Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Imperial Pumking is a burly bully of a strong pumpkin beer out of Lakewood, New York. It's brewed by the excellent beer artists at Southern Tier, where they pump this hazy, autumnally orange brew into 650mL bottles. Pumking contains a heavy duty 8.6% alcohol and pours with a cloud of off-white head. Pumking's ingredients list features pumpkin puree, spices, and sulphites. The bottle declares that this stuff is "bewitched and brewed with pagan spirit".
There was a substantial pumpkin scent that's warm and replete with nutmeg and clove. It was extremely sweet initially, though the sweetness pumped the brakes toward the back end to showcase a spicy and marginally hoppy finish that dried out nicely.
A number of people have raved to me about this beer over the last few years, so there was a lot of hype for this stuff to live up to. While I really enjoyed it, it didn't completely blow me away. There was loads of pumpkin pie seasoning and an alcoholic content that made the beer big and bracing, but this finish didn't totally satisfy me. I liked the hoppiness, but I found that there was a a vaguely chemical note that I found a bit disarming. Other than that though, this is a premier pumpkin beer that'll put treats in your loot bag.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10.