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Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,263 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,263
Reviews: 1,684
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 17.2%
Wants: 367
Gots: 777 | FT: 24
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: 5,263 | Reviews: 1,684 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheKingsOfHop


4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

22oz. bottle poured into our Portsmouth tulip glasses:

A: Translucent pumpkin orange, almost like a brand new copper penny. We can almost see Abe Lincoln's face in this mystical brew... wait maybe that's just the Pagan Spirit playing tricks on us. Anyways there is a barely existing white foamy edge with a steady carbonation rising to the top, where the only downfall we see is the lack of head retention.

S: All the spices you would expect to smell from a freshly baked pumpkin pie(cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg etc.), but with an aggressive raw pumpkin aroma.

T: The palate is now filled with flavors of spice, spice, and wait... yep more spice. There is some raw pumpkin across the board as well. The nose is almost identical to the taste with a nice hop bitterness.

M: Light body with a bubbly feeling all over the palate, that really helps this pumpkin beer release all its exceptional qualities.

D: We would definitely open another bottle if we had one. We will have to go pick up more bottles before the end of the season.

The Kings Of Hop


11-04-2009 03:38:45 | More by TheKingsOfHop
Photo of Daniellobo

District of Columbia

3.4/5  rDev -16.5%

A provocative pumpkin "PIE" brew leaning on a very sweet and biting spicy side.

Presentation: 22 OZ. bottle. Pop and pumpkin/halloween design around the image of a crowned Jack'O Lantern. Side narrative noting nod to Celtic folklore and dwelling on how it makes the brew quite the ride. It continues with a superficial magical note and serving recommendations to finally- barely start describing the brew and go back to esoteric nonsense, which finallly in their style concludes with a line to enjoy the beer with responsibility. No printed bottling date on side, does not note IBUs, but shows °Plato (19), and Alc. by Vol. (9.0%) alongside detailed list of ingredients. Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Medium amber intense orange with a nice creamy head with average to low retention leaving some lacing.

S - Spicy pumpkin smell, all-spice, cinnamon, and sweet aroma working rather well.

T - Here things get rolling on a more extreme note. The taste increases aggressively the smell presentation and punches with intense spiced sweetness. Very spicy and sugary with tones of distant pumpkin. The extreme is in the sugary and biting spiciness feeling a supportive malty backbone.

M - Medium leaning on high body with good carbonation early and fading somewhat quickly. Some creamy smoothness turns at some point to a thick highlight.

D - It is really not that drinkable. I was using a tulip glass and this is more suited as a sipper to share, probably as a dessert drink with those that enjoy off-hand pumpkin pies.

Notes: I've had my share of pumpkin pies, maybe not enough, and I rather like them. But this one is certainly not close to anything I've tasted before. It's as if the cook dropped the whole jar of spices and a pack sugar by accident and let them roll. I like what ST does with this provocative beer that often are hit or miss for drinkers. This is the first one that is a miss for me. I don't know how to use it... It could be a dessert beer but I don't have the audience that would like this type of highly spiced flavor for a pumpkin pie. Not a bad ale but it's not much of a pleasing brew for me, and I'd rather choose quite a few other pumpkin beers ahead of this one.

11-03-2009 01:07:14 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of Gyle41386

South Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +2%

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass.

Light orange pour. Maybe a finger of head that disappears quickly. Practically no lacing sticks to the glass.

This beer smells exactly like pumpkin pie. From the bready, graham crackery crust, the pumpkin, the spice, to the whipped cream on top. It's almost eerie how much this smells like pumpkin pie. Outstanding.

Unfortunately, the flavor falls short. Actually, a majority of the flavor delivers, but there's a burnt pie crust finish that borders on being unpleasant. Don't get me wrong, it still tastes quite good, but it falls just short of being excellent.

Light-medium body, and I'd almost call it undercarbonated, and a little thin. That said, it's still incredibly easy to drink for a beer weighing in at 9%. Very good pumpkin beer, but I've got to give the title to Smuttynose.

