Name: Imperial Pumking
Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: New York, New York
Style: Pumpkin Ale
Alcohol Content (ABV): 8.60%
First Brewed: ca. 2006
This orange brew greets the nose with a plume of freshly baked spices. Cinnamon, close, nutmeg, brown sugar, and toast are dominant in a silt body that is never sweet.
I wanted to drink this beer on Halloween, but we were too tired and went to bed early. However, we are drinking this within a week of the holiday, so it still counts. Plus, Sheryl made some Halloween cookies that I assume she got ons ale at Target. I have been a BIG fan of Southern Tier beers, but have never tried this one. People rave about it, and I am excited to try it. I just hope the spice that I read about is there. I did have my first holiday beer last night, so we need to get rid of these pumpkin beers that are still hanging around.
Oh, and Southern Tier recently changed their labels… Have you seen the new labels? They are HORRIBLE. I hate them. They need to go back to their old labels or come up with something better than this. Yuck!
OK, let’s drink. Cheers! Or should I say, “Boo.” (See what I did there?)
In the Glass: I am not sure why I expected this to be dark, but it’s not. It looks like a lager. Also, there are a ton of tiny bubbles rushing to the top. I landed this beer in a trade, but that should change the beer inside the bottle. This is our last beer from Southern Tier, but with their new labels, I am find by that! We didn’t drink this on Halloween, but close enough.
Nose: As I was pouring this, I could smell the spice. I had a Christmas beer last night that was loaded with spice. Tis the season. When I finally smelled the beer, it has a really nice pumpkin pie aroma. The aroma is subtly sweet and leaves a nice cracker finish. I hope this has some nice pumpkin flavors to it. Let’s drink!
Flavor: Oh, that’s good. I wouldn’t consider this an imperial pumpkin beer… But it is good. It has a really nice mouthfeel, too. The flavor sticks around and while there are nice nutmeg and clove flavor to it, that dry cracker finish thing sticks around. I am not sure what makes this an imperial pumpkin ale, but the ABV doesn’t justify it. This is barely warming up and the flavor is really changing. I bet this would be a good beer to age in some oak barrels. Toss in some added sugar and bring up the ABV and toss it in a barrel.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is great. It has a nice pillowy mouthfeel that I didn’t expect, especially with all the tiny bubbles I am seeing. I could drink this all day long. I bet this is one of the better pumpkin beers on the market right now. Sheryl just sent me an instant message that said, “most pumpkin I’ve ever tasted in a beer.” She’s probably right.
Aftertaste: The aftertaste is drying and leaves the same aftertaste that you get after eating a piece of pumpkin pit. I really like the pumpkin pie flavor, especially when it’s cold outside. I am not sure where we are eating Thanksgiving dinner, but I bet I will be eating some pumpkin pie while I am there!
This beer is really getting good as it heats up. I hate to hear that Southern Tier had issues with some of their earlier beers, but this is not a bad release. This is just a good seasonal beer that would pair well with dinner and/or dessert. Cheers and happy Halloween!!! Boo.
Imperial Pumking – The bottle says: “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 travels throughout the night by tossing them on its back and providing them the ride of their lives. It is a journey from which everyone returns forever change.”
“Brewed in the spirit of All Hallows Eve, a time of year when spirits can m ale contact with the physical world and when magic is most potent. Pour Pumpking into a goblet and allow its alluring spirit to overflow. As spicy aromas present themselves, let its deep copper color entrance you as you 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 Pumking.”
“This beer is brewed with pagan spirit yet should be enjoyed with responsibility.”
I’m multitasking right now, because I’m trying to edit our last podcast from Thursday night while drinking and writing this review. We have been trying to get this beer reviewed for a while now. I keep forgetting that it’s on the list, because… I don’t know, because it doesn’t seem like one that would be on it. But it is. And I’ve heard good things, and I’m excited. We were planning to do it on Halloween night, but we ran out of time. Partially because we did the podcast. And we were tired. So it did not get done until now. But here it is.
The beer looks… well, pumpkin-y, I guess, in the glass. It’s actually kind of golden, but slightly darker, so it does look kind of orange. It doesn’t smell too strong, but what it really does smell like is pumpkin. The beer actually doesn’t look very thick, and other than being a bit darker, it looks like a pale ale. Let’s see if it really does taste like pumpkin.
First sip… and wow. These beer tastes exactly like a pumpkin. It’s pretty much like drinking a liquid pumpkin, actually. Drinking this while eating a piece of pumpkin pie would be amazing. This might be the ultimate Thanksgiving beer. I can totally see drinking it along with some turkey and dressing. I’m pretty sure that this is now my favorite pumpkin beer that I’ve had. It was Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin. I tried the Sam Adams Fat Jack the other night, and it might have been better. But this one takes the cake. It definitely tastes the most like pumpkin. And I love it, and will hopefully be drinking it again.