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Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,476 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,476
Reviews: 1,707
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 17.2%
Wants: 384
Gots: 888 | 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: 5,476 | Reviews: 1,707 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.18/5  rDev -21.9%

Was very happy to see the LCBO pick this one up for the Halloween release this year. Hadn't had this one before.

Poured in to a Duvel tulip.

A - Orange/yellow colour with a small amount of white head.

S - Lots of pumpkin and a myriad of spices - some cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg come through.

T - Pumpkin, cloves and some cardamom come through on the palate along with some subdued cinnamon and nutmeg. The pumpkin flavour in this one is more pronounced than most other pumpkin beers that I have tried.

M - Medium body, moderately carbonated.

D - An interesting beer but too spiced up for me. The cloves really dominated the palate and even overshadowed the pumpkin flavour at times.

10-24-2010 15:13:41 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of MattyV

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Pours a pale orange colour into a snifter, with a creamy white head.

Smells more like pumpkin pie than any other pumpkin ales I've tried thus far. I'm picking up not only the standard spices, but also pumpkin and maybe even buttery flaky pastry crust.

Taste follows the nose, with all of the flavours very in-your-face, as opposed to some of the more mellow/subtle takes on the style. Quite sweet, but provides a solid touch of hoppy bitterness in the aftertaste in an attempt to cut the richness.

A solid medium body, maybe slightly overcarbonated.

I find this much easier to drink (and less sweet) than some of the others in the Blackwater series, but this is still a beer to share. That being said, the alcohol is quite well hidden.

10-24-2010 13:30:55 | More by MattyV
Photo of JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -2.2%

Tall bottle split with my wife after dinner.

Poured into a nonic. Light copper, leaves a foamy head that settles after a few minutes. Left some flakes of lacing that survive to the finish.

The nose is pure pumpkin pie goodness - smells like the crust of a Thanksgiving dessert treat. Nutmeg, cinnamon, molasses and crackers as well. Oh, and of course fresh pumpkin.

The taste is also unmistakably that of pumpkin pie, an effect that caused many a quizzical look to be certain that our leftover frozen pies from Thanksgiving hadn't thawed, liquified, spontaneously fermented and then poured themselves into our glasses of their own free will. Nah, couldn't be... (*double-checks freezer to be absolutely sure*)

Pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, crackers, crust, and to keep things from getting out of hand, a slightly hoppy finish to cleanse the palate. What really shocks me is how little of the alcohol I can detect - hard to believe there's 9 percents-worth lurking in here...

A touch watery, but with a reasonable carbonation to help work through what is turning out to be one heavy dose of overwhelming pumpkin flavour.

Like with many folks, I can't justify I high score for drinkability, because 2/3 of a pint is more than enough. Sharing was a smart idea. The flavor is so potent, so hearty, that more than a pint or two a season would be simply too much. Southern Tier need not worry about this - pumpkin ales are a seasonal treat that many of us look forward to but only so few can drink in vast quantities; fortunately their Pumpking can rightfully claim to be among the best of the patch, so when I want my pumpkin ale fix, theirs will be almost certainly be the one I call upon.

10-24-2010 04:20:14 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of DrewZ926

New York

3.98/5  rDev -2.2%

from bottle into pint glasses

A - pours a hazy amber body with minimal head that recedes quickly. great lacing as i went along.

S - bam, pumpkin pie. smells boldly of spice, clove, graham cracker crust, vanilla. nose his very hard.

T - taste is much like the smell, dances a bit on the line of overwhelming. pure pumpkin pie here. difficult to tell where the hops begin and the malts end, but a tasty beer nonetheless. the 9% abv warms nicely as pumking finishes as boldly as it began

M - carbonation is a bit less than expected, full mouthfeel though

D - probably couldn't go for more than a glass of this, great for a pumpkin ale, but too novel to be a staple or consumed. the abv is hidden very well also, which allows for the 9% to really sneak up on you.

to sum up, great for what it is, my favorite pumpkin ale of 2010, but make sure you have a friend to split the bomber with.

