Pumking | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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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: 1,928 | Ratings: 7,398
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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Photo of calise1122
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a sniffer at the Gingerman in Norwalk, CT.

A: Now it is pretty dark in this place and there are a lot of jack-o'-lanterns around... but right now this beer is the color of a pumpkin. Earthy orange that is slightly dulled and very inviting. It arrives with no head, but a nice white rimmed cap around the edges.

S: As the bartender hands the sniffer over bar, the aroma smacks me in the face. A mix of , pumkin bread, banana bread and ginger bread covered with a maple syrup frosting. Cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla... this smells fantastic. It smells like Autumn, hayrides, and sugar cookies. It's the kind of smell that brings me back... back to the leaf pile on the side of the road, back to the first pumpkin I carved, back to local high school thanksgiving football games. I like this smell; it is a warm, comforting and inviting one.

T: After smelling it... it tastes just like it should. Sort of has an eggnog flavor to it without the thick consistency. Not the eggnog you buy at Stop and Shop, but the eggnog you make at home, the eggnog your scared to try at first because you just dumped a dozen raw egg whites into it, the eggnog that REALLY warms you up... but you put a bit too much nutmeg and cinnamon in this batch, still tastes great... even has the burn of the rum or whiskey that would be added. Oh yeah, there is some pumpkin there of course... with a good amount of hops.

M: Fairly full bodied with lots of carbonation. It sizzles around a bit with each sip.

D: It tastes great; there is no getting around that. Spices galore and on this November night... it just seems appropriate. It is the best of its style I have had the past few years, maybe of all time... very authentic. That being said, I am not sure I could have another and I find myself feigning a nice hoppy IPA afterwards to strip away some of the lingering flavors. Not a session beer, a seasonal beer and a great one at that.

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Photo of vasdef42
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers sleazo for the Secret Halloween brew! poured orange amber with a decent cream colored head. then came the sniff. a great combo of pumpkin and spice with a whip cream kind of sweetness. all i see is pumpkin pie! the same wonderful pumpkin pie essence translates in the taste with a delicious amount of roastiness that balances the sweet pumpkin just about perfectly. like a dessert bottled. i believe this to be the best pumpkin ale i have ever had. i dont think i could kill a bomber to the dome but what a treat to split with some friends!

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

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

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Photo of Doomcifer
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a pretty clear, orange/rusty color with a nice creamy head that retains very well. As soon as I opened the bottle, huge aromas of oatmeal cookies and graham crackers smacked me in the face. More notes of vanilla, cinnamon, pumpkin, and nuts were savored in the smell as well. What an amazing aroma this beer puts off. And the taste follows suit...huge flavors of windmill oatmeal cookies, graham crackers, vanilla, nuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, light hops in the finish. I usually cant stand pumpkin/spiced beers but this sucker is absolutely delicious. Simply amazing.

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Photo of bound4er
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lighter orange to amber appearance with a white head that fades fairly fast. The nose is somewhat restrained - malt and baking spices. The taste of this brew is intriguing - it reminds me of my wife's pumpkin swirl cake - nutmeg and cinnamon dominate with pumpkin playing a secondary role. Nicely done. Medium body - nothing too funky here. This beer is very drinkable given that I normally do not like "novelty" beers and the 9% ABV. I will buy a couple more bombers next year around Halloween.

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Photo of lpayette
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance- Color is a light and clear pumpkin color with about one finger worth of head that isn't too impressive. Reduces to a small ring around the outside of the glass not long after pouring. It tries to stick to the glass, but can't quite hang.

Smell- Great pumpkin pie smell with many spices at play. Background of caramel malt.

Taste and Mouthmeel- The caramel malt in the background provides an excellent base for the spices to stand on. Typical spice array here I'd say, though I'd say there is an emphasis on allspice more than any of the other typical pumpkin beer players. The magnum hops in my opinion are maybe not quite the right choice here, but they work pretty well overall. I'd like to see a little less agressive hop however which would help take away the slightly bitter finish that this has and move it a little more toward the malty side.

Drinkability and Conclusion- Easily the best pumpkin beer I've had overall. I'm usually disappointed by pumpkin beers, but this one lives up to the hype. Amazingly drinkable for 9% and for a pumpkin beer. I had no problem getting through a bomber of this myself. This one makes it on my perennial seasonal list for sure.

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Photo of philbe311
3.74/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Orange amber hue... Slight white head quickly fades... Minimal lacing on top, but improves as it clings to the glass throughout the session... Small faced paced carbonation, only in the center of the glass...

S - A heavy pumpkin pie scent... Pumpkin filling / puree... Crust... Minimal spices... Nutty aromas throughout... Malt... Apple butter...

T - Nuts and pumpkin dominate... Malt... Crust... Alcohol...

M - Smooth... Slightly oily... Dry... A little on the thin side... Slight carbonation on the tongue...

D - The effort is greatly appreciated as this is an inspired and unique Pumpkin Ale... A sipper, especially by Pumpkin Ale standards...

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

Poured from the bottle an orange-gold with thin white wispy head.

