Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

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1,809 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,809
Hads: 6,856
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 16.87%
Wants: 458
Gots: 1,677 | FT: 33
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:
Beer added by: BeerBeing on 08-26-2007

19 Degrees Plato
8.8 Degrees L
2-row Pale Malt
Caramel Malt
Pureed Pumpkin

Kettle Hops: Magnum
Aroma Hops: Sterling
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,809 | Hads: 6,856
Photo of jobcrackerbah
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

09 bottle

A: Light bubbly head that recedes on to the edges of the glass. Clear yellowish orange, moreso yellow.

S: The scent is the closest I've come to a pumkin smell in the few pumkin beers I've experienced. The beer isn't overly spiced and does carry the pumkin pulp scent that is exhumed from carving pumkins. As the beer warms up the spices becomes heavier and the pulp recedes.

T: Hops are prevalent and the pumpkin flavor tastes more mimicked than true pumpkin. The beer is tasty but is still a let down from the initial smell. The beer as it warms up becomes spice/hop heavy. 3.75 rounded up.

M: The feel is too prickly and not smooth enough. Somewhat thin although quite creamy.

Enjoyable but the mouthfeel could use some work. (743 characters)

Photo of Tromba
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (886 characters)

Photo of GrittyMug345
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A vigorous pour into a Karmeliet Triple goblet from a 22oz. brown bomber.

A- A very nice deep copper, "pumpkin" color, thin head dissipates to nice lacing.

S- Fresh pumpkin pie, nice balance of spices, can actually pick up some pumpkin.

T- Nice caramel malt flavor with just enough spice to compliment, nutmeg and cinnamon being most prominent, pleasant hop bitterness, finish of lingering cinnamon.

M- Very full mouthfeel, thick and creamy, almost too much so.

D- I'm not a big pumpkin beer drinker but this one does it for me. Balanced and not over spiced, I would definately sit down and have one of these a couple times each fall. (639 characters)

Photo of blackdog1101
4.54/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared a bottle of Pumking on Thanksgiving after dinner with a friend. Served in traditional handled beer mugs. I've had this bottle in the refrigerator for about 2 months.

A- A very nice amber/orange colored ale. Pours clear, with a one finger head which quickly subsides.

S- This may be the the best part of this beer. It smells just like a spiced pumpkin pie.

T- Also quite lovely. Tastes like a spiced pumpkin pie, with the malt providing enough sweetness to counter-balance the spice and alcohol.

M- There is a little heat from the alcohol, but this is almost the perfect blend of sweet and spice. Nice and creamy in the mouth. The light carbonation in this beer is perfect for the style.

D- Easily quaffable, but the flavors are best revealed when sipped. I think that the richness of this beer makes it best for just one or two glasses before moving on to another style. (883 characters)

Photo of Brouwerij78
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Delicious, pumpkin-y and spicy (but not overkill). A very nice medium-rich beer - good for a fall night or an afternoon of carving pumpkins. Nice paired with a hearty stew or a few gingerbread cookies. A bit pricy at 8-10 dollars for a 2 serving bottle...worth it if you have it once a year as a seasonal treat. (311 characters)

Photo of Slyjoker87
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Medium shaded amber, orange, and yellow. It leaves a nice head, but I found that my first glass receded fairly quickly.

S - Strong smells of sweet cinnamon and nutmeg spice - like a fresh loaf of pumpkin bread straight from the oven. Hidden in between is the doughy smell.

T - Cinnamon , brown sugar, maple syrup, nutmeg, a bit of clove, and some bitterness on the back end. I can't really detect much pumpkin flavor, but I'm not sure if thats just a product of living in an artificially flavored world where flavors are exaggerated beyond normalcy.

M - The flavors play nicely together, but may come out as a bit confused. The carbonation is subtle, and it's easily drinkable without flinching.

