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Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company


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4,701 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4701
Reviews: 1669
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 17.24%

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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Photo of mick303

Ontario (Canada)

4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass with a good rocky light orange head, colour is a bright clear amber. Good retention, with nice lace and film. 4

S – very aromatic and rich, a thick syrupy caramel and vanilla, roasty pumpkin, lots of well integrated pumpkin pie spice, also a fair bit of gingerbread, pecan, rich baking pumpkin and graham cracker. A fair bit of the vanilla/sweetness comes through. 4.25

T – follows the smell, a lot of rich caramel graham cracker sweetness then a roasty pumpkin pie spice, leading to quite a dry finish with some peppery alcohol that is nicely camouflaged behind the crusty maltiness. Notes of honey, lot of nutmeg, strong pumpkin, and brings quite a bit of bitterness to the palate as a counter. Bit of a slick presence on the finish but the alcohol is on the whole very well integrated for a big beer. Really rich and the balance and flavor are intriguing. 4.25

M – Big bodied, with enough initial sweetness and then alcoholic spice to convince you to sip this. Moderate carbonation, balanced bitterness with some spiciness trending on the finish. Satisfying body. And drinks quite pleasantly for the strength. 4

As far as big pumpkin ales go this is a solid candidate, it has enough of a different slant in the flavor to perk the senses and then back it with a pretty well built beer. The initial taste is a bit too sweet I found but it has a lot of different levels to it which is cool. Lots of richness and a sweet roasty character. Pumpkin flavor is very apparent with lots of cinnamon and nutmeg but also has a quite a bit of complexity to it. Worth trying. 4

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2013 03:31:57 | More by mick303
Photo of TappaKeggaBrew


3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Light, golden-orange hue, like apple juice. A solid finger of off-white foam that fades to leave scant lacing.

S: Fresh-baked bread. Vanilla. Mild cinnamon. Fruity esters far in the background.

T: Mild, sweet malt is first, followed closely by a slightly tart, yet smooth, pumpkin flavor. Buttery diacetyl makes a brief appearance. The spices kick in fairly late, then meld with bitter hops in the finish.

M: Thin, lightly carbonated, but very smooth. The alcohol is barely noticeable despite the ABV.

O: Not potent, but very drinkable. Smooth, creamy, sweet, and spicy. I could definitely enjoy another.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2013 02:15:18 | More by TappaKeggaBrew
Photo of pinyin

New York

4.84/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is the best pumking spiced ale I have ever had. In fact I think it's actually my second favorite beer after Heady Topper. It's that good.

There is this really addicative aftertaste with this ale when it's served cold. It's ok room temperature, and I actually prefer room temp with most of my beers but this one has more tasting notes cold for whatever reason.

Tried in a snifter, tulip and chalice. Chalice and tulip seem to be the best.

A-perfect amount of head and it doesn't go flat really at all once poured.

S-Aromatic, but not overpowering

T-Again this stuff is addictive. I never knew that a pumkin beer could taste like this. Definitely a homemade pumkin pie taste mixed with cinnamon and brown sugar, possibly even a bay leaf for good measure. Perfectly balanced and not too sugary. The alcohol taste is also somewhat prevalent but not overpowering, A very nice balance.

M-It doesn't wreck you palatte like a hoppy IPA, but the aftertaste when fresh pretty amazing.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2013 22:49:44 | More by pinyin
Photo of Maninthearena


4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Golden color, consistent bubbling up from bottom. Thin, but Frothy head.

Nose- Thick pumpkin pie with some allspice. Definite vanilla undertones, almost cream like. While I'm partial to a good pumpkin smell, this one really does it for me here.

Taste- Pumpkin gives away to strong alcoholic ale component, you can tell it's an imperial ale. Some hops at the end. A bit spicy with a little hint of ginger. More of a sour pumpkin than the nose suggests. A strong phenolic component as well.

