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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.

2,069 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,069
Reviews: 792
rAvg: 2.95
pDev: 27.8%
Wants: 22
Gots: 183 | 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: 2,069 | Reviews: 792 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drjim34
4.38/5  rDev +48.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer, like many Shipyard brews takes a lot of criticism. I for one am a big fan of Pumpkin Beers, and try to taste as many as I can. This one is not my favorite, but is definitely in my top 3. I could break everything about this beer down like a typical review, but let’s look at this beer from a different angle. It is what it is supposed to be. A fun seasonal with a limited run of a few months. Summer is over, and my taste buds are ready for the change in styles. It’s fun to drink, talk about, and serve at a party, or Oktoberfest. Pair it with pumpkin fudge, or pumpkin pie. I do a pumpkin taste at my annual Oktoberfest party (this year w tried 8), and this beer always finishes 1 or 2 in the rankings. If you like spicy (nutmeg/cinnamon/all spice) then this is for you. Something different then the norm. I use it as my transition to Harpoon’s Winter Warmer.

drjim34, Oct 02, 2007
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.88/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

($1.29 at Total Wine in Kennesaw, GA)

Appearance: Pours a clear coppery body with a bubbly, small white head.

Smell: I'm shaking and swirling here, but all I can coax out of it is a light wheatiness and hints of allspice and nutmeg.

Taste: Not much pumpkin flavor at all, but the spices are there, mainly allspice and nutmeg. Light lemony taste. Hint of graham crackers. Not much in the way of hops or malt. Finishes crisp, watery, and spritzy.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, but the moderate carbonation makes it feel just a tad bit fuller.

Drinkability: I'd say I would prefer it with more pumpkin flavor, but really I would prefer it with ANY pumpkin flavor.

ChainGangGuy, Oct 01, 2007
Photo of goochpunch
3.05/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a realy pale and faded brass color with fat bubbles that feed a steady whipped egg white head. I smell mostly lightly-toasted malt, cinnamon stick, and diacetyl. Flavor starts off with cinnamon stick which is followed by wormwood yeast. Drying and yeasty finish. Not much pumpkin here, but there is an interesting cinnamon astringency along with the dryness. Not bad, just more of a spiced beer rather than a pumpkin beer. Mouthfeel is a bit fizzy and light. Not fully impressive, but I would go to this if I wanted some cinnamon and diacetyl combo. For a good pumpkin beer, I'll stick to DFH.

goochpunch, Sep 29, 2007
Photo of TheAlumnus
3.85/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Of all the Pumpkin Ales, this is my favorite

a- fairly generic but fitting the profile and color of what you expect from this flavor variety
s- solid bouquet, hint of clove/allspice provides a good nose
t- great initial burst loses a little on the back of the tongue
m- what you would expect a little thin but not lacking
d- very drinkable, a seasonal that is consistent well crafted and missed on the left coast

TheAlumnus, Sep 26, 2007
Photo of GPHarris
3.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a - poured a two-fingers thick off-white head into a snifter. it left a nice lace and a little sheeting action and billowed pretty well with a swirl of the glass. the body was a clear and way too light amber color.
s - smells like a pumpkin.
t - not much pumpkin taste coming through but a little allspice is.
m - crisp.
d - not bad and i could handle this in a pinch but doesn't do it for me.

GPHarris, Sep 25, 2007
Photo of matylight
3.63/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: golden orange with a light spritzy 1/4" head that dissipates quickly.
S: nutmeg and cloves...pumpkin pie? certainly reminds me of fall. slightly sweet here and there.
T: i know i should be but i'm not getting too much pumpkin out of this. this may be from trying and making so many other pumpkin spiced beers where the pumpkin stands tall and proud in the forefront but this one has our large orange beast hiding somewhere in the background. primarily this beer is boasting a light malt base with lots of nutmeg and spices leading the charge. bready and warming.
M: light to medium bodied with equally light and spritzy carbonation. no bite and no bark.
D: this is certainly an easy fall drinker. goes down smooth with little arguement. i could go for a couple in a single sitting with no problem.
while it definately makes me think of the impending cooler and shorter days that bring on school and dried leaves, i can't help but feel that this brew could have somehow been so much more. it's too tame for my pumpkin lovin' taste. certainly a worthy effort. give it a try if you come across it.

matylight, Sep 24, 2007
Photo of livingregret
4.08/5  rDev +38.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: 12 oz bottle w/ drink by date 06-07-08

Appearance: Pours a golden amber w/ a slight head.

