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Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,244 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,244
Reviews: 1,684
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 17.2%
Wants: 364
Gots: 767 | 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: 5,244 | Reviews: 1,684 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jxhill

New York

3.13/5  rDev -23.1%

Very clear light amber pour with good off-white head. Smell is distinct but not spicy as expected. A mild smell of pumpkin spices and what I can only describe not as pumpkin pie but rather warm cornbread. First sip was much the same with subdued pumpkin spices in the background and and a corny (not adjunct) sweetness which fades quickly to the light bitterness and taste of a common light ale. Warm alcohol lingers over very little finish. Light lacing.

I'm really surprised by this Southern Tier offering, since I usually find their beers to be so exaggerated. The pumpkin i this beer is subdued, too subdued for me. And I'm a big pumpkin beer fan, so I was excited to try this, thinking ST might be the right brewery for the style. But this isn't my favorite pumpkin beer.

09-10-2009 00:53:54 | More by jxhill
Photo of WanderingFool


3.4/5  rDev -16.5%

Pumking pours a spectacularly clear amber color with a one finger width, creamy white head on top. As the foam dissolves, a netted lace pattern appears on the sides of the glass. A flurry of tiny bubbles is seen rising from the bottom of the glass.

The aroma is full of spices and reminds me of a hearty, spicy carrot cake. Notes of cinnamon and nutmeg dominate, but hints of vanilla and brandy are also present.

Each sip of this full bodied beer is soft on the palate, somewhat tart and gives a mild fizz on the tip of the tongue. The flavor is much like the aroma, full of spices and sweetness. However, unlike the aroma the overpowering spicyness doesn't translate to a great flavor. Again, the cinnamon and nutmeg dominate, but vanilla, clove and sweet malt are also present. Once gone the combination of spices lingers on the palate.

The lack of balance in this beer is too big to ignore. There's nothing there to counter balance all the spice in each sip. Overall, the spices are tasty and are a nice blend, they just went too far in the quantity they added to the beer.

09-09-2009 18:19:10 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of BeerTwigs

New York

1.48/5  rDev -63.6%

My wonderful Girlfriend purchased a bomber of the Pumking right at the end of August, I let it sit in the fridge for several weeks as I slowly worked my way into the season with some lighter pumkin ales and oktoberfests.

I finally decided to crack into this Labor day weekend and boy was I disappointed. The appearance is ok, the color is as expected. What really threw me for a loop was the strong aroma of nutmeg and cinnamon. Not only did the smell let me down, the first taste did as well. This may have been the hardest 22oz I have ever fought through. It was terribly sweet and impossible to choke donw. I really expected more for this as I usually love Pumkin Pie... oh well. On to the next brew...

09-09-2009 01:56:48 | More by BeerTwigs
Photo of indiapaleale


3.85/5  rDev -5.4%

Pours slightly viscous into the glass. The color takes the shape of nice dark amber with some orange and red hues. Head is rather thin and makes this beer look dressed down a bit.

I am not exaggerating when I say that the aroma of this beer is 100% that of a fresh baked pumkin pie. Lots of spicey notes like cinnamon and nutmeg along with some buttery aroma like that of a pie crust and of course some sweet pumpkin. Its truly a smell you have to experience for yourself. If you don't like pumpkin pie, I am not sure what to tell you.

A small sip and Kabow! someone has poured a liquid pumpkin pie down my throat and chased it with a strong amber ale. Flavors of pumpkin pie spice abound in this beer. Its almost scary that you can differentiate the pumpkin from the crust. There is a bit of the flavor of vanilla ice cream as well and the warming of the alcohol makes it all come together just right.

Its going to take awhile and lots of sipping to finish this beer but I'll do it and I'll be better for doing so.

09-09-2009 01:34:52 | More by indiapaleale
Photo of smellody


1.8/5  rDev -55.8%

I know that Pumpkin beers are widely enjoyed, and that this beer is rated as one of the best. Maybe there was something in the draft line, or it was a bad keg - but the Pumking I had was horrid.

While it poured a pleasant golden amber color and smelled like an odd mixture of spices and pumpkin, at first sip the complexity of flavors was overwhelming. I tasted what seemed like pumpkin pie, but all in all was overpowering and too sweet for my palatte. I found the taste to be metalic in nature with a unflattering after taste. I could not finish the tulip glass I was poured and that is something I hardly ever do - waste beer.

