Southern Tier Pumking

December 2nd, 2013 by in Other Beer Reviews

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s officially the Christmas season! We had a Celebration Saturday night on Instagram.

For the most part we took Thanksgiving week off (I posted a couple of Instagram photos, but we didn’t run any articles). While I was in New Orleans for Thanksgiving, I decided to visit a little deli on Magazine Street to see what beer they had.

Stein’s Market and Deli is a Jewish and Italian deli in the Garden District of New Orleans. In addition to sandwiches and other deli essentials, they have a couple of beer coolers in the deli itself and a back room full of beer. The special stuff, for the most part, is in the back room. To get there, walk out the screen door in the back (you’re back outside at this point) and walk into the first door on the right. The beer room isn’t huge, but it’s packed with beer on all the shelves and in the middle of the room. Local, American, and foreign craft beers including plenty of Belgians are in stock.

One of the first beers I saw was something I had tried to get multiple times in Houston and never was able to. About twenty bottles of Southern Tier Pumking were sitting next to the door (along with many bottles of Southern Tier Creme Brulée). Since I hadn’t been able to find Pumking prior to this visit to Stein’s, I picked up a couple of bottles.


On the bottom of the bottle is a 07/22/13 date of birth. Pumking pours a light copper into this fleur-de-lis pint glass with a small white head. Lots of pumpkin and nutmeg in the scent. Taste is very sweet and full of pumpkin, nutmeg and vanilla. Maybe a little bit of cinnamon in there. Almost like candy. To be honest it’s overly sweet and not enough spices to balance it out. Wondering if the spices have faded since the beer was bottled in July and it’s now November.

This doesn’t happen often but I’m actually regretting buying two bombers of Pumking. With the reputation it has, I was expecting something much better instead of just something super-sweet. This is something many Creme Brulée drinkers complain about, but I find the sweetness in Creme Brulée is balanced by the stout’s roasted flavors. Pumking is just pumpkin sweetness, vanilla sweetness, and nutmeg sweetness to me. Maybe the spices have faded, but I find Saint Arnold’s Pumpkinator has a much better balance and it’s still my favorite pumpkin beer.

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