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Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Shipyard Pumpkinhead AleShipyard Pumpkinhead Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,407 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,407
Reviews: 838
rAvg: 2.98
pDev: 27.52%
Wants: 32
Gots: 327 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-04-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,407 | Reviews: 838 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mississipping
2.43/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is the only pumpkin ale available in Mississippi.  As a huge pumpkin ale lover, I was excited to see this on the shelves and cleaned the store out.  Here's what I thought ...

A: 12oz bottle poured into a standard shaker.  Pours a clear light copper color with a small off-white head that rises and falls quickly.  Almost no lacing left behind, and no legs at all.  Visibly bubbly, indicating the level of carbonation to come. 

S: Hmmm, pumpkin?  Really?  I don't smell it.  It smells like Coors with a tiny bit of cinnamon and nutmeg.  There is really not a whole lot here.  

T: Still no pumpkin at all.  The taste is not completely unappealing, but it is disappointing.  It tastes like a pilsner with apple sauce with a touch of cinnamon.  Blah.  It does get slightly more dynamic as it warms, but really doesn't approach any of the qualities that I look for and love in a pumpkin beer.  

M: Extremely thin and highly carbonated.  Watery and spritzy.  

D: It goes down easy enough, but that shouldn't be a surprise.  If you are able to drink a standard pilsner, or a glass of water, you'll find that this has exceptional drinkability.  Is that what I'm looking for in a pumpkin beer?  Nope.  Is it refreshing.  Nope.  Is it tasty?  Nope.  Is it sessionable?  Yup.  

I've still got a couple sixers of this, which will be hard to get rid of.  Just not good.

Photo of corsico
4.45/5  rDev +49.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just to provide what is seemingly a different opinion, I'd like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. I've had a hard time finding a beer that has the pumpkin flavor I crave come October, but for my money, this one delivers.

Drank this one straight from the bottle.

S: Can definitely smell the spices above anything else, including some sweetness. It smells like Halloween.

T: And it even tastes like Halloween! The pumpkin flavor is upfront and full-force, as it's the first thing I taste, followed by a wash of cream and spice, then thinning out and dissipating. The finish is amazing. The pumpkin just sits on your tongue and lingers for a few moments before fading.

M: It is, admittedly, a bit thin and doesn't last long, but to me, it makes this beer more drinkable. It's easily paired with beef or pork, especially with brown gravy. I personally paired this one with some Hausmacher Goulash and it was fantastic.

Perhaps some of the others got a hold of a bad batch or something, because I say the pumpkin flavor is one of the strongest ones I've had, and that's including Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat, Cottonwood Pumpkin, Terrapin Pumpkinfest and others. If you want a beer that tastes like pumpkin and has a lot of spice to back it up, give this a shot.

Photo of jwalker37
1.36/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I spent $13 for a 6 pack at Rouses in Metairie, LA because i was looking for a good pumpkin ale to drink around halloween. Boy, did i waste my money on this crap. It has 0 taste, much less anything resebling an ale. The only cool thing about the beer was the bottle that it was in. I give Shipyard an 8 for the cool artwork and a 0 for the taste of the beer.

Photo of Kadonny
3.5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: A light orange color with some darker golden tones to it. One finger carbonation with not much lacing.

S: Smells of spice, nutmeg, cinnamon and some cream mixed with some bready malts.

T: Not bad, I got the cinnamon, nutmeg, some cream and pumpkin. The spice is the main player here. The malt comes in with a bready character that never turns all that sweet. Finish has a bit of hops to it and dries in the mouth. Not bad.

M: A bit thin, but with that abv it was not totally unexpected. No alcohol and good carbonation.

O: Not a bad pumpkin beer, but not an award winner either. I actually enjoyed it for what it was, a solid drinker.

Overall this beer is a middle of the road pumpkin that can be enjoyed and it won't bowl you over with alcohol. The Bros really need to re-reveiw this beer (2002, really?) as this in no way deserves an F. Solid offering.

