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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 Zorro
3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled through the efforts of Bentk56 and Secret Bunny 09 BIF.

Clear amber colored beer with a small off-white head that doesn't last. Slight chill haze.

Very nutty smell with a caramel candy and pumpkin pie spice aroma. You can smell the pumpkin too but that isn't the only scent. Pretty close to Pumpkin Pie in a glass.

The taste starts out sweet nutty and spicy. Long lasting caramel aftertaste with an emphasis on the vanilla. Strong hazelnut flavor to this one. Doesn't change much as you drink it, pretty much pumpkin pie in a glass.

Mouthfeel is OK.

This is OK but not really something I would look forward to drinking two glasses of a night. Sweet taste starts to get old after a while. That plus I'm not too fond of hazelnut flavor anything except hazelnuts. Same as Coffee should be coffee flavored!

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Photo of flagmantho
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22 oz bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: very nice orange color reminiscent of pumpkin skin. Head is a healthy finger and a half of frothy white foam. Quite nice.

Smell: very rich aroma of pumpkin flesh, toasted pumpkin seeds, a little nutmeg, a little cinnamon; in fact, it smells quite a lot like horchata as well. Complex and intriguing.

Taste: taste is quite similar to the aroma, in fact. I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin ales, but this is quite good. I don't think I've had one quite as ... pumpkiny. It is quite dry and toasty ... i think I would have personally preferred a little more sweetness.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a nice carbonation that yields a creamy texture. This, I like.

Drinkability: I think it's pretty good, but its intensity, unfamiliarity and imperial ABV hold it back in my opinion.

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Photo of tobelerone
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally trying the much-ballyhooed pumking after a string of other pumpkin beers that failed to hit the spot for me. This one has almost no head and little but a faint sheath of white lace that falls quickly.

The aroma is fantastic, the most pumpkiny/pie-like yet. Lots of buttery crust and spices to go along with the pumpkin here. Vanilla frosting in the nose and taste. The flavor is also the most pumpkiny of any of the style I've tried so far but falls just a little short of fulfilling the promise made by the incredible smell. You can definitely detect not only pumpkin and spices but the essence of the baked crust in here too.

Carbonation is moderately lively. Crisper and more refreshing than I'd anticipated. Finishes surprisingly dry, without too much lingering and no cloying. This is a fairly unsweet beer for Southern Tier, although it is sweeter than many other pumpkin beers. Definitely one you need to try if you're into this style.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.46/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Drank many times, but first had on tap at The Village Tavern in Geneseo, NY.

One of the most decadent beers you'll ever taste.

Pours a light orange, with lots of bubbles and not much head. Smells and tastes better than it looks, definitely.

Smells like pumpkin spice, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, caramel, pumpkin, and brown sugar.

Tastes like all of the above, but in stronger form. The malts also form a taste that's not dissimilar to pie crust, which is incredible. Not bitter at all, and slightly creamy.

The mouthfeel is a tiny bit thin, but decent enough anyway.

One of the best pumpkin beers you can buy. A must drink every fall for me and my girlfriend.

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Photo of John_M
3.2/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Each to their own of course, but I confess I do not understand the apparent appeal of this beer. On tap at Max's the other night, I think I made it through about a forth of my glass before I dumped it.

The beer pours a bright gold color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose one gets a huge of aroma of pumpkin, but with also a lot of brown sugar and nutmeg. There's also something of a cookie dough aroma that I'm just not liking. The flavors on the palate generally replicate the nose, although I find this beer to be almost cloyingly sweet. Thankfully, there's some slight bitterness in the finish to cut through some of the sweetness, but nevertheless, the high alcohol and cookie/candy-like sweetness is nearly nauseating. Seriously, something about this beer is affecting my gag reflex and not in a good way. The combination of sweetness and high alcohol make this beer very heavy and tiring to drink, and it's quite warming from the high abv. In fact there is some hotness to this beer, a quality I associate with the high alcohol.

