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Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,883 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,883
Reviews: 1,671
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 17.24%
Wants: 323
Gots: 560 | 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
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Ratings: 4,883 | Reviews: 1,671 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BJam


4.9/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pumking 2009 - Southern Tier Brewing Company
Bomber: $5.99

Appearance: Clear orange almost pumpkin color with not much head.

Smell: this was one of the best things about this ale. every time you take a sip you smell delicious pumpkin pie. Yumm

Taste: Very strong pumpkin taste and not overly sweet. Perfect amount of malt with just enough spice.

Mouthfeel: The flavor was in the back more then up front. Nice and crisp.

Drinkability: Obviously, you have to be in the mood for this one. It is seasonal and it is pumpkin but as far as I am concerned, it is the best pumpkin ale on the market.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2009 20:58:53 | More by BJam
Photo of Adamdc


2.4/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

After reading all the great reviews of this beer I was looking forward to trying it. Well...it was a bit of a letdown for me. This beer poured beautifully but from then on it was a little too 'over-the-top' for me. In both the aroma and the taste, the spices were way too strong. I wasn't sure if I was having a beer or drinking some kind of pumpkin pie smoothie. The cinnamon and the allspice and the clove were just so overpowering that, despite it's $9 price tag, I had to make it a drain pour.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2009 03:11:51 | More by Adamdc
Photo of Watti


4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I find it interesting that many reviews speak of spices like clove and cinnamon as being distinctive in this beer. In fact I find most pumpkin ales in general rely to heavily on triggering your "comfort food" senses with pumpkin pie spices.

Not so here.

Pumking is a standout for me because from aroma to taste it wonderfully blends pumpkin flavor with perfectly balanced maltiness. I'm not talking pie here, I'm talking the essential essence of pumkpin , like what it smells like when you drive the knife in, ring the top and carve yourself a jack-o-lantern.

The sweetness and mouth feel is wonderful, and although there is some spicy undertone, I find it refreshingly taking a back seat to the play of malt and pumpkin - which is as it should be I think.

What a delicious beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2009 17:42:52 | More by Watti
Photo of BierFan


3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Big light tan head. Clear amber body. I was guessing the beer would be darker than it is. Good head retention.

Smell: The pumpkin pie spices are right up front. Very sweet. The pumpkin itself is also noticeable.

Taste: Much more of a pumpkin flavor than any other pumpkin ale I've had. Overly sweet, this beer is definitely not dentist approved. Not overly spiced like some beers of this style tend to be. The alcohol remains fairly well hidden. Only a tiny bit of alcohol warmth.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2009 17:33:09 | More by BierFan
Photo of Lolli1315


4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle, my first Pumking and I am pretty excited to try this.

A- A little disappointed with the appearance. Pale orange color with very little head and not very much lacing.

S- Cinnamon hits your right in the face. A sweet pumpkin candy smell similar to pumpkin pie is the next thing to come. Comes almost smell a sweet this beer is going to taste.

T- Simple enough, pumpkin pie. Can't stress enough that this is almost a liquid form of pumpkin pie. Very sweet, cinnamon flavors come out very strong followed by that sweet pumpkin taste. The taste almost mimics the smell. Did I mention this tastes like pumpkin pie?

M- Medium to a little thick in the mouth. Really a great feel mouthfeel for a pumpkin ale in my opinion. I think this is one area that separates this beer from other pumpkin ales.

D- This is a great beer, but a little sweet making it something to savor. This is not a beer that you are going to have trouble putting down, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I feel like this makes it a great dessert beer, just not something I would drink a multiple of, especially in a bomber.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2009 23:42:52 | More by Lolli1315
Photo of batty


4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: golden amber and clear, slightly off-white head that's not quite thick enough, and disappears quickly leaving little lace.

S: smell is maybe the highlight of this brew, very strong. great pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie smell. great balance of pumpkiny sweet bread with a touch of allspice and clove.

