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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.

2,281 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,281
Reviews: 821
rAvg: 2.97
pDev: 27.61%
Wants: 27
Gots: 260 | 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: 2,281 | Reviews: 821 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of germanbeerluvr
4.05/5  rDev +36.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's that time of year again, went back to Boston where they serve this beer on tap (Macaroni Grill). As I expected, it was like a little piece of Heaven. Medium golden color,not much lacing. Wonderful hints of pumpkin and nutmeg, smooth taste with nice aftertaste.As I stated in my first review of this beer last year, I'm a lover of German beer's, but this beer, I feel is a great treat for the season. I will admit, it is much better on tap so try to find a place that serves it.

germanbeerluvr, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of alleykatking
2.9/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a slight golden yellowish orange color. Smaller 1 1/2 finger fluffy white head. No real lacing to speak of.

S- Not a big smelling beer at all. Some hints of pumpkin in the nose along with some nutmeg and a little cinammon. Nothing really else in the nose to speak of just some light aromas thats all. Very bland smelling beer.

T- Thas a slight sweet pumpkin taste to this. Some nutmeg and other spices follow through with this beer. Nothing jumps out at you. Sweet malt background with this beer as well. Nothing too over the top in flavor....it's just there but barely.

M- Lighter mouthfeel. Carbonation level is a little much for this beer and it just helps the beer fizz across the palate. Light pumpkin left on the tongue after the sip.

D- This is a drinkable beer if you like beers that taste like actual pumpkin. I myself am more of a fan of spice fronted pumpkin beers. Nothing really to write home about.

alleykatking, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of bamadog
4.03/5  rDev +35.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review is from notes taken on 10/4/2009. Poured from the bottle to a pint glass. But before I get into my review, I must say, I always get a bit nervous when I look at the averages and what the Bros say as well when it varies as much as mine does. I really did enjoy this beer though and felt it was pretty solid overall for a pumpkin ale. I've been drinking quite a few of these this season and this one certainly wasn't awful. To each his own, I guess :)

Appearance: Pours a color that is a mix of lemony yellow and coppery orange; slight chill haze on the side of the glass but the body is pretty clear; starts with a 1 finger head and fades quickly to a full white skim that covers the surface; moderately strong carbonation and no lacing is left.

Smell: Not especially strong, slight hints of pumpkin pie spices (cinammon and nutmeg), but that's about it.

Taste: Wow. This tastes almost exactly like pumpkin pie, complete with graham cracker crust! Wonderful flavors of nutmeg, sweet crackery and breadiness; slight hints of the ale itself linger in the aftertaste; it seems the gorud itself is very natural in the flavors as well.

Mouthfeel: Solid carbonation, leaves a thin coating that helps preserve the great flavors and lets them linger; belly is even left a little warm and full.

Drinkability: Great flavors, solid mouthfeel and it's filling; I do wish there was a bit more nose to it, but I could still drink a couple of these at a time.

bamadog, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of Kolsch
1.01/5  rDev -66%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

12oz bottle shared with wife.

Appearance: very light amber orange

Smell: kind of like burning oil right after you changed the oil in your lawn mower

Taste: Putrid and very grainy, like it needed strained. This would have been a drain pourer if the wife didn't finish it and really can't believe she did. Just couldn't handle the smell.

Overall: avoid unless your partial to vomitting.

Kolsch, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of JimmyK77
2.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pumpkin beer lovers seem to fall into two camps - those that want beer with pumpkin flavor and those who want beer with pumpkin pie spice flavor. This is more a pumpkin flavor beer, but built on a wheat beer base the assertive malty and warming alcohol backbone that I really want in any fall beer. Wheat beer is for summer, not fall! Spice notes are just as the description says - 'Hints of cinnamon and nutmeg' - and if your not paying attention, you'll miss them.

JimmyK77, Oct 19, 2009
Photo of gabe23
2.42/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Golden color with a quickly fading white head. No lacing at all.

S - Biscuity aroma with a very strong scent of cinnamon and vanilla. If I was blindfolded and smelled this, I'd probably think it was a candle instead of a beer.

T - Slightly sweet and spicy to start, with a sour, watery finish. I really can't distinguish any malt or hops characteristics because of the excessive spices and carbonation.

