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Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Shipyard Pumpkinhead AleShipyard Pumpkinhead Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,419 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,419
Reviews: 843
rAvg: 2.98
pDev: 27.52%
Wants: 32
Gots: 349 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Shipyard Brewing Co. visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-04-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,419 | Reviews: 843
Photo of Sammy
3.27/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An average beer for its style, light orange with carbonation bubbles. Some creamy white lace falls in with the drinking. Clove, some pumpkin, brown sugar, nutmeg and ginger. Half a bottle was drinkable, not more. Warming aftertaste. Complex though subdued aroma.

Photo of t0rin0
3.99/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I guess the mob has spoken on this one and thus everyone will review accordingly. The beer is thin and light, so what? Its got plenty of flavor. Anyway, on to the review.

Pours light orange, almost yellow. I would prefer it to be darker and slightly more pumpkin in color but its very clear and has some decent foam. Retention and lacing are lacking so it averages out to be alright.

Aroma is very pumpkin pie-like. Cinnamon, clove, possibly corriander. Very inviting. Its hard to judge the aroma fairly after looking at the beer as its easy to assume that a light looking beer will not have any flavor or smell. No hops, no alcohol.

Taste is equally enjoyable. Heavy on all that aforementioned pie spices, though not much actual pumpkin flavor. Again, no alcohol and ho hops. Slight bitterness though.

Body is light, medium carbonation, very smooth and goes down easy. I would guess this would be good for the non craft beer drinker that likes pumpkin pie. A step up from Jacks for sure.

Photo of spycow
2.75/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.63/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear light orange with a 1/2 inch fizzy off-white head that fades to nothing No lacing on this one. Smell is of malt/grain, slight pumpkin, and some subdued spice aromas. Taste is of an adjunct lager with some minor pumpkin pie spices thrown in. Not very balanced overall. This beer has a high level of carbonation with a crisp and prickly mouthfeel. Overall, this is not a very good beer but I had to try it for myself to see if all the negative reviews were warranted. They were.

Photo of djrn2
2.75/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of zestar
3/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of Texasfan549
3/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of acurtis
2.75/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of nmann08
2/5  rDev -32.9%

Photo of kjkinsey
3/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of Thorpe429
1.39/5  rDev -53.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Reviewed from notes.

First, a quest. Why oh why oh why does this brewery continue to make a pumpkin beer? This is absolutely disgusting and awful, with one of the only worse pumpkin beers being by none other than...Shipyard. Second, why do people like this? There's nothing redeeming about it. Sure, it pours an inoffensive orangish color. Other than that, bleh. Rotten pumpkin that they've attempted to cover up with a crapton of spicing. Not sure, but this might make it worse. Disgusting spicy feel covering up the putrid rot that lies underneath. Unbelievably undrinkable, making nearly anything else seem like the epitome of craft beer excellence.

Photo of metter98
3.37/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that gradually died down, leaving only a ring of bubbles on the surface around the edge of the glass.
S: There are sweet aromas of pumpkin spices in the nose with nutmeg standing out in particular.
T: The taste is quite sweet and very similar to the smell—it almost takes like eating pumpkin pie filling, but with only traces of pumpkin flavors.
M: It feels light-bodied and a bit thin and watery on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is definitely very easy to drink. I’m not sure if I could drink this all night with the sweetness and spices but it definitely would pair well with an autumn dish at dinner.

Photo of kylehay2004
3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: clear golden with amber hues, single finger head and no lace.

S: this one almost smells more like a saison. they get the spiciness but no the pimpkin-ness.

T: some pumpkin and malt. Little else. A little watery.

M: light to medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: dont think this is an F beer. It is a safe pumpkin ale. It is no where near the best but its drinkable and meant for a more broad category of beer drinkers.

Photo of olradetbalder
2.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of brentk56
2.8/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Golden color with a quickly dissipating, though large head; some lacing.

Smell: A cross between pumpkin pie and orange juice

Taste: Relatively flat taste with a bit of clove and nutmeg that doesn't really capture the spices all that well; the buttery flavor is a little strange on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light mouthfeel with decent carbonation.

Drinkability: Not bad but not memorable

Photo of jaydoc
2.5/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of ygtbsm94
1.75/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pumpkin beers always sound like a bad idea, but they usually turn out tasty. Looks a basic golden with orange hues and a bit cloudy. Moderately carbonated and not much head retention or lacing. Smells softly sweet and spicy. Tastes lightly of barley malt and pumpkin pie. Spices of allspice, nutmeg, cinamon, and pepper follows closely. A soft and safe beer. No flavors dominate. Body falls a bit short of firm. Aftertaste is mildly spicy, but fades quickly. A little too soft for my liking, but an ok beer.

