Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

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6,841 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,841
Reviews: 1,879
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 17%
Wants: 454
Gots: 1,663 | FT: 33
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,841 | Reviews: 1,879
Photo of scruffwhor
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A one finger head right after the pour, that recedes to a small island of foam andring. Good medium copper hue with a very strong column of bubbling. The aroma is hearty pumpkin bread, strong malt notes and a well integrated pumpkin aroma. The taste is equally bready and pumpkin-ey, but with more emphasis on spices. Notes of numeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar come throuh in the middle. The finish is a dry, grainy pumpkin bread. Good sipping beer on a brisk october evening.

Photo of jenitivecase
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark pumpkin colored, with a nice off-white, solid head with great retention.

S: Pumpkin pie. Seriously - both filling and crust. Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, crust, vanilla.

T: Pumpkin pie. Really. All of it. I can't believe this is a 9% beer - there is no real alcohol flavor discernible.

M: Medium-bodied; pleasantly creamy. Carbonation is great, and is still present long after pouring.

D: Definitely a very drinkable beer. Pretty intense flavor that might be offputting after a few consecutive bottles, but I'm pretty sad there's not another bomber to pour.

Photo of HomeRunBaker
4.67/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the perfect autumn beer. It pours a light bronze color. Strong smell of pumpkin, with some nutmeg-like spice. The taste was superb. Again, the pumpkin was strong, but not at all overpowering. There were also various spices present, most notably nutmeg and vanilla. Everything came together perfect. I can't imagine a better iteration of this style.

Photo of Ineedabeerhere
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Im not a huge fan of pumpkin ales, or that experienced with the style but here were my thoughts.

It looks great, and the aroma is very spicy with all the usual suspects for the style. But comparing this to dogfish's pumpkin (my favorite of the style thusfar), ST went way overboard on the spices. It was too sweet for my taste (much like their creme brulee). ST continues to take a style and push its limits, which was great for Jahva or Choklat, but for CB and Pumking, I cant say the same.

I have heard that last year's batch was easier on the spices, which may have appealed to me more. The problem for me was that it was flat out too sweet. Much like the creme brulee, this would be better enjoyed after dinner shared with a few friends.

Photo of erikm25
4.61/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cooper, with a equally crisp, one finger tightly bubbled tinted off white head. The copper coloring is coupled with a dark pumpkin orange hue. Carve some eyes in it and drop a candle in the glass and you would have a full on jack-o-lantern. The appearance and lacing are solid.

S: Admittedly, I did not know what to think of the first whiff as it was so overwhelming. As I continued to smell this remarkable beer I began to appreciate the huge aromas. It has a massive buttery vanilla and fresh deep dish home cooked pumpkin pie smell. They must have thrown in the pumpkin stems and seeds because the smell is earthy. The spiced nutmeg, ginger, clove, and cinnamon are all very pronounced. A thick graham cracker quality. Overall, the smell is amazing, heavy, and truly complex.

T: This lives up to the Pumking name. The taste is hearty and rich of pumpkin pie crust, whip cream, and marshmallow. There are huge amounts of nutmeg, pecans, and ginger bread. Even hints of a Halloween favorite: candy corn. Very sweet with perfect seasonings and a nice malt roundness. The taste is a haunted house of flavors that spook the mouth.

M: Body is medium and creamy with perfect carbonation. The finish is long and pronounced. Almost like I took a bite of the pumpkin pie instead of a drink.

D: I checked the bottle again just to confirm this was 9% as it drinks that smoothly. I think this is the most unique taste of the pumpkin ales I have tried to date. I am by no means an expert in this genre but it works perfectly for this time of year. It is something that you can gorge on for the Halloween season. Ode to Púca and brewed with the pagan spirit in mind. Take the kids trick or treating, carve some pumpkins, jam some Misfits or Gwar, dress up like a your favorite maniac, or go watch the Jimmy Stewart movie Harvey. At least give this beer a shot.

Photo of Jerzdevil1116
4.79/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber purchased at Joe Canal's in Egg Harbor Twp., NJ. Drank for a pint glass.

A: Clear, orangey/amber body. Thin white head that clings to the glass. Steady stream of small bubbles rising in the glass. Nice lacing.

S: Smells like they squeezed the juice out of a pumpkin pie. There's the pumpkin and spice smells found in other pumpkin ales, but this goes an extra step. The crust is in there too (vanilla anad grahm crackers).

T: Tastes just like it smells, pumpkin pie; crust and all. Also has a pleasant, slightly bitter finish

M: Medium bodied and velvety smoothe.

D: My mouth watered waiting for this one to make it's appearance this season. IMO the best pumpkin beer out there. Though I savor it slowly, it is full of great flavors and highly drinkable for 9% abv.

Photo of glid02
4.39/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this from a friend.

Pours a light copper/dark gold color with a slightly off-white one-finger head. The head dissipates quickly into a wispy layer of bubbles and a thin ring around the glass. Almost no lacing.

Smells magnificent. Huge amounts of pumpkin and vanilla with undertones of spices. I could smell it the second I popped the cap, and now that it's in the glass it smells even better.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Big hits of vanilla and pumpkin up front, with a mild spiciness that ends just the slightest touch of bitterness. The pumpkin flavor sticks around for a while and leaves me wanting more. It's a little too sweet in the beginning, but as it warms it tastes amazing. There's absolutely no hint of the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is good. It's mildly thin at first, but as it warms up the carbonation calms down and the beer thickens. It's got more body than most pumpkin beers.

Drinkability is great. It goes down as easily as any pumpkin beer that I've had.

Overall this is a must try. Weyerbacher and DFH both make exceptional pumpkin beers but this is on a level all its own. I'm glad I had the chance to try it.

Photo of kmeves
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent golden-orange with a large off-white tinted head. Aroma of (surprise) pumpkin, sweet malt and a variety of spices with cinnamon being the most apparent. The flavor has a ginger quality as well as pumpkin, cloves, almonds and light caramel. Long finish with a nice cinnamon and clove character that lingers on the palate. Medium to full bodied with an oily texture and small carbonation. Alcohol very well hidden.

Photo of jasonjlewis
2.47/5  rDev -39.2%
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.

Photo of flieg44
4.67/5  rDev +15%
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.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.69/5  rDev +15.5%
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!

Photo of hazakaza
4.89/5  rDev +20.4%
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.

Photo of jmz62565
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Photo of whynot44
4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

Photo of jeffmonarch
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
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.

Photo of Applesauce1
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Photo of Cmack15
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.67/5  rDev +15%
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.

Photo of Redrover
4.02/5  rDev -1%
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!!

Photo of stewart124
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Photo of blitz134
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
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.)

Photo of Chinon01
3.2/5  rDev -21.2%
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.

Photo of djwilson
4.67/5  rDev +15%
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!!

Photo of Maerzen
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 6,841 ratings.