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Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,464 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,464
Reviews: 1,706
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 17.2%
Wants: 383
Gots: 880 | FT: 28
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: 5,464 | Reviews: 1,706 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of atr2605

New York

3.85/5  rDev -5.4%

A-pours a transparent golden orange color with average head retention
S-pumpkin,spice,straw,malt. really nice harvest smell, definitely smells like the fall season
T-Same flavors come through in the flavor. hops bring a nice bitterness that keeps the beer balanced. Has a clean finish that leaves the spiced pumpkin on the palate.
M-medium bodied, very easy to drink
O-One of my favorite fall beers. has great flavor and aroma

09-03-2011 23:05:59 | More by atr2605
Photo of siege06nd


3.58/5  rDev -12%

Shared with IrishColonial. Poured into a standard pint.

A: A crystal clear, sunset orange color. Huge three finger eggshell white head that quickly recedes to a few clumps that float atop the brew. Some light lacing adorns the sides of the glass. Would have liked to see better head retention from the massive pour.

S: Whoah this is totally different than anything I've had before. It's rather off-putting at first, but as I sniffed it more, I grew to like it more. It smells just like a graham cracker, with that thick, cake-like heaviness and traces of cinnamon and nutmeg. Smells pretty good, but radically different from the typical pumpkin.

T: Graham cracker, some light allspice, and booze. This is a very boozy beer. A disappointing watery and bitter finish. IrishColonial said it best when he said it's like drinking pumpkin pie crust. The pie filling spice takes a backseat to this bready, salty, sugary crust flavor. It's good, but an overly boozy, bitter, and watery finish leaves me wanting.

M: Pretty good. A little light on the carbonation which seems typical of the style. Flavors are a little imbalanced with the heavy booziness.

O: I'd heard a lot of good things about the Pumking and perhaps had inflated expectations. It's radically different from any other pumpkin beer I have had which makes me recommend it on that alone. That being said, it's boozy and imbalanced. Is it bad? No. Is it the best pumpkin beer I've had even today? Not even close.

09-03-2011 19:43:02 | More by siege06nd
Photo of cdkrenz


3.7/5  rDev -9.1%

A - An inch of slightly off-white head that fades away at a medium pace. The body is lightly carbonated and is an orangish-yellow color.

S - Slight spice with a bit of brown sugar and definite sweet squash aroma.

T - Slight spice on top of a sweet malty base filled with a unique brown sugar taste.

M - Moderate coarseness that seems to ease in the edn of each pull.

~ This is a once a year brew for a reason. I don't think more than one of these bad boys is gonna be on my fall list. That being said, it's very unique and it's nice to try something new every one in a while.

09-03-2011 01:03:37 | More by cdkrenz
Photo of jzeilinger


4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

A - Pours a vibrant medium to dark orange color with a thin, soapy head across the top and thin lacing. My wife and I split the bottle and her pour yielded a big fluffy, white head.

S - What more can I say than spiced pumpkin bread? Pumpkin, nutmeg, massively bready, cinnamon, and brown sugar.

T - Everything hits the tongue the way it hits the nose: the mix is perfectly even across the sip with a nice even balance of nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin, and brown sugar. Everything perfectly blends in a nice toasted combination. At the very end there's a slight bitter bite that cleanses the spice off the tongue and leaves a bitter and bready lingering sensation. The alcohol gives a slight warming in the back of the throat on the way down which goes well on a cool Fall night, unfortunately, that's not the case and it's still summer, but who cares!

M - This year's batch seems a bit thinner and not as chewy than what I remember from past batches. Slight prickly on the tongue that quickly gives way to a creamy finish.

O - This is a fantastic beer and lives up to its name. I've had this beer numerous times in the past and can't believe I haven't reviewed it until now. (???!!!!) This is a well known selection from Southern Tier (one of my favorite brewers) and definitely an assertive beer for the style. This one garners a love/hate reaction from people because we all know that's the reputation of pumpkin ales, you either love them, or you hate them. The gap between the two may be a little wider for this one since it's so bold. I always look forward to its release each year.

09-02-2011 23:48:57 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of celticfutblclub


4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A - deep orange transparent body sits below a big bubble white foamed head that settles a little too fast for my liking. not the prettiest to look at but thats not too important.

S - big pumpkin smell, butterscotch, vanilla, caramel, cake batter. hello dessert. this is one great beer on the nose.

