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Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Shipyard Pumpkinhead AleShipyard Pumpkinhead Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,753 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1753
Reviews: 772
rAvg: 2.93
pDev: 27.3%

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

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-04-2001)
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Ratings: 1,753 | Reviews: 772 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.23/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2008 21:34:46 | More by Sammy
Photo of UCLABrewN84


2.63/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2011 06:19:46 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of BuckeyeNation


2.65/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2006 15:15:30 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

1.25/5  rDev -57.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2007 00:36:57 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of womencantsail


3.35/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2011 19:46:14 | More by womencantsail
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

2.78/5  rDev -5.1%
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

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2004 22:49:27 | More by brentk56
Photo of BEERchitect


3.05/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2005 23:05:26 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429


1.33/5  rDev -54.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 23:37:42 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98

New York

3.38/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2011 16:26:18 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy


2.88/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

($1.29 at Total Wine in Kennesaw, GA)

Appearance: Pours a clear coppery body with a bubbly, small white head.

Smell: I'm shaking and swirling here, but all I can coax out of it is a light wheatiness and hints of allspice and nutmeg.

Taste: Not much pumpkin flavor at all, but the spices are there, mainly allspice and nutmeg. Light lemony taste. Hint of graham crackers. Not much in the way of hops or malt. Finishes crisp, watery, and spritzy.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, but the moderate carbonation makes it feel just a tad bit fuller.

Drinkability: I'd say I would prefer it with more pumpkin flavor, but really I would prefer it with ANY pumpkin flavor.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2007 01:31:19 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

2.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Well I made many trips here this past week because it was in the same town where I had my honeymoon.This one sells like crazy,why?Anyways pours an incredably light color for a pumpkin ale with almost no head,aroma is crazy spicey-cinnamon and allspice and nutmeg.Taste hits hard with the spice when first hits your taste buds,way to much nutmeg and cinnamon after a few it mellows a little but definently not a top notch pumpkin ale.

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2003 22:42:25 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591


2.78/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

Keepin' the pumpkin beers rollin' in while they're still around. This one pours a pale golden amber topped by a half-finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises cinnamon, mild toffee, light clove, brown sugar, and dry grass. The taste brings in more of the same, with milder and buttery-er toffee, more grass, and with slightly watered-down spices. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slick, almost watery feel. Overall, a pretty sad pumpkin beer, probably one of the worst I've had so far this year.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2011 01:03:22 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.93/5  rDev +34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I like that Shipyard has chosen to brew a more subtle pumpkin ale, as so many others are just over the top with malt and spice that they lose drinkability. In addition, I think that the buttery diacetyl side of the Ringwood yeast really works well with the cinnamon/pumpkin. It has a beautiful, clear orange and gold body with a fluffy white head. The retention and lacing are average. The nose is bright with pumpkin and soft cinnamon spice. In the mouth it's medium bodied and smooth with a moderate carbonation that gently bristles. The flavor offers just as much in delicate, grainy malt and yeasty fruitiness and butter as it does in pumpkin and spice. A firm bitterness resides at its base, and it finishes dry with a rousing swirl of lingering cinnamon. Nicely balanced. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2006 14:47:01 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.08/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, a single from the local Whole Foods in a far-flung Denver suburb. Decidedly amateur, yet still complex Jack Pumpkinhead character rendered on the label.

This beer pours a hazy, very pale golden yellow colour, with two fingers of weakly foamy, mostly bubbly off-white head, which leaves very little beyond a few remote islet specks of lace around the glass as things quickly fade away.

It smells of metallic, somewhat acrid pumpkin mash, a building earthy cinnamon and nutmeg spiciness, some middling wheat and caramel maltiness, and weakly perceptible leafy, weedy hops. The taste is rather heady spice up front - still pushed through an aluminum filter - nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, and ginger all taking a turn - while a softly bready, somewhat crackery caramel malt ups the ante a bit, but not that much - I'm just not getting the oomph that I expect from the style.

The carbonation is a bit fizzy and frothy, but to no great end, the body very much on the light side, weight-wise, and smooth in the vein of wet cardboard. It finishes a bit on the sweet side, the breadiness rearing up yet, amongst the lingering, watery and flinty gourd-adjacent spiciness.