10-23-2010 19:19:16 | More by DrewZ926
Photo of SilentSabre

North Dakota

4.45/5  rDev +9.3%

Nice cloudy orange colour with about a finger thick, very dense looking, creamy off white head.
This is absolutely exceptional, as far as smell is concerned. This smells precisely like a slice of pumpkin pie all the way down to the toasted graham cracker crust. Unbelievable.
Taste, too has a very pronounced graham cracker taste in it, along with pumpkin, of course. There is also detectable alcohol towards the finish, but nothing really offensive; about what one would expect from a 9% brew. This really does taste like having a little sip of whiskey and a bite of pumpkin pie in your mouth at the same time.
Mouthfeel is just the right weight for the style and a good feel for 9%. Carbonation is where it should be to fuel a decent head, but not be too invasive.
Without a doubt, *the* best pumpkin beer I have had the opportunity to try. Very well crafted, simply delicious!

10-23-2010 17:50:15 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +2.7%

Bottle from the LCBO, 750ml into a couple pint glasses, shared with my girlfriend.

Pours a pale orange, half a finger of white head that dissipates to a small collar, no lace here. Nose is of pure pumpkin pie, absolutely no doubt about it. The crust, pie and some spicing are completely evident and it epitomizes the smell of ACTUAL pumpkin pie. Impressive. Taste follows the smell, nothing new to be discovered. I can't get over the resemblance to pumpkin pie, its like a liquid version. Crust is evident foremost, and tons and tons of pumpkin follow with some spicing too. Highly carbed and a medium-heavy body. Drinkability was limited to half a bomber, difficult to finish even at that. Really filling and distinct. Difficult to have this as one would have a 'normal' beer, I find it hard to find anything in this that makes it more than a novelty for the Fall season. 3/4/4/35/25

EDIT: Revisited over a year later (10/08/11), better nose and flavour than I recall initially. One of the ebst pumpkin beers going - loads of crust, ginger snap and true pumpkin pie notes. Awesome. 35/45/4/4/45

10-23-2010 15:24:37 | More by liamt07
Photo of steelerguy

New York

2.42/5  rDev -40.5%

A - Light gold color, much like a pale ale. Nice head that fades entirely too quickly to just a thin covering, but does leave some nice lacing.

S - The spice is a bit overwhelming on the nose, lots of nutmeg, like you think you have a glass of eggnog with too much nutmeg on top in front of you.

T - The smell translates right into the taste but is even stronger and completely overwhelming. There is actually a bit of pumpkin taste which is nice, but the nutmeg and tastes like vanilla just completely kill your pallet. Doesn't even taste like beer. This is a great example on how to NOT do a pumpkin beer. It should be subtle, not hit you over the head.

M - A little thin for a pumpkin ale, but pretty good.

D - Not really there, this is a heavy handed beer that beats you over the head to let you know it is a pumpkin beer.

10-22-2010 23:59:21 | More by steelerguy
Photo of Mit

Ontario (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev -15.2%

a-Pours a lighter amber than the other big pumpkin beers of the season.

s-very sweet, almost sugar cookie like, but bolstered by the traditional pumpkin pie spices. Almost egg nog like in smell.

t-Again....I got egg nog out of this. Then later on it mellowed into pumpkin pie.

m-Def heavier as one would expect of a higher ABV beer.

d-despite the sweetness...this was a fantastic beer.

I liked this much more than the St. Ambroise pumpkin, but not as much as the Great Lakes, Grand River or Taps Brewing Pumpkins.

10-22-2010 02:44:49 | More by Mit
Photo of scottfrie


4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

22oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Big thanks to SneezyAchew for this one.

A: Dare I say this pours a pumpkin shade of amber? Big white head on this one quickly fades into a thin film that left decent streaks of lacing down the glass.
S: Holly poop this smells of pumpkin pie! Big notes of nutmeg, then clove, then allspice. Very warm and spicy smelling. I don't see how this smell could be improved.
T: Great flavor, but not as great as the smell. Tastes pretty close to pumpkin pie except sweeter. Tons of nutmeg.
M: Medium body, very slick and sugary, not a ton of carbonation. Alcohol is masked very well.
D: Much better than the two other pumpkin beers I've had (from DFH and some other horrible one). Great to try but I wouldn't want to have more than one of these every few days. Thanks again Michael for the great brew!

