Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

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1,871 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,871
Hads: 7,082
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 33.92%
Wants: 494
Gots: 1,913 | FT: 31
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
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Reviews: 1,871 | Hads: 7,082
Photo of jasonjlewis
2.47/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark orange color with little head and retention. However the orange is pumpkin orange and the color is awesome.

The nose is like pumpkin pie. I smell allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, pumkin, and vanilla extract. I like the intensity of the smell, but I'd like less vanilla extract.

I can appreciate the pumkin spice in the beer. But there are two major problems, too much spice (mainly vanilla extract) and I find too much hop balance as I'm getting a somewhat lingering citrusy bitterness. The hop complaint isn't a super huge complaint, but still valid. I aslo feel that the pumpkin flavoring of the beer just isn't very good.

This beer has a somewhat sticky mouthfeel. I'd like a bigger malt body to go with the pumpkin spice.

Somehow, this beer just doesn't do it for me. THere is too much vanilla extract and the spices don't mend well for me.

I really was looking forward to this beer and I thank seanpacheffddefa (sp?) for the sample.

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Photo of flieg44
4.67/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Picked up a 650ml bottle, opened and poured into a pint glass. Pours a nice light, orange, amber color. The smell is as good as it gets for a pumkin ale. Cinnamin, nutmeg come right to the fore front. Has a very sweet scent to it. The taste is also impressive. When smelling the beer you expect it to be overly sweet but it isn't. Very smooth, you feel like your drinking a well made pumpkin pie. It is a little thicker then some pumpkin ales I have has but this beer does not disappoint. Probaly one of the best Pumpkin ales I have had.

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

Picked this one up finally thanks to a very generous BA who sent me down a couple of them. I had been waiting forever to try this one, and missed out on it last year. Served cold, right out of the fridge per instructions. It was served in an oversized wine glass and consumed on 09/22/2008.

The pour was simply stunning. A very rich and very hazy looking orange liquid came gurgling out of the bottle, hitting the glass with decent enough force to throw up a nice two inch layer of off white head. Nice retention kept this one hanging around for a good long while before finally settling down into a thin layer of white across the top that stayed until the very end and left behind a very nice layer of side glass lace.

The aroma was about as rich as you can get. This was the most decadent, dessert like beer that I have ever run across. This smelled more like a pumpkin pie then my grandma's ! Super sweet with lots of gingerbread, and sweet cookie goodness. This was about as good as it gets. Translated over as perfectly as you could have imagined into the flavor. Huge notes of cinnamon, pumpkin spice, gingerbread, everything you could imagine. This was just colossal with no hint at all of any abv. Rich and decadent in the taste and well as the feel,. The only drawback was this was soo rich with sugar it was hard to drink too much of it as it became a little bit tough after a bit. Aside from that this was about as good as it gets.

Overall, wow. I have never tasted anything like this it was just tremendous. This was the most perfect fall dessert I could think of. Rich, sweet, decadent. This was better then I ever imagined it would be. Overall I was floored and would have to recommend this to anyone!

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Photo of hazakaza
4.89/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beer has recently stopped surprising me . . . but that all changed with Pumking. The nose is all vanilla and bourbon, and you think you're in for another very sweet beer, like the creme brullee stout. Not so! Every sip is a journey across the palate. Up front there are strong cinnamon and brown sugar notes, widening to the promised bourbon. The interesting part comes at the end of your palate, where a cleansing hoppiness comes through to finish the sip and cleanse your palate. Without this hoppiness, the beer would be too sweet. With it, it's a fascinating, well-balanced, and extremely complex beer that made me do a double take. Every sip is a journey. I've already bought at least 5 of these, and trust me, I'll be back for more before this delicious seasonal disappears.

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Photo of jmz62565
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear golden/amber with a large head that lasts. The head isn't huge,but it does leave good lacing. The smell is very pungent and nice with pumpkin,cinnamon,bread yeast,ginger,and alcohol. The taste is like the smell, full of pumpkin,bread yeast,ginger bread cookies,and cinnamon. This is like walking into a bakery,both smell and taste. The m/f is medium with all the flavors mixing well. I'm not one for fruit beers,but this is very good and just another quality beer from a great brewery.

