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Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,723 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,723
Reviews: 1,728
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 17.2%
Wants: 394
Gots: 1,024 | 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: 5,723 | Reviews: 1,728 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mjw2808
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%

Pours a very transparent copper orange color that had carbonation throughout drinking it. One and a half finger head that didnt last long and didnt leave much lacing. When i smelled it nutmeg was the most dominate scent, then cinnomin, then alcohol. When I took a sip I tasted cinnomin first however, followed by malt, nutmeg, and and unpleasing alcoholic aftertaste. Thick and dry mouthfeel. This is a good pumpkin beer, but to be honest I was expecting a lot more. I will be buying it again, but at $10 a bottle at my local store im going to be sticking with dogfish head punkin ale through most of this fall.

mjw2808, Aug 29, 2011
Photo of slicecount
2.88/5  rDev -29.2%

So each year I buy this beer, yet I was devistated last year after buying a case(12- 22oz)of the 2010 series of this. It was terrible, and had a finish of rubbing alcohal. I actually bought Pure vanilla just to mix in my glass in order to finish it. Not at all the 09,08 verisons that were utterly fantastic! So for 2011:

Poured into 14 oz tulip glass

A - Very little head unless poured straight down from bomber. Yet has a nice lacing on the glass when swirled around. Nice Amber/Orange Hue.

S - Fantastic, just as every year Southern Tier has made this in the past. Wonderful pumpkin smells with that all-spice aroma lingering.

T - Well, here is where this year I'm glad I only bought 1. It is a huge improvement over whatever disaster happerned in 2010, but as soon as I swallow, there is no pumpkin flavor on the palate. I sip over and over hoping the taste would stay in my mouth, but it never does. Like coffee's great smell, but then you taste, and it's not at all the same.

M - It wasnt a heavy beer at 8.6, and that's down from 9.0 the previous years. Lightly carbonated, and had a crisp finish as well.

O - If someone asked would I drink this again, my answer would be yes, cause it "was" a decent beer. But I would say no, if I were looking for a "pumpkin" flavored beer with that "wow" factor.

slicecount, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of BigCheese
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%

22oz Bomber

Poured into glass, some head that didnt stick around for to long. Amber/pumkin/orange color. Pretty transparent.

Smell: Wow, pumkins, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, pie crust, maybe even marshmellows.

Taste: This is complex, this is good. Predominantly pumkin flavor up front, some pie spices, tefineite butter/sweet/breadcrust flavor that I dont recall every picking up in a beer. Very distinct. Unlike any other pumkin ale Ive ever head. High ABV is well hidden.

On the low carbonation side, slightly oil, viscous in body, typical of higher abv ales. Quite drinkable as alcohol is well hidden which could get dangerous.

Overall: One of the most memorable beers I've ever had. Such a distinct yummy taste, One of the best seasonals I've ever had and I would definitely try again and plan on doing it soon! Best pumkin beer I've ever had.

BigCheese, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of spitInTheOcean
4.03/5  rDev -1%

clear. copper color. big thick moussey off white head. fair lacing.

smell is sweet. low pumpkin aroma. low spice aroma, but hints of clove and nutmeg.

the flavor is about as big as the aroma. pumpkin is the biggest flavor. taste is sweet initially, but then if im not mistaken some hop bitterness becomes apparent. some spice flavor, nutmeg, clove, allspice. but really just to support and add complexity to the pumpkin. kudos on their balance.

thin beer. medium carbonation. flavors linger and the sweetness of the pumpkin and bitterness of the hops are nicely balanced.

this is a modest pumpkin beer. it is as much a beer as it is about pumpkins. i wonder what a beer would be like with a more aggressive pumpkin flavor??

spitInTheOcean, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of capeannbass36
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

A- A rough pour into a Brooklyn Brewery pint glass produces a clear golden orange topped by a one finger creamy white head that dissapates quickly. Minimal lacing.

S- Pumpkin, spice, bready....something I cannot quite decide on. Very unique.

T- Follows the nose, but even better...sweet, pumpkin, spice, bread, malt, nutmeg...with a hint of eggnog and graham crackers. Very slight bitter finish.

M- Light carbonation. Creamy. Slightly slick.
Warm on the swallow.

O- Had a few pumpkin ales a couple years ago. All were more or less...take it or leave it...
This one I will have again. Very unique smell for me....which ended up being a cross between eggnog and graham crackers. Not too sweet. Wouldn't drink more than one.

capeannbass36, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of harveystarr
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%

22 oz Bomber.