T: also very good. again pumpkin bread takes over well. well balanced with just some floral hops on the end, and finishes with a bit much on the heat, but it creates a real liqueur-like finish.

M: i'd like it a bit thicker, but really quite good.

D: tastes great, and i'll have to problem putting this one away, but not really a session beer by any means.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2009 23:18:05 | More by batty
Photo of mikel52588

New York

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

Appearance: Amber- brown color, about a 1.5 length head with thin lacing

Smell: PUMPKIN PIE, smells deliciously like it. There's also a cinnamon and brown sugar scent maybe even a touch of vanilla. I'm really looking forward to taste this, it smells so good.

Taste: like a caramel or brown sugar flavor lollipop. Lots of spices, Vanilla is really standing out to me, cinnamon, brown sugar, seem to be all there. I kind of taste the pumpkin but only slightly, and I have found this to be the same with other pumpkin beers.

Mouthfeel: light body that is far lighter than you would expect since it has such a high abv, light carbonation, slick on the tongue.

Drinkability: well they only make this during the fall season but aside from that it is very good. Definitely drinkable with a cinnamon or vanilla spiced treat. This thing is packed with alcohol but hides it very well, as you drink it, you barely notice it.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2009 06:49:45 | More by mikel52588
Photo of craftaholic

New York

4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a bomber into a tasters pint. Has a light orange amber with a fleeting finger length of head that leaves a fraction of a hair line of lacing.

Smell: This is a liquid pumpkin pie for your nasal cavity. Has the roasted graham cracker-like, bread malt which could count as the signature crust. A nice full aroma of freshly baked pumpkin which would entail the main pulp of the pie that mixes with a sweetness of another autumnal favorite of candy corn as well as a hint of brown sugar. Throughout there is a pleasant combination of spices from creamy vanilla, spicy nutmeg and a nice bit of cinnamon.

Taste: Has a taste like a hybrid of ginger bread along with a baked and seasoned pumpkin mixed with a bit of caramelized malt. Sweetness dominates the palate first off and then the nuances of aforementioned spices take hold. The finish is balance of slight hop bitter and some thick malt to remind you its a beer and you're not actually sipping pie. The nutmeg is a really strong undertone here and towards the end it mixes with a 'whipped cream' type frothy sweetness that really rounds out that cliche pumpkin pie in completion.

Mouthfeel: The aftertaste will grab your taste buds to stop the post thanksgiving dessert consumption and remind you with the "hey its a beer" sensation. In itself its a medium bodied brew with refreshing creaminess like the real deal.

Drinkability: Fabulous without a doubt, hides that abv under a pile of autumn leaves and begs you to have another.

Overall: As the leaves fall these bottles will surely pile up. Fitting for the festive season upon us if an Oktoberfest brew isn't your thing. My favorite pumpkin ale considering this one actually tastes like what it sets out to instead of just having some spice.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2009 06:43:54 | More by craftaholic
Photo of SteveO1231


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

22 oz. bomber.

Pours a bright amber with a very thin, white layer of foam that settles to a hair-thin ring of tiny bubbles.

Pumpkin pie spices fill my glass; cinnamon, allspice, and the aroma of nutmeg dominating. The nutmeg is so strong it brings a subtleness of orange. I smell nilla wafers and brown sugar in there.

Full bodied beer with creamy texture and a slickness on the roof of the mouth. Carbonation is pretty high and tingles the palate.

Light sweetness up front with a flavor of brown sugar and lots of nutmeg. I taste raw cookie dough, graham cracker and bitter orange peel. The brew is clean mid way and makes way for a strong earthy, bitter finish. Really an enjoyable beer. It would be perfect if there was a bit more sweetness up front to balance the bitterness in the end.

ABV is pretty high but the abundance of flavors and spice don't make it too easy to detect.

Good pumpkin beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2009 01:49:47 | More by SteveO1231
Photo of MetalHopHead6


2.63/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Southern Tier Pumking poured light orangy amber with a fleeting two-finger head. It left a crystal clear glass with no lace. The color was too light for an autumn ale.

