1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
PumkingPumking

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

4,871 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,871
Reviews: 1,671
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 17.24%
Wants: 321
Gots: 557 | FT: 20
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pumking Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,871 | Reviews: 1,671 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stonermouse
stonermouse

Massachusetts

1.9/5  rDev -53.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured into a Sam Adams glass (even though the label actually has instructions on appropriate glassware).

Pours a fairly mundane amber color. I tried to read a little orange into the color (it is a pumpkin beer, after all), but not much there. The head was decent, but fizzled out quickly.

Smell led me to believe this was going to be a fairly mild seasonal brew. Some spiciness to it. Certainly smelled like autumn.

Now, I sip. My thought process as I was taking the first swig went something like this: "Hmm, pretty clean, a little sweet, a little spic...wait, what the hell?" The flavor on the back of the palette was just bizarre. Every sip starts out nice and mellow, and then you're walloped with a flavor like you just took a huge chomp out of a Vanilla/Nutmeg/Cinnamon Yankee Candle. The flavors tasted completely unnatural, almost chemical.

Each sip leaves a tingly, spiced flavor in the back of your throat, but it thankfully goes away quickly.

I wanted to like this so badly. I wanted to fall in love with a fall beer that was reminiscent of the smells and flavors of the season. This sucker is reminiscent of autumn, only if fall was fabricated by Hallmark. Nothing natural about it. It should come with silver glitter floating inside to complete the effect. Poured about 6 bucks of beer down the drain, after sharing with three other people.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2010 01:16:19 | More by stonermouse
Photo of doppelmeup
doppelmeup

North Carolina

1.68/5  rDev -58.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

My excitement in trying this beer is only matched by my disappointment with how it tasted.

I have had many pumpkin ales, but this one really tastes nasty, and has a yuck aroma as well. Here is my review.

A: Starts off nice, with a pretty half inch white head on top of a golden, pumpkin (what else!) color. Almost like a jack-o-lantern in a glass. Unfortunately, that was only good thing about this beer, IMO.

S: It wants to smell like pumpkin pie; but fails. Instead, I get a soggy breakfast cereal- maybe Golden Grahams? What happened to aromas of pumpkin pie spice? The smell is very off-putting, but I've got a bomber so I'll continue.

T: Yuk. Strident bitterness, from the alcohol, maybe? More cheap breakfast cereal. This is possibly the worst pumpkin ale I've ever had, and I've tried most of them. I don't even think I'll make it through one glass, let alone the entire bomber.

M: Decent. Slightly prickly from the carbonation. Warming in the mouth, but that funky cereal remnant aftertaste remains.

D: This is just terrible. A waste of $7. if you really want a nice pumpkin ale, stick with Cottonwood. It is by far the best one out there.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2010 00:54:01 | More by doppelmeup
Photo of gdrydenc
gdrydenc

Massachusetts

3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

A- Excellent color, almost orange; nearly pumpkin colored.

S- If you put a pumpkin pie and a bottle of this in front of my with a blindfold, I doubt I could tell which was which.

T- Tastes like a pumpkin pie. If you want a beer that almost tastes like they mashed up a pumpkin, purchase on of these.

M- Very syrupy. Small but thick bubbles stay on my tongue for a while after.

D- All good review, save the drinkability. I suppose that I may have a slightly skewed perspective, but I couldn't honestly even finish the bottle is was so rich.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2010 00:01:03 | More by gdrydenc
Photo of StaveHooks
StaveHooks

Oklahoma

4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a clear amber orange.

S - Smells like a scratch and sniff pumpkin sticker(in a good way). Lots of allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon. Bready pumpkin.

T - Well...it taste like pumpkin pie. I can actually taste pumpkin in this. The allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon are bold but not overpowering. The spicy hops balance out the sweetness. Do I taste a dollop of cool whip?Mouthfeel is full and creamy. Excellent carbonation. The aftertaste is...pumpkin pie.

This is what I have been waiting for. If you're looking for a pumpkin beer that isn't watered down spice and actually tastes like pumpkin, seek this out and don't turn back. This is what a pumpkin beer should taste like.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2010 23:26:30 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of JMastrangelo
JMastrangelo

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I know all 5's should be rare. But to me, this is the pinnacle of Pumpkin Beers. I will never attempt to brew one, because I really think I can't do better than theirs.

