Pumking from the Southern Tier Brewing Company in Lakewood, New York pours a clear golden-amber colour with a scant white head that sticks around as a thin collar, but leaves no lacing behind. This strong pumpkin ale has more of a pumpkin pie aroma than any other pumpkin ale I’ve tried to date; it has a real buttery pastry tone that compliments the pumpkin and spices nicely. Freshly cut grains and honey poke through after warming.
The taste of Pumking is nicely balanced between the pumpkin and the dry, peppery spice notes. Again, a pastry-like butter flavour defines the taste and makes it distinctive amongst pumpkin ales. The finish is peppery and bitter. The mouthfeel is on the thin side with a low, but noticeable carbonation. A grainy note comes through on the tongue and the aftertaste is dry tasting, but also has a syrupy quality. Pumking is extraordinarily smooth and drinkable given its ABV.
The bottle Pumking is packaged in sports a bright orange label with a wood grain pattern and the image of a devious-looking Jack-o’-lantern wearing a crown. A very detailed description of the beer can be found on the back, along with an ingredients list and a recommended serving temperature of 4.4 degrees Celsius (40 degrees Fahrenheit). Like most Southern Tier Brewing Company products, there is an absence of freshness dating.
Pumking is one of the best and most unique entries in the pumpkin ale style thanks to an abundance of pumpkin flavour and aroma and its distinctive pastry-like character. In my experience the beer paired well with chicken stew, cheese Danishes, pumpkin pie and vanilla ice cream.
Pumking is available in limited quantities at select LCBO locations and sees distribution throughout the eastern USA and to parts of Europe.
Type: Pumpkin Ale
Region: New York, Lakewood
Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Company
Format Purchased: 650 mL
Alcohol Content: 9.0%