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Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.
PumkingPumking

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

5,734 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,734
Reviews: 1,728
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 17.2%
Wants: 397
Gots: 1,035 | 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: 5,734 | Reviews: 1,728 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hadesvi
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%

Was in search of a pumpkin beer that tasted like pumpkin, not nutmeg or cinnabon buns. Pumking pours a beautiful, clear garnet, lots of vanilla and nutmeg emanate—no cinnamon. It's basically Pumkin pie with candy corn. Loved every drop and recommend taking at least two bottles at the store, they go fast.

hadesvi, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of Naugros
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%

I have said this before, but I think I've finally found my favorite pumpkin ale. I'm not a fan of them, so previous statements like that have been more of a "lesser of two evils" sort of deal and I wasn't really all that thrilled with the beer, but gave it a pretty good review since I review to style. In this case, I actually enjoyed the beer.

Right off the bat, it's one of the clearest pumpkin ales I've ever seen and raises a nice, frothy beige head that settles to a thick crown and film, leaving behind rings of lace.

The smell is incredible. You'd swear that someone was roasting pumpkin seeds in a well-balanced spice mixture. I have to read up and see if they actually use roasted pumpkin seeds in the brew kettle. The malts are pretty strong as well, coming off as a fresh-baked sweet roll drizzled with caramel, but not that sweet.

The taste does follow the smell and strengthens my suspicions that roasted pumpkin seeds were used in the brewing process as there's a bitterness present that doesn't seem to be from hops. I imagine the seeds could impart this, but I could be wrong (as usual). It's still pretty darn yummy, but not quite as balanced as the nose.

It's got a crisp, medium body which is perfect for an early Autumn day which is not quite cold enough to go to the darker, heavier beers. It does leave behind some bitterness in the aftertaste.

Again, this is not only my new favorite pumpkin ale, but it now sits as one of my faves from Southern Tier. Nice job on making a style I really don't appreciate into something worth drinking each Fall.

Naugros, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of Lemke10
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%

I bought a single 650mL bottle of this from Woodman's in Janesville, WI for $6.49 in Fall 2011.

Pours a clear copper orange color with a lot of carbonation floating to the top of the glass but ceases in about 5-10 seconds as does the head. The scent is like a pumpkin pie with pureed pumpkin, cinnamon spice, and carmel. The taste is the best I've ever had in a pumpkin beer. It's smooth and clean but with lots of flavor. Great tastes of pumpkin and spices that blended nicely togther with the malts and hops used. It's so good I almost want to go grab some cool whip to throw on top! A must try for pumpkin beer lovers!

Lemke10, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of XsoreXsubjectX
1.65/5  rDev -59.5%

Look, I know there are problems in the world bigger than shitty beer, but today, I feel like writing about shitty beer, damned be the bigger picture.

If you're short on time, just read this:

if your one of those people put-off by the thought of a beer that tastes like the soaking milk from a children's sugary breakfast cereal, don't drink it. If you want Cap'n Crunch-flavored beer, this Bud's for you.

For those for time to waste, here's the rest:
There's bad beer, and then there are just noxious flavors, flavors which perturb and revolt, painful flavors, culinary shrapnel. Whatever the holy hell this thing is, it's in the later camp.

Appearance: quite lovely, and promising. Autumnal oranges and browns, a frothy and bulbous off-white head, setting the tone.

Smell: the first sign that something is really, really up. As in a "this is just kind of unnatural" kind of scent. Notes of corn, sugar, malt, cinnamon, maple, nutmeg, and fermentation.

Taste: milk from a bowl of Cap'n Crunch cereal, soaked 20 minutes, plus marshmallow-coated beer-vomit. One of those tastes that never stops being shocking, sip after sip. A pumpkin flavor undergirds the whole operation, but it is trampled and distorted by an embarrassment of sugar and corn. Still, this is the most pumpkin-pie-y of the beers of the Pumpkin Ale set that I've ever tried, but this proves to me that sheer massiveness of taste does not do this genera any favors. Previously, I've had a hard time getting on board the pumpkin ale train because of weakness of flavor, but today, I've experienced the precise opposite, which has indirectly made more desirable the weaker pumpkin ales. I needed to wash this out of my mouth, and decided on toothpaste.

