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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.

1,926 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,926
Reviews: 777
rAvg: 2.94
pDev: 27.21%
Wants: 17
Gots: 123 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,926 | Reviews: 777 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.1/5  rDev +5.4%

Poured a medium golden with a thin white head that fades quickly. Aromas of lightly creamy pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices- heavy on the nutmeg. Taste is a litttle thin, but there is a nice creamy pumpkin note that falls off and becomes watery. Spicing is not so prominent in the taste, but what is there is on the finish. Mouthfeel is spritzy and somewhat watery. Not the greatest pumpkin beer on the planet. The creamy/nutmeggy combo could be worked with, but as is a little too thin and bland. Just okay.

10-09-2007 14:19:47 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of zeff80


3.33/5  rDev +13.3%

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.

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


3.73/5  rDev +26.9%

My wife loves these beers; they have become her favorite of the season.

Pours a very light, clear, amber with not much of a head.

Great aroma. It has the subtlety of pumpkins, but it also has the aroma nutmeg and brown sugar. The smell could be more powerful, but it very nice.

Good taste. Very clean. The same flavors are apparent here as in the aroma. A bit of malt sweetness compliments the spice. No bitterness to speak of.

Tingles slightly with the prick of carbonation. A light beer that seems lighter with the medium to high carbonation.

A sessionable pumpkin ale. Nice clean flavors, nothing great, just solid and a good representation of the style.

10-08-2007 01:25:13 | More by IPAcraig
Photo of albern


3.03/5  rDev +3.1%

The high point is the spicy smell, part pumpkin, part cinnamon, part nutmeg. It goes down hill thereafter. The color is very pale, almost straw, with a soapy white head that does retain. The taste starts out a with a tinge of spice then is just bland, waxy, and not very good. It tastes like a lackluster ale with some spices added, with an emphasis on the added, not fermented. There isn't much going on one way or another. I'm tasting some adjunct in there as well that thins out an otherwise already thin beer even more. This is a watery, mediocre, pumpkin ale that won't offend but won't impress either. Keep going.

Re-review September 2009: This beer has a nice aroma and an interesting fizziness when the bottle is cracked and poured. It completely evaporates thereafter. The taste is pleasant enough, I will give this another point or two. Seems better than when I had it last time. It was quite drinkable and inoffensive this time around.

10-06-2007 21:43:58 | More by albern
Photo of msubulldog25


2.35/5  rDev -20.1%

A 12 oz. bottle poured to a pint glass, notched Best Before: Jan 08. Label shows what appears to be a photographed image of a 'Sleepy Hollow/Headless Horseman'-themed statue with an amateurishly drawn pumpkinhead and raised beer pint.

A: Lighter colored than some other pumpkin ales, this one is quite clear and falls somewhere between 'honey' and 'amber'. Spritzy white head crests at about a finger, then drops away quickly to a thin ring and scattered spots of fizz. Fair amount of carbonation.

S: I can be suckered into liking the smell here mostly because allspice and nutmeg are among my favorite aromas - of course it's just spice, no actual 'pumpkin' here. Sure there's not much else going on - maybe hints of toasted malt and a faint nuttiness - but I do like that pumpkin pie spice smell, and this beer has enough of it.

T: This is a run-of-the-mill pumpkin beer from the first sip. No squash-like fleshy earthiness, just dashes of spice in an otherwise mediocre amber ale. Once the taste of nutmeg and allspice waned, a notable buttered popcorn diacetyl flavor set in, along with a lighter toasted malt. Sweet buttered corn finish.

M: First sips retain a moderate carbonation, but after only a few minutes from the bottle the mouthfeel is watery and slick. Medium/light-bodied with very little lingering flavor, be it malt, hops, or spice. Ends with an odd gumminess, something like licking an envelope flap.

D: My first, and likely only, foray into Shipyard's version of a beer style I do really enjoy when done right. Far too thin and one-dimensional for my liking. Having an excellent pumpkin ale (Elysian Night Owl) now available to me only reinforces the point that I won't be rushing back to Pumpkinhead.