M - Pie flavored soda water.

D - I love pumpkin ales and most beers with spices, but this is a mess. Overly carbonated, no body, no real beer flavors. Pass on this one if you want a rich, flavorful fall brew.

gabe23, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of Redrover
3.33/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz brown longneck. I like the label, but where is my freshness dating?

Poured into my SA glass, the beer is a gold with a quickly collapsing white head.

The aroma is of spices (nutmeg & allspice) and grains. It is a bit faint for my liking.

the spices are more prominent in the taste and they do add that pumpkin element. However, the base beer seems a little weak. There is some grainy taste, but mostly spice. Needs some balance.

The mouth is a bit thin which seems to be common with this type of beer. It is a bit over carbonated as well. It is not horrible and could be used an introduction beer for this style. A bit overpriced at $9.99 per six pack at Favorite Liquors.

Redrover, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of jamiesessions
3.05/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Beer pours a light golden colour, considerably lighter than many other pumpkin beers. Smell is very pleasing with notes of cinnamon and nutmeg, though conspicuous by its absence is the actual smell of pumpkin. While i do enjoy the smell, the lack of it's supposed key ingredient is very disappointing. Tastes like a beer. there is no other way to describe it, this is a very mundane, average taste, not bad, but certainly not doing anything for me, subtle hint of pumpkin, but not nearly enough to truly taste like "Pumpkin Ale" should. Feels kind of watery, and not nearly carbonated enough to make up for it, i'm left feeling flat. Somewhat drinkable, though i certainly would want to drink other beers if presented to me, this one would suffice in a pinch

jamiesessions, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of taxguyjase
3.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer looks like it is supposed to - light orange color. Not really any head and slightly opaque. The smell gives it away, offering a lot of spice, clove and pumpkin pie scents. The taste is a strong pumpkin and "fall" flavor. Not overly sweet, but warm like if you drank a pumpkin pie. The brew is smooth and flavorful with a sharp malt pumpkin taste at the end. The beer is way more pumpkiny than the Dogfish Head Punkin beer , which got the fall flavors in without the overt pumpkinness. I would have this beer again, but the pumpkin thing is a fall deal only...so even if I could get it the rest of the year, I'd pass.

Appearance - 3.0/5.0 - light orange color, no head, slightly opaque
Smell - 3.5/5.0 - spice, clove, pumpkin pie - strong pumpkin aroma than punkin
Taste - 3.0/5.0 - strong pumpkin flavor, not overly sweet but "warm" like drinking pumpkin pie, smooth, malt pumpkin taste at end
Feel - 3.5/5.0 - smooth, no aftertaste, flavor is good but definitely pumpkiny
Drinkability - 3.0/5.0 - good for the time of year, but the pumpkin thing is more than I'd like normally

taxguyjase, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of beerwolf77
1.18/5  rDev -60.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Well I've read enough negative press about this beer but I gotta check it out for myself.

Poured into my pint glass the beer is (WTF?) golden in color and fairly clear? Not exactly what I would expect in a pumpkin ale. A quick burst of white head dissapated before I could even sit down. No lacing to speak of.

The aroma is faint pumpkin spice. Real faint. It's like someone two blocks away baked a pumpkin pie and I have my window open. Some sweet malt can be picked up but overall not much nose on this one at all.

The flavor is not good. That's an understatement. It has a metalic apple cider taste goin on. Slight cinnimon and putrid grain. Sour and acrid. This is an abomination of a beer. Buffalo bills pumpkin thinks this beer sucks.

Light body with heavy carbonation. I can't really say anymore about the mouth feel since it's almost impossible to let it sit in my mouth.

Overall I guess the hype was spot on. I know you're not supposed to bag on a beer but this one deserves a beat down. This is not a beer you want to cross your lips.

beerwolf77, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of SkunkWorks
3.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a straw color. Nice head that dissipates very quickly. Overpowering aroma of pumpkin pie spices. The beer itself has an overpowering taste of pumpkin pie spice, which is nice but doesn't really taste like a beer. Its easy to drink since there's no bitterness whatsoever. Overall, an okay beer. Probably will not be trying it again though.

