Monday, October 6, 2014

Southern Tier Pumking (8/10)

Southern Tier Brewing Company of Lakewood, New York, is the birthplace of this pumpkin beer.  It becomes available in August and stops when it sells out.

Southern Tier Pumking pours a clear copper color with a finger-thick white head that lasts a while.

The aroma is that of a fresh pumpkin pie with plenty of spice.  It may well be the best-smelling pumpkin beer of all.

The flavor starts with creamy pumpkin up front, adds some spice, and finishes with malt and mild hops.  The finish is only very mildly bitter.

The draft version is a bit more mild and less bitter than the bottled version.  Both have the same creamy, spicy, pumpkin aroma.

With over 4,300 ratings, Pumking gets a 91 or “outstanding”rating from Beer Advocate.  With over 1,500 ratings on Rate Beer, it gets 98/100.  I’m slightly tougher on it, giving it an 8/10.  But make no mistake, this is a fine pumpkin beer and one that Southern Tier should be proud of.

The beer is available on draft at various restaurants and bars.  The bottled version can be found at a number of retailers like Giant Eagle, Kenny Road Market, The Andersons, and others.  It’s not too hard to find in season.

Pumpkin Beer Flavor Profile:

Dominant Flavor (Beer, Spices, Pumpkin):  Hops
Pumpkin intensity:  Low
Spice intensity:  Low
Malty or hoppy:  Hoppy
Sweet, balanced, or dry:  Balanced
Dominant flavor:  Hops, and once you get past that, some malt and pumpkin
ABV:  8.6%
IBU:  Unknown, but low, probably 15-20
My Rating: 8/10

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