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

Bottle from River's Bend.

Poured clear copper color with a large off-white frothy head that was mostly lasting with good lacing.

Solid doughy pumpkin pie and small alcohol aroma.

Medium to full body with a creamy texture.

Heavy balanced carrot cake flavor with a medium spice sweet finish of long duration.

Standout seasonal beer and one of top rated beers for style.

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Photo of Drewcifer
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured out golden orange with a very slight white head that dissipates quite fast.

I pleasant, balanced aroma of pumpkin, spices and crust. Smells just like a cold slice of pumpkin pie.

Wonderful taste of pumpkin pie - all the spices, pumpkin, crust. You can taste the malts, but little else besides the pumpkin components of it.

The mouthfeel loses a little bit. I felt the carbonation was a bit off, and the overall feel was hard to place - maybe slightly creamy, but not in a good way.

It's a nice beer and all, but strictly a seasonal treat in my opinion. It's not something I would drink more than one bottle in a sitting, and not to often. Great treat, but not a daily drinker.

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Photo of joerodiii
3.06/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The beer looks nice for a pumpkin...a nice amber/orange color. Not much head, but I poured slowly, dividing between two Chimay chalices.

The smell was overwhelmingly hazelnut, mixed with nutmeg and a bit of cinnamon.

Unfortunately, the hazelnut dominated the flavor, as well. Aside from thay, the beer was ok. Sweet, but not cloying, moderate spice flavor. I didn't taste any pumpkin.

Mouthfeel was good...decent body...right amount of carbonation.

This beer was not very drinkable. The nuttiness didn't work for me. That combined with the sweetness was a bit much. I shared this bottle (22oz bomber) with one friend. I found myself wishing that I had shared with 2 or 3.

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Photo of Risser09
4.74/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22oz bottled poured into a snifter - Fridge temp - 2008

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy copper color with orange highlights. The head is white and is 1/2" tall. Good retention with little lace to show.

Smell: Wow. This is stellar. It smells like fresh gingerbread. Pumpkin, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Very unique and awesome.

Taste: Equally intense with the gingerbread. This is an incredible flavor. Pumpkin, cinnamon and clove are buried in there somewhere. Perfectly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Sweet, chewy and a total lack of 9% alcohol noticability. Heavily bodied.

Drinkability: This is an incredible beer. I've never had anything like it. I think anyone could enjoy this beer, regardless of palate maturity. A fun approach for a fall beer that I could drink early and often.

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Photo of xare
1.06/5  rDev -73.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured as an orange colored liquid with a thin white filmy head - didn't impress me very much, if at all.

Smell was cloyingly sweet - lots of pumpkin spices and some sort of "candy" aroma. Didn't have a good feeling about this one.

Taste was extremely cloyingly sweet - no pumpkin taste, more like a huge ball of sugar with a tiny drop of pumpkin spice on the top was served in liquid form. So many clashing flavors - at one point, it tasted like cotton candy. Began gagging at the taste.

Mouthfeel was awful for this sort of beer. Felt cottony somehow. Just too light and ephemeral - had no body to it. Just a lot of sweetness and nothing else.

Drinkability is obviously low. Five other guys passed on having any more of this beer - and so we had to pour the rest of the bomber down the drain. The bomber was still more than 75% full. That isn't a good sign.

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

A solid haze of dark golden apple with a medium orange cast to its body. Large, bubbly, off-white capping grows up quickly from a good pour. The foam slips down kind of fast to leave an always present and solid skim. Some tattered sheets and strings of lacing stick to the glass.

Aroma is straight up like a fresh homemade pumpkin pie! Wow! It has a very nice, clean, and very pleasing nose with a tender pie crust that stands out the most and the spices are just right with a well balanced spice of buttery pumpkin bread, with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. Perfectly pie-like.

Taste is much of the same with a very clean, easy going character that just seems like drinking a freshly made pumpkin pie. Tenderly tasty with a well toned and lengthy array of buttery pumpkin, pie crust fluff, and spiced just right with its notes to cinnamon and nutmeg. Has a fun and firm smack on the lips with creamy pieness thats akin to licking the fork.

Solid medium body; clean, tender, and bold with a slight carbonation texture. Has a ghostly effect to what the actual pumpkin pie leftovers would have on your lips and on the palate if you just ate a piece. Creamy smooth and a delicately woven dry texture to its finish. It's pretty damn impressive that a beer can be brewed to nearly emulate the effect of a food and this "Pumpking" from Southern Tier does a great job of pulling it off.

