Oak Aged Pumking | Southern Tier Brewing Company

44 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: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BARFLYB on 12-15-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 156
Photo of 57md
4.78/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

The light copper color appeared a bit more pale than the bottled version of regular Punking, but darker than the on-tap version of regular Pumking. The offering had little head. The nose was extraordinary - vanilla and spice dominate.

The taste is a bit more balanced than the regular version. I love Pumking, but I understand that many feel the beer is cloying or syrupy. If you feel that way, you should try the oak-aged version. It does temper the sweetness of the regular version.

Truth-be-told, the oak adds little of its own flavor, it but it does VERY well at balancing what is already present.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.59/5  rDev +13.3%
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 +10.4%
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 Ralphs66
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, Pumking is one of my favorite beers. When I heard that they were going to be oak aging it, I thought "COOL!". After waiting awhile for it, I began questioning the rationale for doing so. Why mess with something that doesn't need messing with. That being said, this beer is great. The original pumking taste, smell and feel are all there....with just a tad bit of "more". The oak aging gives it a nice little bite and a smokiness that did not exist before. ST did a nice job here. I filled up a growler for this weekends holiday party. Happy holidays to ME!

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Photo of seedyone
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
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 billab914
4.36/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into my Pumking Chalice. It poured amber orange in color with a thin white dusting scattered across the top of the beer.

The aroma has graham cracker, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, canned pumpkin and a little bit of whipped cream. Pretty much all the makings of a pumpkin pie, and exactly what I expect from Pumking. It was delicious, but the oak didn't really seem to show much.

The taste shows a little more of the pumpkin pie spices up front. In the finish is where I get more of the graham cracker, vanilla and sweeter whipped cream flavors starting to come out. Not much oak to it, maybe a little more vanilla and the spices seemed a little smoother or subdued.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being below average. Overall, I love Pumking so this was a delicious beer to me. It was a little disappointing that the oak didn't really add more to it though. I did seem a little smoother with some more vanilla notes to it though which I liked. I'd be very happy drinking either this version or the regular version anytime. Both versions are top of their style for me still.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
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 Rifugium
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at TJ's, Paoli, PA

Almost forgot I had this one! But I did.

Poured an appropriately pumpkin orange color, with a nice, foamy, white head. Sweet aroma, much sweeter than I remember the non-oaked version to be: vanilla dominates mostly, with pumpkin pie in the background. Taste was actually more cake-like than anything, with a big vanilla sweetness, and flavors of soft pumpkin pie, ginger snaps, and birthday cake. Really enjoyed this, though I didn't really think it aged in the barrels long enough to pick up any significant flavors from it. If there was any oak to be had, it was extremely extremely subtle, and/or overpowered by the other flavors. Possibly too sweet for some, but it was a welcome change of pace I thought. Hence, compared to the original, I rate the taste higher and the overall lower. Medium mouthfeel, and pleasantly drinkable.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
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 JizackFH
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
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 DrinkSlurm
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at One Stop Beer Shop, Brooklyn, NY. Poured into 8oz mug.
Poured a golden crisp color. No head or lacing is obvious. Great hoppy, nutmeg, spice smell - with a definite oak note.
Taste sweet, hoppy, spice, and pumpkin...really great balance. The oak really mellows this out. The oak aged brings out a distinct vanilla flavor, balanced with some smokey wood notes. I would say I like this a bit better than the regular pumking.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
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 infi
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

32 oz. growler fill.

Poured into brandy snifter.

Light, copper-orange hue with lots of carbonation and some white, lacy remnants of a head that completely disappears.

One of the best smelling beers I've ever tried. Smells of shitloads of toasted coconut with graham cracker pie crust. Good amount of pumpkin. Not much of an "oak aged" character on the nose, but if anything, there's a slight, tannin-like scent to it that could've came from the oak. Alcohol on the back end.

Fairly sweet-tasting with the graham cracker-like malts. Wanders towards an earthy spiciness, like cinnamon and clove and ends on a slight bitterness. Clean and delicious.

Lighter side of medium in body. Good amount of carbonation.

Not sure if this is a drastic improvement from regular Pumking, but this is surely tasty. Can't really say if the oak imparts a huge difference though.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a must try last night at the Wooden Match in Bethlehem PA. The entire party I was with put quite a dent in their supply as the majority of the table bought several rounds of this gem. The beer was served in a Chimay glass and it had a really nice creamy looking off white head on top of a orange body. The lacing wasn't too bad on this but the retention was minimal. The smell of the beer wasn't a whole lot different than the normal Pumking. The taste of the beer seemed a little bit on the lighter side, meaning it wasn't as sweet as the regular version in my opinion. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with a soft carbonation to it. Overall this beer was rather tasty like always. I would drink it again in a heart beat.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the Drafting Room, into a tulip

A- pours a dark gold, light orange with a quickly fading one finger white head. The beer is very transparent and looks very nice, not cloudy at all

S- cinnamon, nutmeg, a little oakiness, and pumpkin in the background. Pretty much, it smells...like Pumking

T- the oakiness adds another layer of sweetness onto the cinnamon and nutmeg, and it somehow doesn't make it overwhelming....it just helps balance it out a little bit

M- medium bodied, kind of neutral on this

O- I enjoyed this just a tad bit more than the standard Pumking...I loved how the oakiness added an extra layer of flavor without destroying the beer. Good job, STBC!

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Photo of atr2605
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
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 John_M
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
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 BARFLYB
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at TJ's Everyday in Paoli PA. What a place.

Oak Aged Pumking sports an orangish amber shade, much lighter in color than when the kings first made it's rounds. A nice puff of creamy white foam up top that is loose and dips after some time, no lace.

Smell is lovely, pumkin scent to the max, fall spices, pie crust, clove and a faint trace of butterscotch. A nice amount of nutmeg with warming and faint traces of oak from the chips.

Im not a big fan of Pumking beers, in fact this is the first I am having this season, and it is a winner. Taste is nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin puree, spices, a hint of ginger and again a trace amount of oak chip flavor, which in turn gives off hints of vanilla at times.

People talk shit about how Pumking has become lighter in color and body over the years, and I would have to agree with them, although in my mind, the change has only made this beer even more drinkable. This is a strong medium with faint bubbles and not alot of carb. It's not all the way dead though. Nice splash of oak/vanilla in the aftertaste.

I had two glasses of this and I almost never do that at a bar (unless it's pliny, which coincidentally was also on tap) This is top notch stuff and the oak aging is not overdone, but adds another small layer to this great beer.

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Photo of Lawl3ss
4.09/5  rDev +1%
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 corby112
4.09/5  rDev +1%
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 CrellMoset
4.09/5  rDev +1%
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 garuda
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really didn't notice much difference between this and the standard Pumking. I enjoyed how the standard version was so sweet, and whipped-creamy, and the oak aging kind of dried out the finish a little bit and cut down on the sweetness when compared to the standard version. I've changed my scores from the original to compensate for that.

It still blows a lot of other pumpkin beers out of the water, but I'll just stick to the standard Pumking in the future.

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Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
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 Tucquan
4.05/5  rDev 0%
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 jsanford
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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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Oak Aged Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4.05 out of 5 based on 156 ratings.
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