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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.

2,089 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,089
Reviews: 795
rAvg: 2.95
pDev: 27.8%
Wants: 22
Gots: 192 | 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: 2,089 | Reviews: 795 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jsh420
3.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

best before jan 2010

pours clear yellowish orange with a 2 finger head that fades fast and leaves no lacing

smell is watery pumpkin pie

taste - is diet pepsi meets pumpkin pie - just thin thin

mouthfeel is very light and overcarbonated

drinkability is so so - i only bought a single and i doubt i ever will buy it again

jsh420, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of Genuine
2.75/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

Very light in color, along with the size of the head. Nothing much to be spoken of, or even not. Lacing is hardly present.

Lighter in color than I expected. I was hoping for more of a orange color instead of amber.

Smell - lots of spice and cinnamin, that is starting to slowly get my hopes up higher than what they were.

taste - this is where it fails the most. Very light and watery tasting. Nothing like the other pumpkin ales that i've had recently. Very disappointing.

Mouthfeel - reminds me a lot of soda.

Drinkability - i'm not a fan, I probably won't be having another.

Genuine, Sep 08, 2009
Photo of Domingo
2.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Bought this to compare to other pumpkin ales.
Pours a relatively pale color compared to most. Looks like a golden lager at first glance, although the head's minimal.
Smells spicy...mainly cinnamon and allspice. There's a little bit of sour fruitiness as well.
The flavor, surprisingly, isn't as spicy as I expected. It actually has more of an actual pumpkin flavor than I expected. The issue is that this beer is a diacetyl mess. The flavor starts off like pumpkin pie, but then it takes a buttery corn turn and doesn't look back. The finish is pretty much where I'd like it to be. Spicy, but not overkill. Man, that one (huge) flaw throws a wrench into this beer.
Mouthfeel is okay per the style. Maybe even a little less thick than some others.
The diacetyl flavors got on my nerves quickly and I don't think I'll be revisiting this without a recipe change. Too many of Shipyard's beers have that flavor, and it ruins what could have been a unique take on the style.

Domingo, Sep 08, 2009
Photo of homebrewhawk
2.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz brown bottle served in a shaker pint. Poured a brilliant clear gold with a thin head that quickly dissipated. Aroma of pumpkin pie spices heavy on the cinnamon. Flavor is more of the same, way over the top with the cinnamon. It took me a minute, but it tastes like red hots. Light to medium body with some malt sweetness. It seems like spices and extracts were added rather than actually brewing with pumpkin.

homebrewhawk, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of bonsreeb85
3.03/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - golden in color, with a velvety white froth top that stands at about 2 fingers tall, but doesn't last at all

S - nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, wheat. kinda reminds me of a really tasty rootbeer

T - taste is thin and watered down, not at all as nice as the nose led me to beleive. what a let down. too yeasty and bready. heavy wheat flavor, and not much else. some nutmeg and a pinch of cinnamon and pumpkin come through, but not much.

MF - smooth and even feel, light to medium body w/ a moderate amount of carbonation. bubbles are tiny and make for a tight crispness.

D - pretty refreshing, could use a bit more 'ummph' but it does quench the thirst well,
-better that water anyway. interesting 'wheat' take on a pumpkin fall seasonal. just falls flat in the end though.

bonsreeb85, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of mntlover
2.65/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a clear golden with some amber hints a small white head falls fast no lace left behind.

Aroma is light spice mainly cinnamon some nutmeg on malt hints not much pumpkin more like spiced Oktoberfest.

Taste is like aroma but not as good light malts noted with cinnamon notes pretty light on other spices, actually pretty light over all.

Mouthfeel is light with peppy carbonation, just not much to work with on this one.

Drinkability is well really sad I bought a six pack of it, my first pumpkin of the season so I was excited. Overall its sad that a micro brewery can't make a better pumpkin ale then Anheuser-Busch.

mntlover, Sep 04, 2009
Photo of TonySmooth89
3.05/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I have now tried this in both a glass and a bottle , and think it was better in the bottle but here are my impressions.

