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Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,964 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,964
Reviews: 1,672
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 17.2%
Wants: 334
Gots: 597 | FT: 20
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: 4,964 | Reviews: 1,672 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AleDrinkToThat


4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle traded to me by rockstarnati, who is an awesome trader.

A: Poured a light orange hue which was only slightly opaque under a short 1/2 finger off-white head that didn't hold very long.

S: Whoa! Whomever described this as a Yankee "Pumpkin Pie" candle in a bottle was spot on. I smelled that candle. Lovely aromas of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar.

T: What an ingenius idea to use the bready characteristics of the malt to create a flavor that tastes *exactly* like a graham cracker crust. Also, PUMPKIN!! Wow, it's all right there. I've not had another beer that carried quite so accurate and comparable a flavor as this does to pumpkin pie.

M: I was expecting a cloyingly sweet concoction only appropriate for dessert. Not so here. It certainly isn't cloyingly sweet, and I love that. There is definitely a slight dryness in the finish and an absence of the cloying sweetness that permeates some of the other pumpkin beers in the world. Is is still firmly a beer. Love it.

D: Dangerously drinkable. The alcohol is so well hidden and the taste is so spot on that one could easily get into trouble. This beer has risen to being well within my top ten "most delicious" list. Love me a pumpkin ale. If you're also a fan of the style, there simply is no substitute that will take you back to the family Thanksgiving dessert tradition like Pumking does.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2009 04:14:30 | More by AleDrinkToThat
Photo of FtownThrowDown


4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now this is a pumpkin beer. If you want to know what this tastes like, let me put it to you like this: Yankee Candles Pumpkin Spice candle in a beer form. The minute you pop the top you are hit with an abundance of pumpkin and spice of which I've never seen in a pumpkin beer. This is extremely well done. I think the only thing that this would need would be some kind of sweetener to balance out the taste a little bit. The spice is abundant and dominating. At 9% you're going to feel this one a bit as well. This would be absolutely wonderful to drink outdoors sitting around a campfire. My new favorite pumpkin beer without a doubt. I'll surely be drinking a few more of these. Well done Southern Tier.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2009 01:01:49 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of NoahSYGG

New York

3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a good pumpkin beer, with the title of it being "too much" this beer is a nutmeg bomb. It smells like straight pumpkin spices and ginger bread. At 10% or so, this is the perfect beer to sit around the fire with on a nice october night. It must be served ice cold, or it gets a little "boozy" It is sweet and a little syrupy but overall satisfying.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2009 18:37:05 | More by NoahSYGG
Photo of Beertracker


4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Pumking pours up with good effervescence that creates an inviting lacy, cream colored head that nicely crowns the orangish amber-deep copper body. Great head retention for a spiced beer. The vast aroma carries lots of spices (allspice, annatto, cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg, marjoram, vanilla) encompassed by an enticing caramel (burnt sugar), honeydew (musk melon) fruitiness, graham cracker, sweet maltiness. Alcohol is well intigrated. The flavor is sweet at first then the spices & hops come into play to balance things out. There's really a lot going on here with something new with each sip. There's an interesting nuttiness (annatto, hazelnut?) that adds to the overall complexity. This medium-full bodied SHV beer is quite creamy & surprisingly well-balanced for its spicing & strength. Definitely one of the better Pumpkin Ales that I've ever had. Enjoy this "pumpkin pie in a glass" by itself or paired with some ripened Camembert or French Neufchâtel (Farmer's cheese) with fresh harvest fruit. Here's to the Great Pumking!

CHEERS! Beertracker

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2009 16:31:19 | More by Beertracker
Photo of BearsSox


4.78/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer several times on tap, and have been aging a case for a while, with the occasional breakdown of will and cracking open of a 22 oz. bomber.

Appearance - a luscious, hazy orange color that practically defines the fall season, creamy head, a beautiful beer

Smell - overpowering: pumpkin pie, cinnamon, brown sugar, candied figs, nutmeg, graham cracker, a slight earthy aroma buried ibehind it all

Taste - wow. a pumpkin beer that tastes like pumpkin pie, not merely a suggestion of pumpkin aroma with sugar and spice wafting through it. it's hard to believe it's liquid.