09-08-2009 17:46:05 | More by smellody
Photo of vrazionale


4.18/5  rDev +2.7%

22 oz. (650 mL) bottle at refrigerator temperature poured into a snifter. 2009 bottling.

A - Orange copper body with a thin head formation, even with an aggressive pour.

S - The resemblance to pumpkin pie is remarkable. The spiced pumpkin flavor is well balanced by a bready, sweet malt that is strikingly similar to the crust of a pumpkin pie. If you have a soft spot for pumpkin pie, you'll totally dig the nose on the brew. If you don't like pumpkin pie, then why would you be interested in drinking a pumpkin beer anyway?

T - Spicy (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, even a touch of black pepper) and sweet. The finish is malty, and the spice slowly fades off, producing a lingering and enjoyable finish.

M - Noticeably low in carbonation, but the sweeter flavors linger without becoming too cloying on the palate. Fairly full-bodied and brooding, especially in comparison to the more readily-available pumpkin beers out there.

D - This is my favorite pumpkin beer. I have been excited to drink it this season, ever since tasting it for the first time at Cambridge Common last fall, late in the pumpkin beer season. I'm excited by the idea of drinking this brew with some crispy sweet potato fries for the perfect autumn fatboy pub fare. Hooray for deliciously quaffable pumpkin beer!

09-08-2009 01:34:35 | More by vrazionale
Photo of Liverpool08


4.33/5  rDev +6.4%

Pours a Golden Orange. Not much of a head or lacing. GREAT smell. Aroma of nutmeg, pumpkin, and spices. A Very fresh spicy smell. The taste is good as well. The first sip is nutmeg, followed by malt and a little bit of hops. One of the best pumkin ales I have had. Very drinkible as its not too sweet, yet you still get that great pumpkin/nutmeg flavor. The flavor is not an artificial one either but a true nutmeg flavor. I will be stocking up on these.

09-06-2009 00:41:38 | More by Liverpool08
Photo of bgjohnston


3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

This beer was...interesting.

Pours a copper color, pretty much as advertised on the label. Small amount of white foam that dies down pretty rapidly. Lightly carbonated.

I liked the smell, but find it very hard to describe. There are the pumpkin pie spices, but also something I can only describe as "bready".

Taste is more of the same, with a very full mouth feel. However, there was an added bitterness that really dried out the finish. With all of the spiciness going on, I actually think it could use a little more sweetness or a little less bitterness for better balance.

Alcohol was not apparent in the smelling or the sipping. This would normally give it high drinkability, but I found the spiciness/bitterness of this beer really slowed down the sipping, and left me happy to just have one.

09-05-2009 15:08:34 | More by bgjohnston
Photo of cooncat


4.18/5  rDev +2.7%

Had a pint of this on tap today while at the UPICK6 beer store in Erie. Missed out on DFH Pumkin on tap by a couple days, the keg was killed in 2 days. Glad I got to sample Southern Tier's offering.

The beer is a golden copper in color, with an unimpressive head. Could have been the barman (or temp), but retention isn't great. Well, I guess I can understand that a 9% abv, but I do like a little head with my beer.

The nose is light, but definitely contains all the 'pumpkin pie' spice right up there. Also, in the nose is a sweet maltiness which smells exactly like pie crust .. I kid you not!

Taste is very much like the nose, but much more intense. Best I can describe it is that its like drinking a piece of pumpkin pie, complete with the crust. Nothing notable from the hops or the alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium. A very enjoyable beer, and since you don't feel the 9% abv at all, dangerously drinkable. I don't think I could drink this all night long (hey, I couldn't eat pumpkin pie all night long either), but I'd easily quaff 2 or 3 of these in a session .. which would probably be quite enough.

Excellent seasonal brew. Southern Tier is a solid craft brewery, with a line-up of great brews. PumKing is just another great example. Recommended, especially if you can find it on tap!

Na Zdravje!

09-04-2009 21:29:04 | More by cooncat
Photo of matt062286


4.1/5  rDev +0.7%

On-tap, poured into a goblet, served at a cool temperature.

Appearance - Pours a light golden orange with a small head. Minimal lacing.

Smell - Pumpkin pie. Easiest and best way to describe it.

Taste - Not as much of the pumpkin pie taste as expected from the smell, but does capture the spices. Undertones of pumpkin and a standard malt profile. Surprisingly difficult to pick up on the alcohol potency.

