger. To tell you the truth, the first thing I told my friend was that it tasted like the gingerman cookies I had when I was a kid. Loved the bready malts and the use of the various spices.

M- Medium bodied. Lots of carbonation, felt a bit thin at points.

D- While this tasted phenomenal, a pint was a little too much. I could have gone for a half pint. This is one of those beers that is really complex and rich, thus hindering it's drinkability.

Overall, easily the best pumpkin beer I have ever had. Great balance and nothing was overdone. If I had to drink a pumpkin beer, this is the one I would choose.

 1,052 characters

Photo of colsandurz
4.69/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this brew. I read the guidelines on the side, about comparing personal taste with the brewers style in mind. This beer is the perfect mix between the two. From what I can tell, the Southern Tier expressed themselves perfectly as well as matching my own tastes.

So, the beer:
A - Clear, a little lighter than the color of a real pumpkin

S - Reminds me of nothing but pumpkin pie. A dominant pumpkin smell is there, with just the right amount of sweetness and spiciness.

T - Just the same as the aroma. When I smelled this beer I really hoped the taste would match (which is not the case frequently). There's a very strong pumpkng flavor with some sweetness and spiciness.

M - A bit in the middle. I would have liked it just a little heavier.

D - I bought a 24oz bottle and I think I could drink three or four of them.

 839 characters

Photo of Natural510
4.31/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark orange; thick, syrupy appearance, albeit not much going on in the foam/lace department.
The scent is incredible; pungent aroma of pumpkin, cinnamon & nutmeg emanates from the brew to the point I can't stop sniffing it long enough to have a drink.
The flavor is much like the aroma in that it perfectly transforms a pumpkin pie from solid to liquid form. There is an added hop note you obviously wouldn't find in a pie, otherwise the sweet pumpkin and heavy spices are interpreted true to form.
Thick mouthfeel, with an added spice kick from the nutmeg. Hops are mild but complementary to the brew.
Drinkability is good depending on the volume; the server mentioned it would come in a snifter, but the bartender mistakenly poured me a pint. I enjoyed the first half but had trouble finishing an entire pint due to all the spice involved.
Still very good; an ideal finish to a large holiday dinner.

 909 characters

Photo of albern
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I appreciate the very nice authentic pumpkin aroma to the beer, I appreciate its full body, and full palate of flavors. The beer beer is substantial, clear, light coppery amber in color, with a smallish white creamy head and plenty of lacing. The nose is pumpkin pie, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

The taste is just too packed with ABV for my preferences. The beer has just too much booziness and throaty burn on the way down. The nice pumpkin, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon is very enticing. If this beer could have been toned down in ABV, I certainly would have appreciated it better. This beer is harsh due to the ABV and it detracts from the many positives that recommend it. I'm deducting points from mouthfeel and drinkability.

 727 characters

Photo of Brad007
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice orange-copper color with a thin one-finger head into my fluted glass. Nice color for the style.

Aroma is full of strong nutmeg and pumpkin with a definite whiff similar to pumpkin pie. The pumpkin pie aroma is stronger than another example of the style I like (Pumpkinhed).

Taste is sweet and spicy with the flavors of a pumpkin pie (nutmeg and pumpkin) and it's so strong, I can almost taste the crust in my mouth. Mmmmm. Tasty. Not overly sweet.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering pumpkin pie flavors. Carbonation is a bit weak which does help drinkability since this is a stronger beer. I have to remind myself to take it easy. That's how deceptive it is.

Very good. This beer, along with Smashed Pumpkin and Pumpkinhead are probably the only three examples of pumpkin beers that I like. All three are worth a try but if you really, really like pumpkin pie, pumking will satisfy that craving.

 910 characters

Photo of mjl21
3.38/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Acquired via trade...thanks Mikey. 22 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. Comes in at 9%. No bottling info is given.