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Photo of whynot44
4.49/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very nice Pumpkin orange color with a modest white head that lingers and even manages a bit of lacing.

The aroma is fresh baked pumpkin pie, complete with crust.

The taste is somewhere between pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread, with actual pumpkin flavor not just a load of spice, although the spices are there as well - nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves - very well balanced with the pumpkin. There are also hints of nuts, a bready (or crusty) malt background and just a bit of herbal hops at the finish. The alcohol content is barely detectable.

Medium bodied, silky smooth, not overly sweet or overly spiced, very nicely balanced. This could go rerasonably well with poultry or ham, but is really a nice dessert brew afterward. The best pumpkin brew yet and a good beer for cool fall weather.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.85/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - pours a nice orange, coppery color with great clarity. A thin off-white cover sets up and hangs a few lace rings on the glass.

Aroma - wow, this smells delicious! A light vegetal and spice complement a graham cracker crust. Very unique and inviting.

Taste - roasty pumpkin flavor and a rich pie crust taste as well. Balancing hoppiness on the swallow keeps this as one of the dryer pumpkin ales I've had. Low sweetness, lots of pumpkin, spice, and pie crust, blended about as good as you could imagine. The hops turn a little more bitter on the finish, keeping the 'beeriness' in perspective. Ends dry, all flavors still mixed in like a bite of liquid pumpkin pie. As it warms, the spices meld a little better and the alcohol flickers a bit more. The best tasting pumpkin beer yet.

Mouthfeel - creamy, smooth, full-bodied with a subdued but medium carbonation.

Drinkability - this is a more vegetal version of a pumpkin ale, which is a departure from the 'spice and cinnamon first, actual pumpkin flavor optional' mindset that is too common to the style. If you haven't had any examples of a good pumpkin beer with the actual pumpkin well-represented, look no further.

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Photo of jeffmonarch
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1 Pint 6 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Nice golden orange color with a little white head.

S - Pumpkin and nutmeg. I smell a lot of nutmeg.

T - Very odd. This is the most unique pumpkin ale I've ever had. It has a very distinct pumpkin flavor and so different spices than most of this style. It almost tastes like a pumpkin bread.

M - Light bodied with good carbonation.

D - It is very unique but I don't think I can drink to much of this.

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Photo of Applesauce1
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I've become more and more impressed with the Southern Tier brewing company over the past few months...and this beer only improved that image.

ej285701 gave this to me in our six-pack switch a few weeks ago.

Appearance: copper-gold color with a 1/2" white head on the pour....looks nice

Smell: hazelnut coffee, nutmeg, pumpkin pie...very nice (although you're missing the smell of hops)

Taste: wow...great...hazelnut coffee, oatmeal cookie, pumpkin pie...great tasting....the only down side tasting some of the alcohol in the back of your mouth

Mouthfeel: full body

Drinkability: one in a night, but it does go down nice and won't fill you up

Overall, a great beer and wouldn't mind trying to find another before it gets cold.

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Photo of Cmack15
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Wow! The aroma of this beer is amazing, reminds me of a sweet dessert. I can not exactly place all the spices in this beer but I do beleive there is a strong vanilla scent and perhaps nutmeg. the taste is just as powerful as the aroma which makes this a great final beer of the night. The flavor is too overpowering to continually enjoy unfortunately. I sampled this beer at the Publick House in a paddle and found that was the right amount. After finishing my paddle I ordered a proper pint and halfway through wished that I didn't. I love this beer but I could not drink more then 1 at a time. Would I reccomend this beer yes, would I have more then 1 round no. Please try this beer ,enjoy this beer in small samples.

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Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.67/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: snifter. pours a slightly opaque crisp orange with yellow hues. off-white head with a mild retention rate and light lacing.

S: great aromas of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, pecans, and pumpkin. smells like pumpkin bread.

T: by far the most pumpkin tasting beer I have had. it tastes like a slice of pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread. tons of spices and true pumpkin flavor.

M: medium to full bodied. good carbonation level. great seasonal palate.

