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Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,713 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,713
Reviews: 1,726
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 17.2%
Wants: 394
Gots: 1,021 | 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: 5,713 | Reviews: 1,726 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wedge
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%

Clear, bright orange color with a head that quickly fizzles away to nothing. Crumbly graham cracker pie crust aroma...nice balance of pumpkin pie spices and a certain creaminess. A little heavier on the spices in the flavor, but not overly so. Again, sweet pumpkin pie, crust and all, this time with a little booze and a mild bitterness. Medium bodied and slightly creamy. A very dessert-like pumpkin ale.

wedge, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of mtnbikerpa
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Poured from a bomber with no freshness date.
Burnt orange in color with a full head that retained well and left sticky lacing on my snifter. Spices are in the front and hit my taste buds hard. It certainly tastes like pumpkin pie in a bottle and stands up well with a hearty meal. This continues to be my favorite pumpkin beer.

mtnbikerpa, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of sendsilk
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%

I have heard a lot about this beer and have been seeking it out for a while this fall. Finally found a WHole Foods that actually had some left.

Opened and poured into a pint glass. Not much of a scent to this. Maybe my proboscis is off tonight. It looks clean and clear which is contrary to many of my more favored pumpkin style beers. Looks like a nice lager.

The taste is VERY surprising. Just like the creme brulee by ST, this tastes just like a dessert, in this case, pumpkin pie. Very smooth, non-biting taste to this. My wife quite likes this beer. The mouthfeel is adequate and if it was a little thicker it may be too much like eating than drinking this.

Glad to have tried and and will be looking for another one for this season.

sendsilk, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of diabecktic
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%

Much like a pumpkin, this beer is a translucent with a moderately dark golden-orange color. Pouring yields a ~1 finger's worth of head which dissipates quickly; both retention and lacing are minimal.

The aroma quite literally resembles a fresh pumpkin. The experience is on the order of walking into a pumpkin farm and inhaling deeply. There are also subtle notes of spice and yeast.

There are 3 words which best explain the flavor - blended pumpkin pie. All notes of a great pumpkin pie are present in excellent proportion; well-defined roasted pumpkin with a great deal of nutmeg, a hint of cinnamon, anchored by a biscuit-like malt.

I rate the body as medium-heavy. The spices impart a slight tingling sensation on the tongue and the pumpkin flavor lingers after each sip. This beer is very drinkable; I would describe it as a "dessert beer" because it quite simply most resembles a dessert.

This is without question the best pumpkin beer that I have had to date. The beer manages to feature distinct pumpkin character that doesn't seem synthetic. Some might find the spices too overpowering, but I enjoy my pumpkin with a great deal of nutmeg; thus, I find that the beer achieves this. The biscuit-like bready-ness of the malt is also outstanding.

diabecktic, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of stubens
2.3/5  rDev -43.5%

Let me preface this with the fact that I did not really enjoy this beer at all, but I'm probably not their target drinker.

I had this beer on-tap.

A: The beer was a beautiful golden orange color.

S: You can smell the pumpkin, spices and sweetness from the beer emanating from the glass as you raise it to your nose.

T: The sweetness just punched me in the face as I sipped it. There was more pumpkin coming through than the spices you normally identify with pumpkin pie. It was unbalanced and not very enjoyable for me.

M: Medium bodied beer.

O: I didn't enjoy this beer at all. The pumpkin and the sweetness were up front and center with this beer, which is obviously what they were shooting for. I enjoy many fruit beers, but the pumpkin was just so overpowering for me that it turned me off.

stubens, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of VWBuggirl
1.35/5  rDev -66.8%

Unfortunately, this beer was everything I don't want in a pumpkin beer.

It was sickeningly sweet, overly thick, and tasted like a pumpkin pie instead of a beer brewed with pumpkin. I was worried when I took a sniff and it smelled like dessert time on Thanksgiving... I was not pleased when it tasted like pie and had such a heavy thickness to it either. Give the Dogfish punkin a shot for a great example of the style.

