Dismiss Notice

Site Performance Updates: We're aware of the nightly site outage, and working on resolving the issue.

Follow our progress ...

Pumking | Southern Tier Brewing Company

1,913 Reviews
Read the review
For Trade:

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States | website

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

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

Added by BeerBeing on 08-26-2007

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,913 | Ratings: 7,336
Photo of bigkahunas4
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a bomber into my snifter on all hallows eve.

Appearance: Minimal head, but some nice big bubbles along the rim. Some nice sticky lacing. Pours a butterscotch color - with some red sand lowlights.

Smell: Big nose of pie crust on this one. Background is big time harvest ale with a big pumpkin profile. Hints of spices also come through. Quite Unique.

Taste: Taste is quite complex presenting an array of flavors. Starts with a woody malt character with pumpkin flavor shooting to the back of the mouth. Moves to a well balanced hop background, rich with the buttery crust flavors
At first I didn't think I liked it - but after a few sips and really thinking about this one - it's very nice.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied - very smooth. Nice crispy carbonation that lingers.

Drinkability: While the taste is quite interesting - it's not the most refreshing. I mean just think of the concept of drinking liquid pie crust. An interesting seasonal- just not my favorite.

 972 characters

Photo of MarzenMan
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber drank the night before Halloween!

A - Cool story and graphics on the bottle. Deep amber/orange color in the glass with no head.

S - Fall in a glass. The best beer I have ever smelled. Very complex. Real pumpkin smell, not so much spice but actual pumpkin. Maybe a little spice, nutmeg.

T- Very balanced. Starts a little sweet and transitions to some real pumpkin and a little nutmeg in the middle. Ends with a bitter hop and slight alcohol bite.

M - Very creamy and full.

D - Great for a pumpkin ale. Very balanced and not overspiced.

This beer def. lives up to its billing as the top pumpkin ale. Very good. Mouthfeel and spices sort of remind me of egg nog.

 683 characters

Photo of srandycarter
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours murky honey with not much head, settles to only ring. Not much lacing.

S - Pumpkin pie - sweet pumpkin pie, all the way.

T - My god, pureed pumpkin pie, the sweetness, the spices, they are all there.

M - Medium body, good carb and coating, great balance, considering the flavors dealt with.

D - This would get gross eventually. SPECTACULAR beer if you try just one. Old George W. knew what he was doing when he wanted to add this fruit to his beer.

 463 characters

Photo of birchstick
2.88/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Orangeish/amber in color with absolutely no head
S - Huge aroma. Smells mostly of graham cracker crust and of course a little pumpkin...smells like a spiceless pumpkin pie or cheesecake that is loaded with graham cracker.
T - This didn't taste how I expected it to. It was big on flavor, but the flavor didn't strike me as being pleasant after a while. Tastes malty sweet and then pumpkin pie, but there was also a lot of emphasis on graham cracker and pumpkin bread. There was also cinnamon in the finish, but the cinnamon was way too overdone.
M - goes down smoothly, but a bit thin
D - This one is not my cup of tea (or glass of beer). It was enjoyable to try, but I was not big on it because it was so overpowering in its smell in taste, neither of which I really enjoyed. I like pumpkin ales, however this one just didn't do it for me.

 844 characters

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

Big thanks to bwyker for throwing this in on a recent trade. First whiff is pumpkin...bread. Yep, straight pumpkin bread and not pie. Nice orange color, white head. Ok, maybe this does have a little pumpkin pie to the aroma. The taste is pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, graham cracker crust, mmm. I only need about one pumpkin beer per year and this one hits the spot.

 364 characters

Photo of AMo
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Southern Tier Pumking pours a dense pumpkin orange with slight amber hue. A little fizzy carbonation makes its way thought the viscous liquid, but not much. The smell is very pleasant, yielding a moderate to strong pumpkin aroma. This is by far the best example of a pumpkin tasting beer I've ever had. The taste is strong with tons of pumpkin flavor and a good alcohol kick that isn't evident in the taste, but in the head. Mouthfeel is heavy, dense, and feels like puree pumpkin nectar. Overall drinkability for this brew is fantastic. Its everything and more I could have wanted in a pumpkin beer. The best standard I've seen for what this brew should be.

