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Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale | Shipyard Brewing Co.

873 Reviews
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Shipyard Pumpkinhead AleShipyard Pumpkinhead Ale

Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co.
Maine, United States | website

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-04-2001

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Reviews: 873 | Ratings: 2,616
Photo of rodbeermunch
2/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Looks like a standard light lager, yellow, 1/2" white head.. Aroma was sweet earthy pumpkin and some kind of almost mold like thing.

Taste was sweet more than pumpkin, none of the normal things like cinnamon are there. Same with the normal beer ingredients, doesn't have or mesh with hops or malt.

Eh, everyone agrees, this beer doesn't do it.

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Photo of gandres
2.05/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle to wine glass
Appearance: Deep amber, very clear, no head, a lot of lacing
Aroma: Not a lot of aroma
Taste: Not a lot of taste, no follow through
Mouthfeel: very fizzy, carbonated
Overall: Good beer, but will not repeat buy, nor suggest to be bought

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Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
3.8/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Potent as hell when it comes to cinnamon and nutmeg. There's not much room for pumpkin flavors in the forefront, but it's decent enough in the background. The major drawback is that, because the flavor is so strong and sweet, it can become a bit of a chore after the halfway point.

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Photo of stevoj
2.67/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Nothing special or out of the ordinary, another pumpkin pie spice beer, lots of cinnamon and nutmeg. Light bodied, overly sweet aroma, flat metallic taste.

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Photo of dwillie733
4.27/5  rDev +48.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Not sure why everyone is rating this one so low. As a pumpkin beer, while a little strong, it has the aroma and taste of a good pumpkin beer. Had this one in Hartford MA and would have again

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Photo of DucksFan16
2.86/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Reviewed on 12/12/2015.

The smell is almost like pumpkin pie. Not a lot of the aroma carries through to the taste, as it seems very bland (for the style) to me. Mouthfeel is extremely thin.

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Photo of sjdevel
3.39/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Crystal clear light copper color. Not very bubbly, but there is a few streams of bubbles to create a bit of lacing.

Sweet and herbal spices. Some caramel notes, but mainly spices (nutmeg / cinnamon).

No real presence of hops or bitterness. There is an instant sweetness with a bit of savory vegetable and pumpkin flavors. There is a slight hint of caramel malt. Flavors are mainly vanilla and spices. As some of the flavors mellow out, it leaves me with an after taste of cream soda.

Very low medium side for mouthfeel. Not thick or oily feeling as some I have had and no dryness to speak of.

This one is drinkable, but there is a bit too much nutmeg and it is too sweet. This is a dessert beer that would be good with a slice of pumpkin pie and maybe along with your Thanksgiving dinner. I won't buy this one again as there are many pumpkin beers out there that are well above and beyond this one.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 9/2/2012. Pours slightly hazy golden orange color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, brown sugar, wheat, toasted bread, and herbal/spice earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of pumpkin/spices and light-moderate bready malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, brown sugar, wheat, toasted bread, and herbal/spice earthiness. Light herbal/spice bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, brown sugar, wheat, toasted bread, and herbal/spice earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity, robustness, and balance of pumpkin/spices and light-moderate bready malt flavors; with a great malt/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 4.5%. Overall this is a nice pumpkin/spiced pale wheat ale style. All around good robustness, complexity, and balance of pumpkin/spices and light-moderate bready malt flavors; and very smooth, crisp, and clean to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of dacrza1
1.91/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

DATE TASTED: November 20, 2015 ... GLASSWARE: Hobgoblin pint... OCCASION: a Shark Tank double feature... APPEARANCE: pale orange body that sports reasonable bubbles; the white head holds steady while thinning out to a hazy, uneven circle... AROMA: cinnamon and nutmeg are up close and personal--where is the pumpkin? the label says as much, but the maltiness is a bit off-putting... PALATE: thin, fizzy at the start, and swift in its finish... the sizzle about the tongue is easy-drinking, but also not befitting an ale...TASTE: bland, malt-heavy lagerish profile with some spiciness but no pumpkin detected; a medicinal finish is prevalent; not memorable or strong in its profile... OVERALL: I pounded at least eight of these at Sara and Brett's wedding a few weeks ago, and it was nice having something with a little dimension to drink at a formal event; at home, in a controlled environment, this beer needs an experience to qualify its drinking; otherwise, it is a flat, weak, slammable seasonal ...

