1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

5,787 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,787
Reviews: 1,735
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 17.2%
Wants: 401
Gots: 1,062 | FT: 29
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pumking Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,787 | Reviews: 1,735 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of japcmiller
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A beautiful orange color (comes from the pumpkin) with a thin head and laces the glass very nicely.

Smell: The aroma of this beer has hints of pumpkin, pie spice (nutmeg etc) but has an overwhelming smell of sugared ginger. To me the aroma of this beer made me think of pumpkin ginger bread fresh out of the oven, but it is so much better b/c it is beer!

Taste: This beer tastes exactly how it smells, like a piece of pumpkin ginger bread. I do get some malt characteristics in the finish along with some nutmeg, but that ginger is so overwhelming and delicious. Most pumpkin beers rely heavily on the nutmeg but I love the ginger in this beer.

Mouthfeel: Has a full bodied effect on the tongue and the mouth. Very pleasant.

Drinkability: This beer is very drinkable, from the aroma to the taste it all blends and balances well. Some pumpkin beers do not have a good balance with the aroma and the taste, but this beer works with all of its part in harmony.

This is my new favorite fall beer, I love that it has a wonderful ginger characteristic and a nice malty balance with the pumpkin.
I very much look forward to having this beer for the fall season and will miss it when it is gone.

japcmiller, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of SkunkWorks
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this on tap at the Cloverleaf Tavern in Caldwell, NJ. It was served in a Southern Tier tulip.

Look: very orange! It had a very thin head that was a little orange as well.

Smell: this is probably the strong point of the beer. It reeks of pumpkin pie without being too aggressive with it.

Taste: this is usually where pumpkin beers fall flat with me but where Pumking lives up to its name. The pumpkin pie aroma doesn't dominate the taste and it actually tastes like a beer instead of some kind of pumpkin pie flavored wine cooler.

Feel: light bodied, nicely carbonated. Very smooth and refreshing.

Drink: very good for this. I was surprised to see it was a 9% ABV beer.

Overall, this is what pumpkin beers should really aspire to taste like. I saw this on tap and though I have generally despised pumpkin beers so far, I figured I'd give it a go since I've never seen it on tap near my hometown. I'm happy with my choice. I think if I were to go for another pumpkin beer in the future, I'd go for this one.

SkunkWorks, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of AdamBear
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've been looking for this beer for so long and i finally found it! I've heard its the best pumpkin ale, but I needed to find out why. I expected something close to the DFH Punkin Ale, but this is way different. I'd say this beer is what pumpkin ales should be, more so than any other pumpkin ale. Its in a class of its own.

A-transparent light orange, almost no head, not so impressive tho the color is closer to orange than I think I've ever seen in a beer.

S-oh my! very strong pumpkin pie! its amazing!

T- WOW!!..pumpkin pie...in a glass!...the initial taste, the after-taste...so good, i'm really impressed!! Not spicy like some other pumpkin ales, but its so unique that it trail blazes in to a new category

M-medium carbonation, very light for the ABV

D-taste never fades, tho it seems to get more bitter. one 22 ounce bottle at a time would be best i have to admit. as good as it is, i don't know if a 2nd bottle would be as magical.

truly is the pumking!!

AdamBear, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of rudzud
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Crystal clear copper with a TON of little bubbles coming up from the bottom of the pint up to a nice 1 finger head that lingers in the form of a nicely coating minute head.

S - Really, really great aromas here. Picking up on pumpkin (as a squash!), some nice spice notes (mostly cinnamon). That being said, I'm not digging the intense breadyness of the smell. I know the smell, sweet piecrust. I think its a bit much though.

T - Really follows the nose nicely. Got that nice gourd flavour, spices, and that bread/crust on the back.

M - Awesome. Nice crisp carbonation. Not a heavy mouthfeel at all but instead it is nice and smooth and refreshing.