A- Unobtrusive amber coloring. As expected

S- Amazing. This smells like pumpkin pie. Even though this is cold, it's still wafting the flavors I'd expect of WARM pumpkin pie.

T- Even more amazing. It TASTES like pumpkin pie. The spices are spot on for anyone's grandmother's recipe. It has a thicker, more syrupy consistency, typical in my experience to Imperials, so it's definitely best served chilled. But it's not too overpoweringly syrupy, so no reason to freeze the flavor out. Slightly chilled should suffice, to fully experience the beer.

M- Carbonated with a touch of syrupy imperial goodness

D- As with most Imperials, it's a one and done deal for me, they quickly can turn on you. But you can kill a whole bottle of this and feel satisfied at the end of the bottle, not choking down the last drops because it's starting to get overpowering.

Between this and their Creme Brulee, Southern Tier is a personal favorite brewer. Love it.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2010 16:03:58 | More by JMastrangelo
Photo of codewarrior
codewarrior

New York

4.85/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz Bomber into a Balloon

Oh pumpking, my pumpking. First introduced to this beer on cask at Barcade in brooklyn, this beer was top of the list for my first fall trip to western NY since leaving.

1 disclaimer, is that everything out of souther tier varies wildly in quality. I've had many bottles of this, had it on tap, on cask, etc. and while it's always good, the variation from batch to batch is extreme.

A: Beautifully golden with thick lucious head that trails beautifully.

S: Pumpkin pie! All the spices, the pumpkin, resh and warm and delicious!

T: Amazing! just like it smells. This is nearly impossible in the pumpkin ale category. They ALWAYS smell better than they taste. This guy .... this little guy .... he tastes as good as it smells ... and he smells perfect.

F Nearly bready for how thick and lush it is.

D: Yup. That's it right there. Nearly perfect.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2010 04:16:41 | More by codewarrior
Photo of PDXHops
PDXHops

South Carolina

2.35/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bomber poured into Duvel tulip. The modest head diminishes quickly, yet manages to leave some scattered lacing.

As opposed to most of the other pumpkin beers I've had that seem to be a basic beer loaded up with pie spices, this definitely smells like the whole pie, buttery pumpkin, crust and all. Is there any beer in there, or is it liquid pie?

A bitter "pumpkiny" pale ale seems to be lurking, but the pie spices could definitely stand to be ratcheted down several notches. The long finish of cinammon and nutmeg is particularly distracting and seems to leave a bit of a numbing sensation. On the positive side, there's a toasty/buttery/pumpkin combo that's very reminiscent of the carmelized edge of filling at the crust of a fresh pie. Cinammon toast finish. Turns into a bit of a chore after a while. Drainpoured a third of it.

Overall impression: Not something I'll revisit. I'm beginning to wonder if a pumpkin beer focusing on the pumpkin actually exists.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2010 01:16:23 | More by PDXHops
Photo of BeerNemesis
BeerNemesis

New York

4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pumking | 650 ml. | 9.0% ABV | 2010

Brewer: Southern Tier Brewing Company
Style: Pumpkin Ale
Glass: Duvel tulip

Appearance:
Translucent orange, with an off-white, frothy, sticky head. Nice.

Aroma:
Pumpkin crust, creamy filling, very pungent pumpkin and cinnamon spices. Heavy and autumnal - a harbinger of what's to come.

Taste:
Just wow! That is one flavor-packed pumpkin ale! Drinking Pumking simulates the buttery, spicy feeling of real pumpkin pie. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and roasted pumpkin seeds in the background. Nice hoppy bite towards the finish. Sticky, pumpkin-crust aftertaste.

Mouthfeel:
Full-bodied and heavy. It's incredibly creamy at the outset, and then all of a sudden a spike of carbonation brings some life to the party, only to sleep back into a soporific smoothness. Delightful.

Harmony:
Amazingly well-balanced, and flavorful and natural-tasting. The alcohol is incredibly well hidden. Not much to complain about.

Would I get it again?:
Yes. Seasonally of course.

Bottled: ?
Served: Oct. 1

Price = ? at Witherspoon Wines

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2010 18:58:27 | More by BeerNemesis
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a yellowish color and a somewhat clear consistency. There was an inch of creamy, fairly long-lasting head. OK lacing.

S: A big aroma of pumpkin, spices, and malt. This is a good indicator what's to come with the flavor.

