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Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale - Shipyard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Shipyard Pumpkinhead AleShipyard Pumpkinhead Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,407 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,407
Reviews: 838
rAvg: 2.98
pDev: 27.52%
Wants: 32
Gots: 327 | 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: 2,407 | Reviews: 838 | Display Reviews Only:
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
1.73/5  rDev -41.9%
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
3.3/5  rDev +10.7%
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
2.38/5  rDev -20.1%
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

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
1.45/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Pale gold with orange influences. Head is bright-white. No lacing. Strong carbonation pulls quickly and constantly. It looks nothing like a pumpkin beer.

Smell: Sweet. It's evocative of pumpkin pie spices, with a solid handful of sugar thrown in. Nutmeg, clove, allspice, all the usual suspects are present, but the sweetness is distracting. Faint touch of grass and caramel malt, but it's all about the spices. No real pumpkin...sadly.

Taste: Straight up spice assault. It's loaded down like canned pumpkin pie filling. Nutmeg and allspice dominate. The malts are almost non-existent, barely offering up something other than spice. Grassy, cereal grains, and sweetness, like corn. It tastes like an adjunct lager fused with pumpkin pie spices.

Mouthfeel: Thin, highly carbonated, and that's it. It drinks like an adjunct lager. It's almost smooth like water. So unbelievably thin.

Overall: I'll never understand the fascination with this beer. It's thin, lacks any depth of flavor, lacks a real pumpkin flavor or aroma, and plays too heavy with the spices. I feel like I'm missing something here. The only upside, this is so easy going down, if you can make it over the spice component, you could drink 50.

Photo of lazjuarez
3.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a goblet

A: Pours a light amber/orange color with about 1 finger worth of white fizzy head, which quickly dissipates leaving no lacing whatsoever.

S: Nose starts grainy, some nutmeg and cinnamon spices. As it warms though, more crusty sweetness comes through. Pumpkin notes seem a bit off or unnatural...I believe it's extracts.

T: Taste is not how I remembered it. Big grainy notes, almost like a lager. Faint pumpkin notes and spices follow after and never make a big impact.

M: In between light to medium bodied, small cracker-like bready mouthfeel. I'm a bit disappointed, but I expected this after not going back to this brew after 2yrs. The worse part is that I have a 6 pack of this...

Photo of celticfutblclub
2.77/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A - straw colored body thats quite transparent. big frothy head that recedes quickly with no real lacing. just your average looking beer.

S - pumpkin cinnamon spice bread malts. its simple but enticing.

T - spice and pumpkin are there again but the backbone is rather watery and lacking in character. with a better malt base this could be a brilliant beer.

M - good carbonation mild hop feel light bodied.

O - overall this is an alright pumpkin beer. there are much better pumpkin beers out there. its good for a thirst quencher but when you stop to think about it its just an OK beer.

Photo of doughanson78
2.25/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Light yellow/orange. Super clear. One finger white head that you can literally hear fizzing. OK retention and almost no lacing to speak of.

S: Smells like pumpkin spices. But contrary to the label saying "Natural Flavors Added" it smells very unnatural. Cinnamon and nutmeg. Some light Graham Cracker aromas along with a crusty (pie crust) scent. Grainy. Something is very off about the smell tho.

T: Sweet pie filling at first. With spices hitting the tongue next. Super watery. It all comes apart before you can swallow. Has a definite canned pie filling taste. About a processed as it gets. Like an Old English 800 was mixed with Pumpkin Pie filling. This is on the verge of a drain pour but not quite.

M: As watery as it could get. Way over carbonated. No creaminess whatsoever.

O: Just a mess of a beer. I really hate to review bad beers but... Hey for my own reference and if anyone else reads my reviews... do not waste the $1.99 or whatever on this one.

Photo of Bendurgin
1.89/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a pint glass. This one pours a light amber color with a finger of fizzy white head that just vanishes to nothing.

Cinnamon comes through prodominantly in the aroma. It's overpowering though. Borderline sinus clearing and burning in the nostrils. No real pumpkin flavors here, just a autumn like spices such at cloves and nutmeg are noticed. The real dissapointment here is the lack of pumpkin. The taste is dissapointing also. There is a little bit on the pallet but there isn't much to notice really. A little bit of fruity yeast but nothing reminisant of pumpkin or even autumn for that matter.

The feel is light and somewhat rigged. The flavor lingers on the back of my tongue so that sucks.

I've had this beer before. I kind of knew what I was getting into here and I remembered correctly. This is a piss poor example of a pumpkin beer. Any trace of what this should be is very faint and leaves a lot to be desired.

Photo of ReelBigwigFish
2.65/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured into pint glass from bottle

A: Clear amber color with a fizzy soda-like head that recedes very quick.

S: Spice, spice, and.... spice? Slight hints at grain, but the spice dominates the aroma.

T: Tons of spice, again. At least there is some pumpkin flavor here and not just cinnamon and nutmeg.

