Pumking | Southern Tier Brewing Company

1,949 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: 1,949 | Ratings: 7,485
Photo of rfgetz
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Update: Initial samplings of 2010 show a high presence of citrus hops that get in the way of the pumkin pie-ness of the beer.

On draft as a comparison to my earlier review of it from a bottle...

Notable differences include:
- less dominant pumpkin pie spicing with a more prominant semi-sweet pumpkin pie filling taste
- body is slightly smoother and creamier

On draft definitely prefered over bottle, but the best pumpkin beer available today regardless of the serving format.

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Photo of Randori
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful copper/autumn leaf color....very appropriate for this seasonal release. Light tan head that dissiated a little too quickly. Agree with others that a little better head retention would have been welcome.

S: Not much in the way of "hop" aroma but overall sweet smelling with vanilla, nutmeg, and (it took me awhile to identify it) amaretto coming through loud and clear.

T: Caramel malt sweetness at first then a rush of amaretto or almond biscotti cookie laced with nutmeg and vanilla. Very little in the way of hop bitterness. Not much in the way discernable "pumpkin" flavor but the sweet malt and spice combination is highly reminiscent of fall weather and pumpkin pie.

M: Great body, round and viscous very appropriate to the intended effect (pumpkin pie).

D: Very pleasantly surprised by this beer. Perhaps one of the best fall seasonal (pumpkin) beers I've tried. This is definitely a cookie or pie in a bottle going down easy without being cloying or overpowered by bitter cloves or cinnamon spice. A little too sweet to be a session beer (20oz was more than enough) but would definitely serve this at our annual pumpkin carving party as a specialty beer aimed at capturing a moment in time specific to the season. Nicely done considering it's intended purpose.

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Photo of livingregret
2.05/5  rDev -48.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Serving Type: 1pt 6fl oz Beer

Appearance: A nice golden orange. 1/2 a finger head, no lacing. A little lacing or better head retention and I would have rated it average at least

Smell: Very appealing smell. Ginger...light pumpkin pie...nutmeg and slightly buttery.

Taste: The initial taste...is almost non existence. Very light pumpkin than a blast of Bitterness. A long lasting..almost sticky bitterness on the tongue. If I really REALLY try...after the bitterness there is vanilla and clove in the back. nothing upfront though. Really disappointed after such a great smell

Mouthfeel: Cotton like feel that coats the tongue and almost limits the ability to taste on the middle of your tongue

Drinability: I was hopeful...and found this incredibly lacking.

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

Had on tap at the Roadhouse in Brookline, MA.

Pours a nice and clear, golden orange color, with ample white frothy head.

The smell, I think, was the best smell of any beer I have ever reviewed. Very sweet, with hints of ginger cookies, or pumpkin pie. Very nostalgic of childhood, and the Fall.

The taste was very good. Strong bite of carbonation and hops, giving way to sweet pumpkin and sugar flavors. Very well blended and balanced taste.

Absolutely the best Pumpkin beer I have ever had, and definitely one of the best Fall beers.

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

Poured into an over sized wine glass.

A: Deep, rich dark copper-orange.

S: Buttery, fresh baked pumpkin pie. Amazingly spicy aroma...pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon and maybe some nutmeg.

T: Exactly like is smells. Buttery, vanilla pumpkin pie with a nice mildly caramel malt sweetness, all of the subtle spicing that you would expect from a pumpkin pie, but not quite as in your face as you would expect - it is ale after all, but what an amazing take on a pumpkin ale. This is an incredibly balanced pumpkin ale. More spice and it may be overdone, any less and it would be somewhat lacking. Great balance of hop bitters and a nearly undetectable slightly warming alcohol finish. Truly an amazing seasonal offering.

M: Medium, silk-like creamy mouthfeel goes down very easily.

D: Hands down the best pumpkin ale I have ever tasted. In spite of the abv, I could really sit back and enjoy a nice session with friends and family...

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.64/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation; Poured from bomber bottle into pint glass in two parts.

Poured a clear bright orange color with a white, foamy, one finger head. All of the sudden this huge pumpkin nose just hits me in the face. The nose is potent enough for me to smell without even putting my nose up to the glass. It is highlighted by pureed pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices. Taste follows the nose a lot with the pumpkin and spices. The flavor is stronger and different than any other pumpkin brew I have ever had. The sweetness is also balanced by a high amount of hop bitterness for a pumpkin brew. Great balance and the most flavorful pumpkin brew I have ever had. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice burst of carbonation. Drinkability is good. The ABV is a bit high and the flavors are big. They stay fresh and drinkable throughout.

Overall, far and away the best pumpkin I have ever had. Big flavors and big ABV. A fragrant, flavorful and unique pumpkin brew. Highly recommended.

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Photo of beer2day
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours lighter than expected. Very pale orange gold. Virtually no head and very faint lacing. Not much action in the glass, either.

Strong pumpkin nose. One of the strongest around for this type of seasonal. Lots of spice here, but picking up the hops as well.

Powerfully spicy beer. Tastes like one of my wife's pumpking muffins - and that's a good thing. If you like this style of beer, this is well worth a try. Hops kick in at the end, something missing in most beers of this style.

Mouthfeel matches the flavor profile very well.

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Photo of Florida9
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Lighter copper-orange color. Clear. Pours with a small, wimpy, white head that disappears quickly. Not a single speck of lacing.

S: Sweet potatoes, sugar, marshmallows, candy. Smells better than pumpkin pie.

T: Starts with a short blast of bitterness of the side of the tongue, but that quickly fades to over-the-top pumpkin pie that lingers for quite a bit and only fades ever so slowly. Sweet and candy-ish.

M: Sweet and creamy. Medium body with lower carbonation.

D: Yeah, this one tastes just like pumpkin pie. I guess if that is what your looking for, this one more or less hits the nail on the head. However, I don't see it as much more than a novelty beer, one which I could possibly drink once a year, and even then, I think a bomber is too much.

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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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Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 7,485 ratings.
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