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Pumking | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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1,945 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

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

Added by BeerBeing on 08-26-2007

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Reviews: 1,945 | Ratings: 7,471
Photo of EmpiricalBill
4.9/5  rDev +22.2%
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.

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Photo of edbeer
4.9/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! what a brew. This is the pumpkin beer I've been looking for. While other pumpkin beers follow the same route with a mild spiciness and the smooth finish, this beer takes all that and goes further.

I first tried this beer at Track 84 in Warwick RI. The aroma jumps out at you long before the first sip. The color was a nice dark caramel brown and you instantly get the aroma of freshly baked pumpkin pie.

Despite the holiday festivities that this beer brings to mind, I don't feel that Pumking forgets that it's a beer first and a fruit/holiday beer second. There is a subtle hop spiciness at the end and some hop bitterness is perceptible in the mouth feel. The beer finished a little dry and crisp with just a hint of sweetness but not so much that a second round would be a challenge.

All in all Pumking is a first rate beer.

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Photo of BJam
4.9/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pumking 2009 - Southern Tier Brewing Company
Bomber: $5.99

Appearance: Clear orange almost pumpkin color with not much head.

Smell: this was one of the best things about this ale. every time you take a sip you smell delicious pumpkin pie. Yumm

Taste: Very strong pumpkin taste and not overly sweet. Perfect amount of malt with just enough spice.

Mouthfeel: The flavor was in the back more then up front. Nice and crisp.

Drinkability: Obviously, you have to be in the mood for this one. It is seasonal and it is pumpkin but as far as I am concerned, it is the best pumpkin ale on the market.

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Photo of chrisjduncan
4.89/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My first time with Southern Tier's Pumking and I have to say, this is the best of the pumpkin ales by far in taste. The coloring is a nice copperish orange and great lacing on the glass. The aroma and the taste put you in the mind of a pumpkin pie as I seriously feel like someone just liquified a pumpkin pie and gave it to me in a bottle. This beer is amazing.

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Photo of Wasteofpaint911
4.89/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - poured into a snifter. This beer pours a nice orange copper color with a small head. Even with a semi aggressive pour.

S - Smell is a spectacular pumpkin aroma with great spicy notes as well. Clove, caramel, nutmeg and cinnamon come to mind.

T - The taste of this beer is absolutely wonderful. Pumpkin hits the pallete along with nice spicy notes. There is a slight bitter taste that compliments the sweetness. The finish is a sweet but not too sweet finish along with a boozy taste but not too busy considering the ABV.

M - Somewhat a light mouth feel with light carbonation. For the amount of flavor and high alcohol content the beer is very easy going down.

O - Overall this is an excellent pumpkin ale. I would Reccomend this beer to anyone who wants to enjoy a nice pumpoint ale. Southern Tier always brews high quality great tasting brews and this is no exception. By far my favorite pumpkin ale.

Serving Type - Bottle.

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Photo of hazakaza
4.89/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beer has recently stopped surprising me . . . but that all changed with Pumking. The nose is all vanilla and bourbon, and you think you're in for another very sweet beer, like the creme brullee stout. Not so! Every sip is a journey across the palate. Up front there are strong cinnamon and brown sugar notes, widening to the promised bourbon. The interesting part comes at the end of your palate, where a cleansing hoppiness comes through to finish the sip and cleanse your palate. Without this hoppiness, the beer would be too sweet. With it, it's a fascinating, well-balanced, and extremely complex beer that made me do a double take. Every sip is a journey. I've already bought at least 5 of these, and trust me, I'll be back for more before this delicious seasonal disappears.

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Photo of palma
4.89/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Clear orange-copper body. Light whispy lacing.

Nose is awesome. warm gingerbread cookies. Vanilla, caramel, nutmeg. Bready. Pure enjoyment. I never thought a beer could ever smell this good.

Taste follows up just as good as the nose. Vanilla, nutmeg, raw pumpkin. Sweet but not cloying in the least. Enough bitterness at the end to balance the sweetness and keep things in a beer perspective.

Unbelievable beer. So easy to drink. Loved every sip of this bomber. The best pumpkin beer out there and I've had many. This blows most others out of the water.

