Pumking - Rum Barrel Aged
Southern Tier Brewing Company

Pumking - Rum Barrel AgedPumking - Rum Barrel Aged
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Pumpkin Beer
Ranked #19
Ranked #5,511
4.06 | pDev: 12.32%
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States
Pumking - Rum Barrel AgedPumking - Rum Barrel Aged
Notes: Back in 2014 we had the good fortune of finding a cache of rum barrels which we quickly filled with Pumking making what was affectionately called “Rumking.” We were lucky to have found more barrels, and in 2018, found some of the best we’ve ever used. This batch is at least as delicious as versions past.

Imagine our inimitable Imperial Pumking Ale as the captain on the high seas, flying the Jolly Roger. The ‘King sails for ports unknown in this limited release. Rum Barrel Aged Pumking has been kept like secret treasure in the hollows of the brewery, patiently awaiting discovery. Yo ho ho!

Enjoy Rum Barrel Aged Pumking now, or keep it hidden standing upright in a dark and cool place until you can say ‘anchors aweigh!’

2018 New label design, same great Rum Barrel Aged Pumking!

ABV varies by batch.
Reviews: 134 | Ratings: 562 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Pivopijak
Pivopijak from Washington

3.31/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Medium orange/amber color, with the slightest of haze. Heavy rum, boozy, sweet aroma at first then a mace/nutmeg touch to the boozy sweet taste. Not so hot, unless you're after spiced rum with a bite.

Nov 08, 2021
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VashonGuy from Washington

3.61/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Is there a pumpkin beer hiding in here? I can't tell, the rum is too overwhelming.

I've been a longtime fan of pumpkin ales, and have Pumking quite a few times, although not recently. I thought "rum plus Pumking ... a good match!" Maybe so, but not when the rum drowns out any sign of the actual underlying beer.

This was pretty much like drinking straight rum, with some cinnamon and other pumpkin spices tossed in, and some typical beer carbonation. The alcohol burn from the 13.4% ABV is substantial. Now, I like rum, and I like barrel aged ales, but this beer has zero balance to its components.

I still kind of liked the beer, kind of, but couldn't drink much. I had a few ounces, and then couldn't finish it. It's a rare fail by Southern Tier.

Apr 10, 2021
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Seanjohnhunt from California

4.54/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Basically pumking but with rum barrel booziness to it. It is delicious. I great spin on the regular pumking with some extra to it. Can't pass this one up for the holidays.

Nov 28, 2020
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Rapscullion from Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2019 vintage. 13.4% ABV from 1 pint bottle.
Pours a beautiful deep copper hue with very light carbonation and a cream head that disipates very quickly.
Aroma is a huge spirit hit overlaying butterscotch in a very appealling way. The first sip follows through with an overwhelming hit of rum that almost completely obscures the typical pumpking flavors buried beneath.
There is no sublety or integration to this beer, I may as well have poured a shot of rum into a pint of pumpking. Try a Goose Island or a dozen other spirit finished beers that do it really well.

Nov 23, 2020
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Going from gimmick to gumption, Southern Tier takes their famed and often notorious Pumking Ale and allows it to slumber in spent rum barrels for added dryness, flavor and strength.

Rum Barrel Aged Pumking is a truly amazing beer with its bright bronze color and a creamy eggshell froth that carries a sturdy backbone of bread crust and bold caramel sweetness. Fresh-baked toast, roasted pumpkin, and graham crackers come to mind with a sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, almond, and hazelnut do just enough to emphasize the pumpkin quality in complementary fashion. A buttery praline-like sweetness shares a savory tone while the rummy spice adds a drinkable heat.

Rich and non-waivering on the tongue, a creamy, bready and with a robust spicy sweetness that I would not have expected from a beer with such palatability. The return of graham cracker dryness and aftertaste is all I need to keep coming back.

Nov 06, 2020
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cbutova from Massachusetts

4.34/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Print on the bottle says 2017 vintage.