I'm glad I had a chance to try this beer, but I can't say I was very impressed. This will the be the first and last glass I'll ever get of it.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very interesting pumpkin beer with a very different flavor profile from most. This one tastes more like pumpkin custard- or even pumplin creme brulee. I wouldn't say it is my absolute favorite pumpkin (that would be Elysian's Great Pumpkin), but the richness and different tastes in this one make it very, very enjoyable indeed. Pours an orange amber with little head. Smells and tastes of pumpkin custard with a brulee crust and roasted pumpkin seeds. There is an eggy richness to this beer and the carmelized sugars are so deep and rich they taste burnt. This beer definitely shares some characteristics with Creme Brulee fro The same brewery, but it isn't nearly as unctous nor as sweet as that beer. Thee notes of roasted punpkin seeds adds a savory, almost salty nuttiness to the equation. The spice notes are also a bit different with lots of mace and nutmeg and little to no cinammon. There are also some squash-like flavors from the pumpkin and the pumpkin also adds some silkiness to the mouthfeel. A great beer and very different from the overly sweet pumpkin concoctions out there.

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Photo of Kelp
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a nice copper color into my glass. Smells like I am about to drink a pumpkin pie. Taste just like it smells, right up front is the pumpkin pie filling. followed by the taste of the graham cracker crust and then a subtle finish of the whipped topping(vanilla). Just sweeps across the tongue. I can do a bottle but after that it would be hard to try and do another. Great a bottle at a time but anything more might be to much for me.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 batch. From the 650 ml. bottle. Sampled on September 29, 2009. There is a handsome, rich orange-amber pour but there is little to no head or retention. The aroma is clearly of pumpkin spices but there is a lot more to it including sweet brown sugar, malts, and maybe even some butternut squash. More creaminess to the mouthfeel but overall it tends to be heavier and appealing. The taste is quite unique. It has this odd mixture of sweet and sour like an Oriental restaurant. There is also a tartiness to the overall experience. This is quite unique and one of a kind. This also has a bit of a punch at 9% ABV. Highly recommended. Maybe another reviewer can get a better handle on what sensations affect the taste buds.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orange/gold with a small head with minimal retention and some lacing. Smell is of nutmeg, some cinnamon, all spice, and vanilla. Wonderful nose. Tastes like liquid pumpkin pie while not being overly spiced or sweet. Nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, and pie crust. Has nice creamy mouthfeel to it with great carbonation. This is one of the tastiest pumpkin beers I've had.

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Photo of Derek
4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper-bronze, off-white head, some retention & lace.

S: Huge pumpkin pie aroma: Nutmeg, ginger, biscuity, allspice.

T: A ton of pumpkin spicing: Nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla; light sweetness, graham crackers (like the crust of a pie), slight alcohol warmth.

M: Moderate body & slightly higher than moderate carbonation, well-attenuated, fairly dry finish.

D: Crazy for its weight/strength.

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Photo of dar482
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a deep orange color.

The aroma has weird fermented pumpkin aroma, but it's mostly just sweet and spicy. It's not quite pie for me, but more of a spice cinnamon pumpkin tart pastry. Not really deep, but super sweet and creamy.

The flavor is better with lots of pumpkin, but also lots of cinnamon spice and nutmeg and clove. The middle is really lots of body and vanilla and graham/biscuit crust. The finish is sweet with vanilla and nutmeg and spices.

This so far has been the best pumpkin beer I've had this season. The alcohol really hides itself. It's tasty as hell and drinks super easy.

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Photo of weeare138
2.78/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to TomDecapolis for sharing this bomber...
Appears a copper toned amber with a small white cap that quickly fizzles out into nothing. Tiny remnants of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of buttery playdough, and pumpkin scented wax candles...I'm at a loss of words. I just wasn't digging it from the first smell.
Taste isn't as bad as the aromas but there's this buttery pumpkin flavor that is just strange to me.
Mouthfeel is buttery sweet and bitter...odd.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger off-white head that fades quickly to a ring leaving no lace. Clear copper/amber color. Spicy sweet bread nose. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is sweet, cinnamon, pumpkin. Higher ABV is hidden. $6.49 for a 22oz bottle from Manchester Wine and Liquors Manchester, CT.

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Photo of rudzud
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Crystal clear copper with a TON of little bubbles coming up from the bottom of the pint up to a nice 1 finger head that lingers in the form of a nicely coating minute head.

S - Really, really great aromas here. Picking up on pumpkin (as a squash!), some nice spice notes (mostly cinnamon). That being said, I'm not digging the intense breadyness of the smell. I know the smell, sweet piecrust. I think its a bit much though.

