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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.

1,827 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,827
Reviews: 772
rAvg: 2.94
pDev: 27.55%
Wants: 15
Gots: 78 | 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: 1,827 | Reviews: 772 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of xav33


3.63/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale
12 oz bottle
Recent bottling, carved into 10/06
Medium pour in a tulip glass

Poured a clear golden hay with a medium rocky quickly diminishing white head.

Smelt of moderate ginger and cloves, some traces of pumpkin.

Taste was upfront moderate sweet ginger and a light sweet pumpkin feel followed by a more subdued but more bitter ginger taste with slight bitter pumpkin accents. Mouthfeel was light, watery and fizzy.

Overall, a simple ginger oriented pumpkin ale that is maybe simple in taste, but not uncomfortable on the palate.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2006 05:32:22 | More by xav33
Photo of Tallboy


3.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearence: A medium golden color with a bubbly ivory head that barely caught my attention.
Aroma: Cinamon and spice at first then comes the awesome scent of fresh baked pumpkin pie.
Taste: Verry elegant cinamon flavor with some nice herbal malts and nutmeg produce a unique offering.
Mouthfeel: Verry thinly bodied with moderate carbonation.
Drinkability: As a fan of spiced beers I liked it but would not list it as my all time favorite of the pumpkin themed beers.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2006 03:08:04 | More by Tallboy
Photo of BeerSox


1.85/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into mug

Ultra clear dark yellow. Looks like apple juice. Creats a large fluffy off white head which doesn't last very long. Eventually settles to a fuzzy cap. Lacing is nearly non-existant.

Very strong pumpkin spice aromas, and very cinnimon like. Apple cider like aromas can also be detected.

Very pungent spicy flavor, which barely mimics pumpkin. Tastes like movie-theatre (watered down) style pumpkin soda.

Light bodied and watery with high carbonation, has the feel of soda.

A very lackluster attempt at a pumpkin ale. There probably isn't any real pumpkin in this, only spices. There are better choices out there.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2006 19:48:12 | More by BeerSox
Photo of davidshamoon

New York

2.85/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

You wouldn't know Shipyard's Pumpkinhead was a pumpkin ale by looking at it -- it's a pretty conventionally golden brew (just a touch more orange) with a disappointing head that doesn't linger for more than a minute -- but the smell will set you straight. I noticed a hint of white wine, but, wow, is the nutmeg powerful.

Though the Pumpkinhead has a nice, crisp flavor when it first touches your mouth, that nutmeg comes in mighty strong at the swallow. Put simply, the beer is over-spiced; and it's a recognizable pumpkin ale because of the inclusion of spices that one associates with pumpkin pie, not because pumpkin flavor itself is blended in.

This is the second pumpkin ale I've had this season, the first being Brooklyn Brewery's Post Road. I recommend going with the Post Road. The spices are better blended and more subtle, allowing pumpkin flavor to come through. I didn't hate the Pumpkinhead, but it's kinda like drinking eggnog: too much will make you sick, and more than a glass is probably too much.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2006 21:08:06 | More by davidshamoon
Photo of sinstaineddemon


4.13/5  rDev +40.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - arrives a light orangish dark yellowish with no head and very little lacing, carbonation is evident, but not overpowering

S - has a crisp aroma, like a sparkling spicy citrusy aroma, no outright pumpkin aroma, but a mellow fruity smell that could be interpretd several ways, wait, i know, it smells like the orange variety of freezer pops (you know in the tube, with the juice that you freeze in the summer time)

T - wow, what a great and true pumpkin pie taste, it truly tastes like pumpkin pie filling, even the great spices, with a slight sparkle, i dont think its fizzy, but not lightly carbonated, there is a hoppy/malty aftertaste

M&D - highly drinkable and very smooth and light bodied, this is my first pumpkin beer and i love it, very tasty.

i see from the reviews its gotten lambasted, but also noted that the majority of people who gave it its lowest reviews had this out of the bottle. maybe this beer is only good on-tap. regardless, i loved it, i could drink a whole pitcher

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2006 18:17:27 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of BlackAngus


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

A - Very pale copper, no head, no lacing.

S - Pumpkin pie spices, not much else

T - Again, pumpkin pie spice, no hops, very little malt. A lot of clove flavor, seems to me. Actually, my tongue numbed just a tad after drinking this.

