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Oak Aged Pumking - Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Oak Aged Pumking
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very good

44 Reviews
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Reviews: 44
Hads: 156
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 14.81%
Wants: 31
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  8.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BARFLYB on 12-15-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 44 | Hads: 156
Photo of CaptDavyJones
3.18/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on-tap at J. Ryan's and was served in a 10 oz glass.
Hazy golden/orange color with a thin film for a head.
Aroma was sweet with definite pumpkin notes, there was absolutely no trace of oak or vanilla (wood aromas) at all in the nose.
Taste was kind of strange for my palate. To be honest, it felt like a mouthful of soggy pumpkin bread. I think that is the best way to describe the taste and mouthfeel of this beer. No trace of oak or wood character on the palate either.
I guess this is a beer which would only appeal to a certain palates.
Not my cup of tea, and something I will definitely not be looking out for.
Would I recommend this beer ? Not entirely sure.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-01-17 in Columbia, PA at Bully's

A - Very clear, pumkin-orange with a very short white head that fades quickly. No lacing.

S - Pumkin pie including the graham cracker crust. I don't smell the oak. Not overpowering.

T - Initially, the graham cracker crust aserts itself followed by pumkin flesh, typical pie spices and a bit of fresh lemon. The oak tannin cuts the sweetness nicely but also cuts back on the graham cracker flavor. It's different but not better than the non oak-aged version.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Mildly syrupy/oily at first but the palate quickly clears from some effervescence and dryness.

O - A very nice pumkin ale whether it is the oak-aged version or regular.

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Photo of Beerisheaven
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am in the minority here in that I don't care at all for the base Pumking product. On tap at Capones on a cold Saturday night. This beer was probably about the 15th most interesting beer from the taplist currently available.

Poured from the tap into a small 9 oz. snifter. A little lighter than I expected as a lighter shade of orange rather than the deeper more amber orange that I remember from the base version. A small head that runs away leaving no noticeable lacing.

S - First clue that I might like this a bit more than the regular base version. Not the in your face spice bomb that Pumking is to me. More refined and subtle, the oak clearly exerts its presence, having a buttery squash oak aroma which blends with the typical pumpkin spices.

T - Largely consistent with the nose in that the pumpkin flavors are a bit muted (which is good for me) and the oak, vanilla, and slight buttery tastes raise their hand a bit more.

M - Pretty good for the style of beer. Feels like it has the right amount of carbonation.

O - I like this much more than the base version which seems artificial to me (consistent with most of the Southern Tier efforts in some of their beers). I might actually pick up a bottle of this next year if offered in bottle. Still, not in the same league for me as Elysian Great Pumpkin but more interesting to me than expected.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(from notes)

16 oz. shaker pint @ J. Ryan's.

Look- Not-quite-clear butterscotch/medium amber without much in the way of head or lacing. Thin ring of film persists throughout. Light carbonation visible. Not awe inspiring, it definitely seems sluggish compared to the run-of-the mill Pumking. Nice color though. Not as vibrantly orange as I remember the other one being, but it may have been the lighting.

Smell- Buttery acorn squash, nutmeg, graham cracker, and a hint of apple. Sweet all around, but more subdued than the original, with a darker woody presence. Quite nice and more complex after the aging.

Taste- Butterscotch and brown sugar are strong, with a roasted acorn squash flavor taking the place of the "tinned pumpkin pie filling" I was expecting. The oaky presence is anything but subtle, and I'm wondering if they used oak staves rather than barrels for this one. There's a light (extremely light) strawberry rhubarb finish that I can only assume is the last remnant of hops, with an aftertaste akin to the normal offering, pumpkin pie filling and graham cracker. Alcohol presence nearly nonexistent, aging has served this one well in that respect.

Mouthfeel- Snappier/crisper than I remember the earlier release being, though it still has a rich creamy texture. Sluggish carbonation. Light touch of astringency afterwards. Finishes quite clean with a light warming.

Overall- Feels more "real" than the fresher offering to me; sweetness is much more subdued, and earthiness more pronounced. If Pumking is like drinking liquid pumpkin pie, this is more like pumpkin brandy. I also feel like I could drink two of these, whereas that was definitely not in the cards before. Still not something I would pick up everyday, but worth trying if you can get it in your region.

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Photo of socon67
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pour is orange with a cream colored foam on top. Slight lacing, and just a bit cloudy. Some carbonation moving about.

