Pumking | Southern Tier Brewing Company

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,951 Reviews
THE BROS
81
good
Read the review
PumkingPumking
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States
southerntierbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,951
Ratings:
7,492
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
17.21%
 
 
Wants:
511
Gots:
2,214
For Trade:
29
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,951 | Ratings: 7,492
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 BuckeyeNation
4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Blazing bonfire orange with candlelit jack-o-lantern edges. The head looks like a large dollop of whipped cream atop the beer, except it isn't that bright white. How about whipped cream to which brown sugar and orange peel have been added? Mmm, sounds good. Looks good too. An acceptable amount of tattered lace helps the cause.

I tend to like the noses on well-brewed pumpkin ales, but this one is simply amazing and might be the best one ever! The usual aromas of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices are present and accounted for. The thing that makes Pumking sing, though, is an eggnog-like vanilla custard creaminess that makes it smell *exactly* like pie slathered in whipped cream. Fantastic.

Although the flavor is a carbon copy of the nose, it doesn't hit me the same way. I'd like to see the vanilla complement the other flavors rather than overwhelm and dominate them. The label doesn't list vanilla as an ingredient, but it has to be in there. What I'm tasting isn't coming from malt, hops, yeast, pumpkin or the traditional spices.

The flavor of the caramel malt is buried pretty deeply beneath layer upon layer of gourd and spice (major nutmeg with a sprinkling of cinnamon). I wouldn't mind so much, except that a bolder maltiness might have rounded things out. Sweetness and hop bitterness are evenly matched. It sounds like I don't like Pumking. That isn't it, it's just that it isn't as jaw-droppingly wonderful as expected. Southern Tier is a great brewery, so the bar is set pretty high.

For such a high-ABV ale, the body/mouthfeel is on the light-medium side. I hate to say it, but it ventures close to thin on the finish. Carbonation this laid back would have worked in a bigger beer. It doesn't work as well here.

Southern Tier Pumking isn't the best Imperial pumpkin ale that I've ever had (Elysian Night Owl), nor is it the best all-around pumpkin ale that I've ever had (Smuttynose). Still, it's a more than worthy seasonal that lovers of the style owe it themselves to seek out.

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Photo of billab914
4.31/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Decided to drink one of my few remaining Pumking's tonight. When it comes to this beer it seems like people either love it or hate it. I am firmly in the love it category with this one and I bought more of this beer this year then probably any other single beer.

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter glass. Pours a bright orange color with very little head. What was there quickly disappears and leaves very little lacing on the glass. This is my one complaint with this beer. If this had a nice big foamy head it would really do this beer wonders and make it more delicious. It's kind of like having pumpkin pie without whipped cream, it's good but it's even better with it.

Aroma is big on sweetness and spice. It has pumpkin, cloves and nutmeg. It's light on the cinnamon which I find overwhelming in a lot of pumpkin beers. The sweetness to it is really great smelling in a pumpkin beer, I might not like it in all beers but in this one it works great.

Taste is a lot like the nose suggests, very sweet with pumpkin, nutmeg and cloves. As a lot of people describe, it's like pumpkin pie in a glass. Like the nose I really like the sweetness in the taste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with below average carbonation, which works very well for me in this beer. Drinkability is OK, it's very delicious and I enjoy it every time I have a glass but the sweetness makes having more then one difficult. I usually like to split the bomber at least 2 ways.

Overall I love the taste and smell of this beer, if they can add better head retention to it this could easily move way up my list. A little whipped cream with the pumpkin pie would be awesome.

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Photo of mdaschaf
2.75/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a slightly hazy light orange color with a frothy white head that forms upon pouring, but it reduces very quickly, leaving only a very thin ring of foam around the ring. Minimal lacing.

S: Everyone says it smells like pumpkin pie, but I just don't get that. I still smell a cheap pumpkin candle aroma. Though I do get some crust.

T: Lots of spices and extremely sweet. Again, it does not really taste like a pumpkin pie to me, and I actually don't really get much pumpkin, mostly just the spices.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes extremely dry.

O: Just not for me, even though I know lots of people like it. Might give it try if someone offers it to me, but probably won't get another bottle.

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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 mikesgroove
4.69/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this one up finally thanks to a very generous BA who sent me down a couple of them. I had been waiting forever to try this one, and missed out on it last year. Served cold, right out of the fridge per instructions. It was served in an oversized wine glass and consumed on 09/22/2008.