Mouthfeel- Very satiating and surprisingly thick feeling given the ABV. The right amount of carbonation allows for an even coating of the palate.

Overall- Given the trendy appeal of pumpkin beers and the frequency of which they're produced poorly, this is probably my favorite pumpkin ale just on the authentic pie like smell alone. Although the strong wash of alcohol kind of takes away from the satisfying sweet pumpkin experience. Overall a well crafted and unique fall beer. I'll continue to look forward to it every fall.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2013 01:01:00 | More by Maninthearena
Photo of emyers


4.39/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a Pumking goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy orange color with a thin off-white head dissipating quickly into a thin lacing.

Smell: The phrase "pumpkin pie in a glass" gets thrown around a lot when it comes to pumpkin beers, but in this case, for once, it's actually accurate. Bursting with pumpkin, pie spice, and a biscuity graham cracker crust aroma.

Taste: Same as the smell - pumpkin pie in a glass. Tons of pumpkin, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg, along with a nice subtle pie crust flavor. There is definitely some alcohol heat on the finish which, when combined with the very heavy spice profile, does make this get a bit overbearing after a while - drinking once glass is great, but if you're taking on multiple glasses it starts to wear on you a bit.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied along with a fairly low carbonation level. Aside from the slight alcohol burn this goes down very smooth.

Overall: When it comes to pumpkin beers, this is the King for a reason. Insane level of pumpkin/spice flavor. If it wasn't for that lingering alcohol heat this would be out of this world.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2013 02:02:00 | More by emyers
Photo of BeerWithMike


4.56/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sampled last night on 9/26/13. Chilled down to 36 degrees in my beer cooler and poured into 'POOLBALL' pilsner glass (#13). Came in a 22 ounce bottle (650ml).

Pours a darker yellow/burnt orange in color that is slightly hazy. Very thin white head that leaves very little lacing. The aroma of fresh cut pumpkins hits you right up front with some grains/hop. Very nice actually. The taste was fantastic! Perfect balance of flavor. No harsh aftertaste either as one might think with the high alcohol content. Overall, one of the best pumpkin ales out there I tried. Love this time of year with all the autumn brews.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2013 22:03:18 | More by BeerWithMike
Photo of KYGunner


4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pumpkin ale had an ultra crisp appearance, golden coloring and a filtered body. The head mounted to a creamy cloud from a rush of carbonation bubbles.

The aroma is pure pumpkin bread or pie. There's the pumpkin, of course, but there's a crusty, bready, malty tone. Also, the nutmeg and cinnamon is truly outrageous in its precision.

Pumpkin pie in a bottle! I've heard it described as such but it really has all the components of pumpkin pie, ie Cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin and crust.

The one draw is that the feel is sharp, thin and tinged with alcohol. Nicely crisp but a touch abrasive this could use a bit of thickness.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2013 21:51:21 | More by KYGunner
Photo of SamRoberts


4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured gently into a brandy snifter, very light and average sized head. The hype for this beer seems to be mostly placed on the smell and indeed it somehow captures the most pleasant and creamy aspects of pumpkin pie spices. First sip was nearly all vanilla with a touch of spice, but the proceeding sips are increasingly complex with english ale, more spices, and even a touch of raw pumpkin meat drawing me in. As with the smell, I immediately and consistently got an exceptionally smooth and creamy texture. It's almost too drinkable considering the the complex flavors and high ABV. Pumking is a different kind of sipper due to the candy like flavor and mouthfeel. This beer is a special occasion in and of itself, glad I got to finally try this.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 00:22:35 | More by SamRoberts
Photo of EmpiricalBill


4.9/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I often tell people Pumking is my favorite beer of any style, hands down, even though I'm a hop head. This is one that I store so we can have a triple vertical every Thanksgiving, along with my pumpkin pie. It ages in an odd and inconsistent way: the booziness advances and retreats with time, as does the pumpkin flavor. It's arguable whether it's better after the pumpkin spice pulls back a little but what isn't is that it's absolutely amazing when fresh. It's all about the spice and the vanilla notes, just like my pumpkin pie, with the pumpkin crouching in the background. But don't bother drinking it with a cold: the wonderful aroma is 90% responsible for the great taste.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2013 21:14:52 | More by EmpiricalBill
Photo of cwyeary