S - Smell is very refined. Pumpkin spices are there and the oak aged gives it a bit more of a vanilla and wood smell.

T - The added complexity takes a little from this. The creamy pumpkin flavor is replaced with a mellower flavor that has an earthy finish. This still a really good flavor, but as someone who loved the regular pumking this was unexpected.

M - Very mellow, slightly carbonated, and the age gives it a lingering feel. Lighter than the original, and a slight spicy bite in the finish

O - It stands on its own as a solid pumpkin ale. I think I like Pumking a bit more. The oak aged variety is better suited to those who like a toned down blast of spice and more complexity in the style.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish color with a light tan head. In the aroma, pumpkin pie and a small note of oak. In the taste, oaky, small vanilla, and all the flavors of a piece of pumpkin pie. A spice like bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry spice of pumpkin pie in the aftertaste. Nice pumpkin ale, with the nice presence of oak and vanilla. Dare I say a bourbon barreled PumKing soon?

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at One Stop Beer Shop, Brooklyn, NY. Poured into 8oz mug.
Poured a golden crisp color. No head or lacing is obvious. Great hoppy, nutmeg, spice smell - with a definite oak note.
Taste sweet, hoppy, spice, and pumpkin...really great balance. The oak really mellows this out. The oak aged brings out a distinct vanilla flavor, balanced with some smokey wood notes. I would say I like this a bit better than the regular pumking.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the Drafting Room, into a tulip

A- pours a dark gold, light orange with a quickly fading one finger white head. The beer is very transparent and looks very nice, not cloudy at all

S- cinnamon, nutmeg, a little oakiness, and pumpkin in the background. Pretty much, it smells...like Pumking

T- the oakiness adds another layer of sweetness onto the cinnamon and nutmeg, and it somehow doesn't make it overwhelming....it just helps balance it out a little bit

M- medium bodied, kind of neutral on this

O- I enjoyed this just a tad bit more than the standard Pumking...I loved how the oakiness added an extra layer of flavor without destroying the beer. Good job, STBC!

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Photo of NODAK
3.72/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had the pleasure of picking up a growler of this from the brewery.

Has a strong smell of sweet pumpkin pie, vanilla and a bready note as well.

Pours a pumpkin color in the glass...not getting much of a head, as the carbonation seems a tad low in this one.

The taste doesn't deviate from normal Pumking all that much, to be honest. I don't really get any tastes from the oak, so I'm not sure how long it was aged. It's quite sweet, with pumpkin pie, vanilla and nutmeg all over the place. It also seems to have a candy corn type sweetness to it. Towards the finish, there's a breadiness to it as well. The hop note that is present in the normal version is almost completely gone from this one, and it's just sweet all around.

Honestly, I enjoy the regular version more. While some people have found this one to be more tempered on the sweetness, I didn't get that. It was cloying at times and was tough to drink very much of....and while I enjoy the taste of it, I'm still going to reach for the regular Pumking first.

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Photo of billab914
4.36/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into my Pumking Chalice. It poured amber orange in color with a thin white dusting scattered across the top of the beer.

The aroma has graham cracker, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, canned pumpkin and a little bit of whipped cream. Pretty much all the makings of a pumpkin pie, and exactly what I expect from Pumking. It was delicious, but the oak didn't really seem to show much.

The taste shows a little more of the pumpkin pie spices up front. In the finish is where I get more of the graham cracker, vanilla and sweeter whipped cream flavors starting to come out. Not much oak to it, maybe a little more vanilla and the spices seemed a little smoother or subdued.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being below average. Overall, I love Pumking so this was a delicious beer to me. It was a little disappointing that the oak didn't really add more to it though. I did seem a little smoother with some more vanilla notes to it though which I liked. I'd be very happy drinking either this version or the regular version anytime. Both versions are top of their style for me still.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a must try last night at the Wooden Match in Bethlehem PA. The entire party I was with put quite a dent in their supply as the majority of the table bought several rounds of this gem. The beer was served in a Chimay glass and it had a really nice creamy looking off white head on top of a orange body. The lacing wasn't too bad on this but the retention was minimal. The smell of the beer wasn't a whole lot different than the normal Pumking. The taste of the beer seemed a little bit on the lighter side, meaning it wasn't as sweet as the regular version in my opinion. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with a soft carbonation to it. Overall this beer was rather tasty like always. I would drink it again in a heart beat.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-orange brown color with little off-white head

S-pumpkin pie and spice with some hints of sweetness

T-lots of spice and pumpkin, but some slight bitterness that takes some away from the pumpkin flavor, don't really detect much from the oak

F-medium body with moderate carbonation and smooth feel

O-a nice beer for a change of pace, but not something I would drink regularly

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Photo of 57md
4.88/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The light copper color appeared a bit more pale than the bottled version of regular Punking, but darker than the on-tap version of regular Pumking. The offering had little head. The nose was extraordinary - vanilla and spice dominate.