Photo of 57md
2.12/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Pours a pale orange, almost yellow color, with little head. The strong scent of cinnamon dominates the nose and little else is discernible. There is a blast of cinnamon and nutmeg upfront, but little else behind it. I can't taste any pumpkin at all in this beer. This is very thin for a pumpkin ale. Shipyard definitely has better offerings than this. My advice - avoid this one for sure.

Photo of MacQ32
3.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a pretty light copper with less than a half finger of head that dissipates immediately and leaves virtually no lacing.

S - Smells of nutmeg, cinnamon and lots of brown sugar, maybe some maple syrup. Very sweet, unfermentables I would assume

T - Has a great pumpkin twist in combination with the flavors picked up from the nose. One of the best pumpkin ale's I've had for sure. Leaves mouth dry at the finish

M - Very light bodied, well carbonated for sure but a little too weak on the mouthfeel. Very drinkable though, the sugar would get to me before the heaviness if I was drinking several of these

O - Overall, taste and smell make up for the weak feel of the beer. If someone wanted a decent pumpkin ale at a reasonable price to session with I'd definitely have them try one of these. Identical to the smashed pumpkin just less intense

Photo of tdm168
3.67/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale copper with a thin lacing of soapy head. Smells of spice and pumpkin; all aromas are very faint. Taste is nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and smooth pumpkin. Mouthfeel is thin but refreshing and with a moderate ABV it's very drinkable.

Not bad, but this beer is a toned down version of their Smashed Pumpkin.

Photo of alexgash
2.56/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle. Best enjoyed before January 2012.

Clear mustard gold body. Small, wispy, off-white head. Not much lacing. Banana bread mixed with fruitcake (heavy on the cinnamon and nutmeg) for the nose. Oh, and I'm getting butter and tequila. Interesting, but I'm not sure I'm on board yet.

Slightly astringent graininess up front. White bread malt, with very little body or flavor gives way to light graham cracker and spices. Notes of nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon come through. Definite pumpkin pie flavor here, especially in the finish. Lingering vanilla. Light-bodied, with a watery feel. Needs more of a malt backbone and a fuller feel. Definitely ends better than it starts though.

Photo of socon67
2.13/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On tap at High Rollers in Foxwoods Casino

A - Pours orange\amber with a white head that disappears quickly. No lacing.

S - Smells like pumpkin spice, but a bit too much. Reminds me of a cheap candle.

T - Just doesn't cut it. Vinegary and thin. I thought the tap was bad but I see previous reviews are consistent. There is a pumpkin spice flavor, but its artificial. Beyond that, no pumpkin flavor. Surprisingly bland.

M - A bit heavy on the carbonation. And that's all that keeps this from feeling overly thin.

O - Well its not Southern Tier Pumking. There are many very good pumpkin ales that this can be avoided. The depressing part is that is that the casual beer drinker is duped into thinking this is a good example.

Photo of soulfly1492
3.95/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Right off the bat I smell cinnamon, not the regular spicy cinnamon, but sweet cinnamon, perfectly reminiscent of Big Red gum. Sweet pale malts. A small amount of bitter, almost like there's a tiny bit of pilsner malts in the mix. Definitely smelling some pumpkin thru the cinnamon and malts.

Appearance: Straw in color. Perfectly clear. Thick white head. Abnormally noisy as the head dissipates slowly, leaving a moderate amount of lacing.

Flavor: The nose was accurate on this one, right upfront is the Big Red -like cinnamon. Not a whole lot of sweetness shining through. A bit of pale malt is present. Not tasting the slight bitter that I detected through the aroma. The aftertaste is mostly cinnamon and a hint of something else, maybe clove? Either way the aftertaste is very pleasant, something to savor.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. A tad bit powdery on the tongue, but oil enough to be pleasant.

Overall Impression: This one actually gets better as it warms up, a bit out of the ordinary from the 10+ pumpkin ales I've had this season. Very drinkable, and just pleasant all around.

Note: Bottle indicated fresh until February 2012.

Photo of divineaudio
1.83/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

best by jan 2012. pint glass.

a - pours a transparent golden color with a few streams of bubbles. gave me a thin cap of white head that disappeared in no time. leaves a few small spots of lacing.

s - nutmeg and/or cinnamon.

t - some pumpkin spice with a grainy malt base. barely perceptible bitter hop character in the finish. flavor wise, it's clearly all about the spice, which is not a good thing.

m - on the thin side with way too much carbonation.

o - pretty unsatisfying. can't really see this as anything other than a novelty for the halloween season. definitely not buying this again.