Not as bad as all this probably sounds, but still not up to the measure of your typical craft-brewed pumpkin ale - perhaps another blithe gateway offering, and for that, I cede a passing grade, but not any sort of suggestion for a repeat engagement.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2013 08:07:24 | More by biboergosum
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.13/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I geuss I had certain standards in mind when I first tried this out, something with pumpkin flavor, like Buffalo Bill's. After the taste let me I re-read the label. "Malt beverage," though it also bill itself as an ale, "With pumpkin spice added." Okay..fine..be that way...
Appearance: clear, light orange color, with a full, frothy head.
Aromatics are intensely strong and spicy, cinnamon, and more, alert, lively, liberally populated with the requisite pumpkin pie aroma, minus the pumpkin.
Taste: buzzing, but brief, from spices and a little hoppy, but over too quick. Lingers just a bit. The ale, I mean, "malt beverage", behind these spices is far too thin and flavorless. Precious little body, texture only comes up front. I'd have to deem this one-dimensional.
Maybe I was looking for more than they intended, but it's still underwhelming, didn't exert itself in the slightest. Forgettable.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2003 01:11:52 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

2.65/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light orange/gold color with a very thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is heavy with spices (cinnamon and nutmeg) and light malts with very little hops.

T: The taste is spicy and sweet but still very light with flavors of cinnamon & nutmeg. The light character is light and there’s almost no hops presence. The after-taste is slightly sweet. When I first tried this beer, I thought it was pretty good, but that was when I first started drinking beers not made by Bud, Miller or Coors. Now that I’ve tried a great many craft brews, I realize that this is pretty much a macro with some spices added.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, finish is clean.

D: A little tasty, goes down ok, not very filling, not much of a kick, not the best representation of style, I could drink a few, but there are several others that I would pick within the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2007 02:38:04 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell


3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours an effervescent bronze with a pinky of white head. Zero head retention & lacing

S: Pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg mostly, some cinamon, a little pumpkin & some steel notes

T: Slight grainyness, lemon & nutmeg up front. Slight metallic notes & dryness in the middle as this warms. Finishes tart, dry, & with more pumkin spice

MF: Thinnish with lively carbonation & so/so balance

Drinks okay, not a huge fan of the style, but I put this in the lower tier of this genere. I doubt I will EVER try this again....

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2007 02:58:23 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.98/5  rDev +35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a gold color with a thick frothy white head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a light pumpkin and pale malt scent. The cinnamon sticks out the most. It is quite pleasant. The taste is good also. This is a lighter pumpkin than most. It has a very light pumpkin flavor that is balanced nicely with pale malts and cinnamon. Most of these type brews offer a very mild pumpkin flavor. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low/medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a damn good seasonal. It is lighter, but not worse. I think some that are more obvious with the flavor are less drinkable at times. This is good anytime.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2004 01:51:40 | More by WesWes
Photo of zeff80


3.33/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a clear golden orange color with a white, bubbly, one-finger head. It left no lace.

S - It smlled of pumpkin, spices and some grains.

T - It was very sweet and pumpkin-tasting. There was also some light caramel malt.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A light-bodied brew.

D - This was pretty good. I'm starting to like the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2007 01:48:39 | More by zeff80
Photo of jlindros


3.28/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at TGI Fridays.

Comes with a very light almost non-existant fizzy head, clear darker orange nectar colored beer.

Nose has some pumpkin, toasted pumpkin, pumpkin pie filling, spices, brown sugar, candy syrup, caramel, light malts, and i think DME.

Taste is some pumpkin, pumpkin extract flavor and syrup rather than fresh stuff, spices are there but less than I remember from the bottle, light toasty malt, touch bready as well, syrupy with quite a bit of sweetness and candy flavors, its a bit of a mess with all the syrups, candy flavors, and pumpkin as well as spices, malts are in the background and so are the very light spicy hops. Finishes sweet and syrupy, with lots of candy and some pumpkin.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carbonation.