 658 characters

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

Pours a remarkably clear/well-filtered burnt orange color. Small head and not much lace. Just fine, looks nice, but not crazy hot.

Aroma is spicy, reminiscent of pumpkin pie of course, but I'm mostly reminded of fresh carrot cake, including the white frosting that sometimes comes on top. Lightly sugar sweet, with some fresh cream, and, well, carroty. Very, very nice. Calling this Carrot Cake Ale may not have sold as many bottles, but just judging from the aroma, they could have marketed it as such.

It's been pointed out that pumpkin itself really doesn't have much flavor, and that's true, but there's an undeniably musty, mellow squash-like thing happening here, and it's wonderful. Again, carrot cake springs readily to mind and glides decadently over the tongue. Something like sweet cream enters the picture, matched by the luxuriously soft, creamy, round texture. Light spices come into play, but in a much less cloying manner than most pumpkin ales. Totally well-hidden alcohol too, present maybe only as a subtle wave of warmth, but that's it. Absolutely the tastiest take on the style I've ever had, even more so than Elysian and Smuttynose's autumnal offerings.

Perhaps the most authentically pumpkin-like flavor of any pumpkin ale I've had, and the carrot cake element is not only uncanny but ridiculously delicious. Like sitting down with a fresh baked pie and a big glass of creamy milk, Pumking reminds of Thanksgiving, raking leaves, and cozying up by the first of the season's fires. Next time I bring home a bunch more than just two frickin' bottles. Superb.

 1,585 characters

Photo of nrpellegrini
4.79/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden orange/ brown color with a nice off white head that stays around. Smells like pumpkin pie, specifically whipped cream. It was such a huge sweet smell, I could pratically taste it already. Once it hit my lips I was convinced, this is the best pumpkin beer. I had just bit into the most perfect piece of liquid pumpkin pie. The spices, sweetness, and texture with right on. It went down so easy and crisp, great mouthfeel.
I think one bottle would be perfect.. just no more in one sitting because of the sweetness.

A roller coaster of thoughts for this beer. Everyone told me how amazing it was and that I had to try it because it was hands down the best. Then one of my better beer buds got 2 bottles, he had the first by himself and say it was such a disappointment. Not a bad beer but it didn't live up to the hype. He brought in the second bottle to try and as you can tell, I thought different. Oh yea, he changed his mind too, said the first must have been a bad bottle...

 997 characters

Photo of AaronRed
4.34/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer certainly pushes the limites of pumpkin ales. Forget the subtle aromas and flavors of pumpkin ales of a few years ago. It is really the spices that give this beer it's orginality. Sweet and smooth, with smells like a pumpkin pie baking in the oven. I could not tell this beer was 9%. Scary. It'not even heavy for this style. It sweetness is the only part that lets you know this is one beer you need to be careful with.

 429 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11/09 Update to this review.

This has become my favorite fall beer.

Coconut, vanilla, nutmeg, slight pumpkin...
I've upgraded two scores... I just love this beer.

O.K., I have to say that this is going to be a different review than I initially thought. I had purchased a bottle of Pumking when it first hit the shelves in August. I've been waiting for a Halloween gathering to break open the bottle. However, I saw it on tap at the Horseshoe Pub and was given a taste. (sample) I really didn't like it from the sample and had convinced myself it wasn't my thing... Well last night I broke out the bomber for me and a friend and I was very pleasantly surprised. It really grew on me. I mean really, really grew on me. By the time I finished my glass I was a little bummed I didn't have another bottle.

The beer had a decent off white head that was very creamy and demonstrated nice retention. The beer was copper in color and rather clear. There was a decent amount of lacing left behind.

The aroma was thick and heavy with pumpkin pie spices. Nutmeg and clove came through.

At first, it's a bit much, bit once you acclimate yourself it's really nice. Thick, rich, almost creamy pumpkin pie in a bottle. The spices really pop and work well with the pumpkin used in the brewing. I'm not sure I taste the pumpkin as much as it effects the mouth feel of the beer. It was kind of addicting.

Mouth feel was BIG, thick and rich. At first, I thought drinkability would be an issue, but it was not.

A very nice Pumpkin beer.