I was excited to have this, as I generally like pumpkin beers, but as this is an Imperial and a pumpkin, had to have it.

A: Rich, copper, perfect for fall.
S: Wow, Pumpkin Cake, if that's even a real food. In any event, awesome.
T: The Pumpkin cake smell continued into the middle of the taste. Didn't get a whole lot of spices, but I guess they are part of the whole cake thing. There's a bit of an alcohol bite at the very end, but considering the abv, was barely a factor.
M: Creamy and full, exactly what I was hoping for.
Overall: Crazy good, I must say. Kudo's to Southern Tier. A perfect option for a chilly September/October night.

harveystarr, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of cjoc83
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%

Pours a dark apricot/light copper color, almost like the appearance of actual pumpkin pie. A nice looking beer. A minimal head, though, less than a fingers worth. No lacing to speak of.

Smells great. Big pumpkin notes, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.

Initial taste is literally like liquid pumpkin pie. I've had several pumpkin beers, but the taste on this one gives the closest proximity to the actual taste of pumpkin pie. Really delicious. Initial taste is followed by a little sweet malt, and lots of spice, but not so much that it overwhelms the palate; Cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. The finish is spicy, but also a touch bitter.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy, with low carbonation. Fitting for a beer of this type.

This was my first time having Pumking, and I was really impressed. It's really competing with DfH's Punkin and Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin for first place in the pumpkin ale category for me. I'll definitely be seeking this one out again.

cjoc83, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of cbutova
4.03/5  rDev -1%

Had to re-review it after the girlfriend popped open a bottle today, noticeably different.

A- Still a great bright orange, nice and clear with cool carbonation rising up. A white head forms to about a finger in size in the signature goblet. Retention is low and ends up disappearing almost entirely. No lace for me.

S- Very strong autumn dessert aroma. Strong hints of nutmeg, awesome pie crust (how?), grains/hay and pumpkin.

T- Like the aroma but a bit more balanced in terms of the spice/pumpkin interplay. The pumpkin pie aspect is better here with a nice creamy and pie crust flavor. I get some bitterness, probably from both spice and hops. Sweet but not too much.

MF- Creamy moderate body with a oily feel. Finishes with a big bitterness and slight alcohol warming. Very nice creamy carbonation at an optimal level.

Really more like a dessert/pie this time around, easily my favorite Pumpking (had it multiple times in the last three years). On the upper end of my spice limit just hugging the line of staying balanced.

My Old Review from 2009: (3.3 B-)

Picked this up at Julio's today, been looking up to this one for so long, not exactly what expected. Pours a coppery, dull orange that I have never seen in any other beer. A lack of head and lacing bring the appearance down a bit. Smells and tastes of an EXTREMELY strong pumpkin and spice, it is a bit too much for me personally but that is personal taste, it definitely lives up to the pumpkin taste and style though. It literally tastes and smells of a yankee candle pumpkin candle with a bit of malts and tiny hops, certainly dominated by pumpkin spice though. A bit too much nutmeg and sweetness in here for me. Mouthfeel is good here, the lack of head is deceiving because the beer is nicely carbonated with a creamy medium body. Drinkability brings in my personal taste here, I could not stand this taste for more than one glass of this, it is overwhelming for me. If you like pumpkin and spice than this is for you, it was not for me as much as I thought it would be.

cbutova, Aug 25, 2011
Photo of Retail1LO
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

This was an interesting brew. I loved the color of this, first and foremost. It was a beautiful hazy orange with a thin white crown. The nose was unbelievable. This is SUCH a fragrant beer. You get the pumpkin, the spice, everything. In your face. I split this bottle with a friend, and it took me half of my glass to wrap my head around what was going on with this. This actually tasted like pumpkin. While it had the a lot of the spiciness typical of this type of beer, this was just different than anything else. Sort of a pumpkin pie thing going. It was definitely on the sweeter side. The alcohol is nowhere to be found on this. This feels great in your mouth. It's smooth, almost like a stout. Absolutely beautiful. I'm glad I have another bottle of this left.

Retail1LO, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of Blanco
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%

very light amber color with a white head that sort of diminishes more quickly than preferred. smell is amazing with hints of something like butterscotch and burnt sugar and graham crackers. taste follows the nose and incredibly smooth. Sweet, but not overly so and light-bodied though it seems to go right with this one. No hints of the 8.8% ABV here. this is what a pumpkin beer should taste like.

