Pumpkin Ale 8.6% ABV

Southern Tier Pumking Imperial Ale

This seems to be one of the most talked about pumpkin ales out there year after year. It comes in a nice looking bomber bottle with an evil looking pumpkin staring you down.


Though you will instantly recognize the usual pumpkin ale scent of this beer (pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, etc.), there is also a very distinct vanilla, honey graham cracker like nose to it. It’s got a really great, smooth aroma overall.


Take a sip of this beer and you are knocked with a huge assortment of massive flavor. It is quite wide-ranging in my opinion, and well balanced, though it might be a bit overpowering for some. It’s like the equivalent of pushing all the knobs on a sound equalizer to the max setting — it’s still really balanced, but everything is maxed out. The flavors that come through for me most are the vanilla and graham cracker, though they come with a floral aspect that I didn’t pick up on in the scent. Oddly enough, the pumpkin flavor fades to the background on this beer. This is also much less sweet than almost any other pumpkin beer I’ve ever had, which is a nice unique characteristic.


I’ve had this in the past and actually haven’t enjoyed it as much as I did this time around. The flavors are definitely strong, there is a moderate alcohol burn (not a deal breaker for me at 8.6% ABV), and all around, this is not your typical sweet, holiday spice-dominant pumpkin ale. So, if those sound like good characteristics to you, then give it a try…just be ready for a punch to the tongue.

Brief Sheet

Southern Tier Pumking Imperial Ale

  • StylePumpkin Ale
  • ABV8.6% ABV
  • BrewerSouthern Tier Brewing Company

Brief Score