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Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,245 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,245
Reviews: 1,684
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 17.2%
Wants: 364
Gots: 767 | 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: 5,245 | Reviews: 1,684 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beergod1


4/5  rDev -1.7%

Pours a deep copper/Orange, with a thick lasting head, It took several "sniffs" before I could come up with the Aroma, It has the Spice, but also the smell of pumpkin, like when I carve them at Halloween. And the smell I couldn't figure out was Graham Crackers. I told my friends that and they thought I was nut's. But I looked at some other reviews, and they said the same thing. Nice Balance of Pumpkin and Spice, and unlike other Pumpkin beers, this really stays good all the way through to the end, I think I like a more Spiced beer, but this was a top 5 Pumpkin Beer.

09-27-2010 22:50:58 | More by beergod1
Photo of stalker5

New York

4.6/5  rDev +13%

It poured very nicely to a bright orange unlike any beer I've had before. It poured with a thick, creamy head that slowly went away. Smell; this was the first pumpkin beer I've had, so I was completely shocked by how pumpkin pie-like it smelled. It was sweet with the accents of various spices. A real treat. Tastes excellent. Simply excellent. Pumpkin pie; pumpkins, definitely some nutmeg and spices more in the taste than the smell. A great background to the beer also. Mouthfeel is a bit dry, but light and smooth. Overall an excellent brew to drink, especially this time of year. It really gives you the feel of the Fall. I look forward to getting more for the holidays.

09-27-2010 18:39:36 | More by stalker5
Photo of nickfl


3.8/5  rDev -6.6%

A - Pours with a small head of white foam on top of a brilliantly clear, orange-copper colored body. The foam settles rapidly and leaves little lace.

S - An earthy, slightly fruity aroma with distinct notes of real pumpkin pie, even notes of freshly baked pie crust.

T - Sweet malt up front with a strong, spicy/earthy pumpkin note. Some husky toasted malt in the middle with musty, herbal hop flavor. Finishes with moderate hop bitterness and lingering spice character with notes of cinnamon, allspice, and clove.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - This beer has the most remarkably realistic pumpkin pie aroma I have ever encountered. Most pumpkin ales taste like bad spice soup while some manage to become an interesting combination of malt and spice, but none ever really smell like pie, at best they smell like something that can remind one of pumpkin pie when the idea is suggested beforehand. This beer on the other hand is really something extraordinary, it truly smells like home made pumpkin pie, right down to the bready note of pie crust. This aroma is remarkable and quite pleasant, but I am still not sure it makes for a good beer. The flavor is a bit of a mess with heavy toast and musty hops that just don't make me feel like I want to finish the bomber sitting in front of me. In the end, I have to regard this as an interesting technical exercise rather than a normal beer. The aroma is genuinely impressive and my hat is off to the brewer for their achievement, but the beer just isn't all that pleasant to drink. This beer is a must try, but at the same time not one that I would drink again.

09-27-2010 05:46:47 | More by nickfl
Photo of smurder187


4.55/5  rDev +11.8%

Pumpkin beers aren't for everyone, but "Pumpking" even perked the interest of my hophead friend. Southern Tier is the Jelly Belly of brewing with their amazing flavors. This pours with a perfect burnt orange tone as if it were straight out of the patch. It has a sugar/spice pumpkin scent that stirs up Trick or treat nostalgia and has a taste to match that emotion. It finishes off with a spicy malt feeling on the tongue. Southern Tier has created a real treat here that I highly recommended this season.

09-26-2010 22:50:45 | More by smurder187
Photo of gskitt

New York

4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

I have wanted to try Pumking for a while and bought it in a growler. Had a sample at the store.
The color was a rusty orange with an off-white head that lasted only briefly. The scent is what may entice people to try this beer. Super pumpkin pie spice on the nose and it matches the taste. All too often the scent of a beer does not correlate with the taste of the beer. This one does.
As mentioned, loads of pumpkin pie spice, warm and roasty nutty flavors with a hint of vanilla?
You definitely feel the ABV at play here. It is a drinkable beer for the ABV (9.0%), but can that can sneak up on you.
The mouthfeel is surprisingly pleasant.
All together and Southern Tier has put together a heavy weight pumpkin ale that I'd buy again without hesitation.