The taste is a bit more balanced than the regular version. I love Pumking, but I understand that many feel the beer is cloying or syrupy. If you feel that way, you should try the oak-aged version. It does temper the sweetness of the regular version.

Truth-be-told, the oak adds little of its own flavor, it but it does VERY well at balancing what is already present.

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Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark amber in color, small but noticeable egg shell head and no lacing found on the glass.

S: Its mellow and bleak but also does wonders at the same time. Laid back notions of the oak found in the back, before that comes the the spices of clove, cinnamon, allspice and such. Sweet as pumpkin pie and then the chill of the oak makes for a dynamic combination.

T: A most tamer and slimmer version of the original. Less sweat and mellow throughout with some earthy tones mixed in.

M: Thin in texture, slippery, little boozy with the oak involved, low carbonation.

O: Cool concept of one of my favorite seasonal beers. I like the original better but thats only because I'm not too into barreled versions of anything. Though I was pretty stoked when I heard the news of this, a real treat it was. Comes recommended.

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Photo of hdelavega
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear burnt orange color with a finger of white head. The nose is dominated by spices, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, brown sugar. I also get a little roasted pumkin and a gram cracker like aroma, there is also some oak in there but not much. The flavor is pretty much a mild version of pumking. Follows the nose almost to the point, with the exception of the oak which is almost unnoticeable. Medium body, medium carbonation. I like pumking, I liked oaked pumking, but was not impressed. I was looking forward to experiencing how the oak would blend with the beer but it was almost nonexistent.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Almost forgot I had this one! But I did.

Poured an appropriately pumpkin orange color, with a nice, foamy, white head. Sweet aroma, much sweeter than I remember the non-oaked version to be: vanilla dominates mostly, with pumpkin pie in the background. Taste was actually more cake-like than anything, with a big vanilla sweetness, and flavors of soft pumpkin pie, ginger snaps, and birthday cake. Really enjoyed this, though I didn't really think it aged in the barrels long enough to pick up any significant flavors from it. If there was any oak to be had, it was extremely extremely subtle, and/or overpowered by the other flavors. Possibly too sweet for some, but it was a welcome change of pace I thought. Hence, compared to the original, I rate the taste higher and the overall lower. Medium mouthfeel, and pleasantly drinkable.

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Photo of MsRif
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, PA. Poured a golden amber color with a nice white head that left pretty lacing. Appearance wise, I would say this seemed a shade lighter than regular Pumking. Had an aroma of vanilla, spices and booze. Much like regular Pumking, honestly. Taste followed the nose. I really noticed only a small touch of oak...kind of disappointing. One nice thing was that this brew seemed more balanced taste-wise than regular Pumking. The spices were more subdued and "blended." Very drinkable and smooth.

On the lighter side of medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Good, but I think it could be improved upon. It was too close to regular Pumking.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up from the Village Beer Merchant (Buffalo, NY).

A: Pours a translucent gold with hues of amber and reds. There is only about a half finger of pure white head that quickly settles. There is very little lacing as it drinks.

S: Smells of pumpkin, nutmeg, vanilla, and roses. There is a floral quality hidden in there. At least I think so.

T: Mmmm. This is nice. Starts out with some sweet pumpkin and vanilla. The spice in this beer shines through a little bit later. The finish is pure vanilla and spice. Delicious. This beer is basically the regular PumKing, but with a lot of the sweetness dialed back.

M: Medium bodied beer. It starts off smooth and creamy, and finishes the same way.

O: I think this beer is really good. Most people either love or hate PumKing, but the oak aging mellows out all of the flavors and makes this a beer easily drinkable.

