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Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Shipyard Pumpkinhead AleShipyard Pumpkinhead Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,403 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,403
Reviews: 835
rAvg: 2.98
pDev: 27.52%
Wants: 32
Gots: 325 | 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: 2,403 | Reviews: 835 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rwathree
2.8/5  rDev -6%
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
1.95/5  rDev -34.6%
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
2.73/5  rDev -8.4%
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
3.38/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

Photo of Jesse13713
3.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I'll be the first to defend this beer. For a pumpkin ale, its pretty average. But when i want a pumpkin ale that's light and spicy, i choose this one. Sure it can't match pumking or dogfish punkin. But its a solid light bodied brew.

Appearance - No head from the tap. No lacing or foam either. Looks very watery and plain. A transparent straw yellow and faint orange.

Smell - Light on the nose. Faint spice and light fruit.Not much else going on.

Taste - Despite its poor appearance and lack of smell, I enjoy the taste alot. Ill agree that its more of a bud light with spice in it, but the spice is phenomenal in my opinion. The best cinnamon I've tasted in a beer to date. This beer is refreshing on summer days that are soon to turn to autumn. Light nutmeg and faint pumpkin.

Mouthfeel and overall - very light and refreshing, especially in the final days of summer. Easy to drink and perfect for when you don't want a heavy pumpkin ale.

Photo of JuicesFlowing
2.05/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The appearance of this "pumpkin ale" is that of a cider -- it's almost identical to an apple juice color, a deep golden hue. The head, with a hard pour, starts out very fizzy and bubbly, but soon disappears, leaving no lacing as the beer goes down. Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove dominate the aroma here. The taste is the most disappointing aspect of this brew. Quite simply, there is no pumpkin flavor, period. If they would label this as an "Autumn Ale" or something like that, then I would be okay with it, but this doesn't taste like a pumpkin offering. Again, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove are present. It taste like Fall, but not pumpkin whatsoever. The mouthfeel is much like an adjunct lager -- carbonated, easily drinkable, maybe too sharp? This beer feels more like a cider. I feel that it's totally mislabeled, and that is not good if you're looking for hearty, warm pumpkin offering.

Photo of tko741
3.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks a little more amber than your average pale ale. Not much of a head, and not much in the way of carbonation.

Smells fainly of nutmeg, autumn, and a bit of adjunct.

This beer is clearly polarized among the BA folks. Some hate it, some like it, some call it 'meh'. I think it's a decent example of a lighter pumpkin beer. Starts off with some malt presence, not much in the way of hops, and follows up with a clean, unpretentious offering of pumpkin spices. Yes, there are quite a few better examples of pumpkin beer on the market, but I'd happily call this an introduction to the style. It starts off like a typical light ale and follows it with a light note of October and November.

Photo of rundocrun
1.53/5  rDev -48.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Poured from 12-oz bottle into pint glass.

A - This beer comes out of the bottle an odd mix between orange and pink grapefruit. In the glass it is the color of clear apple cider with fine streams of bubbles coming up. No head. No lacing.

S - Has an aroma of apple cider mixed with a heavy dose of cloves and a very mild hint of pumpkin. A little tart or sour smelling. Also some mild banana-like esters.

T - Well, aside from the extremely overpowering spices they use in this brew (I get lots of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg) I can just barely eek out some semblance of pumpkin flavor. The cidery character carries over into the taste as well. No real malty presence here, which makes for an overly-spiced and watery brew. Yuck.

M - Over carbonated. Watery-thin. Mildy astringent aftertaste that leaves the mouth feeling dry and oddly numb.

Overall - this is a pretty bad beer. Enough said.

Photo of JunkYardJake
2/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz bottle to pint glass.
Poured into a glass-looking plastic pint. Ironically, the label on the cup says Coors Light, which is exactly what this looks like. Actually, Coors Light has a better head. Smell is over-spiced and cinnamon heavy. Palate is clean and spicy with a very small malt profile. Hops are a non-factor. I'm not tasting any actual pumpkin flavor. Mouthfeel is light and fluid with over-the-top carbonation. Not a great beer and a poor attempt at a pumpkin beer.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
2.35/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

OK looking, a good head and some lacing, plenty of bubbles but it looks more like a pilsner than a typical pumpkin.

Smell is heavily spiced but lacking on true pumpkin. Little malt and almost all spices, heavy on the cinnamon and nutmeg.

Taste follows the smell. very heavily spiced without the true pumpkin ale flavor that I want in a fall pumpkin treat. Not really very good.

Feel is much like a pilsner at best, and probably more like a malt beverage.

This beer doesn't cut it when it comes to fall specials. I don't recommend.

Photo of Brunite
2.05/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Pours a very, very light straw/amber color. Little head. Lots of fizz.

S: Smells very bland. Some vegetal notes.

T: Bleh. Very bland. No pumpkin. No spice. Nothing nice.

M: Thin body...watery.

O: The weakest attempt at this style that I have tried...along with Buffalo Bills. Draino.

Photo of OldIronLungs
2.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass a light amber with a few fingers of fizzy head that settles to a ring - very visible carbonation.

Cinnamon and a faint squash sweetness on the nose.

A sip is light and fizzy - a bit of an American adjunct lager maltiness to it with just a hint of spice, not pumpkin. It's easy to drink because it really doesn't taste like anything. Crisp, but not something I'd want on a cool fall -- this is like...I don't know...I think this was what initially turned me off of the style. My coworker is psyched to buy a case of this every fall, glad I just got the one.

Photo of gobrewins
2.85/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a glass

A: Pours a very light copper color, with a little head that disappears quickly after pouring

S: Smells pleasantly of cinnamon, but without many other smells to note

T: There is a strong presence of cinnamon, which is even a little stronger than the pumpkin spice, with some nutmeg as well.

