Oak Aged Pumking
Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Pumpkin Beer
4.18 | pDev: 14.35%
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 155 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of D35TR00
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Smooth and bodily. I did not get too much rum though. I wonder how long these are aged. I will update my review after I try this again; who knows, my rating of a 4 may go up higher.

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Photo of seedyone
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

09/26/12 On Tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Being a big fan of the regular Pumpking, this is a welcome treat. I wish it was a year round availability. Much more mellow than regular brew.

11/06/11 Since the review below, I've had many a Southern Tier Pumking. Each year it's a bit different. To me, this one was the pinnacle.

2009 vintage - BULLS EYE! This really hit the spot. Rarely do I order a second of the same brew at Rattle n Hum because they have such a wide selection, but this one just wouldn't let me go.

So. Tier needs to run this from Sept to March and then some.

If there is beer in heaven, pray they have one of the taps running this stuff.

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Photo of John_M
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally found my review of this beer from a visit up to Al's of Hampden.

The pours an orange amber color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is huge and impressive in this beer, as I pick up considerable brown sugar, clove, cinnamon, butter, nutmeg and light vanilla. The flavor profile replicates the nose, but the sweetness and noticeable alcohol detract a bit from my enjoyment of this beer. Still, the amount of flavor this beer delivers is pretty impressive. Mouthfeel is is full, with a smooth, long, sweet, malty finish. There's something of a buttered popcorn finish to this beer that is intriguing.

An impressive beer, though I found that a little bit goes a long way. Hard to imagine drinking a bomber of this stuff.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the Village Tavern in Geneseo, NY.

Pours a clear dark orange. Half inch of head, not much lacing.

Smells exactly like Pumking- the usual mix of pumpkin pie spices, with a good amount of vanilla.

Also tastes basically exactly like Pumking. Would like to see more from the oak-aging. The oak-aging brings a slight oakiness, plus a bit more substantial vanilla flavor. A bit less sweet than the original.

Medium bodied, creamy mouthfeel. Crisp and well carbonated.

A good beer, but not all that different from regular Pumking. Regular Pumking is great, though, so I like this one.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.38/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bavarian Lodge in Lisle over Memorial Day weekend. Served in a sampler glass. Pours a clear golden-orange color with a short white head. The nose carries a mild amount of oak along with some pumpkin spice and accompanying sweetness. This is quite a bit better than the standard version; the oak does a great job mellowing out the extreme sweetness with a bit of tannin and nice woodiness. Body is medium and only moderately sweet. Vastly preferable to the standard version.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From 08/21/12 notes. Had this on tap at Stag's Head in Midtown NYC at their Southern Tier event. Served in a 10 oz. pilsner type glass.

a - Pours an orange-amber color with one to two inches of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks exactly like the non-oak version.

s - Smells of sweet pumpkin pie, spices, vanilla, oak, cinnamon, graham crackers, caramel malts, bready malts, and toasted malts. Awesome nose; like the normal version with some extra vanilla and oak added

t - Tastes of vanilla, oak, spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin, caramel malts, and bready malts. Taste is not as spicy as the normal version and a little sweeter due to more vanilla again. Great taste.

m - Medium body and low to moderate carbonation. This is where the biggest difference is to me. The body and mouthfeel of the normal one is good, but the oak aged version is perfect. Just super smooth and creamy, it is insanely easy to drink and no alcohol comes out at all. Could definitely have a few of these.

o - Overall I liked this one a lot. I don't think this will change many minds from how people feel about the normal version. I think if you love the normal version you'll love this one, if you don't than you probably won't like this one. It is very similar to the normal verison but with an even smoother and better mouthfeel, and some added vanilla to the nose and taste. Well worth seeking out if you love Pumking as I do.

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Photo of Billolick
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Peekskill Brewery, Peekskill, NY

Pours clear orange hued amber, clear, with a minor off white head and next to no lacing.

