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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 wiseguy142
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'm usually burnt out on Pumpkin beers by mid-September, but I felt I shouldn't ignore this beer.

Aroma is a very nice and straightforward copper color with a frothy off white head. Very good clarity.. really looks like a standard pale ale from just looking at it.

The first thing the aroma reminded me of war Jasmine rice. Not your stereotypical pumpkin aroma.. a slight hint at an exotic vegetable of some sort but if I didn't know this was a pumpkin beer I would have never guessed it. Very doughy but not from the yeast.

Wow I can see how that aroma came from the pumpkin in this flavor.. wow. Very smooth, lightly spiced if anything. Definitely a dessert beer... seems like the kind of an exotic taste you'd find in a dessert at a very upscale restaurant.. I don't think I've really had anything like it. By far the best use of pumpkin in a beer I've seen. I think you can sense the alcohol in this beer but there's not heat in the flavor.. I think this would make a wonderful liquor.

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Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass. Poured a golden orange color with a cream colored head. It had average lacing and a slight haze to it, but mostly clear. The smell was very good. A lot of pumpkin beers tend to just smell like beer with pumpkin pie spices, particularly nutmeg and cinnamon, this was a little different. It did have a sweet aroma to it, but you could actually smell pumpkin to it with some malts. Very nice, I really liked it. The taste is much like the smell, it has a very bold taste. Again you could taste the pumpkin, almost natural followed by some sweet hints of pumpkin pie spices. I would have given the taste a much higher rating but it had an earthy aftertaste that I wasn't very fond of. I found both the mouthfeel and drinkablility to be good. My wife and I split a 22.oz bomber after dinner and enjoyed it. A solid brew by Southern Tier.

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Photo of Ezekiel81923
4.92/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I keep buying 22oz bombers from Capone's whenever I'm there. Also had this on tap at the Craft Ale House. I'll tell you about both. Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint from the bottle, 10oz Snifter at the Ale House.

Appearance: Phenomenal. Golden orange color, just like a pumpkin. Almost seems like it glows in the right light. Bigger, foamier head on-tap than I could get from the bottle, but very nice nonetheless. Hangs around seemingly forever on-tap, and leaves great lacing. Not much of a drop off from the bottle either.

Smell: Goodness gracious. Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin muffin, Pumpkin bread, it's all there. Dominant spice aroma of nutmeg, allspice, a lot of cinnamon and brown sugar. Faint hints of pumpkin in the nose but it all smells so good together that the intense spice aroma is by no means a turnoff. This really shines on-tap, but the bottle is no slouch.

Taste: Unreal. The flavor profile of this beer follows the aroma very well. I pick up a lot of brown sugar and cinnamon, pumpkin, nutmeg and allspice. Sweet, but not cloying. In addition to everything else I already mentioned, I think it tastes a lot like Spiced Wafers.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and Creamy. Sweet. Mild carbonation and medium bodied. Not boozy at all, just a slight warm alcohol feel as it goes down.

Drinkability: I've heard a lot of people think its too spicy. I personally could drink this all night. I had several of these on tap and buy bottles whenever I can. Hands down the best Pumpkin ale, imperial or otherwise, out there.

God bless you Southern Tier. One of the top 3 beers they brew.

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Photo of jsh420
4.34/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours clear copper golden with a 1 finger head that fades and left no lacing

smell is out of tis world - nose of vanilla and pumpkin pie and spices

taste is heavy on the spices yet vanilla pumpkin shines here

mouthfeel is lighter then i thought it would be - nice and smooth with good carbonation

drinkability is ok - a bomber is more then i wanted - if only they put this in 12oz

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Goblet Glass (Like the bottle tells me to do)
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

This is easily the best looking liquid, from a pumpkin ale, that I've yet to see. It pours a golden orange color, like a pumpkin. Very nice. Almost a fingers worth of loose foam, with a light orange-ish tint to it, makes the head and then quickly dissipates. The minimal lacing is quite slipperey.

This is a big nose filled with pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices. It really smells like a fresh baked pie. There is a light touch of caramel malt in there and a very mild hint of hops.

There is still a big pumpkin pie flavor presence here. The taste really, truly, follows the nose on this one. The only thing different is that there is a serious booziness to it. Being a bomber, after the halfway point, it doesn't matter anymore, though. Very tasty, to be sure, but I may set one to cellar for a few months and see if the booziness backs off at all.

Medium to almost full-bodied. Mild level of carbonation. Very smooth, even if it is a touch 'hot', with a tiny hint of creaminess. It's actually more crisp than creamy, which was unexpected, for me.