D - All in all a nice pumpkin beer. Not quite what I was expecting (maybe a bit less bready taste?) but still, really good. Spices not quite strong enough in this one though.

rudzud, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured a faded orange color with a tannish head.

S: Nose is big pumpkin, allpoice, cinnamon and nutmeg.

T: Tastes amazing! This is the epitomy of a pumpkin ale, big toasted, smooth pumpkin flavors, not artificial but very natural and fresh. Toastyness with cinnamon, nutmeg. Best pumpkin ale had to date and I found this beer to be perfect for the style.

M: Very nice, toasted pumpkin, spice kick

D: Sorry, Great Pumpkin Ale, this is still my fav

barleywinefiend, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of BEERMILER12
4.16/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Looks a bit coppery instead of the usual standard dark orange for the other pumpkin beers I've tried before. The head is a decent 2 fingers at first, but fades VERY quickly. Leaves almost no lacing.

S - Definitely get the spices in the first whaff, followed by a nice bready smell and a bit of pumpkin. Don't smell much alcohol, even though it is 9%.

T- The spice actually mellows down after the initial smelling to give the taste a nice balance between spice and pumpkin, as well as pie crust. Even as the bottle gets to the lower extents, the alcohol isn't too overpowering.

M- Medium on the palate, fairly carbonated.

D- Could definitely have more of this, and I've already had a full bomber... Definitely a good/great pumpkin beer, one of the best I've had.

BEERMILER12, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of josefnewsong
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My favorite pumpkin ale yet...I like it because it actually has some balls. It's good to have a higher alcohol alternative to all the low abv beers traditionally drunk in the autumn season. This beer was exactly what I was hoping for when I saw it in the store. Try it.

josefnewsong, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of gmw
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer. I had at least one bomber for each of the last three years. I plan to have several more this fall. Each year has seemed different. Review based on today's sample, with a few comparisons to previous years' versions.

The smell and taste is of spice and pumpkin and sweet pie crust. A little more subdued than the 2008 vintage, though, which I remember as being more sugary-sweet in smell and taste.

Mouthfeel is fine, with what I'd call just the right amount of carbonation. Not thin, but not quite as thick and syrupy as the 2008 version.

Drinkability - great! I could drink it all day, but at 9.0% ABV I'm sure after the 3rd bomber I'd be passed out for the night in my La-Z-Boy.

By the way, I think the recommended serving temperature on the bottle, 40F, if way too cold. I drank today's sample from the refrigerator and let it warm up to about 60F before I finished it. This beer really comes to life at about 55 to 60F. The next one I'm trying straight from my basement, where it will be right around 60F to start.

gmw, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of plumcrazyfx
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So, this is my first Pumpkin Ale. Pours a nice golden brown/copper color. Big head that decreased to just a film on top. Smelled very nice, nothing spectacular - a bit of pumpking in the smell. Taste - this is where I don't quite get it. I don't taste the pumpkin pie that a lot of people mention. Not that it's bad - I just don't taste pumpkin or anything other than a creamy beer with a light nice spice that was more noticable as it warmed. This is a very smooth beer, very, very enjoyable and it hides the 9% alcohol dangerously. This one could sneak up on you without you realizing. Also has a very, very creamy mouthfeel. This is the best part to me. I like this one better than any of the Octoberfests I've tried so far this year. Maybe pumpkin ales are the way to go for me in the fall. Actually I'd prefer this to most brown ales I've tried, too. Not something I'd crave all of the time but I felt like I could drink quite a few of these as long as I could stand up to the rather high alcohol content.

plumcrazyfx, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of LairdChisholm
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear golden orange color. A slight off-white head has sub par retention. No lacing here but a good amount of carbonation going towards the top.

S - Best nose I've ever had. Smells just like pumpkin pie. There are notes of sweet bread, pumpkin, cinnamon, nut meg, and maybe a hint of buttered pop corn. Absolutely amazing. If I could give it a six I would.