T - Really follows the nose nicely. Got that nice gourd flavour, spices, and that bread/crust on the back.

M - Awesome. Nice crisp carbonation. Not a heavy mouthfeel at all but instead it is nice and smooth and refreshing.

D - All in all a nice pumpkin beer. Not quite what I was expecting (maybe a bit less bready taste?) but still, really good. Spices not quite strong enough in this one though.

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Photo of corby112
4.51/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark slightly cloudy amber orange color with dark golden burnt orange hues when held to a light source and a one finger foam white head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Minimal spots of lacing.

Wonderfully spicy aroma with a blast of cinnamon, clove, ginger, brown sugar and nutmeg. Huge pumpkin presence with a subtle vanilla character.

Medium bodied with a huge spicy pumpkin pie flavor. Lots of cinnamon, brown sugar, clove ginger, nutmeg and a very strong pumpkin presence. There's a slight touch of vanilla and some sweet/caramel malt. The ABV is extremely well masked without even a slight touch of alcohol heat making it extremely quaffable. Probably the best example of the style I've had yet.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clear, orangish body presented itself when poured into a goblet (followed directions on bottle and chilled at 40 degrees) with minimal head. I could go in detail about the spices, cinnamon and nutmeg, and the mild sweet malt/bread malt smell but I will describe the aroma in three words: pumpkin pie crust. Well, four, burnt pumpkin pie crust (maybe a touch of toasted malt). The taste is even better than the smell, as it is straight pumpkin pie. I love pumpkin pie, so that's why I rated taste so highly. It is smooth, medium-bodied, with some pepper and clove tucked behind a massive rush of pumpkin, cinnamon, hazel and a touch of bread. This is pumpkin pie to me. As great as it tasted, and at 9% they hid the ABV well (there is a slight warming sensation, but not an alcohol burn), I could only drink one bottle of this. I think sessioning this would turn my stomach.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear bright copper orange color with a light creamy tan head.

S: The aroma bursts with cinnamon, cloves and a fresh pumpkin pie scent. Very big nose, you can almost taste the cinnamon and nutmeg from the aroma along.

F: The flavor is equally as big and bold with a very spicy pumpkin pie flavor and spiciness from the nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar. There is some spicy rum character as well that combines with sweet molasses and a sweet caramel malt presence. This beer does not back down from what it is, a big sweet alcohol spice beer that may be a little to much for some, but if you love spicy pumpkin pie this is the liquid format that wont disappoint. The flavor is very rich and spicy with a sweet rum alcohol fade along with some dry nutmeg notes. Drinks very well for a 9% abv and rivals the weyerbacher imperial pumpking.

M: medium-full with a ton of warming spiciness

D: Overall a very good beer by itself, outstanding per style. It is what it is, a big alcohol spice beer. Some may find it a tad over the top spice and sweetness wise but southern tier always goes big on their beers and this is certainly no exception.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.82/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Poured a faded orange color with a tannish head.

S: Nose is big pumpkin, allpoice, cinnamon and nutmeg.

T: Tastes amazing! This is the epitomy of a pumpkin ale, big toasted, smooth pumpkin flavors, not artificial but very natural and fresh. Toastyness with cinnamon, nutmeg. Best pumpkin ale had to date and I found this beer to be perfect for the style.

M: Very nice, toasted pumpkin, spice kick

D: Sorry, Great Pumpkin Ale, this is still my fav

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.23/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a crystal clear golden-orange body with a yellowish-white head of creamy foam. The foam layers on the glass with each sip.

S-The big smell of pumpkin pie has smells of cream and custard with a big graham malt with strong honey malt notes.

T- This beer has a big, I mean HUGE pumpkin pie with strong graham malt flavors which is so big it taste a bit chemical. There are notes of dried apples and a light hop bitterness in the finish.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a tight fizz in the finish that helps to clean up the finish.

D- This beer has a screaming big pumpkin flavor with spicy qualities that makes this truly an imperial pumpkin beer. I think I will be tasting pumpkin for days. It is so strong that it taste almost chemical and it is hard to finish the whole beer. The pumpking is so big it is offensive.

