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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.

2,032 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,032
Reviews: 789
rAvg: 2.95
pDev: 27.8%
Wants: 20
Gots: 173 | 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: 2,032 | Reviews: 789 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jp62099
1.45/5  rDev -50.8%

Saw this as a single, and was sampling some new fall beers so I thought what the heck. Glad I only bought a single.
It pours super fizzy like a soft drink, color is as expected, head fizzes away.
Smell is of pumpkin pie spices and, well hate to say it but some adjunct laden macro lager.
Taste is much the same, it's like they steeped pumpkin spices in Natty light, really.
Mouthfeel is terrible given the ridiculous carbonation, a belch with every sip.
This is one of those beers that I really don't know how it makes it out the door of a micro. I am not real sure why pumpkin ale is made in the first place, and this does not help that notion. Don't buy, even as a joke.

jp62099, Sep 10, 2008
Photo of PatrickJR
2.83/5  rDev -4.1%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Clear, light amber, lighter than I'd expect. A fizzy, one finger head doesn't stick very long, falling to a thin collar. No lacing to speak of.

S - Nice aroma, but a little distant for a pumpkin ale. The main aroma here is cinnamon. Nothing to suggest complimentary spices such as nutmeg, clove, ginger, etc. just cinnamon. As a stretch, there might be something citrus like (orange peel, or it could be some manifestation of ginger) and I detect a moderate vanilla component as well. Good, but lacking in depth.

T - I kind of like the taste, but I don't think it's very indicative of a pumpkin ale. Overall it's devoid of any real character. For the most part this brew tastes like a graham cracker, right down to the taste of the cracker itself. The cinnamon is overwhelming and rides on nothing but thin grain. The finish is soapy, with a bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste. The bitterness is literally like taking a handful of ground cinnamon (not cinnamon sugar) and eating it. For such a heavy spice element, this brew really needs some heavier malt backing things up.

M - Thin and too much carbonation. Undoubtedly related to the under-abundance of malt in the beer.

D - It's really not that bad of a beer, but I feel like it falls more into the "herbed/spiced" category rather than the pumpkin ale. There's absolutely no pumpkin character. Malt sugars are insufficient to balance the uber spice note. I could probably drink these if I already had a buzz.

PatrickJR, Sep 10, 2008
Photo of froghop
2.4/5  rDev -18.6%

overall i can see what the brewery is trying to do, let me start by saying that i dont like pumpkin pie so that is indicated in my rating on the taste, if someone likes the pie then they might like this one.

pours a clear light orange with a thin white head that goes away quickly.

smell is of pumpkin, spices, nutmeg, cinnamon.
taste is pretty much as it smells, watery, very spicy, cinnamon, white pepper, nutmeg, and yes pumpkin.

froghop, Sep 08, 2008
Photo of JDK
3.65/5  rDev +23.7%

Poured a light honey color with a 1/2" head that quickly disappeared. Hardly any lacing at all.
Smells and tastes of pumpkin spices.
Too flat for me, seemed watered down.
Not a terrible beer but there are much better fall styles out there. I would hope that they would improve this asap.

JDK, Sep 08, 2008
Photo of Beerbuddha
2.6/5  rDev -11.9%

Appearance - This beer poured a clear, straw gold and had a small white head which dissapated quickly. Lacing was non existent

Smell- Nice canned pumpkin pie filling smell. Nice hints of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Taste - Same as the nose, the nutmeg and cinnamon are there. Has a very weak taste of pumpkin pie. This beer just falls flat for some reason though. It just really doesn't taste exactly like a pumpkin pie more like the spices that go into a pumpkin pie. Kind of disappointing actually.

Mouthfeel - Thin and watery and way too overcarbonated. The beer leaves a bad sweetness in your mouth as well.

Overall - Very unimpressed. My first pumpkin beer of the season and this one falls flat on its face. It's as if the brewer made this beer strictly for novelty purposes and not for quality.

Beerbuddha, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of pmcadamis
2.95/5  rDev 0%

I tried this one on a cool September night sitting outside at Sunsinger in Champaign with my wife and her parents.

A - Clear, gold, and without any sort of visible head. No lace, no love.

S - Cinnamon loaded pumpkin pie filling. This is a really nice and autumnal nose, which is very focused on the spice.

T - Much like the nose, this is full of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and other spices on top of a slighlty artificial pumpkin base.

M - Thin, over carbonated, and neutral on the finish. Some pumpkin flavor lingers after the swallow. This is a fairly insubstantial brew.