11-02-2009 02:56:29 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of thor638

New Jersey

4.6/5  rDev +13%

This is my new favorite Pumpkin beer. Exceptional smell and taste. The pumpkin and spice is very prevalent but not overbearing.

Although it's Imperial it doesn't feel or taste like a big beer. It's very smooth, I feel as if I could drink a six pack easily.

11-01-2009 21:57:40 | More by thor638
Photo of woodychandler


4.45/5  rDev +9.3%

Wot, I've never reviewed this before?!? It is one of my favorite seasonals and a panty peeler if one ever existed. I bought some in Pittsburgh two Thanksgivings ago (2007) and brought it to a party where it was consumed like it was going out of style. My friend, Kelly, remains a huge fan and convinced her newly-minted husband, Bill, to buy a case recently. What have I done?

This year, it came out pretty early (late September 2009) and Bridgewaters Pub in Philly had it on draft while I was passing through. No B. S.! I had never heard of or seen in in draft form before and here it was, awaiting me. Zounds! Yoi and double yoi!

It was served with a finger of foamy, bubbling ecru head that quickly gave way to wispiness. Color was a (fittingly) orangish deep-amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose was like sniffing a pumpkin pie fresh out of the oven: cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. It was like Hallowe'en in a glass. Mouthfeel was full, almost creamy in its texture. The interplay of the spices on the tongue was simply heavenly. If I closed my eyes, I could envision Thanksgiving dessert. Therein lies its Achilles heel - it is a novelty/dessert beer. It is too sweet to be sessionable, but it is a treat while it is available. Get some today! May I die in the early Spring so as not to miss out.

11-01-2009 16:22:09 | More by woodychandler
Photo of krisandajt


4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

I have been waiting until Halloween to crack open my first Pumking, and it was very much worth the wait.

Appearance: A rough pour gives me a nice bronze colored brew with a nice inch of very fluffy, very bubbly head. Nice retention, and some very nice rings of soapy lacing.

Smell: Smells like delicious pumpkin pie. Plenty of pumpkin sweetness mixed in with some spice (cinnamon and nutmeg stand out).

Taste: Simply put, this is liquid pumpkin pie. I can describe it no better. This is what a pumpkin ale should taste like.

Mouthfeel: Nice light to medium body, smooth going down.

Drinkability: Believe the hype, this is the best pumpkin ale there is. It tastes like pumpkin pie, and despite the high ABV remains light and smooth. Delicious.

11-01-2009 15:49:30 | More by krisandajt
Photo of homebrew311


4.05/5  rDev -0.5%

A: appearance is bright clear orange, like a pumpkin. Thin white head forms but doesn't hang around for long.

S: huge bready graham cracker like aroma is the fist thing that stands out, it is followed by cinnamon and pumpkin. This is the best aroma I have smelled in a pumpkin beer. It literally encompasses the whole pie rather than just the spice portion.

T: again I notice that bready graham cracker character followed by a nice richness of pumpkin flavors accompanied with typical pumpkin spices. This is almost heavy on the sweetness, but somehow Southern Tier pulls it off, like they do with many of their other big beers. The 9% is extremely well hidden, no heat or overwhelming booziness.

M: It appears thin but has quite a viscous texture with a sharpness from high carbonation. This has a nice mouthfeel, perfect for the style.

D: This beer is a special treat and a great beverage for Halloween. It is delicious, but the flavor can get overwhelming over the course of 22oz, this one is better to share and enjoy in small servings.

11-01-2009 05:40:04 | More by homebrew311
Photo of GilGarp


4.63/5  rDev +13.8%

Surely I'm not the only one enjoying this beer today - Happy Halloween!

Poured into a pint glass, served cold, the beer has an appropriately orange color with surprisingly good clarity and creamy white head. There's good retention on the head and a little lacing is left behind.