Some alcohol and pumpkin pie spicing in the nose

Full on pumpkin thingy goin on here. Spice, pumpkin flavor, some smoke, and woody notes to add to the complexity. On the hot side with alcohol burning a bit. Holiday dessert beer, perfect as a thanksgiving dinner night capper.

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Photo of Auracom
2.77/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Monk's Pub. 12 oz. served in a pint glass on August 9th, 2012.

A - Looks a bit thinner than regular Pumking. Very minimal offwhite head, retention, and lacing.

S - Very, very similar to the regular version. Overt pumpkin filling, vanilla extract, and plentiful spices.

T - The oak has definitely infiltrated through the standard affair. There's much less sweetness that has been replaced by a woody barrel character.

M - Thin, medium body, average carbonation, semi-sweet finish.

D - It tastes just about how I would expect the regular offering to after some age. That means way too much muted character in the taste. I really don't believe this benefits from oak at all.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I kind of lol'd a bit when I found out this ABV isn't much different that the regular version. Beermuda had this on tap 16oz pour for 5 bucks (amazing) yet they clocked it in at 10.8%. Man what kind of oak barrels would add that much ABV?

A - Pretty much pours like Pumking (no surprise) with a clear bright orange colored beer and a 1/4 inch of sticky white head.

S - Smell is downright amazing and I am kind of glad that barrel aging hasn't affected the smell one bit! Hazelnut like gram cracker like malt sweetness, roasted pumpkin seeds, and a nice bouquet of spices cinnamon and all spice mostly noted.

T - Well I love Pumking and this is like a milder version (less sweet) Very little overall oak barrel but flavors are not completely muted with gram cracker malt sweetness (best I ever had) and spices being the most abundant.

M - Dangerously drinkable yet I don't think I ever got more than two pints down. Still a bit cloying yet delicious.

Overall I am glad they made this so I could drink Pumking out of season. Still confused by some reviews since this should have satisfied all the folk who though the regular Pumking was way too sweet and cloying.

Still one of the better pumpkin beers I ever drank.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.74/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew was served from the tap at MacGregor’s Grill and Tap Room in Canandaigua, NY. It arrived in a footed stange. This brew glowed a golden amber color, with a half finger tall white head. This left quickly, leaving very little lacing, even by the end of the tasting. Carbonation appeared light, and no sediment was noted. The aroma showed huge spice, with obvious cinnamon, gingerbread, and nutmeg. Everything was nicely warming, summing up the word “autumn” in a beery scent. With warmth came a faint oaked quality, and huge buttery diacetyls, which came across as fresh popcorn. Our first impression was that this had great spice, but the woodiness could have been stronger. As we sipped into it, toasted malts, copper, and gingerbread hit first. The very very light woody muck from the nose kicked in as well, along with toasted, salted pumpkin seeds, and a coating buttery slickness. The middle peaked with gritty, mealy grain, dirty leaves, and stale pumpernickel bread. The flavoring petered out with pumpkin spice finally appearing alongside those same malts, with a deeper caramel and toffee air. Metallics and must marked the last flavors to leave the mouth. The aftertaste breathed of oak, much more so than in the nose or actual swallow, caramel malts, booze, and more of that gingerbread and peppery spic. The body was light to medium, and carbonation was higher. The mouth was coated in a metallic slickness, dried, and then partially puckered. Froth and slurp were mediocre, and the brief head gave little cream. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank decently.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the robust spiciness through the nose and the taste. The strong base of malts helped all of those nice inclusions hold up. Where we lost points was in the oakage. We were really excited for this one, and honestly were quite disappointed with the level of oak in the nose, and correspondingly in the taste. In the end, the butter and spice are nice, but this rendition doesn’t pop any more than their standard Pumking.

