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Pumking | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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1,945 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: 1,945 | Ratings: 7,471
Photo of blackenmn
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a goblet:

Appearance and Smell:Poured a nice dark transparent orange with a very small off white head which dissipated quickly and stuck to the glass nicely. This beasty pumpkin brew smelled of sweet creamy pumpkin pie, plenty of ginger and nutmeg. A bit of earthy hop presence and come sweet cinnamon as well. Smelled great, very similar to sweet pumpkin pie with a spice not to it.

Taste and Mouthfeel:Tasted extremly sweet, edging on cloyingly sweet. A definite desert like brew. Tasted of sticky pumpkin pie with sweet cream almost vanilla like undertones, even more spice in the taste than recognized by the nose. This thing really strived to be pumpkin pie in a bottle it seems. Finishes sticky and spicy after the initial burst of pumpkin spice and sweetness fades.

Drinkability:I've had this before and probably will again. A very unique pumpkin brew. Kind of in it's own league. This brew is really growing on me. Glad I didn't review it earlier.

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Photo of VincentFrey
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 22oz bomber into DFH signature glass.

Appearance: Nice pale orange, with some yellowish hints around the edges in the light. No real lacing, head, or anything in particular. If it wasn't appropriate for the style, it'd just seem like a Yuengling.

Smell: Truly stands out. I imagine there has to be SOME spicing in here, but it smells just like pumpkin with hints of nutmeg. Captures the beer spectacularly.

Taste: One of the best pumpkin beers on the market. Rich pumpkin flavor and fall spices, with a light enough malt back to keep it in check.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat thin and watery. The spicing lingers for a while but nothing special.

Overall: A very good seasonal beer, and a classic example of the pumpkin / yam style.

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Photo of uawildcat
3.49/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very light colored for a pumpkin ale, not too much of a head when poured, but it is a big beer with 8.6% ABV. (3.5/5)

S: This is a new smell for a pumpkin ale, it's smell is like pumpkin pie with a bunch of vanilla. This smell reminds me of the Souther Tier Creme Brûlée that I had along time ago. (4.5/5)

T: Way different than all the other pumpkin ales out there. Very sweet, kind of vanilla like. A slight pumpkin pie type spice with it. Tastes artificial and overly sweet to me. (3/5)

M: It doesn't have much stickiness for how sweet it is. Has me wondering if there are artificial flavors in this beer. A little hot. (3/5)

O: Overall, this isn't a beer that I would buy again, but I am glad I had it. Before I had other pumpkin beers this is what I would imagine a pumpkin beer should have tasted like. Now, after having many in its style, I would have to say this comes off as gimmicky. The flavor seems artificial. (3.5/5)

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

Purchased bottle at Bierkraft in Brooklyn after Saison tasting on Tuesday 8/6/11 (in which we had some seriously fantastic stuff).

A - medium copper color, poured an off white head with okay retention and okay lacing.

S - predominent cinnamon aroma with a hint of pumpkin pie, very spicy on the nose.

T - lots of spice here. I mean like lots, its a fall sort spice, like a spicey pumpkin pie. Serious tones of cinnamon that linger long after. Feels like watching football with a nice autumn breeze and a piece of pumpkin pie. <-- Verbatim per my girlfriend.

M - Its awfully light in color for some pumpkin beers Ive had and feels so in the mouth. Not heavy at all, very light and smooth.

O - Great pumpkin beer with amazing pumpkin flavor. It can totally be seen like eating a piece of pumpkin pie. Great fall beer. Though with the amount of cinnamon I probably would only have 1 (1 being at least a 22oz bomber). Well done Southern Tier.

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Photo of jayfolly
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

This became my go to pumpkin ale in October. I have only had it via growler so I can't vouch for the taste from any other container.

The smell of the beer is exactly like pumpkin pie. I'm not a great reviewer of beers but the taste was a little bit of a let down after such a great initial opening experience. The aftertaste is good, clean and spicy.

At over 8% abv it is a little heavy but still remains my favorite pumpkin ale. I can't wait until next fall!

