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Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Shipyard Pumpkinhead AleShipyard Pumpkinhead Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,829 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,829
Reviews: 772
rAvg: 2.94
pDev: 27.21%
Wants: 15
Gots: 79 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-04-2001)
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Ratings: 1,829 | Reviews: 772 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mjd83goblue


1.88/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

Poured only slightly darker than a typical macro lager. Little head fizzled away quickly. Gave it an extra half point just because I like the name and label.

Nothing ale-like about this beer at all. Seems to have followed the following formula:

Ale (or lager?) + nutmeg & cinnamon = pumpkin ale

Nothing remotely pumpkin like about it. You could make this yourself at home by stirring some spices into a macro lager and save 3 bucks on the sixer.

Drinkability is its the only redeeming factor, might be alright for a Halloween 'session'.

Won't be buying this again, and certainly not worth the $9 for the sixer.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2008 03:35:41 | More by mjd83goblue
Photo of cleeze


3.43/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I know a lot of people bash on this brew but I love it...

Appearance is a golden alomst orange(maybe because I had pumpkin on the mind) Kinda weak looking.

Smell is straight up pumpkin, and it taste just like pumpkin pie, im telling ya, pumpkin pie in a bottle right there.

Drinkability is good. Easy beer to drink all night long

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2008 23:35:15 | More by cleeze
Photo of irishtjb11


2.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

used to be a big fan of this beer but havent been too impressed with it. it pours to a pale yellow, filtered ale. the head is the most dissapointing one i think i've ever seen on an ale ever. poured almost entirely vertically and it barley overflowed the glass. this was after i poured a typical pour it was left looking like a flat cider. the smell is not impressive really at all a blend of pumpkin style smells but with no defined smell that comes through. would like a focus on just one flavor with compliments oppossed to the onslaught one has to deal with. mouth feel is super light and crispy that of a cider not a beer. drinkability would be pretty low but do able. just seems too sweet with no real direction in style or flavor. seems like a careless attempt to take part of the pumpkin ale style with no real clear focus.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2008 01:41:36 | More by irishtjb11
Photo of coldmeat23


2.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

GLASS: Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Very light amber color. More yellow than orange. Tiny head that dissipates very quickly. No lacing.

Smells of nutmeg and maybe some cloves. Slight malts, buried down deep.

Good pumpkin flavor, even if it seems artificial. Cinnamon and hints of nutmeg and cloves. Decent malt notes.
Much better than the nose led me to expect.

A little bit creamy, but in the end, this is too thin and weak for my tastes.

Drinkability: no thanks.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2008 18:16:10 | More by coldmeat23
Photo of BamaBeerBuff

North Carolina

2.25/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours a mostly golden hue with a shortlived and small white head that leaves no lacing. Rather unimpressive appearance.

S: Lots of sweetness and spice--mostly cinnamon and a hint of nutmeg. It's kind of strong, but not very complex and comes off as a bit artificial.

T&M: This is really bad. There's another reprise of spice and some sweetness, but the underlying actual beer is awful. It tastes like a cheap macro lager or weak golden ale. The flavor isn't merely bland, it's a tad bit offensive. As far as mouthfeel goes, it's sorely over-carbonated and doesn't hold up well. Light body is weak, too.

D: Tastes so bad it's hard to drink. Overcarbonation hurts, as well.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2008 02:39:53 | More by BamaBeerBuff
Photo of Duhast500

Rhode Island

3.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams Octoberfest mug.

The color is a clear orange with two fingers of foamy white head and some slight lacing on the glass.

The smell is a little pumpkin in the nose. There is a bit of brown sugar but way back in the background as I try to pull more to describe.

The taste is more pumpkin in flavor. There is more to the taste then the aroma and I was happy to find some nice brown sugar and a touch of maple here as well. A nice fall it has a little bit of a leafy, earthy flavor.

The feel of this beer is a bit light. It has some body but does not feel like a heavy beer where it goes down.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2008 02:08:05 | More by Duhast500
Photo of Dogsgogrrrr


3.08/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured a light copper color, expected of a pumpkin ale.

Aroma: Whiffs of nutmeg, pumpkin, nothing too impressive.

Taste: Very decent taste of pumpkin compared to others, nutmeg, and other spices, flavor hangs around.

Mouthfeel: Very light, somewhat carbonated for a pumpkin ale.

Drinkability: Drinkable, but sustains the flat aftertaste that many pumpkin ales fall victim to.