09-26-2010 21:59:31 | More by gskitt
Photo of zoso1967


4.13/5  rDev +1.5%

Pumking pours an amazingly bright orange amber that I have never seen the likes of in another beer. It has a creamy, ever so slightly off white head that slowly melts into the beer and leaves amazing lace.

The aroma of this beer has more actual pumpkin flavor than any other beer I have tried so far. The smell of the orange gourde is accented by very subtle spice, mostly nutmeg and perhaps a little cinnamon. The aroma has a nice sweetness to it that makes it smell a lot like the pumpkin bread my mother-in-law makes.

The flavor is also loaded with pumpkin, though it comes off as not as sweet as the aroma suggested. There is a decent amount of dryness in this beer, and the spices come out a bit more in the flavor. The malt background seems pretty non-descript, allowing the pumpkin and nutmeg to shine through. I am also picking up on a bit of vanilla. Quite impressive.

The mouthfeel is pretty darn light for a beer with 9% ABV, but this is fine with me. It is medium bodied with a slightly dry finish and lingering spice notes.

This is one of the most drinkable pumpkin beers I have had and is quite good. Very different from a lot of other ones in that the spice is not the main flavor component. I think I may have to look into getting another bomber of this.

09-26-2010 19:56:13 | More by zoso1967
Photo of chefkevlar

South Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -2.9%

A; Pours a clear orange/tan color with a low, just-barely-off white head.

S: Not a lot of spice on the nose...it actually kinda smells like pie dough. More of a buttery biscuit smell than what I expected.

T: The taste carries over that biscuit-like flavor from the nose and also adds some spicy notes and a little heat from the alcohol.

M: Medium bodied with a light carbonation

D: This is one of the more interesting takes on a pumpkin beer I've had. They didn't go for the pumpkin pie flavor that many breweries do by adding spices. According to the bottle it's only malts, pumpkin and hops. The pumpkin flavor on it's own is harder to pick out than that of the spices associated with the pie. Overall though I found this beer enjoyable once I got past my expectation of "pie" flavor.

09-26-2010 05:13:27 | More by chefkevlar
Photo of bierguru


4.65/5  rDev +14.3%

A - deep golden orange little head formation that dissapates fast

S - HUGH pumpkin smell some nutmeg, allspice

T - HUGH pumpkin taste right up front then you get some nut flavoring from the nutmeg some spice little sweetness then a litle bit from the alcohol or maybe just soaked in oak barrels

M - smooth little carbonation and some burn very slight

D - like drinking a pumpkin pie could have this all night in fact im writing this review from notes i scribbled down and i am craving this beer

09-26-2010 01:43:16 | More by bierguru
Photo of smokeypeat


4.18/5  rDev +2.7%

Split the 22oz bottle with my wife.

Pours a vivid orange color with nice 1/2 inch white head that dissipated quickly. Smell is filled with pumpkin up front. In fact of all the pumpkin beers I've tried this has the most up front pumpkin smell. Plenty of spice present as well with some vanilla present as well. Taste is in keeping with aroma. More pumpkin forward than I was expecting in taste as well. Has a nice spice mix to balance the pumpkin. I like the creaminess as well, really feels almost like a hint of whipped cream is there. Alcohol is well masked considering the ABV and the beer goes down easy. Can't say that I would want the entire 22oz beer myself, but it's perfect for sharing the bomber. Definitely going to pick up some to cellar for Thanksgiving.

09-25-2010 19:14:03 | More by smokeypeat
Photo of Wisconsinality


4.05/5  rDev -0.5%

Poured from 22oz bomber into imperial pint.

A- Pours a transparent pumpkin orange with a half finger's worth of khaki head. The head recedes slowly and leaves some decent lacing on the way down.

S- Smells like fresh pumpkin pie. A little bit of spice and a good amount of malt. Just a slight hint of graham cracker on the tail end.

T- Like the nose, big, fresh pumpkin with a good amount of spice to it. Maybe some nutmeg and a little cinnamon. The malt isn't as apparent as it was with the nose but is still present and adds a nice backbone.