T: Lots of pumpkin. Lots of spices (cinnamon especially). A good amount of malt. A sharp, hoppy finish. One of the boldest flavors I've had in a pumpkin ale. Very robust and full of flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: Probably the best pumpkin ale I've tried so far. Exceptionally drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2010 12:12:59 | More by avalon07
Photo of Richardberg
Richardberg

New York

3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - on tap at Mudslide in TriBeCa. virtually no head, but sticky hint of foam on the rim of the chimay goblet. Light translucent yellow, almost lager-like.

S - fresh pumpkin! The closest I've smelled to the real thing in any beer. Like you just sliced one open. Sweet and fruity with a bit of spice.

T - starts a little bitter, then the pumpkin hits again. More spicy this time, rich, not what you'd expect from the pale look. Turns quite hoppy toward the end, with a truly bitter aftertaste. Not sure how that works but it does...sort of...

M - high ABV gives a nice slick feel

D - very drinkable for a 9%...but awfully bitter for a pumpkin/spice ale. Glad I tried it, not sure I'd order a 2nd.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2010 03:40:50 | More by Richardberg
Photo of geryeb624
geryeb624

Maryland

4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into DFH signature glass.

A- Orange in color with 2 fingers of creamy white head with solid lacing and retention.

S- Smells exactly like a pumpkin pie. Cracker malts, pumpkin, spices, and even a little sweet creaminess.

T- Again, all the elements of pumpkin pie shine through. Not too heavy on the spices, but pumpkin and malt play with them nicely. A little nuttiness and a bitter finish are also present. Slightly warming in the throat after every sip as well, it is 9% after all.

M- Nice and creamy, with good level of carbonation.

D- Goes down fairly easily, but relatively high ABV and rich flavors make me tap out after the bomber.

I had high expectations going into this one, and they were met. A very unique pumpkin brew, with very nice balance in flavors. I might have to stock up on some more before they're all gone!

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2010 03:40:36 | More by geryeb624
Photo of wikk3d
wikk3d

Connecticut

3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a dark amber with a white foam head that rises and settles very slowly.

Aroma - Sweet malty aroma mixed a very strong smell of pumpkin. Has a large undertone of alcohol, which would be pointed by the fact that it's a higher percentage than most pumpkin ales I've tried.

Taste - Very strong pumpkin flavor, malt, very sweet. It's close to actually eating a pumpkin pie. The only thing that throws me off is the alcohol flavor is a bit overpowering, but not to the point where it takes away from the rest of the flavors.

Mouth - I feel like this beer may be a little bitter for some, but if you're like me and you enjoy the strong alcohol taste of a Belgian, you'll enjoy this. Very smooth once the sweetness goes away.

Drinkability - This is a good beer, but it's something I can really only have once a year. Really good, it's a close call between this and the Dog Fish Head.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2010 01:52:13 | More by wikk3d
Photo of ChuckTownB
ChuckTownB

South Carolina

4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had a Southern Tier Pumking yesterday after I finished cleaning the beer lines at the Lodge in Hilton Head and was blown away by how true to the flavor of pumpkin it was. I like other pumpkin beers, but find that so many are more "pumpkin spice" than anything. This beer tasted like what a pumpkin smells like when it is being roasted in an oven. It is more honest to name "pumpkin beer" than others I've had.

Serving type: on-tap

09-30-2010 16:51:54 | More by ChuckTownB
Photo of GusDom
GusDom

Illinois

4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

 Let me start off by saying that I love me some pumpkin pie and anything else pumpkin. I was first introduced to this beer by a coworker of mine, he described the taste and I was filled with excitement soon after. 

I bought a bottle right away. Opening the bottle unleashes a strong smell of sweet spices. Pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon dominate the smell. The beer itself is a clear copper color. Not much of a head, it has a faint ivory color. Tasting the beer is like eating dessert and drinking at the same time. The pumpkin really shines in the taste and gives it a full flavor accompanied by a very "bready" taste, almost like gingersnaps or pie crust. The hops are apparent and strong enough to remind your brain that this is still a beer. Oddly enough the alcohol doesn't show up much on the taste buds, it almost masks the alcohol completely making this a very easy to drink beer. It is very sweet on the mouth, very sweet. The after taste is both sweet and spicy with the kick coming from the cinnamon and the nutmeg. Its pretty complex in flavor and aroma, but not too much so. 