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Photo of BexxyBexx
4.89/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I didn't have a goblet... so it was poured in a tumbler.

a- The color was orange/amber and cloudy. There was little head when the beer was poured. Leaves some lacing.

s- I absolutely love the smell of this beer. You can pick up the spices... but it finished with a hint of vanilla. It definitely reminds me of the fall.

t- The first few seconds this beer tastes similar to other pumpkin beers (spicy). However, after the initial spiciness the beer is finished off with vanilla. It's comparable to pumpkin pie in a bottle. The more sips you take... the more profound the vanilla taste becomes. It is also very smooth. This beer is very sneaky... I don't detect a high alcohol content when I'm drinking this beer.

m- I would not consider this a light nor a heavy beer. It fell right in the middle. I typically find pumpkin ales very spicy... but this beer finishes extremely smooth for me.

d- For being a 9.00% beer this pumpkin ale is very drinkable. The alcohol will definitely sneak up on you. You ask if I would ever get another bottle.... let's just put it this way. I was given a bottle to try. I called back the very next day and asked the beer distributor to put the last $70 case in the back for me.

I loved this beer style in general. Fall is my favorite season for beer. I particular love pumpkin ales. I think Southern Tier put a new wonderful twist on it with the vanilla.

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Photo of bmwfan1987
4.89/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Let me start of saying this is the best pumpkin ale ive ever had.

A-Very orange.

S-The smell is of Pumpkin and spices.

T-It tastes like buttery crust and pumpkin, with spices.

M-Medium bodied.

D-Very easy and pleasant to drink, with the abv however you may want to share this. The problem is you wont want to...ITS SO DELICIOUS.

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Photo of pjkelley82
4.88/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Had this at a tasting which included 23 pumpkin beers.

Overall it rated #4 for me

I heard a lot that this beer was liquid pumkin pie. To me it has a nice beer base which dosent get overthrown by the pumpkin and spice flavor.lighter on the color, nice head, good carbonation.. good and hoppy, fresh tasting and well balanced. Its by far not a bad choice and shouldn't dissapoint.

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Photo of shacawgo24
4.88/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

A-Orange, brown like pumpkin pie. A decent thick white head sits atop like whipped cream. Lacing is okay.

S-Vanilla. Cream. Cinnamon. Clove. Like burying my face in a pumpkin pie. Soft pastries like croissants. Eggnog. Bubbling sugar.

T-Vanilla. Buttery pie crust. Cinnamon. Nutmeg. The slightly sour ale taste comes through at the end. Very sweet, yet tastes like beer. Caramel and toffee are detectable.

M-Moderate/medium body. A spice cabinet stimulates and peppers the tongue gently: Allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and ginger. Not sure which of aforementioned are actually in the beer. Medium carbonation.

O-Not only tastiest pumpkin beer around, it's one of the better tasting brews period. Smell is a work of art. If Pumking looked and felt better this beer would be a whale. Look and feel are great mind you, but get pushed aside by the amazing smell and taste.

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Photo of quik22
4.88/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Incredible. Unlike any other pumpkin beer. In a unique class of its own.

For starters, the pour is a beautiful, rich bronze color that appears to glow. The smell is sweet and intoxicating. The flavor is so wildly unique. From pumpkin spice to graham cracker to hints of vanilla, it is a true pleasure.

I know this is usually a hate it or love it brew, but put me squarely in the love it camp. As the pumpkin beer craze has exploded over the years, this sweet offering continues to be the one I look out for above all else.

Thank you once again, Southern Tier!

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Photo of Laurenessa
4.88/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Southern Tier’s Pumking is probably my favorite pumpkin ale!
Its appearance is sort of a burnt orange/caramel color with a thick white head when poured.
The smell and taste are reminiscent of pumpkin pie: sweet, delicate pumpkin flavor with a hint of nutmeg and other spices.
Great mouthfeel. Velvety without being too heavy. Lots of carbonation at the onset, but it smooths out.
Overall, it’s a great seasonal beer. Try to stock up whenever it’s out.