 1,003 characters

Photo of rapayn01
3.61/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I didn't mind this. I'm not a fan of pumpkin beers loaded with pie spices. This isn't. This Shipyard product doesn't have much head and the taste is basically lager with pumpkin. I like pumpkin flavor so my rating is higher than the rest of the community's.

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Photo of mnj21655
2.12/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

12 oz can poured into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear pale golden color with notes of copper. About a half inch of short lived light khaki head which quickly dissapears leaving on a thin rim of bubbles and no lacing. Aroma is pumpkin pie spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and artificial sweetness; not.much in the way of actual pumpkin. Taste is much like the aroma; this just seems to be a basic lager with artificial spices and pumpkin added. The taste is more focused on pumpkin but the artificial notes remain. This beer is overwhelmingly cloying and very sweet, no balance. Medium body, moderate carbonation. Overall I do not find this to be an enjoyable year. I've given it a try a few times before giving it this formal review so I feel comfortable reviewing this beer. I found it far too sweet with artificial taste and aromas that didn't sit right with me.

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Photo of MountainGoat13
1/5  rDev -65.3%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Other than the apparently ruined / wrecked Southern Tier Pumpking we just tasted and dumped out - this is probably the single worst beer falsely marketed as "craft" I have ever tasted. Being in Maine, I figured the regional breweries would have a lock on pumpkin w/o over doing it (which seems impossible, even for Dogfish Head) - but I was wrong.

This beer tastes like a standard corporate lager with weak / thin pumpkin flavor added. The color was terrible - the palest of ambers that immediately hinted at how bad the beer would be. Head was fine, but quickly disappated and it smelled - and then tasted like a pumpkin soda (which would've been great vs. this). Taste was, like most pumpkin beers, over-spiced, far too sweet,and thinner than thin. Overall this is among the two worst "craft" beers I've ever purchased. I dumped out the other 5 beers after suffering through the first one.

Having made pumpkin beers for several years and never (ever) using spices - I cannot see how any brewer on earth, other than AB (etc) could sell a beer like this with any type of conscience. Hard to figure this out how a beer this bad is possible - and how it seems to sell.

 1,180 characters

Photo of pstam87
2.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This tastes like an adjunct lager mixed with pumpkin spice. The look of this beer is pretty bland, barely any head that fades away quickly. The smell is faintly pumpkin spice mixed it with standard adjunct lager smell. The taste follows the nose with a bland hint of pumpkin spice followed by an adjunct lager taste. Overall this is one of the worst "pumpkin" beers I have ever had.

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Photo of tekstr1der
2.96/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not sure how this ended up in my mouth. Knowing it was about as commercial, girl-oriented as it gets for an "ale", I still picked up a single. Shipyard has some truly decent brews, but this is not amongst them.

Pale amber pour with no head. Smells of alcoholic scents of pumpkin pie spices. Smell itself seems fake. Tastes pretty much the same, with almost an adjunct beer quality.

This stuff is barely palatable. Worst of its genre.

 435 characters

Photo of StoutElk_92
2.9/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours yellow-gold. Smells of sweet cinnamon and clove, and maybe a few other autumn spices. The taste is pretty sweet with a little spice kick throughout. Thin body with medium carbonation.

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Photo of Real_Thirsty_Guy
1.69/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

I didn't get a good look at this beer, it was bottled and I knew just about how much I'd like it when I was dared to try it...which did not lend itself to giving it much of a fair chance...
It doesn't smell, taste, or feel like a beer...I really can't understand the novelty of loading up beers with this much garbage...couldn't even drink it!

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Photo of Marraybay
2.58/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Meh..."cider-esque" is the immediate thought that comes to mind. Thin; apple juice color; translucent. Very cinnamon forward in both nose and taste. Next to no booze. There will be no rematch.