10-05-2007 20:58:40 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of brewshakes

North Carolina

3.7/5  rDev +25.9%

I enjoy trying different pumpkin beers when they are in season so I picked up a six pack of this since I wasn't familiar with it. It had a very nice hint of cinnamon at the end and a nice feel to it. If you like pumpkin ales definitely give this one a shot.

10-05-2007 13:37:40 | More by brewshakes
Photo of Murchmac


3.58/5  rDev +21.8%

This is the light beers of pumpkin beers.

Smells of pumpkin spice all the way through.

Tastes of pumpkin all the way through

Little mouthfeel, but can drink one after the other. If your going to buy a six pack of budweiser, buy a six of this instead.

10-04-2007 04:20:53 | More by Murchmac
Photo of drjim34


4.38/5  rDev +49%

This beer, like many Shipyard brews takes a lot of criticism. I for one am a big fan of Pumpkin Beers, and try to taste as many as I can. This one is not my favorite, but is definitely in my top 3. I could break everything about this beer down like a typical review, but let’s look at this beer from a different angle. It is what it is supposed to be. A fun seasonal with a limited run of a few months. Summer is over, and my taste buds are ready for the change in styles. It’s fun to drink, talk about, and serve at a party, or Oktoberfest. Pair it with pumpkin fudge, or pumpkin pie. I do a pumpkin taste at my annual Oktoberfest party (this year w tried 8), and this beer always finishes 1 or 2 in the rankings. If you like spicy (nutmeg/cinnamon/all spice) then this is for you. Something different then the norm. I use it as my transition to Harpoon’s Winter Warmer.

10-02-2007 19:05:45 | More by drjim34
Photo of ChainGangGuy


2.88/5  rDev -2%

($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.

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


3.05/5  rDev +3.7%

Pours out a realy pale and faded brass color with fat bubbles that feed a steady whipped egg white head. I smell mostly lightly-toasted malt, cinnamon stick, and diacetyl. Flavor starts off with cinnamon stick which is followed by wormwood yeast. Drying and yeasty finish. Not much pumpkin here, but there is an interesting cinnamon astringency along with the dryness. Not bad, just more of a spiced beer rather than a pumpkin beer. Mouthfeel is a bit fizzy and light. Not fully impressive, but I would go to this if I wanted some cinnamon and diacetyl combo. For a good pumpkin beer, I'll stick to DFH.

09-29-2007 02:21:28 | More by goochpunch
Photo of TheAlumnus

New York

3.85/5  rDev +31%

Of all the Pumpkin Ales, this is my favorite

a- fairly generic but fitting the profile and color of what you expect from this flavor variety
s- solid bouquet, hint of clove/allspice provides a good nose
t- great initial burst loses a little on the back of the tongue
m- what you would expect a little thin but not lacking
d- very drinkable, a seasonal that is consistent well crafted and missed on the left coast

09-26-2007 06:09:52 | More by TheAlumnus
Photo of GPHarris


3.28/5  rDev +11.6%

a - poured a two-fingers thick off-white head into a snifter. it left a nice lace and a little sheeting action and billowed pretty well with a swirl of the glass. the body was a clear and way too light amber color.
s - smells like a pumpkin.
t - not much pumpkin taste coming through but a little allspice is.
m - crisp.
d - not bad and i could handle this in a pinch but doesn't do it for me.

09-25-2007 18:10:30 | More by GPHarris
Photo of matylight


3.63/5  rDev +23.5%

A: golden orange with a light spritzy 1/4" head that dissipates quickly.
S: nutmeg and cloves...pumpkin pie? certainly reminds me of fall. slightly sweet here and there.
T: i know i should be but i'm not getting too much pumpkin out of this. this may be from trying and making so many other pumpkin spiced beers where the pumpkin stands tall and proud in the forefront but this one has our large orange beast hiding somewhere in the background. primarily this beer is boasting a light malt base with lots of nutmeg and spices leading the charge. bready and warming.
M: light to medium bodied with equally light and spritzy carbonation. no bite and no bark.
D: this is certainly an easy fall drinker. goes down smooth with little arguement. i could go for a couple in a single sitting with no problem.
while it definately makes me think of the impending cooler and shorter days that bring on school and dried leaves, i can't help but feel that this brew could have somehow been so much more. it's too tame for my pumpkin lovin' taste. certainly a worthy effort. give it a try if you come across it.