Blanco, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of davey101
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%

Born on date: 8/15/2011. It hasn't even been in a bottle for a week...I can't even find local IPA's that fresh! I grabbed this at a random store in New Jersey. First bottle of the stores case. 22 oz bomber into a DFH signature glass.

I'll preface this review with two biases I hold. 1) To date every "pumpkin ale" I have had, has tasted like nutmeg and cinnamon. Not a terrible thing, but the pumpkin has always been faint. Even my beloved DFH punkin ale was all spice. 2) Southern tier makes overly sweet dessert beers.

A - Not what I expected at all. The body is very light. Its an amber/orange body. Looks very much like an IPA, and not the brown/darker ales I'm used to for this style. I got a tiny off-white head that dissipated pretty quickly.

S - Pumpkin! This is the first beer that I have successfully picked up on that note. Very earthy squash aromas followed by a spice note that reminds me of Quaker cinnamon and spice instant oatmeal. Tons of bready malts which give the illusion of a graham cracker crust.

T - Follows the nose very closely. Earthy pumpkin notes and spice. Cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, and whatever else goes into a pumpkin pie. Loads of bready malts. The spice is very light and balanced though. The mouth-feel is pretty thin but it works since the flavors aren't that intense. 8-9% abv? No way...

O - Not what I was expecting at all. It was a bit thin and the aroma and taste reminded me of ¢25 packets of oatmeal which I made growing up. However the pumpkin was real and noticeable. A super fresh example of a beer I've been dying to try since I missed it last year. A very successful pumpkin beer, but I have yet to find one that is excellent.

davey101, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of scotvega18
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%

Poured from a 22oz Bomber into a Chimay Chalice

A - Amber/Orange in color with very thin (almost non-existant) lace of starkly white head. Effervescence screaming from the bottom of the glass.

S - The breadiness of this will put you on your ass, because it quite littereally is pumpkin pie in a bottle. Gram cracker, whipped cream, cinamin, allspice, and of course, pumpkin, burried rather deep in the nose but how much pumpkin do you really taste in pumpkin pie anyways?

T - The taste isnt as good as the nose, simply because it isnt as cleanly refined. There is no alcohol burn at all in this years batch, which i remember vaguely from last years, but that only makes me happier with the brew. But still, every element from the nose is still present, just slightly... disjointed? Very nice finish as well.

M - Nothing special, well carbonated. No alcohol burn at all.

Notes - This is just a fantastic beer. I look forward to it every year and it just keeps on getting better and better. There is some quarrel about the batch variation and people having problems with inconstancy, but to me this is just as good as i remember it.

What makes this beer so special is the attention to detail. What blows me away every time is the whipped cream. I have no idea how they do it but the flavor is seriously here. This is what people look for in Short's beers, but Southern Tier really delivers here.

scotvega18, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of gabedivision
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Poured from a 22 to a SA Imperial glass.

Pours a very pretty clear burnt orange with a two finger head that turns to a thin lace of thin bubbles and slimes across the glass. The smell, wow, it smells like a well spiced pumpkin pie fresh out of the oven, with subtle scents of candy corn. The taste offers the same, warm pumpkin pie, generous spice and a faint layer of alcohol. Medium on feel, nice smooth, delicious. This is what a pumpkin ale should taste like, a friggin pumpkin! This truly is a great beer look forward to it every fall.

gabedivision, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of RHCP313
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%

Poured from. A 22 oz bomber in to a challice.
Playing: Talking Heads: Remain In Light

A: Pours a clear, brightly filtered copper orange. Strangely matches the label art and theme. An eggshell white head quickly dissipates into a very thin 1 cm ring of carbonation. A clean looking beer.

S: I'm always skeptical of the execution of pumpkin beers, but this one is textbook. Fantastic nose that radiates pure candied pumpkin. Sugary, nutmeg-spiced pie filling, and I'd go as far as saying I smell actual pie crust in there as well.

T: Taste follows the nose in suit. Canned, sweet pumpkin pie flavor. Nice autumnal cinnamon and nutmeg spice notes, some vanilla and almost peach flavor coming through as well. I read that Magnum and Sterling hops were both used, but I can't detect either. Obviously, this is an extremely well thought-out recipe to choose hops like these that will let the adjunct be the star while keeping the beer structured.

M: Light in body for such bold flavors. Crisp and surprisingly very drinkable.