The best autumn/pumpkin ales are ales first with a touch of spice. Pumking is spice first and last, with no ale of which to speak. The smell and taste were like everything that goes into a pumpkin pie, other than the pumpkin, dominated by nutmeg flavor and cheap whipped cream. The feel dries the tongue, similar to what one would expect after licking nutmeg powder. It's more unfinishable than drinkable.

I was very excited to find Southern Tier Pumking on the shelves of the local bottle shop, but I'm more excited to see it gone.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2009 22:12:01 | More by MetalHopHead6
Photo of schmitter


4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a light amber with slight head.

Pumking smells of a brisk halloween night, caramel apples and deliciousness.

Tastes like pumpkin spiced bread, sweet and warming.

The nose of this beer certainly makes it go down smooth and makes me want more.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2009 21:26:54 | More by schmitter
Photo of donkeyrunner


2.75/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

"In this town we call home, everyone hail to the pumpkin throne." - Nightmare Before Christmas

This seems to be the talked about beer this fall, as it was recommended to me by several people. Pours a flawless, clear light orange with a large white head. Leaves pretty lace sculptures on my glass: I see a tree, and a caterpillar...

Aroma is intriguing: the sugar is explosive on the nose, carrying with it candy corn, allspice and a bready pie crust. So sugary I'm afraid my teeth will rot out at first sip. Few whiffs of Sterling.

Pumking joins the pumpkin ale family that doesn't actually taste like pumpkin, but something to do with pumpkin. Pumpking is straight up melted down pumpkin influenced rock candy. Has off-place bitter bursts here and there with a bizzare and horrible aftertaste of buttered popcorn flavored Jelly Belly jelly beans, burnt corn husk and alcohol. While the overwhelming sugar coated sweetness is too much for me I could see how sugar beer fiends would like this.

Um...interesting? I got this for myself as a reward for a 30 mile training run and it ended up down the sink. I want my miles back.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2009 15:48:11 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of atremains


1.83/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Heard about this one, bottle is very intriguing looking. Friend had it, said it was interesting.
Pours a bronze golden color with a scaredy cat head, carbonation looks to be high. Nice looking beer overall. Heres where it gets rough for me. This beer does not smell appealing (to me) at all. All I can smell is a nutty, corny scent that is near repulsive. The taste mimics this. Mouthfeel is on the creamier side, with a good amount of carbonation. It barely hints at pumpkin to me, if that. I'll forget southern tier brewed this one and maybe give it another chance in the future, maybe I just don't get it yet.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2009 01:46:49 | More by atremains
Photo of caddybuyer

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm giving Pumpking the benefit of a doubt this year and re-reviewing it with somewhat better results. I still don't get the fuss, but overall, it is better than I remember it from last year.

A-Ever so slighly veiled bright orange color with a small white head that settles quickly

S-cinnamon, vanilla, and allspice. One reviewer remarked that it reminded him of a graham cracker, and that about sums it up. Interesting, but if you put this under someones nose blindfolded, they would not think it is a beer. I'm also not getting a lot of pumpkin here either.

T-Creamy taste that mirrors the smell. Tastes less like pumpkin and more like a creamy dessert (and much like what I imagine their Creme Brulee tastes like) Mild hop and spice characteristics in the aftertaste

M-Moderate and creamy with average carbonation.

D-This is an interesting beer, but not a great pumpkin ale. Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin is far superior to this ale in most every way.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2009 21:34:23 | More by caddybuyer
Photo of sophisticated


4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I LOVE pumpkin, and have had a few pumpkin ales, but was eager to try this Imperial Pumpkin Ale. Poured into a wine glass.

A) Orange-y peach. Small sudsy head which left nice lacing.

S) Delicious. Lots of spices - heavy nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar, cookies, pumpkin.

T) Like gingerbread-cookies and pumpkin pie atop a mild ale of caramel malts and hops. Definitely a sweet ale, but not as much as you might think. Starts sweet, but the spices tend to dominate, and ends on a bitter note. Delicious balance of beer and sweet pumpkin treats.