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Photo of beertunes
3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in tulip. Poured a lightly hazy orange-gold color with just the thinnest cap of off-white head that had no retention or lacing. The beer was very still.

The aroma was a bit on the sweet side, but had a nice balance of malts that ended being very neutral smelling. The flavors were mostly earthy malts, with a bit of pumpkin sweetness. I don't like pumpkin, and I found the flavors to to be nicely blended, with no one aspect dominated.

I found the body to be on the thin side of medium, I kind of wanted a bit fuller feel. Drinkability was surprisingly good, the beer was gone pretty quickly. Overall, probably the pumpkin beer I've liked best. Certainly worth trying if you see it.

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Photo of akorsak
3.28/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A 650 mL bomber purchased at State Line. This is my first pumpkin beer.

A: The ale is an apple juice-hued brown with a nice clarity. Strong carbonation required multiple pours to fill a pint.

S: Interesting aroma. I'm no fan of pumpkin pie so I can't pinpoint much. My wife tells me the pumpkin and allspice aromas are strong. The aroma is quite robust.

T: The ale is a spice overload, my senses can barely keep up. The pumpkin is intensely powerful, chewy and thick with a nice bready constitution. Brown sugar and an array of spices are strong but not the driving focus of the ale.

M: The pumpkin and spices are unusual. They finish long, leaving a chewy feeling on the palate. The spices sit like a rock in your stomach long, LONG after the ale is gone. I felt queasy at times.

D: The 9% alcohol is well-hidden but the strength of the flavor profile would limit me to one bottle (or half a bottle, as I split it with ksak). In hindsight, I can't say that I want to try another pumpkin beer again.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

A- Pours a dark copper color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma very nice. Most pumpkin beers are heavy on the spices, this one the pumpkin flavors stand out the most. 

T- The taste starts out sweet with a lot of pumpkin flavors with a lot of spices as well. The spices and the sweetness balance each other out perfectly.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, Pumking is without question towards the top of my list of pumpkin beers. If you are a fan of the style, this one is a must try.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650ml Bottle
Finally got to try the King.. bottle acquired in a trade with my good buddy Swedes21

Appearance - The beer pours a clear gold/amber colour with a fair size fizzy white head. There is a low to average amount of carbonation and there is some faint lacing on the sides of the glass. The head stuck around for only a few minutes before it was gone.

Smell - wow.. they really nailed the pumpkin pie smell..

Pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and even a buttery crust smell.
Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation, and the beer has slightly watery feel. Even with the slight watery aspect, this beer is packed with flavour. Lots of pumpkin, nutmeg, and all spice flavour.. and I swear I can taste the crust as well.. It's hard to explain, but the beer has a 'baked' flavour. The beer finishes with a very light bitter and pumpkin aftertaste.

Drink - If you're looking for a beer that tastes like pumpkin pie; you've come to the right place. There is a reason this beer is referred to as the King. I'm not sure the bottle needs to be 650ml.. you'd be well advised to find some friends to share this one with. A little goes a looong way. It's a once a year type beer that I'm happy I tried.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

on tap at beer study in chapel hill. into a snifter.

pours a light orangish color with a nice head. smell is definitely big on pumpkins and nutmeg, just what I was looking for in this kind of beer. taste is up front sweet pumpkin and big on the nutmeg, but the pumpkin is actually very apparent. a rarity in pumpkin beers honestly. criminally easy to drink, lighter side of medium bodied with mild carbonation. you'd guess 5 or 6% , not 8.6.

overall the best pumpkin beer I've had. very impressive.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle poured into tulip nov3 2010

A clear light copper with bubbles popping up from random places, thumbs width of head falls within a few minuets and leaves a single partial ring of lace

S unlike many pumpkin beers in this one I get more pumpkin then the spices associated with it, I do pick up on nutmeg and some roasted pumpkin seeds almost smells like a pumpkin cake opposed to pie

T thankfully it mimics the smell quite well, I like how its not overpowered by spice and just a little bit of a floral aspect and I have no idea where the booze is

M well carbonated but not overly so, fairly creamy and the flavors linger

D quite the pumpkin beer we have here, very well done, I could drink a few of these but may end up walking sideways

perhaps the best pumpkin beer I've ever had, 2009 so a year has treated it quite well. thanks liamt07 for sending this gem my way

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