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Photo of KLHBB
3.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

If I didn't know it was a pumpkin ale, I would think it was a Hefeweizen. Murky apricot color, smell of citrus and bananas, taste of tropical fruit. Pumpkin itself really doesn't have much of taste and this is missing the usual pumpkin pie spice. But that's okay. Looking at other reviews, I don't find it awful at all. Maybe it's just not a good example of a pumpkin ale. It's a pumpkin blonde or a pumpkin hefewiezen!

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Photo of JayQue
3.17/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This beer was not as bad as I was expecting!!!! Pours a clear gold color with a small creamy white head. Average head retention and no lacing on the glass. Mild pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavor and aroma. A little touch of yeast. Mouthfeel is light, not too watery. Hardly a memorable brew, but not a drain pour either.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.24/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear golden pour with a touch of amber. Normal head volume and lacing, poor retention.

Outstanding rich nose of pumpkin with notes of spice (nutmeg, cinnamon).

Light body with a semi-smooth texture. Above normal carbonation with a touch of effervescence in the middle and a nice burst in the finish.

The flavor profile is good with a focus on pumpkin flavor rather than spices. Complexity is a bit lacking, a bit soft on intensity but balance is well done. Think of it as somewhat light version of pumpkin ale. It begins with a mild blend of spice over a subtle sweetness. The middle leads spice, then yields to pumpkin. The finish is a slow fade of weak spice.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle, no dating on it that I could find. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a mostly clear dark gold color with about a half inch off-white carbonated head that fizzled away quickly. Pretty much no lacing. The brew smells like pumpkin spices and artificial sugar. It tastes like pumpkin spices (allspice, clove, cinnamon), sugar substitute and a bit of breadiness. Mouthfeel/body is light, it's a bit coating and watery with a good amount of carbonation. It's not the best or most enjoyable pumpkin ale I've had, but with what I've heard about Pumpkinhead over the years I was expecting it to be worse. It's not hard to drink at all, and I wouldn't turn one down if someone gave me a bottle. With that being said, I'm glad I bought just a single!

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Photo of FrothFanatic
2.98/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Very artificial tasting pumpkin ale, nothing too creative here. No head, no lacing retention, no creamy mouthfeel or a smooth robust texture, just a bubbly carbonated feel with a mildly strong aftertaste. The color was a light gold, lots of bubbles. Pretty basic stuff, it isn't bad but I wouldn't buy this again.

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Photo of the_awesometeer
3.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a transparent colored color with no real visible carbonation and no head. The dominant smell is that of canned pumpkin with hints a vanilla and cinnamon. The beer is a little thin but I can feel the carbonation as I drink. I enjoy the be beginning flavor of the sweet pumpkin but wish it had more of a spice to it. Overall this beer was fine just wish it had a little more flavor.

 389 characters

Photo of beergoot
3.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Crystal clear, golden colored body; thick, foamy, sticky head. Gentle bready, allspice and cinnamon aroma. Mild and balanced flavor of pumpkin pie filling and crust. Light, watery body.

A fair, light and easy version of most pumpkin ales that nicely balances pumpkin flavors without being over-powering, yet the overall impression is something that is lacking and weak. The initial appearance falls apart with a quickly dissipating head and the body, especially, is so lightweight and unsatisfying that it greatly detracts from an otherwise respectable flavor balance. It's like a macro pumpkin lite. This would be a decent enough beer to bring someone new into pumpkin beers to get a hint of what's possible, but it really won't satisfy anyone looking for a stronger, more definitive example of the style.

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Photo of JPowell712
3.01/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

I almost find this beer has more of a cider quality to it than a beer. I may be crazy, but I don't hate this beer... I don't love it either. I got a very strong almost apple cinnamon smell off the pour??? It may be pumpkin spice??? Anyway whatever it was it definitely smells and taste artificial. But I can't say I hate it? Weird stuff... I drank it, it was drinkable.

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Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
67 out of 100 based on 873 ratings.