O - I'm on the fence about this beer, but I think I lean more towards "awesome." It is certainly among the best pumpkin(g) beers that I have had thus far, and it worth checking out for comparison if you didn't like some of the other popular pumpkin brews. (962 characters)

Photo of BurningTreeMufen
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%

Appearance- An orange almost honey appearance that is much lighter in color than most pumpkin beers I have had. A pleasant surprise.
Aroma- Spices that smell like a freshly baked pumpkin pie.
Taste- A nice malt backbone that is complemented by pumpkin pie spices. The sweetness is balanced by a bitterness that is somehow still pumpkiny.
Mouthfeel- Medium body and very light carbonation. Well hidden alcohol.
Overall- The best pumpkin beer that I've had. (459 characters)

Photo of David-Schapira
1.48/5  rDev -63.3%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Every year the ABV drops, they brew more and more and of course the price goes up... Boooo Southern Tier, once great beer is lost in the shuffle with the hundreds of other pumpkin beers (186 characters)

Photo of dirkchivers
2.94/5  rDev -27%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

22oz bottle.

A. No head. straw, slightly orange. touch of lacing
S. graham crackers, pumpkin pie spices. no pumpkin, no hops
T. graham crackers, pumpkin pie spices. no pumpkin, but lotsa bitterness, would have liked some green hop flavor.
M. Smooth with appropriate carbonation.
D. I dig graham crackers, but i'm buying different Southern Tier beer. (353 characters)

Photo of BobCS
3.46/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I should start out by admitting I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin beers, even though I keep trying them. I do love many Belgians, Noels and Winter Warmers which feature spices and especially ginger, coriander, grains of paradise or orange peel. But there is something about the nutmeg and clove that characterizes most pumpkin pie-spiced beers that I just don't care for. I do love pumpkin pie, and my typical pie is dark and richly spiced with nutmeg and clove (among other things). But put those same spices in a beer and I end up with the dilemma I face in reviewing this beer; the spices are transformed from sweet and rich to something I perceive as harsh and objectionable. It's just not my thing, and that's not the beers fault, so I'll try to be fair.

A: clear orange amber with little head and no lacing. After sitting a minute it falls so clear that it almost looks like a lovelier version of orange soda (not as brightly colored).

S: spice, probably nutmeg or mace, really dominates the aroma. From inhaling what comes off the glass I can't get through that spice to detect much else, but warming on the tongue and exhaling brings out much more including some smooth warmth and vanilla, and something fruity enough to make me believe it could be due to the pumpkin.

T: smooth, rich and somewhat sweet though not heavy with a strong spice character, again making me think of nutmeg and mace predominantly, and those spices last long into the finish.

M: on the full side, and warm, but smooth and just a bit viscous

O: I've shared this beer with enough people to know that it is generally well regarded, even though it it not my thing. My preference would be to back off on the spices and let that rich, smooth and sweet base beer shine through a bit more, and then to further move the spice character away from nutmeg and more towards ginger and vanilla. But it is a lovely beer and strong enough to be a sipper to share with several others (especially packaged in a 22 oz bomber). (1,993 characters)

Photo of RHCP313
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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. (1,375 characters)

Photo of obireidkenobi
4.52/5  rDev +12.2%
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. (400 characters)

Photo of Wisconsuds
2.05/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Really excited to try this 9% abv pumpkin beer from Southern Tier Brewing out of NY. Fall season, cool weather, pumpkin beer - what's not to like?!

Poured into my Chimay goblet, per 22oz bottle directions. A vibrant orange hue filled the glass, leaving a fingernails worth of light tan foam. Dissipated soon after.

The smell, obviously, brought strong hints of cinnamon, spice, and sweet pumpkin notes. Could almost smell the healthy quantities of sugar poured in. A bread-y, fresh pumpkin-baked smell invades your nose. Very pleasant.

Upon first taste, I could tell this is not what I signed up for. An unbalanced, artificial tasting mess. Harsh spice notes, and a dry, lingering finish really put me off. A sugary, clovey abomination. Very UNpleasant.