Mouthfeel - clearly a bigger beer, with a mouthfeel that shares many characteristics with a beer like Franziskaner's Hefe, although the carbonation here is lower (almost not evident). slight grainy texture, but covered by creaminess

Drinkability - more please.

One of the best beers I've had. Period.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2009 02:58:15 | More by BearsSox
Photo of woodske1


4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I'm sorry but appearance usually means nothing to me...but this one appears great. It looks like pumpkin juice.

It also tastes like pumpkin...but not an over sugared pumpkin pie which many pumpkin beer taste like.

Only negative is you cannot drink more than one or two of these.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2009 05:40:51 | More by woodske1
Photo of cvfish


4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - This beer poured very orange (not amber or golden orange, but real orange) that produced a good white frothy head that laced the sides nicely

S - The aroma of pumpkins is dominate, but cinnamon, clove, and brown sugar do make an appearance

T - Again, pumpkin is really big, but all the spices on the nose do make an appearance, and the grain qualities of the ale do peak their head a little

M - A little thin on the mouth, not bad, light carbonation, very smooth

D - This offering by Southern Tier has really impressed me, again, as a seasonal treat beer, this was awesome and really allowed the pumpkin to shine

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2009 01:46:26 | More by cvfish
Photo of Voonder

Alberta (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours copper color, very clear, one finger off-white head. Smell - absolutely amasing! Pumpkin, ginger bread, clove, carrot pie. Very good! Taste - same great stuff - pumpkins, carrot pie, ginger bread, a bit sugary, alcohol hidden very well. It's like eating carrot pie. Well balanced, very smooth, great stuff. Drinakble.
Thanks bobsy for this amasing stuff!!
I loved it!

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2009 05:31:27 | More by Voonder
Photo of htomsirveaux


2.48/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22 oz. bottle tried 24 Nov 2008.

Poured in shaker pint glass. Small tight yellow white head. Medium carbonation. Pumpkin orange color. Smells like pumpkin ice cream and pie crust. Starts with some pumpkin flavor, lots of buttered popcorn, nutmeg. Quite sweet, caramel. Flavor combination is not very appealing. Slight bitterness in aftertaste. Alcohol is warming in the finish. Med light body.

Not very good, even for a pumpkin beer. Would not get this again.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2009 01:36:32 | More by htomsirveaux
Photo of JohnQVegas


2.78/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


Pours amber with a thin off-white head. Aroma is nutmeg, cinnamon, bit of vanilla and pumpkin.

Taste is ... wow. Taste starts off with a bit of pumpkin and sweet caramel malt, with the nutmeg, cinnamon, and pumpkin just blowing up as the taste progresses. Finish is very odd, bitter spices and very vegetal/medicinal.

Carbonation is fairly crisp, with a medium body.

May try to age a bottle or two to try in a month or so, but right now, the lingering finish kind of throws off the whole beer. The spices just overwhelm the beer. And this is from a fan of Pumpkin beers, too.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2009 22:53:11 | More by JohnQVegas
Photo of JordanChabot


4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Alright I've seen sailboats in bottles...but how do you fit a 12 pound pumpkin in a bottle???
Southern Tier knows....

This has to be one of the most original beers I have had to date. Southern Tier has done it yet again in their series of large bottle masterpieces.
The beer pours a bright orange liquid and quickly builds an inch off white head. The aroma is rich with sweet vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
(It is truly unfair Southern Tier doesn't dabble in the air freshener business, this is the perfect autumn scent)
The taste is unlike any pumpkin beer. It is liquid pumpkin pie. This is not a subtle imaginary taste, oh no, and the 9% ABV??? undetectable. (Be Careful) The rich creamy vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and incredibly prominent pumpkin flavor make this truly a dessert beer for a king. Hence the name...

