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Pumking | Southern Tier Brewing Company

1,914 Reviews
Read the review

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States | website

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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,914 | Ratings: 7,343
Photo of bwood06
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Clear amber in color with a thick head that dissipates quickly to a thin lacing. Visible sediment (yeast). 3.75/5

S - Pumpkin squash, nutmeg, and cinnamon. More emphasis is placed on the spices than the squash. 4/5

T - Taste follows the nose nicely. Pumpkin is more pronounced than in the nose but the spices are near equivalent in balance. Ever so slight sourdough breadiness. 4/5

M - Very smooth with a clean finish. Slight lingering bitterness but not much. Moderate carbonation. 4.25/5

O - Probably the best pumpkin beer that I have had outside of Southern Tier's Warlock. 4/5

 599 characters

Photo of JohnnyI
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

2014. "Pumking is an ode to Puca, the mythical Celtic Horse beast said to entice careless travelers on to its back and take them on a terrifying night ride through the forest." Alright Puca, I'm ready for my ride....

The translucent copper-creamsicle ale crashes in to a goblet, forming an inch of lush foam. The linen colored head stands barely an inch, with densely packed bubbles and thin lacing around the rim. The glorious smell of fresh baked pumpkin pie fills the nose, complete with a buttery graham cracker crust. There's an assortment of pumpkin potpourri spices that serve to compliment the hearty gourdlike aroma. The first sip.... flavor overload. This beer is a sweet spice-bomb in the strictest sense. Each tiny sip packs enough flavor to embarrass most of its competition. The buttery, sweet malts are there, but you only get a fleeting moment with them before the spices come barreling in. There's also a slight hop bite that ties this beer together and keeps it from completely overwhelming your senses. At 8.6%, the alcohol is well hidden, but you could hide a Buick behind the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. They stick to your palette like a burr, embedded until you raise the glass again to wash away the taste and start over. The mouthfeel is a little lighter than you might expect from a beer of this magnitude. A richer, fuller body would suit this brew well, creating an unparallelled seasonal dessert-beer. The current beer just doesn't have the constitution to support so much character. At any rate, this is a slow sipper. I can do one of these each year, and I continue to appreciate this outrageous ode to pumpkin pie.

 1,657 characters

Photo of RUNYYFan
3.15/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3

This review is specifically for the 2014 edition. I was not thrilled at all with the flavor of the brew at all. This was way, way too hoppy. In past years the flavor was all about the wonderful flavor of pumpkin and the spices that infuse those pies at Thanksgiving. This year, it was as if the pumpkin was an afterthought. Overall, the flavor did not come close to any of the past experiences.

 394 characters

Photo of Thirsty-Thor
4.74/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Damn!!! That's a pumpkin beer! I feel like I've tried them all since my wife is a self avowed pumpkin ale freak. We happened to see it on tap at a growler shop over the weekend and added it to her 4-flight tasting. Hands down the biggest pumpkin flavor. Like a fresh pie with spices and comfort food galore. A bit sweet for my taste but definitely a palate cleanser for all the porters and stouts we tend to consume around the holidays.

 442 characters

Photo of ALewis84
5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured deep orange with 1/2 thick head that lightly dissipated. S:rich pumpkin pie crust with cinnamon and nutmeg. T: almost spot on with how it smells; pumpkin pie crust with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg and slight hints of allspice. I have to admit, I'm a fan of the sweeter craft seasonal beers, and this is one of them. Best pumpkin beer I've had to date. Absolutely amazing.

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Photo of Matthew_Phoenix
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tastes like pumpkin pie. I taste a lot of pie crust, a buttery, flaky type of flavor. A lot of pumpkin spices. I feel like the pie crust flavor was most noticible. Also worth noting is that everything tasted natural. No artificial like flavoring to be had here.

 266 characters

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

 1,185 characters

Photo of jimbuck
4.25/5  rDev +6%

very heavy aroma of spices..cinnamon,nutmeg,allspice,good pumpkin taste,although somewhat diminished.slight sweetness,as in the crust of the pie.alc.% is over 8%,but you get no hint of it.nice aftertaste,no bitterness.if you like pumpkin pie,this is for you;if you don't,you might be disappointed.

 297 characters

Photo of rbfurr3
3/5  rDev -25.2%

Schlafly and dogfish and weyerbacher do a much better job with this style. Not a huge fan of this one. Interesting, but too heavy on the nutmeg. Wish the malt character would come through a bit more. Would be good as a dessert beer.

 232 characters

Photo of distant-lover
5/5  rDev +24.7%

By far my favorite fall brew. I've tried gallons of other pumpkin brews however, STBC has mastered this one. Aroma. Appearance. Body. Consistency and taste. BAM!!!!

 164 characters

Photo of Pballa4lyfe
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Very good punkin ale. Dogfish head is still better in my opinion. I think Southern Tier went a little heavy on the spices, but still- very solid punkin ale and worth a drink!

