Aug 31, 2009

Southern Tier Pumking

Cracking the cap on my first Fall seasonal couldn’t have been timed any better. Enjoying this Imperial Pumpkin Ale helped usher in a week where the temperatures will be dropping into the 50s at night — finally pushing the humidity out of the region for a bit.

I’ve been able to find (and enjoy) several new brews from Southern Tier the past month or so. It was only natural for me that the first pumpkin inspired beer I cracked open would be from them. For the past couple of years Brooklyn’s Post Road has been my favorite. Let’s see how Pumking stacks up against it.

Beer Label: Southern Tier Pumking


Pumking pours a bright, golden amber in color with a large head that faded quickly. Held up to the light at the right angle, this one appears orange in color.


Not smelling quite as sweet on the nose as Post Road, Southern Tier’s version brought visions of pumpkin, pie crust and spices to mind. The combination reminded me of a fresh gingerbread cookie with a subtle pumpkin and sweetness in the mix. Smells amazing.


My notes from this tasting were limited to two words: damned good. There were a couple of exclamation points thrown in there for good measure as well. I can tell you that the pumpkin and malt are balanced wonderfully with a nutmeg-dominated spice profile that lingers on the tongue for a while along with a dry finish. It’s got a very restrained sweetness that kept it from hitting the overly dessert feeling that pumpkin ales can sometimes portray. At 9% ABV, there’s little to no apparent trace of alcohol in the taste — it’s dangerously well hidden.


I am very tempted to replace Post Road at the top of the list after enjoying this one. It’s got a great flavor and body, hitting on all the right spots when it comes to this style. I think I’ll have to do a more scientific side-by-side comparison the next time around.

Rating: 4/5

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