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2009 02:14:04 | More by JordanChabot
Photo of MasterSki


4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle in a deal with Morphoenix - probably should have reviewed this back in October, but here goes. Out of a pint glass...

A - Thin, quick-dissipating white foam that leaves some spotty lacing. Transparent pumpkin color (go figure!) with plenty of visible carbonation.

S - Pumpkin pie, graham cracker, spices (mostly cinnamon & clove), brown sugar and maple syrup. The smell comes alive as the brew warms up.

T - Starts off with sweet malt and maple and all the associated pumpkin pie flavors. The finish is a little bit more beer-like with a tiny touch of hop bitterness. It's not cloyingly sweet like the Creme Brulee - I don't feel like I'm going into diabetic coma from drinking this.

M - A little thin and watery, especially for a 9% brew. Carbonation is reasonable and gives a nice tingle that complements the spicy characteristics of the brew. There's a sticky aftertaste which suits the flavor quite nicely.

D - Very easy to drink this one - my wife and I polished off the bomber quite quickly. No major drawbacks - good carbonation, not overly sweet, can't taste the 9%, etc. and a pleasant enough flavor to make me want more. I'd really like to try this one fresh next October.

Definitely the best of the pumpkin beers I've had (although that's not saying a lot with some of the competitors).

N.B. I find it amusing the Southern Tier notes that this is an "Imperial" Pumpkin Ale - maybe it's time for a new category?

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2009 03:55:27 | More by MasterSki
Photo of iconoklaztor


4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to my santa for this brew! Cheers!

Pours a very nice orange with very little head. The smells of pumpkin and brown sugar become apparent. Sounds great but what does it taste like? Just the same thing. Its great! Not to crazy but just the right amount of sweet, pumpkiny goodness. I really enjoy this. I wonder how this would be aged.


Serving type: bottle

01-20-2009 04:09:27 | More by iconoklaztor
Photo of hellbilly


4.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

finally scored one of these from moelikebeer! many thanks.

pours a hazy coppery amber with a small creamy white head. drippy rings of lace form as the beer retreats.

the aroma packs a mean punch of real cooked pumpkin... i'm talkin' relevent, real deal holyfield, MF pumpkin!... earthy cinnamon, wood, caramel, vanilla, flowers and real effen fresh ground nutmeg.

the palate is surprisingly NOT sweet. holy mother of gambrinus!...it contains the MOST real pumpkin flavor i've had outside of eating a pumpkin... earthy gourd sweetness, vanilla woodiness, caramel/brown sugar/highly toasted almost burnt sugar, buttery short dough, a touch of umami and a floral hoppy finish with tons of cinnamon and spice.

smooth texture and soft carbonation make it luscious on the tongue. medium to full body which is not thick or syrupy... highly enjoyable. dare i say, sessionable?10/4/10/5/19/4.8

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2009 01:39:34 | More by hellbilly
Photo of bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice, the pumking is a wonderful halloween orange with a creamy off-white head that left some decent lace. The aroma is stunning and sublime, conjuring images of freshly baked pumpkin pie, with a huge serving of cream. The crust is warm, sweet and nutty, and the pumpkin is perfectly spiced. If only the real deal smelled this good all the time! The first flavour to hit the tongue is hazelnut and vanilla, paired with brown sugar - in short, the piecrust. It lingers for a beautiful moment before heading to the roof of the mouth to bide its time and reassert itself in the finish. Its replaced by a moderately bittersweet spiciness in alcohol kick, which serves as a precursor to the pumpkin filling itself. For an imperial, the carbonation and body are exactly as I would expect. Moderate, almost sticky, with a palate cleansing stream of bubbles.

The whole package is sweet, and dessert-like, but not so much that it detracts from an excellently brewed beer. The aroma is a revelation to me, and it seems to have a lot in common with Rogue's Hazelnut Nectar. The real wonder is that it actually delivers in the taste, and I would take this over the traditional Thanksgiving dessert in an instant.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2009 15:07:14 | More by bobsy
Photo of tmoneyba


4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from River's Bend.

Poured clear copper color with a large off-white frothy head that was mostly lasting with good lacing.