Mouthfeel: quite nice. Chewy, sparkly, full. A nice rip of carbonation between satiny smoothness. Good enough for a great beer, but the taste bars any enjoyment here.

Overall: As I said before, it smacks eerily of the milk used to soak children's breakfast cereal. I must state here that, though I am certifiably a hop-head, I adore sweeter, heavy beers, and I chose this hoping for a little spiced magic. Instead, this is really the worst beer I've tried in recent memory, and I'm surprised at its poor performance considering the excellent reputation of the brewery. It is a brewery which has done me right many times, but I have to say that this is just brutally unpleasant.

Things I would rather consume than this beer:

- alligator semen
- shotglass of Cool Water cologne
- smirnoff ice "green apple crisp" 32oz
- a gallon of Sunny Delight
- a gallon of Orbtiz, the questionably tapioca-infused soft drink
- a full-to-the-brim gallon of bum wine (see: Nighttrain, Cisco, Wild Irish Rose, Boone's Farm, etc)
- a half-cup of olive oil
- 12 PBR's
- mexican drinking water

Oof.

XsoreXsubjectX, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

A translucent golden/orange. Foams up a bunch like soap bubbles but quickly just becomes some small puddles. A lot of carbonation running up the sides. Aroma has notes of nutmeg, fresh cut pumpkin and dough. Flavor is crisp upfront with a lot of nutmeg and cinnamon. Buttery smooth, doughey pie middle that leaves. The pumpkin flavor carries throughout the middle and finish and it leaves a crisp bite. Part of it from the carbonation and the spices. Body is light for a lot of pumpkins out there and all the flavors are subtle but you know they are there. The alcohol content is a surprise.

DrinkingDrake, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of Infamous7100
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%

A: semi copper and clear. Thin, tan head that dissipates quickly.
S: graham cracker crust dominates and it smells tremendous. Some spice and obviously pumpkin are present as well.
T:sweet the graham cracker crust and its sweetness is all over the front. The pumpkin and spice are also huge here and they blend nicely. Toward the back, there is some bitterness which does well to cut the sweetness. A nice warming sensation as it goes down.
M: full bodied with a nice crispness.
O: one of the better pumpkin ales I have tried and worth the effort finding it. Its really stands out for two reasons. One, the ingredients are high quality and you can tell in the flavor. Two, despite the heavy graham and pumpkin, you never lose the fact that this is indeed a beer. Well done.

Infamous7100, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of jman892
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%

A - Pours a hazy dark orange color, very minimal head.

S - Smell is dominated by a graham cracker pie crust, with some spices mixed in, but predominately you can pick up the crust.

T - Taste is also heavy on the pumpkin pie. The graham cracker crust and the nutmeg/cinnamon spice combination dominate. As it warms a bit of a vanilla/cream taste emerges. Noticeable alcohol warming

M - Rich mouthfeel, rather creamy.

O - Another big ST beer, another winner. One of the top pumpkin beers out there. I look forward to this every fall.

jman892, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of FLOglida
5/5  rDev +22.9%

I was a little dissapointed when i saw that the ABV percentage got knocked down again...im pretty sure 3 years ago it was 10%.

But either way at 8.6 it is still rather boozy.

All in all this is the most gorgeous smelling and tasting beer on the market if youre going for pumpkin or sweet. There is no argument that this is the best pumpkin beer on the market.

I consider myself a Pumking advocate, ive introduced countless friends to this brew and everyone freaks out everytime.

It's like drinking a boozy slice of pumpkin pie!

FLOglida, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of mckemp
4.6/5  rDev +13%

Split 22oz Bottle in Charleston, SC from Charleston Beer Exchange. Brown sugar&cinnamon rim for funsies.

Appearance- Light copper, less than 1/2 inch head.

Smell- Graham Cracker! This is my favorite part of the pumking, pumpkin pie crust. Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom) in the background.

Taste- Pumpkin pie crust and slight ginger hint. Encompasses the overall PUMPKIN PIE that brewers are after.

M- Heavy for a pumpkin beer, sticky on the tongue. Different from an imperial.

