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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.

1,828 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,828
Reviews: 772
rAvg: 2.94
pDev: 27.55%
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: 1,828 | Reviews: 772 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of Portertime


4.38/5  rDev +49%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer although not as complex as some. It had a taste of straight pumpkin pie complete with whipped cream but not overly sweet. A hint of cinnamon was noted. I liked the logo of the legendary headless horse man from Sleepy Hollow. This is a definite halloween time treat.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2006 02:29:06 | More by Portertime
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Shipyard- Pumpkinhead

Appearance- Light fizzy orange with no head.
Smell- Strong Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and clove. Pumpkin pie, basically.
Taste- Immediate sweey, sugary clove spiced pumpkin followed up by the gingerbread crust.
Mouthfeel- Sweet, very sweet. Gingerbread dominates. Mild honey aftertaste.

Overall- I liked it!? This tasted just like pumpkin pie at first but then eventually it tasted like cinnimon teddy grahms!!

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2006 21:21:10 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of cjgator3


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

Decided to celebrate the end of summer this memorial day by drinking some fall brews to get me in the mood for the changing of the seasons. Pours a golden orange color that immediately produces a nice fluffy white head. Nice aroma of cinammon and spices that kind of reminds me of the smell of a pumpkin pie. Smooth tasting that is spicey with a pumpkin aftertaste. Taste is a little thinner that I would have liked but it really is pretty decent. Overall, this is a really interesting brew that really makes me want to try other pumpkin ales.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2006 21:44:14 | More by cjgator3
Photo of BadBadger

New York

3.53/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shipyard's pumpkin ale pours from the bottle a nice amber-orange color. The head is descent sized but rather short lasting. The smell wasn't really there, in terms of a spiced pumpkin ale: the olfactory apparatus just didn't note anything. (however, my wife and inlaws swear it smelled like pumpkin spice). The taste is better, being infused with a pleasant pumpkin spice essence. With a smooth mouthfeel, this is a highly drinkable beer. However, I do feel that there are better pumpkin ale alternatives available.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2006 15:32:48 | More by BadBadger
Photo of doppelmeup

North Carolina

3.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle dated Drink By Jan 07.

Just got it at the store last week the day it arrived, so it is very fresh beer.

Appearance not very impressive. Looks like a macro lager. Very little head, no lacing, light yellow color only a hint of orange in the background. Not nearly as pretty as the Post Road I had the other night.

Aroma was good. Pumpkin pie spices. But not overpowering. What I would expect from a pumpkin ale.

Taste is hard to pindown. Hints of pumpkin spice, but a very watery taste with lots of grain in the finish. It starts out tasting well, then the grain flavors come in and bring it down, then it finishes with a nice flavor again.

Very watery mouthfeel, and it really detracts from this beer. When I think of pumpkin ale, I envision a nice, rich deep amber colored ale. But this beer is really quite watered down.

Overall, I'll not purchase this again. I think there are better pumpkin ales out there, readily available.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2006 23:15:53 | More by doppelmeup
Photo of Damian


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

Drank on-tap at Gilbert's Chowder House, Portland, ME

Poured a clear, golden yellow with virtually no head.

Aroma was subtle and fruity with a slight malt presence.

Taste was intense and sweet. Faint malts were detectable on the front end. As the beer moved along the palate, the flavors crescendoed. Huge pumpkin flavor (oddly noticeable most on the roof of the mouth) with strong nutmeg and cinnamon. The flavorful pumpkin aftertaste lingered. Little hop presence.

Very light bodied and super easy drinking.

Serving type: on-tap

08-28-2006 04:34:14 | More by Damian
Photo of drotski


3.3/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very pale color...minimal head, minimal lacing. Not impressed to far.

Smelled of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spices...but was missing something...pumpkin...but nice smell anyway.

Tasted smooth, of cinammon and spice, but still missing actual pumpkin flavor.

A little too much carbonation, but was a decent mouth feel overall.