 176 characters

Photo of franklinn
5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: 5/5 Poured from a 22oz bottle into a frosted 22oz mug. Winter is coming and I'm ready for some pumpkin!!! The beer is bright with a creamy head.

S: 5/5 Cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, pumpkin, caramel, brown butter, walnuts, gram cracker and the crispness of autumn. What more could you possibly ask for???!

T: 5/5 All the pumpkin spice in the world and the booze gives it a rum quality. Fantastic!

M: 5/5 Creamy like pumpkin pie

O: 5/5 Best pumpkin beer ever!

 472 characters

Photo of HardyTier
5/5  rDev +24.7%

One of my favorite beers. Great flavor with the pie crust smell as you open it and perfect for a fall night. They weren't afraid to have a lot of flavor in this beer which I appreciate as so many pumpkin beers are too subdued. Split a bomber with the wife or drinking buddy.

 277 characters

Photo of sprat1960
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Look: Light copper towards golden in color; orange tint - not surprising since the beer contains pumpkin. Translucent. Pours with no head at all, just a small layer of foam on the surface that quickly disappears. Lots of bubbles when poured; however the beer appears kind of flat quickly.

Smell: Delicious (for what it is) pumpkin pie aroma; you can really smell the spices. Made me want to dive in and drink.

Taste: Good; tastes like it smells - though I found the smell far superior to the actual flavor. True pumpkin pie flavor. Final taste is of the spices and with a slightly dry, bitter finish that I did not care for.

Feel: Medium body and medium carbonation; smooth.

Overall: Good for what it is. I am glad that I tried it, but this is something that I would not run out to buy again. I think once is enough for me; as life is too short and there are too many other beers that I prefer.

 911 characters

Photo of Seeker_11
3/5  rDev -25.2%

I was not really a fan of this beer. It smelled great and had nice color, but the taste was not there. I feel the pumpkin flavor really lacked especially for an "imperial" ale.

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Photo of tone77
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a brown 22 oz. bottle. Has a rich golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of fresh pumpkin pie, graham crackers. Tate is pumpkin pie, vanilla, some graham cracker, perfectly spiced, a touch of alcohol as it warms. Feels creamy and delicious in the mouth and overall is a beer worth seeking out.

 310 characters

Photo of Premo88
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber poured into snifter

L: half-hazy orange that has a consistent translucence ... you can see through it very easily, but it's just a bit hazy; the orange pulls well short of amber but has just enough red in it to get past yellow into the golder range; late-percolating head pushes up just 1/4 inch with no sticking or lacing

S: like a candle shop, sweet and spicy ... smells exactly like the fall ... ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin pie, pecan pie ... awesome. sweet vanilla as it warms, real mellow. alcohol is perfectly hidden.

T: more spice than pumpkin ... there's some earthiness that is either pumpkin or some kind of earthy-tasting hops -- they're bland and slightly bitter, don't taste particularly great but do offer some balance for the heavy load of fall seasonal spices

F: fantastic ... light but full with nice crispness from the carbonation ... feels like a perfect pale ale, so it's super drinkable

O: after trying a handful of pumpkin ales last season, I swore I was done with them. a friend said I should at least try the Pumking once, and I'm glad they did -- it's good. it's a load of spice and relatively sweet, but I like it because it has much more taste than any other pumpkin ale I've tried.

 1,243 characters

Photo of fank2788
3.34/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Hazy mid orange in the glass even after a quick pour there wasn't much on top of this one. So I don't really know what to say about the smell here. There is a lot going on as I'm getting a ton of spice cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger along with a heavy toasted biscuit aroma. This is very reminiscent of the Warlock by Southern Tier. The taste is quite similar to the smell all of the spice is there and there is a pretty good caramel malt base so I'm sure a lot of people could find this quite nice. However, I think that this is far too brash and heavy handed to rate any higher than average as I'm more a fan of the milder versions of the style. There is a touch of bitterness that is found near the finish and that goes along with a medium body and medium level of carbonation in general this beer tends to be quite sweet. Overall I'm not a very big fan of this because I don't like such a strongly spiced pumpkin ale, however, it is a good representation of the style that I'm sure some will enjoy.

 1,010 characters

Photo of stratusjeans
2.75/5  rDev -31.4%

I was excited to try this beer after reading some great reviews. Poured into snifter, thin head, nice light orange color. Smells delicious, a little sweetness, definitely pumpkin, pie crust, and some spice.

Taste is where I was disappointed. Pumpkin up front, not very sweet, then a lot of spice on the back of the tongue. The spice tastes wrong to me. Not so much pumpkin pie or Autumn, but like a spice candle. Great to smell, not to taste. The spice lingers a very long time but is not a pleasing taste to have linger.

I can see some people would really like this but it isn't for everyone.