09-24-2007 02:07:51 | More by matylight
Photo of livingregret


4.08/5  rDev +38.8%

Serving Type: 12 oz bottle w/ drink by date 06-07-08

Appearance: Pours a golden amber w/ a slight head.

Smell: I get spice, clove, cinnamon. No real "pumpkin" smell but plenty of spice

Taste: Amazing. Taste like actual pumpkin pie. No other way to describe it. Fresh...out of the oven pumpkin pie taste. A touch of spice toward the end makes this the best tasting pumpkin ale I've ever tried

Mouthfeel: This is a little bit of a let down. Watery and heavily carbonated.

Drinkability: For the TASTE of pumpkin pie this is the BEST Pumpkin Ale I have tried. I have tried 6 different pumpkin ales and this is the best tasting one. The smell is a bit off because there is only cinnamon and no real pumpkin smell and the mouthfeel is a little carbonated BUT the taste is amazing. A very drinkable pumpkin ale great for late at night or when enjoying a late night dessert

09-19-2007 05:10:59 | More by livingregret
Photo of Blupoet03


4.33/5  rDev +47.3%

Poured golden-amber with a thin white head, bubbling nicely afterwards.

The nose is spicy, fully of nutmeg, cloves, and sweetness. The taste is like pumpkin pie in a glass. The hops show up with a slight bite at the end.

I think this is a great pumpkin ale, and as usual with beers that I like, I can't find much to say about it. It's a great drink to get yourself into the autumn spirit.

09-19-2007 01:29:41 | More by Blupoet03
Photo of kenito799

New York

3.08/5  rDev +4.8%

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Best before Jan 2008.

Pours a crystal clear dark gold. Tiny white head recedes to nothing and leaves no lacing. Cinannmon and buttery pumpkin predominate on the nose. These flavors come through immediately when drinking. The underlying beer is a crisp lemony American wheat. This makes this brew quite refreshing, actually making the buttered cinnamon-pumpkin taste easier to enjoy as you drink. The overall effect is somewhat artificial, whether the flavors are natural or not, I don't know. More drinkable than you might expect. The overall effect is fake. Best setting: out of the bottle around a campfire on an early fall camping trip while making s'mores.

09-19-2007 00:44:01 | More by kenito799
Photo of jwc215


1.58/5  rDev -46.3%

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.

09-16-2007 18:21:40 | More by jwc215
Photo of Gambrinus1184


2.42/5  rDev -17.7%

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into my tulip-shaped Duvel glass.

A: Pours a pale yellow with a tinge of orange to it. Less than one finger of foam leaves pretty quickly, leaving just a little lace. This looks almost macro lagerish.

S: Nose is definitely of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. The pumpkin isn't really hitting me, but this brew probably isn't made with anything remotely close to a pumpkin anyway.

T: Tastes a bit like a piece of pumpkin pie, with a bottle of water poured all over it. The spicy taste comes over a bit sour, then washes down like Dowser, with almost no aftertaste.

M: Mouthfeel is pretty thin, to say the least. I've said it before, I like my pumpkin ale to be more on the medium-bodied side, and this one was too light for my tastes.

D: The low ABV, light body and mouthfeel would make this a good drink, for someone who isn't too concerned with the quality of their pumpkin ale. I certainly couldn't drink more than a couple of these without having to switch to something fuller bodied with more flavor.

The aroma is the best part of this brew, and that's not saying much. Worth a try as a beer, but not recommended if you're looking for a good representation of the pumpkin ale style.

09-13-2007 02:00:56 | More by Gambrinus1184
Photo of squarooticus


2.25/5  rDev -23.5%

Absolutely the worst pumpkin ale I have ever tasted. If you like your pumpkin ale overly-spiced and watery, this is the one for you. Unfortunately, this is exactly the kind of pumpkin ale that kept me away from the style for so long. I would recommend Brooklyn's Post Road or (if you're local to Boston) Cambridge Brewing Company's pumpkin ale.