D: amazing pumpkin ale. great flavor, 9% is rough but well hidden. good brew and well worth drinking if you like spices.

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Photo of Redrover
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brown bomber with a great label. Poured into a pint glass, the beer is an orange-brown color with a tan head. Not a ton of lacing.

The nose reminds me of iced pumpkin bread. Lots of spice, something sweet, pumpkin and dough. Yummy!

The taste is good, but cannot live up to that great smell. There is nice pumpkin notes, spices (all spice & clove?), and fresh bread. It is well balanced and not too sweet & the alcohol is well hidden.

The mouth is silky with low levels of carbonation. The 9% will limit it a once a night beer for me. I enjoyed this one and will be picking-up more for the fall. Well done!!

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Photo of stewart124
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an amber beer with a Pumking tint to it. To top it off there is a decent white head that lingers for a bit.

There are strong hints of vanilla and cloves in the nose with a slight spice of hops.

Wow! This beer tastes like a gingerbread cookie. Very strong but smooth tastes with a nice body to compliment the spices. Very flavorful but well-balanced in the end.

Tends to finish on the thin side but this is really what a pumpkin ale should be like. Southern Tier took it up a notch once again.

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Photo of blitz134
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been wanting to try this one for a while. First pumpkin beer of the season!

Pours a crystal clear orange color into my snifter. Small, fizzy light tan head of large bubbles that subsides quite quickly leaving almost nothing behind. Nice, but needs SOME head and retention.

Aroma is quite nice. Initially I was a little put off, but as it breathes a little the gingerbread really comes through. It really does smell like gingerbread cookies. Hints of clove and cinnamon, but these are quite subdued.

Flavor is much the same really, good bread maltiness that supports the spices nicely. Little to no obvious hopping. Not overly sweet or bitter, pretty well balanced. What amazes me about this beer, and Southern Tier's beers, in general, are the crazy alcohol levels that aren't in the least bit obvious in the aroma or flavor. My guess is this has some sugar additions in it.

Smooth on the palate, low carbonation helps with this, the spices add the bit of crispness. I dont want to say it has a thin body, b/c it has a pervasive stickiness that seems to hold the flavor around as it coats the palatte, but it is a bit thin.

Overall, this one gets bonus points for its high ABV that is completely hidden. I'd like to see a bit more bready flavors linger afterwards. The thinner body, and perfect spice level, makes this one quite quaffable for its size. Quite the dangerous drink.

There is a lot I like about this beer, but it lacks in some departments (head and retention, a touch more bready flavors that linger, slight kick up in mouthfeel.)

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Photo of Chinon01
3.2/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Sandy color with fluffy head. Nice.

Smell - Spice, oatmeal cookies and vanilla wafers.

Taste - Similar to nose; liquid oatmeal cookies and vanilla wafers with some orange.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability - Mouthfeel is nice. Overall M&D suffers due to level of spice which is too pronounced IMHO.

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Photo of djwilson
4.67/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into large snifter.

Looks Great Just Like an autumn sunset!
burnt orange, copper hues really feels like fall (first day of autumn). No better way to celebrate.

Smell: WOW!!!! smells like pumpkin pie baked into a grahmcracker crust, hints of cinnamon, biscuts, brown sugar, carmalized pumpkin, very faint clove and nutmeg, maybe a touch of cardamom, vanilla, and oak.

Taste: Just like liquid pumpkin pie, all the flavors are there with just a touch of alcohol to help clean the pallet for another taste. Expected the alcohol from the 9% ABV but it really lingers on the back of the tounge.

Mouthfeel: Very Heavy! very full body! silky smooth over the entire mouth really lets you taste all of the flavors in this beer.

Drinkability: I think this is an OUTSTANDING Beer, but one would be enough for me. It is very strong but very tasty! What a great way to celebrate the first day of fall. This is the perfect beer for HALOWEEN or Thanksgiving after the meal instead of pumpkin pie!!