Mouthfeel - Very light mouthfeel, a bit too carbonated for my liking.

Drinkability - Very drinkable for such a relatively high ABV. I had 3 of these in one sitting without a problem.

09-04-2009 14:03:23 | More by matt062286
Photo of cheapxceptbeer


3.05/5  rDev -25.1%

Tried this around the time of release (early September) as to get it at its freshest.

A- Normal head and lacing, nothing special
S- At first it smells like a pumpkin pie baking in an oven, if it were feasible to have your head directly above it. However after sniffing it for a while it becomes overwhelming especially the coriander? they overuse.
T- Well the pumpkin is definitely noticeable at first, however the spices wash out most of it after a few sips, the alcohol is hid well, however the excessive amounts of malt used, coupled with the high alcohol level seem to ruin the point of a pumpkin beer (traditionally lower to medium alcohol full bodied brew) and make it very sweet.
M- Well at this level of alcohol it is hard not to have a syrupy brew, however it is lighter than most 9% brews.
D- Well the drinkability isn't bad, for whatever reason though sniffing it alone will start to make me feel a little queasy.

Well the people at Southern Tier certainly enjoy taking creative licensing when brewing beers, I just don't agree with the style in which they chose to do so.

09-03-2009 16:09:34 | More by cheapxceptbeer
Photo of AgentZero


4.15/5  rDev +2%

Recieved in a trade from mikey711

A - Honestly, if I were thinking of a pumpkin beer this is what I would picture. It looks like a normal beer. I poured it into a beer mug, great 1 inch foamy head. Clear. Looks totally normal, except it's orange! This is so cool.

S - Smells like pumpkin pie. In smelling this I wanted thanksgiving to come that much sooner. Nice, sweet, pumpkiny smell, cinnamon. Smells wonderful.

T - Tastes like it smells, but not quite as sweet. A little sour at the end, I think mine was not quite cool enough.

M - Light bodied, carbonated. Very smooth and easy to get down.

D - I think these are pretty easy to drink, but I can only do so much sweet stuff. A great pumpkin ale though, would love to get my hands on some more.

09-03-2009 04:18:16 | More by AgentZero
Photo of Genuine


4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass

A - I loved looking at this beer. It really does glow with a nice dark amber/orange color. Goes very well with the off white 1-2 finger head that seems to disappear quickly.

S - Holy cow, smells just like pumpkin pie, I could not believe it. They spices smell great when the beer is cold. I felt they got a bit overwhelming if the beer warms up too much. The last bit in the glass, reminded me of a yankee candle's pumpkin spice.

T- this beer is probably one of the most flavorful beers i've had to date. Absolutely remarkable. I cannot wait to compare this one to DFH's Punkin'.

M - this one seems to be just right. A bit on the heavy side but that is to be expected for this kind of brew.

D - If kept decently cold, I could have another. As it got warmer, the flavor and smell became a bit too much for me. Maybe they put in a dash too much of ginger. Would have wished for a bit more nutmeg and cinnamon.

09-02-2009 14:07:08 | More by Genuine
Photo of PerzentRizen


4.2/5  rDev +3.2%

I really wish there was some way I could rate the smell/aroma of this beer higher than a 5.0 - it deserves top of the top marks. The aroms is absolutely breathtaking.

Poured into a Duvel glass this beer is much lighter than I anticipated. The head is white and fades quickly. I can already start to smell the spices upon first pour. The color is orange golden and glows somewhat in the light.

The aromas here are of fresh pumkin pie. There is the alspice, nutmeg, and is that clove? Whatever the spices they are spot on for a pumkin pie. Amazing!

The flavors are great but not knock your socks off great. There is plenty of pumkin flavor and even a light pumkin pie but there needs to be more cream. I think ST ought to add some lactose like FFF does with a couple of their offerings. This would add the creamy texture and still allow the beer it's color.

Mouthfeel is way too light for what I was expecting. Yes mouthfeel is decent for a pumkin ale but not amazing. This is the weakest aspect of this beer.

Drinkability is great. I could and would drink another if I had another bomber. Even at 9% this beer beckons you to drink her. You won't be able to stop once you start!

