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Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,253 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,253
Reviews: 1,684
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 17.2%
Wants: 366
Gots: 769 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
19 Degrees Plato
8.8 Degrees L
2-row Pale Malt
Caramel Malt
Pureed Pumpkin

Kettle Hops: Magnum
Aroma Hops: Sterling

(Beer added by: BeerBeing on 08-26-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,253 | Reviews: 1,684 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of schlimenhaumer

New York

4.15/5  rDev +2%

Poured from a 1 pint 0.9 oz. bottle into a pint glass at low altitude.

A: Pours a slightly hazy honey color with a pithy finger of white head even after a vigorous pour. Needless to say, not much in the way of lacing, either.

S: A nice mix of caramel malts and spiced pumpkin. Definitely appealing in this respect.

T: A nice mix of caramel malts up front followed by a spicy pumpkin finish that stays on the palate well after it goes down. This is exactly what I imagine when I think of pumpkin ale.

M: Medium-bodied with a slick mouthfeel, but with enough carbonation to keep things interesting as it goes down.

D: Although this isn't something I would want to drink every day, it's near perfect for when you're craving pumpkin in the fall.

10-23-2011 18:35:26 | More by schlimenhaumer
Photo of zimm421


4.2/5  rDev +3.2%

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter. Appears a fairly clear dark orange color. Has little to no head, but does leave decent lacing for what's there.

Nose is all fall. Smells just like a pumpkin pie, with strong notes of the buttery crust and hints of pumpkin aromas as well. Nice caramel undertones from the malt. Taste takes me right back to my mother's pumpkin pie. The pumpkin definitely comes through much stronger in the taste and the caramel and buttery crust come through big time as well. Pretty sweet overall, but there are some slight balancing notes.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with below average carbonation. Pretty smooth overall. Overall, this is a pretty good brew. I love the way it takes me back to my younger days of eating my mother's pie. Definitely worth grabbing a bottle or two each fall!

10-23-2011 18:17:03 | More by zimm421
Photo of Flounder57


4.3/5  rDev +5.7%

22 oz botttle was poured into a large Duvel tuliped glass.

Appearance: a nice orange glow comes from the glass. A little head has formed at the top of the glass and has reduced to a thin layer. There are also signs of carbonation coming through the middle of the glass.

Smell: pumpkin, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamom, clove, all spice, and very bready. Smells almost as if I can eat the beer instead of drinking it. This should be called pumpkin bread beer.

Taste: Same as above and very delicious. Booze is hidden really well.

Mouthfeel: smooth, full bodied, medium to low carbonation

Overall: I have had this on draft several times last year at the Union Brewhouse and about time I had to review it. Out of all the pumpkin beers I have tried over the past few years, this seems to be amongst the top ones. Will look forward to having more of this beer in the future.

10-23-2011 03:36:31 | More by Flounder57
Photo of TheBrewo


3.38/5  rDev -17%

We pour an orangey brew the color, some might say, of fresh pumpkins. It holds a one finger head of bright white, fizzy bubbles. The head remains creamy, giving a film of white haze over half the glass after it recedes. This, surprisingly, leaves little lacing. There is a thin haze, with no sediment, and active carbonation. The first thought that comes to mind with the aroma is pumpkin pie, with extra pumpkin spice. There are big buttery diacetyls, a vegetable quality of squash and the saltiness of pumpkin seeds. There is a cutting sweetness of cooked caramel and cooled pumpernickel bread, added to by a slight toast from the malts. On the far back there is the smallest hop slickness for balance, with a grassy quality. As we sip, the taste begins with a warming pumpkin spice and thick malts. There is also thick spice from gingerbread. These persist through the middle, where we get inclusions of nutmeg bitterness, and a souring, more plant-like feel. As in the nose this is a vegetable richness, with salty, sweet, and bitter all at once. At this point the peppery booze begins, moving us to the end where the sourness of hops and lactate pull through with a big breath of fusel alcohol. The aftertaste breathes of bitter and grassy hops, chemically phenols, chalky malts, and big mouthfuls of authentic pumpkin meat. The body is full and the carbonation is average. It somehow holds a lighter feel for the season, with a bizarre coating over the entire mouth. This leaves a metallic film of astringent stickiness. There is nice sip and froth, but otherwise it is not very creamy. The abv is within range and the beer drinks as a slow sipper.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the huge spice on the nose, and with an equivalent strength in the taste. There was pumpkin, nutmeg, clove, but it was at times a bit too bitter. The mouth coating was actually weird, with thick, oily metals, making it downright unpleasant. Where it really lost points was in the lack of overall richness and warming that one might expect from such a classically seasonal brew.

