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Pumking | Southern Tier Brewing Company

1,914 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States | website

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
19 Degrees Plato
8.8 Degrees L
2-row Pale Malt
Caramel Malt
Pureed Pumpkin

Kettle Hops: Magnum
Aroma Hops: Sterling

Added by BeerBeing on 08-26-2007

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,914 | Ratings: 7,343
Photo of WalterSobchak
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear coppery color with an off-white dense head that lingered and clung to the goblet, good lacing.
Big pumpkin and spice right out of the bottle. Sweet honey-like undertones.
Smooth with a more subdued pumpkin flavor and a robust nutmeg and clove punch followed by the malt. A nice hoppiness comes through at the end to balance all this out.
Creamy and smooth on the palate. Slightly acidic but everything remains mellow.
Complex and well balanced. This works best as a nice post-meal treat.

 503 characters

Photo of portia99
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Pours a brilliantly clear, bright orange/copper color. A quickly dissipating slightly off white, 1/2 finger of foam makes a brief apearance and dies to some sparse bubbles on the surface.

S - Smells of fresh pumpkin, light nutmeg, cinnamon, and maybe a hint of bubblegum here. Spicy and sweet - just like a fresh pumpkin pie. Smells really good.

T - Wow! Liquid pumpkin pie. Plenty of pumpkin character comes thru (which is fairly unique in my experience with pumpkin beers - usually just get the spice), even with the good amount of spices here. Nutmeg, cinnamon, medium hop bitterness. Just the right amount of malty, sugary sweetness. All blend together just about perfectly.

M - Light to medium bodied. Good malt backbone gives enough thickness but isn't syrupy. Herbal and spicy flavors fill the mouth, give a slight cooling sensation. Carbonation is on the high side and gives a good, lively fizziness.

D - Good fall seasonal that fits well with the cool evenings. Nice and crisp...just feels like autumn. Gotta make sure I pick up another bottle and save for Thanksgiving...high level of alcohol limits drinkability, but is difficult to detect while drinking. This one could sneak up on you...

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Photo of bum732
2.94/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Pours a clear copper orange, decent creamy head with great lacing. Smells of mostly rich pumpkin pie, cinnamon pie crust, vanilla, touch of bourbon, just heavenly. Tastes much the same, very sweet with an almost sour pumpkin component, not very pleasing. Spicy bitterness gives way to grain sweetness and some black pepper. Finishes with some metal and toasted grain. Alcohol is present. Good full bodied mouthfeel.

A very big beer. The nose on this is amazing, too bad the taste falls apart. There were elements in the taste that i just found very off, the sour pumpkin, the metal like bitterness, almost astrigency, maybe from tannins or grain. I actually couldn't finish it, which is too bad, because its one of the best smelling beers ever.

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Photo of UA8
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep amber color with minimal white head.

S- Smells like pumpkin pie or maybe pumpkin pie pudding.

T- Tastes like a sweet pumpkin pie. Sorry to be so simple but they pretty much nailed the flavor. The finish however does remind me of a hoppy ESB.

M- My only complaint is that I feel its a bit thin in body but I'm really pulling at thread here.

D- For a pumpkin beer any of whIch I would probably top out at havibg 2 this is pretty darn tasty.

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Photo of almychristopher
4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is by far the best pumpkin beer that i've ever had. i like the pumkin pie taste and they've nailed it. from the aroma full of malty cinnamon nutmeg and yes pumpkin to the full body and warm alcohol going down, it is one of the best parts of fall.

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

A: Pours a deep, hazy burnt orange color. The head is modest, with a beige tint and a creamy texture. Retention is average, with some irregular lacing.

S: Pumpkin pie! A nice pumpkin/squash aroma forms the backbone. Nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon are all present in the correct proportions. Definite hints of vanilla. A spicy, almost rumlike character as well.

T: Some toasty caramel malt. Loads of pumpkin flavor that is distinct from the pie spices. Nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon - delicious. Vanilla is also prominent, combining with the other flavors to lend an authentic whipped cream and pie character. There is a bit of hop bitterness to balance out what likely would have been an overdone sweetness. At 9% abv, the alcohol does make itself known, but in an appealing spicy, dessert-esque way.

M: Rather light for the big flavors and abv. A mildly creamy texture. A bit of heat from the alcohol, but in a sneaky way.

D: This is a very unique pumpkin ale from Southern Tier. This is a dessert as much as it is a beer. Very interesting and wonderfully brewed. Perhaps not my favorite style, but on a cool, clear night like this, it's close to ideal.

