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Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Shipyard Pumpkinhead AleShipyard Pumpkinhead Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,419 Ratings

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Ratings: 2,419
Reviews: 843
rAvg: 2.98
pDev: 27.52%
Wants: 32
Gots: 348 | 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: 2,419 | Reviews: 843
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.

Photo of BiggHopp
2.67/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

During this beer season, I typically buy beers by the case even if I have never tried it before. If the beer doesn't meet my standards then my wife will probabely enjoy them.
This was the case with pumpkinhead. Not a terrible beer but rather lite on all notes.
A lite taste,smell, etc. With so many other truly great Pumpkin beers to chose from, I wouldn't by this in case form again but wouldn't refuse it at my local bar if it was offered.

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

Poured from a bottle into my pint glass.

A: Golden colored clear beer with a 1.5 finger head that quickly dissipates into a thin lacing.

S: Malty pumpkin with slight cinnamon. Nothing special, but not bad.

T: Pumpkin malt foretaste which fades fast into a very bland mid-taste, spice aftertaste.

M: Medium carbomation, medium body. Creamy finish.

O: I don't think this beer is as bad as the reviews make it seem. I picked it up as a single, and wouldn't buy more than 1, but it's not terrible. There's better beers to drink though. I wouldn't buy again, but I wouldn't be mad if someone offered one to me.

Photo of clint1019
3.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Golden color with a cream colored thin head.

S - light spicing & kind of a green or unripe pumpkin aroma.

T - Sweet malt flavor & a light pumpkin flavor as well as a light spicing.

M - Light bodied.

O - Not a great beer, but not a bad beer either. Would like to have more of a pumpkin flavor present. The spicing in the beer is very nice. Not too overpowering.

Photo of dbossman
2.55/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pale golden hue with a white sudsy head that dissipates rather quickly; man, does this beer have bubbles; lacing is nonexistent

S: Lots of pumpkin and spice: cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon but it all comes off so sweet--sickly sweet; underneath it all is a grainy bready presence but it doesn't hold up tot he sweet spicy pumpkin

T: Well, that's a spicy pumpkin beer but not a good one; it is cloyingly sweet and though there is a moment after the sweetness fades where the malty breadiness shines, the flavors collapse and the cloying sweetness pervades

F: A touch thin but still a pleasant stickiness and overall decent mouth feel

O: Not a great beer--not a good beer, actually; it has a few moments of mediocrity but mostly the sweetness makes it hover just below that level of mediocrity that would make it passable for an occasional autumn quaff

Photo of rwathree
2.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz poured into nonic pint

A: A very, very light golden, honestly just a bit darker than mainstream American lager. Next to no head, with some lacing.

S: Pleasant enough, but very cinammon-forward, like a handful of cinammon heart candies, or cinammon-flavored toothpaste. Again, it smells just fine, but I'm wary of taste here.

T: Not bad. Cinammon is definitely the dominant flavor, but not nearly as much as the nose suggests. Just enough hop bittering to cut through the spice, and a decent hint of toasty malt in the finish.

M: Carbonation is good, but leaves a thick, almost chewy(?) essence going down. Maybe it's the earlier toothpaste association influencing my thinking here, but yeah...

I wouldn't drink this again. The taste isn't that bad - more flavorful than color suggests, less cloying than the smell suggests - but it's not good enough. I'd like more substantial malt flavors - roasty, bready, whatever - to cut through the cinammon. On that note, a more complex blend of warm spices would be nice, too...

Photo of Reaper16
1.93/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12oz. bottle served into a nonic pint glass
Presenting the latest installment in the acclaimed series, "Reaper Drinks Beer that People Left at His House After a Party."

Pours an unexpectedly light shade of yellow. This beer is lager-ass yellow. It is as clear and pale as an industrial adjunct lager. Pours this up against an Old Milwaukee and the only difference you'll notice is that the head retention on Pumpkinhead's 1/2 finger cap of white foam is superior to the shit beer. This isn't the prettiest beer.