I would definitely drink this with a Thanksgiving meal for a massive taste bud orgasm. This is my favorite "fall" beer and hope everyone tries it at least once in their lives. Remember, this has an ABV of 9%, the alcohol is not present in the taste so drink slower and savor the beer, as it should be done regardless.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2010 04:42:04 | More by GusDom
Photo of Celt44
Celt44

New York

4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - pours a orangy-amber. Mild foamy head with lacing that last throughout...

Aroma - Very unique and appealing- raw cookie dough mixed with pumpkins and cloves. Very sugary...

Taste - Slight hints of pumpkin spice up front, malty, cloves, hint of banana, finishes with sweet pumkin pie

Mouthfeel - Creamy and smooth with slight alcohol burn...

Very unique beer - even among pumpkins. The aroma was super and the taste very good. Overall an excellent beer!

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2010 01:14:30 | More by Celt44
Photo of muttyd
muttyd

Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

What a treat this beer is in the Fall! Copper body with a thick fluffy white head. This beer smells pretty much like pumpkin pie. In terms of pumpkin beers, this one is pretty extreme for the style. Literally liquid pumpkin pie in a bottle. Big spicy pumpkin pie flavor, caramel, some burnt sugar notes. Not exactly a beer that I can drink more than a few times per year, but definitely enjoyable for the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2010 00:55:01 | More by muttyd
Photo of ryantaussig
ryantaussig

New York

4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Luxurious and creamy head that settles to a solid finger width and sticks around for a while. Decent lacing. Beer is crystal clear with a wonderful orange hue.

S: Pumpkin, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon are at the fore. No real alcohol esters despite the high ABV for the style. It is really quite a striking nose. It smells like pumpkin pie, but doesn't have too much spice like many competitors. Slight background hoppiness does contribute to its unique nature.

T: Pumpkin and nutmeg are most prominent at the start. It balances out in the middle into a complete pumpkin pie profile. A reasonable balance of bitterness from the hops, but not enough to hurt the pumpkin flavor. More of a "miss it if it's gone" type of thing. Finishes with a good amount of alcohol.

M: Very creamy and thick. Finish is very wet, but with enough alcohol to balance. Wait about fifteen seconds and it tapers off to a medium.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2010 00:05:09 | More by ryantaussig
Photo of mlazzaro
mlazzaro

Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aged from last season. 22oz bottle.

Solid carbonation. Body is clear as can be light orange color. Yeast at the bottom of the bottle. The head is kind of hurtin'. Didn't last long at all. Perhaps due to high ABV.

Smell is just like a pie. Spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. Not much of a booze character. Smells very sweet. Caramel notes.

Taste follows the smell. Lots of spices. Almost a pie crust or toast flavor in there. Pretty interesting. Sweetness is dominating alcohol. Suiting bitterness though.

I found this sweet and full of spice. Maybe the pumpkin was aged out of the flavor profile. I liked it more fresh and that is how I rated the beer.

Taste like healthy portion and vitality of yeast culture. Very clean and lacking in booziness even though it is 9%.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2010 17:58:23 | More by mlazzaro
Photo of steveshields
steveshields

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

Although I want to give this beer the highest marks of any pumpkin beer, it loses points on drinkability, mainly because I want to drink 6 but it is a 9% beer only available in big bottles. please drop a version down to 7% and sell by the 6 pack. It is just so good.

The BEST of the pumpkin beers.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2010 06:48:30 | More by steveshields
Photo of oc0dyc
oc0dyc

Washington

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - translucent orange with a small lingering white head

S - Wonderful Pumpkin pie aroma - not much else in the nose

T - Tastes like pumpkin pie! Slight caramel swirl within

M - Though well carbonated, there is a slight syrupy texture which prevents the carbonation from hitting the tongue too harshly.

D - While the taste is spot on for what I think a Pumpkin ale should be, the slightly syrupy character makes this hard for me to drink a lot of.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2010 02:57:39 | More by oc0dyc
Photo of Bfarr
Bfarr

Washington

3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy orange amber with thin fluffy tan head with okay retention and no lacing. Huge pumpkin aroma with a bit of spice not unlike pumpkin pie (which I was eating with it!). Spicy bite with big pumpkin flavor and hot bitterness that clears fast. A dry pumpkin finish with a little bit of a salty lingering.

