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Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

6,804 Ratings

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Ratings: 6,804
Reviews: 1,869
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 17.24%
Wants: 457
Gots: 1,612 | FT: 32
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:
Beer added by: BeerBeing on 08-26-2007

19 Degrees Plato
8.8 Degrees L
2-row Pale Malt
Caramel Malt
Pureed Pumpkin

Kettle Hops: Magnum
Aroma Hops: Sterling
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,804 | Reviews: 1,869
Photo of Newbiebeer
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of ctrevino
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of JoeD
1/5  rDev -75.4%

Photo of troutmask96
4.39/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Southern Tier has an upper-tier entry pumpkin ale here. Pours a thin light amber with almost no head. Biscuity-malt smell with faint spices. I don't know what the prominent spice is in this beer (is it nutmeg?), but it is so overpowing that it covers up any semblance of pumpkin backbone. Regardless, this is one of the best pumpkin ales around and one that will be in heavy rotation for me as the temperature cools and leaves begin to fall...

Photo of Jparker37
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

A - Small white head from a gentle pour that receded to a small ring. The beer is a golden amber with good clarity. No lacing.

S - Rich roasted pumpkin, sweet vanilla. I get the spices but they are second to the actual pumpkin/malty sweetness.

T - The pumpkin gives the malt a twangy complexity. The malt has a caramel profile that fits well. Midway through the taste there is a sharp/astringent flavor. Finishes with a pleasant spice note and some sharper alcohol warmth.

M - Medium to medium-full body, Light carbonation, Semi-sweet.

O - The pumpkin used in these beer makes the world of a difference. The spiced complemented the beer rather than be the only resemblance of pumpkin. Appearance let me down with little head. Great smell from the pumpkin and spices. Great flavor complexity and good full feel to this imperial spiced beer.

Photo of MadScientist
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A light copper with good clarity. The head quickly settles to a ring of rocky white foam around the glass.

S: Smells like a pumpkin pie with a moderately-strong pumpkin and a caramel malt that combine to smell like a pie crust. Moderately-low pie spices mostly allspice and a little clove and ginger. There is enough esters to let me know I've got an ale in my hand but not enough to name it. The malt and and the pumpkin take center stage here. No alcohol.

T: The spice flavor is a little bit stronger than the malt, moderately-strong and moderate respectively, followed by a moderate malt caramelness. There is a moderately-low bitterness that tames some of the crystal malt sweetness which comes in early to mid-palate. The off-dry finish is followed with a spicy and slightly bitter aftertaste. The pumpkin flavor starts to dominate as it warms.

M: A medium to medum-heavy body with moderately-high carbonation. There is a moderate amount of alcohol warmth not that you get that impression in the nose. A slight creaminess and a little prickle that is hard to avoid with the use of spice addition to a beer.

O: This is has been one of my favor pumpkin beers The spice flavor seems a bit more pronounced this year when I think of the past couple years but the pumpkin is still the main player. I look for ward to this beer year after year even though I'm not a fan of the pumpkin style because most are so heavy spiced you could just call a Christmas beer and you'd never no.

Photo of Dreamer
4.64/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours light amber with minimal head and no real lacing. Smell is very sweet, mouthfeel is good and alcohol is not at all overpowering. This beer is like a liquid pumpkin roll - very easy to drink for the strength of it, although I would only want one or two in a sitting due to the sweetness (a great fall desert beer). Not like any other pumpkin beer I've ever had - even if you're not a fan of pumpkins, I would highly suggest that you still check this one out since it may be one you would actually like.

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
2/5  rDev -50.7%

Photo of LarsBrekken
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of JackieTH
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I drink way, way too much of this delicious pumpkin beer this time of year so when the opportunity came for a draft I had three. Enjoyed at the 2012 ABR, from notes.

Pour was orange, clear with a finger of white foam, some lacing. Looks exactly like a pumpkin beer should look.

Smell was biscuits and caramel, subtle pumpkin pie spices..nutmeg cinnamon allspice.

Taste was all about a lightly sweet pumpkin pie..mashed pumpkin, soft flaky, buttery crust, lightly applied spices..nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, ginger. Pumpkin-bready malt. Lightly warming alcohol works well here. Big flavors, lightly sweet, but not at all sugary. It's hard to characterize the effect precisely, though it's fantastic. My favorite pumpkin and fall ale, hands down.


Photo of Beer21
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of JHS123
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the Craftsman in Harrsion New York on Tap last week during their 30 Craft Beer Pumpkin Fest. They had 8 on tap and after filling a pumpkin with Bluepoint Pumpkin opened up a tap for Southern Tier. After the weekend, I picked up a bomber at Fairway Wine and Spirits for $9.99. Have heard its less $$ in New York State.

Unable to use a goblet as Southern Tier Recommends so I used a Ale Pint from Batch 19.

(Appearance) This has a limited head that dissaptes realtively quickly leaving a ring. Golden Hue in color and has a light lager appearance. Its not orange like pumpkin but its close. I'd rate a 4 to 4.5.