T - caramel and butterscotch lead into a big boozy pumpkin taste that slowly edges off with vanilla. big malt taste in this. pronounced hop bite at the end that gets swallowed behind the taste alcohol a bit.

M - lots of carbonation medium to full bodied with booze being felt from middle to end. finishes pretty dry.

O - man i love this beer. boozy pumpkin pie in a glass. yum.

09-02-2011 22:23:55 | More by celticfutblclub
Photo of Vonerichs


4.08/5  rDev +0.2%

Clear orange-brown color with almost no head.

I love the smell of this. Sweet pumpkin pie (and I do stress sweet,) allspice, a little cinnamon. It screams fall is right around the corner.

The taste is exactly like pumpkin pie. I appreciate the sweetness of this because a lot of other pumpkin beers out there seem to get a high level of dry spiciness to them. This has the spices, for sure, but not to the point of being too dry.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and sweet.

I really enjoyed this one. As far as pumpkin beers go, this is probably the best I've had.

09-02-2011 14:00:51 | More by Vonerichs
Photo of Adrianized


4/5  rDev -1.7%

Poured into a snifter.

Pours a transparent orange-red-brown... Color of a pumpkin I guess you might say.  Tiny head which settles to a ring.  No lacing.

On the nose I get nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin, and freshly baked pumpkin bread.  Smells like fall.

Taste matches the nose.  Lots of nutmeg and other fall spices followed by a bready pumpkin spice.  I wish the leaves were turning as I am drinking this.

Mouthfeel is light to medium in body with an effervescent carbonation.

Overall, I've only had a handful of pumpkin beers in the past, but this one is among the best.

09-02-2011 12:29:31 | More by Adrianized
Photo of bonkers

New Jersey

3.6/5  rDev -11.5%

I poured from a bomber into a snifter, clear orange pour with minimal head. The aroma is strong pumpkin pie spices. The pumpkin pie spice is prominant, vanilla, and of course pumkin. It finishes with sweet pumkin. The body is light, low carbonation, no hint of alcohol. While I am not a fan of Pumpkin beers, this dissapointed me. There have been a ton of threads about how great this beer was, but sadly it did not work for me.

09-02-2011 01:21:23 | More by bonkers
Photo of ThePorterSorter


3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

$6 for a pint at the library in buffalo, ny

Light orange-amber with no head. Appears a bit watery and there is no lacing.

Pumpkin pie with strong vanilla and spice. This is definitely an october holiday beer, no reservations. The beer is very sweet smelling, almost candi sugar in essence. I am strongly reminded of making gingerbread houses and getting in trouble for eating the completely stale candy that was supposed to be a door knob or sidewalk outline... Tangent aside, this is a strong October beer that may invigorate strong recollection of suppressed holiday memories.

Strong hints of the same spices, pumpkin pie with a giant scoop of vanilla ice-cream on top. A little bitter aftertaste, but strong spices sit on my palate. The alcohol is little stinging, but doesn't contribute much flavor. The beer flavor was slightly lost in all the spice, but it sets up the season nicely.

A little carbonation with strong spice that saturates your palate. Strong aftertaste of vanilla and a little alcohol. Decent body, probably light to medium with a well disguised abv.

I like this beer for what it reminds me of, cool weather fall surrounded by changing colored leaves. You can't expect to drink a fall beer without strong spices of the season. I'd recommend this beer to friends for sure.

09-02-2011 01:12:32 | More by ThePorterSorter
Photo of Greywulfken

New York

4.38/5  rDev +7.6%

My first pumpkin ale!

Pretty damn good - I was braced for something (yes) gross. I don't usually like fruit-flavored beers or lambics - Ommegang's Three Philosophers is as close as I get. But I'm also compelled to try any beer with a decent (read, high) abv at some point, so:

A: translucent orange! (no surprise there) with a thin (1/2 finger) white head that quickly dissipated

S: yumsville: nutmeg, clove, spice - sweet-smelling

T: brief pumpkin, sure, but nothing too sweet or lingering - notes of aforementioned smells

M: a nice medium between syrup and carbonation - a very clean drinking beer - meaning, for me, no unpleasant aftertaste or dryness of mouth.

O: really good - definitely ready to try another pumpkin ale - y'know, if it wasn't good I would be turned off to the style, and if it was mediocre I wouldn't care if I had another; but this beer makes me want to try other pumpkin ales as well as other Southern Tier brews.

...and after trying other pumpkin ales all season, I'd rank Pumking as tied for my favorite with Smashed Pumpkin; and followed by Heavy Seas Greater Pumpkin and Punkin.

