Pumking | Southern Tier Brewing Company

1,951 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: 1,951 | Ratings: 7,492
Photo of kkleu357
1.7/5  rDev -57.6%

From notes on 10/17/13

I was looking forward to this one. The beer has a lot of flavor, but it has way to much cinnamon. I also taste sweet corn, which is kind of weird. The way people talk it up, I'm slightly disappointed. The longer I drank this the worse it got. Almost to the point of not being able to drink it. It just seemed to taste more and more like sweet corn dipped in a lot of cinnamon. The DOB of the beer was 8/28/13, so it was fairly new. I’m not sure if we just got a bad batch or not, but the 2 of us drinking this would agree this is by far the worse pumpkin beer we've ever had.

 601 characters

Photo of LarryV
1.71/5  rDev -57.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I'll admit that I just don't get pumpkin beer, nothing seems more gimmicky to me. A friend told me this was the best so I decided to try a bomber. Even more amazing to me, 4 packs of this crap were $15.79, thank god I only tried a bomber. Acrid, with a strange bitterness and noticeable alcohol heat - the smell reminds me of a pumpkin scented candle. What's next, turkey and gravy flavored beer, maybe mincemeat beer? I have to do myself a big favor and accept the fact that pumpkin really doesn't belong in a beer. If you want pumpkin, do yourself a favor and have a slice of pie and have a good beer to compliment it.

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Photo of crossovert
1.72/5  rDev -57.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

650ml bottle. 2011 edition.

It pours a nice orange color but the head is fizzy and dissipates qickly with no lacing.

The smell is terrible. Smells like spice scented artificial vanilla frosting. Ew.

Flavor is sugary. It just isnt great. The pumkin is fine but it is over-spiced and over-sweet. Candy corn mixed with pumpkin pie comes to mind. Hilarious that this is considered the pinnacle of this style. The hops also just really dont work here.

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Photo of cmadd
1.72/5  rDev -57.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A: Poured a darker pumpkin orange with less than a finger of head and not much lacing.

S: Nutmeg, cinnamon, and butter; Good God, a mess of diacetyl.

T: Although the alcohol is well-hidden the mess continues. There is so much diacetyl and residual sugars that I can't help but imagine this was a disastrous fermentation that they realized could sell as pumpkin ale. I can't handle this. Somewhere in here there might be a few spices, but I can't get to them.

M: Medium body with decent carbonation.

O: Totally undrinkable. I pride myself in finding something enjoyable in just about every beer, but I found myself unable to finish this. It's not even the cloying sweetness, I can enjoy Choklat from time to time, it's the diacetyl that was truly aversive. I hope for Southern Tier's sake that I had a bad bottle.

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Photo of HURTemHIZZY
1.74/5  rDev -56.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

yikes, what a mess. I love ST, but this was one of the most overly sweet and artificial tasting beers I've had in a while.

Pour doesn't look bad. Amber color. Thin off white head. Decent retention, slight lacing. Smells like pumpkin pie, but slightly artificial. Heavy cinnamon, pumpkin, vanilla, and a tiny bit of butterscotch.

Flavor is like the aroma, but stronger and more artificial. Tastes like corn syrup and pumpkin pie flavored sugar water. God this is bad. If I wasn't at an outdoor tasting festival it would have been a drain pour. I struggled to get the 5 oz sampler down.

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Photo of Halvin
1.75/5  rDev -56.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1

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

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Photo of dmgnyc
1.76/5  rDev -56.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Happy Halloween everybody. Been hearing tons of good things about this one, so purchased a bomber and decided to break it out on All Hallows Eve. Crank the Type-O Negative, let's get scary.

Appearance is a pure coppery orange with non-existent head and lacing. More than a little thin, but the nearly neon-orange hue is kind of cool and carries the day.

Smell is interesting enough...maybe some pie crust and marshmallow, but mostly an overbearing butterscotch scent. Medicinal butterscotch.

Taste - Hey kids - do you like the taste of orange cough syrup? Yeah?

Mouthfeel - Thin and medicinal.

This rates pretty highly, so Southern Tier must be doing something right. Maybe I just don't dig pumpkin beers, let alone those with an 8.6 abv that bring back childhood nightmares of being laid up in bed with a hacking cough. This was purchased two weeks ago, and I'm thinking it may improve with age....but I shouldn't need to hold onto it for a year to enjoy it. Nine dollar drain pour.

