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Pumking | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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1,941 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: 1,941 | Ratings: 7,430
Photo of BradleyJamesGrace
4.71/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

If you've never had this beer before but plan to then you likely have extremely high expectations going in because pound for pound it is the most lamented beer of it's kind. There is a reason why this beer has found itself on the top of the pile year after year and that's because, quite simply, there is nothing out there that has captured the true essence of what people's expectations of a pumpkin beer should be quite like it. Even if you despise this beer you cannot disagree that it doesn't immediately conjure everything "pumpkin" and "fall" the second you catch a whiff of it, let alone taste it. In my opinion, when a seasonal beer can immediately illicit within the drinker a sense of the season of which the beer is representing by the mere smell of it, it's off to a very, very good start. I am reviewing this beer from a 22 oz bottle purchased from my local grocery store the other day (I bought another which I am cellering until next year). The appearance is a dark, burnt orange color (think gooey caramel) but is still transparent. There is little to no head and whatever head will form, will not hang around very long at all. The aroma is where it's at here with this beer. Caramel, pumpkin pie, cinnamon, buttered popcorn, candy corns, brown sugar it basically smells like a bag a of candy! Unlike what the aroma leads you to expect, the beer is not overtly sweet but does gradually become sweeter tasting as it warms up. The pumpkin pie flavor is intense and hits you up front and is followed by all of the spice such as cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. Their is a distinctive graham cracker type flavor in there too which is very unique. The beer wraps up with a boozy, almost rum like alcohol finish. The mouthfeel is slick and slightly oily in that it coats your tongue and lingers for quite a while. All in all, I have yet to taste a pumpkin beer that does to me what this one does. I have lots of other one's that I love and think are awesome but this one is special. It's such a complex beer (whatever about being a "pumpkin beer"). I'm looking forward to trying the one I put away for next year!

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.79/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was aged for 2+ years before consuming....acquired in 2013.....I expect great things from the Pumking!

A- Gotta love the label on this one...full props! The beer itself pours a golden pumpkin color that is slightly chill hazed....the head is superb with a two finger thick layer of goodness that retains super well, and the color of this is slightly off white...almost an orange tinge to it. Awesome lacing, with plenty of small foam patches clinging to the glass and it's difficult to see what the carbonation is like.....great look overall!

S- Full on pumpkin pie to start, with plenty of cinnamon, nutmeg, fresh baked pumpkin, doughy crust, creamy buttery sweet malts, honeyed vanilla ice cream...this is amazingly food like in aromas....fresh out of the pumpkin patch, to the oven, and into the nostrils!...Sweet!

T- WOW! Fresh pumpkin pie, straight out of the oven best describes this one! Lots of spice....nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, pumpkin puree, pie crust, whipped cream, nutty sweet malts....Roasted pumpkin seeds, vanilla pods....stupid good!

M/O- Solid medium body, and super mellow, creamy carbonation....this is the epitome of what a true dessert beer should be, as well as what a superior craft beer is, when made to resemble what is stated! Alcohol presence is very muted.....I truly feel like I am enjoying a super version of pumpkin pie with added goodness.....a great beer and I highly recommend cellaring a bottle or two and letting it sit.....this doesn't get much better.....Southern Tier is a great brewer for sure!

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Photo of MountainGoat13
1.42/5  rDev -64.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Holy beer death: WTF happened to this beer? For years pumpking has been our favorte, hands down, in pumpkin beer taste tests for being malty, not too rich, and not overly spiced. We're curious if somehow the our 2015 22 oz bottle / batch somehow got botched because all 5 of us who blind tested it immediately poured out the bottle - it was disgusting. It tasted essentially like burned, carbonated toffee with wet newspaper. It seemed like someone took a budweise, added pumpkin spice syurp and caremels, and then burned it. Considering we may have gotten a ridiculously wrecked batch, this review is biased - but we're reluctant to ever buy it again now.

The look was good, standard. Smelled heavily of toffee, and mouthfeel was thick & syrupy despite the relatively good look. Head standard, though thinner than expected. I will call this the single worst beer I've ever had in my life - even worse than Shipyard pumpkin (which tastes like a soft-drink but which now seems palatable vs. this bottle of pumpking).