M- Medium bodied but feels a touch thin. Decent carbonation but overall a pretty smooth feeling beer.

D- I would never be able to tell you that this is 9%. Great flavors and a nice balance make this a pretty good beer. I can't wait for Thanksgiving to break one of these out.

09-25-2010 17:17:47 | More by Wisconsinality
Photo of Vaison


3.3/5  rDev -18.9%

Poured from a bomber into a Nonic pint glass. Sorry but a goblet doesn't seem right for this brew.

I was very excited to find this at one of my local stores, so I bought four of them. With a good amount of anticipation, I poured this and found the appearance to be average. It is a very light amber orange color with a 1 inch white foamy head. The smell was unique and not what I expected. I thought I would get more of that spicy cinnamon pumpkin / seasonal smell. Instead, it smelled more like fresh pumpkin. First taste was really nice. It tasted exactly like it smells and I really enjoyed that fresh pumpkin flavor. But, after about half a pint, I grew tired of the taste and decided the pumpkin was overwhelming. I let it sit for a while, cleansed my palate and dove back in. Again, after a few sips I was tired of it. How am I going to finish this bomber? At least it was smooth and the carbonation was just right. I just poured the rest of the bomber into my glass and have half a pint left. I'm not certain I will finish but I am glad to have tried Pumpking.

09-25-2010 02:41:33 | More by Vaison
Photo of TheHoppiest


4.3/5  rDev +5.7%

Poured from a bomber into an oversized wine glass. Pours a light gold with a 1/2" head that quickly disapates.

Has a very forward pumpkin pie smell; clove, pie dough, pumpkin, allspice, and a slight amount of alcohol.

Wow! starts slightly bitter, but opens up with a full, warm, sweet, creamy pumkin taste. Is it Thanksgiving, because it sure tastes like it is! Biscuity, doughy malt hits in the middle, ending with decent pumpkin and spice. Ends with a bit of alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is medium; almost creamy.

Drinkable? Hell yeah, in the same way that warm pumpkin pie is eatable. One good sized beer, though and you're done. Too sweet and desert like for more than one at a time.

09-25-2010 02:17:46 | More by TheHoppiest
Photo of takeabrewski

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev -2.2%

Split a bomber with my wife, served in a goblet.

A: Caramel color, fizzy 1-finger head that dissipated fairly quickly.

S: Faint pumpkin spice, aromatic hops, and vanilla.

T: Lots going on here. I get sweet vanilla and cookie up front, then pumpkin, clove, cinnamon; then deep hop bitterness and aroma. I really enjoyed the complexity. Very much like taking a bite of a great pumpkin pie and washing it down with a very hoppy IPA.

M: Smooth on the tongue, appropriate effervescence.

D: Very enjoyable, but no way I could drink more than one of these in an evening.

I saw some recent poor reviews of this beer, but I've had many pumpkin ales this year that were reportedly "great", but which I felt were passe. If you're looking to drink pumpkin beer all day long, look elsewhere, but if you want a single, unique pumpkin beer, give it a shot.

09-25-2010 00:43:39 | More by takeabrewski
Photo of Tomdee74


2.55/5  rDev -37.3%

i have tried a few of these this year and some i think have been better than others but overall i think it stinx this year... last year i went crazy over pumking... this year i thought maybe a bad bottle but i've had more and i've come to the conclusion that this beer basically stinks this year... seems to be way overrated and too pricey.. did my palate really change that much or is it different this year... and why am i reading such glorious reviews of this???

Forget the ASTMD really... last year was a huge smell of pumpkin pie.. great buttery sweet taste.. a real treat.. this year i've drainpoured it a couple of times after a couple of sips... i was so heartbroken this year i didn't want to stop trying it after the first couple of disasters... but now it's been too many and i guess i have to let go... all the magic is gone, the great pumking is just a shadow of a memory!! : (

09-24-2010 22:54:23 | More by Tomdee74
Photo of kbutler1


3.1/5  rDev -23.8%

Bottle. Whoa, yippee! a pumpkin beer. Pours a clear reddish hued golden color with a very slight head. Strong smell of pumpkin, nutmeg, and graham crackers. Its a weird beer for sure for me. It tastes like pumpkin pie that is not very sweet and a few days past its prime. I really don't understand the love for this beer. Sweet malty upfront flavor followed by an odd pumpkin spice kick at the end that lingers far too long. Medium mouthfeel.