T - Follows the nose. Liquid pumpkin pie is the best way to describe it. Very complex, very well balanced. Pumpkin taste is perfectly entwined with shortbread, with a very pleasant cinnamon after taste. There are notes of nutmeg and toasted malts. Incredible.

M - Very well balanced. Perfect amount of carbonation. Very crisp and clean.

D - Taking the alcohol content into consideration, I could pound these all night. The amazing taste makes it even easier.

Bravo Southern Tier on easily the best Pumpkin Beer I've ever had.

LairdChisholm, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of mavbrew
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice burnt orange/copper color with a finger thick creamy, off-white head that leaves some nice lacing down the side of the DFH snifter.

S: The smell is that of strong spices, very much like a pumpkin pie and very satisfying to the nostrils. I'm sensing a strong cinnamon and brown sugar scent along with a very pumpkin pie scent as mentioned above. Tiny hints of caramel malts are apparent as well.

T: The taste is exactly as it smells, not an overpowering pumpkin flavor but just the right amount paired with the spices and brown sugar. Has a bit of a hoppy, dry and smooth finish. Very tasty.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, a nice smooth, dry finish.

D: This is definitely an upper tier pumpkin ale. I am a big fan of pumpkin beers and this has a nice distinctive taste to it and at 9% abv, it's one of the stronger ones out there but doesn't have a hint of alcohol taste. I had to search for this beer and it was definitely worth it, a must try pumpkin ale.

mavbrew, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of pmlondrigan
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle says to pour into a goblet so I obey and this produces a crappy head and still looking beer (however maybe its suppose to look this way). The color is real lovely coppor orange tone. Smells like spices, vanilla, cinnamon and pumpkin. Nice rich taste from the caramel malts and assertive hopping. Great spice flavor without being overwhelming and a nice pumpkinn flavor on the finish. Feels nice a thick on the palate. This is probably the single most drinkable pumpkin ale I have ever had, bring it on.

pmlondrigan, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of mondegreen
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle into an Achel Goblet.

Pours an attractive translucent orange. Very thin head that fades fat. This is the color a pumpkin beer should be.

Aroma is fresh baked pumpkin pie. All the pumpkin and spices are here, and I'm even getting notes of a fresh Graham cracker crust.

Taste is more about the spices than the pumpkin, almost the inverse of the nose. There is a lingering sweetness in the aftertaste, reminiscent of ST Creme Brûlée.

Mouth is a creamy smooth medium body. Very nice.

I had to dock a point for the cloying aftertaste. 22oz is too much for this brew. I'd love to see it in a four pack. Until then, find a friend or two to split the bomber with. Solid pumpkin brew, taken in small quantities.

mondegreen, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of Brez07
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing from last nights notes. 22oz bottle poured into a DFH snifter

A: Pours a clear dark orange, leaving a 1 finger white head. No lacing, just a little oily presence on the glass

S: Warm all natural pumpkin pie. Seriously, that's it. I could smell this beer all day. Some spice, cinnamon and sugar alongside pumpkin

T: Very similar to the nose. Straight up pumpkin pie flavor. Spice is more present here then in the nose

M: Smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Medium bodied, spice aftertaste

D: Easily my favorite pumpkin beer. So happy to see this sold in Maine now. Some alcohol comes through but it's really not that bad considering the ABV. Second half of the bottle was a little cloying, but that's too be expected as normally I would only drink one glass in a sitting. Recommended

Brez07, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of Xul
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours translucent burnt orange, capped by a finger of frothy off-white head. Retention is moderate as it settles down to a thin layer of foam and holds there.

S: Huge pumpkin aroma, with spices taking a serious backseat. Some light cinnamon and vanilla are detectable, but far less evident than in many other pumpkin ales.

T: More balanced than the aroma, with pumpkin still being strong out front but other elements shining a bit more. Cinnamon and graham cracker on the mid-palate, followed by some nutmeg near the backend. Finish is of pumpkin and cinnamon.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation, has a light creaminess while maintaining enough bubbles to not feel overly heavy.

