Imperial Pumpking is a Pumpkin Ale brewed by Southern Tier Brewing Co., and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a snifter from a 12 oz. bottle.
The brew pours a hazy orange gold with nearly an inch-thick cap of white foam that offers modest retention. Soapy residue gathers at the collar as the head recedes.
The aroma is fragrantly pleasant imparting a spicy scent of allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. It’s backed by sweet vanilla and just a hint of pumpkin.
A taste of spices and a touch of hops transition to sweet flavors of smashed pumpkin and vanilla. The palate turns somewhat bitter with floral and herbal hops followed by a hint of warming alcohol. The finish is sweet and mellow with a taste of crackery pie crust and caramel. More pumpkin appears in the base as the beer warms.
The feel is smooth and creamy with a body that’s slightly heavier than medium and moderately carbonated.
The Imperial Pumpking has a lovely balance between sweet, spicy, and bitter flavors. Though its sweetness becomes a bit sticky and the feel is a tad syrupy, this is otherwise a fine example of a pumpkin ale.
The brewery recommends the following food pairings: a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, smoked foods, pumpkin pie, and rolls.