Solid doughy pumpkin pie and small alcohol aroma.

Medium to full body with a creamy texture.

Heavy balanced carrot cake flavor with a medium spice sweet finish of long duration.

Standout seasonal beer and one of top rated beers for style.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2009 17:59:27 | More by tmoneyba
Photo of Drewcifer


3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured out golden orange with a very slight white head that dissipates quite fast.

I pleasant, balanced aroma of pumpkin, spices and crust. Smells just like a cold slice of pumpkin pie.

Wonderful taste of pumpkin pie - all the spices, pumpkin, crust. You can taste the malts, but little else besides the pumpkin components of it.

The mouthfeel loses a little bit. I felt the carbonation was a bit off, and the overall feel was hard to place - maybe slightly creamy, but not in a good way.

It's a nice beer and all, but strictly a seasonal treat in my opinion. It's not something I would drink more than one bottle in a sitting, and not to often. Great treat, but not a daily drinker.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2009 04:40:31 | More by Drewcifer
Photo of joerodiii

New York

3.05/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The beer looks nice for a pumpkin...a nice amber/orange color. Not much head, but I poured slowly, dividing between two Chimay chalices.

The smell was overwhelmingly hazelnut, mixed with nutmeg and a bit of cinnamon.

Unfortunately, the hazelnut dominated the flavor, as well. Aside from thay, the beer was ok. Sweet, but not cloying, moderate spice flavor. I didn't taste any pumpkin.

Mouthfeel was good...decent body...right amount of carbonation.

This beer was not very drinkable. The nuttiness didn't work for me. That combined with the sweetness was a bit much. I shared this bottle (22oz bomber) with one friend. I found myself wishing that I had shared with 2 or 3.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2009 01:19:26 | More by joerodiii
Photo of Risser09


4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz bottled poured into a snifter - Fridge temp - 2008

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy copper color with orange highlights. The head is white and is 1/2" tall. Good retention with little lace to show.

Smell: Wow. This is stellar. It smells like fresh gingerbread. Pumpkin, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Very unique and awesome.

Taste: Equally intense with the gingerbread. This is an incredible flavor. Pumpkin, cinnamon and clove are buried in there somewhere. Perfectly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Sweet, chewy and a total lack of 9% alcohol noticability. Heavily bodied.

Drinkability: This is an incredible beer. I've never had anything like it. I think anyone could enjoy this beer, regardless of palate maturity. A fun approach for a fall beer that I could drink early and often.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2009 13:29:26 | More by Risser09
Photo of xare


1.05/5  rDev -74.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured as an orange colored liquid with a thin white filmy head - didn't impress me very much, if at all.

Smell was cloyingly sweet - lots of pumpkin spices and some sort of "candy" aroma. Didn't have a good feeling about this one.

Taste was extremely cloyingly sweet - no pumpkin taste, more like a huge ball of sugar with a tiny drop of pumpkin spice on the top was served in liquid form. So many clashing flavors - at one point, it tasted like cotton candy. Began gagging at the taste.

Mouthfeel was awful for this sort of beer. Felt cottony somehow. Just too light and ephemeral - had no body to it. Just a lot of sweetness and nothing else.

Drinkability is obviously low. Five other guys passed on having any more of this beer - and so we had to pour the rest of the bomber down the drain. The bomber was still more than 75% full. That isn't a good sign.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2009 20:09:24 | More by xare
Photo of tavernjef


4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid haze of dark golden apple with a medium orange cast to its body. Large, bubbly, off-white capping grows up quickly from a good pour. The foam slips down kind of fast to leave an always present and solid skim. Some tattered sheets and strings of lacing stick to the glass.

Aroma is straight up like a fresh homemade pumpkin pie! Wow! It has a very nice, clean, and very pleasing nose with a tender pie crust that stands out the most and the spices are just right with a well balanced spice of buttery pumpkin bread, with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. Perfectly pie-like.