(Smell) Its a nutty smell of butter vanilla ice cream, clear notes of sugar in smell. Its baked bread yeasty but not overly so. Its got chew to the smell. Perhaps the best smelling beer I have ever come across. Its roasted caramel butter vanilla maybe some cinnamon and other spice. Not sure how but of the 8+ pumkins I tried at The Craftsman in Harrsion, this one stood apart from all of the others including the exceptional Long Trail Brewmaster Imperial Pumpkin Ale. 5.0 (Its so unique it deserves a 5.0)

(Taste) Its very much a pumpkin ale of that theres no doubt. Its got strong spice tones to it that clearly let you know its a Fall October Beer. Its foamy in taste with caramel and vanilla throughout. Its great chilled throughout the pour. 4.5

(Mouthfeel) Really pleasant mouth feel. Its definitely carbonated with chew and has a significant amount of alcohol on the finish. Similar in finish to a low proof bourbon but with way less bite. On the presence of alcohol taste, that could be corrected but its not negative only a slight distraction. 4.0

(Overall) I really enjoy their 2X Stout and have found that Southern Tier is brewing unique exceptional products and this did not disappoint. I would rate it 1 of the 8 Pumpkin Ales I tried and can say that its unique. If you want to contrast it with another exceptional pumpkin try the Long Trail Brewmasters Series Imperial Pumpkin 4.5

Photo of liquorpig
5/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of PopnLoads
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of skaboom420
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

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4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

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4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Pat316
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of jaxray8
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of abuss2
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Jadjunk
4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Pumking is an ode to Púca, the mythical Celtic horse beast said to entice careless travelers onto its back and take them on a terrifying night ride through the forest. It is a journey from which you will return forever changed. Pour Pumking into a goblet and allow its spiced aroma and deep copper color to entrance you. Taste the beer and you are bewitched, powerless to resist the Pumking. This beer is brewed with a pagan spirit, but should be enjoyed responsibly." Pumking is brewed in the Pumpkin Ale style. Released as a fall seasonal in 22 oz. bottles and on limited draft. I have a 2012 and 2013 bottle for a vertical comparison.

Poured from a bomber to a tulip glass. Served above 53º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a golden-white frothy foam head over a golden amber body with mild haze and medium clarity. Retention is good, lacing is light and patchy. 3.75

(Smell) Distinct toasted graham cracker malt character pie crust, mild hints of roasted, caramelized pumpkin flesh. Subtle aromas of nutmeg and vanilla. Aromatically pleasing, especially on the unique malt character which smells most like pie crust. Potency is medium. 4.5

(Taste) Tasty pumpkin meat presence up front followed by nutmeg and clove spice, caramelized pie crust and a nip of grain alcohol. Despite not coming though in epic levels of pumpkin flavor, Pumking manages to showcase some of the more pleasant and riper flavors of pumpkin as well as an appetizing malt profile that pairs with it incredibly well. Finishes slightly dry with a lingering trail of clove. 4.25

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, mildly chewy, softly dry. Carbonation generates a subtle crispness for a soft, mildly frothy mouthfeel. The body is medium+ for the style and medium+ overall. Balance is equally earthy bitter spice to sweet malt body. Alcohol presence is mild, there are no off characters. 4

(Overall) Try as I might over the years to find flaws in Pumking and join the "overrated" bandwagon, it stands out more than ever amongst the crowd of pumpkin ales for what I now recognize as not its ripe pumpkin flavor, but outstandingly sweet, decadent and flavorful malt profile to pair. It's quite cliche to consider Pumking liquified pumpkin pie in a bottle, but I have yet to find a better candidate for the comparison. A nearly guaranteed annual revisit for me, four years in it hasn't gotten old. And the recipe hasn't changed for 2014 either- see below!

Vertical Reviews:

2013 (1 Year Aged) Pours a nearly identical head (slightly frothier and more substantial) over a nearly identical body, slightly more carbonation is visible. The aroma still has forward graham cracker crust malt character, some tart pumpkin undertones, very similar to the fresh (2014) vintage. The flavor has developed gracefully, with enhanced notes of vanilla, cleaner pumpkin and a more reserved spice profile for even more balance, finishes slicker and softer, nearly as clean drinking as the fresh vintage. Alcohol presence is low, off characters minimal. Alongside fresh Pumking, it takes one sip to calibrate the tastebuds to a different batch of Pumking but in its own it's a fantastic vintage with no slips in quality or flavor over the past year.

2012 (2 Years Aged) Slightly biscuitier, creamier head that retains better, body is a subtle shade darker and some slight pulpy sediment is in tow. Retains well. Honey basted graham cracker pie crust, meaty pumpkin, nutmeg, clove and vanilla. It's surprising how well the aroma has held up in two years, with only some minor sourness being the notable change. The flavor has cleaned up a degree further in this vintage, with a nearly seamless blending of pumpkin, graham cracker malt and vanilla bean. Barring some slight shallowness of flavor likely due to the age and drying out of sweeter character, it's nearly as easy to enjoy as a new bottle of Pumking with no off characters or astringencies bare. Although the sweet spot it seems falls between fresh to one year, this two year beer could have done much worse by me.

Recommended vintage- fresh to 2 years. Barring any potentially infected batches from here on out, this is one of the most gracefully aging pumpkin beers I have had the pleasure of working with. That being said, you may not notice much flavor difference between the years, so it may not be worth the trouble to set a bottle aside, however don't punish yourself if you discover one of these in your closet next spring!

Southern Tier Brewing Company's

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4/5  rDev -1.5%

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4/5  rDev -1.5%

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4/5  rDev -1.5%

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4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

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Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 6,804 ratings.