09-01-2011 22:12:33 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of ahq514


3.15/5  rDev -22.6%

Poured from 22 oz bottle into english pint glass.

Pours a clear golden color that has a hint of orange to it. Has a little bit of head, but nothing much, maybe 1/2 finger.

Holy cow, this thing smells like a over-spiced pumpkin pie. All sorts of spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice/clove, brown sugar and of course pumpkin. These aromas really dominate. Nothing in the way of hops. Some sweet caramel malt is barely detectable behind the spices and pumpkin.

Wish this tasted more like it smelled. Its got all the same elements of the aroma, but not as well distributed in the taste. Very heavy on one particular spice, I think its nutmeg. If the spices were more proportional, this beer would be much better. The malt backbone is light and doesn't stand up to the heavy spicing. Has a certain artificial/cough syrupy taste that puts me off. As it warms up, its a little bit better.

Mouthfeel is alright. Higher carbonation that I would like. Lighter body too. Extremely drinkable though for 8.6%.

Overall, I was pretty disappointed. Lots of people told me this was the best pumpkin beer out there, so I had to try it. I guess I'll add this to my "way overhyped" beers. Just tasted artificial and overspiced to me. I'd like to see a much more balanced beer.

09-01-2011 04:03:49 | More by ahq514
Photo of Roguejaguar


5/5  rDev +22.9%

This beer changed my feelings about pumpkin beer. The aroma of cinnamon and spices was so pleasing, but the taste was even more wonderful. I've tried many pumpkin beers out of sheer curiosity, but this was by far the best with a full well balanced taste of pumpkin, and spices.

Most of the other pumpkin beers tasted seemed to taste mostly like beer with a hint of pumpkin or spice. This felt like it delivered, and certainly lives up to its name as the Pumking.

09-01-2011 02:11:01 | More by Roguejaguar
Photo of fostachild

Ontario (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

bought this at an lcbo in january - just getting around to trying it now...

pours a clear orange/amber color. decent head - leaves some lacing.

smell was awesome. malty, cinnamon sticks/spices. fruity/sweet.

taste was similar and equally as good. really interesting. pumpkins, cinnamon, spices. a really nice, sweet/malty aftertaste.

overall i was quite impressed with this. extremely tasty and well balanced.

08-31-2011 21:41:06 | More by fostachild
Photo of CHickman

New York

3.13/5  rDev -23.1%

Pours hazy orange gold color with a foamy 2 finger off white head that left minimal lacing; it's rushing the season since it's still summer, but the color was cool looking.

Smells of pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, brown sugar, caramel, yeast, pepper, strong clove and a whole mix of spices as if the whole spice cabinet was dumped in the mix; a really spicy nose overall that very complicated and all over the place.

Tastes like it smells, with pumpkin like pumpkin pie, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, brown sugar, caramel, yeast, pepper, yam, strong clove, sweet malt, wheat bread, biscuit, gingerbread cookie, orange peel, coriander, and other spices which I can't nail down; this is a very sweet and complicated beer that has so many flavors and spices that it bombard the tongue and senses. Too much in the mix with too many spices for my liking and that gave this an unfinished flavor; the only benefit is that all the complexities hide the ABV very well.

Mouthfeel is creamy and slick, with a watery feel, little to no carbonation, a medium chewy body, and a spicy bitter aftertaste.

Quite a spicy beer that's taste is almost over the top, but maintains decent drinkability. For me this is a once a season beer and again I'm glad that I split the bomber. Not my favorite style, but I appreciate the creativity involved in this brew.

08-31-2011 03:58:56 | More by CHickman
Photo of UCLABrewN84


4.05/5  rDev -0.5%

Huge thanks to mjtiernan for sending me this one!

Pours a clear light copper orange with a 1 inch fizzy orange-white head that fades to an oily film on the top of the beer. No lacing on this one on the drink down. Kind of a disappointing appearance. Smell is very complex with caramel malt, biscuits, actual pumpkin puree, and a wide array of pumpkin pie spices - cinnamon, clove, nutmeg. Taste is of malt/bread/biscuit/crust, unsweetened pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and the aforementioned spices. There is a slight spice bitterness that sticks the the tongue after each sip. This beer has a higher level of carbonation with a crisp and dry finish. Overall, this is a good pumpkin ale that is somewhat different that I was expecting. I was thinking that this could be a creamy, sweet pumpkin milkshake of a beer but I like this one as it is.