Smell: I get spice, clove, cinnamon. No real "pumpkin" smell but plenty of spice

Taste: Amazing. Taste like actual pumpkin pie. No other way to describe it. Fresh...out of the oven pumpkin pie taste. A touch of spice toward the end makes this the best tasting pumpkin ale I've ever tried

Mouthfeel: This is a little bit of a let down. Watery and heavily carbonated.

Drinkability: For the TASTE of pumpkin pie this is the BEST Pumpkin Ale I have tried. I have tried 6 different pumpkin ales and this is the best tasting one. The smell is a bit off because there is only cinnamon and no real pumpkin smell and the mouthfeel is a little carbonated BUT the taste is amazing. A very drinkable pumpkin ale great for late at night or when enjoying a late night dessert

livingregret, Sep 19, 2007
Photo of Blupoet03
4.33/5  rDev +46.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured golden-amber with a thin white head, bubbling nicely afterwards.

The nose is spicy, fully of nutmeg, cloves, and sweetness. The taste is like pumpkin pie in a glass. The hops show up with a slight bite at the end.

I think this is a great pumpkin ale, and as usual with beers that I like, I can't find much to say about it. It's a great drink to get yourself into the autumn spirit.

Blupoet03, Sep 19, 2007
Photo of kenito799
3.08/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Best before Jan 2008.

Pours a crystal clear dark gold. Tiny white head recedes to nothing and leaves no lacing. Cinannmon and buttery pumpkin predominate on the nose. These flavors come through immediately when drinking. The underlying beer is a crisp lemony American wheat. This makes this brew quite refreshing, actually making the buttered cinnamon-pumpkin taste easier to enjoy as you drink. The overall effect is somewhat artificial, whether the flavors are natural or not, I don't know. More drinkable than you might expect. The overall effect is fake. Best setting: out of the bottle around a campfire on an early fall camping trip while making s'mores.

kenito799, Sep 19, 2007
Photo of jwc215
1.58/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Pours golden yellow with a very thin head that soon becomes a disappearing patch. Not far from a typical "macro" look - maybe a slight bit darker, patch might hang around slightly longer. Not what I expect from a pumpkin ale.

The smell is mild - some cinnamon with a hint of pumpkin (in a rather artificial way).

The taste is watery, slightly grainy and buttery. Watery pumpkin bread? Almost. More like buttery pumpkin flavored watery cough syrup. Some black pepper and cinnamon shows an effort towards the style with some hint of pumpkin, again, in an artificial way, in the aftertaste. Short, watery finish. Tastes like faux pumpkin if anything. Nearly completely lacks anything reminiscent of pumpkin pie.

This is weak and watery with an almost herbal/medicinal aftertaste with just an awkward hint of anything resembling pumpkin.

Nasty overall - a very lame attempt at the style. Worth avoiding.

jwc215, Sep 16, 2007
Photo of Gambrinus1184
2.42/5  rDev -18%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into my tulip-shaped Duvel glass.

A: Pours a pale yellow with a tinge of orange to it. Less than one finger of foam leaves pretty quickly, leaving just a little lace. This looks almost macro lagerish.

S: Nose is definitely of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. The pumpkin isn't really hitting me, but this brew probably isn't made with anything remotely close to a pumpkin anyway.

T: Tastes a bit like a piece of pumpkin pie, with a bottle of water poured all over it. The spicy taste comes over a bit sour, then washes down like Dowser, with almost no aftertaste.

M: Mouthfeel is pretty thin, to say the least. I've said it before, I like my pumpkin ale to be more on the medium-bodied side, and this one was too light for my tastes.

D: The low ABV, light body and mouthfeel would make this a good drink, for someone who isn't too concerned with the quality of their pumpkin ale. I certainly couldn't drink more than a couple of these without having to switch to something fuller bodied with more flavor.

The aroma is the best part of this brew, and that's not saying much. Worth a try as a beer, but not recommended if you're looking for a good representation of the pumpkin ale style.