A-Poured a pale amber color , thin head , decent lacing though.

S-Very little smell at all , smells of pumpkin spices , not much like a beer.

T- Strong pumpkin pie spices , cinnamon and nutmeg , no aftertaste whatsoever which bothered me. Kinda tastes like they added some cinnamon to michelob ultra , initially pleasant , but the seltzer aftertaste is bothersome , but overall not a bad tasting thing , just not great.

M- Thin and lots of carbonation like soda...again mouthfeel was reminiscent of seltzer.

D- Though not something i'd drink regularly, i'd easily pound down a few without a hitch. Very smooth.

Overall i enjoyed it , but i probably will never buy this beer again , but if one was offered to me i'd most likely drink it.

TonySmooth89, Sep 04, 2009
Photo of Durge
3.55/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This brew is a yellow amber, clear and not real lively looking. The head is shortlived white and leaves no appreciable lacing. The aroma is a mild spice nutty pumpkin, a hint of malt sweetness or squash, nice. The taste is fairly similar to the smell. Light dry grassy hops, tasteful pumpkin spice and a very clean grain undercurrent. It's very thin stuff with little carbonation, somewhat anemic, but drinkable and fairly tasty for the style. Kind of all over the map and maybe I should try it somewhere other than this barbeque restaurant in South Portland, Maine. Might just have been a poor line?

Durge, Sep 04, 2009
3.58/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Must have just arrived at local bars, so I figured I'd give this a try.

Poured a pale golden color with minimal head.

Compared some of the better pumpkin beers I've enjoyed, this one seems to be relying heavily on pumpkin pie spices rather than actual pumpkin flavor. Oh well...

Taste's heavy of cinnamon. A very light feel, almost like a dessert.

Feels like a light beer but with a pleasant sweetness--nothing too complex or with much lingering aftertaste.

Hanging with a group of buddies on a cool night, I would have no problem throwing a few of these back. Easily drinkable with no noticable alcohol taste.

JTWILDOATS, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of donkeyrunner
1.58/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Maybe it's nostalgia but it's not fall without at least one Pumpkinhead. It's far and above one of my favorite worst beers ever. Think Harpoon Winter Warmer of the pumpkin ale kingdom and you'll know what I mean.

Pale yellow for a pumpkin beer...really? Thin white head that I saw die before my very eyes. This beer is a tragedy.

Smells like allspice and pond water. Tastes like nutmeg and tap water. Mouthfeel is horribly medicinal. Yet I still love thee.

donkeyrunner, Aug 29, 2009
Photo of wangbruins
2.35/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Two finger head that disappeared quickly and a color that looked rather generic

S- Strong cooked pumpkin, pumpkin pie, and gingerbread scents

T- Tasted just like pumpkin pie with very little aftertaste

M-Very, very smooth with a small bite on the tongue but not as bold as I expected because the smell was so strong

D- Easy to drink, so easy in fact that my girlfriend even liked it and she only likes about one in five that I drink

wangbruins, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of Psilo707
3.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Being a big fan of Pumpkin ales and lagers I picked this up with high intentions. In the end, I found it wasn't too bad but definitely wasn't one of the best I've had.

Appearance is very orange, clear translucent, and has a decent foamy head which dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing. Smell is very nice, probably the best part about this beer. Ginger, cinnamon and a bunch of pumpkin roam through the nose with every inhalation.

Taste is average, maybe a bit less. The dominating pumpkin and cinnamon tastes are a bit bland but aren't too bad. Seems as though a lot of reviewers like it much less than me.

Mouthfeel is also average to mediocre and drinkability is decent.

Overall not the greatest pumpkin ale but it's not that bad.

Psilo707, Jun 05, 2009
Photo of LordAdmNelson
2.2/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Not bad, light orange-straw color with decent white head. Not great retention or lacing.

S- A little pumpkin, a little cinnamon, but a decent amount of sulfides too... smelled like a rotting pumpkin.

T- A little pumpkin and cinnamon again. Some grains--almost macro-type malt taste to it. Slightly metallic. Tastes like a cinnamon Keystone.

