Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Southern Tier Imperial Pumking (review)

You can sort of understand Christmas coming early. Its not as if candy canes and colored bulbs have a growing season. But you can't rush autumn. Harvest time is harvest time, and mid to late August sure as hell isn't harvest time for pumpkins in the Northeast. But nevertheless, plenty of Northeastern and New England based American craft brewers, a breed who pride themselves on using fresh, local ingredients whenever possible have already begun to inundate specialty beer shelves with their autumn seasonal Pumpkin Beers.

While I've now reviewed just shy of 50 different brews I still consider myself a something of a craft beer newbie. I'm only a year into my journey of beer discovery. That being the case I have limited experience with Pumpkin beers. One of my very first beer reviews was of Ithaca  Beer Company's Country Pumpkin  . Looking back at that review for the first time since writing it, it appears I wasn't too impressed. Country Pumpkin claimed to be a pumpkin ale, however my taste buds apparently had a difficult time detecting any trace of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, allspice, or any of the ingredients we typically associate with pumpkin pie and autumn.

Southern Tier Brewing Company's Imperial Pumking is night and day from Country Pumpkin . When I cracked my first bottle of Pumking, all of the ingredients I mentioned above were immediately apparent on the nose, particularly pumpkin flesh and nutmeg. 

On the pallet, Pumking offers has a big pumpkin-seed flavor. While brewed with two types of hops, Pumpkin seed is the bittering agent that most stands out to me (back of the throat), with some nutmeg and cinnamon (tip of the tongue) to round things out. 

8.5% ABV

While a little expensive ($16 for a 4 pack) I'd definitely buy this one again  

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