D: Goes down easy for a big beer. It nails the pumpkin flavor but if the spices were stronger and more complex, it would really go to the next level.

Xul, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of cjgator3
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

A- Pours a dark copper color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma very nice. Most pumpkin beers are heavy on the spices, this one the pumpkin flavors stand out the most. 

T- The taste starts out sweet with a lot of pumpkin flavors with a lot of spices as well. The spices and the sweetness balance each other out perfectly.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, Pumking is without question towards the top of my list of pumpkin beers. If you are a fan of the style, this one is a must try.

cjgator3, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of obireidkenobi
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time digging deep into this beer.

Smell - One of the best for the pumpkin beer style. Pumpkin, Graham cracker, spices

Taste - Again, one of the best. Tastes like graham cracker, ginger bread, pumpkin. Slight spice.

Mouthfeel - On par for pumpkin ales. Neither heavy nor light. Just right.

Drinkability - Should have bought more than one. Shared the bottle, should have kept it for myself.

obireidkenobi, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of ThreeDimesDown
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with orange highlights and an off-white head that has low retention and leaves little lacing.

Aromas of pale malts, grass, cinnamon and nutmeg in the forefront with a slight hint of pumpkin in the background. Diacetyl is present.

Taste of caramel malts and the spices of cinnamon/nutmeg dominate the taste with grass and straw hops. Faint pumpkin in the aftertaste along with alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is slightly oily, medium thin with nice carbonation. As you progress through the drink, the pumpkin becomes more apparent.

This bottle definitely did not have the standout "pumpkin pie" aroma or taste that was present in other reviews. Another week or two might have brought down the diacetyl presence and imparted more of the pumpkin flavor. Was still a nice brew, will go back for more.

ThreeDimesDown, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of Kinsman
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The pour was a rather disappointing start considering the expectations I had for the Top Pumpkin Ale on the site. A nice hazy dark orange color in the body, a bit lighter on the edges. The head pour was less than expected, but still left a creamy and sticky white head about 1cm thick.

The aroma quickly made up for the poor start, with a wonderful spice note. Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Allspice as expected but they were well complimented by a sweeter vanilla like scent. It's as if I had my slice of the pumpkin pie with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream. Simply heavenly.

The taste was a bit more average. In fact, while I was blown away at first, I found the spices and sweetness to be an tad too much after the first few sips. Yea, its a pumpkin ale, so it should have lots of pumpkin and lots of spices, but thats all you get. The absence of hop flavors is acceptable, but the lack of a solid malt backbone leads to a spice overload. It's like having pumpkin pie without the crust.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy without being too heavy. Carbonation seems just about right.

Overall this is an absolutely awesome pumpkin beer. A great dessert beer, but careful not to get overloaded on spices and pumpkin.

Kinsman, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of babaracas
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear medium orange color with one finger foamy white head, couple spots of lace. Smell: canned pumpkin ready for making pie, a little spicy hop, pale malt, and pie crust (!?). Taste: pumpkin pie if you left out some of the sugar...similar to a belgian pale with a bunch of pumpkin dumped in. Pretty great. Drying, pie spice finish.

babaracas, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of alleykatking
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I always look forward to this beer. Poured from 22oz bottle. Review from notes...

A- Pours a clean orangish light amber color. One and a half finger white head shows medium retention. Ringing lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- This smells wonderful. Light bready malts give way to a pumpkin filled aroma. Just the right amount of spices...cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice to bring out the pie aspect. There is a light alcohol on the nose which I would expect with the ABV.