M- Very carbonated and prickly... in fact this thing is so carbonated that it overflowed when I opened it, even though it wasn't shaken up. Light, like a macro.

D- If it didn't smell like shit or taste kind of crappy I would drink it.

LordAdmNelson, May 20, 2009
Photo of ClockworkOrange
2.65/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a standard shaker glass. Appears a clear amber color with around a finger of quickly fading off white foam. Smells and tastes of cinnamon, nutmeg, sweet grains, pumpkin meat, a bit watery and thin bodied. I would pass this one by next time I see it.

ClockworkOrange, May 08, 2009
Photo of jimj21
2.7/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Review from notes taken from 11/2008.

Twelve ounce bottle poured into pint glass. Best by date of 2/2009. Pours a pale golden color with an orangish hue. Very clear. A lot of carbonation in this. Pour produces about a finger of white head which fades very quickly. As soon as it was there, it was gone. No lacing to speak of. There are many streams of bubbles rising in the glass.

The aroma coming from this is very sweet. There is some smells of fruit as well. Apparent pumpkin pie spices including cinnamon and nutmeg. Aromas of cereal grains as well.

This is kind of disappointing. It's very bland. The most existent flavor is an artificial tasting sweetness. Some spices are there but they kind of meld together to form one big blah. Cinnamon seems to be the only one I can actually pick out. I can also pick out some grain like flavors. Not much bitterness to speak of, just a little on the finish.

There is too much carbonation in this, but that's about it. Crisp. Not too much to say here. It's not great but it's not awful either. Heavier side of light bodied.

It's not like this is overly flavorful, but the flavors that are there aren't that great. It seems like there is just something off about this one. I've tried a number of pumpkin ales and this is easily the worst. This kind of reminds me of a macro lager with pumpkin pie spice added. However, I have been successful making a decent pumpkin bread with this.

jimj21, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of CAP1868
3.5/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured form a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A- This brew is a very light colored amber with minimal head that disappears almost immediately.

S- Some hints of pumpkin and other spices, smells very refreshing

T- Tastes pretty good, has some pumpkin up front with a light taste of spices as it rolls towards the back of the pallet.

M- Light is the best word to describe this ale, very light, crisp, and refreshing

D- I had around 7 of these in one sitting, with decent carbonation you can easily drink quite a few.

Another decent beer that gets a bad rap, if you want a pumpkin ale that many people will enjoy if they are not used to micros this is a good one to start them out on.

CAP1868, Mar 28, 2009
Photo of MrDerp
2.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Light orange / amber coloring. Head starts strong but soon fades and leaves nothing behind.
S - Rich, seasonal smell fitting of The Fall. Mostly smells of cider.
T - Taste is what you would expect from the smell - very much going for a cider taste. But after it sits on your mouth for a few moments the flavor descends to a more jumbled inconsistent taste.
M - Light and Smooth

Speaking as a big fan of Pumpkin Ales, Shipyard's Pumpkinhead Ale leaves something to be desired. It seems to be going for a taste that resembles fall cider, but despite hitting that note initially the beer is unable to maintain it and the taste you left with is much more fruity/peachy then you'd expect.

Not recommended, as there are some really spectacular Pumpkin Ales available out there that you'd be better off picking up during the limited amount of time this style is available.

MrDerp, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of Brenden
2.83/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The head pours respectably enough but soon fizzles to nothing. Lacing is almost completely nonexistent. The color is a lightly cloudy cider color: somewhere between an amber yellow and a copper orange.

There's an unpleasant sort of sting that I can't quite describe in the smell. The cinnamon is evident, but otherwise this one doesn't have a great aroma.

The taste is very weak and bland and that unpleasantness in the smell can be detected on the tongue. There is a spicy but medicinally astringent tone. It's not as though the pumpkin isn't there, but you almost forget it's supposed to be a pumpkin ale with all the offensiveness in here.

The mouthfeel is a bit too thin and watery and the carbonation is fizzy. Finish is dry, a little slick and "fuzzy," for lack of a better word.