08-31-2011 03:15:29 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of ken2cart1


2.88/5  rDev -29.2%

overall not impressed..first for southern tier

very sweet and too full of spices... aka overkill nutmeg and cinamon..not enough malt backrbone very strange..although first pumpkin of season so not much to base it on.
i do have to say it does have a very nice appearance and potent smell of october or halloween

08-31-2011 00:08:24 | More by ken2cart1
Photo of hikix

New York

2.4/5  rDev -41%

I just bought this beer 10 minutes ago and poured it and am having my first few sips. I have to say, I really expected this beer to get at the most a C on this site. I am amazed that the users gave this beer an A.

First off it smells like nutmeg soda. Its just not a pleasant smell that I want every sip I take. It tastes like a mixure of cinnamon, nutmeg and seltzer. The only thing this beer has going for it is that for some reason (I have no idea why) it is extremely drinkable and it is 8.5% abv.

I do not know why I continue to take enormous gulps, my lips are all sticky and I think the alcohol is going to my head. I recommend this beer to the person who wants to get drunk ASAP and is dressed in a Halloween costume

08-31-2011 00:03:32 | More by hikix
Photo of BobCS

New York

3.43/5  rDev -15.7%

I should start out by admitting I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin beers, even though I keep trying them. I do love many Belgians, Noels and Winter Warmers which feature spices and especially ginger, coriander, grains of paradise or orange peel. But there is something about the nutmeg and clove that characterizes most pumpkin pie-spiced beers that I just don't care for. I do love pumpkin pie, and my typical pie is dark and richly spiced with nutmeg and clove (among other things). But put those same spices in a beer and I end up with the dilemma I face in reviewing this beer; the spices are transformed from sweet and rich to something I perceive as harsh and objectionable. It's just not my thing, and that's not the beers fault, so I'll try to be fair.

A: clear orange amber with little head and no lacing. After sitting a minute it falls so clear that it almost looks like a lovelier version of orange soda (not as brightly colored).

S: spice, probably nutmeg or mace, really dominates the aroma. From inhaling what comes off the glass I can't get through that spice to detect much else, but warming on the tongue and exhaling brings out much more including some smooth warmth and vanilla, and something fruity enough to make me believe it could be due to the pumpkin.

T: smooth, rich and somewhat sweet though not heavy with a strong spice character, again making me think of nutmeg and mace predominantly, and those spices last long into the finish.

M: on the full side, and warm, but smooth and just a bit viscous

O: I've shared this beer with enough people to know that it is generally well regarded, even though it it not my thing. My preference would be to back off on the spices and let that rich, smooth and sweet base beer shine through a bit more, and then to further move the spice character away from nutmeg and more towards ginger and vanilla. But it is a lovely beer and strong enough to be a sipper to share with several others (especially packaged in a 22 oz bomber).

08-29-2011 23:18:26 | More by BobCS
Photo of wcintula

New York

3.18/5  rDev -21.9%

22 oz poured into a goblet as suggested by the bottle. Bottled on date: 8/17/11, very fresh.

Pours with a very rich orange copper body with minimal head, no lacing. Dominant aromas of nutmeg, malt, pumpkin, other spices. The taste is a strong spiced flavor, very malt-forward. I notice a soapy flavor that does subside as the beer warms and you drink on.

Very warming boozy quality with an overly-carbonated, soda feel to it. A nice fuller bodied beer that can use with less carbonation. My ride with Púca, short. His advice, to try the other pumpkins out there.

08-29-2011 17:21:48 | More by wcintula
Photo of mjw2808


3.65/5  rDev -10.3%

Pours a very transparent copper orange color that had carbonation throughout drinking it. One and a half finger head that didnt last long and didnt leave much lacing. When i smelled it nutmeg was the most dominate scent, then cinnomin, then alcohol. When I took a sip I tasted cinnomin first however, followed by malt, nutmeg, and and unpleasing alcoholic aftertaste. Thick and dry mouthfeel. This is a good pumpkin beer, but to be honest I was expecting a lot more. I will be buying it again, but at $10 a bottle at my local store im going to be sticking with dogfish head punkin ale through most of this fall.

08-29-2011 04:28:17 | More by mjw2808
Photo of slicecount


2.88/5  rDev -29.2%

So each year I buy this beer, yet I was devistated last year after buying a case(12- 22oz)of the 2010 series of this. It was terrible, and had a finish of rubbing alcohal. I actually bought Pure vanilla just to mix in my glass in order to finish it. Not at all the 09,08 verisons that were utterly fantastic! So for 2011:

Poured into 14 oz tulip glass

A - Very little head unless poured straight down from bomber. Yet has a nice lacing on the glass when swirled around. Nice Amber/Orange Hue.