M - Medium-light, nice carbonation despite the lack of head. Pretty clean, crisp.

D - Not as heavy on the pumpkin-flavor as I would have expected/preferred, but definitely drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2006 23:44:41 | More by BlackAngus
Photo of Generik420


3.9/5  rDev +32.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I found this to be a pretty appealing beer. The idea of pumpkin flavored beer wasn't something that sounded great to me, but after a taste I was wanting more.

Drank this in a standard 16oz pint glass. Pours a clear golden color, very little head that fades to nothing. No lacing at all.

The aroma definitely hints at pumpkin pie, with a touch of maybe nutmeg or cinnamon, no real hops presence.

Flavor matches the aroma very well. Hints of pumpkin pie spices blend smoothly with the lighter flavor of this beer. No real hops characteristics to mention, but I don't think that is a negative for this particular beer.

Mouthfeel seemed a little oily, definitely lighter then I would have expected from a fall beer. Very drinkable, could easily be a session beer for anyone that loves the pumpkin pie presence.

All in all I thought this was a very good beer. It isn't something I would want a lot of, but I was disappointed to only have one bottle. I think it would wear out it's welcome reasonably quick, but then most seasonal beers seem to do that as well. Definitely worth a try if you like pumpkin pie.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2006 22:13:32 | More by Generik420
Photo of Liquids


3.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours like a pale yellow lager (?), with a thin white head and good carbonation. Doesn't look to pumpkin-ified...Aroma is lager like, and even macro-ish with a distinct spice aroma which dominates, but still some pale malt and hop aromas in there. A bit light a miller that's big on spices. Taste -- the base beer is all out macro lager. It's spiced up, and not that pumpkiny, I note the all spice and a bit of cloves, nutmeg is there as well. Unique but not pumkiny. And not a good tasting beer beneath the added flavors. Ultra spicy macro. Where is the pumpkin?

Mouthfeel is light and watery, booring. Drinkabilitywise, this beer is okay, and not a favorite but higly drinkabile and innofensive as a spin for macro drinkers, nothing worth drinking for most craft drinkers. By the last sip, I was altogether done drinking and wanted neither another beer (As planned) nor to ever drink this one again..

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2006 11:28:23 | More by Liquids
Photo of Umbra


3.98/5  rDev +35.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by December '06 bottle.
Poured an orange-tinged gold with a rather wimpy white head. Minimal lacing and retention. Spicey/malty mix coming off very clover like.

I pretty much enjoyed this one. The spices are subdued, being a good handful of cloves, nutmeg and ginger. The malt backbone was there, but not with the brown sugar sweetness of most pumpkin brews. It finished very clean and dry, also a detraction from most of its brethren out there.

Overall: The clean, dry finish made this one more drinkable than it would be otherwise. With the weaker malt background, the subdued spices have more to work with tongue-wise, without being overpowering. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2006 12:26:22 | More by Umbra
Photo of Byeast


3.05/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a clear gold , with maybe a tinge of orange to the color and a quickly vanishing white head. The aroma is cidery , some cinnimon and spice ,the combination of cereal like malt and cinnimon reminds me of cinnimon toast crunch, very slight edge of pumpkin. Taken to the lizips , more light cidery flavor and a bit of spice and cinnimon , a bit of malt flavor , not really much pumpkin flavor ... maybe a hint. The taste and texture is kind of thin on this one. Its not bad , but i don't think there is enough pumkin, or any flavor for that matter. Smells better than it tastes.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2006 04:36:40 | More by Byeast
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.18/5  rDev +8.2%
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 daliandragon

North Carolina

3.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ah, it's finally pumpkin ale season again so I was pleased to pick this up at Fayetteville's Grapes and Hops, it means stouts, porters and warmers are on their way. I like the headless horseman on the label but this beer isn't quite as attractive. Pale amber color and a brief head that dies instantly and leaves nary a bubble. Nose is yeasty and sweet with only the faintest hints of pumpkin and cinnamon.

Brisk and fairly well balanced but showing enough real pumpkin flavor to keep me interested. The taste is actually pretty good, its the mouthfeel where the problems arise. Watery texture with an abundance of carbonation. I recommend letting it warm a bit and air out the bubbles a litttle too.