Not a terrible choice if you're jonsin' for some a pumpkin ale, but not an ale you should go after if you want a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2008 00:02:31 | More by Dogsgogrrrr
Photo of Crazy4LegMoose


1.6/5  rDev -45.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pale yellow with slight orange tint. Very fizzy head like a soda.

S: Pronounced floral hop nose with a hint of pumpkin pie like spices

T: Very light fizzy beer with pumpkin spices added. Very little malt taste and hops accentuate spices. Pumpkin flavor tends to vary from bottle to bottle and is very inconsistent even in one six pack. Had a six pack of these and each one seemed to have a different amount of pumpkin flavor. Do they need to be slightly shaken to get the pumpkin flavor to mix into the beer? Did I leave the spices in the bottle?

M: Very thin and fizzy like a combination between a macro lager and a soda.

D: Very drinkable beer due to the light fizzy feel. Spice variation makes it hard to keep coming back for the flavor.

I was very disappointed with this beer. I am a big fan of the pumpkin beers and look forward to the season. Thought I had this particular one at a restaurant a few years back, that is why I bought the six pack. Wish I had saved the money.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2008 19:31:18 | More by Crazy4LegMoose
Photo of t0rin0


4/5  rDev +36.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2008 07:09:21 | More by t0rin0
Photo of becktone


3.08/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes 10-10-08

Eye: Very poor in appearance. In my opinion, the beer is by far too golden in color. Clarity is really nice on this one, however the color is an orange tinted golden yellow, there needs to be a more complex malt bill in this beer, if only to give it some interesting color...might help with the head formation and retention too. The head, well...there isn't one, just a ringer round the glass. there is some white in the middle of the glass, it actually resembles the rebel "sign"-for lack of a better word-from Star Wars, you know that round thing, almost a circle but with the top cut out, a symmetrical shape-a point in the middle then cutting down before swooping back up to meet the outer edge of the circle to form a point. Anyway, it is extremely thin, and I'll not even call it a head.

Nose: Strong aroma that hits the nose once this beer is poured. Very strong notes of a mix of clove and allspice. Also some diacetyl in there as well. Not really much more than that. Pretty average aroma if you ask me. To me, pumpkin ales are like redheads, they're either really hot or they're the ugly tree itself. There aren't too many that are okay. This beer is closer to the ugly tree than to being a smoking hot redhead, however it is prettier than many of the other pumpkin ales out there that I've sampled.

Tongue: Sweet malt character is noticable. However, most of the flavor is that strong mix found in the aroma, clove and allspice. Some cinnamon in the finish which gives it a slightly dry finish. Also some ginger in there as well. The second most prominent flavor I'm getting is a mix of the sweet malt and some ginger, reminds me of ginger ale. Overall watery quality, however, it is one of the better pumpkin ales I've had. Sure it doesn't stand up anywhere close to Pumking, Wyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin, Schlafly Pumpkin, or DFH Punkin, but it's prolly the next best...even though the next best is the less of evils, the best looking ugly redhead standing with all the other ugly redheads, which is where she belongs, but she is the best of the worst...

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: This one finishes dry, is light on the palate and has higher carbonation than I expected. Much like a soft drink, but not as thick and not nearly as highly carboanted. This is an easy beer to drink, but I'll not recommend this one over any of the others mentioned. This is an okay pumpkin ale, but in my opinion it is not anywhere close to being great. Sure its one that I'll prolly drink again, but there are many more that I'd rather over this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2008 17:05:51 | More by becktone
Photo of stumac


3.6/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This brew pours a clear golden orange color with a quickly fading decent sized white head. the nose is very pleasant. lots of nutmeg spices, subtle pumpkin aroma, smells like I'm visiting an old Aunt's house in the Fall season and her house is filled with the smell of potpourri. I also get brown sugar. Great aromatics! The taste is basically the same as the nose but also with very delicate spices bouncing off your tongue. Light bodied and low carbo make for easy drinking. I would say this is a great sessionable Pumpkin beer

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2008 20:42:23 | More by stumac
Photo of scottg


2.17/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear gold color with a very thing white head that dissapears immediately with no lacing. Aromas and flavors of pumpkin pie spices: nutmeg, allspice, ginger, clove, cinnamon but no real pumpkin to speak of. Lacks any real malt or hop flavor. Light body, highly carbonated like seltzer water.
Not quite sure what they were going for here, very dissapointing.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2008 14:59:11 | More by scottg
Photo of Spikester


3.43/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Copper with a half-inch off-white head. Minimal lacing.