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Photo of jsanford
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Brewvival 2102

Pours a glowing orange with a creamy white head. Typically amazing Pumking aromas of graham cracker, pumpkin, caramel, and cinnamon with just a tiny bit of oak. Taste is more of the same from Pumking (one of my favorite Pumpkin Ales) : graham cracker, butter, cinnamon, hazelnuts, and pumpkin. Not getting a ton of oak in this, it basically tastes like...regular Pumking. Not a bad thing, but a bit disappointing. Medium-bodied, with a creamy mouthfeel and good carbonation. A bit underwhelming overall. I really wanted to like this more then the regular version, but it fell a bit flat.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm already a fan of the regular Pumking. This makes for a nice twist on the standard. The alcohol presence comes out more. You also get more breadiness from the crust. I still taste a lot of pumpkin, but the pumpkin has become more sour and a little bit more bitter. I like the after-taste as I get more oak and the pumpkin eases back. This is a very drinkable pumpkin. Good job by Southern Tier.

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Photo of corby112
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Capones in Norristown, PA.

Pours a clear golden orange color with a one finger white head that quickly settles into s lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind.

Amazing pumpkin pie aroma but no oak in nose.  Hints of pumpkin purée, vanilla, ginger, clove, nutmeg and cinnamon.  

Medium bodied with a subtle dry oak barrel presence that slightly tames the sweetness yet its still bursting with sweet pumpkin pie and autumnal spices.  Pumpkin, clove, ginger, nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon and allspice. Spicier and dryer than regular but still pretty sweet with delicate oak barrel notes.  There's a dry finish but the ABV is invisible making it dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is crystal clear yellowish amber in color. It poured with a bit of lacing on the surface and a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of pumpkins and pumpkin spices in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of pumpkin and spices and is slightly sweet. The barrel aging adds notes of vanilla.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly thick on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer goes down rather easily because the alcohol is well masked from the taste. It has enough pumpkin flavors and doesn’t go over the top with the spices.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Mugs Alehouse in Brooklyn, NY

A: Pours a crystal clear golden yellow in color with a very thin ring at the edges of the glass (almost no head at all). Very light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Very pleasant smelling - lots of savory pumpkin (not like a pumpkin pie), some light spices, and hints of vanilla and oak.

T: Great savory pumpkin flavor (not overly sweet like many pumpkin beer and pumpkin pie), with some spices - allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon - and then the vanilla + oak.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to high amounts of carbonation.

O: Probably one of the best pumpkin beers I have had and just slightly better than the non-oak aged version. I really like the fact that the pumpkin is not too sweet in this beer. Looking forward to the fall to get some more of this one.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Southern Tier Brewing Co. : Oak Aged Pumking

Pours a light orange color, small white foam, little to no lacing. Aroma is of pumpkin pie spice, biscuit, and heavy vanilla. In the taste, pumpkin puree, vanilla, mild oak tones, more vanilla, biscuit, honey, and bread. Some cinnamon, vanilla bean, oak, and pumpkin essence just linger on the palate in the best possible way. Takes the regular pumking up a notch with over the top vanilla overload, and it is well done. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, rich, and a low-medium carbonation level. Overall, one of the best tasting pumpkin beers ever, a real treat and well worth seeking.

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Photo of sniper061
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pumking is probably one of my favorite beers offered by Southern Tier Brewery and living 20 minutes from the brewery makes it way to easy to go see what is on tap. With that said, this review is for the Oak Aged Pumking. I had purchased a 1/6 keg of pumking in october and had long been missing its wonderful flavor. I walked into the brewery after a rather long hiatus and saw this beer on tap.

Appearance-This Oak Aged Pumking comes to you a little lighter color than the dark amber orange of the original. As this beer was poured it had a nice head that quickly gave way to almost no lacing.

Smell - To anyone put off by the pumpkin pie bomb of the original beer please try this beer. It is a much more subtle experience with the oak aging.

Taste - Once again if you were overpowered by the Pumking original you should still try this. It has alot of the same flavor profiles as the original with much more balance. For example the smokey woody flavor of the original is toned down to where you taste the oak but the smoky tone isn't as prevalent. Still finishes with a wonderful vanilla, bourbon'esque' taste that I truly enjoy.

