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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.

2,142 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,142
Reviews: 801
rAvg: 2.96
pDev: 27.7%
Wants: 24
Gots: 214 | 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: 2,142 | Reviews: 801 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of almychristopher
3.58/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

this beer pours a nice clear golden with orange highlights a white head with decent retention. the aroma on this pumpkin is very nice with the cinnamon less noticeable than the nutmeg, and the fruity esters make it really nice. the taste is much the same with the pumpkin coming through a bit more than it did in the aroma. the light body and decent carbonation make this a pretty drinkable beer.

almychristopher, Sep 23, 2008
Photo of joekfsu
3.48/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours clear gold with 1 cm foamy white head that is quickly diminishing. Aroma of clove, pumpkin, and spice. Initial taste of pumpkin, clove and spice are the ending flavors. Aftertaste is short lived, not all that great. Light carbonation, light body, no lacing, and no real alcohol hanging around. Overall, a decent beer in the pumpkin style but wouldn't drink it on a regular basis.

joekfsu, Sep 23, 2008
Photo of dippy
2.45/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Light and fizzy girl beer.

It is all nutmeg with some cinnamon. I can't make out much else. No real pumpkin flavor here.
Although I am thinking about how maybe I could use it to maker pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread. Some sort of baking because I am not going to drink anymore of it.

dippy, Sep 22, 2008
Photo of Jayli
4.47/5  rDev +51%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a golden yellow with very little head, and little to no lacing.
By and far the scent and taste are what do it for this beer. If you are not in to fruity, flavored beers this is definitely not for you. That being said - the scent of this beer immediately are of the nutmeg and cinnamon spices used. The taste mimics the scent. At first sip you are hit with the nutmeg and cinnamon, with slight pumpkin undertones to it.
I personally think this is the best pumpkin beer that I've had. I think the strong use of spices enhance the pumpkin flavoring. It certainly isn't your traditional pumpkin beer.

Jayli, Sep 21, 2008
Photo of HoppyMcStout
2.33/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This brew snapped, crackled, and popped after the pour into my pint glass. As you can imagine the head was gone pretty much instantly. It also had what looked like a slight orange tint: food coloring? The smell was nondescript - sort of like taking a whiff of your standard light macro. The taste was supposed to be of pumpkin? More like honey. That was all I got from the taste. And as soon as the honeyish flavor left, I found there was almost no actual beer flavor. I'm glad I got this one in a make-your-own and that I don't have five left...

HoppyMcStout, Sep 17, 2008
Photo of birchstick
3.38/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - clear orangeish amber with a smaller head
S - pumpkin, nutmeg, and spice...these were not strong, but present
T - On the first drink I was impressed: pumpkin, with some nutmeg and spice. However, once I started drinking this and as it warmed, there is some weird, almost metallic taste I cannot put my finger on. It was also pretty watery. It would be a lot better without the weird taste and water. This isn't anything overpowering or over the top as some breweries can do with their pumpkin ales.
M - full, but a tad bit carbonated for my liking
D - this is a decent pumpkin ale compared with others.

birchstick, Sep 16, 2008
Photo of Patrick999
3.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On draft at the Room.

A - Not much head to speak of. Pumpkin-orange body.

S - Pretty good, that's pumpkin alright.

T - It's pumpkin and not much else. I wanted to start off with this, knowing exactly what it would be, and that is what I got. Uncomplicated, but you know it's going to be a standard pumpkin ale. That's all it purports to be, and that's what it is.

F - Prickly, well-carbonated.

D - If you're in the mood for an uncomplicated, light pumpkin ale, I don't see why this wouldn't fit the bill.