 602 characters

Photo of ttroha
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Bottle shared with a friend. Pours amber with a white head Aroma of pumpkin and spices. (nutmg, ginger, anice) Tastes of pumpkin pie: vanilla, butter, and nutmeg. Medium bod. Better than pumpkin pie.

 199 characters

Photo of paladinjoe
4.25/5  rDev +6%

A Halloween tradition! Pretty tasty, nice pumpkin and spice flavors, tastes like pumpkin pie, with some hoppy bitterness in the finish, pretty tasty indeed! Something very nice to relax with on a Halloween night by myself, or with a friend or loved one. I prefer to chill with this on Halloween versus going out and dealing with routy people.

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Photo of humuloner22
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

I swear I am not jumping on the band wagon here. This is really the best pumpkin beer I have had this year. I have drank this beer before. It didn't leave that great of an impression because I had not had that many other pumpkin beers at that time. Now, I have. Either pumpkin spice or true pumpkin beers. But, since it was Halloween I thought why the hell not! What I am saying is this one does taste more like a pumpkin pie than any of the other pumpkin beers I have had. They are either way spicy, which I often don't mind, or they are just alright.

Appearance: Applejuice, nice color but not as dark as most.

Taste: Pumpkin pie for sure. Nice balance. This is a great beer.

Overall: This really is what I am looking for in a pumpkin beer. If I can find another one, I might purchase it before the season ends until next year.

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Photo of ThomasMetal75
4/5  rDev -0.2%

*Happy Halloween 2014! The sample review was during my Halloween 2014 dinner with spicy Andouille sausage and sauerkraut, alongside some slow cooked pulled style pork braised in Sierra Nevada's Tumbler Brown Ale.*

A- Gorgeous in my wine glass. Clear body. Color was a nice vibrant darker looking orange. head was thick and creamy looking, but it died completely. A generous swirl brought it back easily. Lots of alcohol legs here with light to moderate amounts of lacing.

S- Sweetness. Graham cracker pie crust exactly! There is caramel malts as well. But it's the graham cracker that is the dominant scent here. There is the typical pumpkin pie spices in the nose as well. There is a light amount of phenol alcohol as well. Somewhat biscuity in the yeast. No real hop notes to speak of.

T- The graham cracker crust is very prominent in this beer! Caramel malts are also extremely detectable. There is a good bit of upfront sweetness, but I didn't find it cloying or unpleasant at all. Typical pumpkin spices are in this one: clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice. There was a great tasting vanilla character as well that played with the graham cracker. The alcohol is noticeable upon first sip, but it never burns down the throat. There might even be a butterscotch thing going on as well. This beer does not lack flavor at all!

M- More towards the full side. It does have a moderate slickness in the body of the beer. The finish is very biscuty and malty and sweet. It's a dessert beer for sure. And it is good for sipping as well.

Overall this beer is a great pumpkin beer. I generally don't go to the beer store to really seek out pumpkin beers because I almost find it to too trendy of a style and one that can be a hit or miss. I like to go for the bigger abv/imperial pumpkin ales since they tend to be more flavorful and certainly are more exciting than your standard Shipyard Pumpkinhead. This one is just like drinking pumpkin pie. Have it with some pie and vanilla ice cream and thank me latter!

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Photo of MattyG85
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Surly Darkness chalice.

Appearance: Pours a bright and clear golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of off white head which settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A sweet pumpkin pie like aroma with big hints of pumpkin, spices, and vanilla. Upfront scent of pumpkin along with sweet hints of vanilla and sugar. Big mix of fall spices with hints of nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and clove. Malt hints of cracker, biscuit, crust, nuts, and yeast. A pretty solid aroma.

Taste: Like the nose indicates, a sweet and spicy pumpkin pie taste with big notes of pumpkin, fall spices, and vanilla. Big taste of pumpkin upfront. Sweet notes of vanilla and sugar. Lots of fall spices with notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and allspice. Sweet malt notes of biscuit, cracker, pie crust, pecan nuts, and yeast. Sweet but not cloying. A pretty good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, slick, and fairly chewy. Alcohol heat is hidden well.

Overall: A very solid take on a pumpkin beer. Big and sweet but still nicely drinkable.

 1,135 characters

Photo of dparvu
3/5  rDev -25.2%

i've enjoyed many of pumpkin ales and this one just didn't add up to the hype behind it. I expected so much more out of the beer as much as I heard about it, maybe that was the issue, I should've taken it for what it is. I surly feel as though a lot of good goes into this beer but too much hype is only gonna hurt it. It was , for me, mediocre at best for the pumpkin ale category. Enjoy!

Appearance: a very clean pour with minimal head, light copper color.

Aroma: very strong sweet vanilla scent, nice mild spice fragrance from the cinnamon,nutmeg, and allspice.

Taste: first you can pick up on the sweet pumpkin flavors. You then move on to the incredibly strong vanillaand spice flavors. The next thing you get is the mild alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel: It is sweet and sticky with medium carbonation.

 803 characters

Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 1,914 ratings.
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