Not sure how this beer is possible? Much like Creme Brulee and Choklat, the craftability that Southern Tier cranks out to be more like food is very impressive. Also not sure how or why this is 9%? It does have some warming abilities behind its quaffable nature to be found as you go. But beers at this high of ABV usually have a thicker, heftier, more malt laden type of character, and this really doesn't have that. It has a very decievingly clean and crisper smoothness that seems more like a simple pale-like ale. Just goes to show the boundries of brewing continue to be broken by impressive craft brewers like Southern Tier.

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Photo of trafordboy
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear amber orangewith a thin white head and spots of lacing.

S - Fresh baked pumkin pie, fresh baked ginger bread Very fall holiday smelling. Smells fresher and less spicy than other pumkin beers.

T - Fresh pumpkin, some spices like nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon but very fresh tasting.

M - On the light side of medium with nice carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel.

D - Best pumpkin beer I have tried. Not sure how many other places use real pumpkin but I think you can really tell the difference. The real pumpkin creates a fresher taste and a different spicing.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Imperial Pumking is a shimmering jewel of an ale with excellent clarity. It is a solid amber with a finger of dust-colored foam that dissipates to a thin, waxing crescent Hunter's moon. It has a juicy and spicy bouquet. Cassia, biscuits and ginger are looming in the nose. Earth tones blend with a cherry apple cider deep in the aroma. Exciting! It is heavy on the tongue and slick on the mouth. Its large thin carbonation can't cut through after your tongue is rendered numb. It feels hot from the alcohol. Very chewy. The flavor has pumpkin pie, spicy gingerread, black peppercorns, caroway rye and corriander. It's almost a touch sweet, like butterscotch. It's almost hidden by the alcohol. The alcohol is a bit heavy, but I think it's amplified by the huge bitterness. The aftertaste is like peat and oak... or whisky and bourbon. It's a huge and demanding flavor! Yowza! Nice autumn tones. It waylays! This should have a warning label.
(rated Oct 16, 2007)

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Photo of bruachan
3.52/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

unlike most pumpkin ales, which typically taste like pumpkin pies, this one tastes like a pumpkin cookie. something about the malt comes across as baked. could it seem almost salty? or bakingsoda-y? it's not something one tastes in beer much but i appreciate it. it is not a spice character--something from the malt itself. i might taste some coriander, as well

not much head retention on this guy. some spotty foam islands but nothing of substance. color is OK: flat copper

the aroma features even more of that biscuity element. it's a funny characteristic; i'm enjoying the beer but it's a kind of nutty sweetness that i'm not sure i could drink gallons of

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Photo of meatyard
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Is a slightly hazy, golden orange with a short head that falls slowly leaving fair lacing.
S-Is, at first, pumpkin pie spices. Then, later, a bit like eggnog. Also, there's vanilla.
T-Is a light version of the smell, thankfully. A little bitterness at the end.
M-Is thin with carbonation present.
D-Is not something that I think even fans of this beer will want to drink a lot of at one time plus the ABV is pretty high.

I'm trying to rate this beer for what it's supposed to be and not what I think of it. It's an interesting beer but I don't think it's a style for me to get excited about.

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Photo of dionisio
4.54/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Oh man, this is so delicious. Of all the pumpkin ales I've had, this one tastes the most like pumpkin pie. I think there must be a ton a vanilla extract in this, because that's pretty much what it smells like. You can smell it from across the table. Drinking this beer is a real treat. And it's incredibly easy to drink for such a high alcohol beer, too.

EDIT: Did they change the recipe? When I had it, it was 9% ABV. I'm going to have to try this again.

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Photo of MMAJYK
4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Quick review into my notebook.

A- Orange/copper in color. 1/4" head and transparent body.

S- First impression is butter, bready, pumpkin pie. Some nuts, cinnamon...awesome aromas!

T- Pumpkin pie again. Buttered popcorn, nutmeg, touch of cinnamon and cloves

M- Medium in the mouth with low carbonation.

D- For the experience, 5+. Pumpkin pie in a bottle. For drinkability on its own, and being able to session/drink a lot of, no way.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

brought back a bottle with me to beijing. 22oz bomber, no date. originally purchased in mid-late july 2008, a new batch at julio's. had this near the end of a thanksgiving meal and also with dessert, at an american restaurant in beijing. poured into wine glass.

golden amber with orange hue. faint haze, but still nearly clear. some head, but fades to just wisps and ring. almost no lace.

savory aroma of buttery, heavily ripened pumpkin, almost meaty, and perhaps even approaching DMS in the over-cooked, over-ripe spectrum. sweet spices (cinnamon, and... dried ginger?) in the background

taste is also similarly savory, with very ripe pumpkin or squash, and that DMS-like character... spices similar, but more subdued. yeast hint melds with a grassy hop edge, which provides moderate but noticeable bitterness. there is a fruitiness in the slightly bitter finish.

smooth, but slightly thin. almost watery? some prickly sensations to the carbonation, but overall moderate.

hmm... perhaps i need more reference points, this being my first pumpkin ale. but while interesting, and happy to try this for thanksgiving half a world away, i can't say i'm a fan...