 1,523 characters

Photo of jpiper
2.3/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

On tap at Buckeye Beer Engine. I'm not much of a fan of pumpkin ales, but at least they're generally drinkable. This one lacked balance, in my book. Too much malty sweetness with not enough backbone for my tastes Aroma was nice, though. This was a 3-4 sipper. Couldn't make it through the rest of the pour.

 306 characters

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got the last bottle of this at Whole Foods on Houston Street last week. After all the Pumpking Ales and Octoberfests I've had, this was gonna be my last bottle for a while. Sure, I paid $8.99 for this, but I can honestly say that this has to be one of the most unique beers that I've ever had, let alone sampled and reviewed for this website. This was strong, complex, and tough to pinpoint, but I had no regrets in buying this at all!

This had a great pour to it - a rich head, nice lacing, and a opaque pumpkin hue to it. The smell was quite powerful too, to the point where I could sense it at a pretty far distance from my glass. The taste was strong - vanilla, pumpkin, alcohol, lambic-like sourness, and pie crust...all rolled into one. There wasn't any spice to be found here and it was pretty light on the palate as well! Considering all the flavors and notes in this, this was suprisingly crisp and easygoing tastewise, although the alcohol is not as subtle.

The aftertaste was pretty doughy - the pie crust flavors dominate with the pumpkin mellowing out and lingering along with it. This is strong as I said before, but the alcohol doesn't overpower. Rather, it complements this silently strong beer, and that's not a bad thing. It's refreshing to see a Pumpkin Ale that doesn't taste its overspiced brethren...and having it draw me in until I got to the bottom of my glass was just the icing on the cake! If I ever went trick-or-treating again, I'd want this in my bag over all the chocolate in the world...

 1,526 characters

Photo of ckeegan04
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Deep orange in coloe with a thin fizzy off-white head. Head has little retention and leaves very little lacing. Lots of little bubble rising to the top.

S - Very strong pumpkin aroma with hints of many spices as well. Some nutmeg, clove, and allspice come to mind. The first pumpkin beer I have had that really smelled more like pumpkin than just pumpkin pie spices.

T - Tastes alot liked baked pumpkin with a hint of fall spice. Some nutmeg and allspice primarily. A little bready as well with a spiciness in the finish.

M/D - Medium bodied and near perfect carbonation. The tastes are a little sharp on the tongue. Enjoyed a few sips of this one but after about 8 ounces it just became a bear to finish. I couldnt even get through the bottle.

 751 characters

Photo of CHADMC3
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden orange to amber color with a thin, but generous white head.

Aroma consists of pumpkin, spices such as nutmeg, bread, and wheat. Cinnamon and other spice becomes more abundant as the beer warms, not to mention, more enjoyable.

Pumpkin and cinnamon are dominant flavors with somewhat of a grassy or straw flavor as well.

Surprisingly creamy and slightly thick. Little carbonation to speak of, but plenty of character.

This beer improves as its body warms. Nice balance of traditional ale characteristics blended with seasonal spices and flavors. I will be seeking this again next fall.

 602 characters

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

Wow! what a brew. This is the pumpkin beer I've been looking for. While other pumpkin beers follow the same route with a mild spiciness and the smooth finish, this beer takes all that and goes further.

I first tried this beer at Track 84 in Warwick RI. The aroma jumps out at you long before the first sip. The color was a nice dark caramel brown and you instantly get the aroma of freshly baked pumpkin pie.

Despite the holiday festivities that this beer brings to mind, I don't feel that Pumking forgets that it's a beer first and a fruit/holiday beer second. There is a subtle hop spiciness at the end and some hop bitterness is perceptible in the mouth feel. The beer finished a little dry and crisp with just a hint of sweetness but not so much that a second round would be a challenge.

All in all Pumking is a first rate beer.

 837 characters

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

Pours a clear amber with 2 fingers of foamy off-white head. Good retention and ok lacing. Smells of pumpkin, nutmeg, flour, brown sugar, cake, and cinnamon. Tastes of pumpkin meat, nutmeg, a touch of cinnamon, cookie/cake, roasted pumpkin seeds, and brown sugar. Medium in body with good carbonation. Creamy and smooth, airy and cake-like with a nice balance between spices and pumpkin. Last year's batch was a little too pumpkin meaty for me, not enough spice, but this year's batch takes the cake and is a great pumpkin ale. I'd drink this by the case if it wasn't 9%.