Aroma just like a good pumpkin pie. Great cinnamon, clove and other warm spices.

Flavor is spot on for the style. It really couldn't be any better of a pumpkin pie in a bottle if it tried. The pumpkin flavor is nice but the spices really come through perfectly. The funny thing is, I don't know if they even used any pie spices in this beer!

Mouthfeel is nice too with medium-full body and creamy carbonation that's just enough. Alcohol is very well hidden.

I've been saving this one in my basement for quite a while and it has definately aged nicely. Without knowing what it's like fresh or having a date on the bottle, one can only guess. One thing is clear, though. This is a great pumpkin ale.

11-01-2009 03:36:31 | More by GilGarp
Photo of velosuds


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a goblet on this All Hollows Eve, notwithstanding the East Coast time bias when posted.

A-A gentle pour produced virtually no head and no lacing. Goblet was somewhat shallow and may not have been best for this beer, but I tried to follow the label since I didn't wish to offend Púca.

S-Pumpkin, vanilla, brown sugar, and all spice. All a bit too sweet for a beer, IMO.

T-Pumpkin definitely is king in the taste.

M-Very smooth and well balanced.

D-Surprisingly drinkable at 9% ABV. Alcohol is masked very well. Surprisingly sweet and this is a sipping beer for me.

I suspect this is a very fine example for the style. I admit I don't care for the style, but tried to rate according to style. This is clearly a well-crafted beer, and I am glad for the diversity. I will stick to pumpkin pies and sweet breads.

11-01-2009 03:27:03 | More by velosuds
Photo of MrDanno96


4.63/5  rDev +13.8%

I was surprised to see that one of my state's microbreweries had the best rated pumpkin ale on the site. Decided I had to give it a try...

A: Pours a hazy orange color with very little head, just a thin ring around the edge of the glass. Keep in mind that this is 9% abv. Small amount of lacing and some alcoholic legs sliding down the glass.

S: Holy crap! A quite distinct, sweet pumpkin smell right off the bat. This is what I'm talking about! Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, cinnamon, nutmeg, and some feint hops. As a pumpkin lover this is one of the best smelling beers I've had the pleasure of popping open.

T: Some malty flavors up front quickly give way to a distinct pumpkin and cinnamon flavor. This is about as close to liquid pumpkin pie as you can get while still having all the characteristics of a beer as well. Also some hints of nutmeg, vanilla, and a mild bitter hop finish.

M: Light to medium body with medium carbonation. Maybe just a little watery at times, but it's really not an issue.

D: I could definitely drink a bunch of these. Nice and crisp and it really does taste like pumpkin pie. If you don't really like pumpkin, I can see one not really liking this. However, for anyone that loves pumpkin pie or similarly flavored things, definitely try this. You will love it. Happy Halloween!

11-01-2009 02:10:51 | More by MrDanno96
Photo of claminat420


4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

A- poured a nice amber color with a solid white two finger head. medium lacing,

S- pumpkin, spices, and vanilla.

T- the spice and pumpkin hit up front. alil vanilla settles the subtle alcohol kick.

M- light to medium bodied. nice carbonation.

D- i got three 22's for halloween and i'm enjoying all of them!!! :)

Overall- best pumpkin brew i ever had. highly recommend anyone who wants a nice hearty halloween treat.

11-01-2009 00:26:49 | More by claminat420
Photo of buschbeer


4.6/5  rDev +13%

I poured into a pint glass to an inch of head. It is orange in color. It smells like pumpkin bread, yummy! It tastes delicious! I get pumpkin and spice but am not overwhelmed with cinnamon or pumpkin spice. This is an excellent pumpkin ale. I love it and wish I had more than a 22 oz. A great way to start Halloween.


10-31-2009 23:00:29 | More by buschbeer
Photo of GoalieRon33


4.2/5  rDev +3.2%

Good beer overall, especially for those who are knowledgable enough to appreciate it for more than a Halloween novelty.