The first half of the bottle is kind of boozy, as I said above. If you make it past that point though, this is easy-drinking and delicious.

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

What is it about pumpkin pie that we like? Is it the spice? Well yes, undoubtedly, but there's more than that. There's the sweetness. But in addition to the sweetness, there's a thin edge of acidity that we like. It's that edge of burnt sugar, and that blackened edge of crust... it cuts through the sweetness. And guess what? Yeah, you got it, Pumking has it.

It tastes very much like pumpkin pie. Intended or not.

I get mainly all-spice and nutmeg in the nose, but there's some cinnamon too. And if you go beyond that, yes, there's some very nice caramelish malt.

Oh, and it looks good too - hazy-orange amber and all of that. Nice head. OK. It's pumpkin beer, who cares?

The flavor combines the all-spice/nutmeg with the caramelish malt sweetness to give an almost nutty flavor that's OH SO LIKE pumpkin pie! Or is that a bit of butteriness? It reminds me of the crust as well. Thankfully, the cinnamon isn't over-done.

It's mildly bitter, and the spicing helps to balance it. What sweetness there is, is welcome - and it never appears sweet. Nor does it finish overly spicy. There's just enough, and then it all dissipates in the finish.

In conclusion, this is one of the finest - if not the best - pumpkin beer that I've ever had. And I base that on two things: one, it's more than just a spiced beer, it actually tastes like pumpkin, and secondly, it's not overly spiced. Worth trying.

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Photo of dismal
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Pours a burnt orange color with about a one finger white head. The head reduces to almost nothing pretty quickly and leaves little to no lacing at all down the sides of the glass. The smell right away is very strong, maybe one of the strongest I've come across for a pumpkin ale. Right away it's a strong scent of spices and pumpkin and just smells really great. The taste is the same, spices right away and pumpkin. The taste pretty much explodes in your mouth, one of the most pumpkiny beers I've had. I've heard this one is like drinking liquid pumpkin pie and now I believe it. Very flavorful, it's everything autumn in a beer. A high ABV one this one but I didn't notice it a bit. Highly drinkable, I'm going to pick up quite a few more to last me through autumn. Easily the best pumpkin ale I've had yet.

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Photo of TLove
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(From Notes)

On tap at Birreria Paradiso in Georgetown.

This is how pumpkin beer SHOULD taste. Big pumpkin ale fan and, after a few decent non-New England pumpkin ales so far this fall, I wasn't quite feelin the love until I "bit" into this one.

Massive, orange amber color and a pungent, sweet taste that smelled of caramel, ginger, nutmeg and a huge helping of blackened cloves. Head was slight and dissipated quickly with a little bit of creaminess and mild carbonation. The pumpkin came through a bit in the mouth, but the taste also had hints of acorn and butternut squash, spiced rum, and lemon cookies. Pumpernickel bread and a sweet bitterness.

Balance between moderate alcohol (don't mean to say that 9% is moderate, only that it is not overpowering in the mouth), moderate hops, and sweet, spicy, starchy malt is wonderful. Finishes well and retains its body throughout.

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Photo of kurp001
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber bought at Shawan Liquors

Pours a deep orange with a small, bubbly head that recedes quickly. Not much lacing worth speaking of.

Smell is very rich, sweet pumpkin pie aroma with hints of spice, however the pumpkin pie notes definitely dominate here.

The taste is mostly pumpkin pie again, something I think really sets this apart from other pumpkin ales; as opposed to a purely pumpkin flavor, this one seems to really blend the caramel malt, pumpkin, and brown sugar notes in a way that effectively recreates a pumpkin pie flavor. A very faint hop presence is apparent on the finish, as well.

Mouthfeel is full but not too thick; a crisp carbonation keeps things interesting.

Drinkability on this one is pretty good, but a bomber of this stuff might be too much. A very well crafted beer, in my opinion, but I don't know why they don't offer this in twelve ounce bottles; I'm someone who loves pumpkin-anything, and this is even a little much for me towards the end. Overall, I'd say this is a must for any pumpkin ale fan, but if you're looking for something with a more toned-down malt presence, you may want to look elsewhere.

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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 tj4288
3.29/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

poured from 22oz bomber into tumbler pint

this is not your typical pumpkin beer, actually this is not your typical BEER at all. appearance is semi normal, pretty golden orange copper, with a tiny head cap. smells of cookies and pumpkin pie. REAL pumpkin. it says right on the label that it is brewed with actual pumpkin and you can tell, and it is appriciated. taste is mainly sugar cookie up front. but you can definatley get the real pumpkin in the finish. this is the SWEETEST cookie.... i mean beer i have ever had in my life. mouthfeel is silky and smooth but drinkability is rough because of the insane amount of sweetness. i understand why people like it so much but for me, next time i open one i will be sharing the bomber with someone.