4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Color is a darker yellow/burnt orange and white head. Taste is fantastic. I think the "pumpkin pie batter in bottle is a bit over done, but its one of the better tasting pumpkin beers I've had. You get something more then you do with most of the pumpkin beers. Its just not the clove/cinnamon/pumpkin pie spices flavors. There is a sweetness in addition to those flavors that make you actually think of pumpkin pie. The only weakness of the beer in the smell. Its not BMC bland, but there isn't much there on the nose.

Overall, I think the beer lives up to the hype and is worth buying once or twice a year, even though it is a bit expensive.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2013 01:53:07 | More by cwyeary
Photo of Lalepro


4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is something to write home about. Im not a beer expert. I just have a good palate. I know that everyone who tastes it loves it. I like the finish when the oxygen hits your mouth after you swallow. The beer is only sold in large bottles, i think that is to make sure you pour in a bottle, however, it could also be to make sure you have a good time.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2013 14:35:20 | More by Lalepro
Photo of JMScowcroft


3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Southern Tier Brewing Company - Pumking, served on-tap into a pint glass.

Look - Pours a clear filtered deep copper amber with a small foamy head. Rambunctious bubbles. Not sure why everyone feels the need to filter fruit beers but whatever, it is what it is.

Smell - Malty with a faint hint of pumpkin. No spice. Glad to see no spice but a little concerned with the lack of pumpkin pie aroma. Pint glasses aren't known for aroma enhancement so I didn't take off much here.

Taste - Small note of pumpkin creaminess but otherwise more malty. It's a good ale but it's not really what I was looking for here, I wanted creamy pumpkin pie without a spice overload, hard to find a happy medium this year. Reviews say how sweet and pie-like this is, but it really isn't compared to other offerings, it's more malty sweet than pumpkin sweet.

Mouthfeel - Rests dry and is rather drinkable. Not overly boozy even though it's a beast in terms of ABV. Moderate to heavy carbonation but it goes down smooth. This was its best trait.

Overall - This is a good solid ale but I didn't feel that it was a great pumpkin brew, just good. It wasn't gross or overpowering in any way, but it did seem slightly lacking in pumpkin blast. I'm not sure I get this interpretation but it was well constructed and I appreciate that much of it.

Serving type: on-tap

09-23-2013 12:12:51 | More by JMScowcroft
Photo of Brezzy24


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great tasting beer with a ABV of 8.6 % you can't go wrong. My favorite Pumpkin Ale so far. No need for that caramel sugar rim to enhance flavor not overly sweet just enough spice. This is the seasonal beer you want to be drinking. You can find it on tap at the Village Traven in Salem, MA

Serving type: on-tap

09-22-2013 20:41:37 | More by Brezzy24
Photo of pants678


3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bright orange with a white head that drops.


Pumpkin. Some caramel, brown sugar--the back end has a little alcohol-bite. Not as spicy as other pumpkin/fall brews. Hard not to call it one-note, that said it does get pumpkin spot on. The hype's big on this one and it doesn't disappoint, I just prefer DFH Punkin.

Light carbonation lends itself to a flavor that's not naturally assertive.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2013 18:57:46 | More by pants678
Photo of jonrx

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Alright, so I have enjoyed this beer for a while now. But I still don't get the hype that a lot of people have for it. It's a really solid brew, it has nice pumpkin flavors, but it's not the be-all-end-all of beers like some of my friends seem to think. I'm a bit of a Southern Tier mark, too, but this is just one of their above average beers to me.

