Unlike Charlie Brown, I don’t wait all year for the Great Pumpkin to come. I have my own autumnal visitor: Southern Tier Brewing Company’s Pumking. Brewed as an ode to Púca, a Celtic creature equally malevolent and benevolent, this imperial pumpkin ale will sate your inner pagan.
Pumking pours with a minimal head and settles into an enticing copper color. The nose is pure Thanksgiving dessert: spiced pecans, toasted marshmallow, allspice, nutmeg, and, of course, fresh pumpkin. The taste is instantly gratifying. It morphs through vegetal pumpkin, burnt brown sugar, graham cracker, vanilla, and cloves.
Southern Tier nails it: it’s a pumpkin beer that doesn’t taste like liquid pumpkin pie. Pumking is brewed with pumpkin puree but doesn’t have added sweetness to mask its earthy elements. Because if I wanted a sweet pumpkin beverage, I’d throw on some yoga pants and get a pumpkin latte from my local barista. This imperial ale has an expertly integrated spice element that helps carry the weight of the alcohol content.
Beware! At 8.6% ABV, this is a beer to savor, not swill. Pumking will travel well to your next tailgate, even without the benefit of a cooler. In fact, the closer it gets to room temperature, the more it mellows out. The spices aren’t as bracing and it tastes smoother. In other words, it will calm your inner Púca. Don’t miss Southern Tier’s Pumking, a limited autumn release!