Mouthfeel -This beer is a low carbonation style that I truly enjoy. It helps to let the flavor linger on your palate.

Overall - I am a lover of the Pumking! That being said, this is a different beer. I enjoyed it very much and would like to see it aged even longer to get more of the real oak flavor out of the barrel... God Bless you SouthernTierBrewery
Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of atr2605
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a transparent yellow straw color with a white head with average retention that leaves very thin white lace
S-pumpkin, hay, and vanilla, low hop presence. Hint of spice
T-Sweet pumpkin and spice up front followed by vanilla and then finishes with more vanilla and the slight oaky wood finish, very well balanced with the flavors
M-medium to medium light bodied with average carbonation
O-I liked this alot, I think the oak gives the beer more complexity and takes the sweetness off of the pumking. Although I look forward to pumking each year, I think it gets to be a bit too sweet. The oak aged cuts off the sweetness and gives it a nice new spin

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Photo of CrellMoset
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA. Served in a 12 oz. snifter. This one arrives a filtered, copper penny amber with no visible carbonation. No head is evident when this one arrives, with only a thin, white, foamy, sudsy collar around the edge and dollops of light lace throughout the experience. The aroma is one heavy in graham cracker, with sweet caramel barrel notes and hints of vanilla peeking out from beneath faint spice and melon-y sweetness - easily this beer's best attribute. The mouth is nice, but not quite on par with the nose - more pumpkin, and very smooth, with minimal, well-rounded spice (mostly nutmeg), hints of green oak, and a nice caramelly sweetness. The mouth is also well-balanced, with minimal and well-embedded carbonation that results in a gentle crisp feel. A similar beer to Pumking in many ways (which is the best pumpkin beer out there, in my opinion), this one doesn't show much character that can be directly tied to its time in the barrel, but instead tastes simply like ... aged Pumking. That's not a bad thing, but it doesn't necessarily live up to its name.

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Photo of JizackFH
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Sunswick 35/35 in Astoria, NY on 1/29/12.

Review taken from notes.

This beer pours a clear orange copper color. There is a finger of white head resting on top. The head has good retention, and it leaves some scattered lace behind on the glass. The nose is sweet with pumpkin and holiday spices. The nose is very similar to the regular Pumking, but with a definite oak presence. It smells quite appetizing. The taste follows the nose. It starts off sweet and pumpkiny, then a wave of oak flavor comes out of no where. There is a nice holiday spice presence, as well as a mild hop presence, and a touch of booziness. The finish leaves some lingering sweet pumpkin, oak, and holiday spice behind on the tongue. This has a medium body and a little bit lower carbonation. It goes down easy, and has a nice smooth feel to it. There is some tingling from the spices, and some mild hop bitterness on the back end. This has good drinkability. It has a really nice flavor and goes down good. I could easily have multiple glasses of this. Overall, I just think it is a really nice beer. It is just a little bit less sweet than the regular version, and I think the oak barrels really added something nice to this one. I recommend trying it out if you come across it.

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
3.18/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on-tap at J. Ryan's and was served in a 10 oz glass.
Hazy golden/orange color with a thin film for a head.
Aroma was sweet with definite pumpkin notes, there was absolutely no trace of oak or vanilla (wood aromas) at all in the nose.
Taste was kind of strange for my palate. To be honest, it felt like a mouthful of soggy pumpkin bread. I think that is the best way to describe the taste and mouthfeel of this beer. No trace of oak or wood character on the palate either.
I guess this is a beer which would only appeal to a certain palates.
Not my cup of tea, and something I will definitely not be looking out for.
Would I recommend this beer ? Not entirely sure.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-01-17 in Columbia, PA at Bully's

A - Very clear, pumkin-orange with a very short white head that fades quickly. No lacing.

S - Pumkin pie including the graham cracker crust. I don't smell the oak. Not overpowering.