09-24-2010 14:26:06 | More by kbutler1
Photo of jdubjacket


1.65/5  rDev -59.5%

I haven't reviewed a beer in months, but felt compelled to post a review about this beer.

I love a good pumpkin ale, since I had my first one in 2002. When ST made it to Georgia, I was stoked about finally being able to get Pumking. Having said that, I have not been as disappointed by a beer than this.

I could tell as soon as I got a whiff of this that it was going to be a disappointment. Smells way too sweet to be pumpkin ale. While some cinnamon is to be expected, the sweetness seemed almost artificial - like candy or heavy syrup. Finished ok...subtle pumpkin flavor, with pie crust with too much brown sugar. Reminded of the overly sweet Creme Brulee.

Couldn't finish about 6 ounces... wound up pouring this down the drain.

I don't know why this beer is rated so high. I think this is a terrible example of pumpkin ale. Shipyard Pumpkin Ale may actually be better than this...

09-24-2010 03:14:13 | More by jdubjacket
Photo of Augustiner719

New York

4.28/5  rDev +5.2%

Revisited this one again, 2010 vintage.

Poured a very clear bright orange color. Has some brown highlights, maybe some red, but crystal clear body.

Smells very very identical to real pumpkin pie. Has bready spicy cinnamon notes just like the crust. Goes into toasted marshmallows with yams and some brown sugar. There is some big roasted pumpkin notes too. Really sick how much this smells like thanksgiving dinner.

Tastes very similar to the aroma. Begins very sweet, then bursts into a dryness reminiscent of the pie crust. Basically even the burps taste like you just ate pumpkin pie with the most fantastic whipped cream. Thus is very young and since the booze went up this year it does need more time in the bottle so it's a little hot.

Mouthfeel is on point with all other pumpkin beers. Really has a nice dry aftertaste but the abv leaves some astringent notes on the finish.

Drinkability is still limited to one bomber. I would like to see a 4 pack of 7 oz beers that southern tier would release. This is meant to be split.

09-24-2010 02:10:32 | More by Augustiner719
Photo of lehawes


4.68/5  rDev +15%

Poured from a bomber that had been refrigerated, then left sitting on the kitchen counter for c. 30 minutes.

A: Lovely, clear amber color. Minimal head that disappears quickly.

S: Definite, but not overwhelming pumpkin pie scents including, pumpkin, nutmeg, and a general breadiness. Mmmmm...

T: 9% alcohol bites a bit on the front end, but quickly mellows into delicious, malty pumpkin pie. Nice balance of pumpkin and requisite spices (mostly nutmeg and clove) unlike some other examples in the category, in which the spices are too prominent.

M: Substantial, but not at all heavy. Very smooth and creamy.

D: A bomber (2 glasses) is plenty, especially with the 9% ABV in this year's brew. Might pair well with some foods, but this is absolutely delightful on its own.

Autumn is my favorite season, in part, because of all things pumpkin (ale, pie, muffins, pancakes, etc.). Southern Tier's Pumking is certainly one of my favorite Fall seasonals and probably tops in the pumpkin category.

09-24-2010 01:14:21 | More by lehawes
Photo of deereless


4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

A: The head is somewhat thick and slightly rocky, good head retention, medium orange in color and crystal clear - 4.00, S: The nose is truly the essence of pumpkin pie, a creamy aroma complete with all the standard spices, thick and sweet - 4.50, T: Like the nose Pumking's flavor has an uncanny resemblance to pumpkin pie, at 9% the alcohol is perceptible but generally very nicely masked, there is a sharp bite on the tail end of the taste that shows hops are in there, very sweet and with unmistakable nutmeg and vanilla with a touch of cinnamon, very nice palate - 4.50, M: The mouth feel of Pumking has some body to it - 4.00, D: An exceptional pumpkin ale, truly catches the heart of what a the style should be, worthy of seeking out, great holiday beer - 4.50

09-24-2010 00:08:25 | More by deereless
Photo of jneiswender


4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

Poured out of a bomber bottle into a 4oz sample glass. Served cold.