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Photo of JohnFatAss
1.78/5  rDev -55.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

What a let down.
Pours a bright orange color. Slight haze to it. Does not look natural.

Smells like pumpkin bread and spices. Not bad, but just wierd coming from a beer.

The taste is just awful. Not even sure if it tastes like pumpkin. Spices maybe, Cinnamon or nutmeg?

As soon a the smell hits, you know it is going to be bad. And once you get a mouthfeel of the stuff. Yuk!!!

This is the worst beer I have had all year.
I can not believe all the good reviews.

I had to pour this down the drain..
An automatic F.

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Photo of djmichaelk
1.79/5  rDev -55.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

22oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a hazy auburn-orange, with a decent inch or so of dense head. Bits of lacing, poor retention.

S - Oxidation up front. Vegetative cardboard. Ugh. Smells like rotting garbage.

T - Yuck. Like pumpkin flavoring and nutmeg mixed with high-fructose corn syrup, wrapped in cardboard. Awful. I actually experimented with this, tasting it cold, cool, warm. All terrible. Very artificial tasting. Drain poured after the second glass.

M - Carbonation is actually quite good. Finish is mercifully short. Medium-dry.

O - I'm struggling to understand why so many people rate this highly. I was really hoping to like it since it's readily available here, but after trying a really great example of the style (CCB Good Gourd) recently, this is almost offensively bad. I even checked with the store - it's this year's release. What a huge letdown.

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Photo of chicagobill13
1.81/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Everyone was saying try this beer and try. have you try it yet?

Appearance: Slighy head and golden amber that is not too dar.

Smell: smell of nutmeg. Not a really a fan. It is overbearing smell. To me, you can't smell anything else.

Tastle and mouthfeel: This is a pumpkin ale and you can't taste any pumpkin in this beer. All you taste is vanilla and nutmeg.

I am very disappointed but I see others like it. That is fine but not the beer that is says on the bottle. This is awesome beer for the winter just needs a little more malty taste. Cheers!

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Photo of champ103
1.81/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours a murky reddish/orange color. A tiny white head forms, and recedes in a second. No lace.
S: Bread crust, allsipce, diacetyl, alcohol. The alcohol is very solvent like.
T: Follows the nose. Burnt toast, bread crust. Allsipce, buttery diacetyl, cooked veggie even. Is that DMS? Harsh solvent like alcohol. This is a mess.
M/D: A thick body that is syrupy. Low on the carbonation. The several times I have tried this, I have never been able to finish a glass. Harsh alcohol, and just unpleasant to drink.

This is a big mess. Diacetyl and DMS? This needs some work. Of the handfull of times I have had this, it is always pretty awful.

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Photo of stonermouse
1.82/5  rDev -54.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured into a Sam Adams glass (even though the label actually has instructions on appropriate glassware).

Pours a fairly mundane amber color. I tried to read a little orange into the color (it is a pumpkin beer, after all), but not much there. The head was decent, but fizzled out quickly.

Smell led me to believe this was going to be a fairly mild seasonal brew. Some spiciness to it. Certainly smelled like autumn.

Now, I sip. My thought process as I was taking the first swig went something like this: "Hmm, pretty clean, a little sweet, a little spic...wait, what the hell?" The flavor on the back of the palette was just bizarre. Every sip starts out nice and mellow, and then you're walloped with a flavor like you just took a huge chomp out of a Vanilla/Nutmeg/Cinnamon Yankee Candle. The flavors tasted completely unnatural, almost chemical.

Each sip leaves a tingly, spiced flavor in the back of your throat, but it thankfully goes away quickly.

I wanted to like this so badly. I wanted to fall in love with a fall beer that was reminiscent of the smells and flavors of the season. This sucker is reminiscent of autumn, only if fall was fabricated by Hallmark. Nothing natural about it. It should come with silver glitter floating inside to complete the effect. Poured about 6 bucks of beer down the drain, after sharing with three other people.

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Photo of JonesBoy
1.83/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Yes, the emperor has beautiful clothes. Wow, I expected Pumpkin Pie in a bottle, and I really like pumpkin pie. This was not at all close to anything pumpkin. I got the the very tangy graham cracker taste up front and thought what followed would be pure enjoyment. It was pure bitterness. There was nothing discernible, but bitterness. When it warmed up, it was a tad more drinkable, but never was enjoyable. I've had many pumpkin brews, but this was the worst. Too disappointed to even go through the ASTMO analysis.