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Photo of hardysf
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Much better pumpkin beers out there imho. This tastes a lot like unbaked pie crust with a hint of pumpkin and a lot of allspice. Tastes like a candle to me.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Opened up a bottle from 2014. Poured a cleared golden color with a lot of sediment. Has a finger width foamy head. Head retention and lacing are both mild. Strong nutmeg spicy aroma. Fairly decent. Strong pumpkin and nutmeg taste. Creamy and smooth. Medium to heavy bodied. Not a lot of pumpkin pie spice like many pumpkin ales.

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Photo of hopsputin
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: its a hazy orange/copper color. pours a 1 finger white head, but as it settles it goes down to just a thin bubble film on top of the beer

s: pie crust, pumpkin, pumpkin puree, loads of spices: nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, a hint of coriander. a nice vanilla presence in here as well. its a very thick smelling beer - like alcoholic pumpkin pie

t: big pumpkin upfront followed by a big spice hit..lots of nutmeg, cinnamon, clove. those are immediately followed by a thick pie crust flavor (which is really quite a treat to have in a beer) and some vanilla beans. there is a small alcohol presence in the end here to which helps to balance out the sweetness a bit

m: medium, but on the heavier side. carbonation is on par with most pumpkin ales, if not a tad bit higher

o: it is like alcoholic pumpkin pie. i enjoy it - i think i enjoy basic pumpkin ales a bit more - but this beer is nice to sip on. i can see it being a bit polarizing, and if someone were to not like this i wouldn't hold it against them. there is a lot going on in this beer, but i dig it.

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Photo of fscottkey
2.53/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

A: [3.25] The initial pour is a really transparent amber/orange color. There is no head. None at all. Also, I olnly poured about 75% of the beer and there are a TON of floaties in the remaining 25%. The bottle lists the ABV (8.6%) and has a born on date of 7/16/15.

S: [2.75] It smells like Cracklin Oat Bran cereal (which I like). Very cereal scent - maybe Grape Nuts.

T: [2.25] Has a very artificial flavor. Fake pumpkin with nutmeg. The beer is 8.6% but the alcohol is poorly masked.

M: [2.75] It drinks like a dry wine. It is not really pleasant.

O: [2.50] Like someone made a "Scratch 'n Sniff" of a pumpkin and then bottled it that is what I get for the smell and taste. Really artificial and nasty. This is more like a bad wine than a decent beer. The flavor is bad. The presentation is bad, with the floaties. The alcohol is not masked. I hate to waste beer - but I am not finishing this.

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Photo of gcuneen
2.98/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I love pumpkin ales but this one is not a favorite of mine. Structurally it seems a bit weak, from the thin head to the body. Decent nose but my main issue is that it tastes like potpourri.

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Photo of Bluerabbitbell
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed a sample at Bocktown in Robinson with Leah. I really enjoyed the color of this one! Almost like orange juice :) The taste was good, but would be too much for a while glass.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look is clear amber with a thin frothy head.

Aroma is aggressive allspice. The smell is nothing but pumpkin pie spice with no balance in aroma.

Taste is so full of spice its almost grainy. Lots of cinnamon allspice and nutmeg. Not balanced. Mouth feel is coating and thick.

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Photo of NickSMpls
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly cloudy light orange with weak head. Well, ok, it smells like....pumpkin! Any spices are subtle and no sweetness. The ABV is well hidden, so watch out. The hops and malts are the backbone and that's all to the good, making it a solid ale with some factory installed options. We're not huge fans of fruit and vegtable beers. It's well done to the style, so rated to that standard.

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Photo of TBoneJones
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear orange, like a pumpkin-orange. Barely a head. Looks light and crisp.
Smells like pumpkin spice/ nutmeg/ pumpkin pie-like. Very, very nice though.
The taste is where it slides away for me. It's spicy and boozy. Sure there's sweet pumpkin flavor in there, but this is pretty abrasive. Feels medium-thin and low carbonated.
Okay as a pumpkin ale I guess, I just wish the alcohol was more hidden and the spices a little more tame. Just my preference.