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Photo of 2x10
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a rich orange with foam that dissipates very quickly

The smell of this beer is amazing. Fresh pumpkin, vanilla, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and a buttery graham cracker crust.
Finishes with a lingering hoppy taste on the tongue.
Drink one of these and you will be swallowing the vanilla/spicy pumpkin taste all night, long after the beer is gone.
The mouthfeel is very thin and does not match the profile of the beer.

I am the kind of person that wants to taste what the beer is referring to. No other pumpkin beer even comes close to tasting like pumpkin than this.
This one is a love it or hate it because of the strong pie similarities. As others have noted it is definitely a dessert in a glass, but with a nice kick of alcohol.
I have tasted the fresh bottles and have tried one that was stored for a year. I prefer the fresh, being that the fresh pumpkin and vanilla essence had deteriorated in the aged bottle.

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Photo of Jesse13713
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've had 4 offerings of the bottled version since far this year, so im excited to finally get to try it on tap. On rap at rays place in Kent oh.

Appearance - A very transparent sunset orange that is the perfect fall color. It laces to Tue glass quite loosely, leaving no froth or head after the pour either.

Smell - like pumpkin pie. The same plethora of spice, cinnamon and nutmeg you get from the bottle. Very pleasing and warming

Taste - the on tap variation proves superior over the bottled one.The actual body of the beer seems heavier as compared to the bottle. This is definitely a good thing that fixes one of ky complaints from the bottle. Aggressive spice and delicious sweet notes.

Mouthfeel and drinkability - medium bodied, moreso than any of the 4 bottles I've had. Pleasant and spicy. Not very carbonated at all. Delicious. The sweetness can get to you after awhile.

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Photo of Zephan
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Can't get any better than this and pumpkinator as far as pumpkin beers go. Smells and tastes just like pumpkin pie. Nice copper orange hue. If you're looking for pumpkin beer look no further

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Photo of harryhood1
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is an easy review. Best Pumpkin beer I've ever had, period.

Great Orange appearance with nice white head. Unbelievable Pumpkin Yankee Candle aroma. This is not for someone that doesn't like a lot of spice and over the top pumpkin. You can seriously smell pie crust in the aroma and taste whipped cream at the back.

But if you love a pumpkin pie to the face type of beer, this is the best ever! Dangerous how easy this one goes down especially considering the ABV%.

Had a case of bombers and it is really hard to keep your hands off of this beer. Just awesome.

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Photo of riversider76
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a golden orange,with a thin white head. Not much retention,with just a bit of lacing. Aroma is of a pumpkin patch.This beer just smells like autumn.It is is a medium bodied beer with light carbionation. Taste is of spiced pumpkin pie.This is by far the best pumpkin ale I've ever had.Excllent!!

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Photo of Burt
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a pint glass.

Orange amber that is slightly hazy, off white thin head that dispersed quickly and left little lacing.

Caramel, pumpkin pie spice, toasted bread.

Taste is like the smell, it starts of sweet, then the pumpkin pie spice, ends slightly bitter with with a warming vanilla, pie crust smooth finish.

This is the best pumpkin beer that I have had so far. Most remind me of a light beer with some pumpkin pie spice sprinkled on. Great brew with lots of flavor.

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Photo of AlcahueteJ
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
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.

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Photo of Madmax99
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very very little head even in the beer clean glass I was drinking it in. I'm especially fond of pumpkin beers and I love the fall season so I was excited to try this. Ales are especially unique because of the top fermenting yeast they use and those yeast leave behind an array of flavors. The aroma of this beer is straight cinnamon and allspice. Flavor is like pumpkin pie and finishes clean with a buttery flavor.

Exceptional brew!

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Photo of edfish
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I look forward to this each year , it is worth 9$ a bottle.
Pours a dark golden color about a half inch head.
Smell mole-asses and pumkin spice very pleasent
Taste, dude if you like pumpkin pie this is it! I never thought pie and beer was a good idea but dang..
Mouthfeel is a wee bit light for a beer with this much abv. But the lingering dry and pumpkin spice rounds off the experience.
I have been trying Pumpkin ales for a few years now and by a hugh margin this is the best of the bunch!