A- 22oz bottle pours into a becher with a clear copper body and a one finger, frothy cap. Good head retention leaving a tall ring around the outside of the beer. Lacing is spotty.

S- Within a millisecond you can tell what beer it is with that signature Pumking aromatic strength. Nutmeg and allspice and spice in general leads off into caramel, graham cracker and general pumpkin pie notes. Getting just a hint of rum, kind of like sugary boozy fruits, here.

T- That barrel was pretty subtle in the aroma but you get hit with it immediately on the taste buds. The barrel is not quite even in terms of strength with the base beer but it is pretty close. Spicy nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and ginger notes lead into pumpkin pie, sugary and fruity rum and caramel malts. The pie flavors and rum work quite well together. Great bitter and sweet balance.

MF- Puffy and slightly creamy medium-heavy overall body. Carbonation is at a medium level and the beer finishes with a nice spicy bitterness.

As one of the fans of the OG Pumking I gotta say adding some extra sweetness, booze and rum flavor really works out very nicely. The barrel and the base beer just play off of each other in the right ways.

Nov 01, 2020
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Giggy from Michigan

4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2019 Barrel House Series. Great copper coloring, minimal white head. Slight nutty/pumpkin aroma. Great taste, can taste both pumpkin and rum. Slight soapy flavor in the background. Minimal alcohol burn for a 13.4%, but can feel the alcohol before finishing the pint bottle. Enjoyed this $12.00 bottle.

Aug 16, 2020
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A little background on this one. I was a Plankowner (commissioning crew) on the U.S.S. Normandy (CG-60) & we had our 25-year reunion in 2014. One of my friends, Kenny, was back in NORVA with his wife, who was originally from BALMD. They lived on Whidbey Island, WA & came back early to visit his folks with her going to see her peeps after the reunion while he flew home for work. When she got home, Kenny had passed peacefully in his sleep! Arrangements were made for a burial-at-sea from the Normandy, something which is virtually unheard of - you may request a burial-at-sea, but NOT the platform. A bunch of us came back for a short underway period, including an STG1 whom Kenny was mentoring. Afterwards, we stopped at the Total Wine & More in Norfolk & he inquired as to this beer. Sold out! :=( I told him that I would BOLO for it & lo & behold, I found some! I sent him two or three bottles, keeping one for myself. Today is its day!

From the 2014 Bottle: "Imperial Rum Barrel Aged Pumking"; "Ale brewed with Pumpkins"; "Brewed with Pumpkins, Natural Flavors, 2 varieties of Hops and 2 types of Malts"; "Alc. 10.7% by Vol."

I Pop!ped the cap with tears in my eyes, but I was able to recover & carry on smartly with a slow, gentle, C-Line pour. I did not raise much more than a brief finger of fizzy, foamy, rocky, tawny head before it quickly fell away to wisps. I was in no mood to stir things up with an in-glass swirl so I left it as it was. Color was a gorgeous Deep-Amber/Light-Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Mouthfeel was full and dense, like a dollop had been scooped into my mouth & onto my tongue. The taste was fantastic! Earlier, I drank an even older bottle of straight Pumking & the difference that the rum-barrel aging was making was phenomenal. Now, it had a pronounced spiciness along with a dried, dark fruit, especially raisin, flavor! Phew! Plus, it was no playin' around with its alcohol. It was definitely bringing the heat & taking precisely NO prisoners. Phew. Well, once the initial shock began to wear off, I donned me bandana, raised the Jolly Roger, poured a wee dram of demon rhum & set sail. This was getting better by the sip. It tasted neither of rum nor wood/barrel. per se, but it definitely amplified all of the spiciness of the base beer. I do not personally prefer it, but if you've had CAPT Morgan's Spiced Rum, it will give you an insight as to this. I disdain it because it, like most rums, tends to be sweet & when the standard mixer is Coke … 8=p Sweet atop sweet. Warming, this acquired a faint rum taste, but it was the spices that really jumped out. Finish was deadly dry, just the way I prefer EVERY alcoholic beverage! Oh, & yes, Virginia, dry rum does exist, it's just not popular. YMMV.