09-02-2009 04:04:23 | More by PerzentRizen
Photo of jjanega08


2.55/5  rDev -37.3%

A= pours a nice amber orange color with a nice two finger head. Really creamy looking and rocky looking. Not bad.
S= really sort of gross pumkin smell not impressed with the smell at all. Sort of powdery smelling if that makes any sense. There's some all spice in and vanilla chia sort of odors.
T= really sort of punkin pie like. Interesting but not bad. Really sort of average. Its got that odd sort of chia taste as well. Not that into it but its not that bad either. Really mediocre. I'm sure ill get sick of it soon though.
M= average to gross. Sort of feels like water.
D= I'm already getting sick of it after about halfway through. Not that drinkable. Let me down.

09-01-2009 01:52:07 | More by jjanega08


4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

Purchased a 22 oz. bomber. I had to give this brew a try--to compare it to others of the pumpkin variety and see if it lives up to the hype. Pours a meek pale golden color--as that of apple juice, or should I say...pumpkin juice.

Smells of REAL pumpkin ingredients--overwhelming pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon. This literally smells like a warm pumpkin pie. Even the sweet, crumbly crust flavor is present. I can not wait to dive in.

Such a unique brew. This seems to combine sweet malts--almost overbearing with a slowly growing burn. And as always with Southern Tier's Imperial Series, a very noticable hop--but not in the way of the pumpkin idea. In my mind, they took a risk with the huge pumpkin flavor compared to most others in the genre--but the balance is nearly perfect. The initial sweetness is almost too much, but it brilliantly fades away into a rich and heart-warming spice.

Again, as mentioned earlier, the initial sweetness is a bit abbrasive--however, what ensues is quite the treat. A viscous sipper!

I'd say one of these for the night is enough--even for a while. Only a slight alcohol base is noticed--the 9% is superbly hidden. This brew is out in left field--everything that such a flavored beer should accomplish.

09-01-2009 01:18:52 | More by JTWILDOATS
Photo of Tromba


4.4/5  rDev +8.1%

Poured into a glass goblet (Dogfish Head "Signature Glass")

A: Pours a warm copper, white head dissipates quickly, leaving a ring. No lacing.

S: WOW. Crazy awesome. Really really strong nose - very sweet with notes of baking spices, vanilla, vanilla cake batter, pumpkin. There is also something about it that I'm not sure I've ever smelled before...and I love it.

T: Lives up to the smell. Sweet and spicy - like pumpkin pie with a touch of candy corn, and tons of malt backbone. A little bit of alcohol sweetness too. Finish is refreshing and slighltly bitter and keeps you going back for another gulp.

M: Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. You might expect something thick and/or overbearing with 9% ABV...not here!

D: Very drinkable...again, more so than you'd think at 9%. On a cool fall night, this is THE beer you need to get your hands on. Way to go Southern Tier.

09-01-2009 00:55:42 | More by Tromba
Photo of ClockworkOrange


4.28/5  rDev +5.2%

A 22 ounce bomber bottle poured into my nonic pint glass. Pumking appears a clear deep amber color with a good two fingers of dense light rust colored foam. Nose and flavor consist of brown sugar, graham crackers, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, pumpkin bread, sweet caramel, a touch of alcohol. Liquid pumpkin pie right down to the crust and fresh dollop of whipped cream. Rich, flavorful and full bodied with adequate carbonation. Very nice!

08-31-2009 03:57:15 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of cupcakequeenie


3.48/5  rDev -14.5%

A- Clear orange-amber color with a small head.
S- For me personally, I get less of a "pumpkin pie" scent and more of a "carved pumpkin" smell. Less cinnamon, more fresh pumpkin.
T- In keeping with the scent, I really just taste raw pumpkin, I am having a hard time finding the spices until the end and I think it's the fact that there is a continuous pumpkin taste throughout. I can taste more pumpkin after letting it sit a bit and warm.
M- Nice medium body, a good amount of carbonation despite the small head.
D- I have tried this a couple times in hopes of loving it but for me, I can't polish off a full bottle, maybe half.

08-30-2009 17:44:39 | More by cupcakequeenie
Photo of JamesS


3.08/5  rDev -24.3%

Pours a nice md-orange color with a nice amount of head and a bit of nice lacing. Nice scent, very malty and sweet with some nice pumpkin spice. Overly sweet taste, there's no way I could do a bomber of this; nice pumpkin spice with a bit malt flavor, but it also had a huge whipped cream flavor to it. Good in small tastes, but not even a pint; just too much desert. Goes down fine for the ABV, but much too sweet.