10-23-2011 03:05:19 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of taulpepper

New York

3.95/5  rDev -2.9%

Appearance: Nice amber/orange color, very clear. Decent head that dissipates quickly.

Aroma: Sweet, buttery, pumpkin pie, vanilla

Mouthfeel: Very little carbonation, can't see many bubbles or feel them, similar to an English Ale/ESB in terms of carbonation, but on the flat side. Feels thin and somewhat watery.

Taste: Very sweet, lots of pumpkin pie flavor, a lot of vanilla, buttery flavor. Has a good amount of bitterness which is good, because you need it to balance out all the sweetness. I don't get much spice, maybe some nutmeg, but mostly just sweet flavors and bitterness/spiceness from the hops.

Overall: I haven't had any pumpkin beers that I love yet, but this is one of the best ones I've tried of the style. It's quite sweet, but 22 oz was almost too much. One of these as a desert beer is good, but I'd only want one in a session. Nice beer for the season.

10-23-2011 01:53:24 | More by taulpepper
Photo of coastiefish


4.93/5  rDev +21.1%

Autumn, 2011.
Poured into a tulip glassware

A- Lively bubbles, Beautiful bright orange, slightly cloudy. Not much of a head at all.

S- This has got to be one of my favorite noses. Big Bread, pumpkin, nutmeg. rich, full and savory. Biscuit malt.

T- Delightful. Pumpkin pie. The bread and biscuit nose follow through in the flavors.

M- Creamy and carbonated, more carbonated than I recall from last year.

O- Great Brew. Best Pumpkin of the Year, again. Get one now.

10-23-2011 00:38:55 | More by coastiefish
Photo of MrVonzipper


4.3/5  rDev +5.7%

Thanks to Axic10 for this.
Pours a golden copper color with solid 1cm bubbly eggshell head with mild retention and spotty lacing.

Nose is bursting with holiday pumpkin flavor, nutmeg, cloves, a touch of cinnamon and buttery pie crust. Lovely nose!

The flavor is big a bursting with flavor as well. Underneath the great buttery gingerbread crust flavor. There is a nice earthy pumpkin flavor with along with the mild nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves that are synonymous with pumpkin pie and the season.

Medium-light bodied with medium creamy carbonation.

Overall this is a great pumpkin/holiday beer. Big flavors that are very natural and real. Great balance. Probably my favorite pumpkin beer now. A must try if a pumpkin beer fan.

10-22-2011 19:24:21 | More by MrVonzipper
Photo of adam42381


4.2/5  rDev +3.2%

Review from notes at World of Beer - Fort Myers on 10/12/11.

Poured on draft into a Sierra Nevada tulip.

Appearance: Pours a light golden caramel with a 1/2 finger bubbly white head. Decent lacing.

Smell: Pure pumpkin pie. Sweet and spicy. Smell delicious.

Taste: Strong pumpkin spices throughout with a touch of hops at the finish. Spicy aftertaste. The flavor isn't as sweet as the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a high amount of prickly carbonation.

Drinkability: Decent drinkability. This is something that's good in small doses. I wouldn't want another in one sitting.

Overall: Very good beer overall. One of the best pumpkin ales available. Definitely worth trying.

10-22-2011 16:17:17 | More by adam42381
Photo of mjpolzin


3.53/5  rDev -13.3%

I picked this up in September and waited until I had some free time on a weekend night in October to try it out.

The appearance of this beer as I poured it into a pint size mug was rather underwhelming. It had the look of a cheap macro-brew.

When I took a sniff, the smell I got was the best thing about this beer. I got a distinct pumpkin pie smell and I was able to smell separately the pumpkin, nut meg and cinnamon making this a fun beer to smell.

The mouthfeel and the taste left a little something to be desired. The beer felt watery and thin and after an initial boozy warmth, I didn't notice the alcohol after awhile which was disappointing considering the 8+ abv. I know that I drink a lot of high abv beers and probably handle a 7-8 percent beer without really noticing it but I was hoping for a little more boozy feeling from this one. The taste of the pumpkin pie wasn't as noticeable as it was in the smell and the maltiness came through more.

Overall, I liked it enough to buy another one next fall but not enough to stockpile it and not enough that I will be counting down the days until it comes out again.

10-22-2011 02:54:21 | More by mjpolzin
Photo of wisrarebeer


3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

650ml bottle. Served near cellar temperature instead of at the recommended temp of 40 F (too cold).