Good lord. This smells exactly as artificial as you'd imagine a BMC pumpkin beer to smell like. Only Shipyard is a craft brewery. Aromas of heavy cinnamon powder, synthetic nutmeg, potpourri, plastic garden hose. Ugh. This shit is nasty.

For as strong as the beer's aroma comes across, it is relatively muted on the palate. It even tastes like a lager: the malt flavors are subtle and clean and lightly sweet and impart a Yuengling-like finish. The spices? Like someone dumped a literal ton of stale nutmeg powder into the boil. This is the worst Pumpkin Ale I've ever had.

This beer is water-thin, too slick, utterly insubstantial. At best, it has some drinkability. That's about all I can say for it. Overall? Michelob's Jack's Pumpkin Spice is a better example of the Pumpkin Ale style. Seriously.

Photo of rel
2.7/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pale golden color, with a big spongy head that dissipates quicker than you can blink. These shoes have no laces.

Smells a little bit like the sour beer stench of a college bar cleaned up with cinnamon. The cinnamon is nice.

It doesn't taste much like sour beer. The cinnamon is very strong, along with some other Halloween spices. It has nice mellow sweetness to it right afterwords, but finishes sour.

Its feels spicey.

Really nothing special... I've had much better pumpkin beers, and I'll probably never buy again.

Photo of monitorpop
2.03/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I received this as an extra in a trade. Unfortunately, I did not really enjoy it and would say this is a poor example of pumpkin ale.

A: Sparkling apple cider
S: Pumpkin pie spice
T: Pumpkin pie spice, but lacking any real real pumpkin flavor
M: Fizzy water
O: Not recommended

Photo of metter98
3.37/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear yellow in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that gradually died down, leaving only a ring of bubbles on the surface around the edge of the glass.
S: There are sweet aromas of pumpkin spices in the nose with nutmeg standing out in particular.
T: The taste is quite sweet and very similar to the smell—it almost takes like eating pumpkin pie filling, but with only traces of pumpkin flavors.
M: It feels light-bodied and a bit thin and watery on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is definitely very easy to drink. I’m not sure if I could drink this all night with the sweetness and spices but it definitely would pair well with an autumn dish at dinner.

Photo of mattboyer182
2.38/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - looks like a light beer with little to no head.

S - smells alot like smashed pumpkin. Which isn't neccissarily a good thing. Light pumpkin and spice smell.

T - taste is really light too. I wish I could say something better about this beer but its alot like 1/4 pumpkin al mixed with 3/4 light beer.

M - light bodied with heavy carbonation.

O - very disappointing. There is so very little pumpkin in this beer.

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

Bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Looks yellow coming out of the bottle, but it clear and has a light orange tint upon inspection. Good one finger white head, but it dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing.

Smells like a lager at first, strong aroma of yeast. Slight note of spices follows and only a tad of pumpkin.

Sweet flavor that is not overly impressive. Light notes of spices, yeast, and a hint of pumpkin.

Light mouthfeel and a bit cloying on the sweetness. Average pumpkin ale, but not offensive.

Photo of Kromes
2.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: A clear light orange color with a thin line of white bubbles on top.

S: A pumpkin aroma with some nutmeg in the background.

T: A light malt flavor with some cinammon and a touch of nutmeg.

M: Light and high carbonation. Easy to drink, but bordering on soda-like.

O: One of the less spiced (nutmeg, cinnamon, allsipe) pumpkin beers out there. The malt flavor comes through more than most.

Photo of womencantsail
3.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a golden color with a finger of white head.

S: A very intense aroma of spices, most of which is in the form of cinnamon and nutmeg. There is a touch of vanilla extract in the background as well. Just a slight touch of pepper and straw on the finish.

T: The flavor is a bit watery, but otherwise similar to the aroma. Cinnamon and nutmeg with a touch of vanilla. Faint bread flavors with some straw and grassy hop notes. Sort of light, overall.

M: Light bodied with medium to high carbonation.

O: Really not a terrible beer, but it just had something off about it that I made me not care to have it again.

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Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
69 out of 100 based on 2,419 ratings.