The pour was simply stunning. A very rich and very hazy looking orange liquid came gurgling out of the bottle, hitting the glass with decent enough force to throw up a nice two inch layer of off white head. Nice retention kept this one hanging around for a good long while before finally settling down into a thin layer of white across the top that stayed until the very end and left behind a very nice layer of side glass lace.

The aroma was about as rich as you can get. This was the most decadent, dessert like beer that I have ever run across. This smelled more like a pumpkin pie then my grandma's ! Super sweet with lots of gingerbread, and sweet cookie goodness. This was about as good as it gets. Translated over as perfectly as you could have imagined into the flavor. Huge notes of cinnamon, pumpkin spice, gingerbread, everything you could imagine. This was just colossal with no hint at all of any abv. Rich and decadent in the taste and well as the feel,. The only drawback was this was soo rich with sugar it was hard to drink too much of it as it became a little bit tough after a bit. Aside from that this was about as good as it gets.

Overall, wow. I have never tasted anything like this it was just tremendous. This was the most perfect fall dessert I could think of. Rich, sweet, decadent. This was better then I ever imagined it would be. Overall I was floored and would have to recommend this to anyone!

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Photo of smcolw
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, amber colored liquid. Good starting head that leaves rim/blanket lace.

Sweet pumpkin cupcake (with frosting) smell.

Still sweet, but less so than the smell. Strong pumpkin presence, more so than most of this style. The typical spices are still here but more subtle. In a word, complex.

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

I got the chance to taste this at KClinger's tavern in Hanover, PA.
Served cool in a standard pint glass.
A - A very clear light amber w/ golden highlights. The head is practically absent w/ some scatterd signs of lace.

S - Great spiced pumpkin aroma! Lots of vanilla, nutmeg w/ light clove scents.

M - Med/full w/ a spiced feel up front and creamy mild finish w/ low carbonation.

T - Excellent, way decent flavor of spice and pumpkin working in synergy. There is a gentle hop flavor that accompanies the gentle malt taste - like an English pale matched w/ brown sugar and pumpkin spices. Smooth texture as it swirls around the tongue w/ a soft sweet flavor. This is the beer I came to drink: A great tasting pumpkin flavor that makes you think "pumpkin pie in a glass". It has a ball of pumpkin spices which bring vanilla custard and nutmeg to mind first, then a blend of spice w/ a smooth ale maltiness. The fresh malt and middle of spice w/ a well placed hop flavors are punctuated by a malty finish that is clean.

D - Extremely tasty, possibly the best pumpkin ale I have tasted yet. The smell is like a pumpkin candle very fragrant and drawing you in each time. The mouthfeel and taste work together to make it a consistently excellent ale from first sip to last. I would definitely love a case of this. The spice is used conservatively, and with great skill making this very easy to quaff, absolutely great.

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Photo of Jason
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Heady start as the foam almost crests over the top of the glass, bright golden orange color. Smells of pumpkin bread and vanilla wafers, a very sweet nose. Very smooth big body. Pumpkin to start then sweetness, soon the spices kick in as well as the hops. Alcohol does not chime in until a few sips in and quickly warms the mouth. A slow sipper due to the more robust flavors of spice and malt sweetness ... the alcohol as well. Certainly worth a go, I bet some pork loin would love to be brined in this.

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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 mdfb79
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a nice golden orange-amber color with one finger of fluffy white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sweet pumpkin pie, spices, cinnamon, graham crackers, and caramel malts. Smells perfect; exactly how a pumpkin beer should in my opinion.

t - Tastes of spices, cinnamon, alcohol, pumpkin, caramel malts, and bready malts. Not as sweet as the smell, more spicey.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A really good pumpkin ale. I thought it smelled amazing, but wish the taste was a little sweeter as opposed to spicey. Never the less, a great fall beer I will definitely have again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a mug.

Thanks to VDubb86 for splitting this bottle!