A: nice darker amber color, poured with a decent, small-bubbled head but quickly dissipated
S: full nose with tons of spice but more earthy and savory than over the top spice
T: definite EtOH presence, great spiced quality with definite earthy, gritty taste, pronounced hop bitter finish
M: EtOH, with a bit of cloying heaviness

10-21-2011 00:32:57 | More by wisrarebeer
Photo of damndirtyape


4.28/5  rDev +5.2%

22oz Bomber served in a Tulip. No date on bottle but I bought this as it was released this year so I'll assume it's 2011 vintage.

Appearance: Slightly hazy orange-amber beer with the faintest of white head at the edge of the glass. No lacing at all. Is indeed a bit of a pumpkin color.

Smell: Rich. Pumpkin, biscuity malt, pie crust, nutmeg, and hints of vanilla. oh yes - quite good.

Taste: Very much like it smells. Pumpkin malt and pie flavors all up at the front, with some lingering hop bitterness at the end. Fantastically tasty.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, decent thickness. Nothing special but definitely above average.

Overall / Drinkability: Quite nice. I shared this beer but I could see myself finishing off a whole one of these on my own. So very drinkable. Strikes me as very much a dessert beer though - not sure how I would pair this with food. The only drawback is the lack of lacing, but the color is still good.

10-20-2011 22:15:56 | More by damndirtyape
Photo of olimpia84


3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

On-tap at Dunedin's House of Beer. Served on an English pub glass.

A: clear amber orange body, fairly translucent with no head and no lacing.

S: predominant smell is flour crackers and mild spiced pumpkin. Some notes of apricot and sweet malts are also found.

T: just like in the smell this beer has a weird flour cracker taste combined with hops presence and sweet malts. The pumpkin taste is not as pronounced as I was expecting.

M: light to medium, very dry, medium carbonation.

O: an enjoyable pumpkin beer although don't expect it to have a very strong presence.

10-20-2011 20:37:23 | More by olimpia84
Photo of garymuchow


3.7/5  rDev -9.1%

Aroma is more like a roasted pumpkin and not typical of most pumpkin ales I've experienced. I like it. Minimal spices, but there. A little sense of cream too.
Attractive orange and pretty clear. White head that seems to get denser as it grows. Nice.
In taste the vanilla and creaminess are primary and the roast pumpkin is background. Spices blend well. Warmth and taste from alcohol. More hoppy than most in both taste and finishing bitterness.
Moderate body and a little light overall. Reasonable smooth and nicely carbonated.
I quite enjoy the roasted pumpkin, but the spicy cream not as much. Don't mind the heat or the hopping. Unique and I'd have it again, but I've enjoyed others of this style more.
Thanks #2.

10-20-2011 02:03:40 | More by garymuchow
Photo of jsdunlop

North Carolina

3.23/5  rDev -20.6%

Pours a light hazy orange with visible active carbonation and a minimal layering of frothy head that quickly dissipates. Aromas of sweet potato, strange medicinal pumpkin, vanilla, and chi tea. Very flavorful, with strong notes of vanilla and pumpkin. A bit spicy on the palate towards the end of the sip with some remnants of cinnamon and nutmeg. Slightly over-sweet pumpkin flavor throughout the sip with a noticeable alcohol presence. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated and quite thin. Overall, not my first choice for a pumpkin ale this fall, but it is definitely different from those I have had in the past.

10-19-2011 03:52:41 | More by jsdunlop
Photo of JohnnyP3


3.7/5  rDev -9.1%

22oz bomber dated 08/23/11. Pours a copper/deep orange with a thin cap of white head that fades quickly. Nicely carbonated. Not much lacing on the glass.

Smell is mouthwatering. Like my mother's pumpkin pie. Fresh pumpkin goodness with nutmeg, cinnamon, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

And the taste is quite the same, with a spoonful of brown sugar on top. No kidding, this is a sweet tasting beer. One hell of a blast of pumpkin with all the associated holiday spices mixed in. Trying to break it down. There is a definite pumpkin-malt backbone with currents of sweetness running throughout. The cinnamon and nutmeg flavors are quite pronounced. And I think some alcohol bite definitely comes through. Actually it latches on and tears a chunk of flesh out of your hide. All fades into a nearly syrup-like sweetness that lingers on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is smooth with carbonation...but this one is so intensely sweet with a rabid alcohol bite that it almost blots out everything else.

Overall, this is like liquid pumpkin pie mixed with rum and brown sugar in a bottle. Wow. This is a bit much to take for one person. Plan on splitting one of these bombers with friends during a pumpkin beer tasting event. This is an experience that you should try at least once.

10-18-2011 05:43:09 | More by JohnnyP3
Photo of Blakaeris


4/5  rDev -1.7%

Pours a light copper with a mild head.

Aroma is carrot cake. No joke. Carrot cake period.

