Pumking | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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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

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Reviews: 1,927 | Ratings: 7,388
Photo of womencantsail
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to mikesgroove for sending one of these my way.

A: Pumking pours an opaque amber color with plenty of copper and orange highlights. A fluffy white head sits atop the beer.

S: It smells like pumpkin pie in a glass. A great sweetness and all of the usual pumpkin pie spices such as cinnaomon, nutmeg, and all spice. A bit of a graham cracker and marshmallow aroma are present as well.

T: Much like the nose would let on. A soft pumpkin flavor and a lot of the sweet and spicy characteristics of pumpkin pie. The marshmallow that was present in the nose is much more pronounced on the palate. There's a bit of a "pie crust" taste on this too.

M: The carbonation is fairly light and this is to the benefit of the beer, I feel. It is very smooth on the tongue and quite full bodied.

D: A great flavor and aroma, but like actual pumpkin pie, I'm not sure how much of this I could actually drink.

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Photo of bsp77
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bomber into Goblet.

Appearance: Somewhat clear burnt orange with thin off-white head that doesn't leave much behind.

Smell: Pumpkin galore - sweet pumpkin pie with lots of spice, such as cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, with a dollop of creme. Do not smell much beer in there, but that is fine; it smells delicious.

Taste: Very spicy and pumpkin-like. Surprisingly, a lot of the spiciness seems to come from the hops. Somewhat sweet pumpkin pie is evident and it does taste as if there is whipped cream. The alcohol is a little too noticeable.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, creamy body, pretty dry despite the sweet pumpkin taste.

Drinkability: Easily the best pumpkin beer I have had. Doesn't really seem like a beer, more like liquid pumpkin pie. However, between the alcohol and very un-beerlike taste, it is hard to drink too much.

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

Appearance: A nice clear orange color with great carbonation and a nice thin head.
Smell: The malt and yeasts combine to give it an initial scent almost like pie crust. It finishes with a great blend of spices ranging from cinnamon to nutmeg and all spice.
Taste: It has a really nice spicy flavor that is accentuated by the hops. I liked the deep pumpkin flavor and it has a very clean taste on the whole.
Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Very clean and clear. It isnt too heavy and really masks the alcohol well.

I applaud the creativity of this beer and the style in general. Very cool name.

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Photo of russpowell
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from SMason, cheers! Let this one warm up for about 20 minute prior to decanting

Pours an effervescent amber/bronze with a finger of khaki colored head. Zero head retention & lacing. Appearance drags down an otherwise fantastic beer

S: Rich pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg & some pumpkin flesh as well, superb nose

T: Follows the nose; nutmeg, all spice & general pumpkin flavor up front, along with some herbal hop bitterness. More of the same as this warms with cinnamon & a touch of booze leading the way flavor-wise, plus a kiss of toffee & a touch of herbal hops. finishes with some herbal hops contrasting pumpkin pie sweetness & spiceyness

MF: Light, especially considering the ABV, slightly prickly carbonation up front, fades after awhile. A bit of stickyness & chewyness comes on as this warms

Drinks pretty darn easy, although I can feel the ABV asserting itself at the end. One of the better Pumpkin beers out there IMO

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Photo of GrittyMug345
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A vigorous pour into a Karmeliet Triple goblet from a 22oz. brown bomber.

A- A very nice deep copper, "pumpkin" color, thin head dissipates to nice lacing.

S- Fresh pumpkin pie, nice balance of spices, can actually pick up some pumpkin.

T- Nice caramel malt flavor with just enough spice to compliment, nutmeg and cinnamon being most prominent, pleasant hop bitterness, finish of lingering cinnamon.

M- Very full mouthfeel, thick and creamy, almost too much so.

D- I'm not a big pumpkin beer drinker but this one does it for me. Balanced and not over spiced, I would definately sit down and have one of these a couple times each fall.

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Photo of KenC411
2.87/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Appearance: Orange brown with a 1/2 in head, that fades in about a minute.

Smell: Pumpkin, crust, hints of whipped cream. Just like a pumpkin pie. Though, I do notice some hints of smarties, which is weird.

Taste: Cookie initially, then malt and pumpkin. Alcohol notes are deep, and a bit off putting. Very sweet, nearly no hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very thin, expected the beer to be thicker.

Drinkability: Its a very strong flavor. Sweet, though not sickenly sweet, though it needs a point of savory to be more balanced. I think the beer is sweeter than pumpkin pie itself! Definitely a dessert beer. I dont think I could drink more than one, and at 9% ABV, I really shouldn't. After drinking a full glass, I can say that it is Way too sweet. I nearly poured it out.