Patrick999, Sep 14, 2008
Photo of steelcutoats
2/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Shipyard Pumpkin Head Ale

This is the second pumpkin ale of the evening. I poured a 12 oz. bottle into my tasting snifter. The color was a golden ruby, no head and crystal clear. Not much of a pumpkin aroma, mostly just spices. The taste wasn't much to brag about either. It could best be described as watered down pale ale with pumpkin pie spices thrown in at the last minute. I doubt I'll bother to finish it.

steelcutoats, Sep 14, 2008
Photo of stephens101
3.28/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a pale orange with a quickly receding tan head. No lacing is left behind. Smells of grass, grain, faint spice and malts. Tastes sweet like pumpkin pie and spicy, although you have to reach a bit to get to it, as the tastes are not bold at all, and are actually a little weak. Mouth-feel is light bodied and it has medium carbonation. Just a little more in the taste department and this could be a very good brew. It feels like Shipyard knows what they're doing here, but they're just holding something back for some reason. Oh well.

stephens101, Sep 13, 2008
Photo of Proteus93
2.23/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: A mediocre pour, but greatly lacking head. Thin and kind of lacking.

S: The aromas carry on this one. I can smell it a little over a foot away from my face. Primarily spices - cinnamon and nutmeg.

T + M: Strangely spicy, but following the initial bite (which is a little heavy, especially of cinnamon), there's a little bit of a metallic twang and then it becomes quite thin and quite watery... both in flavour and feel.

D: It could be a swigger for a quick buzz, but the spice flavours interfere with that a fair bit. Not a very nice pleasant brew, and not recommended.

Proteus93, Sep 11, 2008
Photo of jp62099
1.45/5  rDev -51%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Saw this as a single, and was sampling some new fall beers so I thought what the heck. Glad I only bought a single.
It pours super fizzy like a soft drink, color is as expected, head fizzes away.
Smell is of pumpkin pie spices and, well hate to say it but some adjunct laden macro lager.
Taste is much the same, it's like they steeped pumpkin spices in Natty light, really.
Mouthfeel is terrible given the ridiculous carbonation, a belch with every sip.
This is one of those beers that I really don't know how it makes it out the door of a micro. I am not real sure why pumpkin ale is made in the first place, and this does not help that notion. Don't buy, even as a joke.

jp62099, Sep 10, 2008
Photo of PatrickJR
2.83/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Clear, light amber, lighter than I'd expect. A fizzy, one finger head doesn't stick very long, falling to a thin collar. No lacing to speak of.

S - Nice aroma, but a little distant for a pumpkin ale. The main aroma here is cinnamon. Nothing to suggest complimentary spices such as nutmeg, clove, ginger, etc. just cinnamon. As a stretch, there might be something citrus like (orange peel, or it could be some manifestation of ginger) and I detect a moderate vanilla component as well. Good, but lacking in depth.

T - I kind of like the taste, but I don't think it's very indicative of a pumpkin ale. Overall it's devoid of any real character. For the most part this brew tastes like a graham cracker, right down to the taste of the cracker itself. The cinnamon is overwhelming and rides on nothing but thin grain. The finish is soapy, with a bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste. The bitterness is literally like taking a handful of ground cinnamon (not cinnamon sugar) and eating it. For such a heavy spice element, this brew really needs some heavier malt backing things up.

M - Thin and too much carbonation. Undoubtedly related to the under-abundance of malt in the beer.

D - It's really not that bad of a beer, but I feel like it falls more into the "herbed/spiced" category rather than the pumpkin ale. There's absolutely no pumpkin character. Malt sugars are insufficient to balance the uber spice note. I could probably drink these if I already had a buzz.

PatrickJR, Sep 10, 2008
Photo of froghop
2.4/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

overall i can see what the brewery is trying to do, let me start by saying that i dont like pumpkin pie so that is indicated in my rating on the taste, if someone likes the pie then they might like this one.

pours a clear light orange with a thin white head that goes away quickly.

smell is of pumpkin, spices, nutmeg, cinnamon.
taste is pretty much as it smells, watery, very spicy, cinnamon, white pepper, nutmeg, and yes pumpkin.

froghop, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of JDK
3.65/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light honey color with a 1/2" head that quickly disappeared. Hardly any lacing at all.
Smells and tastes of pumpkin spices.
Too flat for me, seemed watered down.
Not a terrible beer but there are much better fall styles out there. I would hope that they would improve this asap.