From the 2017 Bottle: "Rum Barrel Aged Pumking"; "Imperial Pumpkin Ale brewed with Pumpkins & Pumpkin Spice Added"; "Imagine our inimitable Imperial Pumking Ale as the captain on the high seas, flying the Jolly Roger. The 'king sails for ports unknown in this limited release. Rum Barrel Aged Pumking has been kept like secret treasure in the hollows of the brewery, patiently awaiting discovery. Yo ho ho!"; "Enjoy Rum Barrel Aged Pumking now, or keep it hidden standing upright in a dark and cool place until you can say 'anchors aweigh!'"; "Aged in rum barrels for notes of vanilla."; "Color [-] Deep Copper[,] Body [-] Smooth[,] Bitterness [-] Moderate[,] Serve In [-] Goblet or Snifter[,] Store [-] Dark, Upright, 35 - 40 F[,] Food Pairings [-] Low country boil, grilled wild caught seafood, roasted game[,] Alc. 9.5% by Vol."

I Pop!ped the cap on this iteration & started a slow, gentle C-Line pour since there was no Kenny to mourn on this one. I got just over a finger of dense, foamy, rocky, tawny head with moderate retention that left some nice lacing in its wake. Color was Amber to Deep-Amber/ Light-Copper (SRM = > 9, < 13) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was VERY spicy & I think that is where the value added to the rum-barrel aging comes in. It does not impart a rum flavor so much as it amplifies the spiciness that exists in the standard version. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, but a little on the light side for "Imperial" anything. This one was more sharpish in terms of how the blending of the rum and the beer was going. Even at 2.5 to 3 years since bottling, it could have used even more time, IMHO. Here, the alcohol was truly pronounced and it was working against the spices. Finish was dry and spicy, but I just felt that it was still a bit young. YMMV.

Apr 14, 2020
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Claude-Irishman from New Jersey

4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2019 version: Pours a clear light bronze/caramel color with a fairly fast receding head. Smell is reminiscent of ethyl, rum, spicy pumpkin, again rum. Wow.Taste is of pumpkin, pie spice, rum,more accurately tastes like a strong pumpkin spice rum cake if there was such a thing- Feels well carbonated, medium bodied, Pumking aged 5 months in Rum barrels does wonders for this mediocre beer. Adds depth and character, not to mention a boat load of booze in taste and ABV- Far better than other variations of Pumking. I don't even like Southern Tier-

Nov 19, 2019
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mschrei from Illinois

4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not bad, nowhere near great. Maybe too much rum presence. The nose is more pumpkin eventually, but when I opened and took the first sniff, I got nothing but rum barrel. Plenty of pumpkin on the taste, but it’s offset by a strong rum burn. Feel is thin for such a boozy beer, dry finish. Maybe a little age might help, and if I can, I’ll try it that way, but this one is nowhere near Avery’s Rumpkin.

Oct 27, 2019
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howardnss from Pennsylvania

4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Confession- I love rum and this beer couldn’t have been much better. Rum is the dominant Odor and flavor with a nice mild pumpkin flavor. Anyone who likes rum needs to try this beer.

Oct 21, 2019
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Tony210 from New Jersey

4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2016 Vintage
Pours a medium orange color, appropriate foamy white head. Muted PumKing aroma. taste is tangy, pumpkin spices have mellowed, rum barrel is faded and reduced the bitterness of the hops, which is nice. Overall this is better frank fresh, but I had to try aging one.

Bomber, 2016 vintage
4 rating

Oct 17, 2019
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jjamadorphd from Florida

4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I let this age for over a year - it smells spectacular but the flavor is still rum-forward - I would have let it sit, easily, another year.

Right out of the pint bottle the thing was beautifully orange with a nice creamy head. The smell was by far the best aspect of the beer, and was quite possibly the best balanced smell of any beer I have ever experienced. Mouthfeel was very astringent, not bad, just a very tight feeling on the tongue. The taste, which is why I feel was rum-forward (and I mean rum-forward) was at least tasty due to its rum flavoring (which at least I am a rum drinker and favor this type of booze.)