Photo of Mypintishalffull
2.44/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Love Pumpkin beers.

Unfortunately Not this one.

Poured orange like a pumpkin. Head of white that died quickly.

Smelled like a pumpkin pie. Tasted like a pumpkin pie. Is this a liquid pumpkin pie?

Cinnamon, nutmeg, and spice.

Sorry, not for me.


Photo of cincygreg
3.48/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: clear orangish hue, two finger head that quickly disappeared into nothing no trace of lacing behind.

Smell: like freshly baked pumpkin pie, cinammon, nutmeg & spice

Taste: perfect blend of pumpkin and spice very well balanced a bready aftertaste but just enough to show a lightly maled presense

Mouthfeel: light carbonation, smooth taste, no alcohol burn

Overall: I've head better pumpkin beers but in no way shape or form should this get a F on the smell alone it scores higher than a F come brothers do you even like the Pumpkin style?

Photo of phichifiji00
3.93/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: orange/amber in color, clear, pours a good head that quickly fades, minimal lacing.

Smell: nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, slightly malty, nothing surprising here.

Taste: just like it smells.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium bodied, crisp, refreshing.

Overall: Probably the lightest most refreshing pumpkin beer I've ever had. Not very complex, and nothing surprising, but a good, crisp, refreshing beer.

Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.41/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is beer you say? It's hard to tell but I will admit it is still very refreshing.

It pours a super clear gold with little head.

The smell is straight cinnamon with a little nutmeg.

The taste is the same as the smell. Not really any malt or hops shinning through but like I said above it leads to a very drinkable "beer".

I wouldn't buy it again and there are much better examples of the style but what the hell I didn't hate drinking it either.

Photo of MoreThanWine
3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ordered on tap and when the bartender asked if I wanted cinnamon and sugar on the rim I was stunned, hadn't had any beer that way, but went for it. Later I thought, hmm, that kind of interferes with reviewing the beer. But here we go anyway.

On tap it came with 3/4" head. The body is a clear burnt orange color. Smell is very mild, like a memory of a pumpkin pie. Taste happily is far less spiced than many of the other pumpkin beers out there and combined with the cinnamon/sugar glass rim it had a sort of sweet and sour aspect to it. But that's cheating isn't it. Without the rim, and in fact after the coating had long worn off, I was left with a fairly mainstream standard beer with mild pumpkin aspects. Average.

Photo of alohaspicoli
3.27/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: A nice orangey/golden color with a decent off white head.

S: Good aroma, IMO. What I want from a pumpkin ale. Reminiscent of pumpkin pie and the spices you associate w/baked goods in the fall.

T: Not the most impressive flavor but the pumkin pie sweetness is there in a subtle way, which is a good thing. It's smooth and drinkable.

M: Not much to comment on re: mouthfeel. Average in just about every way.

O: I want to stand up for Pumpkinhead a little, after noticing a lot of negative reviews and comments. It may not be a world class beer (and it def. plays 2nd fiddle to Shipyard's Smashed Pumpkin - not to mention a lot of other great pumpkin ales)... but for the past three years I thought it was a great beer to bridge the gap and transition from late summer into early fall, before the weather fully changes here in the Northeast. I admit that if Smashed Pumpkin were more readily available I probably would stick to that, but since that isn't the case I'm happy to drink Pumpkinhead throughout Sept. and even into early Oct.

Photo of CRossi
3.27/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First in-depth review so bear with me.

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A-Pours a brilliantly clear gold color with a thick white head that slowly dissipates. Minimal to no lacing.

S-The scent of fall. Aroma is very sweet, smelling richly of pumpkin with some hints of cinnamon detected as well. Smells almost like a seasonal scented candle.

T-Rather unexciting. I don't really taste any hop presence, and if I do, I'm not experienced enough to detect it. The pumpkin flavor is present but isn't over bearing. The cinnamon is there too, but much less pronounced than in the aroma (which was never very strong to begin with.)