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Photo of Chris_Huston
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

If you make this your first pumpkin beer, there's almost nowhere to go but down. Beautiful amber/orange color. The scent is at Breakfast Stout level in that it's pretty much as enjoyable as drinking the brew. Brilliant, sophisticated array of scents of pumpkin, spices, pie crust, so well balanced and harmonious. Few beers offer an olfactory experience that's this magnetic. That smell is picked up in the taste in a seamless drinking experience. Pumpkin beers always struck me as a novelty style, so I was always skeptical and hesitant to try them. The first few I had were okay, New Belgium's Pumpkick is similar to this one, but much more cinnamon-leading. Pumking is in the absolute top tier of this niche style.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
2.75/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.5

Hazy bright orange, like food dye, plenty of carbonation. Smells sweet, with fake gourd notes and light baking spice. Flavor is... bad. Way too sweet and artificial, like pumpkin syrup, with no bitterness to balance it and hardly any spices to offer variety. There is a biscuit note on the finish, the only hint that this might be a beer. Light body, could be highly drinkable if it weren't for the rest of it.
I like pumpkin beers, a lot, and I am ok with sweetness, but this was an abomination. Artificial pumpkin, overdose of sugar- I felt a headache coming on after just a few sips. To its credit, it is better than Warlock.

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Photo of ILikeGoodCider
3.34/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I wish I liked this more. It's quite close, but needs more body and seems to have the aroma and spice profile that better suited for a brown ale or even a porter. Overall, a good fall beer. Now it's time to move on from the pumpkin beers (there's SO many this year).

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Photo of keithyes1
2.85/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer tasted ok but it has natural flavors added. If you are going to charge me $13 a six and call it a craft product you shouldn't need to add extra artificial or natural flavors. Very disappointed and will not have this again.

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Photo of rjd722
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Pour House, pours an orange-amber with minimal head and no lacing. Smell is phenomenal; perfect combination of caramel-fresh pumpkin and nutmeg, very smooth. The taste is primarily nutmeg, but the fresh pumpkin comes through as well, though I wish it were more pronounced. Slight cinnamon notes too. Mouthfeel is more highly carbonated than expected, but for an imperial it's easy to drink. A fall classic!

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
3.49/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear yellow in the glass with no head. It smells of good pumpkin spice. Tastes starts like it smells but quickly fads to a terrible light beer flavor. Flavor fads fast, very thin. I won't get this again.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.44/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle at America on Tap
Brown sugary caramel maltiness with plenty of pie spices to cut through it, not the worst pumpkin beer I've ever had, might even like it in small doses.

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Photo of cozmo
2.66/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

I've had this beer in the past but, this year I think it's terrible. Very bitter after taste and not in a hoppy kind of way, just nasty bitter! I don't know if it's me or if they did something different this year.

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Photo of Scebbie
1.39/5  rDev -65.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1

Entirely too sweet and chemically - tastes like they mixed in a pound of Sweet n Low + dry cleaning fluid. Avoid this like a rancid, post-Halloween pumpkin.

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Photo of Urk1127
2.5/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

I like pumpkin beers to start and was excited as this is more or less the essential. I just did not like it because it was very perfume like and left a cloying grainy feeling.

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Photo of jes167
4.41/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Starts out sweet on the tip of your tongue, then the spice in the center of your palate, finished with a little bitterness from the hops at the end. Just a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of do_ob
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle served in a snifter. Vibrant orange-gold in color with 1/2 a finger of bubbly, off-white foam. Sweet pumpkin spice, honey, and cinammon on the nose. Medium weight, albeit a tad thin for my liking. Straight up pumpkin-pie on the taste initially. As it warms, I get notes ofcinammon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract. Ok finish. Coulda been better, coulda been worse. Lots of spice on the back end and aftertaste.

I suppose I'm just not a pumpkin beer guy. While this wasn't bad at all, it just didn't live up to the hype for me.

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Photo of Evilyak
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

In general, pumpkin beers are just an extension of pumpkin lattes. This is true for this beer, but at least it's better than most.

Spiced, but not annoyingly so. Sweet, but not cloying. Lingering taste, which is a bit much.

Not one of my top three, but good.

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Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 7,430 ratings.
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