M: Fizzy light seltzery beer. Probably the worst part about the beer, it has no body at all.

O: It's really not awful, I think many of you are being extra harsh since the BA boys gave it an F. But I will agree that I have had many better pumpkin beers than this.

Photo of charliedvrs
2.14/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into pint glass

Pours a light crystal clear yellow, with a finger or so of white head that leaves no lacing. Small bubbles cling to the side of the glass and shoot up to the top of the liquid. The smell is all cinnamon and nutmeg. The taste is the same with a slight pumpkin, though I may just be imagining it because of the spices. Lots of sweetness and a strong buttery overtone. There's a slight acidic twang in the finish and a hint of corn tasting grains. Mouthfeel is light with a fizzy carbonation. I know this is an ale but it really drinks like a spiced adjunct lager. I can see how this would have a lot of mass appeal but really, it's not for me.

Photo of DUBinMIA
1.73/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served in a pilsner glass. pours straw yellow to mild orange. with a white head that dissipates as fast as it forms.

smells of stale malt and Cinnamon... i thought it was a stick of big red gum.

tasted like pumpkin pie filling...

medium to light bodied with light carbonation.

Did not like this beer and will not try it again.

Photo of Idodgepucks
2.4/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I was expecting something different, but the taste wasn't awful. The flavors were kind of awkward, bit cinnamony/pepppermint. Definitely would recommend trying something else though. Although I'm not sure if I would this give a beer an F, it definitely was not up to expectations.

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear light orange/copper color with almost no head that fizzles out quickly to leave a cap of bubbles

S: Probably the best part about this beer. Big on the cinnamon and spices with a little pumpkin filler and pie crust

T: As long as this is super fresh, it actually tastes how it smells. Give it about a week in the fridge and it goes downhill quickly to become a metallic, weakly flavored alcoholic soda. Luckily this was released a few days ago, so it is super fresh

M: Light bodied with high, prickly carbonation. Almost always too over-carbonated

O: Honestly, I think this gets poor reviews because there are no hops, and the malts are pretty weak. But treat this how it's supposed to be treated. As a pumpkin pie flavored beer. And like I said, this needs to be super fresh, or else it is a beer morphed into alcoholic soda. Simple as that. But damn, I do love this beer fresh

Photo of PhageLab
2.68/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pumpkin ales? In August? How could I resist? Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Golden orange coloration, moderate head that displayed some poor retention, and no lacing left behind.

S - Something soapy, along with some pumpkin notes, but not you usual spiced or pumpkin bread, no, this actually smells like raw pumpkin. Interesting, but a little unsettling.

T - Cinnamon, pumpkin juice, fruit notes, and a little bit of spice. The finish is a larger hit of cinnamon. Almost cider-like.

M - Light bodied with a mild carbonation level. Clean feel and finish, cinnamon aside.

D - I should have resisted. There are some redeeming qualities, and for the record, my girlfriend loved it, but this just isn't what I want or look for in my pumpkin ales.

Photo of EricMichael
2.23/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Bottle labelled as "Maine made ale" and "malt beverage with natural flavor added". Immediate loss of head and lacing. Lots of fizzing - reminded me of a soda.

Smell - This smells like a Libby's pumpkin pie.

Taste - This tastes much like the smell, pumpkin pie and that sums it up - maybe a little cinnamon and nutmeg, but the overall pumpkin pie taste conquers anything else. Not too much in the way of malt and definitely no hop.

Mouthfeel - Very light on the tongue, watery even and carbonation all over.

Overall - If you want a New England pumpkin/fall ale, this is probably not what you are looking for, but if you want a novel pumpkin pie drink to go with a meal, you should give this a whirl.

Photo of callmeclemens
5/5  rDev +67.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Honestly Say what you will, here I go once again disagreeing with the Bro's.

Upon moving into my new apartment next september, a buddy brought me a sixer of this to bring in the fall spirit to my new apartment. I poured a glass of this opened the windows threw in Creature from the black lagoon and sat back.

The beer pours a beautiful deep orange like holding the glass up to the fall foliage right outside my window, my view of the forest. It tasted of slight pumpkin cinnamin, nutmeg, and brown sugar, maybe a bit bready, with a lager mouthfeel, combining the whole situation you could not have picked a better beer. I anxiously await september and this beer being in my fridge.

Maybe I judge beer in a strane way, but this beer to me embodie the season, just as much as the smell of dry leaves, and the crunch underfoot, warm afternoons and cold nights. Thank you Shipyard.

Photo of Knapp85
1.87/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer poured out as a fizzy looking golden color. Shouldn't this be more of a copped color? Anyway, there's no head after a few seconds. The smell of the beer is spicy, that's about all. The taste is spicy but very light. The mouthfeel is like club soda. Overall I really don't like this pumpkin ale. It's very bland and boring from start to finish. Be smart and look elsewhere for a pumpkin ale over this one.