A- Nice orangish brown coloration. Warming cloud that glows nicely.

S- to sum it up, smells like fall harvest. Lots of heavy undertones of earthiness. Slightly spiced.

T- Delicious. Not overpowering pumpkin, but plenty to go around. Great way to serve is with a wet glass rimmed with cinnamon. Gives it a harvest feel.

M- slightly thicker, but easy going. Leaves a spicy not on the tongue as an after taste with a little bit of alcohol burn mixed in.

D- Good for a very heavy beer. Could drink a few of these, but then may get hit by the alcohol train a half hour later.

10-30-2009 16:15:48 | More by GoalieRon33
Photo of tigg924


3.95/5  rDev -2.9%

Appearance: orange brown in color, 1/4 head, clear, high carbonation

Smell: pumpkin, big dose of vanilla, toasted malt and cinnamon

Taste: pumpkin, big dose of vanilla, toasted malt and cinnamon. Midway through there is a big taste of hops that last to the finish.

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium bodied, moderate to high carbonation, semi-sweet with a backbone of bitterness from the hops

Drinkability: This is very good an interesting for the style. One of my favorites in the style. I love the vanilla in the beer and the strong hops bring something new to the table. I could have a couple a season. Big points for making a pumpkin beer complex.

10-30-2009 14:10:37 | More by tigg924
Photo of MPLS


4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

The majority of pumpkin ales I have tasted were from home brewing friends. The minority of pumpkin ales I have tasted were commercial examples. With both cases I never felt a strong affinity...til now.

A: Off the tap into a St. Bernardus glass. I cannot help but think it's more orange than it really is. Pleasant white head that fades back to the hazy orange.

S: This thing evokes the Halloween spirit, especially with it just around the corner. It smells so good it could be a candle, sweetness (vanilla, pumpkin) and spices (cinnamon) dominate.

T: Unmistakeably pumpkin...pie. It's sweet but not sweet enough to put it down after 2 sips. The best pumpkin beer I have ever tasted. ABV hidden well beneath the spicy blanket of Halloween goodness. I wish I would have jumped on this when the bottles were readily available.

M: Medium bodied, would have been awesome if it were a tad thicker with a little more carbonation, but still very acceptable.

D: If it were Halloween everyday this would be that nations official beverage.

"Well any time, any place, anywhere that I go
all the people seem to stop and stare
they say 'Why are you dressed like it's Halloween?" - Ministry

10-30-2009 13:03:38 | More by MPLS
Photo of katan


3.78/5  rDev -7.1%

22 oz into a pint

A - Pours the orange of a pumpkin, with just perhaps a lightness of gold. Head formation very light, very white in color. Not much for carbonation bubbling. Very clear.

S - A dominating sense of pumpkin spice, almost straight out of my thanksgiving pie. Pumpkin is there, but only in the lightest hint.

T - Starts off with a light malt sweetness, with some pumpkin spice notes. Mid-stream the magnum hops make a very quick but very potent appearance. It is immediately overtook by a resumed strong pumpkin flavor, with just a light amount of malt sweetness. Some phenolic notes. Aftertaste is where the bitterness of the beer appears.

M - Certainly warming from its fairly noticeable alcohol presence. Smooth, not biting carbonation. Body is moderate - not thick.

D - Flavors are just a bit overwhelming to call this a session beer. That and the high abv, makes me think this is a one and done beer. Also, the well hidden bitterness eventually builds up on you. Not to say that every drink isn't pleasurable, but rather a night cap beer to go with desert.

10-30-2009 03:36:43 | More by katan
Photo of TopherRI

Rhode Island

4.97/5  rDev +22.1%

This is the pumpkin beer by which all others should be measured. It's rich amber color is warm and inviting. The aroma let out becons memories of thanksgiving desserts past. Some may say it is too sweet for a food pairing, but I disagree. The brewers at souther tier have found the perfect balance of spices and seasoning to make the Pumking by far the best seasonal brew i have ever tasted. It is in short supply for Rhode Island so the wife and I bought a case of 22's. I highly recommend picking up a bottle, if you can find it.