Anyway, I still think this is at least an exceptional brew, if not spectacular. If I find another one I plan to let it sit for two year and give it another go...

Oct 13, 2019
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VoxRationis from New York

4.41/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Decanted from a 16.9 oz (500 ml) bottle into a custom taster; 2019 vintage.
A: Pours a crystal clear, light amber color with a less than one finger, off-white head, low retention, and almost no lacing.
S: Aromas of rum, vanilla, rum, and caramel.
T: Sweet and boozy. Flavors follow the nose, but enough pumpkin to claim membership in the style. Low bitterness very much in balance.
M: Light to medium bodied with lively, but still moderate carbonation. Frankly, just not that boozy despite the ABV.
O: Really delicious, rummy version of the Pumpkin Ale style.

Oct 03, 2019
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EnderFett11 from Virginia

4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 2019. Poured somewhat hard from a bottle resulting in a huge amount of off-white head that faded quickly to a couple fingers and then took its time. Smelled faintly of rum. Color was a pale amber that was effectively clear. The pumpkin flavor was almost a background flavor, with a buttered-rum flavor up front and cinnamon/nutmeg spices on the back. Almost like a pumpkin-based rum that isn't too boozy. Very interesting take on rum-barrel aged pumpkin beer, and a must try if you are a rum fan.

Sep 30, 2019
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BenHoppy from Michigan

4.99/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very good, had it 1 year aged and held up well. Tastes like a rum buttered pumpkin pie where at times you could even taste the crust along with rum, buttered rum, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, and of course pumpkin. Mostly pumpkin forward followed by delicious rum that on the nose you get mainly a delicious pumpkin pie.

Sep 28, 2019
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JJKBeerLvr from Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Drank from Growler in a pint glass in September 2019. The Growler was filled from a tap, and I drank this only 1 day after purchase.

Appearance: Very dark golden-red but clear, with a huge tan/brown head. Head was very tall and very carbonated, and left more lacing on the glass than Southern Tier's Pumking.

Smell: Varied aroma of rum, pumpkin, nutmeg, spices, cinnamon, toasted malts, and caramel as well. The rum aroma fills the room as soon as it was poured, and overall the rum and pumkin spicedominate the other aromas. I do not get much hops aroma.

Taste: There is a strong rum, caramel, and pumpkin flavor as well as some cinnamon and peppery spices. Not much bitterness from hops. There is also a hint of sweetness like berries flavor. The rum overpowers the other aromas.

Mouth-feel: Veru strong alcohol, but with a very smooth and creamy body. Matches the 13.4% alcohol on the label.

This is a unique, spicy ale that has a variety of flavors that adds some complexity to the beer. The rum flavors make this interesting. This is a very strong-bodied pumpkin ale, which is very smooth. This is an interesting beer that I enjoy as a new taste, but I would not drink this often. Something nice to drink once a year maybe.

Sep 21, 2019
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bobv from Vermont

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

500 ml bottle.
2019 Vintage.
Moderate pour yields a 5/8 inch white head over a super bright copper body with some lacing. Nose of pumpkin, spice, and a bit of rum. Taste mirrors nose with the booze introducing itself even more. Boozy finish of rum and spice. Nice feel and overall, not as hoppy as the base Pumking, but pretty tasty for me. Others may have a problem with the excess rum but I like it. Yo-ho-ho!

Sep 16, 2019
Photo of HTHobgood

3.76/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first try of the Rum Barrel-Aged Pumking. Sitting at 13.4%- the rum comes through strong for me in first scents. Remarkably so. I would rather the rum be a hint than the overwhelming scent. If you're looking to sniff pumpkin and buttery graham cracker - go for the regular release.

I couldn't really think of a better color for this to be. Moderately deep, clear amber. A large pour head wasn't expected - and alas it fades quickly.