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Photo of bbeane
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Not much as far as head goes, or lacing. Color looked pretty typical of the standard Pumking, a light amber or shade of orange

S- Again, pretty typical aroma of pumpkin, pumpkin spice, and vanilla. Not much from the wood, though it could have contributed slightly to the vanilla

T- I think the barrel hurt this one. The barrel doesn't seem to have contributed all that much flavor, but instead has dulled some of the others IMO. The vanilla, seems to still be the most prominant, followed by the pumpkin, and spices

M- Light bodied with little carbonation

O- As I said earlier, I think the Pumking was better left alone. I went into this one being really excited, and finished it with a bit of a let down. It wasn't bad, just not as good


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Photo of infi
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

32 oz. growler fill.

Poured into brandy snifter.

Light, copper-orange hue with lots of carbonation and some white, lacy remnants of a head that completely disappears.

One of the best smelling beers I've ever tried. Smells of shitloads of toasted coconut with graham cracker pie crust. Good amount of pumpkin. Not much of an "oak aged" character on the nose, but if anything, there's a slight, tannin-like scent to it that could've came from the oak. Alcohol on the back end.

Fairly sweet-tasting with the graham cracker-like malts. Wanders towards an earthy spiciness, like cinnamon and clove and ends on a slight bitterness. Clean and delicious.

Lighter side of medium in body. Good amount of carbonation.

Not sure if this is a drastic improvement from regular Pumking, but this is surely tasty. Can't really say if the oak imparts a huge difference though.

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Photo of garuda
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really didn't notice much difference between this and the standard Pumking. I enjoyed how the standard version was so sweet, and whipped-creamy, and the oak aging kind of dried out the finish a little bit and cut down on the sweetness when compared to the standard version. I've changed my scores from the original to compensate for that.

It still blows a lot of other pumpkin beers out of the water, but I'll just stick to the standard Pumking in the future.

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Photo of mfunk9786
3.12/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pumking is one of my all-time favorite beers, and a standard around my house during the autumn months. I rushed to TJ's in Paoli (the best beer bar ever, by the way) to try this oak aged version, and couldn't have left more disappointed. Pumking is a very strongly flavored beer - very sweet, with a lot of pumpkin pie flavors and a nice hot alcohol burn that helps tie the entire experience together. I don't know how long this version spent on oak, but it tastes as if it was only a month or two. The beer comes out tasting just about the same as Pumking (keep in mind that with this review, I'm grading on a curve), with the oak only imparting a medicinal quality that detracts from the overall experience. Pumking already has a vanilla marshmallow creme character, so I can't really detect any more vanilla from the oak - and there's not any woodsiness to speak of. What there is is a sap-like medicinal quality to the sip, especially in the aftertaste - a danger of aging beer or cooking food on virgin oak - that detracts from the lovely, pie-like experience of drinking this beer and just makes it a bit of a chore to drink.

Pumking has a ton of flavor - perhaps Southern Tier could keep that in mind next time they attempt this. It could use some barrel aging that's able to stand up to that flavor - either a long long time in virgin oak, or some time in something like bourbon or rum barrels, would be a smarter move.

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Photo of Ralphs66
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, Pumking is one of my favorite beers. When I heard that they were going to be oak aging it, I thought "COOL!". After waiting awhile for it, I began questioning the rationale for doing so. Why mess with something that doesn't need messing with. That being said, this beer is great. The original pumking taste, smell and feel are all there....with just a tad bit of "more". The oak aging gives it a nice little bite and a smokiness that did not exist before. ST did a nice job here. I filled up a growler for this weekends holiday party. Happy holidays to ME!

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at TJ's Everyday in Paoli PA. What a place.

Oak Aged Pumking sports an orangish amber shade, much lighter in color than when the kings first made it's rounds. A nice puff of creamy white foam up top that is loose and dips after some time, no lace.

Smell is lovely, pumkin scent to the max, fall spices, pie crust, clove and a faint trace of butterscotch. A nice amount of nutmeg with warming and faint traces of oak from the chips.

Im not a big fan of Pumking beers, in fact this is the first I am having this season, and it is a winner. Taste is nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin puree, spices, a hint of ginger and again a trace amount of oak chip flavor, which in turn gives off hints of vanilla at times.

People talk shit about how Pumking has become lighter in color and body over the years, and I would have to agree with them, although in my mind, the change has only made this beer even more drinkable. This is a strong medium with faint bubbles and not alot of carb. It's not all the way dead though. Nice splash of oak/vanilla in the aftertaste.

I had two glasses of this and I almost never do that at a bar (unless it's pliny, which coincidentally was also on tap) This is top notch stuff and the oak aging is not overdone, but adds another small layer to this great beer.

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Oak Aged Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.