SkunkWorks, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of kshankar
2.65/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden with little head, even with an aggressive pour. Usually pumpkin ales are not this bright of a golden color...

Aroma is extremely mild. If I didn't know it was a pumpkin ale, I would not have guessed based on aroma. It doesn't smell like it at all.

Taste is mild as well. Mild pumpkin spice with a breadyness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp. Drinkability is high. But its not really a pumpkin ale...just tastes like a mildly spiced beer.

kshankar, Oct 12, 2009
Photo of JohnGalt1
2.42/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Received as an extra from damianblack... Thanks Andrew... Poured into my new German pils snifter.

1" white head... no real lace... the brew is lightly hazed straw..

Nose has too much spice for me.. cinnamon and lesser clove....

Tooo much spice... seriously.. like a Chai tea...

The only thing that lets me know this is a beer is the bottle.. it's cold.. it's spicy.. it's a brew that bad breweries can say they made an "Autumn" beer and move on... Sorry.. I wanted to like this one more.. I can't imagine people enjoying it with or without a plate of Thanksgiving goodness in front of them.

Edit: Errrrggg... I can ferment some pumpkin pies, with a Cinnamon Altoid, and some candied ginger and do better than this.

Thanks again Andrew.... I really did try to appreciate this one.


JohnGalt1, Oct 12, 2009
Photo of Cyberkedi
2.15/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Strong aroma is mainly spicy, mostly cinnamon, and a little sweet, more like a cinnamon roll than a beer thought there is just an undertone of malt. It pours a clear straw yellow with a nice thick white head. Flavor is rather wan, a little malty with just a whisper of pumpkin and cinnamon. Texture is bubbly and a little fizzy. This is not a beer that I am going to seek out again.

Cyberkedi, Oct 12, 2009
Photo of CherylM
1.63/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I usually like Shipyard Beers and was attracted to the festive Halloween label. Unfortunately, that was the only thing impressive about this beer. I found it very thin and watery. The sparse head evaporated quickly. It smelled of faint nutmeg and cinnamon. Mouthfeel had some carbonation. What it really lacked was the rich malt flavor and hop notes that are usually present and the backbone in fine Octoberfest beers. I would probably rather drink an O'Doul's Amber.

CherylM, Oct 10, 2009
Photo of Kallessin
2.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Very full foamy white head that dissipates very quickly. Has a golden yellow/light amber color (straw colored up to a light). Lots of carbonation.

Smells like sweet canned pumpkin pie filling with nutmeg and cinnamon. Very light malt aroma with no hops to speak of. Fairly run of the mill, but not bad.

Has a watered down pumpkin pie filling taste. Some citrus and tart apple, which seems out of place. Some doughy pie crust flavors. There's some very off-putting medicinal flavors hanging around in the background, but this subsides a little as it warms up. Overall it's a pretty average tasting beer, but I could score it very high because of this off flavor.

Very thin and light, almost watery, but very smooth with good carbonation. Has a clean finish. I wish there was a little more body to it.

This is a pretty ordinary beer that has some off flavors (and out of place flavors) with not enough body. You can drink it despite the flaws, but there are far better examples out there.

Kallessin, Oct 09, 2009
Photo of BierFan
3.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Thin white head that doesn't last too long. Clear dark yellow/light orange body. Looks a bit like a malt liquor.

Smell: Pumpkin pie spices. Expecially cinnamon.

Taste: No surprise here, pie spices. Seems very simple and tame compared to other pumpkin ales that are available.

Mouthfeel: Far too thin. Mouthfeel reminiscent of an adjuct lager.

BierFan, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of OlRasputin989
3.08/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in an imperial nonic...

A: slightly hazy oarngish-yellow shade with a decent foamy 1 finger head.

S: mostly cinnamon, with a sweet smell of nutmeg and pumpkin pie.

T: cinnamon, brown sugar, pecan, and grassy hops. finishes with a clean taste of hop with a background of caramel malt.

M: A light body with good carbonation. Bubbly and finishes a off dry. crisp and clean.

Overall, this beer is no showstopper. Its an easy drinking beer of a style that is a change pace from the average session beer. It's worth a try but don't expect anything special.

OlRasputin989, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of jbertsch
2.35/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bought this at Whole Foods who was pushing it hard. Seemed like they had an overstock of it, with large displays in more than one spot.

