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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.

1,829 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,829
Reviews: 772
rAvg: 2.94
pDev: 27.21%
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: 1,829 | Reviews: 772 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of antzman


2.2/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

My first fall beer of the year, and I was pretty disappointed. This beer had great promise with a tantalizing aroma that really kicks out the smell of cinnamon and cloves, but it pretty much ends after the first sip. This seemed like biting into a pumpkin pie, and chasing it immediately with a glass of flat beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2005 01:25:23 | More by antzman
Photo of Naes

New York

2.38/5  rDev -19%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer is very pale, a golden orange if you will. Its head is small, white and disappears quickly.

The aroma is faint but of pumpkin, spice, cloves and cinnamon.

Its flavor starts off with a hint of hops and then is overpowered by cinnamon, especially in the aftertaste.

Mouth feel is light bodied and is highly carbonated.

This is definitely not a beer that I could follow with a second.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2005 01:10:53 | More by Naes
Photo of jmz62565


2.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Not a very dark ale.A very small head with little carbonation.The taste is very strong.I have not tasted any pumpkin brews with this much spice.Some people look forward to fall and the octoberfest season and other specialty beers,I am one of these people.This beer makes me want to tailgate or have a big thanksgiving dinner.I really like Shipyard beer,but i think they may have used a little too much cinnamon.
P.S. There are not many beers that have a "cooler" label than this one.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2005 22:07:04 | More by jmz62565
Photo of Ricochet


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

It's going to be fall, and my beer store had a ton of Pumpkin beers to try. I am still looking for one as good as I got from The Quarrymen brew (way gone) and I hope that I will eventually...

This was okay. It was a darker yellow but not quite amber and had mild carbo and head. It smelled like Ballantine ale, so I thought "cheap ale" with just a hint of pumpkin spice. Mouth went average. It was like any other ale . Taste was interesting. The pumpkin flavor was slight and incedental but I couldn't taste any ale. It was just like Ballantine with pumpkin flavor, odd , but okay! It had a wierd "cerial" aftertaste too.

This was the cheapest beer in my sampler, 67 cents a bottle, I didn't buy Ballantine this time around but I could see getting this again in place of Ballantine only during the fall.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2005 05:22:56 | More by Ricochet
Photo of TastyTaste


4.28/5  rDev +45.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

VEry light gold color for a pumpkin ale, looks like a standard macro lager. Smell is perfect for what pumpkin ale should be, like chai and pumpkin pie filling, the spices are well balanced and remind me of Autumn. The taste is a nice mix of a light malt and hop flavored beer with a good dose of pumpkin pie spices. I like it, although I wish they would've gone higher ABV, making the an Autumn Warmer, maybe? Anyways, this is by far the best pumpkin ale I have had, I wish there were more representations of the style around.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2005 00:13:52 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of steinlifter


3.43/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured a clear golden, head dissipated quickly, left broken sudsy head all the way through.
pumpkin spice and grain aroma
taste was of pumpkin spices and light hops.
mouthfeel was thin and watery.
drinkability is average, o.k as a novelty once a year, but I've had better pumpkin ale, it's quite smooth, and watery...I was hoping for a bit more body.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2005 22:29:57 | More by steinlifter
Photo of waughbrew


1.45/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Very pale, not much head. Smells of potpourri soaking in an oversweet pilsner. Gaudy spicing already rears its head. Taste is not to my liking in the least. The flavor does not make me think of pumpkin at all, just nutmeg cinnamon soda. Yup, thin and bubbly and the finish has rotten fruit flavor that could remove paint. I will not be buying this one again.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2005 03:39:39 | More by waughbrew
Photo of BEERchitect


3.05/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pumpkin beers always sound like a bad idea, but they usually turn out tasty. Looks a basic golden with orange hues and a bit cloudy. Moderately carbonated and not much head retention or lacing. Smells softly sweet and spicy. Tastes lightly of barley malt and pumpkin pie. Spices of allspice, nutmeg, cinamon, and pepper follows closely. A soft and safe beer. No flavors dominate. Body falls a bit short of firm. Aftertaste is mildly spicy, but fades quickly. A little too soft for my liking, but an ok beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2005 23:05:26 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of TheGoon

New York

3.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not at all bad as far as pumpkin ales go. It pours a light golden color with a thin white head. Very little lacing to speak about. The smell is very inviting with hints of pumpkin pie spices including ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. The pumpkin flavor is mild with a little bitterness. It has a crisp, clean mouthfeel.