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Photo of jpwadd
4.77/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I poured two glasses out of a 22 ounce bottle and as I smelled it, I said "oh, my god" and walked away with both glasses. As I was tempted back to share with the other three people, someone else also said "oh, my god" Definitely my favorite pumpkin beer ever (I love pumpkin and beer) After my first few ounces, I've already tried to order a keg. Not perfect, but damn close.

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

Appearance - Pours a clear, bright orange. Little off-white head quickly disappears and leaves minimal lacing.
Smell - Tremendous nose. Nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin - this smells just like fall and pumpkin pie.
Taste - Sweet, bready malts, bitter hop kick in an effort to balance the beer and lots of pumpkin, pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice.
Mouthfeel - Medium-light body with moderate to light carbonation.
Drinkability - Quite drinkable, especially for a 9% beer. Still a beer that is best split due to the s.

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Photo of jera1350
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap, I would have to say Pumking is just slightly better than from the bottle. Either way, this is liquid pumpkin pie, whip cream and all. Deep amber color with creamy small head of foam. Nice lacing. Smells and tastes just as described above. Rich, sweet and satisfying. I may bring this to Thanksgiving for dessert instead of the actual pumpkin pie. The best Fall beer out there. This is a must try.

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Photo of Nesued
2.21/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

650ml bottle.

Appearance - Golden in color, medium to light carbonation, clear. Moderate head that resolves to a thin ring.

Smell - Spicey "Fall/pumkin pie" aroma. Lots of nose but a medicinal, almost "fake" nose as well. Seems to be trying to be too much over the top. Looses a bit at the end.

Taste - Wow, sweet, sweet, and sweet. Not from malt body, more from just candi sugar. Way out of balance. Tasted better as it warmed.

Mouthfeel - Thin and lacking. At least for me. I've had other fall offerings in this style that were more balanced.

Drinkability - I've had several Southern Tier offerings and for my taste, they seem way out of balance. Far too sweet is this one. I'm not sure how I can use this beer. Dessert? After-dinner? Hard to find a place, other than as a novelty. Needs more balance, in my opinion.

 828 characters

Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22oz brown pop top bottle with awesome label and a nice ditty about the beer

Appearance: A strong pour produces a dark golden beer with bright clarity and a large-bubbled ivory cap with good retention

Smell: Big pumpkin and huge spicy cookie presence; this is like a pumpkin gingersnap, super sweet, spicy, and biscuity goodness...pungent and quite interesting

Taste: Huge pumpkin cookie flavors...biscuity cookie, fresh pumpkin, spicy sweetness...wow; this is like a sucker punch to the tastebuds (in a good way). Ends just a tiny bit bitter on the finish, with some spicy hops poking through.

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy

Drinkability: This bomber dissappeared alarmingly fast

Conclusion: Definitely a different sort of pumpkin beer; it's like a really, REALLY boozy pumpkin gingersnap cookie...odd, but delicious

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Photo of kegger22
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a pumpkin orange with a generous head that quickly faded to a bare collar. The aroma was exactly that pumpkin pie smell, nutmeg, cinnamon, amazing. The taste was also like pumpkin pie, but with a nasty, bitterish aftertaste. I could not appreciate that aftertaste, but it did not entirely spoil the flavor. The feel was medium bodied with good carbonation. Drinkability was good. DFH Punkin' didn't smell so much like pie, but I preferred it.

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Photo of rhinos00
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

NOTE: I hate pumpkin beers, but I still tried to go into this with an open mind. Poured into a pint glass at South Park Tavern.

A- Pours a clear, copper color. Produced a solid two fingers width of off-white head.

S- The aroma was quite the treat. Lots of spices, some ginger and toasted, slighlty burnt pumpkin pie. Perfect balance, was not over spiced like many others I have had before.

T- Like the aroma, but less pumpkin and more ginger. To tell you the truth, the first thing I told my friend was that it tasted like the gingerman cookies I had when I was a kid. Loved the bready malts and the use of the various spices.

M- Medium bodied. Lots of carbonation, felt a bit thin at points.

D- While this tasted phenomenal, a pint was a little too much. I could have gone for a half pint. This is one of those beers that is really complex and rich, thus hindering it's drinkability.

Overall, easily the best pumpkin beer I have ever had. Great balance and nothing was overdone. If I had to drink a pumpkin beer, this is the one I would choose.