O: Under the Fall pumpkin style, this ranks among the top that I've ever had. Pumpkin seems like a very hard flavor to harness and Southern Tier has clearly mastered it. This beer is great standing alone, but would make a fantastic dessert beer at the Thanksgiving table. It's definitely got a Jelly Belly/Willy Wonka full-flavor experience going on.

RHCP313, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of Tripphop
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%

Pours a deep orange color with little head. Very still looking beer, this is a 2010 release. Aromas are of sweet pumpkin pie, delectable and syrupy nose. Flavor is a perfect match, chewy graham cracker and sweet strong pumpkin candy. Spice level is much subdued since the fresh release, I love this beer with a bit of age on it. The light bitterness dissapears and the rich sweet pie-like character shines through. Definitely the best pumpkin beer on the market.

Tripphop, Aug 13, 2011
Photo of adam32386
5/5  rDev +22.9%

From beginning to end this beer is by far the best pumpkin flavored beverage i've ever had. Shipyard pumpkin ale is great too, but Pumking blows it out of the water. This beer is not too heavy, it's a perfect size to drink at an event. The only bad thing about it is that it might lose it's chill after holding on to it for a while, but so does any large beer of the same container.

adam32386, Aug 07, 2011
Photo of jondeelee
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Southern Tier is one of the few breweries I would trust to add "pureed pumpkin" to a beer, but even then I approached Pumking with some hesitance. However, at first whiff, this one seems a winner, as the brew smells almost exactly like homemade pumpkin pie with whipped cream on top. Only the slightest hints of brown sugar malt and lightly toasted grain at the edges give this one away.

On the tongue, Pumking also tastes much like a pumpkin pie, though one with caramels and considerable spice added: cloves and cinnamon, mainly, with hints of anise and black pepper streaking the edges. Cleverly, the lightly toasted grains from the nose translate well into pie crust flavors. The flavors are quite intense--almost troublesomely so--but they do well-mask the ale's high 9% ABV.

Overall, I think this is a delicious beer, and would make a perfect compliment to a Thanksgiving dinner, with perhaps a second bottle around to pair with dessert. And then a nice fire to fall asleep in front of. Ah...

jondeelee, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of SWMeyer4141
2.42/5  rDev -40.5%

Been seeing alot of Threads lately talking about Pumkin Ales, Marzens, and Octoberfest beers. All that talks made me want to have one. I pulled out and chilled a 2010 Pumpking.

Poured into a claret.

Appearance-Dark orange body with some haze. The head barely even got to a centimeter. Light head around the outside of the glass that dissipated immediately. Big carbonation bubbles on the outside of the glass. Decent lacing remains.

Smell-Pumpkin Pie filling. Whenever you make a pumpkin pie and use the canned pie mix and you open the can is the same aroma you get with this beer. Some booze is mixed in as well.

Taste-Bready malts with alot of clove, pepper and pumpkin spices. Some light hops. Alcohol is REALLY coming through and has that burn on the way down. Kind of messy in my opinion. The components are there, but not really too my liking.

Mouthfeel-Medium bodied, kind of watery. Some alcohol burn. Carbonation is high.

Overall-Something might be wrong here. I've heard good things about this beer, and was looking forward to it, but it was just messy. Is it not good because it's a year old? did I get a bad bottle? Not sure, but I don't think I can finish this bomber. Very dissipointed.

SWMeyer4141, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of Preismj
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%

a: orange/brown translucent brew with a rich head that settles quickly. Nice sticky sporadic lacing with a fluffy foam being offwhite.

s: pie crust. straight pie crust. Bready and buttery with hints of nutmeg and brown sugar...but the scent of pumpkin takes the stage in the finish of the nose.

t: wonderful. hints of alcohol hit quickly and fade into a yeasty sweetness with touches of butter which honestly taste just like the crust of pie. a light sweetness followed with bitter and spice (nutmeg, cinnamon and clove come to mind) is presented and the finish comes in strong from pumpkin flavors and wrap up with that delicious bready pie crust again. This is just dead on pumpkin pie. I can't believe how good this really is.

m: a bit lighter in body that I would prefer. This would just be the perfect brew if they thickened it a touch as that pumpkin pie flavor would be so much more wonderful if it coated the palette better with a thicker bolder feel. nice carbonation level here as it doesn't create an issue with reading the flavor yet really helps the flavors pop.

o: best pumpkin beer I've had to date. I can't imagine it getting much better than this. I could drink this all throughout the fall and look forward to taking part in this experience again soon.

