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 Auracom
2.77/5  rDev -31.6%
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 There's much less sweetness that has been replaced by a woody barrel character.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 mfunk9786
3.12/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pumking is one of my all-time favorite beers, and a standard around my house during the autumn months. I rushed to TJ's in Paoli (the best beer bar ever, by the way) to try this oak aged version, and couldn't have left more disappointed. Pumking is a very strongly flavored beer - very sweet, with a lot of pumpkin pie flavors and a nice hot alcohol burn that helps tie the entire experience together. I don't know how long this version spent on oak, but it tastes as if it was only a month or two. The beer comes out tasting just about the same as Pumking (keep in mind that with this review, I'm grading on a curve), with the oak only imparting a medicinal quality that detracts from the overall experience. Pumking already has a vanilla marshmallow creme character, so I can't really detect any more vanilla from the oak - and there's not any woodsiness to speak of. What there is is a sap-like medicinal quality to the sip, especially in the aftertaste - a danger of aging beer or cooking food on virgin oak - that detracts from the lovely, pie-like experience of drinking this beer and just makes it a bit of a chore to drink.

Pumking has a ton of flavor - perhaps Southern Tier could keep that in mind next time they attempt this. It could use some barrel aging that's able to stand up to that flavor - either a long long time in virgin oak, or some time in something like bourbon or rum barrels, would be a smarter move.

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
3.18/5  rDev -21.5%
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 Thorpe429
3.38/5  rDev -16.5%
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 hdelavega
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear burnt orange color with a finger of white head. The nose is dominated by spices, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, brown sugar. I also get a little roasted pumkin and a gram cracker like aroma, there is also some oak in there but not much. The flavor is pretty much a mild version of pumking. Follows the nose almost to the point, with the exception of the oak which is almost unnoticeable. Medium body, medium carbonation. I like pumking, I liked oaked pumking, but was not impressed. I was looking forward to experiencing how the oak would blend with the beer but it was almost nonexistent.

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Photo of NODAK
3.72/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had the pleasure of picking up a growler of this from the brewery.

Has a strong smell of sweet pumpkin pie, vanilla and a bready note as well.

Pours a pumpkin color in the glass...not getting much of a head, as the carbonation seems a tad low in this one.

The taste doesn't deviate from normal Pumking all that much, to be honest. I don't really get any tastes from the oak, so I'm not sure how long it was aged. It's quite sweet, with pumpkin pie, vanilla and nutmeg all over the place. It also seems to have a candy corn type sweetness to it. Towards the finish, there's a breadiness to it as well. The hop note that is present in the normal version is almost completely gone from this one, and it's just sweet all around.

Honestly, I enjoy the regular version more. While some people have found this one to be more tempered on the sweetness, I didn't get that. It was cloying at times and was tough to drink very much of....and while I enjoy the taste of it, I'm still going to reach for the regular Pumking first.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.74/5  rDev -7.7%
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 MDDMD
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-orange brown color with little off-white head

S-pumpkin pie and spice with some hints of sweetness

T-lots of spice and pumpkin, but some slight bitterness that takes some away from the pumpkin flavor, don't really detect much from the oak

F-medium body with moderate carbonation and smooth feel

O-a nice beer for a change of pace, but not something I would drink regularly

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Photo of Billolick
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
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 Beerisheaven
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
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 MsRif
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, PA. Poured a golden amber color with a nice white head that left pretty lacing. Appearance wise, I would say this seemed a shade lighter than regular Pumking. Had an aroma of vanilla, spices and booze. Much like regular Pumking, honestly. Taste followed the nose. I really noticed only a small touch of oak...kind of disappointing. One nice thing was that this brew seemed more balanced taste-wise than regular Pumking. The spices were more subdued and "blended." Very drinkable and smooth.

On the lighter side of medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. Good, but I think it could be improved upon. It was too close to regular Pumking.

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Photo of ummswimmin
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
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 socon67
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
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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Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark amber in color, small but noticeable egg shell head and no lacing found on the glass.

S: Its mellow and bleak but also does wonders at the same time. Laid back notions of the oak found in the back, before that comes the the spices of clove, cinnamon, allspice and such. Sweet as pumpkin pie and then the chill of the oak makes for a dynamic combination.

T: A most tamer and slimmer version of the original. Less sweat and mellow throughout with some earthy tones mixed in.

M: Thin in texture, slippery, little boozy with the oak involved, low carbonation.

O: Cool concept of one of my favorite seasonal beers. I like the original better but thats only because I'm not too into barreled versions of anything. Though I was pretty stoked when I heard the news of this, a real treat it was. Comes recommended.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up from the Village Beer Merchant (Buffalo, NY).

A: Pours a translucent gold with hues of amber and reds. There is only about a half finger of pure white head that quickly settles. There is very little lacing as it drinks.

S: Smells of pumpkin, nutmeg, vanilla, and roses. There is a floral quality hidden in there. At least I think so.

T: Mmmm. This is nice. Starts out with some sweet pumpkin and vanilla. The spice in this beer shines through a little bit later. The finish is pure vanilla and spice. Delicious. This beer is basically the regular PumKing, but with a lot of the sweetness dialed back.

M: Medium bodied beer. It starts off smooth and creamy, and finishes the same way.

O: I think this beer is really good. Most people either love or hate PumKing, but the oak aging mellows out all of the flavors and makes this a beer easily drinkable.

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Photo of bbeane
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Not much as far as head goes, or lacing. Color looked pretty typical of the standard Pumking, a light amber or shade of orange

S- Again, pretty typical aroma of pumpkin, pumpkin spice, and vanilla. Not much from the wood, though it could have contributed slightly to the vanilla

T- I think the barrel hurt this one. The barrel doesn't seem to have contributed all that much flavor, but instead has dulled some of the others IMO. The vanilla, seems to still be the most prominant, followed by the pumpkin, and spices

M- Light bodied with little carbonation

O- As I said earlier, I think the Pumking was better left alone. I went into this one being really excited, and finished it with a bit of a let down. It wasn't bad, just not as good


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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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Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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 OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clean orange-ish color with a light tan head. In the aroma, pumpkin pie and a small note of oak. In the taste, oaky, small vanilla, and all the flavors of a piece of pumpkin pie. A spice like bite and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry spice of pumpkin pie in the aftertaste. Nice pumpkin ale, with the nice presence of oak and vanilla. Dare I say a bourbon barreled PumKing soon?

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Photo of D35TR00
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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 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 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 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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Oak Aged Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company
4.05 out of 5 based on 156 ratings.
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