I know it's not the season for pumpkin beers, but I've had a bottle of Southern Tier Pumking sitting in my fridge behind a wall of other beers for the past few months and I finally got around to cracking it open. Think of this as an advisory post, an advance notice for the beer you must try next fall (and each one subsequent) if you haven't tried it already. Over the years I've tried a handful of pumpkin beers including Dogfish Head's Punkin, Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale, Harpoon UFO Pumpkin, Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin, Heavy Seas Great Pumpkin, and a few others I can't recall... but in the end Pumking is, well, the king!
Pumking is what you would get if you took the freshest pumpkin and made it into a pie with a homemade graham cracker crust, sprinkled some crushed pecans on top, covered it with fresh whipped cream, grated a little cinnamon or nutmeg on it... then made it into a liquid... with alcohol in it. Yeah - it's that good.
The only other pumpkin beer that equals Pumking is The Great'er Pumpkin from Heavy Seas. It's oak-aged, and I had it on cask once, right along side Pumking, and I couldn't decide which I liked better. An oak-aged version of Pumking was released in December 2011 in very small quantities, draft only, and hopefully it will be available in bottles later this year.