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

Southern Tier Pumking
22 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip glass

Pours a burnt orange. A true color of the Fall in New England.

Beautiful whiffs of baked bread, cinnamon and other spices.

What a delicious beer with a warm cinnamon dough and allspice flavors. A truly wonderful malt backbone. The mouthfeel is so soft and smooth, its like a nicely crafted cookie with holiday spices. Imagine nutmeg, toffee chips and allspice with a caramel sweetness. Wheat and vanilla granola with a bready thickness. Gingerbread with sprinkled sugar flavors.

This is an excellent pumpkin ale.

I'm impressed.

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Photo of u2carew
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. Consumed 10/08/10
A) Pours with a two finger head. Head is tight and creamy. Lacing is semi-sticky. Orange-bronze in color. Transparent body. Mellow upward CO2.
S) Pumpkin. Nutmeg. Cinnamon. Vanilla.
T) Sweet blast of pumpkin, vanilla and malt. If this were a dessert it would be rich - liken to a pumpkin roll. Light hops in the finish and aftertaste. The alcohol is this brew is masked with a robust taste.
M) Light fizziness. Fairly smooth. Medium bodied.
D) A delicious brew. Not one that you chug. A slow sipper. Nice, easy and enjoyable.

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Photo of sneal
4.61/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got this one in a trade with SMason. Big thanks for this outstanding beer!

A: Pours a clear, deep copper-orange with a small white head that dissipated quickly with no lacing. The color is gorgeous, but I would have liked better head retention.

S: Lots of spice in the aroma, with nutmeg coming to the fore. It's cliche, but this really does smell like pumpkin pie.

T: Again, the spices hit first with faint notes of vanilla. It finishes with a bit of hop bitterness. Extremely well-balanced.

M: Sweet and creamy. Full-bodied but not too heavy and with low carbonation.

D: The 9% alcohol is extraordinarily well hidden, and my bomber disappeared in no time. One of the most easily drinkable high gravity brews I've ever had. If only this was available in my neck of the woods.

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Photo of kenpo23
4.82/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh my, what can I say....

I try any pumpkin brew that I can get my hands on. Pumking is hands down the best that I have ever tried.

Smell- A heavenly aroma that reminds you right away of mom's pumpkin pie.

Taste- With an amazing taste that follows the smell, it tastes just like moms pumpkin pie. The first sip to me was a bit overpowering, only because no beer i've come across has had this much pumpkin flavor, but after the first sip I knew what a pumpkin brew should taste like.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours out a clearish, deep orange body with a tall-standing, frothy, white head.

Smell: All rights, friends, so, it smells greatly of oven-fresh pumpkin pie. Who's with me? Who the HAPPY HALLOWEEN is with me?

Taste: Sweet caramel malts plunged deep into fresh pumpkin puree and liberally coated in a pumpkin pie spice blend and smoothed over with a touch of vanilla creme. I'm sure it's been said dozens of times over, but it's rather pumpkin pie-like, with the malts even mimicking a flavor of rich, crisp graham cracker crust garnished with candy corn. Subtle hop presence and bitterness. Drying finish with a lingering spiced pumpkin taste and some slight alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Excellent for a pumpkin ale! Look, whoever is giving you advice like, "don't bother with Pumking" is no friend of yours. Take your vengeful fists and clock that mofo in the mouth and spit on their prone, beaten body, because they aren't helping you at all. Oh, and Happy Halloween!!

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

consumed 9/28
This beer pours a a nice bright orangey copper color with a 1/2 finger of off white head that recedes rapidly, leaving wispy spotty lacing on the sides of the glass. The nose is amazing. I have to say, I just kept going back to smell this one before every sip..and sometimes just to smell it. Nose is mainly of pumpkin,butter, vanilla, and just the right amount of spices. Most pumpkin beers go all out with spices, but the spice are more a background hint in this beer. Taste is some caramel malts up front lending to a buttery, pumpkin flavoring, hint of vanilla mingle and finishes with a touch of nutmeg, more pumpkin and vanilla. Medium bodied, mild carbonation, nice creamy mouth feel, slightly oily in the finish. I like me some pumpkin beers, so I could session this one any day, any time.

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Photo of Anthony1
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A one finger head right after the pour, that recedes to a small island of foam andring. Good medium copper hue with a very strong column of bubbling. The aroma is hearty pumpkin bread, strong malt notes and a well integrated pumpkin aroma. The taste is equally bready and pumpkin-ey, but with more emphasis on spices. Notes of numeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar come throuh in the middle. The finish is a dry, grainy pumpkin bread. Good sipping beer on a brisk october evening.

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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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Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 7,388 ratings.
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