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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.

2,142 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,142
Reviews: 801
rAvg: 2.96
pDev: 27.7%
Wants: 24
Gots: 214 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,142 | Reviews: 801 | Display Reviews Only:
2.58/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear fizzy golden orange with a near white head that dissipates as soon as it was poured. No Lacing.

Sweet and fruity with pumpkin pie spices.

Tart wheat and lemon. with loads of pumpkin pie spices, but not the earthy fruity pumpkin nor the hearty caramel malts that youd expect this brew to have. A tiny bit of spicy bitterness.

Very light in the mouthfeel, highly carbonated, watery, like a spiced cider.

Wheat and pumpkin spices just dont make a good pumpkin brew. Nice spices, but no pumpkin and no malt. A light spiced malt beverage is not what the doctor ordered.

CHILLINDYLAN, Nov 19, 2009
Photo of DavoleBomb
2.3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass. Bought this for a buck at local place.

2.0 A: Clear golden color. Agressive pour resulted in half a finger of head that fell quickly, but surprisingly left a decent amount of lacing.

4.0 S: Faintly reminiscent of pumpkin pie. Otherwise, grainy. Completely pleasant, but could be stronger.

2.0 T: First couple sips were pleasant and had a pumpkin spice spiciness to it. After the initial exposure, however, the beer just ended up tasting like nothing.

1.0 M: Insanely light body. Good carbonation. No creaminess. Sucks.

2.0 D: This beer completely sucks other than the aroma. I'd give drinkability a lower score, but it isn't offensive like Old German or Schafer are.

DavoleBomb, Nov 16, 2009
Photo of tone77
3.78/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 z. bottle. Has a pale golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smells of pumpkin with some spices. Tastes like a slice of pumpkin pie, lots of spice and very flavorful. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a tasty and enjoyable beer.

tone77, Nov 11, 2009
Photo of Traquairlover
2.5/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Dark yellow with an orange tint, a small fizzling, bubbling, seemingly heavily carbonated head forms quickly but also dissipates quickly leaving only a handful of bubbles at a couple spots around the edge of the glass. I am not sure if it is the color or what but there is definitely something about the appearance that is just not doing it for me.

S = Smells like melted butter with a strong, strong concentration of nutmeg, cinnamon, perhaps some cardamon, sugar. I expect a healthy dose of spice smells form a pumpkin ale, but I think this one is a bit over the top.

T = The taste is almost soda like, as if someone took an RC cola and added pumpkin pie spices to it. It is very sweet and buttery with a slight bite of nutmeg. Not actually as bad as I had feared from the smell, but it gets cloying kind of fast. Still, I much prefer a meaty, pumpkin fruit approach with spices added. This on the other hand, not only has no pumpkin, it fizzes and tastes like RC soda but with a light color.

M = A bit too much of a sting from the carbonation, but otherwise not a bad feel, it has medium-light body and decent mouthcoating. Actually given how the taste gets cloying perhaps it would be better if it had less mouthcoating.

D = I think this one is pretty much a one at a time beer. Just not easy enough to choke down. Still I have had beers I liked less and this does at least seem at least somewhat appropriate as I look out the window and see the Autumn leaves clinging to the trees in my backyard.

Traquairlover, Nov 11, 2009
Photo of thecarster1
2.28/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a- bottle poured into a pint, one finger head that fades fast to a layer of lace with a ring around the glass, light orange color.

s- sweetness hits fast, flowery malt, cinnamon, very floral, thats all i'm really getting here.

t- cinnamon, floral notes, nutmeg, i can't put my finger on the floral smell - maybe geranium haha - i don't think i've ever smelled a beer like this.

m- on the lighter side.

d- i'm gonna give this an ok, this beer isn't a drain pour, i'll drink the other one i have in the fridge, but i won't seek this out again.

thecarster1, Nov 06, 2009
Photo of Mavajo
2.68/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

Not impressed with this beer.

It makes a bad impression right off the bat with a too-pale slightly orange-yellow pour. Very thin white head that was gone by the time I'd carried it over to the couch. No lacing.

The nose is acceptable - spicy pumpkin. Taste follows suit. Simple spicy pumpkin flavor. It's nothing amazing, it's a pumpkin ale that smells and tastes like pumpkin. Pretty much as it's supposed to be. It does taste a bit watered down, however. But all in all, the taste is within the "acceptable" range.

The mouthfeel is where things go to shit again. Extremely thin body - that wateriness comes into play again. Bleh.