(NOTE: more positive re-review forthcoming)

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with a smaller white head. Nose is a lot of spices. Nutmeg, cinnamon, cardammon? Flavor is much more spice forward than I remember last years being. Wasn't it all about the pumpkin last year. I mean it's still nice, but the spices are too high IMO. Feel is good on both liquid and carbonation. Nice to drink, but too much spices. Tone it down and bring back the pumpkin flavor and you've got something very good.

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Photo of irishkyle21
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a fluffy white foam. Leaves some lacing as it drops. A mix of copper and gold colors keep my eyes entertained.

This is the best smelling pumpkin beer I have come across. I will be very surprised if I find one that surpasses it, but you never know. The beer smells almost exactly like sugary pumpkin pie (happens to be my favorite pie), I have no other way of describing it.

Tastes of pumpkin pie spices, some hop bitterness and sweet caramel malts. This is one hell of a treat for my big nose.

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Photo of prototypic
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It pours a very clear, golden color with pumpkin-esque highlights. How fitting. It's topped off with a foamy, white head that's about a finger and a half deep. It was gracious enough to stick around for a few, but faded leaving a light, sticky coat of lace on the glass.

Smell: The nose is more than fitting. This is simply a barrage of pumpkin on the nose. Very nicely done. There's some nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar that give it a little pumpkin pie flare. But, pumpkin itself is the primary feature. I can't say exactly deep or complex, but it's incredibly well done all the same. Pumking is easily the finest smelling pumpkin beer that this nose has encountered.

Taste: While the flavor profile is good, it's not quite as refined or artful as the nose. Once again, the pumpkin flavor is very strong here. It's good, but it's a little too much. Brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg are noteable, but are clearly secondary to the strong pumpkin flavor. I think I'd like it more if it were skewed a little more in the other direction. There's a hoppy presence that has a little bite. But, it's quickly toned down by the emergence of malt flavors. It finishes sweet and slightly dry.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's on the lighter side of medium bodied and is pretty smooth. Carbonation is middle of the road and doesn't really add or take away from anything. All in all, it's smooth and goes down easy. Drinkability is just okay. Given the strong pumpkin flavor and high abv at 9%, a bomber is bordering on being too much.

Pumking's an interesting beer. It's good. But, it could be quite a bit better. If the pumpkin pie flavor were more pronounced, I'd like it quite a bit more. As it is, the pumpkin taste is just a little too strong. That being said, it's more than solid in all other respects. It's definitely one to try.

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Photo of AltBock
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber bottle with a plastic wrap around label. On this label is an evil grinning pumpkin with a crown on its head. I thinking this pumpkin king is different than the one on the Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale label. I guess they're 2 different kings that rule over 2 different pumpkin patches. To the far left of the pumpkin is the mandatory US information. To the right of the pumpkin is the usual Southern tier wealth of info. This is where you'll find the beer's specifications and ingredients, proper serving temperature and glassware, and 3 big paragraphs about the beer. These paragraphs say that this beer was brewed with Pagan spirit in honor of Puca. The last paragraph will give you a few of the beer's flavor notes. Again, the only thing missing on this bottle is some kind of best before date or vintage year.

Appearance: Southern Tier recommends that I pour "Pumking" into a goblet. So I poured this Pumpkin Ale into a Chimay Chalise/goblet. It was close enough. This Pumpkin Ale poured a clear orange color that was just a shade under being a true pumpkin orange. On top of this clear orange beer was a thin less than 1/4 of an inch head of white foam. It was a sad looking head of foam by any standard. This small head of foam quickly fizzled away into about 5 small white rings. It didn't even bother to leave behind any kind of lace behind. How could it? It was too damn small. It had nice color to it, but the head of foam was lacking big time!

Smell: I had to give the smell a high score because it smelled so damn good! A majority of the Pumpkin Ales I've had before this one were light in pumpkin and heavy in cloves and spices. This one went in the other direction. It was heavy with delicious pumpkin spice bread. It smelled exactly like fresh baked pumpkin spice bread that had a small dash of ginger added to it. There was nothing else behind the pumpkin spice bread and that's perfectly fine. The pumpkin spice bread was good enough for me to enjoy!