Taste is caramel malt up front. Then the carrot cake spice returns, but not as strong as in the nose. Finishes with a light bitterness and lingering spice.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall, a pleasant desert beer. Smells like cake, tastes like beer. Tasty for the style. Very unusual and worth a try.

10-18-2011 01:21:05 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of bashiba


4.3/5  rDev +5.7%

Poured a clear bright pumpkin orange with a very thin and quickly disappating white head.

Wow, it smell exactly like carrot cake, very spicy and sweet, very desert like.

The flavor doesn't quite follow the smell, its lacking all the sweetness that was in the nose, and this is good, it drinks much more like beer than it smells, still has the big cinnoman and graham cracker crust spices along with hints of pumpkin pie flavors, but in a more subdued and drinkable way with a nice light spicy bitterness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is light and very very dry almost a bit chalky.

I didn't really expect to like this beer as I'm not a huge pumpkin fan and have been very up and down on southern tier, but this is quite good, very unusual and one of the few pumpkins I would go back for.

10-18-2011 01:11:46 | More by bashiba
Photo of EnemyWithin

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -1%

Appearance: 3.5
Golden orange body, clear, with a half inch white head that dissipates into a clear covering.

Smell: 4.5
Bready buttery pie crust smell with mildly spicy pumpkin pie filling. Hint of nutmeg. Really smells exactly like pumpkin pie. As the beer opens up, the aroma becomes very prominent and amazing. Very sweet. Faintest aroma of hops.

Taste: 4
Initially a little sweet and a little dry from the carbonation. Transitions into bready, almost buttery, pie crust plus creamy pumpkin pie filling – notable spicy pumpkin flavors. Malt presence becomes really notable, with soft sweetness, and then at end, transitions into the bitterness of the hops, which acts as a lingering bitterness, which cleanses the palate as the sweetness begins to fade.

Mouthfeel: 3.5
Pretty good, mild to moderate carbonation and thickness, the sweetness is balanced with the astringency of the hops. Could be more creamy perhaps.

Overall: 4
By far the best pumpkin beer that I’ve tried to date. I find most pumpkin beers taste like beer with added pumpkin flavor, but here it is a little more distinct in giving the full pumpkin pie experience melded with beer. There is a prominent element of sweetness, more in smell than taste; however, there is a reasonably good balance with the bitterness of the hops that it’s not one dimensional. I was concerned it would be too sweet, but it’s not. I would be curious to see how this beer changes with age. Still this genre is a bit of a novelty, but this is an enjoyable seasonal release. I would say overall definitely try this beer!

10-18-2011 01:01:42 | More by EnemyWithin
Photo of airforbes1

New York

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

Pumpking, the beer that inspires countless "Was it better last year?" threads. Also a beer I'm trying for the first time.

It has a typical pumpkin-beer appearance: a clear orange-red color with almost no head to speak of. The nose, however, is unlike any pumpkin beer I've ever had. When thinking of a comparison, the first thing that came to my mind was the pumpkin-spiced ice cream I had last week. Listing specific aroma is more difficult for me, but if I had to venture a guess, I'd say smells biscuity, with sweet malt, nutmeg, and clove.

Wow, this is an interesting beer. I taste spices at first, followed by a creamy sweetness, and then a hint of graham-crackers, with the sweetness remaining at the end. Even though there's some minute warmth going down, the 8.7% ABV is really well disguised. I'm going to maintain my comparison to pumpkin-spiced ice cream, with the cracker sensation simulating a cone.

It can be difficult for me to dismiss personal preference and be objective when reviewing a beer, but I think I can pull that off here. This is a well-made beer, although it's a little too sweet for my taste. I could see this being a once-a-year-special treat or something to bust out for a special occasion, but the next time I seek a pumpkin beer I'll probably get something that isn't as sweet.

10-18-2011 00:30:09 | More by airforbes1
Photo of paxchristi


3.9/5  rDev -4.2%

Poured from 22oz bomber into snifter. Split this one with my wife. Thanks to Andrew61923 for this one in our recent trade!!

Display: Quite possibly on of the coolest labels I have ever seen on a beer.

Appearance: Pours the color of pumpkin rind with a 1/4 finger of thin white fizz and no lacing. Nothing really special about the appearance.

Smell: This is definitely one of the more memorable noses I've ever had on any beer. Oddly enough, pumpkin is not the front end of this one, but a big, caramel bread and/or biscuit that comes from the choice of malt with the end spicing I presume. I think its trying to simulate a big pie crust. How you make a beer smell buttery, I have no clue-- but this one smells buttery. In the middle is the pumpkin with clove, slight cinnamon, bigger nutmeg, and perhaps an ever so slight edge of ginger? But the breads take take over the front end of this one and the pumpkin is almost taken over-- however, it is a very interesting blend.