Drinkability is OK. I drank it down fairly easily, but it was moreso by virtue of the fact that it wasn't challenging or filling, rather than that I actually enjoyed drinking it.

Basically, it's like someone took a decent pumpkin ale, and then mixed it half and half with a glass of water. Appearance is too light, taste is watered down and mouthfeel is thin and watery.

Mavajo, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of claminat420
2.78/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- poured a golden straw color. solid two finger head with thin lacing.

S- more cinnamon than pumpkin. not a fan of cinnamon.

T- if you can get passed the crap cinnamon spice in the beginning it has a delightful weird biscuity flavor aftertase. that's prolly all the brew has going for it.

M- light bodied. decent carbonation

D- could knock down a 6 but would prefer not to. one or two of these and i'm fine.

Overall- just a finky cinnamon wheat ale. know real pumpkin action so they should change the name.

claminat420, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of generallee
3.2/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a big dimpled mug. The bottle date reads "Best Enjoyed Before Feb. 2010" and it was sampled on 9-12-2009.

Appearance: Its body has a clear, golden amber color with a thin off white head. The body is full of visible carbonation and still the head quickly fizzles down to just a very thin wispy layer. Lacing is minimal and very slick.

Smell: The aroma is very pleasing but light. There are notes of cinnamon toast, light grain and apple cinnamon cereal.

Taste/Palate: Like the aroma the flavor is light bodied and a little thin. Also there is no real pumpkin flavor. It does have a nice apple cinnamon crumb cake/carrot cake like taste. The finish is quick and fairly clean with maybe just a little bit of sweet spice hanging on. It has lots of active carbonation and with its thin texture it makes for a fizzy feel on the tongue.

Notes: If this was just a spiced ale with a little more body I would love it. However as a Pumpkin Ale it is rather boring.

generallee, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of waltonc
1.25/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Worst pumpkin beer I've ever had, and that's saying something since I've also had Buffalo Bills. Looks fine - orange/gold color with white head. A sniff of this beer assaulted my olfactory senses - harsh, abrasive spices smelled less like pumpkin pie and more like a blend of cleaning supplies and toilet pucks. The smell was possibly the worst attempt at getting me to sip a beer... ever. But sip I did, since I paid six bucks for it on tap. But the taste followed in the smell's footsteps, and had an oddly sour component that just didn't work with the spices. Watery body and high carbonation rounded out this undrinkable brew. So sip I stopped, and ordered another RR Temptation instead. This is a drain pour.

waltonc, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of sophisticated
3.5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the first pumpkin beers i've ever had. While I've now had better pumpkin ales, this still paved the way to explore this style.
And I still love the label. :)

A) Pours a thin liquidly caramel-color, thin off-white head fizzles quickly

S) Pumpkin pie spice, vanilla

T) A mild ale with prominent brown sugar-cinnamon-nutmeg-vanilla taste. A little artificial, not so much about the pumpkin flavor as the spices used in pumpkin pie. Despite the flavors of pumpkin pie spices, it still is a little bland.

MF) On the thin side

D) I totally recommend this to people not into craft beer or for an intro to pumpkin ales. for an affordable, seasonable and sessionable beer, it's not bad. But not the best one out there.

sophisticated, Oct 31, 2009
Photo of chumba526
1.25/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This so called Pumpkin Ale was Given to me as a gift from Freinds; it was a nice thought for my freinds to think of me when on vaxation passing a beer shop. a nice thought, though the beer could not be catorgorized as anytrhing close to nice. its ironic that it is called pumpkin head and is consitered a pumpkin ale as THEIR IS NO PUMPKIN IN IT.

chumba526, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of germanbeerluvr
4.05/5  rDev +36.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's that time of year again, went back to Boston where they serve this beer on tap (Macaroni Grill). As I expected, it was like a little piece of Heaven. Medium golden color,not much lacing. Wonderful hints of pumpkin and nutmeg, smooth taste with nice aftertaste.As I stated in my first review of this beer last year, I'm a lover of German beer's, but this beer, I feel is a great treat for the season. I will admit, it is much better on tap so try to find a place that serves it.

germanbeerluvr, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of alleykatking
2.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a slight golden yellowish orange color. Smaller 1 1/2 finger fluffy white head. No real lacing to speak of.

S- Not a big smelling beer at all. Some hints of pumpkin in the nose along with some nutmeg and a little cinammon. Nothing really else in the nose to speak of just some light aromas thats all. Very bland smelling beer.

