Pumking: Best pumpkin beer ever?

I’m a fan of beer, and fall seasonals are my favorite type. I’m always eager to try a new autumn or pumpkin beer, and Southern Tier Pumking was at the top of my to-try list.

Southern Tier is based in Lakewood, New York, the “Southern Tier” of the state and started in late 2002. The brewery has a large variety of seasonal and year-round offerings, and they are one of the few breweries that I’m consistently pleased with no matter the type of beer. The hand-crafted ales are now available in more than half of the United States and other parts of the world, so if you find one of their beers that sounds interesting, I suggest you give them a try.

Southern Tier’s description of the beer:

Pumking is an ode to Púca, a creature of Celtic folklore, who is both feared and respected by those who believe in it. Púca is said to waylay travelers throughout the night, tossing them on its back, and providing them the ride of their lives, from which they return forever changed! Brewed in the spirit of All Hallows Eve, a time of year when spirits can make contact with the physical world and when magic is most potent. Pour Pumking into a goblet and allow it’s alluring spirit to overflow. As spicy aromas present themselves, let its deep copper color entrance you as your journey into this mystical brew has just begun. As the first drops touch your tongue a magical spell will bewitch your taste buds making it difficult to escape. This beer is brewed with pagan spirit yet should be enjoyed responsibly.

The beer poured a nice copper color with little head. I find most pumpkin beers either try to overcompensate and are too cinnamon or sweet or are too faint to taste. Pumking is the right balance of pumpkin pie, caramel, vanilla and beer, not too sweet or strong on the spices, not too weak in flavor. Bill and I shared a 22 oz. bottle, and I was definitely left wanting more, which doesn’t often happen with sweet or fruit beers. This really might be my favorite pumpkin beer I’ve had.

What is your favorite pumpkin or fall seasonal beer? I’m always looking for new fall beers to try. If you have had Pumking, how does it compare?