Photo of jersk8
1.26/5  rDev -57.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Was accidentally poured this when I asked the bartender for a Halloween Ale.
oh well why donyt you try it anyways. I usually avoid Shipyard products, but here goes. Looks like beer as it is brown with foam on top, but there the similarity ends.
it smelled like an old batch of pumpkin pie spice that had been in the cupboard too long. It tasted like a really bad pumpkin pie that had been regurgitated. Cloying, way over spiced and too pumpkiny. I heve nothing against this style BTW. Smuttynose pumpkin ale is a seasonal favorite, but this has no subtleties, balance or sense of overall finish. Gave it back and asked for the halloween

Photo of jsanford
1.61/5  rDev -46%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

12oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass. I don't know why I'm doing this to myself, I already know how bad this is gonna be. Well, let's see...

A - Pours a clear light gold with a 2-inch head of white foam. Nothing offensive, looks like a standard adjunct.
S - Sweet malt, a bit on "tinny" canned pumpkin, and cinnamon, but not real cinnamon, more like the cinnamon that's used to scent those brooms that they sell in the supermarket in the Fall. Fake cinnamon.
T - Yeah, this sucks. No pumpkin is noticeable, only some cloyingly sweet malt and artificial cinnamon flavoring. This tastes like a Fall Febreze air freshener smells. Ugh.
M - Adjunct-thin with fizzy carbonation.
O - This is a joke of an excuse for a "real" Pumpkin Ale, and further proof that Shipyard has no reason to brew *any* beer. Seriously. Stop.

Photo of JPowell64
4.07/5  rDev +36.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - It has nice carbonation a clear light color. Doesn't have much of a head to it.

Smell - Has a great sweet smell of autumn. Very pumpkiny and nice spice. Doesn't really have much of a hoppy nose to it.

Taste - The pumpkin taste is very dominant, with cinnamon and ginger infused. Exactly like drinking a pumpkin pie. It is a sweet taste but it doesn't have that overwhelming sweet taste where you can't drink much of it.

Mouthfeel - The beer is fairly light making it very easy to drink. With the sweet taste it would be great for after dinner when feeling full. It has a nice bubble cabonation feel.

Overall - I enjoyed the beer, was extremely surprised to see the grades it has received. I would agree that as a beer it is not amazing but as a pumpkin seasonal drink it is very satisfying.

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.04/5  rDev +35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

On-tap at BackBooth

A - Looks like a Miller Lite, or perhaps more aptly, a Blue Moon.

S/T - I like pumpkin- everything, in general. This has a lot of pumpkin in the smell and taste, and some very basic ale qualities too. Bland APWA + fruit flavor = occasional winner, usually a big-time loser. This is the occasional winner, in my book, as would be: Sea Dog Blue Paw, Ithaca Apricot Wheat and Abita Satsuma Wit. The Sea Dog comparison is particularly appropriate, as it is very similar to Pumpkinhead, seemingly just a juxtaposition of fruit/vegetable flavors.

M/D - Feels good, is easy to drink tons of.

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.4/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From fall brew ranking notes (2010): Pours a crystal clear, golden-bronze colored body with a thin, fizzy, white head that dissipates quickly into a thin lacing. Aroma is pumpkin pie and cinnamon. Not very malty, more spiced, candy based. Flavor is thin and watery pumpkin pie spices with some sweeter caramel and strong cinnamon. Finishes with no real character after a thin body and fizzy carbonation. Overall, a distinct pumpkin flavored beer, but not very rounded or balanced. Watery with a little too much spice and not enough malts.

Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.39/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance isn't bad, looked kinda lagery to me, but that's ok. Pours a nice head that disappears quickly. The smell is very spicy and pumpkiny, smells excellent. Hmm, taste is ok, the body is very very light, just like the color indicated. It kinda tastes like water with pumpkin and spice in it, with a tiny hint of malt in the back end. The taste is not very impressive :(. I can't tell if I want to drink more or not, so I will say the drinkability is average. Overall disappointing, but not a horrible beer.

Photo of Kvlterbm
1.31/5  rDev -56%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Review from notes, tasted this in mid-October.

A: Pours a clear, amber yellow with a head that vanishes quickly.

S: Cinnamon, but not in a good way. I'm a big fan of some pumpkin beers, and this lacks everything that makes those enjoyable. The nose smells like cinnamon candy, not even real spice.

T: No pumpkin flavor whatsoever. Tastes exactly like it smells. Cinnamon candy... if there's any nutmeg or clove in this, it's hidden behind an overwhelming flavor of artificial cinnamon.

M: Decent carbonation, but it just feels thin and watery.

D: If you love cinammon red hots, it's very drinkable. It's a low ABV beer, so it's drinkable in that respect. Personally, I just couldn't stomach the flavor for more than a bottle or two.

Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale from Shipyard Brewing Co.
69 out of 100 based on 2,407 ratings.