Quick Take: Southern Tier took a very popular and minorly flawed pumpkin beer, one that I’m quite fond of I might add, and made it better. The use of rum is an intelligent and well-considered addition that doesn’t really turn the beer into something entirely new, but enhances the flavors that are already present. For fans of Pumking, it’s a no brainer and worth trying, even at $18 a bottle. If you never understood the hype or prefer a meatier pumpkin beer experience, this might not change your mind. My personal opinion is that the rum is so well-integrated, it seems like it was always there and exactly what Pumking should be. I don’t know if I’ll be able to go back to standard Pumking after trying this, but given how difficult it is to find, I might not have a choice.
Quick Take: I think Southern Tier listened to some of the criticisms of Pumking and tweaked the recipe. The heart of this is still the Pumking fans (like me) know and love, but with the rough edges shorn off to make it a more casual friendly beer. The Pumking detractors aren’t going to change their tune nor will this win over those that want the pumpkin front and center, but someone on the fence may find this year’s version to be a pretty enjoyable fall treat (or summer patio/fire pit drinker).
Changes from Last Year: Not only has the bottle label changed to regulate the King of Pum to a small bit of leafy green around the bottom, but the serving glass has changed from a beefy goblet to more of a water goblet and the serving temp has nudged up from 40°F to 42°F (Personally, I like it a bit warmer at 55°F). The vanilla has backed off and the spices seem less intense, but that may just be my palate. As these elements fade back, the earthy pumpkin is given more of a chance to come through, though it still isn’t a featured player. It also finishes with less bitterness, but more heat and malty bread.
The second part of Episode 3 of Drew’s Brews Reviews is here! The beer review show you never knew you wanted and no one needs. Ken and I continue our conversation about Southern Tier’s Pumking and Warlock by combining them in the same glass for a taste-splosion of pumpkin beer.
As this is not a sanctioned beer from the brewer, i.e. it is not a quality controlled beer released by Southern Tier, we don’t review it per say. Instead, we provide our impressions and let you know if it’s worth trying out. If you want a better analysis of Pumking or Warlock, you should check out part 1 and get off my back.
Episode 3 of Drew’s Brews Reviews is here! The beer review show you never knew you wanted and no one needs. In this one, I’m joined by my friend Ken and we put Southern Tier’s Pumking head-to-head against the newly released Warlock in a battle royale (sans murderous Japanese teens). I’m trying a different format, so this ends up being more a comparison than a review. We do give our opinions on the beers, but the depth is lacking to keep the overall time lean.