VWBuggirl, Oct 09, 2011
Photo of ploobs
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%

Picked up a bottle at a local liquor store.

A: Pours a orange/copper color with little/no head.

S: Wow, this really does smell like pumpkin! Not so much pumpkin pie, just plain pumpkin. At the end the scent turns a little sweet.

T: I have to say, these guys really nailed the pumpkin flavor on this one. You get a taste of sweet pumpkin at first with a little spice, then it finishes off with a buttery crust-like aftertaste.

M: Not much to speak of here. Was pretty average.

O: Easily the best pumpkin beer I've had, none of that artificial flavor going on. Couldn't drink it all day, but then again that's why it's release for this season only. Solid brew.

ploobs, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of claspada
3.63/5  rDev -10.8%

Pours a clear orange/amber color with a creamy white head that seemed to fight dissipation, clinging to the glass with all its might. Lacing is also quite thick.

Aromas of cinnamon, caramels, pumpkin pie, and sugar cookies. Warm and inviting like you're 5 years old and this one just came out of grandma's oven on a cold winter day.

Tastes start off with bread malts combined with pumpkin pie spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, pie crust, pumpkin flesh in the middle. Spices re-emerge towards the end along with a full-bodied, yet dry finish. This is honestly a little too unbalanced and sweet for my liking as it warms.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Finish is solid and lasts, carrying over to the next sip. Becomes cloyingly sweet during the second glass.

Overall I used to really enjoy this beer but for my current tastes this is a bit too sweet for my liking. Used to be a top 3 pumpkin beer for me but falls way down the list compared to Weyerbacher and much lesser ABV examples like Smuttynose.

claspada, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of Dope
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

A: Slightly cloud orange pour with a big bubbly slightly offwhite head. Retention is ok and so is the lacing.

S: Smells exactly like pumpkin pie. Pumpkin of course, nutmeg and cinnamon for sure. A bit of caramel?

T: Tastes like a pumpkin pie as well. I swear I can even taste the crust a little and especially the whipped cream!

M: Smooth and creamy.

O: Great pumpkin ale. I've had this before my palate really developed and I didn't like it. Glad I retried it, it's definitely a top notch pumpkin beer. Literally a fermented pumpkin pie. If anything I would say that the pumpkin is a tad bit overwhelmed by all the spices but it's still great.

Dope, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of cosmicevan
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%

grabbed this at the grocery earlier today.

a - opened the bottle and filled my ommegang chalice. poured a transparent orange with a thin fizzy head that fizzed out pretty immediately.

s - as soon as i opened the bottle a sweet pumpkin filled the air, once i went in for a closer look the pumpkin was joined with hot apple pie. the caramel malt shows itself in a big way, but the wonderful sweetness just brings autumn and that craft store vibe. just phenomenal.

t - the taste is just like the nose. it is a bit intense at first. very sweet, very pumpkin, and pretty bitter.

m - mouth is good, pretty sweet.

o - remember crocodile dundee, when he says that's not a knife..THIS is a knife? well, that's not a pumpkin beer, THIS is a pumpkin beer. like most of what i've had from southern tier, this is a style to the max. extreme pumpkin beer.

cosmicevan, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of lurpy1
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

It's the great pumpkin beer season, Charlie Brown! Split a bomber.

Pours pale pumpkin orange, with a modest head which makes a brief appearance.

The smell is intensely pumpkin and perhaps sugar, pie spices seem to take a back seat.

The taste is more clearly pumpkin than some other pumpkin ales I've had, but slightly bittered. Not a tremendous spice bomb, IMHO. A bit of an alcohol kicker. Pretty good on carbonation, creamy, pie-like consistency. ST always seems to have smooth dessert beers.