Aroma is a mild pumpkin pie aroma.

Taste is sweet, acidic (like hard cider), some hop flavor. Sweet malts and pumpkin flavor rules the taste profile.

Mouthfeel was average and pleasant enough.

I've had this before and didn't much care for it. The bottle was probably too old. This bottle with a "best before" date of Jan. 2009 was much better. Would make a good session beer for Halloween.
Update: Best by 3/2012. Better than last time. More pumpkin flavor and mild on the spice. A half point bump on the taste segment.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2008 02:32:35 | More by Spikester
Photo of orangemoustache


2.45/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a crystal clear golden amber with lots of cascading carbonation that sounds like rice crispies cereal(snap,crackle,pop)strange. The head is bubbly and white,leaving no lacing at all. The nose is weak overall with some lackluster nutmeg and mineral notes on the tail,like crushed gravel. The flavor spectrum mostly one sided pumpkin pie filling and some graham cracker notes. I detect some odd cantaloupe flavors on the back side. Really in need of some malt backbone. The mouthfeel is thin and watery(reminds me of a bud select)and way to much carbonation. A lack of flavor and too much fizzy carbonation kills the drinkability .

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2008 18:50:30 | More by orangemoustache
Photo of yesferro


3.33/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought this at Tony's market in Tupelo, served it in a pint glass.

This beer smells good, it smells just like a very sweet pumpkin pie and that's exactly how it tastes, sweet and spicy. Sadly it's a little too much like pumpkin pie and not enough like a beer. It's interesting but I wouldn't have more then 1 of this at a time. The novelty wore off real fast, kinda like with abita's purple haze (well, this is actually a little better). I have some friends who usually don't drink beer that are now down to their 3rd 6pack of this brew. This beer really isn't bad, it's just not a beer drinkers beer at all.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2008 13:51:49 | More by yesferro
Photo of wesl56


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

i first tried this beer last year, but i saw it in the store today and couldn't really remember it, so i decided to try it again... now i know why...

a- light golden color, a little foam from pouring it into a glass but no head and no lacing

s- faint spice aromas, like cinnamon and cloves

t- tastes like a pumpkin pie... first thing that came to mind.. a little apple/cinnamon clove flavor

m- nothing special

d- fairly light and easy to drink... i didnt care to drink another one right away

overall nothing special... maybe a treat around the fall holidays for someone who enjoys flavored beers

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2008 23:26:44 | More by wesl56
Photo of Rayek


2.68/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Orange amber color with somewhat active carbonation and good clarity. Fizzy off-white head starts out OK, but quickly dissolves. Leaves no lace.

S: Heavy dose of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Very much like pumpkin pie without the pumpkin.

T: Different. Pumpkin pie spices dominate the experience. There is a slight toasty flavor from the malt. I detected a hint of what tasted something like actual pumpkin.

M: Light body is super fizzy.

D: Not my cup of tea. A very weird and gimmicky beer that I don't wish to revisit.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2008 17:09:30 | More by Rayek
Photo of gubbt


2.83/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, light golden color with a small, fading white head. Looks like a pale ale.

Some grainy malt with pumpkin spices, nutmeg, cinnamon.

Okay up front with typical spicing, that continues through. Finish is kinda watery and generally not too appealing. Not any real pumpkin flavor.

Mouthfeel is better than Buffalo Bills, probably the highlight of the beer. On the light side for a fall seasonal though.

Meh. I won't return to this, as it is very average. I've only tasted a few pumpkin ales and they have all been dissappointing. I need to find some Punkin' Ale and give that a shot.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2008 05:55:02 | More by gubbt
Photo of thekevlarkid


2.48/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Sampled off the tap at 8:40 in the morning on a Tuesday at the Lincoln Inn, because I'm classy like that. My pint arrived with a thick, one-finger heat of white foam atop the straw-gold liquid. Looked light for a Fall/Harvest beer. The retention was moderate but the lacing good in spotty sheets of fine bubbles. The aroma was semi-sweet citrus and spices, nutmeg and cinnamon. The flavors however were very washed out, lemon dominated the palate with little hops or malt discernable. The spices were there but weak and no pumpkin flavors could be found. The mouthfeel was watery and under-carbonated. Yes it was easy to drink, but why would you want to? It was too light for an autumn brew and generally lacked assertiveness. Disappointing.