I'm not a big fan of pumpkin but I know a big pumpkin flavor when I taste it. This is spicy despite no use of spices in the brew so presumably it's from the yeast or hops. My wife loves pumpkin and is not much of a beer drinker and really liked this beer. The only thing I was not too fond of is its dry witbier-like mouthfeel. It is however a fine compliment to pumpkin pie since it is rather dry.The 9% alcohol is nowhere to be found in the flavor and this is just a great big pumpkin beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2010 00:38:40 | More by Bfarr
Photo of hopheadjuice
hopheadjuice

Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber, no freshness date

Pours a clear orange color with great clarity and a nice 2 finger head that settles to some spotty lace.

Very pungent scents of juicy pumpkin flesh with the autumn spice of nutmeg, cinnamon, all spice. not one scent overpowers the next creating a very unique bouquet.

They must be melting pumpkin pies into beer up their in New York because this tastes almost spot on to a home made pumpkin pie. Not overbearingly sweet holding a certain earthiness to it that balances well.

Medium bodied with a crisp carbonation. the finish is very quenching and keeps you wanting sip after sip.

This was the ride of my life for pumpkin ales. 9% abv and you cant even taste the heat. This was my 4th Pumking this year and i plan on tasting more and more. Great consistency from bottle to bottle. I recommend you drink this one soon.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2010 17:22:16 | More by hopheadjuice
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Notes

On tap at the Barley House

(A)- Pours a clear orange color with a decent white head and retention.

(S)- Pumpkin pie and spice. Just wonderful aroma as I remember from out of the bottle

(T)- Just like the smell. Great creamy pumpkin and spice. A light dry hay finish.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Creamy, yet crisp too, with minimal bitterness.

(D)- I always look forward to this every year now after trying it for the first time last year.

Serving type: on-tap

09-28-2010 13:34:32 | More by sweemzander
Photo of dopperpod
dopperpod

New York

2/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This is the first review I have written on here after being a member for a bit over a year. I have indulged quite a few beers that were listed here, as well as the 2008 and 2009 batches of Pumking. I thought they were excellent, and savored every drop.

I don't need colorful adjectives or descriptive words to say that the 2010 vintage is absolute crap compared to what Southern Tier previously put out. Whatever they changed was for the worst. The only redeeming fact is that the ABV has increased, but that doesn't mean anything if you can't enjoy your beer.

In my excitement for this year's Pumking, and in an effort to reduce the chances of my local distributor running out of Pumking early like they did last year, I purchased two cases. I paid $190 and all I got was this lousy remembrance of a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2010 03:42:10 | More by dopperpod
Photo of Pahn
Pahn

New York

4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip. 2010 vintage.

Appearance: Free pour yields a one inch head that dissipates quickly leaving no lacing. Pours a completely translucent, disconcertingly bright orange. Maybe this would be desirable if you're really into the pumpkin conceit, but for me it's a little off-putting. Leaves occasional swatches of short-lived lacing.

Smell: Pumpkin pie, spot on. Good pumpkin pie too; it's not too sweet, it's not 1-note. Great balance of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice. The pumpkin pie aroma enhances and is enhanced by a big, bready malt backbone in the smell. If this isn't exactly what a "pumpkin beer" should smell like, I don't know what the hell is.

Taste: Mildly spicy, thick pumpkin pie flavor with bready malt. The alcohol heat in the aftertaste is a bit much... it's joined by a mild bitterness, and together they constitute an unpleasant note. This is a small complaint however, as the overall taste is very good. There's no cloying sweetness (for me, the #1 worry for a pumpkin beer, or any fruit-oriented beer). The pumpkin pie flavor is almost smoky. It's very thick at first, and then in the finish it becomes a smooth backdrop (to the unfortunate bitterness and heat).

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Low carbonation (fine with me). Smooth, soft feel.

Drinkability: This isn't half bad. It's a bit gimmicky for my tastes, but if I'm honest, it would be a great beer to drink on an Autumn night, preferably sitting on a porch with fallen leaves around. The beer is perfectly seasonal, and since I'm a lifelong New Englander whose favorite season is Fall, I can definitely appreciate this aspect of the beer.

If you love pumpkin pie and simple, well-made beer, this is perhaps the beer for you. The apparent high alcohol hurts the experience (though I'm sure other less immediately apparent aspects of the ABV help the experience; I am no expert brewer), but not enough to keep me from enjoying the beer. Like Southern Tier's Crème Brûlée, this beer successfully straddles novelty and substance.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2010 03:26:12 | More by Pahn
Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 4,871 ratings.