Monday, October 19, 2009


I got so many fantastic-looking beers in my recent wallet-busting mother-of-all-beer-trades with VICE BLOG’s Aaron Goldfarb the other day, but I hadda bust this one out first, given that it’s only a few days to Halloween and all. I just have to say it, the last few pumpkin beers I’ve tried just haven’t done much for me, even re-tries of perennials like Dogfish Head Punkin and Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale. Surely SOUTHERN TIER would break the cycle of hopelessness and despair? With an “imperial” pumpkin ale, no less? Well – hmm – not really. SOUTHERN TIER PUMKING is a spicy, no-question-at-all pumpkin ale, but it has this thin body and weird mélange of flavors that just doesn’t quite come together in a revelatory way. Think cinnamon, nutmeg, and Chloroseptic lozenges. And I’m neither feeling sick nor ready for winter.

It’s got pureed pumpkin in the mash, and to its credit, it’s as prevalent here as if you were gobbling a hunk of pumpkin bread from grandma’s oven. It’s also cruising along at 9% ABV, and I’m thinking that this high a level of alcohol doesn’t sit well with this, uh, “flavor profile”. Granted, this is not a bad beer. When there are at least a dozen other, far better, Southern Tiers on the shelves, though, I’d probably recommend you throw those in the handbasket first. 6/10.


Aaron said...

I don't know what happened to Pumking. Last year's batch was so so much better. I wonder if they changed the recipe??? I agree with your review. Wish you could have tried this one 365 days ago. You would have liked it better.

Scott-TheBrewClub said...

Just had it, must agree a bit of a let-down for me. Not sure why I keep trying these Pumpkin ales! Thin body, and yea, I'd agree that the flavors don't come together well at all. Skip for next year.