O- Best pumpkin beer (so far) of the '11 season! I hope to recreate THIS beer in my first homebrew. Graham cracker flavor is the key; we're going to use graham cracker flavoring in the second rack.

mckemp, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of harrymel
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

Bottled August, 2011

A: Pours orange, pumpkin orange. Single finger of transient, white foam falls quickly to a broken sheet of the same with a central cap. Excellent clarity, looks like a melted orange popsicle.

S: Graham cracker crust, cinnamon, a little nutmeg. Smells sweet and slightly oxidized.

T: Well, Southern Tier has a knack for making things taste like their name - tastes like pumpkin pie, a bit of whipped cream and orange zest here for me. The spices resonate for a time after I swallow.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carb and a nice long slick on the finish.

O: This beer is exactly what I anticipated it would be, that being said - I don't dislike it, but do not subscribe as fervently as many in the forums do. It's good, about as good as every beer in the Black Water series - it's literally well done, but nothing more.

harrymel, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of chefhatt
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

I poured this beer from a 22oz. bottle into a pint glass. It has a great orange color body, with not a lot of head. The smell is of graham cracker, vanilla and spices. The taste first is like a pie crust, pumpkin, spices and malt. The mouth feel is nice and smooth and crisp. Overall this is the best pumpkin beer i have had so far.

chefhatt, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of kell50
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%

Split a 22oz bomber with a friend on 9/25/11. Poured into Chimay goblets.

A: It pours a relatively clear orangy color. Not a ton of carbonation coming from the bottle, but it's definitely there as it enters the glass. Absolutely no head, no lacing- nothing! Kinda interesting.

S: Wow, it smells amazing. This smells EXACTLY like Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch; butter, graham cracker, caramel and a subtle mix of spices. Wonderful!

T: Pumpkin pie, but in liquid form. This is a beer where you need to take a couple sips, set it down, and let the beer explore your palate. There is a nice collection of spices; nutmeg, clove, allspice, cinnamon that just meld together wonderfully. No hops to speak of.

M: Medium bodied and quite sticky. This beer coat your mouth nicely without being too cloyingly sweet, or over spiced.

O: Well done Southern Tier. I'd love more of this but Total Wine has just recently sold out. Pumking is a beer I will continue to seek out every autumn.

kell50, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of Krakistophales
1.88/5  rDev -53.8%

A: Pours copper colored with a bit of white head that disappears quickly and leaves just a halo and lacing

S: Big pumpkin smell, but it has too much of a buttery, biscuity taste, like a pie crust. I'm not really getting much spice at all, so this one is a bit one note for me.

T: Big pumpkin taste as well, but again, it's too buttery, creamy, and bready/biscuity for my liking. You can taste the pumpkin meat big time, though, but I just can't get over the creamy/biscuity overload here.

O: I was quite surprised when I discovered I actually didn't like something that ST made, but I can't get over the creamy/biscuity/bready taste. My favorite pumpkin ale is still smashed pumpkins, though, with punkin a close second.

Krakistophales, Sep 27, 2011
Photo of BeerFiend2002
4.97/5  rDev +22.1%

Poured from 22 oz bomber into Goblet:

A: Light copper to burnt orange color with one finger of frothy off-white head. Interesting shade, with a lot of the pumpkin beers being darker.

S: Graham cracker. Little bit of cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla in there as well. The smell lets you know that you are in for a real treat.

T: Graham cracker, pie crust, vanilla, and biscuity malt that comes alive and gives it a rich buttery taste. Taste like your grandmother's pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream put into a blender and poured into a glass. Alcohol is practically non-existent in the taste though. It actually gets better as it warms up. Phenomenal! Its actually too good. Im now concerned that after drinking this one, that my capacity to enjoy any other pumpkin beer will be diminished.

M: Rich, buttery, full-bodied, creamy, and thick...but not syrupy or resinous. Just perfect.

O: This beer is the best pumpkin beer I've had and one of the top 5 overall beers I've ever had. The Schlafly was really good, but this is the one against which all pumpkin beers are measured. Drink carefully though. It tastes good enough to slug down, but it is still a 9% ABV brew. Cant wait to revisit this one!