D - Not bad. Seems artificially flavored to me. This looks like crap, smells good, and tastes decent enough while the mouthfeel is attrociously thin and bubbly. One of the worst pumpkin brews I've hade honestly.

pmcadamis, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of Viking
2.42/5  rDev -18%

For some reason I got an urge to review beers again. It's been a while, so yous should feel free to ignore my opinions. Anyhoo, I love me some pumpkin brews and I couldn't pass up the first one I spotted this season. Let's move on, shall we?

Pours a light, clear copper with a fizzy little head. Looks like a lager. I'm not a fan of lagers, but I digress. But it doesn't look bad, really. Just too much of those carbonation bubbles racing to the surface like they're trying to reach Escape Velocity, and it continues long after pouring.

Smells like a gingerbread cookie. Sweet, with those gingerbread man spices. After the speedy See-Oh-Two bubbles and the cookie smell, I feel that no matter how fast I run I'll never catch the Pumpkinhead man. Odd. Anyway, the spices are nice, but it lacks rich aroma I normally associate a classic pumpkin ale.

Taste is spicy - plenty of nutmeg especially. Rather sweet and a bit cloying. Again, I'm reminded more of gingerbread cookies than of pumpkin pie. It's not bad, but much sweeter than I'd expect, without the complexity of heavy pumpkin malt.

Light and crispy on the tongue, and rather dry. The carbonation adds a bit of an astringent feel, if that makes any sense. Very different than the pumpkins I'm used to, which tend to be heavier and a tad oily feeling.

Despite the misses, the brew is fairly drinkable. The light crispness of the mouthfeel seems to help it go down a bit more smoothly than I first expected.

Viking, Sep 06, 2008
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
1.55/5  rDev -47.5%

Appearance: Clear copper with fizzy/foamy white head. The carbonation looks intimidating; reminiscent of a fourth grade science project. I can feel the sting already.

Smell: Brown sugar, nutmeg, gingerbread, artificial pumpkin.

Taste: Tastes like pumpkin-flavored soda. Really, really sweet with high carbonation. Taste mirrors smell. Aftertaste mirrors communion wafer. Haven't been to church in a while - that taste really brings me back...

Mouthfeel: As feared, carbonation produces a big sting. Thin / watery body. Downright bad. Makes my mouth feel like I just slurped it off the carpet (i.e. fuzzy and dry, kinda like the morning after smoking a crappy cigar).

Drinkability: I had trouble finishing the first bottle, and this one looks to be just as difficult. I'm sure I could find others to drink this, but I think I'll go with something else.

ThreeWiseMen, Sep 05, 2008
Photo of FenwaySquid
1.98/5  rDev -32.9%

Presentation: 12 oz. brown bottle, BBD of Jan 09 notched into the left side of the label, (the label says "beer with natural flavor added," by the way) poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear golden yellow color, lots of carbonation rising inside. The head formed about 2 fingers thick but faded rather quickly.

Aroma: Cinnamon is the main thing I notice.

Taste: Very little of anything. I notice the cinnamon, no real pumpkin flavors though. Light pale malt in the background throughout. The finish is mostly cinnamon, which lingers a little.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and watery. The carbonation was lively, which given how light and flavorless it was that fits well, I guess.

Overall: Nothing special. If you like pumpkin beers there are much better offerings to be found.

FenwaySquid, Sep 04, 2008
Photo of marcpal
2.08/5  rDev -29.5%

Part of a pumpkin sampler Im working my way through. So far, the worst of the bunch.

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Hazy orange, film like white head. Reminiscent of a bubbling, carbonated tea.

N: Cinnamon and more cinnamon. Some other spices and minimal malt. Hops absent and MIA.

T: Zippy cinnamon. Overspiced with cloves and the sweet spices dont stop and finally toward the end there is some graham cracker but maybe that was just me hoping.

M: Medium mouthfeel, spices are tickling the mouth and through the swallow.

D: Just pure cinnamon. Light and a little quenching but not good. No balance to it whatsoever, one sided and cloves become obnoxious.

marcpal, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of donteatpoop
1.4/5  rDev -52.5%

Pale yellow-orange color with little to no head.

Smells strongly of spice, no real hints at hops or malts; just the cinnamony spices.

Sometimes when I'm low on cash and want something more than just water; I mix some sugar into it. This is a very similar taste, it's like carbonated cinnamin and water.

Very watery.

I guess it's drinkable since it tastes and feels like water, but it's not what I was looking for; and it's certainly not drinkable in the way this category intended.

I wanted to like this, too. Dammit.

donteatpoop, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of Avryle
2.9/5  rDev -1.7%

I'm not all that impressed with this beer out of the bottle though on tap, it is quite pleasant.
A- Clear, light orange in color. Small white head dissipates to a small white ring.

S- Light spices but with an icky sourness lurking in the background

T- The taste is considerably more favorable than the nose. Nice spiciness of cinamon, cloves & nutmeg comes forward. Pumpkin is muted though. Finishes with a second round of spices. Kiind of cheap tasting overall though.

