I was at ValuMarket in the Mid City Mall a few days ago and I ran into some of my buddies in the beer distribution business back by the beer cave. They were back there building a beer display and as one of the boxes open my gaze was thrust upon a 22oz bottle of Southern Tier with an orange label, it was Pumking, the legendary Imperial pumpkin ale from the craft brewers out of New York. Now up to that point I had not partaken of this highly revered brew so I took the opportunity to swoop up a bottle.
The first things you notice when you pop open the top and pour this beer is that it has a beautiful burnt orange color and smells just like a delicious graham cracker pumpkin pie crust. The aroma was so inviting and I found myself sticking virtually my who nose into the glass for each sip. I love when a beer makes you picture yourself in certain places; this one made me feel like sitting in front of a fireplace, in a big, cozy chair, wearing a nice, warm sweater while I imbibe. It's a very well balanced beer in my opinion and the 8.6% ABV is well hidden by the spices and slight hoppiness. I'd say my only complaint, if I have one, is that I'd personally like it to be a little spicier, but this is coming from someone who really likes pumpkin pie and cinnamon. From some of the other reviews I've read some people actually already feel it might be too spicy; so too each their own I suppose. Beeradvocate.com and Ratebeer.com give the Pumking Ale an A- and a 98 score respectively; so it is generally highly regarded.
It is definitely a pumpkin ale worth trying, especially if you're a fan of the Schlafly Pumpkin Ale that comes out this time of year. I'd suggest picking up an extra bottle now to save for Thanksgiving day, when Pumking mixed with all the seasonal dishes sounds like a real treat. If you want you can even picture me sitting by a fireplace, in a big, cozy chair, and wearing a nice, warm sweater if that gets you to where you need to go.
If picturing me is something that makes you all warm and tingly you can follow Lville Beer on Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare and I'll talk dirty beer talk to you.
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