A very good pumpkin ale, but I found I liked Weyerbacher's Imperial, which is spicier, just a titch more.

lurpy1, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%

Big thanks to Spdkilz and Tanger for this beer, glad I got to because I had to share with my wife.
The beer pours a very clear copper with a finger white head that leaves a bit of lacing.
The nose is huge of pumpkin pie, I'm really digging the way this beer smells. It's like pumpkin pie with a grahamcracker crust and whip cream drizzeled with cinnamon and nutmeg.
The taste follows suite to the nose but is not quite as bold as the smell and leaves me wanting a little bit more, the flavors are great just not big enough for me.
The mouthfeel is great, its got plenty of body and a creaminess to it that is followed by lifting carbonation bubbles.
Definitly a good take on pumpkin beers.

BdubleEdubleRUN, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of suspect
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Dogfish Head Signature glass. Split with my brother-in-law.

A: Crystal clear, light copper color. Mostly aggressive pour leads to a half-finger head the disappears almost immediately. Little bubbles coming up from the bottom are not prevalent or consistent. Zero lacing.

S: Pumpkin puree mixed with alcohol is first and foremost followed by sweet malt, sugar, molasses and graham cracker.

T: Sticky sweet (although not nearly as sweet as Creme Brulee) with a much milder flavor than the smell would lead you to believe.

M: Thin, relatively under-carbonated. The feel in this beer is its lowlight.

O: An okay pumpkin beer but not the best I've had. It certainly is the most unique and one that I'll probably seek out once a year for a check-in to see how much better it was the year before ;)

suspect, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of Flux
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%

Cellar temp poured into a pint glass

A- beautiful color of...pumpkin. clear, no haze.

S- pumpkin and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg...ginger?) a mild roasty/ nuttiness comes through.

T- Pumpkin shines through as do the spices. The hops balance it out into something crisp and not too cloying.

M- medium to light body, pretty crisp for being an imperial. medium cabonation.

Overall probably one of my favorite pumpkin beers next to screaming pumpkin. Although as an Imperial I was hoping to have more of a body. It was pretty balanced between hops, malts, and pumpkin. Glad the spices weren't too overpowering.

Flux, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of khill
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer was a light orange color with a foamy white head. Smells strongly of pumpkin with traditional spices behind it.

Taste was good - again the pumpkin was dominant. From the smell, I had expected more of a pumpkin pie sweetness but the spices were more subdued and let the pumpkin taste come through.

It was a bit thinner and more carbonated that I expected but that wasn't a bad thing. Finishes nicely without any weird vegetable aftertaste I've had in other pumpkin ales.

Overall, this is a good beer and very drinkable. Not my favorite pumpkin ale but a good representation of the style.

khill, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of tlazaroff
4.6/5  rDev +13%

A: Pure orange in color with a foamy, thick head made of a mix of big and medium size bubbles as well as visible carbonation streaking to the top. Lacing is crazy good!

S: Immediately after opening the beer I could smell it, and it was good. There is a big pumpkin presence and has that traditional pumpkin spice blend backing note to it. I don't get the "pumpkin pie crust" that everyone talks about, and it is slightly soapy (its not the glass), but I really like the smell.

T: Okay, there is the pumpkin pie crust - can't smell it but sure can taste it! The pumpkin spices are only in the aroma, the flavor is that pie crust and pumpkin flavor through and through. This is perhaps the best beer that showcases ONLY the pumpkin over the spices. LOVE IT!

M: Medium body and somewhat heavily carbonated, this beer has the perfect mouthfeel for this beer. I don't necessarily like heavy carbonation in non-belgium beers, but it works here. Bravo.

D: For me, who prefers sessionable beers, this is a sipper that I will enjoy over an evening, or a brew session.. like I am now.

tlazaroff, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of phichifiji00
2.3/5  rDev -43.5%

Poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Golden/Amber/Pumpkin color, pours minimal white head that quickly fades. No lacing.

Smell: Smells like the Hershey's Pumpkin Kisses, malty, none of the typical pumpkin pie spices are present.