Photo of SocalKicks
3/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of Knapp85
1.87/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer poured out as a fizzy looking golden color. Shouldn't this be more of a copped color? Anyway, there's no head after a few seconds. The smell of the beer is spicy, that's about all. The taste is spicy but very light. The mouthfeel is like club soda. Overall I really don't like this pumpkin ale. It's very bland and boring from start to finish. Be smart and look elsewhere for a pumpkin ale over this one.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.69/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Gold bullion with absolutely no hint of orange that I can see. I don't know how it's possible to brew a pumpkin ale and have it be anything other than orange. Points need to be taken off for that alone. The yellowed bone crown is nothing special either. It's small, short-lived and unsticky. No surprise then that no lace ends up on the glass. Not a good start.

I like the nose because it smells a lot like pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream. At least that's the impression that enters my brain each time I sniff. It's a bit weak though, and doesn't earn the next highest score as a result.

I wondered how well a pumpkin ale that uses a wheat beer as its base would turn out. And the answer is... not very well. Pumpkin ales need to be brewed with caramel malty amber ales (or something along those lines) in order to work. In this case, the grainy wheatiness comes through and impinges on my enjoyment of the other flavors.

It might have worked if those 'other flavors' were more prominent and more pumpkin pie-like. This is one of those cases in which the aroma and the flavor don't really match up. SBC says that Pumpkinhead contains 'hints of cinnamon and nutmeg'. I'll go along with that. Strong statements rather than hints of spice would have made for a better beer however.

The mouthfeel is no more impressive than the flavor. It's too thin by half and comes scarily close to being aqueous on the finish. Actually, it is aqueous on the finish. A lack of bubbles doesn't help. This beer just isn't big enough to be a credible fall seasonal. Who wants to drink light beer when there's a chill in the air and frost on the pumpkin?

I've never been impressed by Shipyard (with the exception of Old Thumper) and this beer does nothing to change my mind. I love the Legend of Sleepy Hollow-like Pumpkinhead dude on the label, but the bottle's contents leave quite a bit to be desired.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.25/5  rDev -24.5%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

enough already people, this isnt that bad! as the latest thread on the forum is out to set right. listen up! it pours a soda looking way carbonated pale orange color with a decent white head. no respectable BA can give the appearance less than a 3, its just not below average in appearance, it isnt. the smell is a little heavy on the cinnamon, fine, but it too cant be scored worse than a 3. im giving it a 3.5 because i pick up some nice malty sweetness that i like in the fall, and some vanilla and earthy squashy notes that i think blend well together. in any event, worse than a 3 in unfair to the style because this smells like a pumpkin ale stright up. as for the taste, its an evolution in the mouth. the cinnamon and spice hit up front is strong, maybe off putting for some, but i think its a nice aggressive move. the good news for all is that it fades fast into a very very authentic squashy flavor, real pumpkin is used in this beer, no doubt about that. if you dont like pumpkin, why buy a pumpkin ale? everyone likes southern tier pumpking because its authentically squashy, well, so is this one. a little bitter maybe yeah, but its real vegetable in there. its not meant to be a can of pumpkin pie filling people. the feel cant be scored worse than a 3 either, its maybe a bit overcarbonated, i agree with that, but the body is a decent medium and the finish turns dry after a few seconds without all the lingering sweetness of so many pumpkin brews. this isnt the best pumpkin beer on earth i understand that, but it is pretty decent. having this brew scored in the 60's is offensive to me, and to the pumpkin ale style. get it together BA!

Photo of mikesgroove
1.3/5  rDev -56.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Why I did this to myself I will never know. Had an autumn seasonal tasting session and this rounded it out. Poured a clear light orange, big white fizzy head faded almost immediatly, like in 2 secs. No lace, very thin looking overall. Smell was musky, pumpkin spice, almost a moldy smell to it, and very very strong. Overpowering musky dank smell. The taste followed the smell. Too strong, and I mean strong sour taste, actually made me wince. Super strong pumpkin spice flavor, almost like an extract. Huge fizzy carbonation. I did not think this would be as bad as it was, I normally like spiced/seasonal brews, this one just overpowered me.

Photo of womencantsail
3.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a golden color with a finger of white head.

S: A very intense aroma of spices, most of which is in the form of cinnamon and nutmeg. There is a touch of vanilla extract in the background as well. Just a slight touch of pepper and straw on the finish.

T: The flavor is a bit watery, but otherwise similar to the aroma. Cinnamon and nutmeg with a touch of vanilla. Faint bread flavors with some straw and grassy hop notes. Sort of light, overall.

M: Light bodied with medium to high carbonation.

O: Really not a terrible beer, but it just had something off about it that I made me not care to have it again.

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Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
69 out of 100 based on 2,419 ratings.