Gambrinus1184, Sep 13, 2007
Photo of squarooticus
2.25/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Absolutely the worst pumpkin ale I have ever tasted. If you like your pumpkin ale overly-spiced and watery, this is the one for you. Unfortunately, this is exactly the kind of pumpkin ale that kept me away from the style for so long. I would recommend Brooklyn's Post Road or (if you're local to Boston) Cambridge Brewing Company's pumpkin ale.

squarooticus, Sep 13, 2007
Photo of Brad007
3.5/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale color with very small head. Aroma is of pumpkin pie and spice, which is interesting. I gotta give props for this. Taste is much of the same except that the pumpkin flavor fades in the background. Still, it lingers and tastes kind of good actually. It's kind of like pumpkin pie in a bottle. Very drinkable to me, even though you can draw your own conclusions with a bottle.

Brad007, Sep 11, 2007
Photo of bluegrassbrew
3.18/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a light copper with a hint of orange. A vigorous pour produced a nice looking head, but that quickly dropped and was never to be seen again.

Smell is not bad. Pumpkin pie all around.

Taste is pumpkin pie and nutmeg. Not complex, but then again it wasn't meant to be.

Mouthfeel is way too thin. Watery and over-carbonated.

Overall, not something I would buy again. A small glass of this could be really good with Thanksgiving dinner, but it was tough to get through an entire bottle. Worth a try if you really like pumpkin ales.

bluegrassbrew, Sep 10, 2007
Photo of biggmike
3.6/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on draught at the Emerald Coast Brew Fest in Pensacola, FL. Aroma was nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin pie. Taste was very much like pumpkin pie. Beer was very smooth and had a nice mouthfeel. Couldn’t sit back and pound these all night, but drinkability was good. This seems to be a very polarizing beer----people either love it or hate it. I liked it.

biggmike, Sep 09, 2007
Photo of Tballz420
3.15/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear, gold colored brew. Thin white head disappears very quickly. Pumkin scent with strong doses of cinnamon. The taste is what you would probably expect, if you are employing your reason: pumkin pie with good amounts of cinnamon. Pretty thin taste, thin bodied. Could use some more strength to the flavor, but could be worth a taste if you like pumpkin beers or if you can find a single.

Tballz420, Sep 09, 2007
Photo of musicjustintime
4.22/5  rDev +43.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is THE BEST pumpkin ale I've ever had...so far. It TRULY tastes like a slice of pumpkin pie...and is OH-so yummy! Almost one to have after dinner! (Much like a slice of...pumpkin pie!) Very nice smell, and not hoppy in the least. Very smooth, a bit sweet, and all the wonderful spices in a pumpkin pie, so perfectly balanced. I'm truly impressed...and now after having one of these...I'd splurge and buy a whole case for the fall! EXCELLENT! I highly recommend if you like this sort of thing. Perfect seasonal, for sharing with friends under a moonlit, October night....or even during and after Thanksgiving dinner! SAAALUTE to you, my BA friends AND friends at Shipyard!

musicjustintime, Sep 09, 2007
Photo of beerNdarts
3.6/5  rDev +22%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've heard a lot of people in my area rant and rave about Pumpkinhead, so when I went out last night and sat it on the draft menu I had to try it.

A- Very light colored. Almost like a light beer or cider. More on that later.

Smell- Faint smell of spices and pumkin, definitely doesn't smell like a beer though, but then again it smells very tasty.

Taste- First cold sip tasted strongly of pumpkin spices and nutmeg. Very sweet too. After it warmed a little bit and I got used to it, I seriously thought it was a cider in that glass rather than a beer. High carbonation didn't help this... still, it is not a bad taste, just sweet, light, and easy. Like my women.

Mouthfeel- Light. Watery but not watery like light beer, just light.

Drinkability- Could easily have had another 1, 2, 4 pints. It does taste very good, although not the best pumpkin ale I've had. I would pickup a sixer only if I had something else in my fridge that tastes like a beer.

beerNdarts, Sep 07, 2007
Photo of russpowell
3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours an effervescent bronze with a pinky of white head. Zero head retention & lacing

S: Pumpkin pie spices (nutmeg mostly, some cinamon, a little pumpkin & some steel notes

T: Slight grainyness, lemon & nutmeg up front. Slight metallic notes & dryness in the middle as this warms. Finishes tart, dry, & with more pumkin spice

MF: Thinnish with lively carbonation & so/so balance

Drinks okay, not a huge fan of the style, but I put this in the lower tier of this genere. I doubt I will EVER try this again....

russpowell, Sep 07, 2007
Photo of Gmann
2.38/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a crystal clear golden color, 2 shades darker than a macro, below average head. The smell is of pumpkin pie, nutmeg, cinnamon, a little too strong. The taste is that of cinnamon schnapps without the heat. Cloying cinnamon flavor with hints of nutmeg and other pumpkin pie flavors, grainy malt. No real traces of beer detected. Kind of like a macro with spices dumped into it. The feel is light and watery and all together unspectacular. Not overly gross where I need to dump the rest of the 6'er but I will try to give these away at my FFL draft. If you like cinnamon and grainy macro beer, this is for you.