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Photo of mckajd03
1.32/5  rDev -67.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I'm assuming this rating will come out to be one of the lowest of the group, so let me start with a disclaimer: I have loved all other Southern Tier beers, and bought this both b/c it was rated so high and I'm trying to work through all the ST brews. This is the first one that hasn't been excellent.

With that said, this is the worst beer I've had in a while. The only redeeming quality is the appearance. If you've ever eaten a buttered popcorn flavored Jelly Belly, then you now know what to expect in both the nose and the tastejk. And it's not like it's in the background or anything. I can't find any pumpkin in the nose- only butter. There's a slight hint of spice and pumpkin on the back of the palate, but it's crushed by the rancid popcorn taste. I almost gagged. Perhaps I got a bad bottle, but I don't think I'm the only one who wonders where ST went wrong here.

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Photo of Beerisheaven
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into my standard pint glass. Pours a deep amber color with a tan/mocha head, evidending its carbonation.

S - Earthy and slightly musty. Not an overpowering smell of nutmeg, cinnamon, more like puree.

T - I had this last year and did not particularly care for it so I decided to try again. For me, something just misses which is often the case for pumpkin seasonals. Either they are overly spiced or spiced so weakly that the pumpkin fails to come across. To me, this has an earthy taste with a mustiness to it. It has a fair amount of bitterness to it.

M - Typical for style, nothing noteworthy.

D - Like I said above, something just misses so I was glad to finish my glass and move on. Given how over the top some of the ST offerings are (Creme Brulee, Chololat, etc.) I was happy to some extent that this one was simply not an exercise of drinking liquid nutmeg. Still, on the other hand, I was hoping for more.

Amongst the pumpkin beers, I find myself liking some of the others much better (Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin for instance). I've tried this twice and each time came across not very impressed. Simply not my cup of tea.

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Photo of bbeane
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is my second review of this beer... since trying it the first time, I've come to enjoy pumpkin beers much more...

A- Poured into a tumbler... orangish in color with very small head and very little lacing... slightly active

S- Very aromatic. Smells of buttery pumpkin, spices, and hints of vanilla

T- Sweet and spicy, with a hint of vanilla in the finish

M- Very little carbonation. Smooth and slightly heavier than I had expected. Hint of hop "bite"

D- Very. Tastes great, but could see the abv catching up with you eventually

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Photo of TurdFurgison
2.9/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a Southern Tier bomber, and with the first whiff I could tell this would be another dessert beer. The beer is clear pale orange / pumpkin colored, with a whipped foamy head. The aroma is pure pumpkin pie, not just the spices but actual pumpkin in the pie. Sweet caramel malt, burnt sugar, ginger cookies. The taste is massively sweet, to the point of cloying, bitter on the back of the tongue, nearly undrinkable in its non-beerness. I've come to an understanding with Southern Tier beers, shy away from the ones with food in the name and definitely jump on the hoppy beers.

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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 BetterDarker
3.38/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a clear, orange blossom honey color. Practically no head, and what little there is makes an early exit.

Smell - Subtle malt odor, very little hops, though slight earthy aroma present, no pumpkin pie spice smell. Smells like an APA

Taste - Straight off the bat this beer has a very unique taste. No pumpkin pie spice (I'll let you decide if that is good or bad). It's a slightly sweet beer, some bitter orange flavor. Almost has an artificial taste to it.

M- Has a great mouthfeel, good carbonation, medium bodies beer.

Drinkability - Despite the artificial taste, this beer is easy going, could lead to a messy night as the alcohol is completely masked.

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Photo of Veedubb22
4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, one for the ages. Finally was able to catch this delicious treat this year. We missed it by a month in 08. Truely a pumpkin-pie-lover's delight.

Poured into a goblet, the aroma opened up well with a sweet pumpkiny richness that was downright beautiful!

Have this for your Thanksgiving dessert. Grandma's recipe + a 9% ABV.

Happy Holidays!

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Photo of skrib09
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured a clear copper with a frothy off-white head.

smell is much like pumpking bread or loaf. definetly a well roasted nutty flavor as well. some developed caramel sweetness in the end.

taste plays much off of the smell.

mouthfeel is full-bodied and nutty. pretty drinkable at 9%.