M- Thin bodied. good carbonation.

D- Ummm, there are better pumpkin beers out there to consume while they're in season.

Avryle, Aug 30, 2008
Photo of aerozeppl
2.75/5  rDev -6.8%

Not one of the best pumpkin beers out there but a junkie really doesn't know where to draw a line.

A: Super clear golden color. Minimal white head with poor head retention. Some lacing.

S: Nutmeg really dominates which is a shame. A good pumpkin beer should rape the nose with such complexity that you cannot pick anything out except pumpkin pie. This falls short.

T: Almost like an ale with spices thrown in as an afterthought. A golden ale is right behind it and it is fairly evident.

M: Medium body. Nothing either way.

D: Got this because it is the season and this was one of the first releases. I love the style but this one falls short.

aerozeppl, Aug 30, 2008
Photo of sleazo
2.68/5  rDev -9.2%

A_Clear brown with a smallish off white head. Nice stream of bubbles though

S_First scent is a bit of biscuity malt, then you get the spices. Mostly cinnamon, some ginger, some allspice. Decent smell here.

T_Not as much spice in the taste. Mostly like an English pale ale. A decent biscuity ale with a mild grassy hop. The end hits with the spice, some mild ginger and cinnamon. Slightly artificial and not very deep

M_Light bodied and highly carbonated.

D_Not bad but not overwhelmingly good. I prefer more , body and a sweeter malt.

sleazo, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of cvstrickland
2.7/5  rDev -8.5%

12-ounce bottle with label art of our old pal the Headless Horseman atop his surging steed, brandishing a brew at his audience. Poured into a pint willi glass, the vessel yields a sparkling clear amber body with a finger of fine off-white foam atop that recedes quickly to a ring that leaves only minimal lacing on the glass.

The smell is pleasing and mellow, but only a bit pumpkin pie-ish with a little pie spice.

The taste of the drink is dry with a grain-husky twang. The faint pumpkin pie-style aroma was a tease of the nose that never really materializes in the flavor profile, with any flavors of pumpkin or spice presenting themselves as dry, flat, and muted.

The feel is crisp and well-carbonated and the drink inoffensive, but if I wanted a pumpkiny pumpkin ale, I wouldn't seek this one out.

cvstrickland, Aug 22, 2008
Photo of clayrock81
2.85/5  rDev -3.4%

Pours a rather dull crimson hue with a dieing head and no lacings really. I picked up some pumpkin in the smell but it was a little staunch, and there weren't any spicings that I like to pick up in a pumpkin ale. A thinnish and little waterish, there is a good amount of cinnamon on the tip that lays on the tongue and a mild pumpkin taste with a harsh backbite. I hate beers that pass the tongue alright and then leave a nasty aftertaste. I couldn't session this in six-pack form (luckily I didn't a sixer) and there are better pumpkin ales soon to come out to pick over this one.

clayrock81, Aug 20, 2008
Photo of LumpyGuitar
1.3/5  rDev -55.9%

Well, this was bad, but on a positive note, its better than Corona.

Poured a weak looking copper color with no head, only a swirl of bleak, depressing, white bubbles in the center.

Smells of spice. A bit sour, nothing else.

Taste is very bland. Tastes like a spiked apple cider gone wrong. Sour and weak with a bit of a spice flavor. Water presence is large.

Mouthfeel is really fine. The beer is very smooth and slightly refreshing..it's just hard to rate this higher when the taste and presentation is lousy.

Drinkability is blah. I don't ever even want to see this again. I can drink it sure. I suppose if I was really that thirsty, I'd drink my own blood first.

LumpyGuitar, Aug 19, 2008
Photo of daythree16
1.53/5  rDev -48.1%

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a very clear golden with just a tinge of copper coloring. The 1" head doesn't stick around for too long.

Smell doesn't have a whole lot going on. Just a hint of cinnamon and ginger. I don't smell pumpkin anywhere in here. There's also a metallic apple juice aroma. Taste is almost like a macro lager. Filtered to the point of blandness. Fizzy with a little tartness and the faintest touch of ginger.

Mouthfeel is crisp and very thin. Drinkability depends on how you look at it. It's kinda like fizzy ginger water, so it goes down easily, but the taste sucks and there's no "pumpkin" to be found, so on that basis, drinkability is low.

daythree16, Aug 15, 2008
Photo of DSmith24
2.78/5  rDev -5.8%

Appearance: I drank straight from the bottle, sorry! Gave a 3 for the benefit of the doubt, read some poorer reviews.

Smell: nice smell of pumpkin pie spices, nothing too impressive.