 570 characters

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

Pours clear copper with a quarter inch head of white. Retention is short, and a placid surface is evident within one minute. Minimal to no lacing.

Aromatics lead off with toasted gingerbread, brown sugar, roasted pumpkin, and toasted pumpkin seeds. Hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, maple syrup, and cloves follow through.

Medium bodied and lightly syrupy. Low carbonation lends to a slick, sticky mouthfeel.

Roasted pumpkin, brown sugar, spice, and fruitcake start off the palate. Ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon show nice balance. Warming alcohol steps forward along with some decent malt and honey drizzled toasted dough.

Finsihes with lingering, warming spice, toasted pumpkin seeds, and brown sugar.

 706 characters

Photo of Atron67
3.61/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle at steves,

A- crystal clear body with a light orange body, and a white head on top that quickly faded.

S- Super strong spice, strong vegetal pumpkin flavors which is really nice, has some strong sweetness as well. the smell is a little offputting.

T- strong pumpkin flavor, earthy, tasty. im relieved its not a a super cinnamon flavor as seemed possible from the smell. strong pumpkin tones, balanced cinnamon. still pretty sweet but a solid beer around. Thank god for a big strong actual pumpkin flavor though

M- thick body, medium carbonation. sticky lingering body and flavor all over.

D- its alright, idk the taste is good, but I find myself struggling to take each next sip. ohh well

 710 characters

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

22oz. bomber: This one pours a slightly hazy, darker golden color. There is a slight orange tinge to it. There was a small off-white head on it that dropped away rather quickly, and leaves no lacing. The aroma is interesting. Missing is the pumpkin pie spice that you usually get with this style. I get mainly pumpkin and cinnamon. However, there are some other aromas. There is an almost funkiness to it, but not in a bad way. The taste is interesting. There is the pumpkin, as well as clove and cinnamon. There is a dryness and a touch of sourness to the brew. Also a nuttiness in the flavor profile. This is an interesting take on a pumpkin beer.

 649 characters

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

One of the best Pumpkin beers I've had. Beer pours a nice copper color with a small head and not much lacing. Big aroma of vanilla, nutmeg and allspice, like someone just took a pumpkin pie out of the oven. First sip is surprisingly smooth and creamy, not what you normally find in a pumpkin beer. You really taste the vanilla and other spices. One of the more drinkable pumpkin beers I;'ve had and would recommend it to anyone who likes the style.

 448 characters

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

A: After a normal pour, yields a copper color with a slight off-white foam head, less then one finger. A decent amount of lacing the whole way through.

S: Lots of pumpkin, all-spice, vanilla, nutmeg with some bread tones as well. The smell was terrific, very potent but nicely blended together.

T: The taste certainly lived up to the smell. I felt like I was eating fresh pumpkin pie. Really balanced pumpkin and bread malt, with a hint of vanilla (whip cream on the pie?)

M: A smooth, creamy, well balanced beer. A perfect amount of carbonation.

D: I would certainly have more then 1 in a sitting, a great dessert beer, with a high ABV of 9%.

 647 characters

Photo of ljbrisson
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet an opaque amber color. Very little head quickly disappears altogether. Aroma is pumpkin, clove, nutmeg. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation, a little syrupy. Taste is lots of pumpkin and spice up front and in your face, vanilla, caramel, almond, with a bit of alcohol in the finish. Very much like a good pumpkin pie. Although I expected this to be a little sweeter, this is one of the better pumpkin ales I have had, although the 9% ABV is completely unnecessary. A welcome fall treat.

 513 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
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 johnd513
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a amber orange color with a small white head that quickly disappears. Huge pumpkin smell with nutmeg and cinnamon. The taste is unmistakably pumpkin pie. The mouthfeel had medium body with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, I was happy with the bomber. Not as sweet as I expected (I thought creme brulee was too sweet). This is hands down the best pumpkin beer I have had. Another great beer from Southern Tier.

 436 characters

Photo of thequeen711
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hands down, the best pumpkin ale ever out there!!! 2007 is not as pumpkiny as 2008,but if you combine both together, you get an awesome tasting. I challenge anyone out there with a bottle of 07', pour a couple of ounces in a snifter, then add the same amount of the 08 to the glass and let us know what you think!!! Someone needs to tell Southern Tier!

 352 characters

Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,913 ratings.