How'd that pumpkin become king? I didn't vote for him... The brew pours a hazy orange amber topped by a finger of white foam. The nose is a panoply of brewing and baking scents: cinnamon, brown sugar, clove, pumpkin pie filling, nutmeg, pumpkin seeds, and Golden Grahams. Damn, this be smellin' good! The taste veers off this course a bit, holding notes of orange peel, brown sugar, pumpkin shell, potato skin, rye bread, and sour cream. It may not conform to the smell's template, but it really ain't too bad, either. The body is a light medium, with a moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, this is a solid punkin brew, one of the better I've yet had.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Wot, I've never reviewed this before?!? It is one of my favorite seasonals and a panty peeler if one ever existed. I bought some in Pittsburgh two Thanksgivings ago (2007) and brought it to a party where it was consumed like it was going out of style. My friend, Kelly, remains a huge fan and convinced her newly-minted husband, Bill, to buy a case recently. What have I done?

This year, it came out pretty early (late September 2009) and Bridgewaters Pub in Philly had it on draft while I was passing through. No B. S.! I had never heard of or seen in in draft form before and here it was, awaiting me. Zounds! Yoi and double yoi!

It was served with a finger of foamy, bubbling ecru head that quickly gave way to wispiness. Color was a (fittingly) orangish deep-amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose was like sniffing a pumpkin pie fresh out of the oven: cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. It was like Hallowe'en in a glass. Mouthfeel was full, almost creamy in its texture. The interplay of the spices on the tongue was simply heavenly. If I closed my eyes, I could envision Thanksgiving dessert. Therein lies its Achilles heel - it is a novelty/dessert beer. It is too sweet to be sessionable, but it is a treat while it is available. Get some today! May I die in the early Spring so as not to miss out.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A – Bright apricot color. White head has a fine bubble, but low retention and lace.

S – Incredible grain, walnut, and fresh baked pumpkin bread aroma. More bread than pumpkin, but delicious none the less.

T – The flavor profile is straight from the nose. Huge pumpkin bread and walnut character arcs through gingerbread and carrot cake, and ends with a touch of booze.

M – Full, buttery mouthfeel. Almost a little too heavy, and it could use a little more carbonation to help cut through the huge flavor profile.

O – Aggressive pumpkin bread flavor is stellar, but a bit overpowering.

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

The beer is slightly hazy and autumnal orange colored with a soapy white head. The aroma offers Fall spice, pumpkin bread, brown sugar, rum, malt, cinnamon, pie. Wow. Fabulous scents coming from this beer. Delicious flavor. How is it possible I haven't crossed paths with this beer before? So complex and wonderful. Great feel as well. Thick and syrupy. Not cloying, but sweetness is present throughout. A great beer to split with a few buddies.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance - Clear amber body topped with a small, off-white head. It's gone in a flash with no lacing and no sign of life. By the end of the glass, it looks like I'm drinking watered-down whiskey.

Smell - Oh my it's the best smelling pumpkin ale I've had. Pumpkin bread. The most impressive pumpkin flavor of the season. Really quite delicious. I could sniff it forever.

Taste - The spice takes over here, which drowns out the pumpkin. I really prefer pumpkin flavored beers, not the strong spice. A lot of cinnamon and clove drown out what was a nice pumpkin aroma. It finishes with something akin to a bitterness, but sort of an astringency from the cinnamon.

Mouthfeel - Seemingly light bodied from the somewhat dry finish of the spice. Still, it leaves an intense flavor behind in the mouth. Not a creamy pumpkin ale at all.

Overall - I was disappointed in this, as was my wife, who had been looking forward to this one. I still haven't found one better than Good Gourd. Love that creaminess and true pumpkin flavors and this one lacks both in the taste. In aroma it can't be beat, though.

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

Had this on tap at The Blue Monkey in Merchantville NJ. Poured into a tulip with a nice orange/copper color with about one finger of off-white head that maintained throught out.

What can I say, this was like drinking pumpkin pie. Nice pumpkin spice with brown sugar and cinnamon. On tap, I find this not as sweet as the bottle and the spices were not over the top. The mouthfeel was smooth. Very drinkable for a high 9% ABV.

Will have to open my bottle of 2010 to compare, but IMHO the draft will be tops...