Medium bodied, carbonation is middle-road as well. As others have said, the alcohol is masked well at 9%

Not gonna lie here, drain-poured half the bottle. I'm no pumpkin beer conniousseur, but I've had my fair share, and this was by far the most unpleasant. Really not understanding all the positive reviews. (1,068 characters)

Photo of scotvega18
4.54/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (1,400 characters)

Photo of HappySunny
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Very tasty, but I had trouble getting over the sweetness of the pumpkin crust, which could have been toned down. Otherwise, very delicious and drinkable. (154 characters)

Photo of distant-lover
5/5  rDev +24.1%

By far my favorite fall brew. I've tried gallons of other pumpkin brews however, STBC has mastered this one. Aroma. Appearance. Body. Consistency and taste. BAM!!!! (164 characters)

Photo of sawbones420
3.3/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

As soon as I see a new Southern Tier bomber on the shelf, I automatically grab it to try it out. While I'm not always totally blown away, I've never once been disappointed with any of their offerings, despite their somewhat dubious attempts at imperializing every single beer style on the face of the earth.

Pumpking poured into the suggested goblet a rich, orange hue, with the tiniest bit of head, which doesn't hang around for long at all. A ring of lace sits on top of the beer along the edge of the glass, but doesn't stick to the side as you drink it down.

Smell is all pumpkin spice and nutmeg. Maybe it's just the spices, but the beer has an almost creamy eggnog smell. Definitely the strongest, most unique of the style I've sniffed.

Tastes almost exactly like it smells. Nutmeg and other assorted pumpkin pie flavors fist your pallet's ass. This is nice if you are a fan of all the tastes associated with pumpkin desserts, but this brew probably won't do much for hardcore beer fans (although if you don't like pumpkins, you probably wouldn't buy a pumpkin beer to begin with). This just doesn't taste like beer. Even the steep 9% ABV is completely lost in the haze of pumpkin-spice until the beer warms up a considerable amount. Even then, nobody would guess 9% without being familiar with Southern Tier in the first place. Whether or not all of this is a good thing depends entirely on the drinker's preference. While I'm a fan of the fruit, this isn't what I'm looking for when I want a beer. With that in mind, there is a time and a place for Pumpking. This is a rich, after-dinner alcoholic treat.

Save one of these for after your Thanksgiving meal. It'll pair well with dessert. More than one in the same sitting would be nauseating for me. (1,760 characters)

Photo of Mooch273
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden-orange hue and cloudy body, topped with a thin white head with large carbonation bubbles.

A: Nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, quite floral. It sounds weird, but it smells almost like cooked Basmati rice; kinda like an earthy, grassy smell. Slight orange peel noticeable.

T: Spice flavor hits immediately: cardamom, cloves and nutmeg. Floral notes detected as well.

M: A bit watery with mild carbonation and nice bitterness.

D: Pumking is not my favorite pumpkin ale, but it's still nice and enjoyable. This would be great with something sweet. (551 characters)

Photo of parkeak0
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Been excited to try this beer for a while. Bought a bottle when it was released in late August, and decided to pop it open tonight in celebration of the official arrival of cold, dreary fall weather here in southern Tennessee.

A - Poured into a tulip. Bright, vibrant orange. Very aesthetically pleasing. Not much head here, but a nice lace that remains as I sip this brew.

S - Wow! I've had my fair share of pumpkin ale, but can't ever remember having one that smelled like this. Huge pumpkin aroma, nutmeg, cinnamon. Really smells like grandma's pumpkin bread right out of the oven.

T - As it often does, follows the aroma. Lots of fresh, ripe pumpkin flavor, plenty of spice. Strong malt backbone... you can really taste the caramel malts in this one. Sweet, but not overly so, and well balanced with just enough hop-bitterness. Very obviously made with real, fresh pumpkin. No "flavorings" or extracts here. Much deeper and more complex than the vast majority of pumpkin ales out there.

M - Rich, but not too. Light carbonation. Very nice.

D - This beer is flavorful and heavy enough that I don't think I'd exceed one bomber in an evening. However, the 9% abv is very well hidden.

