Last Fall, I did a little write-up about pumpkin beers. I tasted them and used my patented “pumpkin meter” to rate each beer. The highest mark went to Terrapin Brewery’s Pumpkinfest – still a great beer and one I highly recommend.
At the time, though, I had not yet discovered Southern Tier Pumking. And thus I write today, as the fall seasonal beers hit the shelves for 2013: buy this beer. This is the gold standard, the king, if you will, of pumpkin beers.
Where to begin with this one; pouring into a glass yields a very brief buildup of white head, which quickly dissipates. Deep orange liquid, the color of fresh pumpkin flesh. The aroma hits you jus tthe right way: sweet pumpkin pie and spices, with a mellow vanilla overtone. Deep spices, the pumpkin, of course, and maybe… could it be crust? Butter and vanilla. The taste: A round, malty, sweet drink which is simultaneously refreshing and satisfying. Finishes with more of the biscuit/crust and a touch of sourness. Incredibly good stuff. As it warms in the glass, flavor and especially aroma start to become a bit less fresh and more towards the artificial side. Best drunk freshly chilled.
I have also heard tale of an Oaked Pumking, which I would love to find somehow. Seems like something special for tap only.
I have no choice but to give this beer a 4.5 pumpkin rating, to match my highest ever, with only that little bit of room for improvement in the aroma of a warming glass.
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