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Photo of smellody
1.87/5  rDev -53.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I know that Pumpkin beers are widely enjoyed, and that this beer is rated as one of the best. Maybe there was something in the draft line, or it was a bad keg - but the Pumking I had was horrid.

While it poured a pleasant golden amber color and smelled like an odd mixture of spices and pumpkin, at first sip the complexity of flavors was overwhelming. I tasted what seemed like pumpkin pie, but all in all was overpowering and too sweet for my palatte. I found the taste to be metalic in nature with a unflattering after taste. I could not finish the tulip glass I was poured and that is something I hardly ever do - waste beer.

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Photo of atremains
1.87/5  rDev -53.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Heard about this one, bottle is very intriguing looking. Friend had it, said it was interesting.
Pours a bronze golden color with a scaredy cat head, carbonation looks to be high. Nice looking beer overall. Heres where it gets rough for me. This beer does not smell appealing (to me) at all. All I can smell is a nutty, corny scent that is near repulsive. The taste mimics this. Mouthfeel is on the creamier side, with a good amount of carbonation. It barely hints at pumpkin to me, if that. I'll forget southern tier brewed this one and maybe give it another chance in the future, maybe I just don't get it yet.

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Photo of Krakistophales
1.9/5  rDev -52.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours copper colored with a bit of white head that disappears quickly and leaves just a halo and lacing

S: Big pumpkin smell, but it has too much of a buttery, biscuity taste, like a pie crust. I'm not really getting much spice at all, so this one is a bit one note for me.

T: Big pumpkin taste as well, but again, it's too buttery, creamy, and bready/biscuity for my liking. You can taste the pumpkin meat big time, though, but I just can't get over the creamy/biscuity overload here.

O: I was quite surprised when I discovered I actually didn't like something that ST made, but I can't get over the creamy/biscuity/bready taste. My favorite pumpkin ale is still smashed pumpkins, though, with punkin a close second.

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Photo of Qbdoo
1.95/5  rDev -51.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1.5

OK, I now know I probably just don't like this style. I love Southern Tier so I figured this was a good bet for my first pumpkin beer. But I thought it was just awful and poured it out after 1/4 glass. I like spiced beers but the spices here not only overwhelm the standard beer ingredients; they are just distasteful. Other types of beers are an acquired taste, but I think you have to be born with a taste for something like this.

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Photo of cgarviereg
1.95/5  rDev -51.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Copper coloured ... big white foam head .... Oh my big pumpkin with something a bit unpleasant in nose (wife says popcorn and id say shes sopt on, and i dont like popcorn)... rich yeasty vegtable pumpkin ... its very veggy ... again some popcorn... and quite unlike other pumpkin beers ive had ... really dont like it

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Photo of alexipa
1.96/5  rDev -51.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

A: Crystal clear orange with no head and no lacing. Looks like soda, not appealing at all.

S: Smells of pumpkin pie spices. From what I've been told about this beer, it's what I expected.

T: Does not taste like pumpkin, pumpkin pie, or fall spices! It has a chemical taste with some weird spice on the back end that I can't pin down. Absolutely no malt flavor, no pumpkin, no hops. My wife said it best: "there is no way this can be called beer."

M: Creamy, but really offensive. Something about the feel of this made my stomach almost instantly hurt.

O: If you enjoy chemical cocktails with mild stomach pain, this is your drink. I refuse to call this beer. I choked down half a pint and drain poured the rest of the bottle.

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Photo of Vancer
1.98/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Here we go with a clear pumpkin orange pour in the ol' Corsendonk tulip. Minimal white head, no lacing to write home about.

Aroma? Strange one. Typical cinnamon pumpkin, but with a sweet medicine orange mixed within this brew. But the taste is where this one goes downhill in a hurry. Bitter, astringent, dead and decaying pumpkin rinds. Good grief, this is crap pumpkin.

Southern Tier is usually top notch, but this is bottom shelf rail booze.

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Photo of aasher
1.99/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Notes from fall

Appearance: a murky burnt orange in color, poured smoothly and creamy, creme colored creamy head, stuck to the sides of the glass

Smell: overpoweringly sweet, smells sugary with less pumpkin than you'd think, slight spicyness

Taste: far too sweet for me, it's really overpowering and unbearable, it's kind of like cotton candy. A lot of people say it's like pumpkin pie but I disagree. It's not spicy enough and doesn't feature enough pumpkin.