The aroma is exactly like a slice of warm pumpkin pie.

The taste is much like the aroma. Fresh pumpkin pie, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spices, and vanilla.

Light-to-medium bodied and lightly carbonated.

A great example of a quality pumpkin ale. Had this on Halloween and enjoyed every sip.

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Photo of gford217
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear orangish amber with a short lived off-white head that showed decent retention and lacing.

The smell is fantastic, like a pumpkin pie. Huge Pumpkin aroma with brown sugar and spices with some base malt.

The taste is a little spicier than the aroma with nutmeg, cinnamon and addition spices. There is an underlying malt sweetness with some pumpkin and a hint of hops.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lots of carbonation.

This is the most authentic pumpkin ale I've tasted in recent memory and a perfect drink for Halloween evening.

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

appearance - Clear golden-copper color. Just a ring around the glass her, no lace.

smell - mmm Can I start drinking it now? This is like the best smelling beer ever. Pumkin, cinamon, and has this candy sweetness smell. Like a desert.

taste - Nice taste of spices, pumkin, and cinamon here. Ting of hops at the end.

mouthfeel - Medium-light body, very few bubbles here.

drinkability - Real nice sipper. Its goign to take a long time for to finish this. All I want to do is smell it and savor the taste.

Goes good with pumkin seed :) Happy Halloween!

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Photo of SaucyA
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Happy Halloween

A - Pours with a very, very wispy ring of white head, over a rather orange, syrupy body. A very small amount of bubbles rise through the thick mass of beer. Into a Trois Pistoles goblet, as per the side of the bottle.

S - Mmmm! Quite nice pumpkin pie scent, with major graham cracker notes. Cinnamon, pumpkin, allspice, vanilla.

T - Wow. This tastes like an autumn candle. I don't know if that's good or bad yet. Super huge vanilla and cinnamon notes throughout... it's not really much of a "beer" so much as a tasty alcohol drink. Spiced bread, traditional spices, graham cracker. It is very reminescent of pumpkin pie, yet has an odd, fake characteristic I'm not dying for. It's good and bold, but a little overdone.

M - A little too thin, and a little too undercarbonated for my taste.

D - It's different. A little cloying, a little odd, but not necessarilly bad. I'll finish this bottle and wait til next year.

Notes: What a great evening for a Pumking.

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Photo of bigkahunas4
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a bomber into my snifter on all hallows eve.

Appearance: Minimal head, but some nice big bubbles along the rim. Some nice sticky lacing. Pours a butterscotch color - with some red sand lowlights.

Smell: Big nose of pie crust on this one. Background is big time harvest ale with a big pumpkin profile. Hints of spices also come through. Quite Unique.

Taste: Taste is quite complex presenting an array of flavors. Starts with a woody malt character with pumpkin flavor shooting to the back of the mouth. Moves to a well balanced hop background, rich with the buttery crust flavors
At first I didn't think I liked it - but after a few sips and really thinking about this one - it's very nice.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied - very smooth. Nice crispy carbonation that lingers.

Drinkability: While the taste is quite interesting - it's not the most refreshing. I mean just think of the concept of drinking liquid pie crust. An interesting seasonal- just not my favorite.

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

22 oz. bomber drank the night before Halloween!

A - Cool story and graphics on the bottle. Deep amber/orange color in the glass with no head.

S - Fall in a glass. The best beer I have ever smelled. Very complex. Real pumpkin smell, not so much spice but actual pumpkin. Maybe a little spice, nutmeg.

T- Very balanced. Starts a little sweet and transitions to some real pumpkin and a little nutmeg in the middle. Ends with a bitter hop and slight alcohol bite.

M - Very creamy and full.

D - Great for a pumpkin ale. Very balanced and not overspiced.

This beer def. lives up to its billing as the top pumpkin ale. Very good. Mouthfeel and spices sort of remind me of egg nog.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours murky honey with not much head, settles to only ring. Not much lacing.

S - Pumpkin pie - sweet pumpkin pie, all the way.

T - My god, pureed pumpkin pie, the sweetness, the spices, they are all there.

M - Medium body, good carb and coating, great balance, considering the flavors dealt with.

D - This would get gross eventually. SPECTACULAR beer if you try just one. Old George W. knew what he was doing when he wanted to add this fruit to his beer.

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Photo of birchstick
2.88/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Orangeish/amber in color with absolutely no head
S - Huge aroma. Smells mostly of graham cracker crust and of course a little pumpkin...smells like a spiceless pumpkin pie or cheesecake that is loaded with graham cracker.
T - This didn't taste how I expected it to. It was big on flavor, but the flavor didn't strike me as being pleasant after a while. Tastes malty sweet and then pumpkin pie, but there was also a lot of emphasis on graham cracker and pumpkin bread. There was also cinnamon in the finish, but the cinnamon was way too overdone.
M - goes down smoothly, but a bit thin
D - This one is not my cup of tea (or glass of beer). It was enjoyable to try, but I was not big on it because it was so overpowering in its smell in taste, neither of which I really enjoyed. I like pumpkin ales, however this one just didn't do it for me.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to bwyker for throwing this in on a recent trade. First whiff is pumpkin...bread. Yep, straight pumpkin bread and not pie. Nice orange color, white head. Ok, maybe this does have a little pumpkin pie to the aroma. The taste is pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, graham cracker crust, mmm. I only need about one pumpkin beer per year and this one hits the spot.