Taste is much of the same with a very clean, easy going character that just seems like drinking a freshly made pumpkin pie. Tenderly tasty with a well toned and lengthy array of buttery pumpkin, pie crust fluff, and spiced just right with its notes to cinnamon and nutmeg. Has a fun and firm smack on the lips with creamy pieness thats akin to licking the fork.

Solid medium body; clean, tender, and bold with a slight carbonation texture. Has a ghostly effect to what the actual pumpkin pie leftovers would have on your lips and on the palate if you just ate a piece. Creamy smooth and a delicately woven dry texture to its finish. It's pretty damn impressive that a beer can be brewed to nearly emulate the effect of a food and this "Pumpking" from Southern Tier does a great job of pulling it off.

Not sure how this beer is possible? Much like Creme Brulee and Choklat, the craftability that Southern Tier cranks out to be more like food is very impressive. Also not sure how or why this is 9%? It does have some warming abilities behind its quaffable nature to be found as you go. But beers at this high of ABV usually have a thicker, heftier, more malt laden type of character, and this really doesn't have that. It has a very decievingly clean and crisper smoothness that seems more like a simple pale-like ale. Just goes to show the boundries of brewing continue to be broken by impressive craft brewers like Southern Tier.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2009 02:27:25 | More by tavernjef
Photo of trafordboy


4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear amber orangewith a thin white head and spots of lacing.

S - Fresh baked pumkin pie, fresh baked ginger bread Very fall holiday smelling. Smells fresher and less spicy than other pumkin beers.

T - Fresh pumpkin, some spices like nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon but very fresh tasting.

M - On the light side of medium with nice carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel.

D - Best pumpkin beer I have tried. Not sure how many other places use real pumpkin but I think you can really tell the difference. The real pumpkin creates a fresher taste and a different spicing.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2008 04:02:08 | More by trafordboy
Photo of yesyouam

New York

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Imperial Pumking is a shimmering jewel of an ale with excellent clarity. It is a solid amber with a finger of dust-colored foam that dissipates to a thin, waxing crescent Hunter's moon. It has a juicy and spicy bouquet. Cassia, biscuits and ginger are looming in the nose. Earth tones blend with a cherry apple cider deep in the aroma. Exciting! It is heavy on the tongue and slick on the mouth. Its large thin carbonation can't cut through after your tongue is rendered numb. It feels hot from the alcohol. Very chewy. The flavor has pumpkin pie, spicy gingerread, black peppercorns, caroway rye and corriander. It's almost a touch sweet, like butterscotch. It's almost hidden by the alcohol. The alcohol is a bit heavy, but I think it's amplified by the huge bitterness. The aftertaste is like peat and oak... or whisky and bourbon. It's a huge and demanding flavor! Yowza! Nice autumn tones. It waylays! This should have a warning label.
(rated Oct 16, 2007)

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 05:18:49 | More by yesyouam
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

unlike most pumpkin ales, which typically taste like pumpkin pies, this one tastes like a pumpkin cookie. something about the malt comes across as baked. could it seem almost salty? or bakingsoda-y? it's not something one tastes in beer much but i appreciate it. it is not a spice character--something from the malt itself. i might taste some coriander, as well

not much head retention on this guy. some spotty foam islands but nothing of substance. color is OK: flat copper

the aroma features even more of that biscuity element. it's a funny characteristic; i'm enjoying the beer but it's a kind of nutty sweetness that i'm not sure i could drink gallons of

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2008 02:20:55 | More by bruachan
Photo of meatyard


3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Is a slightly hazy, golden orange with a short head that falls slowly leaving fair lacing.
S-Is, at first, pumpkin pie spices. Then, later, a bit like eggnog. Also, there's vanilla.
T-Is a light version of the smell, thankfully. A little bitterness at the end.
M-Is thin with carbonation present.
D-Is not something that I think even fans of this beer will want to drink a lot of at one time plus the ABV is pretty high.

I'm trying to rate this beer for what it's supposed to be and not what I think of it. It's an interesting beer but I don't think it's a style for me to get excited about.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2008 20:56:05 | More by meatyard
Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 4,964 ratings.