10-27-2009 14:51:16 | More by TopherRI
Photo of sisuspeed

New Hampshire

4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

The bottle says "bewitched and brewed with Pagan spirit", as a crowned pumpkin stares back with a devilishly evil looking grin. Looking forward to having this beer again.

Pouring this brew into a pint glass reveals a deep, crystal clear, orange color with a thin, foamy, white head. Lacing is apparent and leaves sticky trails down the sides of the glass.

The aroma is robust and fills your nose with the delicious smell of pumpkin pie and nutmeg. Smells thick, if you could label a smell as thick. Gets the mouth watering a bit if you like pumpkin pie.

Pureed pumpkin indeed. Huge pumpkin flavor. Very smooth and creamy. Much like pumpkin pie and spices. Sweet, but a slight touch of bitterness comes through from the magnum hops. Love the big pumpkin flavor and the spices are toned down a notch, which makes this a winner for me.

The mouthfeel is smooth, good body for a pumpkin ale. Drinkability is very high. When I drink pumpkin beers its usually one and done. But I could drink many of these.

Overall, this might possibly be the best pumpkin ale ever. It is definitely the best I have ever had. Great job Southern Tier. I'm glad I have another one of these in the cellar waiting for Halloween.

10-27-2009 00:01:24 | More by sisuspeed
Photo of abuliarose

New Hampshire

4.88/5  rDev +19.9%

Poured into a pint glass to reveal an orange body and a fair amount of airy, yellowed head. Doesn't leave too much lacing. This one bubbles nicely as it settles out. Smells like nuts and spice (mace and anise-character spices) with trace amounts of pumpkin.

Tastes sweet but not cloyingly so. Definite flavor of pumpkin there, accented by just the right amount of spices and caramel malt. The ale bitterness comes through at the end enough to be refreshing, but not mask the pumpkin character. Carbonation presents noticeably at the beginning, but is more rounded than piercing and leaves enough space to enjoy the flavors. After that, the beer is light-bodied and smooth.

Pumking has become my gold standard in the Pumpkin Ale category. It's tough to imagine a better one of its kind.

10-26-2009 23:55:14 | More by abuliarose
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev -9.6%

Poured from 22oz. bomber bottle into a pint glass. Pours amber orange, translucent with 1 finger white creamy foam. Very good retention and lacing.

Smells like pumpkin pie. Unbelievable that this is a beer, like nothing liquid I have smelled before. Very bready and malty.

Taste is spicy - cinammon and nutmeg. Hoppy throughout but with a pumpkin taste holding through. Pretty spicy and bitter now that I think of it.

Good carbonation in the mouthfeel. A tasty beer, drinkable for the bottle, but not like you could have many more.

10-26-2009 23:55:10 | More by KTCamm
Photo of lincoln44


4.3/5  rDev +5.7%

22oz Bomber

A- Upon the pour I was pleased to see an orange pumpkiness color that stimulates more than the gustation and olfactory senses when drinking a pumpkin ale.

S-This brew smells very similar to the pumpkin pie that I grew up with. The aromatics of this ale are of malt and pumpkin pie, it really contains that smell that you get right when you open a can of pumpkin pie filling...dead on.

Taste- Nice balance between malt expectations of an imperial ale but also balanced with a wonderful presence of pumpkin.

M- Appropriate carbonation, rich with pie taste but not beyond the realms of maintaining beer stature.

D- I could drink several pints of this beer with an easy drinking 9%ABV.

10-23-2009 23:35:54 | More by lincoln44
Photo of grayburn

South Carolina

4.47/5  rDev +9.8%

Holy Pumpkin Pie Batman! This beer doesn't shoot for the earthy, lightly spiced pumpkin flavor that most do, but instead it heads right for the dessert table to scoop up some pie, complete with whipped cream. Delicious.