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Photo of colsandurz
4.69/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this brew. I read the guidelines on the side, about comparing personal taste with the brewers style in mind. This beer is the perfect mix between the two. From what I can tell, the Southern Tier expressed themselves perfectly as well as matching my own tastes.

So, the beer:
A - Clear, a little lighter than the color of a real pumpkin

S - Reminds me of nothing but pumpkin pie. A dominant pumpkin smell is there, with just the right amount of sweetness and spiciness.

T - Just the same as the aroma. When I smelled this beer I really hoped the taste would match (which is not the case frequently). There's a very strong pumpkng flavor with some sweetness and spiciness.

M - A bit in the middle. I would have liked it just a little heavier.

D - I bought a 24oz bottle and I think I could drink three or four of them.

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Photo of Natural510
4.31/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark orange; thick, syrupy appearance, albeit not much going on in the foam/lace department.
The scent is incredible; pungent aroma of pumpkin, cinnamon & nutmeg emanates from the brew to the point I can't stop sniffing it long enough to have a drink.
The flavor is much like the aroma in that it perfectly transforms a pumpkin pie from solid to liquid form. There is an added hop note you obviously wouldn't find in a pie, otherwise the sweet pumpkin and heavy spices are interpreted true to form.
Thick mouthfeel, with an added spice kick from the nutmeg. Hops are mild but complementary to the brew.
Drinkability is good depending on the volume; the server mentioned it would come in a snifter, but the bartender mistakenly poured me a pint. I enjoyed the first half but had trouble finishing an entire pint due to all the spice involved.
Still very good; an ideal finish to a large holiday dinner.

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

I appreciate the very nice authentic pumpkin aroma to the beer, I appreciate its full body, and full palate of flavors. The beer beer is substantial, clear, light coppery amber in color, with a smallish white creamy head and plenty of lacing. The nose is pumpkin pie, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

The taste is just too packed with ABV for my preferences. The beer has just too much booziness and throaty burn on the way down. The nice pumpkin, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon is very enticing. If this beer could have been toned down in ABV, I certainly would have appreciated it better. This beer is harsh due to the ABV and it detracts from the many positives that recommend it. I'm deducting points from mouthfeel and drinkability.

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Photo of Brad007
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice orange-copper color with a thin one-finger head into my fluted glass. Nice color for the style.

Aroma is full of strong nutmeg and pumpkin with a definite whiff similar to pumpkin pie. The pumpkin pie aroma is stronger than another example of the style I like (Pumpkinhed).

Taste is sweet and spicy with the flavors of a pumpkin pie (nutmeg and pumpkin) and it's so strong, I can almost taste the crust in my mouth. Mmmmm. Tasty. Not overly sweet.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering pumpkin pie flavors. Carbonation is a bit weak which does help drinkability since this is a stronger beer. I have to remind myself to take it easy. That's how deceptive it is.

Very good. This beer, along with Smashed Pumpkin and Pumpkinhead are probably the only three examples of pumpkin beers that I like. All three are worth a try but if you really, really like pumpkin pie, pumking will satisfy that craving.

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Photo of mjl21
3.38/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Acquired via trade...thanks Mikey. 22 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. Comes in at 9%. No bottling info is given.

A-Really nice looking beer. Pours a very clear amber with beautiful orange highlights. It has an extremely minimal off white head that has a low level of retention. Lots of bubbles can be seen rising from the bottom. If this had a better head I would give it a 5.

S-The nose lets you know right away that this is a pumpkin brew. Lots of nutmeg, clove, and cinammon are present throughout. There is also an aroma in this one that reminds me of a freshly baked pie crust.

T-The pumpkin pie spices that are apparent in the nose are just as stong in the mouth. It really is a liquid pumpkin pie. There is some booze that is apparent in the back. The aftertaste is a combination of cinammon and spearmint. I am unable to find any trace of hop flavoring due to all of the spices used.

M-The body falls on the upper end of the medium spectrum. It feels like an Imperial style beer.

D-For lovers of pumpkin beers, this is one of the best. I shared my 22 ounce bottle and could not put down an entire one.

This was an interesting one to review. I am not the biggest pumpkin pie fan and when I have it I make sure there is plenty of whipped cream. All of the components of what a pumpkin beer are supposed to have are evident in this beer but I personally found them to be a little much. If you like pumpkin beers, this is the one for you. If you are like me and typically don't buy this style, I suggest sharing it as it is very spiced.

