Rum Barrel Aged Pumking

Southern Tier Brewing Company

Appearance

This pours a light orange color and produces a finger of creamy, white head. This dissipates slowly and showcases some nice lacing. It’s quite a clear body that displays mild carbonation and the faintest bit of sediment.

Aroma

The aroma is essentially two-faced: there’s the spice bill made of nutmeg, allspice, and clove at minimum, and a buttery rum smell. This makes for a mostly boozy aroma that doesn’t shed too much light on the beer’s foundation. Nevertheless, it’s enticing.

Taste

Immediately I can tell this is my ‘pumking’ of choice. Up front I’m greeted by a beautiful blend of spices and pumpkin flavor. The pumpkin flesh is rich and prominent. It tastes fresh, clean, and sits atop what seems to be a well-balanced foundation made of sweet malt and bright, vibrant hops. It’s definitely more a graham cracker, malt-driven base, but it still soundly grounds the entire experience. As I transition the spice bill makes moves and begins to heavily supplement the pumpkin flavor. It follows the nose closely with a blend of nutmeg, allspice, and clove at least. Then, in the back, the rum begins to softly blanket the experience. It never draws full attention away from the rest of the experience, but rather it pleasantly injects itself into the palate the rest of the way, making for a warm, boozy base upon which the experience hinges on into the aftertaste. It’s quite brilliant. The finish is buttery and flavorful, leaving the palate wanting more each time. Great pumpkin and rum flavor.

Mouthfeel

This is a medium-bodied beer with mild carbonation. It’s smooth and warm, thanks to the pretty blend of ingredients and its infusion of booze. The palate is consistently satisfied with its creamy texture, and is left fairly wet after each pass.

Overall

I must say I’m thoroughly impressed. This is essentially what I wish Pumking was, period – no need for the other pumkings! It provides a deeply dynamic experience that doesn’t hinge on a single aspect or ingredient to make its case. Instead, it’s well-balanced, complex, and dangerously drinkable considering its ABV. The pumpkin is rich and flavorful, and the other facets of the experience supplement it very well. That includes the booze. The rum barrel aged quality isn’t just an additive for interest but rather adds a level of sophistication that supports the rest of the cast, and does work at helping saturate the palate with the rest of the ingredients. It’s makeup is creamy, buttery, but not so syrupy. It’s spicy, robust, but not overwhelming. It’s simply a solid beer, and great pumpkin option. Thank you for bringing this back, sincerely.

4.5