S - Fantastic, just as every year Southern Tier has made this in the past. Wonderful pumpkin smells with that all-spice aroma lingering.

T - Well, here is where this year I'm glad I only bought 1. It is a huge improvement over whatever disaster happerned in 2010, but as soon as I swallow, there is no pumpkin flavor on the palate. I sip over and over hoping the taste would stay in my mouth, but it never does. Like coffee's great smell, but then you taste, and it's not at all the same.

M - It wasnt a heavy beer at 8.6, and that's down from 9.0 the previous years. Lightly carbonated, and had a crisp finish as well.

O - If someone asked would I drink this again, my answer would be yes, cause it "was" a decent beer. But I would say no, if I were looking for a "pumpkin" flavored beer with that "wow" factor.

08-28-2011 18:41:05 | More by slicecount
Photo of BigCheese


4.4/5  rDev +8.1%

22oz Bomber

Poured into glass, some head that didnt stick around for to long. Amber/pumkin/orange color. Pretty transparent.

Smell: Wow, pumkins, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, pie crust, maybe even marshmellows.

Taste: This is complex, this is good. Predominantly pumkin flavor up front, some pie spices, tefineite butter/sweet/breadcrust flavor that I dont recall every picking up in a beer. Very distinct. Unlike any other pumkin ale Ive ever head. High ABV is well hidden.

On the low carbonation side, slightly oil, viscous in body, typical of higher abv ales. Quite drinkable as alcohol is well hidden which could get dangerous.

Overall: One of the most memorable beers I've ever had. Such a distinct yummy taste, One of the best seasonals I've ever had and I would definitely try again and plan on doing it soon! Best pumkin beer I've ever had.

08-28-2011 15:14:41 | More by BigCheese
Photo of spitInTheOcean


4.03/5  rDev -1%

clear. copper color. big thick moussey off white head. fair lacing.

smell is sweet. low pumpkin aroma. low spice aroma, but hints of clove and nutmeg.

the flavor is about as big as the aroma. pumpkin is the biggest flavor. taste is sweet initially, but then if im not mistaken some hop bitterness becomes apparent. some spice flavor, nutmeg, clove, allspice. but really just to support and add complexity to the pumpkin. kudos on their balance.

thin beer. medium carbonation. flavors linger and the sweetness of the pumpkin and bitterness of the hops are nicely balanced.

this is a modest pumpkin beer. it is as much a beer as it is about pumpkins. i wonder what a beer would be like with a more aggressive pumpkin flavor??

08-28-2011 04:43:27 | More by spitInTheOcean
Photo of capeannbass36


4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

A- A rough pour into a Brooklyn Brewery pint glass produces a clear golden orange topped by a one finger creamy white head that dissapates quickly. Minimal lacing.

S- Pumpkin, spice, bready....something I cannot quite decide on. Very unique.

T- Follows the nose, but even better...sweet, pumpkin, spice, bread, malt, nutmeg...with a hint of eggnog and graham crackers. Very slight bitter finish.

M- Light carbonation. Creamy. Slightly slick.
Warm on the swallow.

O- Had a few pumpkin ales a couple years ago. All were more or less...take it or leave it...
This one I will have again. Very unique smell for me....which ended up being a cross between eggnog and graham crackers. Not too sweet. Wouldn't drink more than one.

08-27-2011 20:27:14 | More by capeannbass36
Photo of harveystarr

Ontario (Canada)

4.58/5  rDev +12.5%

22 oz Bomber.

I was excited to have this, as I generally like pumpkin beers, but as this is an Imperial and a pumpkin, had to have it.

A: Rich, copper, perfect for fall.
S: Wow, Pumpkin Cake, if that's even a real food. In any event, awesome.
T: The Pumpkin cake smell continued into the middle of the taste. Didn't get a whole lot of spices, but I guess they are part of the whole cake thing. There's a bit of an alcohol bite at the very end, but considering the abv, was barely a factor.
M: Creamy and full, exactly what I was hoping for.
Overall: Crazy good, I must say. Kudo's to Southern Tier. A perfect option for a chilly September/October night.

08-27-2011 02:44:21 | More by harveystarr
Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 5,464 ratings.