MF) Well carbonated, medium-to-thick

D) Obviously this is a seasonal treat, and one to be savored, particularly with 10% ABV. I enjoyed the bomber over the course of several hours. At one point I ate a cupcake with it, and the sweetness went with the beer terrificly.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2009 16:45:26 | More by sophisticated
Photo of drpimento


4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Man this is about this about the best pumpkin beer I ever had. Sure, it's spicy, malty, and rich. But the really good thing is that it has a certain roasty dryness which makes it much less cloying. Poured with a nice off white head and some lace. Color is a medium amber. Aroma is pumpkin pie and spice and definite roastiness. Flavor's the same. Great body and carbonation. Finish is good too, especially due to the dry roasted character. Alcohol is subtle, but present in the very end of the finish. Super rich. Definitely not a session beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2009 01:44:30 | More by drpimento
Photo of majesticsock

New York

4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks golden, not much head. Smells like I'm gutting a pumpkin. The taste is incredible, I can hardly detect the 9% ABV. All I taste is pumpkin and liquid. Might be a bit too rich to be the only thing I drink, but it's definitely one of the best fall beers I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2009 01:19:40 | More by majesticsock
Photo of BuffaloTapHugger

New York

4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours out a medium shade of orange with a brownish hue. No head and lacing to be found.

S: Pumpkins, nutmeg, and some anise present.

T: Cold (warm) pumpkin pie in liquid form. Nice spiciness involved to make things interesting.

M: Medium in body, although I imagined pouring this beer out like motor oil, but thats NOT the case at all. Low carbonation that kind of makes it bland, but it's not too much to dwell on. ABV is also well hidden.

D: Great drinking ability on this one. Could easily be a starter of a session, and an even better closer. One fabulous imperial pumpkin ale without question.

Waited along time to try this jammy and was well worth it. This is my first of many that I will be enjoyong this fall season. Just a couple brews left to try from the ST and you can say mission complete...

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2009 00:39:57 | More by BuffaloTapHugger
Photo of Madmax99

New York

4.88/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very very little head even in the beer clean glass I was drinking it in. I'm especially fond of pumpkin beers and I love the fall season so I was excited to try this. Ales are especially unique because of the top fermenting yeast they use and those yeast leave behind an array of flavors. The aroma of this beer is straight cinnamon and allspice. Flavor is like pumpkin pie and finishes clean with a buttery flavor.

Exceptional brew!

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2009 22:58:24 | More by Madmax99
Photo of jxhill

New York

3.13/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very clear light amber pour with good off-white head. Smell is distinct but not spicy as expected. A mild smell of pumpkin spices and what I can only describe not as pumpkin pie but rather warm cornbread. First sip was much the same with subdued pumpkin spices in the background and and a corny (not adjunct) sweetness which fades quickly to the light bitterness and taste of a common light ale. Warm alcohol lingers over very little finish. Light lacing.

I'm really surprised by this Southern Tier offering, since I usually find their beers to be so exaggerated. The pumpkin i this beer is subdued, too subdued for me. And I'm a big pumpkin beer fan, so I was excited to try this, thinking ST might be the right brewery for the style. But this isn't my favorite pumpkin beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2009 00:53:54 | More by jxhill
Photo of WanderingFool


3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pumking pours a spectacularly clear amber color with a one finger width, creamy white head on top. As the foam dissolves, a netted lace pattern appears on the sides of the glass. A flurry of tiny bubbles is seen rising from the bottom of the glass.

The aroma is full of spices and reminds me of a hearty, spicy carrot cake. Notes of cinnamon and nutmeg dominate, but hints of vanilla and brandy are also present.

Each sip of this full bodied beer is soft on the palate, somewhat tart and gives a mild fizz on the tip of the tongue. The flavor is much like the aroma, full of spices and sweetness. However, unlike the aroma the overpowering spicyness doesn't translate to a great flavor. Again, the cinnamon and nutmeg dominate, but vanilla, clove and sweet malt are also present. Once gone the combination of spices lingers on the palate.