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Photo of david18
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not a big fan of pumkin beer but I bought this because I think this brewery does really interesting things with beer flavors. The color is a good orange/gold. Decent carbonation but the best thing is the flavor and aroma. A lot of breweries use spices to create the pumkin experience, as those spices are what are typically cooked with pumpkin. I don't think this brewery does that. It' has a strong pumpkin flavor and aroma without all the winter spice which, for me, doesnt' work in beer. I think this is a great beer with a flavor that works for many occasions.

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Photo of jhoban19
4.49/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this ST Pumking on a rainy Friday night. Poured into a pint glass and accompanied by a home-made chocolate brownie.

A: amber/orange color, nice and bright with a little thickness to it. solid finger+ of foam that dissipates quickly.

S: is it Thanksgiving yet? this baby literally smells like a pumpkin pie. I love pumpkin pie as much for the wonderful smell as I do the delicious taste so I just know I'm gonna enjoy this beer.

T: yep, as the aroma would suggest, tastes like a slice of pumpkin pie. there's really no other way to describe it. you'd never know this is a 9% beer, the alcohol taste is very well masked by the pumpkin and spice flavors. that said, by the end of the bomber I am definitely noticing the alcohol even if I can't taste it.

M: this was the one area of the beer that "disappointed" me, for lack of a better word. Carbonation was good, but I felt like once all those great pumpkin/spice flavors hit the tongue, the liquid just kinda disappeared. The flavors lingered, but I noticed the liquid was simply gone too quickly. I'm sure there's a technical term for this, but I don't know what it is or how to describe it better.

D: as I mentioned, I love pumpkin pie and really enjoy a good pumpkin beer. This and DFH Punkin Ale are right up there as my favorites in this style. I'll definitely go out and grab another bomber or two to enjoy with a real slice of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip. Poured a translucent copper with a quarter inch skim that quickly dissipates into a bullseye. The nose is the best feature of this beer; pumpkin pie in a glass - cinnamon, graham cracker crust and all-spice. Taste consistent with nose; however, some caramel comes out, as well as a little booze. Mouthfeel is medium/light, with a pleasant and consistent level of carbonation and a little alcohol heat at the finish. Good drinkability on this, but definitely a sipper, as with most of ST's big beers.

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Photo of fragilemacabre
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Holy cow. Or pumpkin. I would be really, really happy simply to smell this beer. I really don't need to drink it. It smells exactly, completely, like pumpkin pie-- even with a slight hint of vanilla for whipped cream.

So, as I said, I really don't need to do anything but smell it. I'd like to drink it though. It looks really drinkable, an extremely clear umber/amber (you could watch a movie through it), and upon sipping, its taste is almost everything the smell promised. More spice, and the subtle carbonation works very well to buoy the flavors.

It feels a little thinner than expected, and I might want a thicker feel if this was my dessert, but the light mouthfeel contributes to its palatability. And I am having serious problems believing it's a 9% beer based on taste alone, butthere's a good warm cheek and belly feeling...

The smell is slightly happier than the taste, but it's still incredibly tasty, and I'll be stocking up and waiting for the next brewing season.

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Photo of Blizzz
4.8/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is by far, my favorite pumpkin beer.

The aroma and flavor are very closely linked. If you can think for a moment of a nice warm pumpkin pie complete with whipped cream, that is exactly what this beer smells like. In fact, it even has hints of egg-nog.

The beer is exceptionally clear, and a nice light orange hue.

The mouthfeel is well rounded and it's surprisingly easy to drink for an 9% beer. The alcohol is hidden very well.

This beer is a MUST HAVE for pumpkin beer lovers, and I highly recommend having it on tap. Out of the bottle a lot of the character of this beer is lost for whatever reason. TASTY!

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Photo of photomike
3.64/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh bottle acquired via trade thanks to mikeyv35. Thanks!

Pours clear and well, pumpkin colored with a short, yellowish headthat doesnt stick around long or leave too much lacing. Eventually, this settles down to a nearly headless orange brew in my tulip.

The smell is really great. Sweet and spicy with a certain buttery breadiness, this smells like a fresh pumpkin pie. Nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice abound.

The taste is a pretty big letdown. Weirdly dry for a Southern Tier offering, I would love a bit more sweetness to balance out the odd bitterness that seems to come from the pumpkin. The spiciness is all there, but theres a medicinal character that is pretty unpleasant. Despite the dryness, there's very little alcohol noticeable.

The mouthfeel is medium-full with bright, lively carbonation. Not a lot to complain about here.

The lack of alcohol and sweetness makes this beer dangerously drinkable at 9%, but unfortunately its not tasty enough to really be enthusiastic about the entire bomber.

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