Taste: Oh Man! This is where you get to taste that delicious pumpkin spice bread that was coming off of this beer. But there was a minor problem with it in the taste. It tasted like they burned it a little bit. It was fresh baked in the aroma, but burnt in the taste. After the bread, in comes a dash of ginger, a speck of cloves, a hint of cinnamon stick, and then it finishes up dry with a subtle touch of hops and canned pumpkin. I liked how this Pumpkin Ale actually had the taste of pumpkin in it and that it wasn't overly spicy. Nice Pumpkin Ale!

Mouthfeel: This Southern Tier 9% ABV beer was medium bodied with low carbonation and with a dry pumpkin based aftertaste of slightly burnt pumpkin bread and a small dash of ginger. This pumpkin aftertaste won't stick around for too long. I would have to say that it masks it's high ABV% because I certainly couldn't feel it.

Drinkability: This is the best and easy drinking Pumpkin Ale that I've had so far. I loved the pumpkin bread smell and taste and i loved that it wasn't overly spicy with cinnamon and cloves. This one changed my mind about Pumpkin Ales. It is possible to make a great Pumpkin Ale! If you love pumpkins, then this Southern Tier seasonal is a must try.

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Photo of cgarviereg
1.95/5  rDev -51.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Copper coloured ... big white foam head .... Oh my big pumpkin with something a bit unpleasant in nose (wife says popcorn and id say shes sopt on, and i dont like popcorn)... rich yeasty vegtable pumpkin ... its very veggy ... again some popcorn... and quite unlike other pumpkin beers ive had ... really dont like it

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Photo of pershan
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured a slightly cloudy honey-amber with a dense, thick, white head into a pint glass. The smell was of pumpkin pie - no joke - pumpkin pie. The taste was actually like drinking a slice of pumpkin pie, complete with the pumpkin and spice flavors - very unique and cool, I must admit. Good carbonation and lacing. I am not in any way a fan of fruited or otherwise spice-enhanced beer, but I must admit that this offering from ST was not bad at all.

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Photo of awall422
2.78/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

pumpkin beer? no, this is a spiced malt beverage. immediately blown away by a vanilla aroma and tons of pie spices. "pumpkin" flavor is pretty neutral, this does not taste like pumpkin at all. your palate is just blasted by fizzy vanilla and pumpkin pie spices so much it barely seems like beer. not impressed at all.

this guy describes it well, "almost like an over spiced pumpkin cheese cake" he liked it, i didn't. to each their own, that's the beauty of beer!

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Photo of mountdew1
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Color was a clear slightly dark golden amber. Had next to no bubbles rising, and was completely clear. The head was very thin, made up of very small milky white bubbles. Smell was very spicy, nutmeg and ginger with a touch of molasses. Very small amount of smoke, almost like smoked pumpkin. Absolutely no "beer" smell. Taste was pumpkin, hidden behind a little bit of spicy sweet, almost like an over spiced pumpkin cheese cake. Coated the mouth very well, but left a bit of bitterness on the tongue that I couldn't place why. Very good to sip, a different twist on the usual "pumpkin/pumpkin spices" beer.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Pours orange with a small white head. Aroma of cinnamon and gingersnap cookies. Flavor of slight pumpkin and more gingersnaps and gingerbread cookies. I don't know what people are referring to when they say this tastes like pumpkin pie--because it doesn't. Maybe pie crust? It's pretty decent though, at least if you like gingersnaps.
Appearance: 4/5
Aroma: 7/10
Palate: 4/5
Flavor: 7/10
Overall: 14/20

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

Poured into a pint glass

Pours a deep golden/light copper. Decent lacing with a thin layer of head staying on top of throughout the entire glass.

Smells of Pumpkin pie ... mmm pumpkin pie!

Tastes similar to pumpkin pie, but a bit too harsh for my liking. Could be a slight alcohol burn in the background, but the spices hide it well.

Very good beer, but I don't think I could drink more than 1 or 2 in a night.

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Photo of antilogic
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Kplynch for the bottle from trade.

Wow! So this is what pumpkin beer is supposed to taste like. Copper in color and lighter in body than I expected, but super full of flavor and very, very drinkable. I would go out of my way to get more next fall.

Recommended! One of, if not my absolute favorite fall beers.

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Photo of Goldopelgt
4.64/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Wow...I don't even know what to say...This beer is awesome. A nice, coppery-orange color that hits you in the face with aromas of pumpkin, spice, nutmeg, cinnamon and tastes exactly how it smells...delicious. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but I think at this point in time, I'm just trying to find something to criticize. You definitely have to try this beer...regardless if you're a fan of pumpkin or other spiced-type beers, this beer is impressive.

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