Mouthfeel: insanely creamy and smooth, almost soapy, kind of has the mouthfeel you'd expect from a bomber by Great Divide, not Southern Tier

Drinkability: I really didn't like this beer. It's far too sweet and nothing like you would imagine it to be, being an imperial pumpkin. It doesn't feature enough pumpkin or spices. I'd recommend anything that isn't Pumking. This beer could give you diabetes.

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Photo of JLaw55
2/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This was drinkable, but just barely for me. I have had a few pumpkin beers, and while not my favorite style, this is one of my least favorite ones. The appearance was good, kind of an amber/orange color with little head and little lacing.

The smell was the one very pleasant quality, in that it smells almost exactly like pumpkin pie. Unfortunately what followed was not as pleasant.

The taste was alcohol forward over everything. It really shows through, which is not something I am quite fond of in my beer. Once you get past the pure alcohol flavor, there are the normal spiced flavors of a pumpkin beer. Then on the back end was another unpleasant funkiness flavor, something that I think may be attributed to the actual pumpkin in the brew. This was unpleasant and tasted of musty, slightly spoiled melon and nasty sweaty socks. This is the first pumpkin beer I have had that uses actual pumpkin in it, which I believe is causing some of these negatives that I have not tasted in other pumpkin beers.

Finally, the mouth feel was oily with a noticeable alcohol presence. I am not fond of a burning alcohol presence in my beer.

Would Drink Again: No
Would Purchase Again: No

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Photo of Dulachan92
2.02/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Had this on tap, after hearing all sorts of hype from friends and beer-enthusiasts.

This might actually be one of the worst beers I've ever tasted. I can honestly say that I enjoyed Yuengling Light more than I enjoyed this. Had I bought a bottle of it, it might have actually qualified for my first drain-pour-beer of all time.

Appearance: couldn't take too good of a look due to the dimly lit bar, but it seemed to be a fairly nice copper color. Couldn't tell if I just had a shitty bartender or if it was inherent to the beer, but I had no head whatsoever.

Smell: I get a HUGE whiff of cinnamon and graham cracker, maybe a bit of bread and nutmeg. Quite honestly, nothing that pleasant. None of these aromas really come together in a coherent or enticing manner. Not impressed.

Taste: a little bit of bitterness mixed with a HORRID creamed-corn flavor. I get the cinnamon and nutmeg, and maybe a little bit of graham cracker, but to be quite honest, the creamed-corn flavor is undeniable. If somebody had blindfolded me and not told me that I were supposed to be drinking a pumpkin beer, I would NEVER even consider it for a second.

Mouthfeel: a little bit watery, but disgustingly sweet at the same time - less in the flavor, but more in the sense that this beer felt grainy and almost disgustingly sweet. Each sip was, quote honestly, painful.

Overall: save yourself the money. This beer honestly gets by on its reputation alone. I cannot fathom why anybody would be impressed by this brew, but alas, to each their own.

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Photo of davod23
2.04/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I'm either just deciding to drink a bunch of shitty beers lately, or something is wrong with my palate... though I don't think it's the latter, as Oude Tart w/ Sour Cherries really hit the mark the other day... oh well.

Pour is a very clear, light orange/gold color. An off-white, almost orangish head emerges. It's fine looking, but nothing great.

The aroma is pretty good, if one dimensional. But hey, it's an imperial pumpkin ale, how complex could it be? I seem to recall this smelling even better in the past... but I'm picking up a ton of buttery graham cracker. It smells a lot like freshly baked pie crust.

Taste is somehow terrible. Extremely sweet, which I expected in part. However, there's a weird twang there, coupled with a harsh putridity at the end of the sip. I actually shuddered as I took my first sip. There's a fair amount of the aroma exhibited here in the taste, but the overwhelming sweetness and the nasty taste in the back of my throat just ended this for me.

Mouthfeel was fine. A little thin - I think that a big, thick mouthfeel would accentuate the pumpkin pie-like characteristic that I think they're going for. Meh.

Drinkability: Do you need to ask? Draiiinpour.

I liked this beer last year. What happened?

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Photo of GainingAPalate
2.04/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

A very pleasing light amber color with no foam at all. Heavy smell of sweetness with pumkin. Tastes like drinking Halloween candy. Couldn't even finish the glass it was so sweet. Might be something one would try if they want beer that doesn't taste anything like beer.

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Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 7,492 ratings.
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