Gmann, Sep 01, 2007
Photo of zerofear13
3.8/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle with the date January '08 notched into the back of the label. Smells very strong of cinnamon, nutmeg spices, and pumpkin. Tastes almost completely of pumpkin pie with hints of very light hops and alcohol. Probably not the premier pumpkin ale, as it's a bit much on the pumpkin-side and less on the beer-side. I would say if you're actually looking for strong pumpkin flavors, this might be a good choice, but there are better pumpkin ales. Doesn't scream for you to have another as the taste and smell is a bit much for too many. Overall, good-tasting beer, but not strong on beer and quite strong on cinnamon and pumpkin.

EDIT: My friend, who would unquestionably walk over broken glass with his bare feet for this brew, wants me to let everyone know that I have never had another pumpkin ale, so my "there are better pumpkin ales" is unwarranted. In my defense, to assume that because I've never had a pumpkin ale makes THIS pumpkin ale the best would be foolish. It's reasonable to assume that a) this is not the best pumpkin ale in the world, and b) overwhelmingly strong pumpkin and spice is not what most breweries go for when brewing a pumpkin ale.

zerofear13, Aug 31, 2007
Photo of fank2788
2.63/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled at The Spot in Bethel, CT.
Light amber gold with a small thin white head slightly cloudy maybe chill haze. Smell is cinnamon, nutmeg slight pumpkin and other spices no malt or hops. The taste is pumpkin pie and nothing else, quite strange actually it is just like liquid pumpkin pie but in an overly sweet and not very satisfying sort of way. The mouthfeel is too light very lager like too bubbly with a sweet finish. Drinkability is not very good it's just too damn sweet it is hard to take the next drink there are many better pumpkin ales but since this is the first I've seen on tap this year so I figured I'd give it a try now I wish I didn't.

fank2788, Aug 31, 2007
Photo of happygnome
2.1/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

a: golden amber color with about a half inch of head that dissapears fast leaving no lacing the head is made of of a lot of big bubbles, its kinda strange, reminds me more of an alco-pop
s: faint hints of pumpkiny spices nutmeg and cinnamon
t: very similar to the aroma, subtle hints of pumpking flavoring with even more subtle hints of nutmeg and cinnamon
m: light bodied beer with a lot of big bubble carbonation very much like an alo-pop

overall i was dissapointed by this brew will not buy again

happygnome, Aug 29, 2007
Photo of jdubjacket
1.5/5  rDev -49.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

This is one of the worst beers I have ever had. I love pumpkin ales - my favorite is Cottonwood Spiced Pumpkin Ale - so I thought I would pick this up to see how it compares. There is absolutely no comparison. I poured this beer out. It feels like this beer was brewed and some artificial flavor was added to it after the fact. It's a very contrived taste that leaves alot to be desired. It starts off very strong and finishes very watery. There is very little pumpkin taste here - it tastes more like liquid potpourri. If you're really interested in getting a good pumpkin ale, save your money for Cottonwood Spiced Pumpkin Ale - if you can find it, or Post Road Pumpkin Ale. Both are much better.

In summary, avoid this abomination at all costs. You'll be glad you did.

jdubjacket, Aug 19, 2007
Photo of Halcyondays
3.03/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Golden amber, with a small white head, which degrades quickly, not a looker.

S: Pumpkin spices, some cinnamon and nutmeg, though faint.

T: Tastes like light pumpkin pie spices, much of the same as in the smell, some true pumpkin taste coming through in the end though.

M: Light, smooth, kind of watery, would have liked a little more robustness.

D: A good beer, not something I would seek out, a nice change of pace in the summer, though a bit out of season, will try again with a fresher batch this October.

Halcyondays, Jul 30, 2007
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
69 out of 100 based on 2,069 ratings.