T- Thas a slight sweet pumpkin taste to this. Some nutmeg and other spices follow through with this beer. Nothing jumps out at you. Sweet malt background with this beer as well. Nothing too over the top in flavor....it's just there but barely.

M- Lighter mouthfeel. Carbonation level is a little much for this beer and it just helps the beer fizz across the palate. Light pumpkin left on the tongue after the sip.

D- This is a drinkable beer if you like beers that taste like actual pumpkin. I myself am more of a fan of spice fronted pumpkin beers. Nothing really to write home about.

alleykatking, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of bamadog
4.03/5  rDev +36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review is from notes taken on 10/4/2009. Poured from the bottle to a pint glass. But before I get into my review, I must say, I always get a bit nervous when I look at the averages and what the Bros say as well when it varies as much as mine does. I really did enjoy this beer though and felt it was pretty solid overall for a pumpkin ale. I've been drinking quite a few of these this season and this one certainly wasn't awful. To each his own, I guess :)

Appearance: Pours a color that is a mix of lemony yellow and coppery orange; slight chill haze on the side of the glass but the body is pretty clear; starts with a 1 finger head and fades quickly to a full white skim that covers the surface; moderately strong carbonation and no lacing is left.

Smell: Not especially strong, slight hints of pumpkin pie spices (cinammon and nutmeg), but that's about it.

Taste: Wow. This tastes almost exactly like pumpkin pie, complete with graham cracker crust! Wonderful flavors of nutmeg, sweet crackery and breadiness; slight hints of the ale itself linger in the aftertaste; it seems the gorud itself is very natural in the flavors as well.

Mouthfeel: Solid carbonation, leaves a thin coating that helps preserve the great flavors and lets them linger; belly is even left a little warm and full.

Drinkability: Great flavors, solid mouthfeel and it's filling; I do wish there was a bit more nose to it, but I could still drink a couple of these at a time.

bamadog, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of Kolsch
1.01/5  rDev -65.9%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

12oz bottle shared with wife.

Appearance: very light amber orange

Smell: kind of like burning oil right after you changed the oil in your lawn mower

Taste: Putrid and very grainy, like it needed strained. This would have been a drain pourer if the wife didn't finish it and really can't believe she did. Just couldn't handle the smell.

Overall: avoid unless your partial to vomitting.

Kolsch, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of JimmyK77
2.73/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pumpkin beer lovers seem to fall into two camps - those that want beer with pumpkin flavor and those who want beer with pumpkin pie spice flavor. This is more a pumpkin flavor beer, but built on a wheat beer base the assertive malty and warming alcohol backbone that I really want in any fall beer. Wheat beer is for summer, not fall! Spice notes are just as the description says - 'Hints of cinnamon and nutmeg' - and if your not paying attention, you'll miss them.

JimmyK77, Oct 19, 2009
Photo of gabe23
2.42/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Golden color with a quickly fading white head. No lacing at all.

S - Biscuity aroma with a very strong scent of cinnamon and vanilla. If I was blindfolded and smelled this, I'd probably think it was a candle instead of a beer.

T - Slightly sweet and spicy to start, with a sour, watery finish. I really can't distinguish any malt or hops characteristics because of the excessive spices and carbonation.

M - Pie flavored soda water.

D - I love pumpkin ales and most beers with spices, but this is a mess. Overly carbonated, no body, no real beer flavors. Pass on this one if you want a rich, flavorful fall brew.

gabe23, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of Redrover
3.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz brown longneck. I like the label, but where is my freshness dating?

Poured into my SA glass, the beer is a gold with a quickly collapsing white head.

The aroma is of spices (nutmeg & allspice) and grains. It is a bit faint for my liking.

the spices are more prominent in the taste and they do add that pumpkin element. However, the base beer seems a little weak. There is some grainy taste, but mostly spice. Needs some balance.

The mouth is a bit thin which seems to be common with this type of beer. It is a bit over carbonated as well. It is not horrible and could be used an introduction beer for this style. A bit overpriced at $9.99 per six pack at Favorite Liquors.