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Photo of martinfletwood
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I love pumpkin beers, and this is, BY FAR, the best one I've ever had. Yankee Candle needs to make the scent into a candle. Unfortunately there was a limit of 1 when buying Pumking at my store, which I understand why, but still disappointing. I am by no means a beer connoisseur, but I know what I like, and this is the best I've had so far.

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Photo of letsgopens
4.87/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Here's one of a few reviews I had on paper, misplaced before posting but have now relocated. Sampled on-tap at the Wexford Ale House in Wexford, PA. Amongst their staggering number of pumpkin related brews and fall seasonals, I believe this one stands out above the rest. It appears, visually, very similar to past installments. Golden, orange/amber body with some yellow highlights. Creamy, frothy, off-white head holds its shape well and leaves some clinging lace.

The aroma is always staggering. Sweet, creamy pumpkin pie filling; almost like pumpkin pie mouse. Tons of milling spices and luscious, sweetened pumpkin mash. A distinct bready note, much like pumpkin added to bread pudding. Hints of sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, coriander, all mixed with pumpkin mash.

The first thing that strikes me as immediately different than past renditions of this very brew, is that there is a distinct hop character. Floral, somewhat earthy hops are definitely evident; something that would seem foreign and even contradictory in a pumpkin ale, but the hop character is brightening and appetizing. As a result, its overall impression may be a bit less dense and indulgent than before but it's certainly a welcomed evolution in my opinion. Somewhat less sweet and potentially less burdening on the palate. Otherwise we have the same pie spices and sweetened pumpkin custard flavor. Vanilla and buttery, toasted bread; what Pumking loyalists refer to as the 'crust' component. Even in the finish I think the added bitterness adds a new dimension. Buttery, lingering booze and the sweet, spicy and floral notes linger through the swallow.

Some dangerous drinkability here as always. Creamy and slick but less cloying than previous versions. Mellow, fine textured carbonation. Still indulgent and dessert-like with, of course, huge flavors and aromas. Overall on-par with previous versions but certainly a bit different. A masterpiece of seasonal enjoyment once again.

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Photo of cokes
4.86/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sometimes, when you sit yourself down with something you've otherwise written off, you come across something like this and it makes all the failure and disappointment worthwhile.

I could go into a spiel about Pumpkin beer, and how- thus far- only DFH's has produced something I'd re-taste. I won't, though. This shows that I can appreciate the style and it rewrites everything I know. And not merely because it's an "imperial" version. I dare a person to smell this and not think it is extraordinary. Then, double-or-nothing, to taste it.


The pour produces a limpid golden orange fluid with an ephemeral beige cap.
But the aroma is buoyant beyond belief, all full of crusty, whipped-cream drenched pumpkin pie, gingerbread, and honey-glazed cashews and almonds. Take this image and crank the volume up as loud as it goes.

The nuttiness ensues into the mouth, as, at first, it is full of that same, lightly toasted and honey-dripped mixed-bag of nuts, plump with cashew, almond, and walnut, and dashed in caramel. Nutmeg-spiked pumpkin adds a meaty, wet and pulpy rind induced spicy-cum-sourness. Then it becomes truly ridiculous. It morphs into gingerbread doused in mounds (and mounds) of vanilla-tinged whipped cream. And not just a hint or impression. That's literally what it tastes like. Are there honestly no spices used here, as the label of ingredients fails to list any? I doubt it, but If so...this is absolute alchemy; and if not, it's still fucking alchemy. Hops merely add a congenial impression of dried autumn leaves to offset a lingering cinnamon spice (this cannot seriously be illusory??). I don't care if I'm hallucinating at this point. My eyes are fucking open.
Medium bodied gaining heft after the pour as carbonation flutters its way out. It never clots or cloys up, though. Its imperialness is inconsequential. Even at 9% I could drink godless amounts of this, easily more than any other gourd-augmented brew I've ever visited.
Its pagan spirit shines through and easily overpasses anything else pumpkin-related I've ever tasted. And not by a small margin. This is head-and-shoulder-and-chest-and-abdomen-and-thorax-and-thigh-and-kneecap above its peers.
It has turned a hater into a disciple. I'll buy this whenever and wherever I see it.

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Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 7,471 ratings.
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