09-13-2007 01:00:54 | More by squarooticus
Photo of Brad007


3.5/5  rDev +19%

Pours a pale color with very small head. Aroma is of pumpkin pie and spice, which is interesting. I gotta give props for this. Taste is much of the same except that the pumpkin flavor fades in the background. Still, it lingers and tastes kind of good actually. It's kind of like pumpkin pie in a bottle. Very drinkable to me, even though you can draw your own conclusions with a bottle.

09-11-2007 00:40:28 | More by Brad007
Photo of bluegrassbrew


3.18/5  rDev +8.2%

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a light copper with a hint of orange. A vigorous pour produced a nice looking head, but that quickly dropped and was never to be seen again.

Smell is not bad. Pumpkin pie all around.

Taste is pumpkin pie and nutmeg. Not complex, but then again it wasn't meant to be.

Mouthfeel is way too thin. Watery and over-carbonated.

Overall, not something I would buy again. A small glass of this could be really good with Thanksgiving dinner, but it was tough to get through an entire bottle. Worth a try if you really like pumpkin ales.

09-10-2007 00:09:48 | More by bluegrassbrew
Photo of biggmike


3.6/5  rDev +22.4%

Had this on draught at the Emerald Coast Brew Fest in Pensacola, FL. Aroma was nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin pie. Taste was very much like pumpkin pie. Beer was very smooth and had a nice mouthfeel. Couldn’t sit back and pound these all night, but drinkability was good. This seems to be a very polarizing beer----people either love it or hate it. I liked it.

09-09-2007 15:42:56 | More by biggmike
Photo of Tballz420


3.15/5  rDev +7.1%

Clear, gold colored brew. Thin white head disappears very quickly. Pumkin scent with strong doses of cinnamon. The taste is what you would probably expect, if you are employing your reason: pumkin pie with good amounts of cinnamon. Pretty thin taste, thin bodied. Could use some more strength to the flavor, but could be worth a taste if you like pumpkin beers or if you can find a single.

09-09-2007 03:15:10 | More by Tballz420
Photo of musicjustintime


4.22/5  rDev +43.5%

This is THE BEST pumpkin ale I've ever had...so far. It TRULY tastes like a slice of pumpkin pie...and is OH-so yummy! Almost one to have after dinner! (Much like a slice of...pumpkin pie!) Very nice smell, and not hoppy in the least. Very smooth, a bit sweet, and all the wonderful spices in a pumpkin pie, so perfectly balanced. I'm truly impressed...and now after having one of these...I'd splurge and buy a whole case for the fall! EXCELLENT! I highly recommend if you like this sort of thing. Perfect seasonal, for sharing with friends under a moonlit, October night....or even during and after Thanksgiving dinner! SAAALUTE to you, my BA friends AND friends at Shipyard!

09-09-2007 01:42:56 | More by musicjustintime
Photo of beerNdarts


3.6/5  rDev +22.4%

I've heard a lot of people in my area rant and rave about Pumpkinhead, so when I went out last night and sat it on the draft menu I had to try it.

A- Very light colored. Almost like a light beer or cider. More on that later.

Smell- Faint smell of spices and pumkin, definitely doesn't smell like a beer though, but then again it smells very tasty.

Taste- First cold sip tasted strongly of pumpkin spices and nutmeg. Very sweet too. After it warmed a little bit and I got used to it, I seriously thought it was a cider in that glass rather than a beer. High carbonation didn't help this... still, it is not a bad taste, just sweet, light, and easy. Like my women.

Mouthfeel- Light. Watery but not watery like light beer, just light.

Drinkability- Could easily have had another 1, 2, 4 pints. It does taste very good, although not the best pumpkin ale I've had. I would pickup a sixer only if I had something else in my fridge that tastes like a beer.

09-07-2007 16:31:38 | More by beerNdarts
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
68 out of 100 based on 1,926 ratings.