This is only about the fifth pumpkin ale I've tried and I have to say Buffalo Bill's even beats this one out. Still waiting on a really good pumpkin offering.

Brenden, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of AdmiralDiaz
3.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle to pint glass.

A: pours a semi-hazy orange with a small off-white head with some retention but not lacing.

S: Smells malty with a little hint of pumpkin

T: Stronger spiced pumpkin than the scent indicates. Nice malt balance.

Overall: Pretty good for the style, rather mild though. Good mouthfeel and easily drinkable but nothing special.

AdmiralDiaz, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of puboflyons
3.23/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

From a 12 fl. oz. bottle with an expiration of March 2009. Sampled on Feb 12, 2009. OK, so I sampled it way beyond season but I got a good deal on the 6-pack.

The color is a clear orange with a lot of carbonation and very little head. It bubbles like an American pale ale. The aroma is has a good dose of pumpkin spice, allspice, and nutmeg. The spices overpower any evidence of the hops or malts. The mouthfeel is very watered down like an American Pale Ale but I thought the pumpkin taste was enjoyable. However it's easy to pound this one down like a cheap macro. I like it better than other reviewers apparently.

puboflyons, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of Kahlerbock
3.15/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

My first beer from Maine. Pours a pale orange in color, but not a deep orange like a Marzen. Goes down easily/smoothly, almost like a 'Pumpkin Lager'. An easy drinking beer with a slight taste of pumpkin to it and a little bit of sweetness. If I want something with personality, then this wouldn't be it. But if I were buying beer for a Halloween party, I'd probably buy a six pack of this because many BMC drinkers would be okay with it. For me, maybe I'll drink one every Halloween or so, but I wouldn't go out of my way for this one.

Kahlerbock, Feb 04, 2009
Photo of tigg924
2.75/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: medium head, medium bubbles, clear yellow orange

Smell: cinnamon, cloves, and honey

Taste: cinnamon, cloves, honey, big pumpkin in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: light-sickenly sweet

Drinkability: The more I drink this beverage the less I like it. Mine tasted like bad honey. It is really sweet. The spices inside it make it feel like an autumn drink and I could have more than one then. I almost felt like I was drinking the innards of the pumpkin as it was being carved. I have had this before and thought it was not bad, so I may re-review in the fall.

tigg924, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of beerthulhu
3.23/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a light, clear, golden orange color with a slight foamy light beige head that left hardly a trace of lacing.

S: subtle cinnamon/nutmeg with light pie crust hints.

T: The flavor was canned pumpkins with holiday spicing of cinnamon and nutmeg. The flavor was clean and light and the spicing was well balanced and not overpowering providing just enough subtle hints to be appreciated.

M: thin with a fizzy carbonation while it provided a light lacing of pumpkin spices on the tongue.

D: Ok drinkability, a little thin, lightly spiced but could enjoy a few of these without being overwhelmed by the huge spiciness of other pumpkins. Worth a try for those who like the style and not a lot of spices in their beer.

beerthulhu, Jan 18, 2009
Photo of BeerMark
3.73/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co. pours a light bronze copper color. It smells of autumn spices that I happen to like a lot. Fall IS my favorite time 'o the year. The taste is of nutmeg and sweet spices. I don't detect a whole lot of pumpkin flavor here but that's ok. It is quite tasty just being itself. This beer is neither a hop head lover's beer nor a complex beer. It is, however a fine session beer that has a tasty little hint of nutmeg and other spices and that makes for some fine autumn evening sippin'. It's not world class but its better than the grade received so far on this site. Try it for the subtle spices.

BeerMark, Jan 11, 2009
Photo of mikereaser
2.42/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - pours a rust orange color with no foam, just a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass

S - a bit of pumpkin spice and sweet malt

T - a bit of spice and a bit of a bitterness, other than that, maybe cardboard

M/D - somethings just not right. sweet up front and a weird bitterness in the finish, kind of makes the inside of your mouth pucker or do weird things. Not very drinkable in my opinion

mikereaser, Jan 11, 2009
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
69 out of 100 based on 2,089 ratings.