Fairly drinkable, but a couple of these and you'll be craving a stout or porter if you're like me.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2006 04:12:59 | More by drotski
Photo of mooseisloose


2.78/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a 40ml chalice, almost no head. Smell is of cinnamon and spice and everything nice.. Color is a pale golden yellow. Carbonation seems very subdued but is sufficient. Taste is very unique.. Starts out tart and finishes like a pumkin pie. Very different but not a flavor I would seek out to drink very much of. I think this beer would go great however with a hearty fish or lobster dinner.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2006 20:39:02 | More by mooseisloose
Photo of gnoff


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

Bottle at Oliver Twist in Stockholm, Sweden. Tried it in November 2005.

Really special scent and taste, guess that’s the pumpkin.
Really makes me want to try other pumpkin beers too.
Very clear cinnamon taste and smell, or am I confused by the pumpkin?

Though the place was fairly dark I'd say the color of the beer was orange to light brown.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2006 10:59:58 | More by gnoff
Photo of Halldog


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

I was excited to try this at first. The appearance and smell were not that bad. Very aromatic pumpkin pie smell. The head fades quite quickly. At fist sip it tastes like coors light with pumpkin pie spice added. This was a real disappointment. I couldn't even finish the bottle, let alone the other 5 bottles. Go with Smuttynose or Dogfish Head Pumpkin Ales.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2006 00:14:55 | More by Halldog
Photo of jda007


2.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is a limited brew from Shipyard only available from Sept. - November. As the name suggests, it is a pumpkin flavored beer just in time for the fall.

The color is golden with a slight orange hue. There is a slight pumpkin pie scent from the beer and the head is a clean white.

In my opinion, which is of course, why I'm writing this, this is an excellent beer! It has a nice clean taste that is not too overwhelming. The flavor notes combine pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon. The pumpkin pie flavor goes well with the balance of hops and malt in the beer. It is refreshing - it goes great with Thanksgiving dinner!

Pumpkinhead is perfect as a seasonal beer, although some might be disappointed if they are looking for a stronger or hoppier ale.

Again, revisiting made me change the review. This beer is a great "gateway" beer for those who are inexperienced in craft and micro beers and may help get others interested in beers other than the typical fare.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2006 18:09:35 | More by jda007
Photo of cooncat


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

Serving was a 12 oz. bottle, chilled and poured into a 15 oz. pilsner glass.

A pour down the center of the glass produced a nice sized almost pure white head, which was very short lived. Swirling the glass produces very minimal lacing.

Initial aroma to hit the nose was something akin to "pumpkin pie" (perhaps it is nutmeg?) The initial taste is similar, a slightly sweet pumpkin pie taste, with a slight hop bite behind it. The mouthfeel is extremely thin ... not what I expected for a seaonal brew (most good Christmas ales have great mouthfeel by comparison). I don't think this would make a good session brew .. the novelty of the pumpkin pie flavor/aroma is short lived, and the mouthfeel leaves me looking for something more substantial.

Worth a try, if you've never had something similar, but probably won't impress you.


Serving type: bottle

01-29-2006 20:42:29 | More by cooncat
Photo of NClifestyle

North Carolina

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

Pumpkin head pours up a pale yellow color with tons of fizz in the liquid, but not much of the white head shows up. This is not what an autumn beer should look (or sound) like. Smells of cinnamon and sour cider assault the nose, with nary a hint of pumpkin to be found. If this beer is really an ale, it’s the thinnest ale that has ever crossed my lips; it’s more like an American macro lager, and tastes much the same. A fake cinnamon flavor explodes across the tongue, with a lager-like flavor to follow, no hop or herb taste can be found, and if there is any malt, it’s mixed up with the overly sweet cinnamon. For an ale, a pumpkin beer, or anything of worth, there is extremely too much carbonation in the glass, more similar to a cola than a beer. Finishes with an off aftertaste, somewhat sour with a tinge of sugar. This could possibly be a refreshing beer in the middle of summer, but even then, you would not want this much cinnamon, or “pumpkin spice” taste. This beer is too watery for my taste, much less, it’s not a solid ale or even an average pumpkin beer. Take this pumpkinhead and smash it in the street.


