Saturday, August 24, 2013

Review: Southern Tier's Imperial Pumking

The fall beers just keep on being awesome, so I'm going to keep on drinking them! This particular review is about the big fall release from Southern Tier which everyone looks forward to: Imperial Pumking.

Southern Tier can be a bit of a grab bag of good and not-so-good beers. Some beers they do quite well are their 2X Stout, 2XMAS, Phin & Matt's Extraordinary Ale, and most of their Imperial series. Some beers they don't do too well are their IPAs (which come off a bit bland), and their Live Pale Ale (same problem). However, this review is about one of their seasonal Imperials, so you (and I) are in luck!

Pumking is an absolute treat I discovered last fall. I fell in love with the brew. As its name suggests, it is the king of the pumpkin beer world. It's a strong beer, clocking in at 8.6% ABV, and tastes so damn good. The best description of it would be liquid pumpkin pie. So let's break down this brew and find out just what about it there is to enjoy!

Appearance: 3.5/5
Pumking pours a surprisingly light color with a slight orange/amber tint to it. There isn't much head to be had, but there is plenty of carbonation upon first pouring it. However, that carbonation doesn't stick around as long as I'd like.

Nose: 5/5
Pumpkin is what you'll be smelling when you nose this brew. It's a rich, deep aroma that shows this beer means business when it says it was brewed with pumpkins. Nutmeg and cinnamon undertones help boost this aroma and will make you salivate. It's a very full aroma!

Taste: 5/5
Utter perfection. The nutmeg and cinnamon aren't just undertones in this beer's flavor, and they attack your palate full-force upon first tasting it. Then, as you process the beer, you can taste the powerful amount of pumpkin in it. There's also the presence of vanilla as you finish each sip, which is a nice addition: almost like the whipped cream atop the pumpkin pie that is this beer. Pumking has a nice, full body too. The ABV could have something to do with that, but it's a thick, rich beer despite its light appearance. Overall, Southern Tier knocked it out of the park with this brew's flavor.

Mouthfeel: 4/5
Pumking has a nice body that really makes itself present on your palate. The carbonation is pretty light, which, combined with the rich flavor, creates an almost creamy feeling to the beer.

Finish: 4/5
Here's where the vanilla kicks in. The light, creamy flavor sneaks in upon the finish and makes for a nice icing on the cake, so to speak. Cinnamon lingers afterward as well, leaving a pleasant late-autumn taste on your palate.

Total Score: 94.5/100

Despite having a slightly underwhelming appearance, Pumking is a full-flavored, thick, rich beer that will easily make it into your top 5. It's definitely in mine. You can try as many autumn beers as you want, but Pumking is guaranteed to be the end-all for you (most likely). So pick yourself up a bottle now, or in October... or November. This beer is usually on sale for a good few months, which is great because it's so damn good!

Well, until next time, cheers!


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