Taste: heavily spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, not much actual pumpkin flavor. The spices give the illusion of pumpkin pie at first, but the pumpkin is taking a back seat, in the way back. Not that this beer tastes bad, but not what you should expect from a pumpkin ale. It's sort of a generic spiced ale like many winter varieties.

Mouthfeel: OK, I guess, average. Light body.

Drinkability: too spicy to drink a lot of at one time, but could could knock back a few without feeling the alcohol like many other stronger pumpkin brews. Lighter of a body than most. I wouldn't go out of your way to get this beer, Jack's Pumpkin by Anheiser is probably better and cheaper if you want a lighter pumpkin ale.

DSmith24, Aug 09, 2008
Photo of Ragingbull
3.08/5  rDev +4.4%

Dark gold in color with no head to speak of and very active prickle. The nose is very mildly pumpkin and spice. Sweet pumpkin attack. The flavor is very mild with only a faint trace of pumpkin. Very light. Clean finish and hints of pumpkin in the aftertaste. I am a big fan of pumpkin and would have liked to see a little more of it in the beer. It seemed very "safe" in my estimation.

Ragingbull, Aug 07, 2008
Photo of Getinthevan
3.53/5  rDev +19.7%

Had this for the first time last night after my girlfriend recommended this to me from a friend of hers. In a curious mood, I wanted to try it, so I did.

Appearance was very a watery/amber palate with little head and a light amount of carbonation.

Smell was very strong in cinnamon and pumpkin. It could have been an alcoholic slice of pumpkin pie than a beer if blindfolded. It was pretty potent and generous with the cinnamon.

Taste was actaully pretty good. For a pumpkin ale, this had a pleasant taste. The pumpkin and cinnamon aromas were there, but I thought the aftertaste came off a bit weak.

Mouthfeel was full, yet watery. The aromas lasted quite a while, but quickly faded after swallowing it.

Drinkability is good. These are definitely the best to drink on Halloween night (as it's on a Friday this year) and pumpkin regardless is always good all year round. Not a bad beer, but it can definitely be improved on.

Getinthevan, Jun 26, 2008
Photo of Lexluthor33
1.98/5  rDev -32.9%

Hazy,golden orange with a head that pulled a Houdini.
The aroma is of spices and spoiled pumpkin pie.
The taste is cinnamon,artificial pumpkin,low to zero malts,obligatory sweetness and no hops in sight.
The feel is of a macro lager,something in that zone. Dry,high carbonation with a light touch.

Notes: What a let down,I felt this was a mistake as I grabbed the bottle. I should have expected it as I noticed the laughing Pumpkin head man laughing at me,probably saying "so long sucker". I felt this beer was thin,and so artificial. Something even AB would not push.
Never again. I will stick to Post Road.

Lexluthor33, May 31, 2008
Photo of JohnW
2.33/5  rDev -21%

Poured medium bronze, with bubbly head that dissipated fairly fast. Aroma was rather off putting for a beer - I thought pumpkin seeds could be detected in the smell, though also suggestion of being a bit sour or musty, not very encouraging. Some cinnamon detected too. Unfortunately the taste only confirmed my fears, although hints of pumpkin seeds in the taste, it seemed a bit sour somehow, rather than any bitterness from hops, there was a hint of some maltiness in the texture. Some cinnamon spices in the taste too, though as much as I like cinnamon in apple pie etc, I personally don't think cinnamon and beer mixes! Sorry, I simply did not enjoy this beer at all. Maybe an acquired taste, but not a beer I would try again.

B'ham UK, written while in Tampa FL May 2008

JohnW, May 15, 2008
Photo of HereticDivine
1.7/5  rDev -42.4%

I was really looking forward to this, being that "pumpkin ales" are not a common thing in my new neck of the woods. Appearance would be average if I was reviewing a cider, but I'm not reviewing a cider. Mouthfeel was very sharp and fizzy. Taste, you ask? Don't bother. It tasted more like a bad cider. Very fizzy, with a very strong acid taste. It was more like vinegar with some nutmeg to cover it up. Thumbs down in every way possible.

HereticDivine, Apr 22, 2008
Photo of williamherbert
3.75/5  rDev +27.1%

Hazy light orange. Puffy white head that evaporates fast. Lots of little carbonation bubbles.

Might be slightly dated. A tad musty. Still has lots of pumpkiny spice. There is some dry bready yeast.

Spicy pumkin melds really well with the dry ringwood yeast. Like a pumpkin candle, or pumpkin pie. Solid flavor. Smooth honey quality.

A tiny bit bubbly but also smooth on the palate. Feels nice on the way down. Nice and sweet (moreso than spicy). Really smooth and drinkable.

williamherbert, Apr 11, 2008
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
69 out of 100 based on 2,032 ratings.