Taste: Big crusty bread on the front with a creamy pumpkin in the middle. Some hop bitterness on the end. Its a very creamy flavor and it is well blended. Very complex.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with good even carbonation (tight bubbles) and a creamy feel to it. Well executed.

Overall: I've got to say that this is one of the most innovative, creative, and interesting blends I have ever tasted in any beer. It seems for me to have the big caramel malts of a red ale combined with pumpkin and pumpkin spicing balanced to perfection.

Its really the definition of cult beer-- you either get it and love it or you don't get it and hate it. I'm a lover of this beer. However, there is an issue of whether it is the best Pumpkin Ale. Not from my view. Schlafly still beats this one by a mile simply because the big bread in this one dominates the pumpkin. It tries too hard to be "pumpkin pie in a bottle" rather than a real classic pumpkin ale. I want to drink several Schlafly pumpkins over the course of an hour or two, but I cannot see myself drinking Pumking for more than 8-12 ozs at a time.

Its definitely one I will return to, and I'm very glad I got to try it-- but Schlafly by a mile.

10-17-2011 02:18:32 | More by paxchristi
Photo of gatornation


3.98/5  rDev -2.2%

10 oz serving on tap

A- pours a golden orange color with almost no head but a fresh collar

S- was pumpkin pie with cinnamon,nutmeg and baked bread

T- fresh pumpkin pie with nutmeg malts and spice

M- medium to lower carbonation with a spicy pumpkin tatse

O- a great pumpkin brew,that i like to have in the fall

10-16-2011 19:20:28 | More by gatornation
Photo of mooseo


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

650ml bottle poured into goblet.

A - Light brown amber with some orange hues. No head, just a small white film with bubbles sitting on top.

S - Pumpkin pie crust and brown sugar, with some nutmeg and allspice coming through.

T - Lots of pumpkin and pumpkin pie crust favors throughout. Very sweet and delicious. The spices come in towards the end and are rather subtle, which is surprising for a pumpkin beer. Pumpkin pie crust flavor tends to linger on the tongue.

M - Smooth, medium bodied, and creamy.

D - I've found my favorite pumpkin beer. This has the real pumpkin flavor I've been searching for. Although a tad bit too sweet, this is probably the best example of the style.

10-16-2011 00:28:36 | More by mooseo
Photo of TCMike


3.8/5  rDev -6.6%

Produced a 1 finger head, which quickly dissipated. It is a dark honey color.
The smell is just like pumpkin pie.
The taste has a good pumpkin pie flavor. I get an alcohol taste on the end of drink. It is medium bodied, and medium carbonation.
It's good, but not great.

10-16-2011 00:21:56 | More by TCMike
Photo of TheFightfan1


3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

It only took me two years before I finally got a bottle of this. Pours a nice clear orange color with a decent thick off white heading that disapates after a few seconds.

Probably the best nose to a beer within the style guidelines as I have ever whiffed. Exactley like a pumpkin pie. Heavy nutmeg aroma with the slightest touch of cinnamon and allspice.

Taste is kind of a let down after the big nose. The spices are there but are very muted to the heavier caramel malts. Slight pepper in the finish.

Mouth has decent carbonation with a nice balanced feel. Slick buttery slickness in the mouth leaves a thin film.

All and all an ok pumpking beer but just expected this to build up to the hype and the nose.

10-15-2011 22:38:48 | More by TheFightfan1
Photo of DirtyPenny


3.7/5  rDev -9.1%

Shared a bomber with a relative the other night. Poured into a couple of glass tumblers.

A: Poured a sort of bright Fanta orange with a creamy white head with faint orange highlights.

S: Pie crust with a bit of pumpkin and a sprinkling of allspice.

T: Pumpkin straightup, but the crust detectable on the nose has an odd, shortening-like flavor to it as well. The spices here are surprisingly light... at least in comparison to the crust/fat/booze notes. Booziness is absolutely noticeable. A sweet nuttiness (think pecans and/or walnuts) rounds it out, but doesn't really save it from the very powerful shortening/alcohol flavors, which are a bit much.

M: Thick and creamy.

O: It's almost liqeur-like in mouthfeel and flavor. Decent. Pretty tasty, even, but only in small amounts, and it's not terribly well balanced. I do wonder what this would be like with some age on it, but I'm not willing to go that extra step when there are better, cheaper pumpkin ales out there.

10-15-2011 20:44:53 | More by DirtyPenny
Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 5,253 ratings.