Redrover, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of jamiesessions
3.05/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Beer pours a light golden colour, considerably lighter than many other pumpkin beers. Smell is very pleasing with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, though conspicuous by its absence is the actual smell of pumpkin. While i do enjoy the smell, the lack of it's supposed key ingredient is very disappointing. Tastes like a beer. there is no other way to describe it, this is a very mundane, average taste, not bad, but certainly not doing anything for me, subtle hint of pumpkin, but not nearly enough to truly taste like "Pumpkin Ale" should. Feels kind of watery, and not nearly carbonated enough to make up for it, i'm left feeling flat. Somewhat drinkable, though i certainly would want to drink other beers if presented to me, this one would suffice in a pinch

jamiesessions, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of taxguyjase
3.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer looks like it is supposed to - light orange color. Not really any head and slightly opaque. The smell gives it away, offering a lot of spice, clove and pumpkin pie scents. The taste is a strong pumpkin and "fall" flavor. Not overly sweet, but warm like if you drank a pumpkin pie. The brew is smooth and flavorful with a sharp malt pumpkin taste at the end. The beer is way more pumpkiny than the Dogfish Head Punkin beer , which got the fall flavors in without the overt pumpkinness. I would have this beer again, but the pumpkin thing is a fall deal only...so even if I could get it the rest of the year, I'd pass.

Appearance - 3.0/5.0 - light orange color, no head, slightly opaque
Smell - 3.5/5.0 - spice, clove, pumpkin pie - strong pumpkin aroma than punkin
Taste - 3.0/5.0 - strong pumpkin flavor, not overly sweet but "warm" like drinking pumpkin pie, smooth, malt pumpkin taste at end
Feel - 3.5/5.0 - smooth, no aftertaste, flavor is good but definitely pumpkiny
Drinkability - 3.0/5.0 - good for the time of year, but the pumpkin thing is more than I'd like normally

taxguyjase, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of beerwolf77
1.18/5  rDev -60.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Well I've read enough negative press about this beer but I gotta check it out for myself.

Poured into my pint glass the beer is (WTF?) golden in color and fairly clear? Not exactly what I would expect in a pumpkin ale. A quick burst of white head dissapated before I could even sit down. No lacing to speak of.

The aroma is faint pumpkin spice. Real faint. It's like someone two blocks away baked a pumpkin pie and I have my window open. Some sweet malt can be picked up but overall not much nose on this one at all.

The flavor is not good. That's an understatement. It has a metalic apple cider taste goin on. Slight cinnimon and putrid grain. Sour and acrid. This is an abomination of a beer. Buffalo bills pumpkin thinks this beer sucks.

Light body with heavy carbonation. I can't really say anymore about the mouth feel since it's almost impossible to let it sit in my mouth.

Overall I guess the hype was spot on. I know you're not supposed to bag on a beer but this one deserves a beat down. This is not a beer you want to cross your lips.

beerwolf77, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of SkunkWorks
3.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a straw color. Nice head that dissipates very quickly. Overpowering aroma of pumpkin pie spices. The beer itself has an overpowering taste of pumpkin pie spice, which is nice but doesn't really taste like a beer. Its easy to drink since there's no bitterness whatsoever. Overall, an okay beer. Probably will not be trying it again though.

SkunkWorks, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of kshankar
2.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden with little head, even with an aggressive pour. Usually pumpkin ales are not this bright of a golden color...

Aroma is extremely mild. If I didn't know it was a pumpkin ale, I would not have guessed based on aroma. It doesn't smell like it at all.

Taste is mild as well. Mild pumpkin spice with a breadyness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp. Drinkability is high. But its not really a pumpkin ale...just tastes like a mildly spiced beer.

kshankar, Oct 12, 2009
Photo of JohnGalt1
2.42/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Received as an extra from damianblack... Thanks Andrew... Poured into my new German pils snifter.

1" white head... no real lace... the brew is lightly hazed straw..

Nose has too much spice for me.. cinnamon and lesser clove....

Tooo much spice... seriously.. like a Chai tea...

The only thing that lets me know this is a beer is the bottle.. it's cold.. it's spicy.. it's a brew that bad breweries can say they made an "Autumn" beer and move on... Sorry.. I wanted to like this one more.. I can't imagine people enjoying it with or without a plate of Thanksgiving goodness in front of them.

Edit: Errrrggg... I can ferment some pumpkin pies, with a Cinnamon Altoid, and some candied ginger and do better than this.

Thanks again Andrew.... I really did try to appreciate this one.


JohnGalt1, Oct 12, 2009
Photo of Cyberkedi
2.15/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Strong aroma is mainly spicy, mostly cinnamon, and a little sweet, more like a cinnamon roll than a beer thought there is just an undertone of malt. It pours a clear straw yellow with a nice thick white head. Flavor is rather wan, a little malty with just a whisper of pumpkin and cinnamon. Texture is bubbly and a little fizzy. This is not a beer that I am going to seek out again.

Cyberkedi, Oct 12, 2009
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
69 out of 100 based on 2,142 ratings.