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

Appears a vibrantly clear amber hue forms a light thin white head and as it dwindles lacing sticking to the glass was pretty minimal. This was on tap at Fathead's a couple weeks ago, I had to give in to the Imperial Pumpking, plus I have this whole infatuation thing going on with most of Southern Tier's brews. Aromatics caramel roasted nutty brown sugar with melted butter, whipped cream, and an air of popcorn Jelly Belly jellybeans. Spices and alcohol are flowing as well but the nutmeg, allspice combo don't stick out as much compared to other pumpkin ales out there. Flavors bring to mind pumpkin chiffon pie with pumpkin puree', cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg with a whipped cream sweetness but once again that buttery popcorn flavor came out thank god my portion was a 12oz snifter. Alcohol enters the mix with a smooth burn, but it's hard to get over that "circus peanut" candy marshmallow creaminess it just gets cloying. Mouthfeel is full bodied syrupy sticky with residual sugars creamy bodied with even carbonation flows decently well in small sips. Drinkability is for me an absolute dessert only beer really hard to throw this into a drinking session, plus the high abv can stick it to ya. I applaud the effort to be original with the pumpkin ales but this extreme imperial effort fell short compared to the rest of Southern Tier beers on the market.

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Photo of stakem
3.52/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks Maggie for sharing this bomber.

Poured into a snifter Pumking appears a clear golden orange color. A white cap of foam appears and dissolves quickly. Faint patches of lace cling to the glass.

The aroma suggests a nutmeg-like earthiness upfront. A sweet backing that is somewhat reminiscent of vanilla is prominent before the scent of pumpkin flesh becomes very evident throughout.

The taste is quite bitter which is a complete opposite sensation from what you would expect based off the sweet smooth nose. Quite an intense bitterness that is met equally with a bold presence of fusel alcohol. Throughout the body, but somewhat hiding in the background is a very pleasant taste of pumpkin flesh that tastes earthy and a bit herbal.

There is a lasting aftertaste of hops, alcohol and pumpkin. This is a medium bodied offering with a moderate amount of carbonation. I feel the boldness of the alcohol hurts this brew a bit and takes away from it's drinkability. The nose was fantastic but the unbalanced hop and alcohol character was a distraction with the pumpkin taking a far back seat. For being considered the pumpkin beer that all other pumpkin beers are measured up against, this one fell short.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.44/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle at America on Tap
Brown sugary caramel maltiness with plenty of pie spices to cut through it, not the worst pumpkin beer I've ever had, might even like it in small doses.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.46/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

You have to really like pumpkin pie or pumpkin rolls to enjoy this beer. The taste and scent are on the mark with pumpkin and spice just like Grandma's pumpkin pie. The beer poured a copper clear with no head or lace. The mouthfeel was medium in body with subtle carbonation. Overall the beer nails its mark...but if you don't like pumpkin....no reason to try this one.

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Photo of tdm168
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - light orange with a huge, soft, dense, white head

S - pie crust, pumpkin, very little if any spices

T - pie crust, whip cream, pumpkin, nutmeg, some cinnamon

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

I really enjoyed this beer. In the past I had said that there were vanilla notes that I didn't like and the spices were too intense. That doesn't seem to be the case with the 2012 batch. The pie crust and whip cream notes were fantastic. I'm not sure how ST pulled that off, but I'm impressed. This was an all around great beer.

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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 smakawhat
4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a goblet.

From the pour a small head of uniform size forms but recedes rather quickly. Head barely manages a finger in size and leaves a small collar of light tan. Body is slightly hazy orange amber, but mostly see through. After some time though this beer looks quite flat however.

Giant whiff of pie crust and sweet bakers dough. Nothing else just sweet pie crust. Is this even beer??? That is pretty darn impressive though.

A pleasant mix of squash and hop mild pine bitterness. Clove and pie crust sense travels through with a stupidly flaky and biscuity texture. Sweetness comes out with more sips taking brown sugar into the mix.

Well I think this beer needs to be renamed pumpkin pie, but it delivers what it says. My only thinking though, is that it seems so blatantly obvious I wonder if this has artificial flavoring in it??? Crazy!

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Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Typical Southern Tier bomber etched on label bottle, no freshness info offered. Pours clear light glowing orangy amber. Long lasting near white head. The expected pumkiny/fall spicied nose. Plenty of more pumpkin notes in this full flavor, strong fall seasonal, sweetness and a winey note late. Nice fall sipper, with a long, spicy finish. More quality brew from ST. Not my favorite style, but I would go for this one again, if it a was fall and I had a hankering for a decent drinking pumpkin style brew.

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Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 7,492 ratings.
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