BeerFiend2002, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of MandatoryJimmy
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%

Probably my favorite pumpkin beer so far. Smelled delicious, tasted like nutmeg cinnamon pumpkin cake, and looked like fall poured into a glass. A beautiful orange color with an off yellow foamy head. I love this brewing company and will definatly have another if my local shop gets more. Drink next to fire with a dog at your feet.

MandatoryJimmy, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of Humulus85
3.13/5  rDev -23.1%

My first Pumpkin Ale...

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my goblet. It produced a modest, one-finger, white head. Minimal retention and little lacing. Very nice, clear, orange color.

Smells of pumpkin pie. Pumpkin and spice really dominate the nose. Nutmeg and cinnamon notes with a touch of malt, and very little hop presence.

Tastes of pumpkin pie. Just like it smells; nutmeg, cinnamon, some sweet malt, and maybe a touch of bitterness from the hops. The pumpkin is clean and defined, but to be honest the rest is a bit lacking. For 8.2% I expect more malt and hop flavor.

When cold, this beer is very smooth and well carbonated. As it warms, however, it becomes unwelcomely thick. Drink this one cold for best enjoyment.

Overall this is a decent tasting brew that is at least different, and I would like to try some more Pumpkin Ales. I think this one could be better, but I don't really know how (maybe some aroma hops). Cheers!

Humulus85, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of SkitzIrish3
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

Pours orange with very low carbonation and little foam (no foam after a minute).

Smells like a pumpkin pie.

Tastes like a pumpkin pie. A lot of pumpkin spice featured in this ale, a quality I like when I drink the style. A warming sensation due to the high ABV. Finishes with a slight bitterness and lingering taste that is keeping me interested.

I first had this at the Lundeen's Brew-Ha-Ha!!! yesterday and was upset to see it gone a few minutes later. Damn fine purchase though and I suggest it if you like pumpkins in your beer!

SkitzIrish3, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Another great pumpkin ale in life. Poured into a snifter, a nice orange-amber with just a slight haze, bubbly with a patchy layer of white bubbles for a head. Truly amazing aroma of ginger snaps and pumpkin pie...not subtle, but full of pleasant aromatic pumpkin and spice, just like it's supposed to be. Taste was not quite as tremendous, but still very good. The flavors were a bit more subdued than the aroma, which is just fine. A sweet malt base with a background of soft pumpkin, overlaid with vanilla, spice, and cinnamony pie crust. Gentle hop bitterness and alcohol warnth in the finish. Medium body, and very drinkable.

Rifugium, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of pburland23
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%

I was somewhat reticent to try Pumking in light of the fact that the last Southern Tier big seasonal I had (Creme Brulee) was such an unmitigated disaster. But, since I had heard almost nothing but good things about Pumking, I decided to give it a try.

Split a bomber with my wife. Poured into a snifter.

Beer pours a very bright and clear burnt orange color with just the thinnest wisps of caramel colored head.

One inhale reveals one of the best smelling beers I've ever encountered. It literally smells like pumpkin pie. You get pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, some vanilla and a whole lot of graham cracker. Delicious.

Taste is very pumpkiny and very spicy...lots of nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar. It is very cliched at this point, but Pumking literally tastes like pumpkin pie in a bottle. I thought Southern Tier did a nice job of making the beer sweet, but not too sweet...a nice amount of balance here. Just a little boozy burn on the tale to close the taste out.

Mouthfeel is a little chewy but not as sticky as I thought it might be. Very little carbonation. Just lots of pumpkin pie flavor. I am glad that I split the bomber as I'm not sure I would wanted the entire bottle. 11 oz. made for a pleasant autumnal sipper.

Overall, a really out there pumpkin beer. Sweet and delicious, full of pumpkin spice. May have to pick up a few more of these this fall.

pburland23, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of Neorebel
4.6/5  rDev +13%

Had this for the first time amongst a little pumpkin ale taste comparison at home. This beer is in a league of its own... The color is a clear golden orange, with a tiny head with no retention. The aroma is incredible - it's hard to believe how it truly smells like pumpkin cake, vanilla icing and all, gingerbread, graham cracker, cinnamon, etc. The taste is very similar to the aroma with a light hop finish and medium mouth feel. The alcohol is masked VERY well. How exactly do they make a beer that tastes this way? Does Willy Wonka work at Southern Tier? Truly incredible. I def. will be buying more this season. I could drink this for breakfast! In all seriousness though, this is a dessert in a glass. The only question is - is a beer supposed to even be like this? It doesn't really taste like a beer... I suppose that's what the other pumpkin ales are for.