Taste: Exactly like it smells, just like Hershey's pumpkin kisses without any chocolate. No pumpkin pie spices at all. Very buttery. Very disappointing considering all the hype.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light bodied, good carbonation, creamy, buttery.

Overall: Very disappointing. Officially the worst pumpkin beer I've ever had. Even if I weren't expecting pumpkin pie spices, still a very disappointing beer.

phichifiji00, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of thehyperduck
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%

Bomber picked up at the LCBO; no date. I got this mostly because I wanted to see what the hype was about.

Pours a clear orange-amber colour, topped with a thin white head. Retention is pretty poor, it's mostly gone within 30 seconds and only a foamy collar remains on top. Fantastic aroma, plenty of pumpkin, spices and gingerbread. Yep, it smells like pie.

The taste certainly does not disappoint, the first thing I pick up is lots of sweet, biscuity malts, buttery pie crust and again a bit of gingerbread. This provides a decent backbone for the pumpkin and numerous identifiable spices - allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon as perhaps the most dominant. The spices provide peppery notes toward the end of the sip, along with some hop bitterness just barely poking through the plethora of other flavours on the palate. There is a slight heat from the ethanol here as well but you really have to be looking for it (i.e. it is very well-hidden). Medium-bodied, maybe leaning toward the thin side, with subtle carbonation. Very smooth, and very drinkable despite the ABV.

I really like this stuff, it's a perfect dessert beer. I will definitely pick this up again, and I may not even wait until next year. Highly recommended.

thehyperduck, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of ConchobarNessa
4.85/5  rDev +19.2%

The Label is a short story of a Celtic legend about a spirit named Puca, it claims Pumking is an ode to Puca and that it is brewed with some celtic magic to it. This beer is a must have.. It is spectacular.

Appearance- copper to hay, no haze. Its orange-reddish color is quite similar to the pumpkin with which it is brewed. Half-finger head, little lacing. No bubbles. The color is the winner here.

Smell- It starts out with a fat buttery smells that gets bumrushed by a great mix of roasted pecans, a serious amount of pumpkin and some vanilla.

Taste- WHAT A TASTE! This is one HELL of a specialty beer. The 2011 vintage is incredible. The buttery smell turns into a salty-caramel malty taste mixed with the greatest pumpkin pie you've ever had. There is a nice vanilla taste on the palate and some slight pepper, not as sweet as some others I've had. A little cloves in there too, very slight.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and rich with a medium weighted body, pretty darn good carbonation. Perfect bubbles, perfect

Overall- O.K.! This is the big one, this brew is something I would drink every single day of the Fall. Somehow, they managed to capture the magic of a North-East Autumn. I've had a few pumpkin beers and this has to be the best. This beer is insane.

ConchobarNessa, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of birderbeerer
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Golden-amber but light and translucent beer with minimal head.

Smells of baked goods with some malt sweetness.

Taste is mostly spice but the pumpkin is there too. It's not what I expected from an imperial pumpkin. It's kind of like an imperial pilsner with pumpkin and spice added as an afterthought. It's also more thin than I would expect for any imperial.

Yet, it's a good fall beer.

birderbeerer, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of Neffbeer
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%

Served in a Captain Lawrence tulip.

A: Pours a pale yellow color with perfect clarity. There is a one finger white head that fades rather quickly and leaves behind minimal lacing.

S: The first thing I get wafting from the glass is pie crust. It is very distinct and interesting. The typical spices follow with clove, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg.

T: There is a very distinct crust-like flavor and some toasted malts. The spices kick in with a hint of what might be pumpkin, but in the end just tastes spicy. It finishes nice and dry with a hint of herbal hops.

M: Medium bodied with a pleasant level of carbonation.

O: This is a very good pumpkin beer. The malts really make this one really unique in that I can literally taste the pie crust and the spices are kept in check. I have never been into the style, but this year it is slowly rubbing off on me!

Neffbeer, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of bryehn
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%

Undated bomber poured into an oversized wine glass at about 50 F.