I actually enjoyed this beer more than the Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale simply because of the smell and feel the Shipyard beer has. Definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2005 14:13:35 | More by TheGoon
Photo of rowew


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

Presentation: 12 oz bottle with best by info notched on the side. "Malt Beverage with Pumpkin Spice Added"

Appearance: Poured bubbly and golden with just a slight tint of orange. Thin head that fades quickly and leaves no lacing.

Smell: Almost completely cinnamon .. not even pumpkin pie spices, just cinnamon.

Taste: Taste is not at all beer-like. Mainly cinnamon and nutmeg - no pumpkin tastes detected. Light bodied, slightly oily mouthfeel.

Overall impression: Umm .. I don't think this is beer. It isn't all that bad, but it isn't beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2005 23:48:02 | More by rowew
Photo of RBorsato


3.58/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light gold with a low white head and decent carbonation but no lace. Light cinnamon and nutmeg pumpkin spice aroma and taste but not very meaty for a Thanksgiving holiday. Light bodied with a crisp clean spicy finish.

Not suprisingly, very similiar to Sea Dog Pumpkin which is contract brewed at Shipyard from my understanding. Not great but easy enough to pound a few.

Per label: "Malt beverage with pumpkin spice added"

Per Shipyard website: Wheat Ale. Cinnamon and Nutmeg.

Best Before: Jan '05 (notched on label)
Tasted: 02/01/05

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2005 15:47:32 | More by RBorsato
Photo of Dukeofearl


2.85/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a fizzy yellow with a big white fluffy head (which saves it from a lower score). Aroma of pumkin spice, bread, and no hops. Aroma very slight. Flavor- definite pumpkin pie spices. Not great- it's ok for what it is, but I can't get excited about it. Mouthfeel is very light, thin, weak, take your pick of terms.

Glad I tried it, it's not bad, but not anything I'm interested in trying again.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2005 20:19:14 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of maxpower


1.15/5  rDev -60.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Clear and bright golden-orange color with a small off white head that doesn't last long, no lacing either, aroma of spices, pumpkin and insect repellent? Some spice and pumpkin flavor hard to taste over the nasty chemical flavor. Light body with a light and crisp mouthfeel, something is terribly wrong with this one, I had to dump it.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2004 14:03:54 | More by maxpower
Photo of vitesse


2.93/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

poured from 12 oz. brown bottle.

pours a straw golden color. no cloudiness and poor head retention. looks like a lager in the glass. smells of spices and fruity esters. tastes like schlitz with a touch of nutmeg and cinammon mixed in.
spices don't really overpower the beer, but there ain't no damn pumpkin flavor in this at all. i didn't percieve any diacetyl, either, which is a common complaint wrt shipyard beers.
not undrinkable, but not an extraordinary beer, either.
i would call this more of a golden ale (light color and body, with lots of ale characteristics). not pumpkiny, though.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2004 01:13:40 | More by vitesse
Photo of Brent


3.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The pumpkin flavor in this beer seemed so far in the background so as to receive little notice. The predominant flavor was a sharp pie spice, nutmeg was my guess. Other than that, the beer was pretty one-dimensional. Not bad, but a "one is enought, I've tried it" beers.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2004 14:47:26 | More by Brent
Photo of SheepNutz


3.65/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a clear light orange color with one finger of head. Not much lacing on the glass. The smell is very very clovey. A little sweet as well. The taste is light on the pumpkin, but heavy on the cloves. Lots of spice, and a little bit of residual sweetness. The mouthfeel is fairly nice and strong. The drinkability is pretty good as well. Not too bad.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2004 08:36:22 | More by SheepNutz
Photo of WeymouthMike


4.22/5  rDev +43.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I couldn't believe the poor ratings that this has received when I looked up pumpkin beers. Well, anyway, I loved this beer and it is tied for my #1 pumpkin beer along with Boston Beer Works pumpkin. This beer has just the right amount of spice and no slimy after feel that some people wrote about. I also, supplied this at a party and people loved this as well as the Post Road that I had supplied which was also a hit.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2004 19:05:59 | More by WeymouthMike
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.98/5  rDev +35.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a gold color with a thick frothy white head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a light pumpkin and pale malt scent. The cinnamon sticks out the most. It is quite pleasant. The taste is good also. This is a lighter pumpkin than most. It has a very light pumpkin flavor that is balanced nicely with pale malts and cinnamon. Most of these type brews offer a very mild pumpkin flavor. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low/medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a damn good seasonal. It is lighter, but not worse. I think some that are more obvious with the flavor are less drinkable at times. This is good anytime.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2004 01:51:40 | More by WesWes
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


3.93/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - golden with a slight orange tint. White bubbly head fills the void in the pint glass and unevenly falls down. The most average looking of all the pumpkin ales I've tried this season. Nothing to suggest that this is anything distinctive,

Aroma - better. Fragrant but not heavy cinnnamon and spice, a complementary sweetness in there as well.