A-Really nice looking beer. Pours a very clear amber with beautiful orange highlights. It has an extremely minimal off white head that has a low level of retention. Lots of bubbles can be seen rising from the bottom. If this had a better head I would give it a 5.

S-The nose lets you know right away that this is a pumpkin brew. Lots of nutmeg, clove, and cinammon are present throughout. There is also an aroma in this one that reminds me of a freshly baked pie crust.

T-The pumpkin pie spices that are apparent in the nose are just as stong in the mouth. It really is a liquid pumpkin pie. There is some booze that is apparent in the back. The aftertaste is a combination of cinammon and spearmint. I am unable to find any trace of hop flavoring due to all of the spices used.

M-The body falls on the upper end of the medium spectrum. It feels like an Imperial style beer.

D-For lovers of pumpkin beers, this is one of the best. I shared my 22 ounce bottle and could not put down an entire one.

This was an interesting one to review. I am not the biggest pumpkin pie fan and when I have it I make sure there is plenty of whipped cream. All of the components of what a pumpkin beer are supposed to have are evident in this beer but I personally found them to be a little much. If you like pumpkin beers, this is the one for you. If you are like me and typically don't buy this style, I suggest sharing it as it is very spiced.

 1,550 characters

Photo of DawnL
3.56/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amber/orange color with no lacing.

Beautiful pumpkin perfume with good spicing. Very happy to taste this beer up against the Wolaver.

Sharp clove and an allspice-berry tinge. I'm not getting much pumpkin on the palate. It's getting overwhelmed by the alcohol heat.

Alcohol burn from the high abv.

I like it but, with the alcohol burn it's a bit intense to drink. The intial moments of the brew are excellent - clearly a well made ale.

 438 characters

Photo of diechipmunk
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I tried several early (back in the 90s) pumpkin beers and found them to be mostly just a nutmeg added to an amber, or some other simple "base" brew. I see so many great reviews for current pumpkin ales on BA, I figured I had to try some. I don't think I'll be tailgating with this, but it will be an after dinner option for the fall season.

S- I poured from a bomber into a glass that is somewhere between a wide-mouthed tulip or a flared challice. With my nose in the glass, the arome was real pumpkin pie backing.

T- It's a little sweet for my usual tasts, but, as with many Southern Tier bombers, I enjoy as a desert beerm so it hit the spot. The pumpkin taste is right there, with cinnamon, burn sugar and a hint of nutmeg and maybe cloves. It really is liquid pumpkin pie.

M- silky, Medium mouthfeel. heavy enough for the flavors to linger, but not overly so cloying.

D- Suprisingly (to me) good. Pumking is a reasonably complex and well blended combination of flavors. I will buy it again.

 999 characters

Photo of beerswamie
2.32/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Have been wanting to try this after seeing that it was one of the top pumpkin brews, it finally made it to the shelves in my area so I immediately picked up a bomber.

On opening I took a whiff and was kind of put off, it did not smell pumpkin pieish to me.

It poured a beautiful golden orange with a nice head that quickly dissipated.

On my first taste I was like wow there is something different about this compared to all the pumkin ales i have had, I can't place it but this stuff left a very funky after taste in my mouth. Truthfully I struggled to finish the bottle.

In ending i don't know where the hype comes from on this stuff but Schlafly's Imperial Pumpkin Ale blows this stuff away.

 697 characters

Photo of BJam
4.9/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pumking 2009 - Southern Tier Brewing Company
Bomber: $5.99

Appearance: Clear orange almost pumpkin color with not much head.

Smell: this was one of the best things about this ale. every time you take a sip you smell delicious pumpkin pie. Yumm

Taste: Very strong pumpkin taste and not overly sweet. Perfect amount of malt with just enough spice.

Mouthfeel: The flavor was in the back more then up front. Nice and crisp.

Drinkability: Obviously, you have to be in the mood for this one. It is seasonal and it is pumpkin but as far as I am concerned, it is the best pumpkin ale on the market.