Not terrible, but too uneven to wholeheartedly recommend. I would keep looking if I had other pumpkins to choose from.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2006 02:33:34 | More by daliandragon
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

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

AP: Orange tinged pale gold. Good clearity. The thin white head dissiapted fast and dissapeared within minutes.

Smell: Wheaty, yeasty, slight pumpkin puree scent.

Taste: A thin wheaty, light pumpkin pie taste with an herbal and spice edge.

MF: Started off with a crisp feel, rather smooth going down. Became rather thin and flat feeling about half way through.

Easy to drink physically, but mentally it poses some challenges.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2006 00:47:54 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of

2.9/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle. My first pumpkin beer. Poured a clear, light golden color with a small white head. Label stated it was an ale brewed with pumpkin spice. Aroma was mainly citrus, pumpkin pie, cinnamon and nutmeg. Taste is that of a pale ale, with a mouthful of pumpkin pie spice in the aftertaste. This doesn't seem very well integrated, but it improved somewhat as the beer warmed. Generous hops are present at the front and the finish, malt is fairly low-key, showing up as a bready type of flavor. Body was light, and, IMO, too carbonated. There was a slick feeling in the mouthfeel - diacetyl? Overall, more spice than pumpkin and didn't seem like it was well put together. I tried 3 other pumpkins in this session, and would go back to any of them before this.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2006 16:52:12 | More by
Photo of Zoh

New Hampshire

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

Came in a brown long-neck bottle with the familiar pumpkinhead on the label. Poured golden with an average white head. Much lighter than I was expecting. Aroma is mostly of spices with a crisp malt note as well. Taste is lightly malty and very pumpkin-pie-spice like, but not in the good way that I was expecting. Mouthfeel is average, but the spice flavor seems to coat my mouth for a while. I am pretty disappointed by this year's offering. Maybe my tastes have changed, but I thought it was better last year.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2006 15:03:43 | More by Zoh
Photo of MaltyGoodness


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

12oz. bottle

Pours a clear golden straw color with a small white head that vanished. No lacing of any kind.

Smells rather crisp and malty with just a light amount of spices. By the aroma, I would have guessed this to be a lager.

Light and crisp malt flavor upfront followed by a light blend of pumpkin pie spices. Finishes very clean.

Thin body,low carbonation.

This is a change of pace compared to other pumpkin beers I have tried. The subdued spiciness is a nice variation as well as the clean finish. Add a little more body and/or carbonation and this would make for a solid seasonal.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2006 02:16:03 | More by MaltyGoodness
Photo of Enola

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is only slightly above average. It is a lighter shade that typical. There was a foamy white head but it dwindled to nothing. The smell is of spice but not as prominate as some. The taste is spiced pumkin. The mouthfeel is ok but not outstanding. The drinkability is fair but there are better options.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2006 23:15:24 | More by Enola
Photo of BlueHammer


4.7/5  rDev +59.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After having one of my favorite brews on-tap, I HAD to go get it in the bottle... Mmmm, I love Autumn!!! The taste from the bottle was not as clear as when on tap but I did notice that the tast started to improve as it got warmer (I don't think I gave the on-tap brew enough time to get warmer!).... However, the pumpkin taste still came through strongly. It has that autumn spice flavor, somewhat pumpkiny and somewhat nutmeggy. Bottle or tap, I highly recommend this brew!

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2006 22:20:41 | More by BlueHammer
Photo of dherling

New Jersey

1.5/5  rDev -49%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Wow, this was just gawdawful. I have had beers that lacked distinction, or even flavor, with no redeaming characteristic whatsoever, but this was quite offensive. This poured out a copper red into my pint glass, and although the head dissapeared quickly, it looked like a decent beer. Looks can be decieving. I got some pumpkin in the nose, and a little bit of a selzter like note, not kidding. The taste can best be described as budweiser with fake pumpkin pie filling. The finish was way bad, terrible off flavors of pumpkin and mollasses coated my tongue and refused to go away. I couldn't even finish the pint I was poured, I even left the bar I was so aghast. I know we're not here to slam beers, and I feel bad being this brutal, but it's my only way to exact revenge on a $5 pint of crap in a glass. Please retire this beer and save others from this experience.