Overall not as bad as I remember it from the bottle but not great either, its a bit of a mess with all the sweet additions, and some pumpkin.

Serving type: on-tap

08-27-2011 23:48:30 | More by jlindros
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.18/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Best By Date December 2006, Sampled September 2006
Pours with a brilliantly clear, rich gold color and is topped by a frothy pale tan colored head. The aroma smells dominantly of pumpkin pie spices. Notes of cinnamon join with ample nutmeg and a touch of ginger. Fairly simplistic in its pumpkin pie spice focus.

The taste is quite dry up front, it tastes a bit tart initially and even has a bit of a bite to it. It finishes with a spicy note of nutmeg and ginger. Perhaps a touch of sweetness in the middle, but I already feel like this beer has been sampled and described to the best of its abilities. This is really quite simplistic. I guess my biggest gripe with this beer is that I want a rich satiating character in my pumpkin brews. If you don't then this is certainly for you.

Purchased: Plaza Liquor, Tucson, AZ

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2006 02:52:59 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Knapp85


2.33/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

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 start and look elsewhere for a pumpkin ale over this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2011 20:21:21 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215


1.58/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Pours golden yellow with a very thin head that soon becomes a disappearing patch. Not far from a typical "macro" look - maybe a slight bit darker, patch might hang around slightly longer. Not what I expect from a pumpkin ale.

The smell is mild - some cinnamon with a hint of pumpkin (in a rather artificial way).

The taste is watery, slightly grainy and buttery. Watery pumpkin bread? Almost. More like buttery pumpkin flavored watery cough syrup. Some black pepper and cinnamon shows an effort towards the style with some hint of pumpkin, again, in an artificial way, in the aftertaste. Short, watery finish. Tastes like faux pumpkin if anything. Nearly completely lacks anything reminiscent of pumpkin pie.

This is weak and watery with an almost herbal/medicinal aftertaste with just an awkward hint of anything resembling pumpkin.

Nasty overall - a very lame attempt at the style. Worth avoiding.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2007 18:21:40 | More by jwc215
Photo of WVbeergeek


3.25/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I see this Pumpkin ale doesn't fare too well on BA, however it's not as bad as I was expecting. Especially based on my dislike for pumpkin ales. Pours a crystal clear copper orange hue with a bright white creamy head. Fine speckled lacing down the sides of my chalice not much head retention to speak of, large stream of bubbles coming from the base of my glass. Aroma is straight up pumpkin spice and artifical pumpkin notes with an air of creaminess, seems very dessert like especially as it warms. I'm really trying not to enjoy this but it's not that bad, definitely not an F...I hate to say it I despise this brewery the diacetyl buttery tones weigh too heavy in most of their standard offerings this just seems like a fun festive bastaradized fall ale. Flavor is sweet almost candy sweet with something pumpkin (gourd like) floating around with somewhat abrasive harsh pumpkin pie spices contained within each sip. Finishes a bit medicinal and watery, a dull spiced ale that doesn't let beer shine in it's original format of malted barley, hops, yeast, and H20. Not a purist but this beer doesn't inspire me to think wow these guys have gone somewhere where every other fall seasonal has already attempted and perfected to go. Mouthfeel is medium bodied like I said in the finish it gets a bit cloying with harsh pumpkin spices peaking through. Overall could I session with a beer like this, absolutely not. Sitting here trying to wrap my mind about why somebody wants to, continues to, and makes a profit at this beer is beyond me. I guess that's part of the fun of the wave of seasonals that come out each year.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2011 21:57:26 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

2.23/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a very light golden yellow in color with no head. Very light carbonation makes this look totally flat. Looks like apple juice. One of the worst looking beers I have seen. The aroma is there, as some spice is lightly noticeable. The flavor strange as cinnamon / nutmeg flavors stick out like a sore thumb, and the pumpkin and malt is way in the background. The cinnamon lingers way too much.

The mouthfeel is smooth and rather dull. The drinkability of this is just a step above awful, I couldn't finish the single bottle I purchased.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2004 00:38:03 | More by Gavage
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Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
68 out of 100 based on 1,753 ratings.