M-Mouthfeel is what I'd say I have the hardest time describing. The body is light/thin and goes down crisp and smooth.

O-Overall, I'd drink this again. I don't find it revolting as some have told me they do, but I don't adore this beer either. Would I drink it again? Yes. Will I count down the days until it's released next year? Nope.

Photo of secondtooth
2.8/5  rDev -6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I wanted to like this one, being from Maine and boasting of a spooky-cool Ichabod Crane character on the label. But alas, this clear and golden ale with limited head and no lace proved disappointing.

The nose seemed lagery, grainy, and thin...not very pumpkin-like at all.

The flavor was also mild and bland, even. Imagine a typical adjunct lager beer with some pumpkin flavoring dropped in, and you have this unimaginative brew. Thanks, but no thanks.

Photo of Badbobx
3.16/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a pale yellow ale into a pint glass.
A - There was minimal head that quickly disappeared. There was no lacing.
S - There was a minimal aroma of malt and a bit of spice mixture.
T- The taste was not bad. I have had much more robust pumpkin beers. There was a malty flavor and a spicy blend of cinnamon and cloves. I though I could taste a bit of pumpkin.
M - The mouthfeel was a little thin and flat.
O - I enjoyed this beer and would drink another. I am glad that I didn't buy a whole six.

Photo of Samp01
2.62/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pale orange with a small quickly dissipating white head. Aroma and Taste of sweet pumpkin spice, cinnamon, nutmeg. Palate is light body, moderate carbonation and a cloying mouth feel. Finish is mostly sweet pumpkin spices, cinnamon and some grassy notes. Overall nothing really exciting about this brew, not recommended.

Photo of rdilauro
4/5  rDev +34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, two years ago, I loved the Shipyard Pumpkin, then last year, it was down on my list of any pumpkin ale. This year, its back up on top.
I was a bit shocked when I looked at some of the reviews regarding this beer. Well, everyone has their own tastes and likes.

When I poured this one, the first thing I detected was a good amount of pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg along with some other fall spices. Nothing hit you right in the face, but all of it was there just waiting for you to taste it and enjoy it.

There was a good amount of carbonation, which I do like in a pumpkin ale.

So far, this year, with all the pumpkin ales I've tasted this one ranks at the top (Though their SMASHED PUMPKIN is above everything).

I think the best thing to notice is that each year, the various brewery that put out Pumpkin ales, change the style that they make. What was at the top of my favorites this year, dropped down and what was at the bottom came up.

You know what! Who really cares! Its all about the enjoyment of a beverage that someone has taken the time to make it their best

Photo of KarlHungus
1/5  rDev -66.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer pours a clear golden color. The head is a quarter inch in height, and recedes within seconds into nothing. The aroma is of ginger, allspice, and nutmeg. The spice is so strong that it not only burns my nostrils it also burns the back of my throat. The taste is similar to the aroma with the same burning sensation. The mouthfeel is thin with a watery texture. Overall, this is a awful beer that I hope I never have to look at again much less drink.

Photo of Tastybeer007
1.82/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Beer had to be real warm to even be able to get it through. Had to actually pinch my nose so I would not smell it. The smell is just simply offensive. It smells like incense sticks combined with spices from a cheap soap store

The appearance is kinda yellow/orange and a slight bit of foam that lasts all of two seconds.

The taste is just as bad as the smell is. fake pumpkin powder combined with malt and some bad spices that you have for times when you cook middle eastern food Cold is just intolerable. When it warms you can gulp it down.

Gulping down is the only way to drink this beer. the aftertaste is so terrible that you will want to pour it down the drain

Do not recommend this beer, not even if you are drunk

Photo of FunkyFibes
1.03/5  rDev -65.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Color is an orange hue with a fizzy head that vanishes into the night. I smell thin lager with a brush of pumpkin spice...not a drop of pumpkin in this beer. Flavor mimics the nose with nothing to offer over a light lager flavor with a dash of pumpkin spice. I was immensely disappointed by this one, not worth a thought.

Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
69 out of 100 based on 2,407 ratings.