 595 characters

Photo of Adamdc
2.42/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

After reading all the great reviews of this beer I was looking forward to trying it. Well...it was a bit of a letdown for me. This beer poured beautifully but from then on it was a little too 'over-the-top' for me. In both the aroma and the taste, the spices were way too strong. I wasn't sure if I was having a beer or drinking some kind of pumpkin pie smoothie. The cinnamon and the allspice and the clove were just so overpowering that, despite it's $9 price tag, I had to make it a drain pour.

 497 characters

Photo of Watti
4.59/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I find it interesting that many reviews speak of spices like clove and cinnamon as being distinctive in this beer. In fact I find most pumpkin ales in general rely to heavily on triggering your "comfort food" senses with pumpkin pie spices.

Not so here.

Pumking is a standout for me because from aroma to taste it wonderfully blends pumpkin flavor with perfectly balanced maltiness. I'm not talking pie here, I'm talking the essential essence of pumkpin , like what it smells like when you drive the knife in, ring the top and carve yourself a jack-o-lantern.

The sweetness and mouth feel is wonderful, and although there is some spicy undertone, I find it refreshingly taking a back seat to the play of malt and pumpkin - which is as it should be I think.

What a delicious beer.

 787 characters

Photo of BierFan
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Big light tan head. Clear amber body. I was guessing the beer would be darker than it is. Good head retention.

Smell: The pumpkin pie spices are right up front. Very sweet. The pumpkin itself is also noticeable.

Taste: Much more of a pumpkin flavor than any other pumpkin ale I've had. Overly sweet, this beer is definitely not dentist approved. Not overly spiced like some beers of this style tend to be. The alcohol remains fairly well hidden. Only a tiny bit of alcohol warmth.

 544 characters

Photo of Lolli1315
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle, my first Pumking and I am pretty excited to try this.

A- A little disappointed with the appearance. Pale orange color with very little head and not very much lacing.

S- Cinnamon hits your right in the face. A sweet pumpkin candy smell similar to pumpkin pie is the next thing to come. Comes almost smell a sweet this beer is going to taste.

T- Simple enough, pumpkin pie. Can't stress enough that this is almost a liquid form of pumpkin pie. Very sweet, cinnamon flavors come out very strong followed by that sweet pumpkin taste. The taste almost mimics the smell. Did I mention this tastes like pumpkin pie?

M- Medium to a little thick in the mouth. Really a great feel mouthfeel for a pumpkin ale in my opinion. I think this is one area that separates this beer from other pumpkin ales.

D- This is a great beer, but a little sweet making it something to savor. This is not a beer that you are going to have trouble putting down, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I feel like this makes it a great dessert beer, just not something I would drink a multiple of, especially in a bomber.

 1,124 characters

Photo of batty
4.46/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: golden amber and clear, slightly off-white head that's not quite thick enough, and disappears quickly leaving little lace.

S: smell is maybe the highlight of this brew, very strong. great pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie smell. great balance of pumpkiny sweet bread with a touch of allspice and clove.

T: also very good. again pumpkin bread takes over well. well balanced with just some floral hops on the end, and finishes with a bit much on the heat, but it creates a real liqueur-like finish.

M: i'd like it a bit thicker, but really quite good.

D: tastes great, and i'll have to problem putting this one away, but not really a session beer by any means.

 663 characters

Photo of mikel52588
4.72/5  rDev +17.7%

Appearance: Amber- brown color, about a 1.5 length head with thin lacing

Smell: PUMPKIN PIE, smells deliciously like it. There's also a cinnamon and brown sugar scent maybe even a touch of vanilla. I'm really looking forward to taste this, it smells so good.

Taste: like a caramel or brown sugar flavor lollipop. Lots of spices, Vanilla is really standing out to me, cinnamon, brown sugar, seem to be all there. I kind of taste the pumpkin but only slightly, and I have found this to be the same with other pumpkin beers.