10-22-2010 01:50:37 | More by scottfrie
Photo of strangemusic

British Columbia (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +3.2%

Trying a few fall seasonals, some pumpkin in nature... not going to refuse a Southern Tier limited release!

The pour is apricot -orange, much like the outside of a pumpkin rind to be honest.

The smell is eye-opening: it's JUST LIKE the sweet, buttery crust of a pumpkin pie. There's lots of spices wafting up, cinnamon, sugar, lemon, honey, graham cracker, nutmeg, clove and of course the smell of freshly picked pumpkin flesh. Wow.

Tastewise things are still impressive, if not quite as scarily matched to the flavour of the real thing. It's NOT artificial-tasting to me... but it's also not "pumpkin pie in a glass." I have a hard time believing that a beer can promise that without tasting too artificial, and I'm glad that ST did not opt for the latter route. It's focused on being a good-tasting beer with pumpkin elements rather than a straight up pumpkin replica, and I like that.

Much of the flavour carries on from the aroma and is joined by an effervescent, tart tang from hops. Sweet biscuit flavours and citrus are mingling with the nutmeg and pumpkin, but it's not sickly-sweet (like some of ST's other Imperial offerings.) Aftertaste is lemony/gingery, nutmeg, and butterscotch.

The mouthfeel is soft, and on the heavyish side of medium. Drinkability, especially given the high ABV, is the really spooky part of this beer!

10-22-2010 00:35:56 | More by strangemusic
Photo of beveragesampler


4.6/5  rDev +13%

first, one should note that i am not fan of most pumpkin brews.

pours deep copper in color with two fingers white head. good retention with nice lacing. smell is spicy, cinnamon and nutmeg with a hint of pumpkin pie (with whipped cream). 9% ABV taste is exceptional, my first thought was thanksgiving pumpkin pie. well ballanced with hints of the cinnamon and notes of nutmeg. slight creamy carmel malt character, butterschtch, vanilla and a very mild sweetness. slightly oilly at the back end, from the magnum and sterling hops. this is a very complex brew. the more i drink it, i seem to pick out more characteristics. i find this brew to be highly enjoyable. i look foward to comparing all other pumpkin brews to this beer. I will continue to follow the Souther Tier Brewing Co. closely as they (in my opinion) have mastered there craft!


10-21-2010 22:15:25 | More by beveragesampler
Photo of aepb1


4.72/5  rDev +16%

A- Copper with a very small white head

S- Wow malty pumpkin sweet

T- Just like nose, malty and warming, great nutty taste too, very interesting combination

M- Medium, the nuttiness is in the mouthfeel

D- Very interesting take, I really enjoy it and it's probably one of my favorite pumpkin ales this season!

10-21-2010 15:51:13 | More by aepb1
Photo of bmillen22


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

I bought this bottle a few weeks back at Whole Foods. I saved it for the perfect chilly night in October.
Poured the bomber into my DFH glass.

A- tried to pour it heavy, but it didn't creat the greatest head. The head did stick around a little and then created a nice lacing.

S- smelled like a pit of pumpkin and then kind of fruity.

T- Wonderful flavor. Like always, tastes like pumpkin pie in a glass. I taste a little bit of alcohol burn right at the end, but it fits well. Perfect for the season.

M & D- Mouthfeel is a little cream, but not too thick. Drinkability is great. The bomber is a perfect amount. I could drink one a week Oct- Nov.

10-21-2010 01:47:56 | More by bmillen22
Photo of Wisconsuds


1.93/5  rDev -52.6%

Really excited to try this 9% abv pumpkin beer from Southern Tier Brewing out of NY. Fall season, cool weather, pumpkin beer - what's not to like?!

Poured into my Chimay goblet, per 22oz bottle directions. A vibrant orange hue filled the glass, leaving a fingernails worth of light tan foam. Dissipated soon after.

The smell, obviously, brought strong hints of cinnamon, spice, and sweet pumpkin notes. Could almost smell the healthy quantities of sugar poured in. A bread-y, fresh pumpkin-baked smell invades your nose. Very pleasant.

Upon first taste, I could tell this is not what I signed up for. An unbalanced, artificial tasting mess. Harsh spice notes, and a dry, lingering finish really put me off. A sugary, clovey abomination. Very UNpleasant.