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Photo of Chris_Huston
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

If you make this your first pumpkin beer, there's almost nowhere to go but down. Beautiful amber/orange color. The scent is at Breakfast Stout level in that it's pretty much as enjoyable as drinking the brew. Brilliant, sophisticated array of scents of pumpkin, spices, pie crust, so well balanced and harmonious. Few beers offer an olfactory experience that's this magnetic. That smell is picked up in the taste in a seamless drinking experience. Pumpkin beers always struck me as a novelty style, so I was always skeptical and hesitant to try them. The first few I had were okay, New Belgium's Pumpkick is similar to this one, but much more cinnamon-leading. Pumking is in the absolute top tier of this niche style.

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Photo of guild337
4.92/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Very nice orange/brown color. Great solid finger width head.

S- Could be the best aroma I have every experienced with a beer. I spent a solid 5 minutes just enjoying the wonderful pumpkin aroma, mixed with the brown sugar, nutmeg, vanilla, and faint whipped cream. Simply wonderful.

T- Somehow more subtle than the smell, but still very flavorful. It is pumpkin pie in liquid form. The creaminess is very pleasant, mixed with the sweetness of the pumpkin, and the complexity of the spices.

M- This beer has substance, but is not too thick. Surprisingly not filling.

D - For a 9% beer, it is very drinkable. There is some warmth from the alcohol, but no more than there would be if you were eating a piece of pumpkin pie. Simply a great beer.

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

A: Dark pumpkin colored, with a nice off-white, solid head with great retention.

S: Pumpkin pie. Seriously - both filling and crust. Pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, crust, vanilla.

T: Pumpkin pie. Really. All of it. I can't believe this is a 9% beer - there is no real alcohol flavor discernible.

M: Medium-bodied; pleasantly creamy. Carbonation is great, and is still present long after pouring.

D: Definitely a very drinkable beer. Pretty intense flavor that might be offputting after a few consecutive bottles, but I'm pretty sad there's not another bomber to pour.

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Photo of sierratwohearted
4.25/5  rDev +6%

22 oz bomber, bottled 6/19. no head, not much carbonation-appears pretty still in the tulip glass. appearence is a very hazy golden yellow. smells AMAZING, like i just carved out a pumpkin for a jack-o-lantern. pumpkin pulp, sweet cinnamon, pumpkin pie. tastes like liquid pumpkin pie, very spiced-cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla. pretty sweet, medium body, somewhat creamy mouthfeel. very rich, a little cloying, some alcohol in the backend. its distinctive among pumpkin ales. hope to have another on thanksgiving-but thats it.

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Photo of ConsumerOfBeer
4.85/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Are you kidding me? This beer is so good. Love the gingerbread/graham cracker notes that come through. My favorite pumpkin to date. Dangerously drinkable at 8.6%.

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Photo of djeffbee
4.84/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Belgian Tulip glass at Quotations Bar in Media, PA...

Being that it was Southern Tier night at said location, I was all set to start out with a painful IPA. The bar owner knowing my tastes recommended the Southern Tier Pumking and referred to it as ginger snaps in a glass. I call his description very accurate.

A - Nice amber color with an orangy pumpkinish hue, a nice two finger head which leaves quickly leaving a nice lace.

S: This is where the owners description starts as being accurate. Ginger, allspice, cinnamon and cloves are present. Hops and malt can be detected, but are in the back seat to the pumpkin aroma.

T: This is where the owners description is dead on accurate. This should NOT be served in a bar *kidding*. This should be served in a diner with whipped cream and a fork. Holy F, this stuff is good - think Pumpkin Pie - no lie, not just a hint of pumpkin, a full blast of pumpkin pie. The grain bill/hops definitely complement the flavor, but the spices dominate it - and in a good (great) way. WOW!!

M: Perfect carb for this beer to comp the taste. Hold this one in boys and enjoy the ride!

D: It wasn't until after my second pouring that I felt the bank coming from the ABV. Would never know this beer is 9%. Even after I knew, I couldn't stop - I didn't get 'Pumkined Out' like I do with every other pumpkin beer.

BY FAR - the best pumpkin ale I have had to date - I am not sure if it can get any better. Get your hands on this one if possible...