Mouthfeel: light body that is far lighter than you would expect since it has such a high abv, light carbonation, slick on the tongue.

Drinkability: well they only make this during the fall season but aside from that it is very good. Definitely drinkable with a cinnamon or vanilla spiced treat. This thing is packed with alcohol but hides it very well, as you drink it, you barely notice it.

 920 characters

Photo of craftaholic
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a bomber into a tasters pint. Has a light orange amber with a fleeting finger length of head that leaves a fraction of a hair line of lacing.

Smell: This is a liquid pumpkin pie for your nasal cavity. Has the roasted graham cracker-like, bread malt which could count as the signature crust. A nice full aroma of freshly baked pumpkin which would entail the main pulp of the pie that mixes with a sweetness of another autumnal favorite of candy corn as well as a hint of brown sugar. Throughout there is a pleasant combination of spices from creamy vanilla, spicy nutmeg and a nice bit of cinnamon.

Taste: Has a taste like a hybrid of ginger bread along with a baked and seasoned pumpkin mixed with a bit of caramelized malt. Sweetness dominates the palate first off and then the nuances of aforementioned spices take hold. The finish is balance of slight hop bitter and some thick malt to remind you its a beer and you're not actually sipping pie. The nutmeg is a really strong undertone here and towards the end it mixes with a 'whipped cream' type frothy sweetness that really rounds out that cliche pumpkin pie in completion.

Mouthfeel: The aftertaste will grab your taste buds to stop the post thanksgiving dessert consumption and remind you with the "hey its a beer" sensation. In itself its a medium bodied brew with refreshing creaminess like the real deal.

Drinkability: Fabulous without a doubt, hides that abv under a pile of autumn leaves and begs you to have another.

Overall: As the leaves fall these bottles will surely pile up. Fitting for the festive season upon us if an Oktoberfest brew isn't your thing. My favorite pumpkin ale considering this one actually tastes like what it sets out to instead of just having some spice.

 1,774 characters

Photo of SteveO1231
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber.

Pours a bright amber with a very thin, white layer of foam that settles to a hair-thin ring of tiny bubbles.

Pumpkin pie spices fill my glass; cinnamon, allspice, and the aroma of nutmeg dominating. The nutmeg is so strong it brings a subtleness of orange. I smell nilla wafers and brown sugar in there.

Full bodied beer with creamy texture and a slickness on the roof of the mouth. Carbonation is pretty high and tingles the palate.

Light sweetness up front with a flavor of brown sugar and lots of nutmeg. I taste raw cookie dough, graham cracker and bitter orange peel. The brew is clean mid way and makes way for a strong earthy, bitter finish. Really an enjoyable beer. It would be perfect if there was a bit more sweetness up front to balance the bitterness in the end.

ABV is pretty high but the abundance of flavors and spice don't make it too easy to detect.

Good pumpkin beer.

 919 characters

Photo of MetalHopHead6
2.65/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Southern Tier Pumking poured light orangy amber with a fleeting two-finger head. It left a crystal clear glass with no lace. The color was too light for an autumn ale.

The best autumn/pumpkin ales are ales first with a touch of spice. Pumking is spice first and last, with no ale of which to speak. The smell and taste were like everything that goes into a pumpkin pie, other than the pumpkin, dominated by nutmeg flavor and cheap whipped cream. The feel dries the tongue, similar to what one would expect after licking nutmeg powder. It's more unfinishable than drinkable.

I was very excited to find Southern Tier Pumking on the shelves of the local bottle shop, but I'm more excited to see it gone.

 703 characters

Photo of schmitter
4.66/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a light amber with slight head.

Pumking smells of a brisk halloween night, caramel apples and deliciousness.

Tastes like pumpkin spiced bread, sweet and warming.

The nose of this beer certainly makes it go down smooth and makes me want more.

 251 characters

Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,907 ratings.