There is a lot of pumpkin and spice smell. But the taste somehow doesn't encompass all of that smell. For everyone who says, "Pumpkin pie in a bottle!" I have to question what type of pumpkin pie y'all have been eating all these years.

There's a lot of cream taste in the beer, some spice, and some pumpkin. But certainly nowhere near the level that some like to think.

I buy a case of this when it comes out and split it with another friend of mine who is obsessed with it. It's definitely drinkable and definitely has some good flavor, but I do feel it's a bit overhyped.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2013 03:09:42 | More by jonrx
Photo of BeER_Doctor


4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pouring it out of the 22 is nice and adds to the enjoyment. Drink it from a goblet as directed. The taste is excellent for pumpkins, especially ones high on the abv. One of the best. The viscosity is a little thin and there is subtle changes only after a little bit of warming but overall this is outstanding autumn brew.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2013 02:31:38 | More by BeER_Doctor
Photo of DocBrewroo


2.73/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

From a 22oz bomber... poured a deep amber color with rich tan head. Immediately picked up more of a sweet, biscuit than traditional pumpkin pie spice on the nose. The mouth feel is full, and again I get a dominating vanilla cookie flavor and subtle pumpkin pie spice with a nice alcohol warmth. I have friends who are nuts about this brew, but it was too sweet and almost cloying for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2013 00:09:39 | More by DocBrewroo
Photo of jeff1973


3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Piggly Wiggly tulip. Bottled on 7/24/12, so about 14 mos old. Acquired in trade. Thanks beerbyrd!

A - Slightly hazy burnt orange (a light shade though). Off-white head leaves a little lacing.

S - Heavy spices, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon (pumpkin pie). Sweet aroma.

T - Spot on pumpkin pie. All the spices and the pumpkin blend well and nothing is overpowering. Dries out a little on the finish, so not too sweet either (like the nose will lead you to believe).

M - Very thin, almost watery. Carbonation is medium. This was a major setback for me. I was expecting a much heavier mouthfeel. Is this because it is a year old?

O - Smell leads you to believe that you are getting a sweet spice bomb, but the taste is really nice. Let down by the watery mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2013 03:51:47 | More by jeff1973
Photo of withliterature


2.78/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I can see why a lot of people enjoy this beer: it smells like pumpkin pie! I rarely like pumpkin beers for this exact reason. I want them to taste like pumpkin, the vegetable, not pumpkin pie, the dessert.

The taste is better than the overpowering scent. This beer smells like margarine, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The flavor is more neutral, but I can't say that it tastes like beer. The mouthfeel and appearance are both nice.

I won't be asking for this again. I prefer Dogfish Head's Punkin Ale because it's more vegetal and less dessert-scented. This beer would be great for someone who doesn't mind a sweeter beer with some artificial notes.

Serving type: on-tap

09-20-2013 22:58:35 | More by withliterature
Photo of Joerwat


2.13/5  rDev -47.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Sadly I was not impressed, despite all of the good recommendations. Strong caramel maltiness on the nose, a bit of pumpkin, and the usual accouterments of spices: nutmeg, ginger cinnamon, etc; overly sweet. I got more spices on my tongue when I took some sips, the caramel malt and the pumpkin don't go well together, and I think the hops add a strange off note. The pumpkin finishes quickly, leaving the spices and that sickly sweet taste I got so strongly on the nose, and the odd hop off taste.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2013 02:55:18 | More by Joerwat
Photo of rdilauro


3.24/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Ok, I love Pumpkin Beers! Every since my first one about 4 years ago, I have a strong attraction to them. Each fall season , I look forward to the new ones coming in. Each year, we find new ones to bring in and we also find some of them that we do not order.

I find myself looking for the 'desert' rich types. Almost to the point, where its not a beer/beverage that I want, but its about drinking desert.

I remember from my early days reading MAD magazine. There was a section about Pizza and which was the best. I don't want to identify brand names here, so, I may just put in a phrase or so. If this is a violation of forum rules, I will understand if this is edited by the moderators.