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Photo of flowerysong
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy light orange, off-white head with decent retention.

Smell: Smells like pumpkin pie with graham cracker crust.

Taste: Highly spiced, lots of nutmeg and cinnamon. Caramel and grain notes, medium bitterness and a definite fleshy pumpkin taste.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, high carbonation.

Drinkability: Decent. Good flavour, fairly well balanced. Better with a meal than on its own.

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Photo of AlexSenft
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Delicious! Pumpkin beers are everywhere but this is the real deal. Just the right amount of “autumn” spices that make this a truly wonderful beer.

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Photo of chrismilner20
4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz in my Piraat snifter

I thought this was one of the best pumpkin beers that I have ever tasted. It poured golden to copper and had a huge nose of nutmeg and spice. I did not find it terribly sweet but like a pumpkin cookie. It had some notes of gram cracker to. I think it hides the 9% abv very well not hot at all. I would have another. I think this bee would pair well with a pumpkin mousse pie very nice because of the gram cracker notes.

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Photo of Mypintishalffull
4.62/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I got into pumpkin beers last fall for the first time and I think it's now my favorite style. I wish they were available year round. I heard there is a pumpkin beer festival on the west coast I would love to go! This beer poured an orange amber color into my pint glass. The aroma had a lot of spices and clove in there. Very interesting and not what I expected. The taste is strong! The label says the beer is above 8 percent but I never had a beer quite like this. Great mouthfeel, even a bit chewy. Lots of complexity. Spices in the finish and lingers in your nose and mouth after swallowing. Really great beer overall.


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Photo of 1ale_man
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22oz bomber to a tulip.
Dark yellow and clear.
Smells like a Thanksgiving kitchen. Allspice, nutmeg, cloves.
Taste is just like smell. Pumpkin pie all the way. Would go great with said pie.
There's a thickness to the feel. A really good cold weather drink.
Overall a great beer. Better to me later in the year.

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Photo of Chestertonian82
4.34/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Yellowish-orange when held up to light; moderate head that dissipates quickly. A surprisingly thin-looking beer.
S: Where this beer excels most! HUGE nose of vanilla, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon.
T: A wallop of spice on the front, with a massive vanilla backbone. Vanilla quickly becomes the dominant flavor, with the spices adding a tingling warmth. The initial kick of spice was (at first) a bit much, but my palette quickly adjusted.
F: The more I drink this beer, the more I like it.
O: Truly pumpkin pie in a glass; its plaudits are well deserved.

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Photo of SirRuss
4.84/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Rhettroactive East Coast Collection continued...

A - Sits deep within the orange end of amber. A good initial head formation, and although retention is average, the lacing appears and adheres well.

S - Astonishing. Think Thanskgiving Confidential. This is the secret scent only known to the baking tray lucky enough to hold the pumpkin pie in the oven as it bakes into an golden orange melange of squash and spice so indecent that it has to be encased in the purest of biscuity bases. This is hands-down the most charasmatic and enchanting aroma of any brew that I have ever smelled.

T - Equally seductive. All that is presented by the nose comes into luxurious fruition on the palate. In addition to the outrageously literal interpretation of pumpkin pie, there is a vibrant wave of menthol freshness that empowers the palate to manage the super human demands made by this brew. So many individual attributes can lay claim to the genius of Pumking, but in the end it's the sharp cleanliness with which each extreme aspect is presented that earns the gold. Balance is absolutely spot on, and even the hops - which would play no part in the flavour profile of a traditional pumpkin pie profile - seem s to lend yet another clarifying effect here.

M - Solid carbonation, virtually imperceivable alcohol, and surprisingly dry in the finish. My only complaint is that the weight doesn't quite stand up to the flavor profile - it's a big ask, I know - but ultimately it falls a little but thin.

O - An amazing brew, superbly engineered and executed. It is unabashed intensity at its best, and mediocrity is clearly exiled in every aspect. I can see how this may be a little much for the traditional or timid, but that's the point. This is unbridled inhibition, passion, and creative catharsis - brace yourself for an icon of Pumpkinsanity.