M: Crisp taste, moderately carbonated

Overall, I like the cinnamon and pumpkin flavor, and the crispness of this beer. Not the best pumpkin beer I've had, but certainly not the worst.

Photo of nrbw23
1.43/5  rDev -52%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

A- Pours a clear light orange amberish color with a ok head. Head is gone pretty quiety, becoming a few bubbles at the edge of the glass and leaves zero lacing.

S- Smells nothing of pumpkin. Qutie a few spices here with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg and some sort of metal.

T- Taste follows the nose pretty well with a great blast of spices. There is some odd metallic taste here too. Where is the pumpkin?

M- Pretty light in both body and carbonation and a really dry feel.

O- Well, I picked this one up for the wife since she likes pumpkin ales. She's probably gonna beat my ass for this one. This brew is not good by any means.

Photo of jlindros
3.28/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at TGI Fridays.

Comes with a very light almost non-existant fizzy head, clear darker orange nectar colored beer.

Nose has some pumpkin, toasted pumpkin, pumpkin pie filling, spices, brown sugar, candy syrup, caramel, light malts, and i think DME.

Taste is some pumpkin, pumpkin extract flavor and syrup rather than fresh stuff, spices are there but less than I remember from the bottle, light toasty malt, touch bready as well, syrupy with quite a bit of sweetness and candy flavors, its a bit of a mess with all the syrups, candy flavors, and pumpkin as well as spices, malts are in the background and so are the very light spicy hops. Finishes sweet and syrupy, with lots of candy and some pumpkin.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carbonation.

Overall not as bad as I remember it from the bottle but not great either, its a bit of a mess with all the sweet additions, and some pumpkin.

Photo of bloomlax33
4.3/5  rDev +44.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was a little nervous about trying this beer after reading about it on here...I picked up a 6 pack of this at the local grocery store, I was craving a pumpkin beer...I was very happy with everything as it relates to this beer. This is not the best pumpkin beer I have had, that remains with Dogfish Head, but still a very decent beer.

Photo of davey101
3.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Best before Jan 2012. Straight from the bottle. Classy. Has a nice spice note but not much pumpkin flavor. Pretty sweet. Some slightly roasted malts. Body is fairly medium/light. Its an average pumpkin ale that I could certainly session, but it does fall short in a lot of areas.

Photo of angrybabboon
1.78/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Consumed 8/26/11

Appearance: Pours a golden color - wait, wasn't this supposed to be a pumpkin beer? - it looks like a lager - not much of a head, absolutely no lacing - very clear

Smell: the aroma kind of smells like someone threw a bucket of water at a spice cabinet and bottled the results - tons of spices - a truly disgusting amount of nutmeg along with some cinnamon and other spices - almost a medicinal (not phenolic) stench that actually makes me gag a little when I get a good whiff - this is one of the worst smelling beers I've ever encountered - absolutely no malts, just a spice disaster

Taste: Thankfully, this is slightly less offensive than the smell - tastes like a light lager with a ton of sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice - very spicy - no hops, nothing good to say about the malts - very pale, kind of corny, kind of watery

Mouthfeel: Crisp, but extremely thin - this would be a good mouthfeel for a light lager, but this is supposed to be a pumpkin beer, seriously - carbonation is adequate

Overall: No.

I had this beer at a party three years ago and I don't remember it being too bad. Tonight I feel like I've insulted my taste buds. This beer isn't awful. I can understand why the Bud Light crowd would enjoy this. But it is an insult to the pumpkin ale style. Currently, I can't decide what is worse: this beer, or Shipyard's premium Smashed Pumpkin (Pugsley's Signature Series). Both beers make me cry a little.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.25/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I see this Pumpkin ale doesn't fare too well on BA, however it's not as bad as I was expecting. Especially based on my dislike for pumpkin ales. Pours a crystal clear copper orange hue with a bright white creamy head. Fine speckled lacing down the sides of my chalice not much head retention to speak of, large stream of bubbles coming from the base of my glass. Aroma is straight up pumpkin spice and artifical pumpkin notes with an air of creaminess, seems very dessert like especially as it warms. I'm really trying not to enjoy this but it's not that bad, definitely not an F...I hate to say it I despise this brewery the diacetyl buttery tones weigh too heavy in most of their standard offerings this just seems like a fun festive bastaradized fall ale. Flavor is sweet almost candy sweet with something pumpkin (gourd like) floating around with somewhat abrasive harsh pumpkin pie spices contained within each sip. Finishes a bit medicinal and watery, a dull spiced ale that doesn't let beer shine in it's original format of malted barley, hops, yeast, and H20. Not a purist but this beer doesn't inspire me to think wow these guys have gone somewhere where every other fall seasonal has already attempted and perfected to go. Mouthfeel is medium bodied like I said in the finish it gets a bit cloying with harsh pumpkin spices peaking through. Overall could I session with a beer like this, absolutely not. Sitting here trying to wrap my mind about why somebody wants to, continues to, and makes a profit at this beer is beyond me. I guess that's part of the fun of the wave of seasonals that come out each year.

Photo of rowingbrewer
2.35/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

When compared to the other pumpkin beers out there this one is definitely bottom of the barrel but I guess the bid light drinkers need pumpkin beer too. This beer pours a light yellow color win a decent head. The smell is sweet and pumpkin spice only no hint o pumpkin. The flavor is like a bud light with pumpkin pie spice added in. The mouhfeel is light with ok carbonation. This her is really not worn the time of day it takes to drink it

Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
69 out of 100 based on 2,403 ratings.