Pours a slightly cloudy orange color with a big frothy head that lasts until the end.

The smell and taste are both spot on. I'm not sure how ST mimics these dessert tastes so well, but far be it from me to complain, amazing.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy, as I was expecting, the alcohol is present, but compliments everything quite nicely.

There is a lot going on in this beer, but somehow it is all brought together into one excellent package, Try it.

10-23-2009 16:05:08 | More by grayburn
Photo of ricke


3.63/5  rDev -10.8%

A: Slightly hazy orange color with a rather big white head that leaves some lacings.

S: Very very weird. Powerful pumpkin aromas, holiday spices (nutmeg, cinnamon), bread crumbs, dough and a general character of pie. Gingerbread snaps. Notes of oranges. Perhaps some malts beneath this pumpkin pie madness. I actually like this, in a strange way.

T: Taste is not as crazy as the smell, but it's still rather weird. Again, pumpkin and spicy pie flavors dominate. It's sweet with lots of fruity notes (pumpkin, oranges). Notes of nutmeg and cinnamon levels the sweetness a bit. Lots of dough character - it's like drinking a pumpkin pie. At times, I think I can even taste pie crust. The finish is somewhat bitter, which is quite pleasant here, and has notes of pumpkin and spices. No sign of the alcohol.

M: Medium body, easy to drink. Moderate carbonation. Slightly dry finish.

D: This is one strange beer. However, I must say I enjoyed it. It definitely achieves what it sets out to achieve - being one big pumpkin beer. I wouldn't want to drink a whole lot of it though, nor drink it very often.

10-22-2009 14:19:05 | More by ricke
Photo of boogyman


2.48/5  rDev -39.1%

A- Pours a nice orange color with a finger of head that goes away leaving bubbles on the edges of the liquid.

S- Cinnamon nutmeg and pumpkin is mostly what I get on the nose. Smells very sweet, almost too much so.

T- Tastes of pure pumpkin and the spices take over the palate. Unlike other pumpkin beers this one has a lot less beer taste and is a lot more pungent on the spices like sweet cinnamon and pumpkin. I am starting to not like the super sickly sweet cinnamon taste of this beer. It just is too much pumpkin

M- I feel like I could be chewing this like it was actually pumpkin pie. Goes down fairly smooth carbonation is fairly subtle.

D- I only want one of these and I don't think I will be getting another. It is just too strong on the spices and sweetness. If you like sweet pumpkin pie, you will love this beer. If you like ale in its traditional fashion, you probably wont like this very much. Go get one and try it and decide for yourself.

10-22-2009 05:02:00 | More by boogyman
Photo of dborginis


3.73/5  rDev -8.4%

Poured from bomber into 2 standard pint glasses for sharing. The first pour, not so much head. The second was more aggressive and had a pretty puff of head on top.

Appearance is a more orange/brown amber with a bit of turbidity.

The smell is, oh my, pumpkin pie. If nothing else, they have successfully recreated the smell of a fresh pumpkin pie.

Taste is cinnamon (I'm a cinnamon fan, well done), nutmeg, pumpkin pie spices up front. Then after that dies out, there's a good bitter aftertaste (but not too bitter) to counteract the pie. I have to say, I taste a good beer behind the spices. The spices are heavy, but well done. For a pumpkin beer, I don't want to skimp on the spices, but too much doesn't work. This toes the line on too much and I think just a dash more might make it undrinkable.

Wouldn't it be cool is a brewer also tried to mimic the texture of the pumpkin pie filling? We don't have that here but it is pleasant enough.

The sweetness and the spices make you want to drink faster but it's not easy given the 9%. If this could have been done at lower alcohol it would have been a bit more pleasant.

Love what Southern Tier's been doing with their Blackwaters, IPAs and this. Their beers are not for everyone, true, but I think they do well what some people look for.

10-22-2009 02:12:23 | More by dborginis
Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 5,263 ratings.