08-30-2009 03:31:44 | More by JamesS
Photo of bmwfan1987


4.9/5  rDev +20.4%

Let me start of saying this is the best pumpkin ale ive ever had.

A-Very orange.

S-The smell is of Pumpkin and spices.

T-It tastes like buttery crust and pumpkin, with spices.

M-Medium bodied.

D-Very easy and pleasant to drink, with the abv however you may want to share this. The problem is you wont want to...ITS SO DELICIOUS.

08-29-2009 21:19:09 | More by bmwfan1987
Photo of WYVYRN527


4.38/5  rDev +7.6%

The weather turned cool tonight, so I figured it would be a good time to give this one a try.

A: Slightly hazy orange with a white head that settles quickly. There is a thin white film on the surface. Carbonation is very fine, and rather vigorous.

S: All pumpkin and spice, with nice grainy character lingering in the back.

T: This is like liquid pumpkin pie. Spice and pumpkin dominate. The malt shows itself with bready, sweet notes. The finish is crisp, with a nice hop profile.

M: Full bodied and rich in flavor, it's been a few minutes since my last sip and I can still taste it.

D: Probably the best pumpkin ale I have ever tasted. I couldn't have more than one in a sitting though. Forget the pie. I'll have one of these instead with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

08-29-2009 04:56:17 | More by WYVYRN527
Photo of kshankar

District of Columbia

4.4/5  rDev +8.1%

Appearance: Bright orange with very little head, some decent carbonation going for it. Tiny layer of foam at the top

Aroma: I'm floored by this..I just keep sniffing it, its just that good. I don't think I've been this wowed by just the aroma before. It has a slight amount of pumpkin, but mostly it is an aroma of the pumpkin pie spice profile. There is cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg. The nutmeg is probably the strongest scent on this thing. There's also a yeasty backbone to it.

Taste: A great balance of sweetness and spices, just like a good slice of pumpkin pie. The nutmeg finishes off near the end. I think most of the taste was described in my aroma section though. It tastes just like that.

Mouthfeel is between light and medium..but the spice profile gives it a little kick in the finish

Drinkability: Very easy. I got only one bottle, but I'll be back for more.

Highly recommended.

08-29-2009 04:50:48 | More by kshankar
Photo of BigAl723


4.43/5  rDev +8.8%

On tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor. Rainy and 62 degrees outside. Perfect day for a Pumpkin Ale!

A: Golden orange. It could fool you though. It looks a lot like an IPA. Not much of a head.

S: Cereal, pumpkin pie, and vanilla. It smells just like a chai tea. Very pleasant. I can't wait to try this baby.

T: Spicy and nice. Almost like Cinnamon Toast Crunch or a sugar cookie. The only difference is that it has a nice bite of alcohol at the end. A hoppy and citrus ending to it.

M: Medium to kind of heavy in the mouth. Carbonation doesn't seem high at first but tend to be a little more potent as it goes down.

D: Very drinkable. For 9% it goes right down. This beer could sneak up on you. I know why they only come in bombers. Luckily I found it on tap this year.

Overall, just what I would expect from a pumpkin beer. Probably the best pumpkin ale I've had but then again I don't have much to base it off of. I think I've only had a few different ones. Great offering from Southern Tier, just not sure why my buddy didn't like it.

08-28-2009 19:41:42 | More by BigAl723
Photo of lovesoutherntier

New York

4.93/5  rDev +21.1%

ah yes, the fall classic of pumking. Just fits the season so well.

Apperamce:a dark rich red color to it, darker than an amber though, but in that vasinity.
smell: the smell is amazing, like a big old pumkin pie mom just pulled out of the oven on thanksgiving day, yet loaded with a little more nutmeg than usual.
taste: the taste is just as good as the smell leads you to believe. Upfront its a quick punch of nutmeg follewed quickly by sweet notes of breadyness with pumikin and pumkin spicy, just so unique, like no other beer u'll ever taste.
drinkability: oh how deceptive this one is, as all southenr tier beers are,this one clocks in at 9 persent, but very easy drinking.

This is my 3rd year of having this beer and ive always wanted to review it, but always been to busy, so i cracked one tonight and remembered why its one of my favorites from the first sip. if you like pumkin pie this is a must try, if you dont i wouldnt advice it.

08-27-2009 03:27:35 | More by lovesoutherntier
Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 5,244 ratings.