Medium bodied, carbonation is middle-road as well. As others have said, the alcohol is masked well at 9%

Not gonna lie here, drain-poured half the bottle. I'm no pumpkin beer conniousseur, but I've had my fair share, and this was by far the most unpleasant. Really not understanding all the positive reviews.

10-20-2010 20:22:41 | More by Wisconsuds
Photo of Popsinc

Ontario (Canada)

2.38/5  rDev -41.5%

I was really looking forward to this one but I found myself very disappointed. Looks fine but the smell is off. Why is the nose giving me hints of sweet corn on my pumpkin beer? It's just not right.

The taste was artificial and seemed sweetened with something that I couldn't put my finger on. Very unpleasant for my palate. I found the finish drying and chalky and I was left with a sharp, off taste at the back of my mouth. One glass was more than enough.

My favorite previous to Pumking was St. Ambroise Pumkin Ale and in a roundabout way, Pumking has given me a new appreciation for the St. Ambroise version which has nice nutmeg & cinnamon notes and a subtle hint of pumpkin.

Not was I was expecting. I doubt I'll have another.

10-20-2010 19:49:52 | More by Popsinc
Photo of DoctorDog


4.03/5  rDev -1%

Presentation: 22oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.

A- Copper/orange appearance, and brilliantly clear. Pours with ~1+ fingers of off white/light tan head, which fades gradually into a thin cap.

S- Pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg, allspice and the like) Feint hints of pumpkin, and sweet, biscuity malts.

T- Sweet, bready malts and spices. Bitterness moderately low. Alcohol is surprisingly well concealed.

M- Moderate carbonation, and medium feel. Goes down smoothly.

D- Very good. Surprisingly drinkable considering the fairly hefty ABV.

Future outlook: A solid beer worthy of giving another shot next time around.

10-20-2010 02:58:02 | More by DoctorDog
Photo of jamiesessions

South Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +11.8%

The number one rated pumpkin beer according to BA is poused into a goblet for my sensory appreciation. A light orange colour fills the glass, and is topped with a khaki coloured head atop. Smells like a pumpkin pie, but there's something else here that I don't usually detect with pumpkin beers. The usual suspects are there with the pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, coriander, etc. but there's another presence I can't place my finger on, but it puts it above and beyond any others I've had of this style. The taste is simply sublime, with that mystery flavour coming into play even more so in the taste, and the 9% alcohol is barely noticeable. The mouthfeel is pleasant though not overwhelmingly so, and the drinkability is superb. A sure classic for the fall season

10-20-2010 01:54:16 | More by jamiesessions
Photo of Arbitrator


1.02/5  rDev -74.9%

Chilled bomber into a glass. Shared by dabecassis. I'm beginning to fear whatever Dabe shares at this point.

A: The clear, brilliant orange of butterscotch and candy corn.

S: Butterscotch and candy corn.

T: Butterscotch, and candy corn.

M: The vapid sweetness of butterscotch and candy corn.

D: No. We had this side by side with an actual GOOD pumpkin ale (from Kern River). The difference was like night and day. This tastes like some cheap, awful, alcoholic candy. Drinking beer from Southern Tier's Diabeetus imprint feels like a battle. And this is another victory for them.

10-19-2010 04:57:36 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of MrHall

Ontario (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev +8.1%

At first I was a little shocked by some of the negative remarks on this thread. Really? The "worst beer ever"? And then I recalled thanksgiving and that a lot of my guests opted out of pumpkin pie. So I realize this isn't for everyone....


The smell, my god, the smell! Those of you who have ever = baked pumpkin pie from scratch (ie - roasting a pumpkin, pureeing, adding spices, will recognize the smell immediately as when you add the spices and then afterward, pull the pie out of the oven!

How many beers can actually claim that they can MIMIC the steps and senses of cooking???

In terms of style, lets be honest, pumpkin ales' goals are to mirror pumpkin pie - (trust me, we would not like ANY pumpkin ales without the ginger, nuteg, cinnamon, and cloves.)

And no other (NONE!) have come close to pumpkin pie as this beer has.