Mouthfeel was thick enough for my liking - just like the regular Pumking. Carbonation-feel upfront, then the incoming blast of flavors after.

Taste is a bit too boozy for me - the rum really coming through strong. What sticks around after swallowing - the rum and wood flavors. The renowned "pumpkin pie" is definitely there - but subdued compared to regular Pumking. Not overly sweet thankfully. An inviting drink - letting it sit in your mouth and warm slightly pulls out those coveted Pumking flavors.

Sep 10, 2019
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DIM from Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Plenty of luscious, sweet rum dominates this. Clearly fresh, wet barrels were used. Surprisingly, the pumpkin and spice are pretty noticeable. The woody notes were a bit harsh and abrasive.

Sep 08, 2019
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akaizer from Virginia

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

Poured a clear amber-gold color with a bit of continual effervescence. Scent is a strong rum first, pumpking second, and notes of sweet spice -- honestly a bit more boozy smell than desired, but to be expected with something this high in ABV. Taste has pumpking and rum well blended with very complex notes in the back of amaretto, tiramisu, almond, and rich chocolates. The taste and feel is very seductive -- pulls you in and keeps inviting you back for more. Taste and feel is superb, especially after a bit of worry about the smell. Would recommend.

Sep 08, 2019
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BeerForMuscle from New Jersey

4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear, honey-copper color. Not a ton of head but decent. Nice lacing hanging on to the glass. Super boozy grainy, sweet rum nose with some fall spices. Taste is that of rum aged in a jack-o-lantern. Sweet, spiced, boozy.

Sep 07, 2019
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Roguer from Connecticut

4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Crystal clear, with modest head production and decent retention.

Nose is swirling with pumpkin, pumpkin spice, brown sugar, and indistinct barrels. Very inviting, a touch boozy, and very nice.

Palate is big and boozy, not particularly hiding the sky-high ABV, but that's not a bad thing. Rum barrels are perfectly integrated, asserting plenty of flavor character yet melding with the imperial pumpkin ale flawlessly. Notes of pumpkin, spice, brown sugar, rum, oak, vanilla, caramel, bread, dough, honey, flowers ... this has it all, and it has it all in spades.

Definitely hot and boozy on the palate, but that's almost a welcome change compared to most huge beers nowadays trying to disguise the massive alcohol content behind a wave of sugar and sweetness. Still easy enough to drink - nowhere near as harsh as, say, BCBS - and slick and lively.

What more can I say? You probably knew if you would like this beer before you bought it. All I can do is amplify the exceptional BA rating, and elaborate that you won't be disappointed. I'm not a rum fan, but the barrel characteristic here is perfectly complementary. Neither am I particularly a fan of pumpkin beers, but this is superbly executed. An excellent beer from start to finish, well worth the price.

Sep 03, 2019
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EMV from Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage... poured from a bomber into a Dogfish Head tulip. Cool original Jack'o'Lantern pirate artwork

L: Not the prettiest brew... cloudy mud-brown pour with thin fizzy white head. Nice ring of lacing.

S: Pumpkin/squash and sweet rum. Smells tasty.

T.F: Sweet up front... a little boozy, but it's mellowed a good bit over the last few years. Strong pumpkin/vegetable and relatively light on the spice which complements the rum and pumpkin without dominating. Squash, earth, sweet rum, vanilla, and booze. Warming and medium bodied... some definite ethanol going on but again not unpleasant. Warmth, pumpkin, and rum at the finish.

O: Just like what it says it is... a rum barrel aged Pumpkin beer, and it makes for an interesting flavor pairing that overall works pretty darned well. I'd probably pick this up over a regular pumpkin brew, and it did mellow nicely with time. One I'd have again. Next year.

Jul 18, 2019
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Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

2.53/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

Rum is overwhelming. Thinner than the others. Had this back to back with the coffee version, and it's amazing how much better that one was compared to this one.

Jan 17, 2019
Pumking - Rum Barrel Aged from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 562 ratings