Serving type: bottle

01-13-2006 06:54:34 | More by NClifestyle
Photo of lordofthewiens


2.58/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer is a pale yellow color with a fairly good head to it. The smell s predominately spicy, but I have a difficult time appreciating pumpkin. The taste is pretty bland, but at least I can taste some nutmeg. OK to drink, just not very exciting. I've tasted better pumpkins.

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2005 16:04:26 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of acrawf6


2.6/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A little late reviewing this one, but oh well.

Poured out a light golden, just a little darker than a macro american lager. It was quite lighter than i hoped for. About a 1 inch white head. lots of carbonation bubbles flowing up.... a whole lot, like sparkling wine.

Aroma has spices, pumkin and a banana aroma to it. It smells ok, but reminds me of rolling rock out of the can. for a pumkin ale, this doesnt really stick out. There is a small amount of non-sugary pumkin flavor that comes out. almost smells natural. almost.

Taste: ehh. dissappointing. An artificial [pumkin flavor. bottle says, "Malt beverage with pumkin spice added." That's not so good. i can taste some spice, but its not strong.

Mouthfeel: a little slick and unbalanced. there is just something about this beer that doesnt make it that enjoyable, but i dont think it is awful (unless compared to others). for all the bubbles i saw, i thought the carbonation was a little weak.

Overall, not so good. Not terrible, i would choose this over a few others (rather have this than i bud light). and i do think it is better than buffalo bill's (pertaining to style), but thats it.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2005 04:05:53 | More by acrawf6
Photo of Higravity


2.5/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Well, not to kick a beer that is already down, but man does this one deserve it. Slightly chilled and served in a pint glass. A slightly hazy orangish with a white topper and some decent lacing. Smells like, whoa let me take the big red gum out of my mouth to make sure the cinnamon won't affect the beer, oh wait I am not chewing gum this beer just smells like cinnamon. It doesn't taste as bad as I thought it would and in a weird way it grows on you. Maybe the pumpkin pie they make in Maine has a lot of cinnamon in it, I don't know. It has a decent body and if they retuned the spices this could be a passable beer, but right now if I see it again that is just what I will do, pass on by.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2005 13:52:43 | More by Higravity
Photo of BeerAngel


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

Pours very clear brassy orange with a thin bubbled head that is soda-like as it is being poured with rapid bursting of bubbles creating a familiar sound that takes me back to the soda-pop days. It has a very odd smell that seems to maybe have some pumpkin lying behind the grassy notes that dominate the aroma. The taste reveals a more pronounced pumpkin taste that makes me think of Thanksgiving. It is slightly sweet with a tad of spicing and very light hops. It also has a alcopop bubbly type taste towards the end. This is a very light bodied beer that finishes with more sweetness that began in the middle.

This is one odd duck. It's strange when you first taste it and just when you think you might be getting it, you don't. Perhaps the headless horseman's job on the label portrays it's peculiarity. Strange brew!

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2005 02:52:25 | More by BeerAngel
Photo of Hagbard


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

Pours a pale orange straw color with a small white head that sticks around for a bit. Transparent and sparkly, you can see carbonation lines coming up. Very light in appearance for a pumpkin beer. The aroma is very malty with a peculiar chemical aroma I'm having a hard time placing. I guess there are some spices hiding in the background. The taste just doesn't do it for me. A sickening blast of spices bursts forth wrapped in a blanket of cloying sweetness. The strange chemical taste arrives in the finish bringing with it a touch of actual pumpkin flavor. This is the most pleasant part of the taste, unfortunately my palate is already shot by thte time it arrives. Incredibly cloying, this beer is not drinkable at all. The best part about it is the cool label.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2005 02:22:53 | More by Hagbard
Photo of Applesauce1


3.15/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got the Pumpkinhead Ale on tap at Skipper's Bar and Grille in Athens, OH. Great selection of quality beers on-tap at this joint.
This beer poured a golden-orange color. Not much smell. As I sipped the beer, I could sense the "pumpkin pie" aroma, but not much of a taste. Not a bad beer, it goes down well, but needs more pumpkin flavoring or some other flavors. Pretty bland.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2005 00:37:34 | More by Applesauce1
Photo of Zorro


2.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pale yellow beer without much head.