Serving type: on-tap

11-02-2008 15:01:41 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of jbphoto88


3.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an orange clear color with not much body or soul. The head is almost nonexistent and all but vanishes as quick as it appears.

The scent has some pumpkin pie spices in the nose but they are minimal and not really great. A malt backbone is in the background but it smells weak stale.

The taste is more flavorful then the scent leads on. There is a sweet chalky/ grainy spice that reminds me of fall. A sweet combination of cinnamon and some sweet malts and wheat all reminiscent of a pumpkin pie.

Not a great beer but one I can get behind this time of year. Its got some nice spice to it and a clean pleasant taste that's not overpowering but also isn't amazing. A slightly above average beer that I can drink a bunch of but don't really enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2008 23:42:41 | More by jbphoto88
Photo of HopDerek


3.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear gold color with 2 fingers of foamy white head. OK retention leaves some lacing. Smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, brown sugar, and grain. Tastes of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and allspice up front, definitely spiced. Then grainy malt notes mix with cider, with a citrusy orange finish. Thin in body and high in carbonation, lots of spices and not much else. Still, easy to session and a pumpkin ale I enjoy drinking every year. It's not too intense in any aspect, but the spices aren't weak either.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2008 02:33:12 | More by HopDerek
Photo of superdedooperboy


2.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a light golden hue with a tiny white head that quickly disappears to nothingness and leaves behind no trace to indicate its brief existence.

Nose is of pumpkin pie spices--nutmeg, clove, cinnamon--and nothing else, save perhaps a tiny hint of sweet malt.

Mouthfeel and body are both thin and rather watery. Flavors present are simple holiday spices that appear in the nose, with a sugary malt sweetness presenting itself near the end before finishing long and spicy-sweet.

Drinkable in that it goes down easily, but the spices are a bit too much as they are not balanced out with anything.

For a pumpkin ale, this one is a complete failure. A spiced ale, for sure, but lacking any of the requisite characteristics of a pumpkin ale, being too light in color, body, mouthfeel, and lacking any pumpkin flavor. Not recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2008 02:46:27 | More by superdedooperboy
Photo of morebeergood


3.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Went to a wedding on Saturday night, and this was the only non BMC beer behind the bar at the reception. Poured from a bottle into a stemmed glass. Decent sized white head, nice orange hue to the color. Faint smell of cinnamon. Had the taste of a pumpkin ale, but no substance to back it up. There was a real distinct lack of any body to this beer which is really distracting. It's like drinking pumpkin flavored water. Too light for a fall seasonal beer. At the after party at a local bar, they had it on tap too, so I grabbed one to compare. My pint had no head whatsoever, and was even harder to drink. Not my favorite pumpkin ale on the market.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2008 23:17:28 | More by morebeergood
Photo of dnichols


3.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was poured a short pint from the tap at a Portland, Maine restaurant.

A: It poured a golden body with a slight haze. It's large white head dissipated fast leaving minimal lacing.

S: It emitted a distinct but not overpowering aroma of pumpkin with hints of sweet toasted malts and light flavors of oranges.

T: It was surprisingly thin and flat with a signature pumpkin flavor accented by cloves and sweet oranges.

M: It was light and thin with medium carbonation and a slightly sour aftertaste.

D: There was nothing that made this beer memorable nor one I would seek out. It went well with clam chowder and fried clams. Not a session brew.

Serving type: on-tap

10-27-2008 02:54:20 | More by dnichols
Photo of caddybuyer

New Jersey

2.38/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

A-Pale, light orange color with medium clarity. Head quickly dissapates to virtually nothing with light lacing.

S-Brown sugar, pumpkin pie spices and a sweetness that one would expect from a pumpkin ale.

T-Cinnamon and sweetness with a bit of hard apple cider thrown in...with a back end of slightly sour bitterness. Clean finish and very very light. Not what I would expect from a pumpkin ale from Shipyard.

M-Light and fizzy, macro lager style.

D-I think I'll pass. Not one of the worst pumpkin ales that I have tasted, but certainly not one of the best.

Notes: I really wanted to give this one a chance, and had the opportunity to try it on tap in New Harbor ME, at Shaw's open air bar. Not much of a difference, and a real disappointment.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2008 23:13:12 | More by caddybuyer
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
68 out of 100 based on 1,829 ratings.