JDK, Sep 08, 2008
Photo of Beerbuddha
2.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - This beer poured a clear, straw gold and had a small white head which dissapated quickly. Lacing was non existent

Smell- Nice canned pumpkin pie filling smell. Nice hints of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Taste - Same as the nose, the nutmeg and cinnamon are there. Has a very weak taste of pumpkin pie. This beer just falls flat for some reason though. It just really doesn't taste exactly like a pumpkin pie more like the spices that go into a pumpkin pie. Kind of disappointing actually.

Mouthfeel - Thin and watery and way too overcarbonated. The beer leaves a bad sweetness in your mouth as well.

Overall - Very unimpressed. My first pumpkin beer of the season and this one falls flat on its face. It's as if the brewer made this beer strictly for novelty purposes and not for quality.

Beerbuddha, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of pmcadamis
2.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I tried this one on a cool September night sitting outside at Sunsinger in Champaign with my wife and her parents.

A - Clear, gold, and without any sort of visible head. No lace, no love.

S - Cinnamon loaded pumpkin pie filling. This is a really nice and autumnal nose, which is very focused on the spice.

T - Much like the nose, this is full of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and other spices on top of a slighlty artificial pumpkin base.

M - Thin, over carbonated, and neutral on the finish. Some pumpkin flavor lingers after the swallow. This is a fairly insubstantial brew.

D - Not bad. Seems artificially flavored to me. This looks like crap, smells good, and tastes decent enough while the mouthfeel is attrociously thin and bubbly. One of the worst pumpkin brews I've hade honestly.

pmcadamis, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of Viking
2.42/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

For some reason I got an urge to review beers again. It's been a while, so yous should feel free to ignore my opinions. Anyhoo, I love me some pumpkin brews and I couldn't pass up the first one I spotted this season. Let's move on, shall we?

Pours a light, clear copper with a fizzy little head. Looks like a lager. I'm not a fan of lagers, but I digress. But it doesn't look bad, really. Just too much of those carbonation bubbles racing to the surface like they're trying to reach Escape Velocity, and it continues long after pouring.

Smells like a gingerbread cookie. Sweet, with those gingerbread man spices. After the speedy See-Oh-Two bubbles and the cookie smell, I feel that no matter how fast I run I'll never catch the Pumpkinhead man. Odd. Anyway, the spices are nice, but it lacks rich aroma I normally associate a classic pumpkin ale.

Taste is spicy - plenty of nutmeg especially. Rather sweet and a bit cloying. Again, I'm reminded more of gingerbread cookies than of pumpkin pie. It's not bad, but much sweeter than I'd expect, without the complexity of heavy pumpkin malt.

Light and crispy on the tongue, and rather dry. The carbonation adds a bit of an astringent feel, if that makes any sense. Very different than the pumpkins I'm used to, which tend to be heavier and a tad oily feeling.

Despite the misses, the brew is fairly drinkable. The light crispness of the mouthfeel seems to help it go down a bit more smoothly than I first expected.

Viking, Sep 06, 2008
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
1.55/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Clear copper with fizzy/foamy white head. The carbonation looks intimidating; reminiscent of a fourth grade science project. I can feel the sting already.

Smell: Brown sugar, nutmeg, gingerbread, artificial pumpkin.

Taste: Tastes like pumpkin-flavored soda. Really, really sweet with high carbonation. Taste mirrors smell. Aftertaste mirrors communion wafer. Haven't been to church in a while - that taste really brings me back...

Mouthfeel: As feared, carbonation produces a big sting. Thin / watery body. Downright bad. Makes my mouth feel like I just slurped it off the carpet (i.e. fuzzy and dry, kinda like the morning after smoking a crappy cigar).

Drinkability: I had trouble finishing the first bottle, and this one looks to be just as difficult. I'm sure I could find others to drink this, but I think I'll go with something else.

ThreeWiseMen, Sep 05, 2008
Photo of FenwaySquid
1.98/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Presentation: 12 oz. brown bottle, BBD of Jan 09 notched into the left side of the label, (the label says "beer with natural flavor added," by the way) poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear golden yellow color, lots of carbonation rising inside. The head formed about 2 fingers thick but faded rather quickly.

Aroma: Cinnamon is the main thing I notice.

