Any beer calling itself the “King” of anything should be looked at with a keen eye. The “king” of beers is one of the worst ones on the market, and the king of pumpkin beers follows suite. Some times being the king doesn’t work out so well. (How’s Gaddafi doing?)
Let’s make this short and sweet. The beer poured a light golden brown into my glass with an off-white head that went away within seconds. The smell of the beer was that of pumpkin and butter-cream. I did not get a lot, or any really, cinnamon, spice, or nutmeg — just pumpkin. I went in for the first taste, and really did not like it. It was a true pumpkin ale, in the most literal sense. Some of the spices came out, but nothing sweet to really override the pumpkin taste. It was very bitter with the pumpkin being the star of the show; it didn’t taste like pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread, it tasted like carving a pumpkin. The malt also made an appearance as well with the bitterness of the hops and pumpkin, but it was such a weird combination. Most significantly, the beer did not taste like beer. I know Southern Tier pushes the boundaries, but this was too much for me. The drinkability of the brew was wretched. I tried to like it, Southern Tier usually makes really good brew, but I just dreaded coming back to it. After pouring 14 ounces in my pint glass, the final 8 met the drain. Overall, I give the beer an D- because it really is one of the only pumpkin ales that truly tastes like pumpkin, but on the other hand, why would anyone want to drink pumpkin juice? It would however make a pretty good Yankee Candle scent. Avoid this one.