This one's a fairly clear gold on the lighter side. The white head fades quickly and there's little to no lacing at all.

I smell faint spices of cinnamon, clove and I guess nutmeg. Although I'm probably just saying that because it's supposed to be there. I don't really smell it. The pumpkin doesn't really come through so much in the aroma either. I don't doubt it's there, but I expected it to be stronger.

Because of that, I figured it wouldn't taste so sweet and would actually have elegant notes of pumpkin. However it did not. Taste was flat and boring. Didn't notice any real malt or hops either.

Drinkability is satisfactory but not quite in a good way. The mediocrity I taste makes it easy to drink.

I won't buy this again. There are way too many good New England pumpkin brews out there to waste your time with this.

jbertsch, Sep 30, 2009
Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Copper colored body with a small, white head and good clarity. Doesn't leave much lace.

S - Sweet malt with some pumpkin and cinnamon. Not much else going on.

T - Sweet, light malt with some grainy notes. Ginger and cola-like spices. Mild malt and spice mingle and fade away in the finish.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Somewhat bland, but drinkable. I don't think much of Shipyard or pumpkin ales in general and therefore was not expecting much from this beer. Despite those two strikes, this wasn't that bad. It doesn't have many positives in the way of flavor and character, but it avoids the overspiced cloying sweetness that plagues some other pumpkin ales. I won't be buying more of this, but it is drinkable.

nickfl, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of tempest
2.5/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Wow, this is a far cry from the very fine Blue Fin Stout I recently had from Shipyard. This beer tastes like pumpkin pie juice. Seriously, if someone threw a pie into a juicer and strained the remains, this is what you'd get. It feels thin and watery while the cinnamon and pumpkin pie spices are overwhelming. Pass on this unfortunate dud.

tempest, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of tj4288
2.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

poured from 12 oz bottle into flared pilsner glass

a- very pale american macro straw color. loose white head only one finger even with a vigorous pour. head disapated very quick to nothing. almost no lacing.

s- smells like a typical pumpkin ale brewed with the spices but no actual pumpkin. smell overall weak. also a metallic smell in there.

t- tastes like if you took a budweiser and added a tiny bit of cinnimon and nutmeg. weak but not at all bad.

m- crisp and bubbly carbonation. light body.

d- i guess there is better pumpkin ales for your money but this one is very drinkable, watered down version. very light and even sessionable. i would deffinatley drink it again.

tj4288, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of ColForbinBC
2.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a Stella glass

Appears a light orange with an unpleasant murkiness to it. A fluffy white head rose to two fingers and then subsided rather quickly to form a thin collar.

Nutmeg and cinnamon with a faint fleshy pumpkin aroma as a backdrop. A touch of doughy yeast lends an uncooked bread type of aroma.

The spices shine through a lot more than the pumpkin. Nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon with an undercooked bread flavor. Sweeter than most pumpkin ales I have had. Nothing special.

The mouthfeel was average. It had an odd combination of syrupy and watery.

This really isn't a terrible drinking pumpkin ale by any means, it just falls short when compared to the rest.

ColForbinBC, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of nicholasdes
2.4/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Golden clear with almost no head or lacing.

astringent nose with lite pumpkin pie spicies, but no pumpkin.

Ultra lite taste. Seriously, this is like a bud lite with pumpkin pie spice. A little sweetness, but no pumpkin.

All carbonation on the tongue.

I guess this is drinkable if you can stand it. The spice actually makes it harder to drink.

This could be fun for a holiday party full of people who usualy drink MGD 64 or something but it is not good pumpkin or octoberfest beer.

nicholasdes, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of jiggahertz
3.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: a translucent light orangy amber beer with a wuickly dissipating head and no lacing.

S: pumpkin and spice is strong maybe some cloves, almost cinnaminy

T: matches what's on the nose here. Don't detect any hops. The malt comes through a little

M: light bodied ale dominated by pumpkin and spice. Carbonation is medium to high.

D: a nice fall beer that I enjoy drinking. Haven't had any other pumpkin ales for comparison but it's a staple for me each fall.

jiggahertz, Sep 26, 2009
Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
69 out of 100 based on 2,281 ratings.