T - Initially, the graham cracker crust aserts itself followed by pumkin flesh, typical pie spices and a bit of fresh lemon. The oak tannin cuts the sweetness nicely but also cuts back on the graham cracker flavor. It's different but not better than the non oak-aged version.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Mildly syrupy/oily at first but the palate quickly clears from some effervescence and dryness.

O - A very nice pumkin ale whether it is the oak-aged version or regular.

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Photo of Beerisheaven
3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am in the minority here in that I don't care at all for the base Pumking product. On tap at Capones on a cold Saturday night. This beer was probably about the 15th most interesting beer from the taplist currently available.

Poured from the tap into a small 9 oz. snifter. A little lighter than I expected as a lighter shade of orange rather than the deeper more amber orange that I remember from the base version. A small head that runs away leaving no noticeable lacing.

S - First clue that I might like this a bit more than the regular base version. Not the in your face spice bomb that Pumking is to me. More refined and subtle, the oak clearly exerts its presence, having a buttery squash oak aroma which blends with the typical pumpkin spices.

T - Largely consistent with the nose in that the pumpkin flavors are a bit muted (which is good for me) and the oak, vanilla, and slight buttery tastes raise their hand a bit more.

M - Pretty good for the style of beer. Feels like it has the right amount of carbonation.

O - I like this much more than the base version which seems artificial to me (consistent with most of the Southern Tier efforts in some of their beers). I might actually pick up a bottle of this next year if offered in bottle. Still, not in the same league for me as Elysian Great Pumpkin but more interesting to me than expected.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(from notes)

16 oz. shaker pint @ J. Ryan's.

Look- Not-quite-clear butterscotch/medium amber without much in the way of head or lacing. Thin ring of film persists throughout. Light carbonation visible. Not awe inspiring, it definitely seems sluggish compared to the run-of-the mill Pumking. Nice color though. Not as vibrantly orange as I remember the other one being, but it may have been the lighting.

Smell- Buttery acorn squash, nutmeg, graham cracker, and a hint of apple. Sweet all around, but more subdued than the original, with a darker woody presence. Quite nice and more complex after the aging.

Taste- Butterscotch and brown sugar are strong, with a roasted acorn squash flavor taking the place of the "tinned pumpkin pie filling" I was expecting. The oaky presence is anything but subtle, and I'm wondering if they used oak staves rather than barrels for this one. There's a light (extremely light) strawberry rhubarb finish that I can only assume is the last remnant of hops, with an aftertaste akin to the normal offering, pumpkin pie filling and graham cracker. Alcohol presence nearly nonexistent, aging has served this one well in that respect.

Mouthfeel- Snappier/crisper than I remember the earlier release being, though it still has a rich creamy texture. Sluggish carbonation. Light touch of astringency afterwards. Finishes quite clean with a light warming.

Overall- Feels more "real" than the fresher offering to me; sweetness is much more subdued, and earthiness more pronounced. If Pumking is like drinking liquid pumpkin pie, this is more like pumpkin brandy. I also feel like I could drink two of these, whereas that was definitely not in the cards before. Still not something I would pick up everyday, but worth trying if you can get it in your region.

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Photo of socon67
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pour is orange with a cream colored foam on top. Slight lacing, and just a bit cloudy. Some carbonation moving about.

S - Smell is very refined. Pumpkin spices are there and the oak aged gives it a bit more of a vanilla and wood smell.

T - The added complexity takes a little from this. The creamy pumpkin flavor is replaced with a mellower flavor that has an earthy finish. This still a really good flavor, but as someone who loved the regular pumking this was unexpected.

M - Very mellow, slightly carbonated, and the age gives it a lingering feel. Lighter than the original, and a slight spicy bite in the finish

O - It stands on its own as a solid pumpkin ale. I think I like Pumking a bit more. The oak aged variety is better suited to those who like a toned down blast of spice and more complexity in the style.

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Oak Aged Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 155 ratings