Craft Beer Review: Southern Tier’s Rum Barrel Aged Pumking


From the second you open the bottle, you know this is something different.

Every year, those within the reach of Southern Tier Brewing Company‘s craft beer offerings eagerly await the launch of Pumking, the king of pumpkin beers. By itself, Pumking is an amazing work of zymurgy but when the masterminds at Southern Tier decided to cook off some in rum barrels, they hit pay dirt.

The beer

ABV: 9.5%
IBUs: 25
Style: Pumpkin/Yam Beer
Brewery: Southern Tier Brewing Company

This limited release hits all the notes that make the traditional brew a hit. It’s sweet and malty with a good deal of pumpkin and spice except this time the whole experience is wrapped in the deep warming sensation that comes only with a nice spiced rum.

Imagine chasing your bite of pumpkin pie with Captain Morgan or Mount Gay. It’s wholesome and delicious while simultaneously being edgy and alcoholic.

I drank mine from your standard pint glass despite what the brewers suggested. Call me a rebel. I drank it at the suggested temperature but as it warmed, the spice fell back and allowed the malty pie crust notes to come forward, all the while maintaining the warm rum sensation.

Final thoughts

At nearly $16 a bottle, this is certainly something you should think about before buying. If you haven’t had the original, I’d suggest trying that first and going from there. But to me, it was worth every dollar. Like I was telling some buddies of mine, if I had the funds and the means of properly storing and ageing this bad boy, my local bottle shop would be sold out yesterday.

Unfortunately, unless you live in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Maryland or New Jersey, you’re out of luck when it comes to finding a bottle.

4.75/5 – Only thing stopping this from being a 5/5 is the alcohol burn from the rum infusion takes away the sweet indulgent finish the original has.

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Born and raised in Northern New York and schooled at the College at Brockport, SUNY. Journalist by trade, beer lover by ... well, life.

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