Taste: Very little of anything. I notice the cinnamon, no real pumpkin flavors though. Light pale malt in the background throughout. The finish is mostly cinnamon, which lingers a little.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and watery. The carbonation was lively, which given how light and flavorless it was that fits well, I guess.

Overall: Nothing special. If you like pumpkin beers there are much better offerings to be found.

FenwaySquid, Sep 04, 2008
Photo of marcpal
2.08/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Part of a pumpkin sampler Im working my way through. So far, the worst of the bunch.

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A: Hazy orange, film like white head. Reminiscent of a bubbling, carbonated tea.

N: Cinnamon and more cinnamon. Some other spices and minimal malt. Hops absent and MIA.

T: Zippy cinnamon. Overspiced with cloves and the sweet spices dont stop and finally toward the end there is some graham cracker but maybe that was just me hoping.

M: Medium mouthfeel, spices are tickling the mouth and through the swallow.

D: Just pure cinnamon. Light and a little quenching but not good. No balance to it whatsoever, one sided and cloves become obnoxious.

marcpal, Sep 02, 2008
Photo of donteatpoop
1.4/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Pale yellow-orange color with little to no head.

Smells strongly of spice, no real hints at hops or malts; just the cinnamony spices.

Sometimes when I'm low on cash and want something more than just water; I mix some sugar into it. This is a very similar taste, it's like carbonated cinnamin and water.

Very watery.

I guess it's drinkable since it tastes and feels like water, but it's not what I was looking for; and it's certainly not drinkable in the way this category intended.

I wanted to like this, too. Dammit.

donteatpoop, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of Avryle
2.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm not all that impressed with this beer out of the bottle though on tap, it is quite pleasant.
A- Clear, light orange in color. Small white head dissipates to a small white ring.

S- Light spices but with an icky sourness lurking in the background

T- The taste is considerably more favorable than the nose. Nice spiciness of cinamon, cloves & nutmeg comes forward. Pumpkin is muted though. Finishes with a second round of spices. Kiind of cheap tasting overall though.

M- Thin bodied. good carbonation.

D- Ummm, there are better pumpkin beers out there to consume while they're in season.

Avryle, Aug 30, 2008
Photo of aerozeppl
2.75/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not one of the best pumpkin beers out there but a junkie really doesn't know where to draw a line.

A: Super clear golden color. Minimal white head with poor head retention. Some lacing.

S: Nutmeg really dominates which is a shame. A good pumpkin beer should rape the nose with such complexity that you cannot pick anything out except pumpkin pie. This falls short.

T: Almost like an ale with spices thrown in as an afterthought. A golden ale is right behind it and it is fairly evident.

M: Medium body. Nothing either way.

D: Got this because it is the season and this was one of the first releases. I love the style but this one falls short.

aerozeppl, Aug 30, 2008
Photo of sleazo
2.68/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A_Clear brown with a smallish off white head. Nice stream of bubbles though

S_First scent is a bit of biscuity malt, then you get the spices. Mostly cinnamon, some ginger, some allspice. Decent smell here.

T_Not as much spice in the taste. Mostly like an English pale ale. A decent biscuity ale with a mild grassy hop. The end hits with the spice, some mild ginger and cinnamon. Slightly artificial and not very deep

M_Light bodied and highly carbonated.

D_Not bad but not overwhelmingly good. I prefer more , body and a sweeter malt.

sleazo, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of cvstrickland
2.7/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12-ounce bottle with label art of our old pal the Headless Horseman atop his surging steed, brandishing a brew at his audience. Poured into a pint willi glass, the vessel yields a sparkling clear amber body with a finger of fine off-white foam atop that recedes quickly to a ring that leaves only minimal lacing on the glass.

The smell is pleasing and mellow, but only a bit pumpkin pie-ish with a little pie spice.

The taste of the drink is dry with a grain-husky twang. The faint pumpkin pie-style aroma was a tease of the nose that never really materializes in the flavor profile, with any flavors of pumpkin or spice presenting themselves as dry, flat, and muted.

The feel is crisp and well-carbonated and the drink inoffensive, but if I wanted a pumpkiny pumpkin ale, I wouldn't seek this one out.

cvstrickland, Aug 22, 2008
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
69 out of 100 based on 2,142 ratings.