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Photo of Maerzen
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another NY craft beer tasting. I'm a fan of pumpkin beers after having my first at Chumley's a few years back. Lately, I've been disappointed at most that have been available. Pumking, however, raised my eyebrows a bit. Nice golden color with lots of spice on the nose, especially vanilla. Enjoyable mouthfeel though the alcohol is very present to the point of almost being metallic. I do hope that vanilla is not synonomous with pumpkin spice, as there was a lot of vanilla in the taste and I kept waiting for the pumpkin spice to take over. Instead, the spice hung around on the edges apparently lacking the self esteem to take the floor. 9% ABV to me means sipping and I was more in the mood for good pumpkin thirst quenching, but that is what it is.

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

Bomber into a pint glass. Not doing the chalice thing for this.

Appearance: Lighter copper-colored body, decent lacing and head retention overall.

Smell: Frosted ginger bread cookie batter and yeasty, sugary doughiness with big caramel malts, nutmeg, and mild pumpkin in the back making itself known. As it warms, there's more hops to curb the sweetness nicely, which seems to be more prominent as it warms. Rich and complex and perfect for the now.

Taste: I like how it gets hoppier as it warms, and that's one of the main focus points here, but I'm not sure how that is with beers like this for the most part. Still, it's nice in that sense. As far as flavors go, there's initial big cake batter dough, and gingerbread cookie flavors, with some pumpkin in the back, and then a nice layer of citrus hops and caramel malts, leading to the complex finish at the end, which gets different as the temperature warms and the sips keep going.

Mouthfeel: A big beer, so be ready. Has a nice chewiness and good creamy carbonation for the medium to full body the weight is carrying inside the glass.

Drinkability: A sipper for sure. Colder it is the sweeter it is, which is odd. Let it warm a bit before putting it into whatever glass you're emptying it into. Certainly worth the $7 for the bomber, but I couldn't do more than one, and it may be an ideal brew to split with a friend or two also. A nice switch from the barley wines and RIS that will be consumed this fall, but be warned, it's much more like the pumpkin pie aspect than it is a brew with mild spicy pumpkin background. If you're not ready for it, you'll be disappointed possibly. Take to the Thanksgiving where you'll be; there will be some people really happy with your gift.

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

The first time I had this beer, I absolutely loved it.(though i still thought dogfish head's was better). It had a great smell, and tasted just like pumpkin pie. LOTS of pumpkin aroma and taste up front, with some great spiciness to it from the nutmeg and cinnamon. I recently bought it again and didn't like it nearly as much.

(this review is for the second tasting, as i was already a little drunk the first time i tasted it)

appearance - It poured a medium amber, with very little head at the top with a pretty vigorous pour.

smell - as soon as you begin the pour you can already smell pumpkin pie. it's amazing. the smell is probably the best thing about this beer. it has a sweet pumpkin smell with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Literally smells like a dessert.

taste - Upfront, there's a lot of pumpkin, but that's pretty much it. Not a lot of spice, and you can feel the warmth from the 9%, but almost not in a good way. It's like you feel more alcohol than you feel warm.

mouthfeel - i personally think this beer has a pretty light mouth feel. the carbonation was light and there's not much going on.

drinkability - it's good, but you can taste the 9% more than you should. like i said earlier, instead of feeling the warmth from the 9%, you taste the alcohol. it's not a very good thing.

i'd suggest maybe drinking this when you're already a little drunk with a slice of pumpkin pie. they did everything right with the smell, but didn't do so hot with everything else.

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Photo of generallee
4.84/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 1pt. 6oz. or 650ml. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

Appearance: The body has a medium amber color with good clarity. Its head is slightly off white in color, about average in size and quickly settles down to a thin covering of bubbles.

Smell: It has a sweet and creamy pumpkin pie-filling aroma with hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin and malt.

Taste/Mouth feel: The flavor of sweet and creamy mashed pumpkin jumps out on the tongue. Nutmeg and cinnamon are noticeable and is in perfect balance for me. Underneath there is a good layer of doughy and sweet malt with some hints of spicy hops in the finish. It has a rich, medium to full body with a creamy smooth texture and soft carbonation.

Notes: The flavor is wonderful like a slice of pumpkin pie with cream toping! Outstanding!!!