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Photo of DawnL
3.56/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amber/orange color with no lacing.

Beautiful pumpkin perfume with good spicing. Very happy to taste this beer up against the Wolaver.

Sharp clove and an allspice-berry tinge. I'm not getting much pumpkin on the palate. It's getting overwhelmed by the alcohol heat.

Alcohol burn from the high abv.

I like it but, with the alcohol burn it's a bit intense to drink. The intial moments of the brew are excellent - clearly a well made ale.

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Photo of diechipmunk
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I tried several early (back in the 90s) pumpkin beers and found them to be mostly just a nutmeg added to an amber, or some other simple "base" brew. I see so many great reviews for current pumpkin ales on BA, I figured I had to try some. I don't think I'll be tailgating with this, but it will be an after dinner option for the fall season.

S- I poured from a bomber into a glass that is somewhere between a wide-mouthed tulip or a flared challice. With my nose in the glass, the arome was real pumpkin pie backing.

T- It's a little sweet for my usual tasts, but, as with many Southern Tier bombers, I enjoy as a desert beerm so it hit the spot. The pumpkin taste is right there, with cinnamon, burn sugar and a hint of nutmeg and maybe cloves. It really is liquid pumpkin pie.

M- silky, Medium mouthfeel. heavy enough for the flavors to linger, but not overly so cloying.

D- Suprisingly (to me) good. Pumking is a reasonably complex and well blended combination of flavors. I will buy it again.

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Photo of beerswamie
2.32/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Have been wanting to try this after seeing that it was one of the top pumpkin brews, it finally made it to the shelves in my area so I immediately picked up a bomber.

On opening I took a whiff and was kind of put off, it did not smell pumpkin pieish to me.

It poured a beautiful golden orange with a nice head that quickly dissipated.

On my first taste I was like wow there is something different about this compared to all the pumkin ales i have had, I can't place it but this stuff left a very funky after taste in my mouth. Truthfully I struggled to finish the bottle.

In ending i don't know where the hype comes from on this stuff but Schlafly's Imperial Pumpkin Ale blows this stuff away.

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Photo of BJam
4.9/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pumking 2009 - Southern Tier Brewing Company
Bomber: $5.99

Appearance: Clear orange almost pumpkin color with not much head.

Smell: this was one of the best things about this ale. every time you take a sip you smell delicious pumpkin pie. Yumm

Taste: Very strong pumpkin taste and not overly sweet. Perfect amount of malt with just enough spice.

Mouthfeel: The flavor was in the back more then up front. Nice and crisp.

Drinkability: Obviously, you have to be in the mood for this one. It is seasonal and it is pumpkin but as far as I am concerned, it is the best pumpkin ale on the market.

 595 characters

Photo of Adamdc
2.42/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

After reading all the great reviews of this beer I was looking forward to trying it. Well...it was a bit of a letdown for me. This beer poured beautifully but from then on it was a little too 'over-the-top' for me. In both the aroma and the taste, the spices were way too strong. I wasn't sure if I was having a beer or drinking some kind of pumpkin pie smoothie. The cinnamon and the allspice and the clove were just so overpowering that, despite it's $9 price tag, I had to make it a drain pour.

 497 characters

Photo of Watti
4.59/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I find it interesting that many reviews speak of spices like clove and cinnamon as being distinctive in this beer. In fact I find most pumpkin ales in general rely to heavily on triggering your "comfort food" senses with pumpkin pie spices.

Not so here.

Pumking is a standout for me because from aroma to taste it wonderfully blends pumpkin flavor with perfectly balanced maltiness. I'm not talking pie here, I'm talking the essential essence of pumkpin , like what it smells like when you drive the knife in, ring the top and carve yourself a jack-o-lantern.

The sweetness and mouth feel is wonderful, and although there is some spicy undertone, I find it refreshingly taking a back seat to the play of malt and pumpkin - which is as it should be I think.

What a delicious beer.

 787 characters

Photo of BierFan
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Big light tan head. Clear amber body. I was guessing the beer would be darker than it is. Good head retention.

Smell: The pumpkin pie spices are right up front. Very sweet. The pumpkin itself is also noticeable.

Taste: Much more of a pumpkin flavor than any other pumpkin ale I've had. Overly sweet, this beer is definitely not dentist approved. Not overly spiced like some beers of this style tend to be. The alcohol remains fairly well hidden. Only a tiny bit of alcohol warmth.

 544 characters

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