Pours a nice golden amber colour with a scant white head that sticks around as a thin collar, but leaves no lacing behind.

More of a pumpkin pie aroma than any other pumpkin ale I've tried to date; it has a real buttery pastry tone that compliments the pumpkin and spices nicely. Freshly cut grains and honey poke through after warming.

The taste is nicely balanced between the pumpkin and the dry, peppery spice notes. Again, a pastry-like butter flavour defines the taste and makes it distinctive amongst pumpkin ales. The finish is peppery and bitter

The mouthfeel is on the thin side with a low, but noticeable carbonation. A grainy note comes through on the tongue and the aftertaste is dry tasting, but also has a syrupy quality. Extraordinarily smooth and drinkable given its ABV.

It's not my favourite pumpkin ale, but is is certainly one of the better entries in the genre. Paired well with chicken stew, cheese danishes, pumpkin pie and vanilla ice cream in my experience.

bryehn, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of sixerofelixir
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%

22 oz bottle sampled at Winking Lizard. This beer is not readily available anywhere around me, and at the recommendation of a friend, it was well worth it to sample this..

Poured a deep amber; clear, with a thick ring that stuck around. Smell is a glorious offering of pie-in-the-oven. Taste is superlative, simply an almost-perfect rendition of the home-made pumpkin pie I grew up eating. Mostly cinnamon for the spice, with gobs of pure, round pumpkin. Finish is a bit hot (suitable for a pie), but the abv is still masked well. Fantastic pumpkin ale. I don't think this one can be beat, by my taste buds.

sixerofelixir, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of kevanb
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

From Notes, bomber into a tulip.

This beer pours a nice dark pumpkin orange color with hints of brown that has a tiny fizzy beige head that is extremely reminiscent of a slice of pumpkin pie. It smells of pumpkin puree, a key ingredient, with subtle grains and a few spices, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon. The flavor is crazy, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pie and more pumpkin pie. Spiced perfectly to keep it interesting but the kick is the toasted grain aftertaste that is acts as the crust on this liquid slice of pie. It has a nice big body, massive character and a smooth finish.

Verdict: A stunning seasonal beer and probably my favorite seasonal beer of any season. It is quite literally a slice of pumpkin pie in a glass that brings together all the best parts of fall.

kevanb, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of 57md
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%

Last week was my first taste of the tapped version of this beer, tonight I had my first bomber of the 2011 season. An aggressive pour into a ST imperial glass yielded a somewhat cloudy offering of this fine orange-colored brew. There was almost two fingers of head that maintained itself rather well and left some nice lacing on the glass. As always, the smell was extraordinary - spice dominates, but there is also graham cracker undertones. The taste is a bit more hearty than the kegged version. There remains an excellent balance of pumpkin and pie spice. This offering finished with a somewhat stronger alcohol presence than previous years, but it was nothing detrimental to the overall flavor profile.

The bottle recommends that this brew be served at a temp of 40F, but I think that a wider array of flavors emerge when it gets a bit warmer than the suggested temp.

As far as pumpkin beers go, this is still the king for me!

2013 update: I have now sampled the 2013 version both bottled and on-tap. This year's brew is definitely lighter in color and a touch thinner. It also has a drier finish than in previous years. Pumking varies every year so these observations are not surprising. It is possible that in the past few years ST has been responding to its critics and has attempted to make this beer more "balanced." That disappoints me, as I found the more extreme flavors of the 2009 & 2010 versions (maybe 2011 too) to be quite pleasing.

2014 update: Saw the newly designed bottles of Pumking at my favorite bottle shop on July 19th of all things! I simply despise the fact that fall offerings such as Pumking are available so early but I could not resist purchasing a bottle and consuming it super fresh. The flavor profile of the 2014 version is very bright – more so than the past few years. The alcohol was kept in check nicely, as well. This is the best version in at least 4 years.

57md, Oct 04, 2011
Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 5,713 ratings.