Neorebel, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of BeerMeDatBeer
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%

Pumking was exactly what I was looking for in a pumpkin ale. The appearance, smell and taste were all top notch. I felt I could drink this every morning with a cinnamon (or pumpkin) muffin if I wanted.

The appearance was very clean from the label to the pour. The color of the ale was orange/brownish, which fit well with the overall theme. There wasn't much head when I poured it, which added to the 'clean' feeling I got from the beer overall.

The smell was spot-on. The beer smelled exactly like you would expect a pumpkin ale to smell...like pumpkin.

The taste was really great. The pumpkin showed through in a non-intrusive manner. Like I mentioned above, I thought I could literally have this for breakfast, but the 8.6% abv would
probably get me a DUI on the way to work.

While enjoyable, I thought the beer was sharp (maybe a little to carbonated) while drinking. If the carbonation was toned down a bit, I'd crown it king of pumpkin ales.

Until that happens, it's just the prince.

BeerMeDatBeer, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of Janderson91
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

2011 vintage. Enjoyed on 09/25/11.

A - Pours perfectly clear bright orange color with a small white head. Leaves no lacing and only a small head remains.

S - The aroma is very spicy. Cinnamon, nutmeg, graham cracker, pumpkin pie. Very nutty.

T - Even a light chocolate flavor can be detected in the taste. Otherwise, it's basically the same as the aroma. Nice and sweet up front, with nice pumpkin flavor through the middle. Lots of spice on the back end with that graham cracker finish. Very nice.

M - Mouthfeel is just average. Would like this one to be more full-bodied.

O - Overall, this is a nice pumpkin ale. Probably like DFH Punkin better but this is a nice change of pace.

Janderson91, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of Suds
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

I recall, many year ago, having one of my first pumpkin ales, and being absolutly blown away. Each fall, I seem to stock up on various pumpkin flavored beers, eagerly searching for a similar experience. Each year, however, I seem be disappointed. Until, that is, my wife bought this beer for me. Wow. Hands down, this is the best pumpkin ale that I've ever had. It's aroma is exceptional, intense, and enchanting. The flavor is rich, layered, and nearly overwhelming. Pumpkin and spice, strength in alcohol, some malt, and near perfect balance. It does not seem at all artificial, a fault of many pumpkin beers. It's a dangerous beer, with it's high ABV, but it is also very rewarding. Great stuff.

Suds, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of sjccmd
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%

Pours Halloween orange. That makes sense to me. Wisps of an off white head. Pretty clear.

The aroma is straight up sweet spicy pumpkin pie with graham cracker crust. Slight squashy aroma with just tons of sweet and spice. Nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar. I can't imagine how this aroma is achieved.

The flavor begins with roasted pumpkin and spices. Sweet but not cloying. Graham cracker crust, and more of the same as the aroma, but slightly more roasted character and squashy roasted pumpkin. Rounds off nicely with just a balancing amount of hop bitterness. Residual warming spices on the finish.

Full but not thick mouthfeel. A good amount of carbonation. Silky and smooth with warming alcohol in the finish. Coats the mouth.

This is pretty much what I want in a pumpkin ale. Subtle is sometimes nice, but I also enjoy drinking a pumpkin pie from time to time.

sjccmd, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of Cylinsier
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

bottle.

Pours a golden amber with a white lacing and a very slight haze.

Smells of pumpkin, spices and vanilla.

Tastes of pumpkin pie, vanilla, butter, sweet potato, nutmeg, and a bit of alcohol.

Body is full with a light tingle of carbonation.

Outstanding brew, dessert in a bottle. One of the best pumpkin beers there is in my opinion and really worth grabbing when you see it. If you aren't into pumpkin beers, this might be the one that changes your mind.

Cylinsier, Sep 24, 2011
Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 5,734 ratings.