Brew Review

Pumking from Southern Tier Brewing Company Is the King of Pumpkin Beers

Beer: Pumking
Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Company
Location: Lakewood, New York
ABV: 8.6 percent

Ever had pumpkin pie? How about pumpkin pie in a glass? Actually, that may actually be underselling it because this beer is superior to pumpkin pie — and it comes in a glass. More specifically, Pumking is the seasonal rock star from Southern Tier Brewing of Lakewood, New York, maker of many big and flavorful beers. It's part of the brewery's seasonal imperial series, a showcase for high-alcohol beers, and has been in production since 2007. Pumking made its desert debut last year but has already created quite a following in the Southwest.

Aroma: A seasonal assault of nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, vanilla, with a malt backbone reminiscent of pie crust. You can envision the aroma of pumpkin, which the brewery says is an actual ingredient, though the spices are front and center along with the pie crust aromas.

Flavor: The aromatics come through in the taste with big pie crust flavors that support the pumpkin pie spices, in particular allspice. You get huge flavors up front, starting with a smooth, pie-like sweetness, leading to the spices, and finishing with clean, warm pleasant alcohol that ties the spices and malt together wonderfully. The lingering aftertaste is pleasant and clean, with the pumpkin spices remaining subtly along with the lingering alcohol.

Appearance: Pumking pours deep gold with a light orange hue and a head consisting of small bubbles that did not persist long — likely due to the high alcohol by volume of this big, fall seasonal beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body, medium carbonation, and creamy, not astringent.

Serving: Beers of this strength are best served in a goblet (10 to 12 ounces in size) and typically expose maximum aromatics at temperatures between 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Pumpkin beers are typically a love or hate proposition, and while some people can't get enough of them, others would prefer anything else. However, if you're only going to have one pumpkin beer, Pumking is one to definitely considering trying, keeping in mind its 8.6 percent ABV and 22-ounce size, which makse it perfect to share. In Phoenix, you can find Pumking at Valley Total Wine & More locations.

For more information about Pumking , please visit the Southern Tier Brewing Company website

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Dave is a certified cicerone and former professional brewer. When he's not doing something beer-related, Dave enjoys writing, listening to, and performing music, hiking, skiing, and watching baseball.
Contact: Dave Clark