Imperial Pumpking

Pumpkin Ale Southern Tier Brewing Co.


Imperial Pumpking, a Pumpkin Ale by Southern Tier Brewing Company

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Imperial Pumpking is a Pumpkin Ale brewed by Southern Tier Brewing Co., and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a snifter from a bottle.


The brew pours a hazy orange gold with nearly an inch-thick cap of white foam that offers modest retention. Soapy residue gathers at the collar as the head recedes.


The aroma is fragrantly pleasant imparting a spicy scent of allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. It’s backed by sweet vanilla and just a hint of pumpkin.


A taste of spices and a touch of hops transition to sweet flavors of smashed pumpkin and vanilla. The palate turns somewhat bitter with floral and herbal hops followed by a hint of warming alcohol. The finish is sweet and mellow with a taste of crackery pie crust and caramel. More pumpkin appears in the base as the beer warms.


The feel is smooth and creamy with a body that’s slightly heavier than medium and moderately carbonated.


The Imperial Pumpking has a lovely balance between sweet, spicy, and bitter flavors. Though its sweetness becomes a bit sticky and the feel is a tad syrupy, this is otherwise a fine example of a pumpkin ale.

Recommended Pairings

The brewery recommends the following food pairings: a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, smoked foods, pumpkin pie, and rolls.

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About the Pumpkin Ale

The Pumpkin Ale is usually released as a fall seasonal and is brewed with pumpkin meat, puree, or flavoring. The beer is typically spiced with autumnal seasonings such as allspice, cinnamon, clove, ginger, and nutmeg. Its bitterness is typically mild with the spices leading the palate. A malty backbone can have a sticky feel.