T- Pumpkin Pie anyone?? Big pumpkin upfront on this one. Light bready malts in the middle mix well with a nutmeg and allspice combo. There is a distinct almost pumpkin pie crust ending on this beer that takes on the ending alcohol. There is only one other pumpkin beer that rivals and beats this overall...that sadly is Mishawaka Brewing Company's Pumpkin beer. If you want to see why I said sadly look at my reviews for them.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is great for the stlye. Pumpkin and spices left on the palate with a pie crust infused with alcohol lingers in the aftertaste. Very drying on the palate. Flavors blend so well together to create a liquid pumpkin pie flavor.

D- The ABV on this one almost limits it. Almost. Like I said earlier this beer ranks number 2 for me in the pumpkin beer catagory. Go Southern Tier!

alleykatking, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of vkv822
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into tulip pint.

Pours fairly clear golden with nice orange hues and decent rising carbonation. The head is off white, and decent thickness, though it dissipates fairly quickly.
The first notes I pick up in the aroma are graham cracker, with pumpkin following very quickly, as well as pleasant allspice finish.

The combination of sweet breaded malts, allspice, and pumpkin mix incredibly well to make me feel as if I literally feel like I am drinking pumpkin pie, with perhaps a bit of an emphasis on cinnamon and allspice towards the end. As well as the spice notes, there is also a bitterness to the finish that at first is a bit more than I was hoping for, though as I progress through the beer, the bitterness becomes a bit more tolerable.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied with an enjoyable amount of carbonation.

I definitely have to be in the right mood to enjoy a pumpkin ale, but as far as rating per style, this one hits the nail on the head, and is very drinkable. Though the transition from sweet malty pumpkin and spice notes to the bitter finish keep this from getting a better grade.

vkv822, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of nova009
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Duvel Tulip

A- pours a hazy golden copper with a slight orange tint, a fluffy one finger white head appears and slowly dissipates, the sticky head leaves a nice lacing

S- pumpkin, very bready smelling, a good amount of allspice comes through

T- very clean pumpkin flavor not overcompensated by the other spices, the spices compliment the pumpkin flavor very nicely, nice ale flavor, slight bitter flavor at the back end, you can taste a slight amount of alcohol in the finish

M- pretty solid mouthfeel, medium body, nice balance of carbonation, the beer doesn't overwhelm your palate which is nice because it allows you to continually grasp all of the flavors

D- fairly easy to drink, i'll be honest I am not a huge fan or anything pumpkin, however this is a very tasty well crafted beer, it's a nice one as the weather changes and heads into fall

nova009, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of TheGordianKnot
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a nice copper and very very clear beer with a nice thick foamy head. A little bit of lacing towards the top where the head was full, but after it quickly died there wasn't much lacing...

S- Smells like a warm pumpkin pie... Seriously, sweet malt alludes to a nice sugary pumpkin smell that just dances in the nose. Possibly a touch of cinnamon shines through somewhere...

T/M- Great malt sweetness balances perfectly with a pumpkin flavor. There is a very nice bitterness that comes through at the very very end of the tongue as the beer finishes that again balances everything out perfectly. The design and flow of this beer alone on the tongue is immaculate and superior to most others. The pumpkin flavor that comes through isn't any artificial flavor here, it just seems so natural laces in with a great malty beer that I love it The mouth is a nice medium body with little carbonation that finishes great...

D- Very very drinkable for a pumpkin beer. I usually find myself getting sick of a 12oz bottle of this stuff every fall, but this one keeps me going back and polishing off the bomber!

Overall, per style, I now know why this beer is rated so damn high on the site.... great pumpkin beer and I will easily come back to this one year after year

TheGordianKnot, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of chickenflea
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft. Pale orange like an unripe loquat. Smells just like a pumpkin pie. Taste like a pumpkin pie with a lot of spices. Nutmeg is the strongest spice with some other maybe vanilla and cinnamon included. Has a sweet imperial aftertaste, but the mouthfeel is light to medium mouth feel. It was good and I was ready for it in September. It might be a little much in November. Don't know how many of these I can drink in a season...but the first one was very tasty.

chickenflea, Sep 09, 2010
Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 5,787 ratings.