Taste - rivals the Buffalo Bill's for most intense cinamon taste. Non-descript malts, their presence is more felt than tasted. Somewhat one-dimensional but should appeal to cinnamon lovers.

Mouthfeel - a light-bodied and crisp beer, lends itself to a session choice more than its peers.

Drinkability - your affinity for spiced beers greatly affects how drinkable you consider this to be. I think it's pretty good.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2004 18:47:58 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of clvand0


4.18/5  rDev +42.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color (a little light for the style) with a small head that dies off quickly. The aroma is great. Lots of nutmeg spices and cinnamon - yummy. The flavor is much the same. The pumpkin spices are well placed here as they comprise most of the flavor, but aren't overwhealming. Nice mouthfeel and body. This doesn't stand up to Dogfish Punkin Ale, but it is better than most others.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2004 16:59:09 | More by clvand0
Photo of kmpitz2


4.15/5  rDev +41.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a yellow golden color with a small head that rings the beer after it falls. The nose is the nose is a big blast of nutmeg and cinnamon with a background of sweetness. The flavor is pretty heavy in the spice. The aftertaste is the pumpkin, but the initial is really spicey. I like it. The feel is a moderately thick one. Drinkability is pretty good on this one as well. One of the better pumpkin beers I've had recently.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2004 01:58:32 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of Bierguy5


3.33/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle with best before Jan 05. Pours a clear golden color with lots of bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass. White foamy head, which disappeared very quickly, leaving no lace at all on the glass. Faint spicy, cinnamon smell. Very pale malt flavor, combined with nutmeg, cinnamon and other pumpkin spice flavors. Very sweet, hardly any bitterness at all. I would say that the spices in the aftertaste leave a nice flavor on the palate. Light body with lots of carbonation. This beer is very sweet. The small malt flavor is too light, and doesn't seem to go well with the spices. It wasn't horrible, but I can't see having more than one of these.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2004 13:33:32 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

2.23/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a very light golden yellow in color with no head. Very light carbonation makes this look totally flat. Looks like apple juice. One of the worst looking beers I have seen. The aroma is there, as some spice is lightly noticeable. The flavor strange as cinnamon / nutmeg flavors stick out like a sore thumb, and the pumpkin and malt is way in the background. The cinnamon lingers way too much.

The mouthfeel is smooth and rather dull. The drinkability of this is just a step above awful, I couldn't finish the single bottle I purchased.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2004 00:38:03 | More by Gavage
Photo of Admiraldinty


2.23/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours yellowish with a thin, macro-like fizzy head. Aroma is of the spices that you would find in a pumpkin pie. No pumpkin to be had. Could not really detect much malts in aroma, which was suprising. Very thin, astringent, heavily carbonated mouthfeel. Taste was lame pumpkin spices and not much else. Even the spice taste was somewhat weak. Kind of reminded me of a very weak winter spiced beer. Just like a spiced beer, a person could not drink too many of these without it getting monotonous. However, the other weak points will also keep you from having another.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2004 06:16:41 | More by Admiraldinty
Photo of wailingwench

New Mexico

3.75/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

People, this is a SPICE BEER, not a pumpkin ale. The label states that Pumpkinhead is flavored with pumpkin spices...nothing about pumpkins. The majority of the reviews mention something about pumpkins...well, read the label. Granted, if you want a pumpkin ale, there are better offerings. Shipyard may have found the bridge between the malty Oktoberfest and the spiced winter ales. I seriously think that all the reviewers need to re-evaluate their ratings.

This said, I will admit that one out of the two beers that we purchased was slightly sub par. My rating is based upon the best one.

Eye Candy: Nothing special, lager-like with a fizzy head that quickly gave way to very thin lacing.

The Nose Knows: Sweet, spicy notes. Since everyone is obsessed with pumpkin pie, Pumpkinhead smells similar to a pumpkin pie cooking. The sweetness initally overpowers the spices; as this beer warms, the nutmeg and allspice emerges.

Tongueland: Thin, thin, and more thin. Initial sweetness gives way to lingering nutmeg/allspice. Again, as it warms, the flavors emerged. The intensity of the spices increased as Shipyard warmed.

Bender Factor: This offering is warming- best to enjoy on a transitional fall day when raking the first leaves. I will again state that this is not a pumpkin ale, it is a spiced ale. If you like styles such as Harpoon Winter Warmer, this is a must try.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2004 03:33:23 | More by wailingwench
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
68 out of 100 based on 1,829 ratings.