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Photo of AMo
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Southern Tier Pumking pours a dense pumpkin orange with slight amber hue. A little fizzy carbonation makes its way thought the viscous liquid, but not much. The smell is very pleasant, yielding a moderate to strong pumpkin aroma. This is by far the best example of a pumpkin tasting beer I've ever had. The taste is strong with tons of pumpkin flavor and a good alcohol kick that isn't evident in the taste, but in the head. Mouthfeel is heavy, dense, and feels like puree pumpkin nectar. Overall drinkability for this brew is fantastic. Its everything and more I could have wanted in a pumpkin beer. The best standard I've seen for what this brew should be.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.69/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a remarkably clear/well-filtered burnt orange color. Small head and not much lace. Just fine, looks nice, but not crazy hot.

Aroma is spicy, reminiscent of pumpkin pie of course, but I'm mostly reminded of fresh carrot cake, including the white frosting that sometimes comes on top. Lightly sugar sweet, with some fresh cream, and, well, carroty. Very, very nice. Calling this Carrot Cake Ale may not have sold as many bottles, but just judging from the aroma, they could have marketed it as such.

It's been pointed out that pumpkin itself really doesn't have much flavor, and that's true, but there's an undeniably musty, mellow squash-like thing happening here, and it's wonderful. Again, carrot cake springs readily to mind and glides decadently over the tongue. Something like sweet cream enters the picture, matched by the luxuriously soft, creamy, round texture. Light spices come into play, but in a much less cloying manner than most pumpkin ales. Totally well-hidden alcohol too, present maybe only as a subtle wave of warmth, but that's it. Absolutely the tastiest take on the style I've ever had, even more so than Elysian and Smuttynose's autumnal offerings.

Perhaps the most authentically pumpkin-like flavor of any pumpkin ale I've had, and the carrot cake element is not only uncanny but ridiculously delicious. Like sitting down with a fresh baked pie and a big glass of creamy milk, Pumking reminds of Thanksgiving, raking leaves, and cozying up by the first of the season's fires. Next time I bring home a bunch more than just two frickin' bottles. Superb.

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Photo of nrpellegrini
4.79/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy golden orange/ brown color with a nice off white head that stays around. Smells like pumpkin pie, specifically whipped cream. It was such a huge sweet smell, I could pratically taste it already. Once it hit my lips I was convinced, this is the best pumpkin beer. I had just bit into the most perfect piece of liquid pumpkin pie. The spices, sweetness, and texture with right on. It went down so easy and crisp, great mouthfeel.
I think one bottle would be perfect.. just no more in one sitting because of the sweetness.

A roller coaster of thoughts for this beer. Everyone told me how amazing it was and that I had to try it because it was hands down the best. Then one of my better beer buds got 2 bottles, he had the first by himself and say it was such a disappointment. Not a bad beer but it didn't live up to the hype. He brought in the second bottle to try and as you can tell, I thought different. Oh yea, he changed his mind too, said the first must have been a bad bottle...

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

This beer certainly pushes the limites of pumpkin ales. Forget the subtle aromas and flavors of pumpkin ales of a few years ago. It is really the spices that give this beer it's orginality. Sweet and smooth, with smells like a pumpkin pie baking in the oven. I could not tell this beer was 9%. Scary. It'not even heavy for this style. It sweetness is the only part that lets you know this is one beer you need to be careful with.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11/09 Update to this review.

This has become my favorite fall beer.

Coconut, vanilla, nutmeg, slight pumpkin...
I've upgraded two scores... I just love this beer.

O.K., I have to say that this is going to be a different review than I initially thought. I had purchased a bottle of Pumking when it first hit the shelves in August. I've been waiting for a Halloween gathering to break open the bottle. However, I saw it on tap at the Horseshoe Pub and was given a taste. (sample) I really didn't like it from the sample and had convinced myself it wasn't my thing... Well last night I broke out the bomber for me and a friend and I was very pleasantly surprised. It really grew on me. I mean really, really grew on me. By the time I finished my glass I was a little bummed I didn't have another bottle.

The beer had a decent off white head that was very creamy and demonstrated nice retention. The beer was copper in color and rather clear. There was a decent amount of lacing left behind.

The aroma was thick and heavy with pumpkin pie spices. Nutmeg and clove came through.

At first, it's a bit much, bit once you acclimate yourself it's really nice. Thick, rich, almost creamy pumpkin pie in a bottle. The spices really pop and work well with the pumpkin used in the brewing. I'm not sure I taste the pumpkin as much as it effects the mouth feel of the beer. It was kind of addicting.

Mouth feel was BIG, thick and rich. At first, I thought drinkability would be an issue, but it was not.

A very nice Pumpkin beer.

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Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 7,398 ratings.
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