A-off-white head medium; orange-ish amber body that is clear

S-squash, spice and sweet corn.

T-sweet corn, clove cinnamon spice


D-this is such a hit or miss style with me (mostly miss). I have to say that I like this version. Not heavy on the spices. Its pumpkin flavor guys not pumpkin pie flavor. Great beer with Thanksgiving food, if I can get it then.

09-23-2010 19:34:55 | More by jneiswender
Photo of dctrscola3


4.28/5  rDev +5.2%

I find it really funny, if you read all the write-ups, how many people took so many different aroma bouqets away from the same beer! It just goes to show that this is really complex aroma. some got spice, some didn't. Some got pumpkin, some got roasted pumpkin, some got pumpkin pie.

S - Personally, I thought it was a mildly, nutmeg/clove spiced aroma, strong notes of pumpkin, with a hint of "roasted-ness" up front. However, in the back, the tase became breadier. I like the idea of fresh baked cookies, but this might be a stretch.

09-23-2010 14:11:42 | More by dctrscola3
Photo of GregSVT


3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

22oz bomber into a snifter

A: Pours a light orange color with a white head that fades to a ring leaving a tiny bit of lacing. It could use more lace but otherwise about standard for a pumpkin ale.

S: The nose is all pumpkin with a tiny hop presence in the background. I'm barely detecting any spices if any.

T: The taste confirms the nose...roasted pumpkin all the way through. A tiny hop presence is in the background. Tastes like a pumpkin pie without the spices. I love that they don't try to overly spice the beer to create the illusion of pumpkin flavor.

M: The feel is realtively creamy and medium bodied but not what I expected from an imperial pumpkin ale.

D: This is pretty good and I'm glad I have a few more to tide me over for the next few months. I hope to drink this every autumn.

09-23-2010 04:20:03 | More by GregSVT
Photo of HUXC

New York

4.68/5  rDev +15%

S- Served from a chilled 1pt 6oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Beautiful golden amber color with orange highlights. leaves about two fingers of off white head that leaves nice lacing on the brim of the glass.

S- Very, very powerful smell of fall spices. The nutmeg alone is enough to knock you on your ass.

T- Like the smell, the taste of this beer is very very powerful. Able to taste the beer even hours after having sampled it. Full bodied, 9% ABV strong beer all around.

M- Little bit higher amount of carbonation then most beers. Very crisp and intoxicating finish.

D- Not the easiest beer to drink. Very sweet, almost have to drink it as a desert. Not easy to drink a whole lot of this beer, but I would highly recommend trying it.

09-23-2010 00:25:30 | More by HUXC
Photo of ksimons

New York

4.15/5  rDev +2%

A-pours a clear orange with about two fingers worth of white head

S-Pretty perfect; sweet, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, pumpkin pie, and a touch of alcohol

T-similar to the smell. Lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin. Sweet vanilla and a slight bitterness towards the end, a little hot as well.

M-medium body, moderate to high carbonation, leaves a spicy tingling feeling on the tongue

D-This is an excellent pumpkin beer, probably the best smelling one by far. The beer loses points for the taste, too spicy which overpowers a lot of the taste.

09-22-2010 23:56:19 | More by ksimons
Photo of THERoss


4.58/5  rDev +12.5%

Copper to light with a lacey white head.

Southern Tier does an absolutely spectacular job hiding the overpowering "alcoholic" taste that sometimes overwhelms most imperials.

Lots of spice hints; smell of nutmeg, cinammon, cloves. Tastes nothing short of excellence; front palet experiences a deep rich pumpkin, with yet a light satisfying mouthful. An after taste of pumpkin pie crust

My god. This beer is phenomenal. They nailed it spot on with the name; it truly is the king of pumpkin beers.

09-22-2010 22:39:53 | More by THERoss
Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 5,245 ratings.