Preismj, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of mocktm
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

I don't know why, but I've always had a thing for pumpkin beers, and Southern Tier, with their well established line of off-centered dessert beers, such as Creme Brulee, was certainly the ideal candidate to bring this style to the next level. Got a craving last night, so I cracked open one of my remaining bottles from last year's batch.

This beer has a bit of age on it, so the carbonation isn't quite what it once was. Pours a spectacularly bright orange hue with a finger or so of meringue colored head. Thick and syrupy body lets you know that this is going to be very sugary sweet.

The nose on this beer is amazing, blowing any other pumpkin beer I've ever had away completely. Full-flavored aromas of pumpkin (obviously), cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar and vanilla. Just like a pie out of the oven; they really nailed it.

Like eating pumpkin pie, all the for-mentioned flavors above are present and active. Alcohol content is completely hidden, although it has had time to mellow out a bit. Great, great beer.

For the style, the mouthfeel is appropriate: thick, syrupy and leaning towards a heavier body. However, my only real complaint with this beer is that it can be a bit tough to finish a bomber by yourself in one sitting, given the sweetness profile. Probably a beer best shared, unless they start bottling 12 ouncers.

Overall, I really thoroughly enjoy this beer. Some may call pumpkin beers a novelty, but I say its a now pretty well-established style, and this might be the best of them.

mocktm, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of tykees88
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%

A- pretty dark orange pumpkin color. hazy color not to clear. The head on this is only about a half finger. And the lacing is lacking.

S- exceptional for the style, exceptional for my nose. Pumpkin pie smells permeate the nostrils. Clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin. A bit of hop to remind you it's beer.

T- Taste is good. A solid beer for pumpkin, but it's nothing special. The malt flavor somewhat is a bit of a drownout for the rest of the brew.

M- slightly chewy, good carbonation bubbles

O- Pretty awesome beer. Super pumped I had it on tap.

tykees88, Jul 06, 2011
Photo of Mypintishalffull
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%

I got into pumpkin beers last fall for the first time and I think it's now my favorite style. I wish they were available year round. I heard there is a pumpkin beer festival on the west coast I would love to go! This beer poured an orange amber color into my pint glass. The aroma had a lot of spices and clove in there. Very interesting and not what I expected. The taste is strong! The label says the beer is above 8 percent but I never had a beer quite like this. Great mouthfeel, even a bit chewy. Lots of complexity. Spices in the finish and lingers in your nose and mouth after swallowing. Really great beer overall.


Mypintishalffull, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of CraftAleRookie
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%

Poured from a 22oz bottle (no date stamp) into a Dogfish Head oversized snifter.

Copper/Orange color, murky haze. One finger bubbly head that very quickly faded. Very little lace remained. Subsequent "top off" pours quickly produced nice bubbly head, but they faded fast.

Wonderful array of Halloween smells- banana bread, pumpkin pie, orange peel- slight hint of alcohol. The array of nasal treats are matched on the tongue- pumpkin spice and banana bread being the dominate tastes. There is a very slight alcohol note on the finish, but it does not distract from the experience.

This brew has a medium body and thick viscosity- with a very smooth, slightly bubbly feel. Overall, this is on the extreme end of the pumpkin scale for a pumpkin ale. If you like a "hint" of pumpkin in your Halloween ale, this will knock you over. However, if you want to taste bold pumpkin and spice flavors, this is your ale!

CraftAleRookie, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of taigor
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%

Poured into regular pint glass.

A - Poured slightly hazy orange color with medium head that quickly dissipated leaving slight lacing around the glass.

S - Very strong smell of pumpkin pie, vanilla, nutmeg and spices.

T - Pumpkin taste to start with brown sugar sweetness and vanilla to follow with a strong finish of spices.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O - Very well balanced pumpkin ale, one of the best I have ever tasted. ABV is well hidden but does come through in the taste as you continue drinking the ale. I would highly recommend it.

taigor, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of Jason
3.58/5  rDev -12%

22oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Heady start as the foam almost crests over the top of the glass, bright golden orange color. Smells of pumpkin bread and vanilla wafers, a very sweet nose. Very smooth big body. Pumpkin to start then sweetness, soon the spices kick in as well as the hops. Alcohol does not chime in until a few sips in and quickly warms the mouth. A slow sipper due to the more robust flavors of spice and malt sweetness ... the alcohol as well. Certainly worth a go, I bet some pork loin would love to be brined in this.

Jason, Jun 14, 2011
Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 5,723 ratings.