10-19-2010 01:02:35 | More by MrHall
Photo of Portertime


3.58/5  rDev -12%

I have heard good things about Southern Tier Brewery. Pumking, cool name. Pours a bright, translucent orange color with a quick fizzing white head and some fine lacing on the glass. Enjoyed this one at the optimal temperature suggested on the bottle, 40 degrees and in my prized Duvel goblet for the optimal experience. Smell was very autumn inspiring with a mixture of ginger snaps and eggnog yeilding a big, complex nose. The taste is similar to the smell with that ginger snap foward taste and a bitter finish from the hops on the sides of the tonuge. I do not detect much pumpkin because most of it is masked by the spices and hop bitterness but it is rather tame and semi-drinkable despite the high 9% ABV. Not a bad imperial.

10-18-2010 00:32:31 | More by Portertime
Photo of cpanossian

New York

3.53/5  rDev -13.3%

Pours a pretty clear pumpkin orange color with a healthy 1-2 finger white head. Leaves a lot of abstract lacing along the glass. Aroma - very strong biscuits or pie crust. Taste is like a sweet biscuit with pumpkin flavors and nutmeg type spices mixed in. Mouthfeel is kind of thick and syrupy - not very carbonated. Would recommend this as a desert beer to compliment some carrot cake or spice cake or (!) pumpkin pie.

10-17-2010 22:09:38 | More by cpanossian
Photo of hophead247


4/5  rDev -1.7%

Pours a clear orange amber with a thick off-white head. Good lacing left on the glass. Smells like fresh pumpkin pie. Sweet bready malts with nutmeg and ginger spice. Nice pumpkin flavor in this beer, but not too much...done quite nicely. The smell is definitely better than the taste in my opinion. Nice mouthfeel...not too thick. Very drinkable for 9%, but I'd probably only drink 1 in a sitting so to not get sick of that pumpkin flavor...

10-17-2010 20:43:03 | More by hophead247
Photo of heebes

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +2%

Part of the Halloween seasonals at the LCBO.
650 ml bottle

Pours a clear light orange. Thick head that leaves behind lots of foamy lacing.
Smells of pumpkin, brown sugar, spices. The strongest smelling pumpkin ale I've experienced.
The taste is surprisingly light, very true to taste of pumpkins. Not overly spices like some variety, this one comes the closest to pumpkin pie! Delicious sip yields the pumpkin taste and slight spices which soon fades into a lingering yeast aftertase. Light and foamy mouthfeel. Just picked this guy up off the shelves, should have let it cool a bit more but overall this is a high note for the fall/october beer releases. Drinkability is high, but one bomber is plenty.

10-17-2010 20:41:26 | More by heebes
Photo of HopNuggets


4/5  rDev -1.7%

Poured 22oz bomber into Chimay goblet.

A - Poured a hazy brilliant orange with about a 3/4 finger head that dissipated quickly to a spotty covering.

S - Very sweet upfront pumpkin pie filling with bisquity crust. Very spicey with huge hints of brown sugar, subtle cinnamon, nutmeg and a hint of clove.

T - Brown sugar sweetness up front followed quickly by a huge pumpkin presence. Hops are quite noticeable in the finish. Bisquity yeast to smooth out the hops a bit but doesn't balance them. Very spicy aftertaste and a noticeable dose of alcohol heat.

M - Medium body with quite a bit of carbonation jumping on the tongue. A bit hot and a slight coating is left around the palate that the taste lingers on with.

D - A bomber is probably pushing it with this one. The spices really give you that heat burn feeling in the chest that another sip helps to tone down. It's a bit hot but I think if you can grab one to cellar it will be great for next year.

10-17-2010 18:24:14 | More by HopNuggets
Photo of lavellen


2.98/5  rDev -26.8%

Holy Alcohol Batman! This is my second or thrid year in a row getting the King. I've been on a quest for my favorite pumpkin beer and this has fallen down considerably. Really bitey from the alcohol. Really really Almond-esque and the nutty characters weren't accentuated by any spices. Overall this is not very drinkable unless it's time to get pumpkin drunk. The carbonation and appearance were both fine.

10-17-2010 16:41:17 | More by lavellen
Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 5,476 ratings.