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Photo of mckenziac
4.97/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a translucent, bright copper color. Has a medium-sized, frothy head that dissipates slowly and leaves some decent lacing.

Smell: Wow! This might be the best smelling beer I've ever had. Definitely pumpkin and spices like all pumpkin ales, but also some toasty malts, vanilla, and a bit of nuttiness. It actually smells like a complete pumpkin pie. Intense!

Taste: Damn. The flavor lives up to the aroma in every way. Rich pumpkin and spice flavors backed by a considerable buttery, toasty malt flavor, vanilla, and nuts. It tastes like the best pumpkin pie I've ever had!

Mouthfeel: A medium-body with a smooth, creamy feel.

Overall: Sweet Jesus! How long has this beer been out? Why haven't I had this before? Why can't I drink this every day? I'm usually pretty skeptical about pumpkin ales, but, man, this is an absolutely fantastic beer. So many complex flavors come together to create a great finished product. I can't recommend this one enough.

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Photo of jpiper
2.3/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

On tap at Buckeye Beer Engine. I'm not much of a fan of pumpkin ales, but at least they're generally drinkable. This one lacked balance, in my book. Too much malty sweetness with not enough backbone for my tastes Aroma was nice, though. This was a 3-4 sipper. Couldn't make it through the rest of the pour.

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Photo of ken2cart1
2.96/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

overall not impressed..first for southern tier

very sweet and too full of spices... aka overkill nutmeg and cinamon..not enough malt backrbone very strange..although first pumpkin of season so not much to base it on.
i do have to say it does have a very nice appearance and potent smell of october or halloween

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Photo of jjchristiano
4.8/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have read a lot about this beer and really couldn't imagine a pumpkin beer being so much to rave about. But I saw it in my liqour store and grabbed one. 22 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams fluted beer glass.
I have to say that it lives up to the hype. A real nice flavor that does not knock you over with pumpkin and cinnamon but just has a subtle touch of these on a real nice strong ale base.
I was thinking pumpkin ice cream from my favorite homemade ice cream shop. Sweet and creamy with a hint of pumpkin.
At 9% alcohol a single 22 oz bottle makes a real nice fall nightcap. I've been impressed with Southern Tier's quality. The Old Man Winter I tried earlier this week is also very nice.

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Photo of dali27
3.54/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a snifter glass

A: Deep orange in color with nice thick off-white, soapy head.

S: This is the best part about this beer! The smell is fantastic. Rich, sweet pumpkin pie aroma which is almost better than the real thing. Spices of cinnamon and nutmeg balance well to make this the best beer I've ever smelled.

T: I wish I had the same enthusiasm for the taste as the smell. It started off well enough, after the build of the beautiful sweet aroma, but it faded quickly for me after that.

Too much sweet, spice and booze flavor turned this beer to a rather unenjoyable experience. As it warmed the booze flavor overwhelmed the taste and it was a struggle to the finish.

M: Active carbonation, with a borderline thin watery mouthfeel. Not bad, just was.

O: This was the first Pumpkin Ale that I've ever tried. It's probably me, and I just might not like the style, but I would never try this beer again. That being said, this beer had THE BEST aroma that I've ever smelled in a beer. Even an amateur like me can catch a glimpse of some of it's greatness. I can see why it's considered excellent, I just don't consider it that myself.

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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 chefkevlar
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A; Pours a clear orange/tan color with a low, just-barely-off white head.

S: Not a lot of spice on the nose...it actually kinda smells like pie dough. More of a buttery biscuit smell than what I expected.

T: The taste carries over that biscuit-like flavor from the nose and also adds some spicy notes and a little heat from the alcohol.

M: Medium bodied with a light carbonation

D: This is one of the more interesting takes on a pumpkin beer I've had. They didn't go for the pumpkin pie flavor that many breweries do by adding spices. According to the bottle it's only malts, pumpkin and hops. The pumpkin flavor on it's own is harder to pick out than that of the spices associated with the pie. Overall though I found this beer enjoyable once I got past my expectation of "pie" flavor.

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Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 7,471 ratings.
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