Smell is sweet and bready with scents of spices of which ginger is the only one I can identify.

Taste is light with a major flavor of gingerbread. This tastes EXACTLY like gingerbread there is no other accurate was to describe the flavor. There is a bit of a ginger sting in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is OK.

An OK drinkable beer that would be better described as a ginger beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2005 23:17:16 | More by Zorro
Photo of TurdFurgison


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

Had from a bottle, purchased for halloween with some other seasonal beers. Opened today and tried with my wife.

Tastes like the major pumpkin pie spices were used, but they really dominated the after-taste in a bad way. Bitter and not refreshing. My wife finished the bottle...

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2005 00:26:20 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of damifino


2.4/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

It pours clear with a slight orange tint to it. I purchased this beer along with some others to get the "Halloween" theme going.

You like pumpkins or allspice, sniff away. It had some smithering of malt though.

I drank two bottles of this, and I got out of it was the spice after taste. It was good for those two bottles.

This is one of those beers that does not go well with meals. I bought a six pack and kept it as a novelty to give to people who thought drinking a "pumpkin" beer would be cool.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2005 04:12:34 | More by damifino
Photo of chOAKbarrell


3.28/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

*I originally posted this a month or two back under the wrong Shipyard pumpkin ale (Eli's). This Pumpkinhead Ale is the one I meant to review*

Cinnamon ahoy! I cant believe the amount of cinnamon in this beer! I dont have the most distinguished palate, but this is a blast in the face! There are also apple tones present. Very interesting. I gave the taste a (relatively) high score for this beer, but I dont know if I should have. It kind of belongs in a catagory of all its own - cinnamon beer. There is so much more of that than any noticeable pumpkin flavor. Compared to other pumpkin ales, this one would rank low, as it doesnt seem to really follow the guidelines. I liked the taste, though, so it gets a 3.5 in that area.

All that being said, there is not too much else notable about this Pumpkin ale. It is very light colored, which is a bit of a turnoff. Same blast of cinnamon in the nose. Light, sharp mouthfeel to match.

I think after more than one of these beers, things would get way too sicky-sweet, and possibly nausea-inducing. I definitely wouldnt want a whole six pack. Low drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2005 04:33:56 | More by chOAKbarrell
Photo of HardTarget


3.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 4

Bottle Inspection: 12 oz. brown twisty, enjoy before Jan 06 notched on side

Aroma: First sniff is pumpkin pie spices on some mild malt. As the head settles, a bit more of an off aroma, a bit metallic

Appearance: Very clear pale yellow amber (I really want to say orange, but I can’t) glass that poured a good finger and a half white head, but that died down to a very modest, constantly fed thin cover.

Flavor: Pumpkin pie spices come through very nicely in the taste, but that’s all that’s there. There is a slightly artificial aspect to the spice taste as well. The rest of the beer just tastes like 7-up.

Mouthfeel: Soda pop texture, very light body, fairly dry finish.

Overall Impression: The bottle says “malt beverage with pumpkin spice added”. Well, truer words have seldom been printed. It’s about an alco-pop level. It’s so hard to do a good pumpkin beer. To be fair, I kind of liked this one, so drinkability gets fair marks, but, it’s a mere ghost of a beer. A good one for Halloween.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2005 03:28:49 | More by HardTarget
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
68 out of 100 based on 1,828 ratings.