Here it goes, think of all of the Pumpkin beers selling on one city block:

Punkin Fish is the best tasting in the City
Puggy is the best Pumpkin Beer in the Country
BPR is the best Pumpkin Beer in the Continent
Southern Tier Pumpking on the BLOCK!

Get my point here!

I was a bit surprised that the pour and color was somewhat light. Most of the other pumpkin beers I've had were much darker. The aroma was what I expected from any
of these types. Closing my eyes , I could smell and feel all the various spices that should go into a pumpkin pie. The aroma even gave me a warming feeling.

My first sip and I was totally taken back. I tasted the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg , sugar and all, nothing artificial, everything so real I was drinking desert!

The mouthful was warm , big and round. The finish was just like having a warm pumpkin pie with whipped cream on it!

The second, third and all sips were better and better. This was a beer that when it was all gone, I felt sad and was just looking for more.

This recent tasting. I did enjoy some of the nose, but from that point on, I was not much of a fan. For me, there was way too many spices, none which blended together while the pumpkin flavor was basically absent. It was also to carbonated for me.
So to net it out....
Too many uncontrolled spices
Too much carbonation
Not enough Pumpkin

An outstanding job

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2013 02:27:07 | More by rdilauro
Photo of rhamning


4.66/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this at Mellow Mushroom on tap after we spent a warm day at the Cincinnati Zoo with our granddaughter. This was my first Pumpkin beer and I was overwhelmed! A second glass was even better.

Served in a tulip glass chilled, appearance was mildly cloudy, bright orange, amber color with a wonderful pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon aroma. Smooth, clean, refreshing. I had the White Gourmet pizza and the combination worked well. The taste was true pumpkin with a nice nutmeg and cinnamon undertone. Perhaps the day in the sun visiting every animal display (yes, every one) set me up to enjoy any cold beverage, but I do not think so. This was a delightful beer that I would recommend. (A subsequent purchase of the same in a bottle produced a less enthusiastic but still positive experience.)

Serving type: on-tap

09-20-2013 01:18:05 | More by rhamning
Photo of Halvin


1.65/5  rDev -59.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1

Had this beer on tap at sweet cheeks, outside Fenway park last night. It was the first beer I ever sent back. To me, it tasted just like I would imagine a Fenway park urinal would taste. Try it for yourself - I handed the beer around the table and 3 of my friends agreed with me. It has an articial sweet mintiness that overwhelmed any subtle pumpkin notes. though one of my friends actually thought it was decent, tasting pie - which I see some other reviewers also noted.

Serving type: on-tap

09-19-2013 11:52:40 | More by Halvin
Photo of schildres


4.69/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: This beer pours a nice golden orange with a thin white head.

S: Pumpkin and graham cracker are present on the nose. Almost like pie crust.

T: Wow, I'm having a pumpkin pie. Notes of pumpkin, graham cracker, pie crust, cinnamon, some clove and nutmeg are present through out the flavor. Nothing overwhelming, perfectly balanced.

M: As stated before the beer is just like a pumpkin pie. Pumpkin and graham cracker up front with a pumpkin finish.

O: The best pumpkin beer I have ever had hands down. Southern Tier strikes again. The balance between the pumpkin and the graham cracker make this beer a great seasonal choice.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2013 01:42:08 | More by schildres
Photo of goochpunch


4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a bright coppery orange with a thin head. Smells like pumpkin pie and graham crackers. That's it. It smells amazing. The spices don't hit me over the head as much as I would have expected, which is a good thing. I pick up some pumpkin along with the baking spice, so it isn't too hidden. Fairly sweet overall, which seems appropriate. Finishes with a surprising and welcome bitterness. I get some of that graham cracker in there too. Mouthfeel is fairly full, and the carbonation isn't too lively. Delicious beer. Dessert in a glass.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2013 01:22:40 | More by goochpunch
Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 4,701 ratings.