The lack of balance in this beer is too big to ignore. There's nothing there to counter balance all the spice in each sip. Overall, the spices are tasty and are a nice blend, they just went too far in the quantity they added to the beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2009 18:19:10 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of BeerTwigs

New York

1.48/5  rDev -63.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

My wonderful Girlfriend purchased a bomber of the Pumking right at the end of August, I let it sit in the fridge for several weeks as I slowly worked my way into the season with some lighter pumkin ales and oktoberfests.

I finally decided to crack into this Labor day weekend and boy was I disappointed. The appearance is ok, the color is as expected. What really threw me for a loop was the strong aroma of nutmeg and cinnamon. Not only did the smell let me down, the first taste did as well. This may have been the hardest 22oz I have ever fought through. It was terribly sweet and impossible to choke donw. I really expected more for this as I usually love Pumkin Pie... oh well. On to the next brew...

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2009 01:56:48 | More by BeerTwigs
Photo of indiapaleale


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

Pours slightly viscous into the glass. The color takes the shape of nice dark amber with some orange and red hues. Head is rather thin and makes this beer look dressed down a bit.

I am not exaggerating when I say that the aroma of this beer is 100% that of a fresh baked pumkin pie. Lots of spicey notes like cinnamon and nutmeg along with some buttery aroma like that of a pie crust and of course some sweet pumpkin. Its truly a smell you have to experience for yourself. If you don't like pumpkin pie, I am not sure what to tell you.

A small sip and Kabow! someone has poured a liquid pumpkin pie down my throat and chased it with a strong amber ale. Flavors of pumpkin pie spice abound in this beer. Its almost scary that you can differentiate the pumpkin from the crust. There is a bit of the flavor of vanilla ice cream as well and the warming of the alcohol makes it all come together just right.

Its going to take awhile and lots of sipping to finish this beer but I'll do it and I'll be better for doing so.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2009 01:34:52 | More by indiapaleale
Photo of smellody


1.8/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I know that Pumpkin beers are widely enjoyed, and that this beer is rated as one of the best. Maybe there was something in the draft line, or it was a bad keg - but the Pumking I had was horrid.

While it poured a pleasant golden amber color and smelled like an odd mixture of spices and pumpkin, at first sip the complexity of flavors was overwhelming. I tasted what seemed like pumpkin pie, but all in all was overpowering and too sweet for my palatte. I found the taste to be metalic in nature with a unflattering after taste. I could not finish the tulip glass I was poured and that is something I hardly ever do - waste beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-08-2009 17:46:05 | More by smellody
Photo of vrazionale


4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. (650 mL) bottle at refrigerator temperature poured into a snifter. 2009 bottling.

A - Orange copper body with a thin head formation, even with an aggressive pour.

S - The resemblance to pumpkin pie is remarkable. The spiced pumpkin flavor is well balanced by a bready, sweet malt that is strikingly similar to the crust of a pumpkin pie. If you have a soft spot for pumpkin pie, you'll totally dig the nose on the brew. If you don't like pumpkin pie, then why would you be interested in drinking a pumpkin beer anyway?

T - Spicy (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, even a touch of black pepper) and sweet. The finish is malty, and the spice slowly fades off, producing a lingering and enjoyable finish.

M - Noticeably low in carbonation, but the sweeter flavors linger without becoming too cloying on the palate. Fairly full-bodied and brooding, especially in comparison to the more readily-available pumpkin beers out there.

D - This is my favorite pumpkin beer. I have been excited to drink it this season, ever since tasting it for the first time at Cambridge Common last fall, late in the pumpkin beer season. I'm excited by the idea of drinking this brew with some crispy sweet potato fries for the perfect autumn fatboy pub fare. Hooray for deliciously quaffable pumpkin beer!

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2009 01:34:35 | More by vrazionale
Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 4,883 ratings.