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Photo of pemulis
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - dare i say "pumpkin-orange"?
S - just like a freshly baked pumpkin pie. I smell pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon. Also a little bit of alcohol, which is not a surprise at 9 ABV
T - tastes almost exactly like it smells. I'm not a big fan of pumpkin beers, but this tastes like a liquid pumpkin pie. That taste lingers on the back of the tongue, with another waft of the alcohol
M - the word "rounds" comes to mind. The taste fills your mouth, and the carbonation is just right
D - something this sweet is definitely something to share or sip. One bomber is about max for a single sitting.

I wouldn't jones for this year-round, but this is a very good welcome to Autumn. I haven't had a lot of Southern Tier beers, but what I've had has been very impressive.

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Photo of tayner
2.35/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle

pours a clear, crisp, clean copper color with a white head that was fairly stickly, lots of carbonation bubbles.

smell is odd, and for me not in a good way. it has a strange wet sock and dirty leather shoe smell. I can smell pumpkin as well, a slick, raw, rotten pumpkin smell, not at all pleasing and it really turns me off. where is the cinnamon, nutmeg? nope, just raw, rotten pumpkin and wet socks.

taste follows smell, slick, rotten raw pumpkin. after swallowing i can feel the heat/warmth from the 9%, but it is only an afterthought. Did they even cook the pumpkin first? did someone forget to add the spices? this was not at all pleasant for me.

Mouthfeel is fine, good level of carbonation, light but not watery feeling.

I cant give this a good drinkability... although the alcohol is well hidden, and the carbonation is fine, but after about 6 ounces of TRYING to like it I had to pour the rest, my gag reflex got the best of me on this one... now i need to go brush my teeth, or wash the flavor away with a really hoppy IPA.

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Photo of nasty15108
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from A 1PT. 6OZ bomber into a goblet.

A - Poured a crystal clear orange/amber color. The pour produced a thick head of slightly off-white foam that quickly dispersed into a thin bubbly film.

S - Pumpkin pie. Slightly malty with big aromas of pumpkin, vanilla and spices.

T - More of the same. Finishes slightly soapy.

MF&D - I'm not a big fan of fruit/vegetable infused beer, but this one is about as good as they get. You don't even come close to noticing the 9%ABV, it goes down really nice. My only complaint is it is a tad bit on the sweet side. I'm not sure I could drink these all night, but it's definitely a nice fall treat.

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Photo of lightindarkness
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thank you kasper, thank you.

Pours a clear ambery orange color with an initially whispy head that eventually fades to the tiniest of thin rings around the glass.

While I guess I should have expected it to smell like this, somehow I was still a little surprised. Pumpkin, dough, vanilla, a little faint spice and some harvest fruity apple aroma. I get a very nostalgic hit from this one, with vivid flashbacks of staying in a cabbin tucked neatly on the side of an autumn colored mountain, a digression from the beer, but that's what it reminds me of.

Mild spice up front, with a soft malt base that somehow evolves into a doughy bread middle. True pumpkin flavor seems to rise toward the finish with the best of subtle autumn spice. Notes of vanilla and brown sugar sweetness are also present. Soft full pumpkin flavor peaks right at the swallow and fades nicely with a faint touch of hoppiness.

Feel is definitely medium body with some thin carbonation.

Becoming sweeter and stronger as it warms past the 40 degree suggested serving temp, it's a novelty in itself that ought to be shared around a campfire, at a seasonal party, or after raking leaves. Sneaky high alcohol has its effects and should be noted. Another impressive Southen Tier flavored beer. A new reason to look forward to fall!

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Photo of AlcahueteJ
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a nonic tumbler. About two fingers of frothy white head, amber in color.

Might be the best nose on a beer ever. Smells exactly like pumpkin pie. I wish I had pumpkin pie to pair it with.

The flavor matches the smell. Strong pumpkin and vanilla flavor, loads of spices. Alcohol is not noticeable, making the drinkability off the charts. Definitely isn't easy to take it slow with this beer.

This is my first review, and I typically do not review beers. I've tried hundreds, but this may rank in the top five. I highly recommend this beer, by far the best pumpkin ale I've had.

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Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,871 ratings.