Very impressed. Will definitely be enjoying again this fall, provided that I can get my hands on it! Thinking about getting half a case for the family thanksgiving gathering... I could see this being a very approachable beer even for non craft enthusiasts. (1,451 characters)

Photo of Valmor88
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Coppery-orange in color with an orange-ish head that disappears quickly. Leaves minimal lacing.

S: Smells like a pumpkin pie in a bottle: pumpkin, spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. Very sweet aroma.

T: Tastes like a pumpkin pie in a bottle - crust, whipped cream and all. Pumpkin flavors are prominent, but not overpowering. Not overly sweet, either. Cloves, cinnamon, and brown sugar all dance around. Hops and malts don't come through until this beer is warmed to almost room temp.

M: Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: This is the best pumpkin beer I have tried, without a doubt. I'm not a huge pumpkin fan, but Southern Tier makes me like pumpkins. (675 characters)

Photo of BuffaloBill91
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer impressed me...not a big fan of fruit beers but is pumpkin even a fruit? i dont know... but anyway I felt in a halloweeny mood and I saw this one on growler and had to have it... After having it--I want to share it with others--to bad my growler kicked their keg- this would be great for the table at thanksgiving.

appearance - nice golden to almost orange color- kind of the color of pumpkin...not to much carbonation in the beer- nice head settles slowly to some lacing on the glass...

smell- absolutely smells like a pumpkin pie - pumpkin cinnamon and nutmeg .. It couldn't smell anything closer without a pie tin. It makes we want to ask to wife to bake one for me---the smell couldn't be more inviting its hard not to just hurry up and drink it

taste- It tastes similar to how it smells - definite pumpkin can taste a nice hint of cinnamon along with lots of spices...if there is anything i dont love about it it that its got a bit of a sour toward the back of the tongue- I like beers bitter not sour- but thats personal preference- otherwise top notch taste.

mouthfeel- nice smooth brew - it is surprisingly a medium to lighter bodied beer and it gives me a bit of a tingle on the tip of my tongue but very little carbonation

Drinkability- well since this is my first glass I cant say I can down this entire growler because this beer has some pretty strong tastes in it but it is by far the easiest drinking 9.0abv I have ever had for sure. I agree with others it is very drinkable and therefore very dangerous. (1,534 characters)

Photo of slagle9480
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the best pumpkin ale I've had to date. This outdoes any of the macrobrew versions and definitely competes with some of the badass micros.

It's like eating pumpkin pie.

There's a cinnamon/nutmeg-type taste at the end. I frickin love it.

Do yourself a favor. Get some Pumking.

Good job to Southern Tier. (313 characters)

Photo of AlcahueteJ
4.87/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a nonic tumbler. About two fingers of frothy white head, amber in color.

Might be the best nose on a beer ever. Smells exactly like pumpkin pie. I wish I had pumpkin pie to pair it with.

The flavor matches the smell. Strong pumpkin and vanilla flavor, loads of spices. Alcohol is not noticeable, making the drinkability off the charts. Definitely isn't easy to take it slow with this beer.

This is my first review, and I typically do not review beers. I've tried hundreds, but this may rank in the top five. I highly recommend this beer, by far the best pumpkin ale I've had. (593 characters)

Photo of dionisio
4.54/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Oh man, this is so delicious. Of all the pumpkin ales I've had, this one tastes the most like pumpkin pie. I think there must be a ton a vanilla extract in this, because that's pretty much what it smells like. You can smell it from across the table. Drinking this beer is a real treat. And it's incredibly easy to drink for such a high alcohol beer, too.

EDIT: Did they change the recipe? When I had it, it was 9% ABV. I'm going to have to try this again. (456 characters)

Photo of majesticsock
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks golden, not much head. Smells like I'm gutting a pumpkin. The taste is incredible, I can hardly detect the 9% ABV. All I taste is pumpkin and liquid. Might be a bit too rich to be the only thing I drink, but it's definitely one of the best fall beers I've ever had. (271 characters)

Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,809 ratings.