Serving type: on-tap

09-19-2006 04:12:25 | More by dherling
Photo of CWiggins

North Carolina

1.83/5  rDev -37.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I bought this in Raleigh on a single-bottle shopping spree, mostly looking for items I haven't tried. During this excursion I acquired several bottle of pumpkin ales. This is the final one of the set to try and review.

The color is a medium red/copper with bright gold accents. A thin head appeared as I poured the beer into a Duvel glass; it was, perhaps, the fastest disappearing head I've ever experienced with a beer!

The aroma was almost nonexistent. What was there reminded me of American macro-lagers, most notably Corona. There was a clean, crisp scent, but should that be what I sense while whiffing a pumpkin beer? Probably not.

I could not detect the least bit of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, or any the other flavors associated with pumpkin ale. At the point of sounding redundant, what I thought I was tasting was American macro-lager. There just aren't any real discernible flavors here. Only the aftertaste, which is meager, contained a bit of spice and pumpkin.

A lot of carbonation, and a rather lean mouthfeel leaves me grossly unsatisfied.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2006 02:38:47 | More by CWiggins
Photo of SaCkErZ9


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

Poured from a 12oz bottle with best by date of Jan 07 into a pint glass. My bottle says "Ale with natural flavor added" instead of the "Malt liquor with pumpkin spice added". Whatever spice or "beer", its not very good. Minimal head on top of a straw colored beer. No head and no lacing. Aroma is sour and nasty lager like. No pumpkin aromas. Smells like a cheap macro lager or even cheap malt liquor. Sickly sweet smelling. Taste and mouthfeel are worse than the disaster Ichabod Crane suffered. Some pumpkin pie spice flavors but other than that, corn and sugar. Not a good beer at all. Avoid like the Headless Horseman! Barely drinkable; with a six pack of this, I cant waste that much beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2006 19:34:19 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of Flashy


2/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Serving type: On tap at a brewfest and later (why?) in a bottle.
Appearance: Looks like a lager beer or ale with nothing special or redeeming in the appearance (or later on).
Smell: Hint of pumpkin spice and beer.
Taste: Tastes like a bland beer (or maybe club soda would be closer) with a SLIGHT mix of pumpkin spice. Actually I feel like going to the spice cabinet and adding a little pumpkin spice on my own and maybe some better beer.
Mouthfeel: To me mouthfeel is one of the true tests of a great beer and this has none.
Drinkablility: Wish I brought something else, but hey, not bad enough to pour down the drain, but just. Never again will I buy this or try this.

Serving type: on-tap

09-15-2006 22:22:32 | More by Flashy
Photo of monkeybutler


2.98/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured a clear yellow-amber with good initial carbonation, NO head at all, nor any lacing. Looks like a glass of ginger ale.

Smells of some pumpkin pie spices: cinnamon, clove, allspice with a strong malty aroma. No hop character in nose.

Taste is malty with pumpkin pie spices and some oxidative qualities. Pretty underwhelming.

The mouthfeel is thin and watery, not very cloying (thank god).

It's pretty akin to a slightly alcoholic pumpkin soda in all respects. There's gotta be some more interesting pumpkin beers out there, but it's not even fall yet so I guess we have some time.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2006 22:16:47 | More by monkeybutler
Photo of hunteraw


3.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is very light orange in color, head and lacing aren't impressive. Smell promises pumpkin, ginger and spice, with some hops in the background. The first sip's taste is very much the same profile: mild pumpkin, ginger, and nutmeg dominant. No hops flavor to speak of, bitterness low. After you get through about half the bottle, you adapt to the spiciness and it just tastes like light beer. Mouthfeel is thin and highly carbonated. As for drinkability, I have to say I enjoyed it quite a bit for the first few sips, but it got more and more insipid as I drank.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2006 03:16:21 | More by hunteraw
Photo of bark


2.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The colour is clear yellow; the finger thick head is white. No lacing.

The smell is sweet, fruity and a bit spicy with some roasted notes. Pumpkin flavours are evident, as is an artificial candy-like note of fruit-drop and Coca Cola.

The taste is drier than the smell. A flavour of Coca Cola-flavoured candy dominates the taste. There are also notes of pumpkin jam, cinnamon, tea and toffee. The aftertaste is artificial with some light sour-bitter notes and sweet caramel.

The carbonation is medium strong; medium sized bubbles.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2006 19:32:09 | More by bark
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
68 out of 100 based on 1,827 ratings.